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Baitfish may be on the move

The prospects for transporting emerald shiners -- and other baitfish species -- may be shining.

During the Western New York Environmental Federation meeting at Hoak's Restaurant in Hamburg last Sunday, Mike Clancy, DEC Region 9 Fisheries Manager, announced plans for a proposed change in baitfish regulations.

A forthcoming proposal from DEC headquarters would establish three transportation corridors: Lake Erie/Upper Niagara River; Lower Niagara River/Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River; and Hudson River.

Additional stipulations will allow bait dealers to collect and sell bait for use within designated corridors.

When finalized, following a 45-day public-comment period, the new regulations would become effective immediately. After public input, regulations changes could be in place sometime in June, Clancy noted.

Ischua fish count issues

Randolph Hatchery personnel began stocking the Genesee River system March 17 and many streams will have assortments of brown, brook, and rainbow trout stock in place when the inland trout season opens April 1.

However, catch-rate failures along Ischua Creek prompted senior fisheries biologist Scott Cornett to set up survey studies of this creek in 2008 and 2010.

The results of those studies showed trout stocked before the April 1 season opener in Ischua, a stream that flows into the Allegheny River system, do not show up in angler catches. "We don't see them either in anglers' catches or downstream mortality," Cornett said.

As a result, hatchery trucks will begin stocking Ischua Creek with the same number of trout, but intervals and deliveries will be made after trout season opens. Stocking sequences will be posted in the Wednesday Fishing Line column.

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>Lion hunt lore

Anti-hunting types offered lively objection to the column on Jim Holland Jr.'s Montana mountain lion hunt. While the facts were interesting, the story did include an error: Holland's guide, Scott Cargill, did not lead a hunt booked through Cargill/ironwheel.com. In fact, Cargill hunted areas open to Rollin' Boulder Outfitters (rboutfitter.com), the outfit for which Cargill guides hunts.

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>Federation honors

Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs presented awards to two outstanding youths: Racheal Smith, an adept and accomplished trapper; and Dominique Meca, a distinguished shooting sports competitor.

Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs presented awards to outstanding recipients: Hunter Education -- Firearms, Tom and Becky Kraatz; Hunter Education -- archery, Jeff Brown; Youth, Heather Staley and Tim Laubacker; President's Awards, Gordon Botting Sr. and North Forest Rod & Gun Club; Great Lakes Fisheries Service, Hank and Tim Condon; Club, Wilson Conservation Club; Sportspersons, Bill D'Ambrosio and Colleen Gaskill; Lifetime Achievement, Richard Lang; Legislator, Jane Corwin; and Businessman, Bill Goetzmann at Buffalo Gun Center.

Two inductees have been added to the Donald Bronson Memorial Wall of Fame: Richard Lang and Jerry Farrell.

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>Shooting for rifles

Freshman Senator Patrick M. Gallivan pleased Wyoming County rifle hunters with the passing of his first official bill (S.2385), authorizing the use of rifles during big-game hunting season in the county.

Assemblyman Dan Burling is sponsoring the bill in the Assembly. A vote on this bill could be made after budget concerns are addressed and Wyoming County hunters may be able to hunt with rifles during the 2011 big-game season, according to officials at Gallivan's office.

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>Planters dig program

County Soil and Waters Conservation Districts have tree and shrub seedling programs for 2011 that provide stock to area landowners. Deadlines for some programs have past, but orders may still be placed.

Here are contact numbers for area counties: Erie County, call 652-8480 (ext. 5) or go to ecswcd.org; Niagara County, call 434-4949 or go to niagaraswcd.com; Chautauqua County, call 664-3251 (ext. 3) or go to soilwater.org; Genesee County, call (585) 343-2362 or go to geneseeny.org/dpt/soilandwater.

The Department of Environmental Conservation offers landowners a choice of more than 50 tree and shrub species for planting on either public or private lands. Orders can be placed through mid May. For details, go to dec.ny.gov/animals/7127.html.

The DEC's School Seedling Program provides free stock for teachers and students to plant on school or community grounds. Teachers can apply to the state's Saratoga Tree Nursery before Thursday. Interested educators can apply by calling (518) 587-1120 or go to dec.ny.gov/animals/9393.html.

e-mail: odrswill@gmail.com

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