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Scattershot: Outdoors news & notes

Lyme Disease presentation April 25 at WNY TU

Lyme disease is a very real danger in Western New York. To find out more about this tick-borne threat, attend the next general meeting of the WNY Chapter of Trout Unlimited at the Donovan Post, 3210 Genesee St., Cheektowaga on April 25 at 7:30 p.m.  The presentation will be given by Sheri Voss, representing WNY Lyme – a group dedicated to informing and helping the public on Lyme Disease.  The area around East Aurora is one of the very worst in the country for Lyme Disease infestation and very little publicity is given to it locally, according to the TU announcement.  Everyone who spends time out-of-doors in WNY needs to be made aware of this, especially with turkey season just around the corner

High water levels in Lake Ontario

Niagara County officials have announced high water-level dangers along the Lake Ontario shoreline and they recommend boaters stay at least 500 feet from shore to avoid shoreline erosion. State law requires boaters to be at least 100 feet from shore to comply with a “no wake zone.” Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour and Community Safety Committee Chairman Dave Godfrey from Wilson are asking that boaters stay 500 feet away from the shoreline. This would not include any boats that were fishing, trolling without a wake along the shoreline.

With water levels up nearly a foot in the lake and more on the way based on recent water- level projections, many docks and piers are already underwater. Bear in mind that Plan 2014, which was recently approved by the International Joint Commission in 2016, will call for even higher water levels, as well as extreme lows.

Bass Battle of the Border

Are you ready to rumble? The Western New York Bassmasters and the St. Catharines Bassmasters will once again be co-hosting the 2017 version of the Spring Border War on May 6 out of Safe Harbor Marina in Buffalo. This is an open mandatory two-person team event that allows each team to bring two bass to the final weigh-in. The bass must be caught in New York waters and the minimum size is 20 inches in length. This is a live release tournament. Entry fee is $100 U.S. and there will be a 90 percent payback, including the big fish pool. Some additional parking at Safe Harbor should be open by May 6. The tournament will run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration the morning of the event will start at 5:30 p.m. For more information contact Ken Pease at 818-7350.

NMA Awards Banquet Winners

The 23rd Annual Niagara Musky Association held its annual banquet at Pearl Street Grill and Brewery earlier this month to honor the people deserving of recognition. For the fishing end of things, the group’s Top 10 muskies caught in 2016 were:  John Miller, 51 inches (Lackawanna); Bob Hey, 50 inches (Kenmore); John Pensyl, 50 inches (Lockport); Carl Schenk, 50 inches (Cheektowaga); Ken Szymanski, 48 inches (Buffalo); Chris Kempf, 46 inches (Cheektowaga); Daniel Lacko, 46 inches (Tonawanda); Scott McKee, 45.5 inches (Williamsville); Mike Crehan, 45 inches (Buffalo); Scott Kitchen, 45 inches (Tonawanda); James Spadafora, 45 inches (Buffalo); Joe Soldaczewski, 45 inches (Cheektowaga); Tom Reinhardt, 45 inches (Tonawanda).

Special Recognition Award: Chris Legard (NYSDEC) and his wife, Emily Hart (Cape Vincent) were honored for work on the Niagara River. Legard will be moving to Cape Vincent to take over the Lake Ontario Unit for DEC.

Bill Mendel Memorial Award: Andrew and Daniel Lacko (Tonawanda/Kenmore). The Lackos played pivotal roles in the Niagara Musky Association's beaver abatement and clean-up projects on Strawberry and Motor Islands. For their efforts and dedication to preserving the trees on these vital islands, they were presented with the Bill Mendel Memorial Award.

Tim Wittek Memorial Award: Chuck and Debbie Godfrey (Cheektowaga). Longtime Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Club president, Chuck Godfrey, and current ECFSC treasurer Debbie Godfrey were presented the Tim Wittek Memorial Award for their years of dedication to the woods and waters of Erie County and Western New York.

.NMA Memorial Award: Mark Wozniak (Cheektowaga). Wozniak was presented with the association's most prestigious honor, the Memorial Award, which is awarded to the member who best exemplifies the ideals of the NMA.   Mark has been a dedicated member for almost two decades, volunteering his time selflessly at outdoor shows, fund raisers, children's fishing derbies and countless club functions to ensure the NMA's success.

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