This column has dealt with invasive species for several years now, namely zebra mussels, round gobies, snake heads and big head carp, water fleas, water chestnuts, rock snot, gigantic snakes in the Everglades and the feral hogs, to name a few.
Water ballast was the blame for many of the waterborne species, but hogs, snake heads and the big head carp were planted here by some well-meaning persons who did not realize the long-term effects of their actions.
I am wondering about a new plant that many of us have noticed appearing along the sandy beach/dunes at the end of Main Street. The round, usually green plants resemble little tumble weeds and I am guessing that they serve some purpose to prevent soil erosion and the spread of sand, which we noticed spread across Lake Blvd. and onto people's lawns during last Winter and Spring.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Who is wondering what these plants are doing along the sand dunes at the end of North Main Street in Dunkirk?
Where did the plants come from? If they were planted, did anyone research if there would be ramifications? I have lived in this area for over 60 years and have never seen these plants around here before, so are they an invasive species? This train of thought was prompted by an article written by New York Times writer A.J. Sulzberger in 'National Wildlife' magazine entitled "Where Tumbleweeds Tumble Along". Tumble weeds (TW) that are being referred to in the article are indeed an invasive species from Russia that have been in the USA for over a century and they spread their seeds airborne with efficiency and can be a nuisance.
An entrepreneur named Linda Katz in the article sells TW plants and states that numerous people buy them. So with the Fall season upon us, will we see the leaves fall and the weeds tumble?
It may seem like much ado about nothing, but in the same publication they had a story on how planting a non-native tree species had an effect on manta rays at the Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific. The native birds did not like the new trees, so they did not nest or roost there. Fewer bird droppings led to a decline in nutrients and less plankton and therefore less manta rays. So I wonder about the little round green plants and what they might do. How about you?
The wind and weather has not cooperated with offshore attempts at yellow perch fishing, but a few anglers have been hooking up with these tasty fish off the end of the Dunkirk city pier using worms for bait. The recent cooler temperatures and "gully washer" rainfall could attract trout action in some of our local streams or at the mouth (lake end) of them. Check it out! Today is National Fishing & Hunting Day so enjoy.
Ken Hollander and Willie Fedrick will resume the free fly tying clinics on Monday evenings at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club starting at 6 p.m. NOT 7 p.m. this Monday. All equipment, vises and materials are provided FREE. You are invited.
*NOTICE: The Westportland Baptist church members are proud to announce that they will host their annual "Sportsmans Dinner" this Friday, Sept. 28. The dinner, which will be a wild game buffet, featuring moose, swiss steak and other delights, will take place at the Westfield Fire Exempt Hall located on Bourne Street, in Westfield. The dinner will begin at 6 p.m. This year's event will feature Steve Chapman, who is an accomplished hunter, speaker, song writer and an award-winning vocalist. Chapman will share his hunting knowledge and experience with the audience and treat you to some of his award-winning songs. The entire event is FREE, but you must make reservations by calling the WPBC at 753-3812. See you there!
Hunter education courses will be held:
Falconer Rod & Gun Club located on the Buffalo Street Extension in Falconer, is scheduled to host a trapping course on Sept. 26 & 28 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. both days. Two-day attendance is necessary for certification.
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club has scheduled a two-day trapping course on Oct. 18 & 19 from 6-10 p.m. You must pre-register by phone by calling Roger Witt at 595-3418.
There is a two-day trapping course at the Westfield Fish & Game Club on Oct. 5 from 6-10 p.m. returning on Oct. 6 from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Register at the first class.
Fly tying classes will resume on Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m., starting Sept. 10 at the Sinclairville Free Library. Classes will continue until May. Called "Country Kids on the Fly", the group allows anyone aged 8-100 to learn how to tie their own fishing flies. All tools and materials are provided free. Adults are welcome and encouraged to tie flies also, so fly fishing can become a family hobby. Parents must accompany their kids to the first class as important papers will need to be filled out. For more information, call 962-3635 or 485-3919 or log on www.countrykidsonthefly.blogspot.com.
The Gowanda Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its annual Fall Fishing Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 20, in Cattaraugus Creek. Sign-in gets under way at 5 a.m. at the Gowanda Moose Club, located on Aldrich Street. The tournament begins at sunrise and is a catch-and-release event following DEC rules and regulations, with tournament personnel on site to measure and weigh-in the catch. There will be awards, door prizes and food for the participants at the Moose Club after 3:30 p.m. For more information, log on to www.gowandanychamber.org, or call 532-2834 or 532-2288.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.