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MARCH GOES OUT LIKE A LION, MAKING TROUT STREAMS FRIGID

What luck!

The inland-streams trout opener, Daylight Savings Time, the removal of the Niagara River ice boom and April Fool's Day all take place this weekend.

Waters, relatively low and cold, allowed for extensive stocking of most streams. But cool temperatures -- both air and water -- call for well-insulated footwear and clothing along with a cautious approach to fool first-of-April trout when heading up clear, well-settled streams.

Trout derby

The Naples Lions Club Rainbow Trout Derby, now in its 34th year, begins at 6 a.m. Saturday. Entrants must be registered by 6 a.m. Prizes go to divisions for men, women, boys under 16 and girls under 16. For pre-registration and prize information, call 394-2947.

Trout stocking

Whirling disease has put stocking numbers in a whirl. Areas most affected are those receiving rainbow trout, but brown trout numbers and delivery dates also see shifts from numbers typical during past trout openers. Area waters have been stocked according to the following list of counties, species and numbers:

Allegany County -- Brown trout: Genesee River (Wellsville to state line; excluding No Kill), 1,700; Genesee River (Belmont dam to Scio/Wellsville town line), 7,600; Dyke Creek, 1,500; Cryder Creek, 1,900; Canasaraga Creek, 2,200; Black Creek, 1,200; Genesee Creek (Shongo Route 19 bridge downstream 2.4 miles), 1,300; Chenunda Creek, 450; and Vandermark Creek, 1,000. Rainbow trout: Genesee River (Wellsville to state line; excluding No Kill), 1,200.

Cattaraugus County -- Brown trout: Wrights Creek, 300; Great Valley Creek, 1,800; Beaver Meadow Creek, 300; Connoisarauley Creek, 350; Ischua Creek (mouth to Pierce Hill Road), 3,700; Ischua Creek (Pierce Hill Road to Franklinville), 2,700; Forks Creek, 1,200; Guernsey Run, 250; Sawmill Run, (North branch), 300; Hotchkiss Hollow Brook, 250; Mansfield Creek, 2,000; Cattaraugus Creek (South branch) 1,100; Beehunter Creek, 250; Bay State Brook, 300; Red House Brook, 800; Quaker Run, 200; Quaker Lake, 1,200; Science Lake, 250; Little Conewango Creek, 1,000; Elm Creek, 250; and Fenton Brook, 400. Rainbow trout: Quaker Run, 500 and Quaker Lake, 1,250.

Chautauqua County -- Brown trout: Goose Creek, 2,100; Little Brokenstraw Creek, 800; Clay Pond, 300; Brownell Branch, 550; Prendergast Creek, 900; and Twenty Mile Creek, 1,000. Rainbow trout: Twenty Mile Creek, 1,000.

Wyoming County -- Brown trout: East Koy Creek, 4,700; Tonawanda Creek, 1,600; Beaver Meadow Creek, 350; and Buffalo Creek, 1,700.

Erie County -- All brown trout stocking has been scheduled for after the opening weekend: April 6 at Cattaraugus Creek, 7,610; April 11 at East Branch Cazenovia Creek, 4,200; and Little Buffalo Creek, 2,740.

Crappie happy

The early thaw followed by vicious cold fronts have affected the early run of crappie. Several spots now hold good schooling of prespawn crappies. In all locations, light tackle (fine line, thin pencil bobbers, small hooks with light split shots) and live minnows are a must, because of the low metabolism of these slab-sided, hard-fighting panfish. Several locations have shown good early responses:

At Chautauqua Lake, the shallower south side creeks, channels and shoreline have drawn the greatest amount of schooling. Ashville Bay and the west corner of Maple Bay have seen the most activity. Bemus Bay offers the major exception, where pockets of large (10- to 13-inch) crappie gather with larger (8- to 11-inch) perch.

Crappies are also biting at Lake Alice, Cayuga Lake and Oneida Lake.

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