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Scattershots (March 4, 2020)

Southtowns Walleye holds awards dinner

The Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY held its annual Harry A. Smith installation dinner to induct its officers and directors last month at Lucarelli’s Banquet Facility in Lackawanna. During the evening, the organization also doled out several important awards for 2019.

President Sue Guenther handed out four President’s Awards to John Lignos with Curly’s Restaurant; Brian Plecas of Colden for marketing, web development and visual communications; Peggy Sue Shiesley for her work in the kitchen and leadership role; and John Taylor, another leadership role and volunteerism in the kitchen at the organization’s clubhouse.

Other Award winners for 2019 were:

  • Conservationist of the Year – State Sen. George Borrello
  • Harry A. Smith Award – Tom Chiavetta of Hamburg
  • Lou Podger Senior Angler Award – Tom Biskup of Orchard Park with an 11.13-pound walleye
  • Youths of the Year – Parker Endress of Hamburg and Lizzie Skoczylas of Arcade
  • Elected Officials of the Year – State Sens. Chris Jacobs and Rob Ortt
  • Public Servant of the Year – Rich Davenport of Tonawanda
  • Larry Scheffler Memorial Award – Rick Pilarski of Bennington
  • Volunteer Recognition Awards – Randy and Carol Scott of Hamburg
  • James Ridge Memorial Award – Larry Guilds of Lackawanna
  • Sponsor Awards -- Ultimate Outdoors of WNY, Barcelona Harbor, Town of Hanover and Town of Evans

Finger Lakes rainbow trout sampling set

Spring can’t be far away with the recent announcement by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation that it will conduct its annual rainbow trout sampling for the Finger Lakes March 19 and 20.

The first sampling will take place at 9 a.m. on March 19 at Naples Creek, just north of the Village of Naples in Ontario County at the Route 245 bridge. The second sampling will be at 10 a.m. March 20 at Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley in Steuben County.

The annual sampling collects data on fish populations, giving biologists important information to manage the resource and help them make predictions for an April 1 opening day fishing forecast.

Zebra mussel larvae found in Rome hatchery

Earlier this year, invasive zebra mussels were found in Delta Lake – a water source to the state’s Rome Fish Hatchery. The Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed their worst fears when they found documentation that zebra mussel larvae was located in one of the hatchery’s outdoor raceways.

The Rome hatchery is one of the DEC’s largest fish production facilities, producing almost 160,000 pounds of brook, rainbow and brown trout annually. The agency is in the process of developing both short- and long-term strategies, attempting to limit the spread of this aquatic invasive species. Because of this concern, 2020 stocking may be limited to only bodies of water that already have a zebra mussel presence. This also could impact 2021 stocking plans.

Shoot N’ Hoot Ladies head to Depew March 14

The Shoot N’ Hoot ladies from the North Forest Rod and Gun Club in Lockport will take their monthly shooting sports gathering to Wolcott Guns, 3052 Walden Avenue, Depew, on March 14, starting at 12:30 p.m. The event is limited to 30 participants. Adult fee is $25 and junior ladies ages 12 to 17 can shoot for $20. The day will start with a safety talk, followed by shooting from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

This month, the focus will be air pistols and .22 rifles. Some are available if you don’t have one. You may bring your own pistol (up to .45 caliber) and ammo. Pistol permits will be checked at the door. Payment and registration are required by March 9. For more information, contact Colleen Gaskill at 628-9023.

Snow geese in Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge

If you want to witness a spectacular sight, take a drive to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge area and locate the huge flock of snow geese. Alyssa Johnson, environmental educator at the Montezuma Audubon Center in Savannah, sends word that she found them Tuesday afternoon along Route 31 between the Town of Montezuma, where Route 31 turns north and joins with Route 89 towards Savannah. They were on the north side of 31 in the muck flats.

She doesn’t anticipate they will stick around more than 10 to 14 days before they head north. The flock probably will bounce back and forth between this location and Knox Marsellus Marsh on East Road and the muck flats. Estimated numbers for this flock are more than 100,000 birds. Stop into the Montezuma Audubon Center at 2295 State Route 89 or check out the website at montezuma.audubon.org .

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