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Scattershots (Aug. 21, 2019)

Gov. Cuomo signs new boating law

Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that requires all operators of motorized watercraft to complete a state-approved boating safety course.  The legislation, known as Brianna’s Law (after 11-year-old Brianna Lieneck, who was killed in a boating accident in Long Island Sound in 2005), will be phased in over five years.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, all motor boat operators born after Jan. 1, 1993, must complete a safety course before they can operate a motor boat. Those born after Jan. 1, 1988, must complete a boating safety course beginning in 2022. Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1983, must complete a safety course beginning in 2023. If you were born after Jan. 1, 1978, you must be certified by 2024. Everyone else would need to complete a boating safety course by Jan. 1, 2025. New York State Parks have been charged with overseeing the program. The agency will launch a boating safety promotional campaign to make everyone aware of the new legislation.

Walleye Fishing Education Weekend

Lance Valentine’s Walleye Fishing Education Weekend will be center stage out of Dunkirk on Sept. 5-8. If you are looking to expand your Lake Erie fishing knowledge for walleye, this is the instructional session for you. Working with Capt. Jim Steel of Innovative Outdoors, the Valentine teaching session will give you three days of classroom and on-water instruction, three nights at the Econo Lodge in Fredonia, three catered breakfasts and dinners, and a boat dock or launching fee with Chadwick Bay Marina. If you don’t have a boat, a limited number of non-boater slots are available.

There are several options for cost. If you do not require lodging, cost is $275 per person. If you need lodging but would like your own room, cost is $575 for single occupancy. Double occupancy cost is $425 per person. For more information, visit www.innovative-outdoors/fishing-education-weekend.

DEC releases alewife trawl updates for 2019

Preliminary results of the 2019 spring Lake Ontario Alewife Bottom Trawl Survey have been released, and the outcome does not appear to be good news. Conducted by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Geological Survey and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, this year’s survey was the most extensive fish survey  conducted on the lake with 252 bottom trawls in the main lake from 16 to 742 feet deep.

Survey crews collected over 215,500 fish from 39 species, the largest being alewives, a small baitfish that is the favorite food source for Pacific salmon. The lakewide average biomass for these fish for adults (age 2 and older) dropped 29 percent from 2018. The Age 1 fish also declined from the previous year, the lowest observed since whole-lake sampling began in 2016. To look at the preliminary results of the spring survey, head to

Schaeffer wins Orleans County Derby

Julie Schaeffer of Sligo, Pa., caught the grand prize salmon, a 29-pound, 6-ounce king, on the final weekend of the 16-day contest while fishing out of Point Breeze to win the $4,000 check. First place in the Salmon Division went to Larry Duckworth of Corfu with a 27-8 fish. He led for the grand prize for most of the derby.

Other divisional winners included: Laurie Jankowski of Sloan with first place in the Rainbow/Steelhead category after weighing in a 17-15 fish while trolling deep off Olcott; Georgia Barkdoll of McConnellsburg, Pa., in the Brown Trout class with a 13-3 Point Breeze fish; and Keith Tessier of Hilton with an 18-4 lake trout he weighed in at Point Breeze. The largest salmon caught by an Orleans County resident was a 23-10 king hauled in by Jeff Newman of Lyndonville.

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