This article is a reminder that the 21st Annual Fishing Essay Contest for students in Chautauqua County is now underway with the deadline for entries set for April 26.
The contest is open to elementary and middle school students in grades 3-6 and is open to all Chautauqua County students attending public, private or home schools. The topic for this year's essay is "Fishing Sounds Like Fun, Who Would I Like To Take Fishing With Me and Why?"
Entries can be submitted individually or together as a class project. All entries must include the student's name, grade, teacher and school. Teachers who are interested in this worthwhile project are encouraged to submit their email addresses with their students' essays to allow for quick and easy communication during the school day about contest results and updates.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Members of the 2013 Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board are, from left to right, Chip Spiesman, Lance Ehrhardt, Taylor West, Chairman Zen Olow, Monte Kennedy and Dan Dietzen. Missing from the photo were: Mike Cluchey, Joe Battaglia and Gene Pauszek.
Entries are judged on originality and teachers are encouraged to work with students by incorporating essay writing into a teaching activity. Once again, from past experience, not all students may want to participate, which is fine. However, last year, many of the members of the Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board accompanied County Executive Greg Edwards - when he found time from his busy schedule - to meet the students and teachers and present the awards and certificates personally. Many of the classes also had their group photo featured in the OBSERVER. Every student who participates will receive a certificate and, when funding allows, a memento may also be awarded.
There will be five winners from each grade with a total of 20 fishing rod and reel packages awarded. There will also be two grand prize winners selected to go on a fishing trip with the Edwards this summer. The winners will be announced in early May and the two grand prize winners will be recognized at the May 22 County Legislature meeting.
As Mr. Edwards put it, "Fishing is an important recreational activity for our county. Not only does it draw visitors from across the nation and contribute to our economy, but it creates fond memories for families and friends. The essay contest has been valuable to teachers and students in the past and I encourage all schools to participate in this years contest."
Last year, the CCSFAB read almost 400 submitted entries. As many as 800 entries have been submitted in the past. The Chairman for this year's event, Zen Olow, added, "The entries from our young students show there continues to be a real interest in fishing and lake ecology in Chautauqua County. We are encouraged by the number of kids that participate each year and we hope that the contest gets kids fishing."
The CCSFAB hopes that the essay contest can be an interesting, educational experience for students and helpful to the teachers. It is intended to promote an awareness of Chautauqua County's ecology, the factors that affect it and the role each student plays in maintaining its quality in the future.
If you have any questions, or would like to be considered for the CCSFAB, or if you would like to make a donation to help fund this effort, contact Olow at 640-2776.
On a personal note, I forgot to mention and thank the Ladies Auxiliary and other members of the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club who helped make the Take-A-Kid-Fishing Day Barbecue a success. On behalf of the kids, and myself, we thank you!
Walleye Season Closed March 15. The DEC also reminds owners of ice shanties that all shanties should have been removed from the ice by March 15.
The next meeting of the Southtowns Walleye Association is on Thursday, at their club located at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. If you are planning your 2013 vacation weeks, note that the Southtowns Walleye Tournament is from June 8-16.
The NYS Walleye two-day team event tournament, the AMARA-CAN, is scheduled for July 13-14.
The Jamestown Rifle Club will hold pistol classes March 24 and April 28. You must be 21 years old and a resident of Chautauqua County. All classes begin at 1 p.m., and last around four hours each. Call Pat Hayes at 484-9301 for information.
Little Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. will host their Sportsmen's Show at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds, Route 353, Little Valley, on April 13-14. Call 938- 6928 for information.
Lander, Pa.: Sportsmen's Show will be April 20-21. Call 814-757-9466 for information.
The Westfield Fish & Game Club will host its annual Ham & Steak Shoot on April 14 at their club house located on Ogden Road. The event will be held rain or shine. All legal centerfire firearms will be permitted. Ammo supplied for birdshot and deer slugs. The .22 Caliber shoot, which will be held indoors, is a bring-your-own-ammo event.
The 18th annual Friends of the NRA banquet will be on Saturday, April 27 at the Samuel Derby Post in Frewsburg. For tickets and information, contact Tom Kelly at 736-4386.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.