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Scattershot: Outdoors news & notes

LOC Derby is on, starts Friday

Interested in a contest that offers pretty decent odds at winning $15,000 for catching the biggest salmon? Look no further than the Spring Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby set for May 5-14. Start by checking out the website at The first thing you need to do is analyze the leaderboards for the past spring contests. It’s evident that there is only one spot on the lake that you should be fishing if you want your best chance at reeling in a Grand Prize or a divisional winner. The waters off Niagara County have produced the last 10 straight grand prize catches in the spring, symbolic of the area’s excellent spring salmon fishery. The county waters also do well in other categories, too – like lake trout. Overall, more than 60 percent of all the winning fish come from the local waters of Western New York every spring.

Check out the Fishing Beat and the Outdoors column this week for information that could help you catch that prize-winning fish. For more information call (888) REEL-2-IN.

National Archery in Schools Program growing

The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) was started in New York in 2008. Designed to introduce young students to archery and the outdoors, this program has grown by leaps and bounds in less than 10 years. To date, some 320 schools in 167 school districts are involved with NASP. More than 34,000 students have participated in the state. On a national level, more than 2.4 million students participated from more than 14,400 schools in 47 states.

As part of the program, there is a statewide competition held in the Empire State to determine who will be going to the nationals set for Louisville, Ky. May 11-13. This year, nearly 700 students from 33 school districts pulled bows back during the first two weeks of March. The overall top female archer was Jordan Sands from Hinsdale High School in Cattaraugus County with a score of 285 out of a possible 300 points. Top male archer was Jake Hafner of Schroon Lake High School in Essex County. His score was 287 out of a possible 300. This year, New York will be sending 60 eligible students from 17 schools to the national contest. For more information on NASP, check out or call the state coordinator at 1-888-486-8332.

Lewiston never smelt so good!

If you missed the smelt run in the lower Niagara River last month, it’s still not too late to get your fix on for those tasty baitfishes. The Lewiston Smelt Festival will be held on Friday night  starting at 5 p.m. on Lewiston Landing along the banks of the Niagara River. The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Niagara River Anglers Association and Tops Supermarkets, will be cooking up smelt for free. Beverages for purchase will be available and there will be live entertainment to get the riverfront rocking … well before the Tuesday concerts in Artpark. The general public is invited out to have some fun at Lewiston’s first official festival of the year!

Finger Lakes anglers needed for diary program

With northern pike, walleye, pickerel and inland tiger musky kicking off this Saturday, if you are a regular angler in the Finger Lakes you might want to consider lending the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) a hand with future fisheries management by volunteering to keep an angler diary. If you fish any of the Finger Lakes in Regions 7 or 8, as well as any of the embayments off Lake Ontario, DEC would like for you to assist.

Anglers who are willing to sign on can contact Region 7 Fisheries at (607) 753-3095 and Region 8 Fisheries at (607) 753-3095. For more information on the diary programs, along with annual reports for each lake, go to

Sportsman's Tale debuts Sunday

Rhianna's Slomba's first youth turkey hunt exceeded her wildest expectations and landed the JFK Middle School sixth-grader state recognition. Read all about it in A Sportsman's Tale, a new feature that debut's Sunday alongside the Outdoors calendar. We want to hear more of these outdoor adventures, too! Feel free to share them with us.

Keep up with all Outdoor news past and present at


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