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Scattershot: News & notes

Muskie group receives grant

The Niagara Musky Association received an early Christmas present this month – a check for $52,000 through some of the special environmental funding that was put into place when the New York Power Authority’s re-licensing process was initiated 10 years ago. A special Habitat Enhancement and Restoration Fund is used to finance projects such as this one – a study to determine the migratory patterns of adult muskellunge between Buffalo Harbor, the Upper Niagara River and Lake Erie. It involves the use of acoustic telemetry receivers and tags that are inserted into the fish.

Utilizing hundreds of receivers that are currently in place for other projects, it is part of a larger picture involving the Great Lakes Acoustic Telemetry Observation System that record all of the receiver data. NMA will be adding another six receivers to the mix, as well as outfitting 20 muskies with transmitters. By keeping tabs on these 20 fish, they will be able to determine the prime habitats essential to the future of our muskies – spawning areas, wintering-over areas and more.  Once those areas have been identified, they can make the determination if they need to improve or enhance existing habitat, protect existing viable habitat or build new habitat. More to come …

Lake trout season opens; walleye changes

Jan. 1, 2017 is opening day for lake trout season for the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The only place on the lake that celebrates this opener is the Lower Niagara River and the Niagara Bar for anglers drifting from boats and casting from shore. If you decide to keep one for the frying pan, the first fish can be any size. If you keep a second lake trout, one of the two must be between 25 and 30 inches. Remember that there is a special daily limit for salmon and trout in the lower Niagara River. Only three trout and salmon can be kept as part of your daily creel in combination, with no more than one Atlantic salmon or two lake trout. Most people practice catch and release on lake trout and it may be time to revisit the regulations for a possible change in the length of season. The season closes on Sept. 30. Catching a lake trout in the cold water can be exciting. Give it a try some time. There is no closed season in the upper Niagara River and Lake Erie but the limit is only one fish.

Jan. 1 is also a trigger date for walleye chasers in the lower Niagara River – the stretch of river from Niagara Falls to Lake Ontario. From Jan. 1 to March 15, the daily limit drops from three to one fish. Minimum size remains the same at 18 inches in length. The rule was put into place years ago when anglers found large females extremely susceptible to fishing pressure in the winter.

SWA Outfitters Fair Jan. 14

Southtowns Walleye Association has announced that the club will be holding its annual Outfitters Fair on Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the clubhouse located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg. Free parking and free entry is offered for anyone interested in checking out what new, and used fishing and hunting equipment is up for grabs. If you want to set up a table, cost is $20 each. No guns or ammunition is allowed. For more information call 465-6100 or visit the group’s website at

Sporting clays shoot at North Forest

North Forest Rod and Gun Club. 6257 Old Niagara Road, Lockport, will be hosting a “Home for the Holidays” Sporting Clays Shoot on Dec. 31. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. Shooting starts at 9 a.m. The last squad will go out at 2 p.m. This will be a 50-bird shoot with European start. Admission is $15 with a Lewis option for $20. For more information on the shoot, contact Bryan Meahl at 628-6238.



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