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Scattershots (Feb. 19, 2020)

Public input sought on cormorant management

Public comment is underway with the recent notice of proposed rule-making from the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service relative to dealing with ongoing conflicts between double-crested cormorants and wild/stocked fisheries. Public comment must be received by March 9.

“We need to do something to address the expanding population of these birds,” said Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane, who operates a charter fishing vessel out of Olcott on Lake Ontario. “We need to ask for an expanded northeast cap for culling and give that responsibility back to the state like it was before. We need to protect our free-ranging fish, both stocked and naturally reproduced. Our pen projects for salmon and trout have become a smorgasbord for these birds.”

Comments can be made online at regulations.gov or by sending a hard copy through the U.S. Mail to Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-HQ-MB-2019-0103; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, MS: JAO/1N, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Va., 22041-3803.

2019 black bear harvest numbers released

New York big game hunters reported a total of 1,505 black bears during the state’s hunting seasons, including a record harvest for the Southern Zone in the state. Of the 2019 state total, 1,179 were reported from the Southern Zone, up nearly 400 bruins from 2018 and 150 more than the five-year average. On opening day of the Southern Zone regular season, 157 bears were checked in. It was the biggest harvest day for the season.

In the state’s Northern Zone, the total harvest was 326 black bears. This was down from 2018’s 491 take and down from the five-year average of just less than 500 bruins. For a complete summary of the black bear harvest for 2019, go to www.dec.ny.gov.

Anglers needed for Genesee River diary program

Help from anglers who fish the Genesee River in Allegany and Wyoming counties is needed to record fishing data relative to trout and bass trips. The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 9 Fisheries office is looking for help to collect data from Letchworth State Park to the Pennsylvania line between March 1 through Oct. 31.

It doesn’t matter how often you fish this stretch of water. Even if you only fish once, the information you collect is important to biologists. If you would like to contribute your observations by keeping a fishing diary, contact 379-6379 or email fwfish9@dec.ny.gov. The information you collect could help shape the future of fisheries management in this stretch of water.

WNY Boat Show set for Feb. 26-March 1

The Western New York Boat Show opens next Wednesday, and is scheduled for Feb. 26 through March 1 at the ADPRO Sports Training House, 1 Bills Drive in Orchard Park. Admission is free on Wednesday and Thursday. The Boat Show is open from noon to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

If you are in the market for a new or used boat, have questions on which boat may be right for you, or need information on the new boating safety requirements in the state through Brianna’s Law (now in effect), this is a great opportunity to get those questions answered. For more information, contact wnyboating.com.

The website also is a new informational site for the Marine Trades Association of Western New York. It includes helpful boating information such as on-the-water restaurants, safety considerations and requirements, and destinations to consider.

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