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Scattershots (Oct. 31)

Coho salmon study ongoing

A Coho salmon study is continuing in the tributaries of Lake Ontario to help evaluate the effectiveness of stocking strategies that have been underway through the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. Anglers can help the effort by saving the heads of Coho salmon that are caught, filling out the information on a sheet that is provided at the holding sites and depositing in the freezer that is provided. Also, if a push of Coho in any larger numbers shows up, alert DEC at 851-7010.

There are six different holding sites along the lake. In the Town of Newfane, a freezer is available at the fish cleaning station in Olcott. A depository is at the fish cleaning facility across from Fisherman’s Park at Burt Dam. Other locations are the lower Niagara River at Lewiston, Oak Orchard, the Genesee River at Rochester, Sandy Creek and Sodus Bay. Bags, tags and instructions are posted at the fish cleaning stations. The study will assess how much natural reproduction is happening, as well as compare spring stockings to fall fingerling plants. For more information, visit

Bills’ Murphy helps Venison Donation Coalition

Buffalo Bills defensive end Trent Murphy is helping raising funds for the Venison Donation Coalition thanks to the NFL program supporting player causes, My Cause My Cleats. If you are thinking about attending the Week 14 game on Dec. 9 against the New York Jets, buy your tickets through the website and $5 will be donated to the charity that benefits the hungry across New York State. The website is

Every year, hunters donate deer to the VDC ( through participating processors. Processors receive payment based on so much per pound. Last year, 66,000 pounds were processed and donated to the Food Bank Association of New York State. Donations can be made through license-issuing agents when you buy your hunting license, through the VDC website or as part of the NFL program when you buy a Bills ticket and click on Murphy's picture.

The Fishing Beat (Oct. 31)

Swartz scholarship offered by fly fishers

The Lake Erie Chapter of Fly Fishers International has announced the William “Bill” Swartz Memorial Scholarship program. It is designed to help any college student who is enrolled in environmental, ecological, fisheries or biology as a course of study. The scholarship will range from $500 to $1,000, depending on the number of applicants. Interested students are required to submit a 300- to 500-word essay covering your field of study, any organizations you belong to, what your volunteer activities are, how the scholarship will help you and where you heard about the scholarship. A letter of recommendation from your guidance counselor or a professor, official documentation of your GPA, what college you are attending, as well as your name, address and phone number should all be included. Submit your application to the William Swartz Memorial Scholarship c/o Joan B. Rosner, 77 Kathy Lane, West Seneca, NY 14224. For further information call 675-4766.

Swartz was one of the founding members of the Lake Erie chapter. His passion was teaching youngsters casting and how to tie flies. After his passing, his family decided to keep his memory alive by beginning the scholarship. The deadline for applying is Nov. 30.

Bill Hilts Jr.: Changes need in crossbow regulations

Wittek Memorial Musky contest set for Nov. 4

Fall weather and cooling water temperatures are the perfect combination for musky fishing in Western New York. On Sunday, the Niagara Musky Association will be hosting its annual Tim Wittek Memorial Musky Tournament on the Niagara River/Lake Erie from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Named the “Iron Man” event, this is a contest for club members who are die-hard musky anglers. If you are a musky fisherman, you should belong to NMA anyway. No one does more to support the Niagara River fishery in the way of habitat enhancement/protection and research assistance. Call Scott McKee at 225-3816 to find out more.

If this catch and release contest isn’t your style, check out their monthly meeting set for Tuesday at the Eldredge Club, 17 Broad St., Tonawanda starting at 7 p.m. There will be at least five members talking about various aspects of fall musky fishing, from vertical jigging, bottom bouncing trolling and other forms of trolling to cold water jerkbait fishing and keeping safe and warm in the fall. It’s a perfect way to break into musky fishing … and the group. Now is a great time to join, too, because the organization will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019. The banquet alone will be worth it.

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