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Bill Hilts Jr.


Outdoors

ECO’s Nab Salmon Poachers at Burt Dam The big news locally was the announcement last week that three poachers – we can’t call them fishermen – took two enforcement agencies on a wild fish chase around the Burt Dam area of 18 Mile Creek in the Town of Newfane. They were finally caught and brought to justice. In their possession were 69 salmon ranging from 5 to 35…

Outdoors

I Love NY Fishing! That was the theme of a recent sportfishing familiarization tour involving four German dignitaries who shared an interest in what the Empire State had to offer as it related to fish and fishing opportunities. Working with Markly Wilson, director of international marketing for I Love NY, and Lori Solomon, I Love NY project manager, for the trip through…

Sports

The time of year commonly referred to as “the rut” is a bit misunderstood. At least, that’s how Peter Fiduccia of South New Berlin in Chenango County sees it. Fiduccia, known around deer hunting circles as “The Deer Doctor,” is host and senior producer of the Woods N’ Waters TV Series for over 30 years. He is the author of no less than eight books, all on deer.…

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Crossbow season kicks off Nov. 5 Crossbow season in the Southern Zone is finally upon us, opening on Saturday, Nov. 5. While it is still part of the special early archery season, crossbows are not considered archery equipment. To be able to use a crossbow during the archery season, you must purchase a muzzleloader license and use that corresponding tag if successful dur…

Outdoors

Water Levels Restored on Salmon River Thanks to recent rains and the fact that the Salmon River Fish Hatchery hit its target for salmon eggs, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the Lower Fly Fishing Area of the Salmon River is now open for (fishy) business. Drought conditions in the Salmon River watershed had forced the agenc…

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Niagara River There are still some fresh kings being reported in the lower Niagara River. Capt. Ted Keesler of Rivermaster Charters reports that he’s still seeing some new salmon showing up in Devil’s Hole, catching fish this week with clients from Mississippi. He was using small chunks of cured salmon skein on a No. 4 hook and 12-pound test fluorocarbon leader off …

Sports

Whitetail deer are about to go crazy. Every year at this time, the whitetail deer will be going through a natural breeding phase that triggers urges that will make them a bit love-sick. For the bucks (the males of the species), we simply call it the “rut” – a time that will make them change their habits and cause them do things out of the ordinary to find a receptive…

Sports

RELATED LINKS Outdoors calendar (Oct. 19) WNY Brook Trout Featured at TU Meeting The Western New York Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be convening for its monthly meeting on Oct. 25  at the Donovan American Legion Post, 3210 Genesee St., Cheektowaga, starting at 7:30 p.m. Featured speaker will be Tom Hoffman of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service based out of the …

Sports

Lake Ontario and tributaries The Oak is fishing very well, but is also receiving a lot of pressure according to Bryant Abbuhl of Rochester. The dam is shoulder to shoulder, but the fish are being caught consistently. There are good numbers of kings from top to bottom.  More and more browns and steelhead are showing up daily. Some very big 15-plus-pound browns are in t…

Sports

After an extremely odd year that saw a combination of drought conditions and record-breaking temperatures influencing fishing in the Great Lakes (and elsewhere), many anglers in Western New York have been waiting for a certain fish species to arrive on the scene with a bit more consistency – the extremely popular yellow perch. After a productive spring fishing season …

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RELATED LINK Outdoors calendar Deadline extended for fishing regs, Lake Ontario A few weeks ago we announced the deadline to submit comments on proposed changes to freshwater fishing regulations was Oct. 7. A recent press release sent out by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the deadline has been extended through Nov. 11. The most c…

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Those of us who live here in Western New York know we are blessed with a true outdoor paradise. Sharing this hidden treasure with two groups of outdoor media mavens from around the Great Lakes and throughout the Empire State helps to spread the word in a way advertising never could. Chautauqua County and Peek’n Peak Resort in Clymer was the headquarters Sept. 12-18 fo…

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Fish can feel angling pressure. Several local anglers experienced exactly that – what can happen when too much pressure is applied on local fish stocks … and what can happen when that pressure is relieved. Lake Erie and tributaries The Canadian Tire Lake Erie Open was held last weekend and Joe Fonzi of Gasport and Larry Mazur of Lancaster had a good feeling. They…

Sports

RELATED LINKS The Fishing Beat by Bill Hilts Jr. Go Take a Hike: The Niagara Gorge Outdoors Calendar Catches of the Week   Salmon River’s lower fly-fishing area closed due to low water There’s another casualty as a result of the drought conditions we’ve been experiencing this year. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that…

Sports

RELATED LINKS Catches of the Week Scattershot: News & notes from the great outdoors Go take a hike: The Niagara Gorge Lake Ontario Some more salmon finally showed up in the lower sections of 18 Mile Creek and the first entry in the King of the Creek salmon contest was caught off the piers, a 27.93 pound salmon hauled in by Josh Wittcop of Lockport. He caught it on…