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Survey shows stunning catches

Lake Erie provided boating anglers a busy and bountiful catch rate in 2014, according to a DEC Lake Erie Unit Survey.

Aquatic biologist Jason Robinson noted the perch harvests have been up for the past six years and the 2014 catch rate was at the highest level recorded during 27 years of these fishery surveys.

Yellow perch anglers, representing 21 percent of fishermen surveyed during May to October, harvested about 212,000 fish. Walleye anglers showed at 50 percent of anglers afloat and took approximately 62,000 ‘eyes from New York State waters in 2014.

Bass-specific trips took up 17 percent of anglers in the count, and the bass catch rate was the second highest logged in the past 27 years.

Plotting tree growth

Hunters plant and seek oak growth when hunting, particularly for deer and turkeys. But a century ago the American chestnut was the main source of food for all kinds of forest-dwelling creatures.

A widespread blight decimated the American chestnut decades ago and oaks have become the first-line forage source for wildlife. But experienced food-plot planters know that it takes oak species 10 to 20 years to mature to acorn-casting stages.

The Dunstan chestnut, a newer strain of disease-resistant chestnut, has been produced to grow across the American midsection from Maine to Michigan. Dunstan stock bears nuts in just 3 to 5 years, they lack the unsavory tannin taste of an acorn, and deer prefer them over corn in field tests.

For more details on the development of this newer strain of chestnut trees and ordering information, visit

SCOPE lobby day

The Erie County Chapter of SCOPE has organized a bus trip to Albany on Tuesday during the legislative session as a major grassroots effort to urge legislators to recognize the positive aspects of firearms ownership and to support gun rights.

A 4:30 a.m. bus departure from the West Seneca Tops will have participants at the Legislative Office Building for meeting sessions from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday.

For more details, email Herb Berry at