Earth Day events Wednesday include water/fishing activities, as the Earth warms and area waters become more inviting to anglers.
Look for a detailed account on the Sunday Outdoors Page of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Earth Day Dedication of the new trout hatching program at Como Lake Park.
The prolonged cold winter and gradual spring warm-up has many a fly angler still working waters well up feeder streams along the Great Lakes and in many of the larger inland trout streams that typically tail off with the mid-spring warmth.
Orvis Shop Free Fly Fishing 101 classes are set for this Saturday and May 2. For details, call 276-2700.
For boaters afloat
May is just around the corner, but boaters finally able to get on ice-free waters must continue to wear a PFD (personal flotation device/life preserver) until May 1 while afloat on all New York State waters.
On and after that Friday, each vessel must have on board a PFD readily accessible for each adult, and children under age 12 must wear a PFD while afloat. These rules apply to all pleasure craft less than 21 feet in length; PFD wearing is excluded for passengers inside a boat’s cabin area.
High winds and muddied waters replace ice floes as the bane for boaters anxious to get out and see if schools of plug-sized perch held in areas where ice anglers hooked the big one this past winter.
Accesses are lining up fairly well along the New York shoreline. The Small Boat Harbor, now a New York State Park, will operate launch procedures basically as in the past. Boaters will have at least limited access during the May 2 statewide fishing-season openers.
Sturgeon Point Marina has one side dock in place and has dredged the marina outlet area. Launch sites at Cattaraugus Creek lack side docks but boaters can launch at the Hanover Ramp and state launch with waders or a tether line and some caution when creek currents settle down. Trout trekkers have had some successes, mainly on smaller feeder streams, this past week. Cattaraugus Creek has shown some promise well upstream and along the breakwater at its mouth, but the better bite has been found with some walking at Eighteen Mile, Silver, Canadaway and Chautauqua creeks, with everything from smaller Rapalas to jig flies usually found in the ice-fishing box.
Stream waters could clear by the weekend; a continued chill could keep the bass movement down and the trout presence up in Erie’s tribs this coming week. Gerri Begier at Bill’s Hooks west of Dunkirk said that the browns outnumber the rainbow/steelhead with the right forage foray.
River waters muddied and the bite continues slight. Best shoreline panfish bite has been around the Small Boat Harbor, said Bill Van Camp at Big Catch Bait & Tackle on Niagara Street.
Upper river shore casters have a long walk to get around construction and to the Ferry Street access. Now, renovations at the Ontario Street launch ramp block off anglers at every area except the rock rip-rap at the north side of the launch area, which is difficult to fish, Van Camp notes.
Lower river anglers see the same scenario – muddied waters and not the right bait movement to send more salmonids upstream.
Lake Ontario fishing activity is heating up, and anglers are warming up for the Lake Ontario Counties Derby, which begins May 1 and goes to May 10.
Browns have set up along shore at less than 30-foot depths, lake trout move into 30- to 60-foot depths at times and even a few kings have shown up within 100-foot depths, notes Wes Walker at Slipper Sinker Bait & Tackle in Olcott.
Shore casters do better on crappies at Lakewood, Burtis Bay and the park at Mayville, and perch sizes have improved, says Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut in Stow.
The Randolph Hatchery has stocked these sites this past week in time for weekend angler outings:
Franklinville Lake Flavia (Dayton) 1,750 brook trout; Perrysburg Conservation Club Pond Club Pond (Dayton) 90 brook trout; East Koy Creek (Gainesville) 680 yearling browns and 550 2-year-old browns; Ischua Creek (Franklinville) 1,190 yearling browns; and Olean Creek (Town of Olean) 170 yearling brown trout.