Inland stream meetings set
Before releasing a draft trout stream management plan, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced 10 public meetings for this fall. The meetings will allow DEC fisheries managers to meet with stream anglers to explain the proposed approach, answer any questions that anglers may have, and solicit feedback on the proposed plan. This draft plan resulted from updated scientific information and desires expressed by stream anglers in 2017 when 16 public meetings were held across the state.
Meetings begin Oct. 1. The only meeting scheduled in Western New York will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Concord Town Hall, 86 Franklin St., Springville. Some of the discussion items during the meetings will include stocking, wild trout management, fishing regulations and access. For information, visit dec.ny.gov.
Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend Oct. 5-6
The Western Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend is scheduled for Oct. 5-6. As with all youth hunts, a licensed (including Migratory Bird Stamp) adult mentor must accompany the junior hunter. The junior hunter must be 12 to 15 years old and carrying a junior hunting license with a Harvest Information Program (HIP) number. Eligible birds include ducks, Canada geese, mergansers, brant, gallinules and coots.
Daily bag limits for the youth hunt are the same as the regular-season limits for the area. The adult mentor may not hunt unless a season is open. For information, check out dec.ny.gov.
Beaver Island State Park will be participating in the Youth Days weekend for waterfowl hunters, and a special lottery drawing for blinds will take place at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4 in the basement of the Falconwood (formerly the clubhouse/casino). To participate in the lottery, hunters must possess a valid New York small game license, proof of completion of a waterfowl identification class, and proof of a HIP number. Hunters age 16 and older must also possess a signed duck stamp.
Waterfowl blind drawings once the regular season kicks in Oct. 19 will take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Oct. 19 to Nov. 10 and from Nov. 30 to Jan. 5, 2020, for ducks. Canada goose season is from Oct. 26 to Jan. 13, 2020.
NHF Day Program Reminders
Saturday is National Hunting and Fishing Day. Two big programs to help pay special recognition to hunters and fishermen in Western New York include the Erie County celebration at the Elma Conservation Club (600 Creek Road, Elma) and the New York Power Authority Wildlife Festival (5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston), near Niagara University.
The Erie County event, sponsored by the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Club, offers a wide range of hands-on activities for the entire family. Hours on Saturday are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s free and the first 25 kids will receive a free rod and reel combo.
The 34th Annual Wildlife Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Visitors Center. The free festival is a great way to introduce families to the joys of nature, as well as the fun of hunting, fishing and the shooting sports.
Remember that Saturday is also a Free Fishing Day in New York State.