Western New York anglers pride themselves on their devotion to walleye fishing, but they have nothing on the New Year's Eve celebrants at Port Clinton, Ohio. They welcome the new year with the dropping of a monster walleye.
At midnight, spotlights shine on a 16-foot papier-mache walleye, which descends in downtown Port Clinton to signal the new year and the coming of both ice fishing and the warm-water walleye season in the western basin of Lake Erie.
For an update on the ice fishing season at the west end of the lake, call the Ottawa County Visitors Bureau at 1-800-441-1271.
For Thomas "Richie" Kramer, the rallying cry for the reopening of duck season two weeks ago was: "I gotta go hunting."
The birds were moving up and down the upper Niagara River along Grand Island and the New York shoreline.
Last weekend, however, "I gotta go" meant to go home to watch a game on TV. Bright sunlight and calm air Saturday and Sunday morning kept most ducks inactive, except for flights of old squaws off the lower river mouth and some activity along the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Storm winds and snow began moving the birds again at mid-week. Duck season continues until Sunday, but Canada Goose season continues until Jan. 23 in a corridor along the upper Niagara River south to a line intersecting the Southern Tier.
Allied winter league
A 10-week Winter Archery League begins at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 8 at Allied Sportsmen Club, 12846 Clinton St., in Alden. The league shoot is open to all archers. A six-week, 3-D League Shoot begins after the 10-week shoot has finished. Call Ken Deck (674-7189).
Bond Lake Winterfest
The Second Annual Winterfest goes from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Jan. 17 at Bond Lake Park on Lower Mountain Road in Lewiston.
Bring your own gear for ice skating, tubing, sledding, ice sculpturing and cross-country skiing. For those cool to the cold, several indoor activities will be offered in the Warming House: Chinese auction, face painting, slapshot hockey as well as hot food and drinks. For more details, call Carol Schmelz (694-3488).
The beginning of the new year means the start of the outdoor shows season. Here are the dates for major shows of interest to area outdoors enthusiasts: Great Northeast Sportshow, New York State Fairgrounds, Syracuse, Jan. 29-Feb. 1; Pennsylvania Sportsman Show, Harrisburg, Feb 7-15; Great Lakes Fishing & Outdoor Expo, Buffalo Convention Center, Feb. 26-March 1; New York Sportsman Show, Sufferin, March 5-8; WNY Outdoor Sport & Travel Expo '98, Hamburg Fairgrounds, March 12-15; Rochester Sportsman Show, March 13-15; and American & Canadian Sport, Travel & Outdoor Show, Cleveland, March 14-22.
New York Walleye Association meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at American Legion Post 1041, 533 Amherst St. Betsy Trometer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Biologist, will give new data on blue pike studies.
Erie County Trappers Association's meeting follows the Fur Auction at Hamburg Rod & Gun Club in Hamburg. Auction check-in begins at 7 a.m.; bidding starts at 9:30 a.m. Call 627-9085 or 337-3595.
Western and Central New York chapter of Safari Club International meets Wednesday evening at 7 at Michael's Banquet, 4885 Southwestern Blvd. in Hamburg.
The 1998 Southtowns Walleye Association Awards Banquet and Dinner/Dance will be held Feb. 14 at Michael's Banquet in Hamburg. For table reservations, call banquet chairman Jerry Schultz (822-2529) or check with the association office (825-7619).
Foothills Trail Club skis and hikes Stiglmeier Park at 10 a.m. Saturday. Call Gerta Mansell (892-6650). A Rails to Trails Ski Hike goes from Plank Road to Colt Road in Westfield at 10 Sunday morning. Check with John Malcolm (672-4551).
Niagara Frontier Bicycle Club skis Sprague Brook Park at 10 a.m. Sunday. For details, call 875-7479.
Letchworth State Park Interpretive Programs Saturday has a Family Nature Walk at 10 a.m., a Novice Nature Ski Hike at 1 p.m.; and an Intermediate nature Ski Hike at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, a Novice nature Ski Hike begins at 12:30 p.m.; A Winter Wonder Walk at 2 p.m.; and an Intermediate Nature Ski Hike at 3:30 p.m. Call 493-3625.
-- WILL ELLIOTT
NOTE: Send items to Will Elliott, 648 Ransom Rd., Lancaster, 14086.