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Two major expos cover all the angles

Anglers will have a variety of sources for fishing information during the next two weekends.

Professional experts will discuss fishery management programs and share tips on how to find and bring on the best bites.

Two seminar and socializing events deserve anglers' attention during the next two weekends: A LOTSA Flea Market/Expo and Seminar is set for next Sunday at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Lockport and USF&WS Catch the Fishing Frenzy Fish and Wildlife Day 2009 at LaSalle Sportsmen's Club on Feb. 28.

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LOTSA Expo

Each year, lots of work goes into the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association (LOTSA) pen rearing project, and many other worthwhile club efforts.

"Events such as this flea market and seminars help fund our volunteer efforts," Curt Meddaugh, pen project coordinator, said of the program.

LOTSA planned a full weekend of seminars for Feb. 21 and 22, but the Saturday seminars are sold out. Great Lakes Angler (GLA) Magazine editor Dave Mull and GLA field editor Dan Keating will present a day-long Salmon School on Saturday at Cornell Cooperative, 4487 Lake Ave. (Route 78) in Lockport.

Mull and Keating will be on hand throughout the LOTSA flea market and seminars on Sunday at the same site.

Meddaugh has lined up a solid slate of seminar speakers, field and agency experts who will add to anglers' understanding and enjoyment of their sport.

The Flea Market starts at 10 a.m. Capt. Bob Songin, of Reel Excitement Charters, begins the seminar sequence at 10:30 a.m. with a talk titled "Wilson Harbor Spring Kings."

At noon, Capt. Dan Keating, with Blue Horizon Sport Fishing Charters, tells anglers how to apply "Lake Michigan Gear for Lake Ontario Salmon." Colleague Dave Mull will be on hand to chat on Great Lakes fishing.

Capt. Chris Lopresti, of Maverick Sport Fishing, presents a program at 1:30 p.m. called "Oak Orchard Creek Summer kings."

Senior aquatic fisheries biologist Mike Wilkinson will complete the seminar circuit at 3 p.m. with a summary of pen-rearing programs in Western New York and an update on the current project at Olcott Harbor. Wilkinson has supervised pen-rearing efforts in the Niagara River and Lake Ontario.

All proceeds from this Expo go to LOTSA and other club pen-rearing projects. For details on the Saturday program, including directions to the seminars site, and the Olcott project, go to lotsa.org.

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Fishing frenzy

Folks frenzied about fishing, and with interests in waterfowl hunting as well, have a fact-filled day planned during the Friends of WNY Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Day 2009, at LaSalle Sportsmen's Club in Niagara Falls.

Jim Lorentz, former Buffalo Sabre and avid fly angler and author, heads a list of distinguished speakers offering presentations from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the LaSalle clubhouse, 2445 Tuscarora Road.

Lorentz, when not fishing area trout and salmon waters, devotes much time in search of hard-fighting Atlantic salmon. His knowledge of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario feeder streams and experiences on other famed salmonid streams places him up there with Lefty Kreh when it comes to sharing on-trout-waters tips and tales.

Jim Hanley, most recognized for more than two decades of producing his popular "Northeast Outdoors" series, will offer his expertise on bass fishing, and other popular area fish species.

Dave Tosetto, waterfowl expert, will discuss ducks. From habitat to identifying Western New York's frequent fliers, Tosetto can familiarize hunters and birdwatcher alike with what to watch for during waterfowl flights.

Dr. John Casselman of Queens University in Ontario will present powerful arguments supporting the effect global warming has on fish in the Great Lakes. Anglers can learn adaptive methods to cope with climate change affecting cold-water fish species.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist Ray Li can put stream fishermen onto water conditions and possibly better approaches when he discusses stream and river obstructions and how they affect fish movements and overall life cycles.

A $20 registration fee ($10 for students) for Fish and Wildlife Day includes a continental breakfast, lunch and an annual membership to Friends of the WNY Great Lakes.

For more details, check with Dave Whitt (754-2133) or to download a registration form, go to friendsofthelowergreatlakes.org.

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Enthusiasts remembered

Outdoors folk lost two major volunteer contributors this past week with the death of Doug Stein on Sunday night and the passing of Donna Zawacki on Monday morning.

Stein fought a bitter bout with cancer. A seasoned charter captain on Lake Erie and on Lake Ontario, Stein also served an eight-year term as Niagara River Anglers Association president, during which he founded the clubs' involvement in pen-rearing projects and kids fishing ponds at the 3-F Club. NRAA members and angling friends throughout Western New York have lost an expert marine engine mechanic and a valued friend.

Zawacki served as a solid supporter of Hawkeye Bowmen events and activities since she and her husband, Dick Zawacki, joined the club nearly 50 years ago. After more than 15 years of heart complications, she died Monday morning. Hawkeye members, family, and hosts of friends remembered her on Wednesday evening.

Both devoted a lifetime to the outdoors and amassed legions of good friends along the way.

e-mail: willodrs@gmail.com

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