National Fishing and Boating Week June 3-11
National Fishing and Boating week is June 3 through 11. It’s a great excuse to do one or the other … or both, with family and friends. To help celebrate, the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is hosting its 26th Annual Youth Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 3. The event will be held at Ringneck Overlook, on Oak Orchard Ridge Road. On-site registration begins at 7:30 a.m. There is no pre-registration or reservations required. Fishing is from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. The event is free and open to youths 17 years old and under, with no experience necessary. If this is your first time, some fishing gear will be available to borrow. Certificates will be awarded to the top three in three age categories: 7 years and under, 8-12 and 13-17 years. This event is one of the many ways the Refuge offers to connect people with nature. Connecting People with Nature: Ensuring the future of conservation is a national priority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the mission of “working to ensure that all Americans have enjoyable and meaningful experiences in the out-of-doors and develop strong life-long connections with the natural world.” The Youth Fishing Derby is sponsored by the Friends of Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Inc.
Other kids fishing instructional events slated to be held during National Fishing and Boating Week include:
- June 3, 2017 - East Aurora Fish and Game Club’s Teach Me to Fish program designed for both Kids and Parents will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1016 Luther Road, East Aurora. This is a free community event that offers five learning stations on different aspects of fishing, conservation and catch-and-release. There’s a pond on-site to get a line wet and when it’s all over, there will be free Sahlen’s hot dogs, Paula’s donuts and beverages. For more information contact Dave Barus at 597-4081. Everyone goes home with a fishing prize!
- June 10, 2017 – Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and NYSDEC will be holding a free youth fishing clinic at Ellicott Creek Park, Tonawanda from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1 Ellicott Creek Dr. in pavilions 5 and 9. This is a catch-and-release event for kids under 15 years of age. Registration ends at 11 a.m. Five learning stations will be offered up. Bring your own fishing rods and reels or use the tackle on loan from the hosts. Worms will be provided by Weekley’s Nightcrawlers.
VHS Hits Cayuga Lake
The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) was confirmed from fish samples taken in mid-May due to a fish kill in Cayuga Lake involving thousands of round gobies. VHS can cause the hemorrhaging of fish tissue and internal organs. It was first discovered in New York in 2006 and this outbreak was the first ever in Cayuga Lake. It has been 10 years since it was first discovered in the Finger Lakes. According to DEC, there is a VHS outbreak currently responsible for an ongoing fish kill in Lake St. Claire in Michigan and western Lake Erie.
To help prevent the spread of the disease, fishermen are reminded that they should always follow the baitfish regulations as noted on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov or in the fishing regulations guide. Only release baitfish into the water body it was taken from. Never discard any unused baitfish that is bought commercially into any body of water. In addition, anglers should not move fish from one water body to another. Do not dispose of fish carcasses or by-products in any body of water. Inspect, drain, dry and disinfect boats and gear before moving your boat to another body of water.
If you witness any number of dead or dying fish (usually 100 or more), contact the nearest DEC regional office or the Rome Fish Disease Control Unit at 315-337-0910. Contact people there are Andrew Noyes and Geofrey Eckerlin.
SWA Walleye Tournament June 10-18
The 33rd Annual Southtowns Walleye Association (SWA) Walleye Tournament is just around the corner, set to be held June 10-18 on Lake Erie. This is a nine-day, one-fish contest where the single biggest fish wins the top prize. While the top 10 places win the big bucks, there are cash awards for the top 200 places overall. Last year’s first-place prize went to Jim Horbett with an 11.63-pound walleye. Entry fee is $35 and in-person registration ends on June 10. Sign up at the next SWA meeting June 8 at the group’s clubhouse located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, starting at 7:30 p.m. For information on the tournament or the group, contact Bob Fessler or Don Mullen at 462-9576. The group’s website is www.southtownswalleye.org.