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Scattershot: Outdoors news and notes

Special DEC meeting on Lake Ontario Sept. 13

If you are wondering what is happening with Lake Ontario’s forage base and what that will mean with overall stocking numbers for 2018, make sure you mark Sept. 13 on the calendar. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that there will be three public meetings along the lake (Lockport, Rochester and Pulaski) for resource users to see and listen to the results of the spring forage base assessments and what DEC’s plans are for stocking next year. This will be a great opportunity to learn and ask questions of the key people involved with the lake’s fisheries management.

Concerns over the alewife population in the lake (the primary food source for salmon) due to poor year classes of the baitfish in 2013 and 2014 resulted in a stocking adjustment for Chinook salmon and lake trout in 2017. Contributing to the adjustment was an increase in natural reproduction. There is good news for this year. According to the spring trawls, a record number of yearling alewives were assessed in 2017. A power point presentation will be given at each meeting. Meeting locations and times are:

  • 11 – 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Donald Schleiter Lodge and Pavilion, 199 East Manitou Road, Braddock Bay Park, Rochester.
  • 12 – 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski.
  • 13 – 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the 4-H Building of Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Ave. (Route 78), Lockport.

Oram wins Innovative Outdoors walleye challenge

It was a near-perfect day on Lake Erie out of Dunkirk for the Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge Aug. 26. A total of 41 boats were competing in the contest and the problem wasn’t catching walleye. Everyone was catching fish (or so it seemed). The problem was finding bigger fish so that you could put a strong six-fish box on the scales. When the final team weighed in it was Rob Oram and the “Eye”-Con team with a six-fish total weight of 42.51-pounds to take the top prize – more than 8 pounds better than runner-up Curtis Loveless and his Evil Eyes team.  Big fish for Oram and company was 8.14 pounds , not big enough for the big fish prize. Big fish went to Bob Henton with the Lavery Brewing squad, weighing  a walleye in at 8.97 pounds.  There were no 9-pound fish caught in the Saturday contest. The day before in the Big Fish Friday event leading up to the Challenge, David Beyers and his Loose Screws team weighed in a 9.90 pound ‘eye to set the pace. Three other 9-pound walleye were weighed in.

Oram and his team are no strangers to the winners circle. They also won the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club tournament the first weekend in August with a 46-pound, six-fish catch.

NYPA fishing platform re-opens

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) announced late last week that its popular fishing platform, located at the base of the Robert Moses Niagara Hydroelectric Power Plant (off Hyde Park Boulevard) in Lewiston, has re-opened after being closed for several months due to high water concerns and safety considerations. The platform is free to use from dawn to dusk. Some parking is available near the platform as well as at the top of the hill just off Hyde Park Boulevard. Timing for the re-opening was very good because some salmon have started to arrive on the scene for its fall migration. For more information on the fishing platform, call 796-0135 Ext. 45. The platform is typically open through Dec. 1.

Comments sought on Lake Erie Wind Project

Wind turbine proponents are at it again in Lake Erie, this time with a proposed six-turbine offshore wind project located 8 to 10 miles off Cleveland, Ohio. The U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have published a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for Project Icebreaker (as it is being called). An informational open house was being held on the Project Sept. 6 in Lakewood, Ohio. However, public comments can be received by Oct. 10 by emailing or by writing U.S. DOE, Golden Field Office, NEPA Division, 15013 Denver West Parkway, Golden, CO 80401. Additional information can be found on the project at If you have any questions, contact Lt. Ryan Junod with the USCG Marine Safety Unit at 216-937-0124.

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