Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced that New Yorkers can now purchase their fishing licenses from their home computers by visiting licensecenter.ny.gov.
With the opening day of trout season right around the corner, and a wealth of fishing opportunities for anglers to partake in, Governor Cuomo is encouraging anglers to consider purchasing a lifetime fishing license, which can be converted into an adventure license. This transaction will make the purchaser eligible to receive a free adventure license plate for his/her vehicle.
Fishing licenses are required for persons aged 16 years and older to fish in New York state fresh-water lakes and rivers. You can also purchase your license by phone by calling 1-866-933-2257. Anglers who purchase by phone will receive a confirmation number to use immediately as proof of holding a license until their actual license is received in the mail.
OBSERVER Photos by Gene Pauszek
At left, a trio of anglers try their luck on Chautauqua Creek. At right, trophy-sized fish, like this brown trout caught recently off the City of Dunkirk pier, are available in waters across the state.
There are plenty of fishing opportunities for anglers to try their luck or skill, with species ranging from crappie, sunfish, pan fish and perch to game fish like bass, trout, walleye and muskies. If you are new to the sport, or would like to try your luck at new hot spots, you can visit the Department of Environmental Conservation website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html. There is a wealth of information at that site, including where and when trout will be stocked, regional and regional office information and early-season recommendations by the DEC staff, as well as forecasts.
New York state is also a premier destination for bass fishing tournaments at the Great Lakes, Finger Lakes, Lake Champlain and Oneida Lake.
With an incentive to boost tourism, the Governor's administration has, under their NY Open for Fishing and Hunting plans, a new adventure license to allow outdoor enthusiasts, boaters, anglers and hunters to consolidate their recreation licenses and benefits onto their NY driver license. Nine new license plate designs are available free to those buying new lifetime hunting, fishing or park licenses this year.
There are 50 new access sites proposed throughout the state to connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and other outdoor enthusiasts to 380,000 acres of un-tapped state-owned lands across New York. These new access points will allow for over $6 million in projects for access to hunting, fishing, boat launches and new hiking opportunities.
A proposed $4 million in funding for upgrades and repairs in the states' 12 fish hatcheries, which are responsible for stocking an average of 950,000 pounds of fish in the state's waters.
Another new item is the Lifetime Empire Passport, which offers visitors to state Parks the option of paying a one-time fee to experience all that NY state parks have to offer.
Recently it was proposed to limit the liability of landowners who allow recreational activities on their properties, which could open up vast un-tapped resources for additional hunting, fishing and other recreational pursuits. It has also been proposed that lawmakers should allow crossbow hunting once again in New York state.
According to the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, sportsmen and sportswomen spent $4.95 billion on hunting and fishing in NY in 2011 and those funds help support more than 56,000 jobs across the state. In addition, spending by sportsmen and sportswomen in 2011 generated $623 million in state and local taxes. New York was second in the nation in total angler spending on fishing related items and sixth in non-resident angler spending. This spending generated an estimated $108 million in state and local taxes. The state also sells an estimated one million fishing licenses annually.
The next meeting of the Great Lakes Experience Planning Board will be on Wednesday, March 26 at 12:30 p.m. at the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator, which is located on Central Avenue in Dunkirk. Plans are being made for the GLE to take place at Dunkirk's Memorial Park on June 21. This event should be a great time and everyone interested in attending should mark the date on their calendars. *Note time change*
SCOPE is putting together a bus trip to Albany on April 1. The bus will leave from Dunkirk at 4:30 a.m. sharp! The bus will be stationed at the D&F Plaza behind Big Lots. The bus has seating for 56 passengers at the cost of $40 per seat. Cash payment will reserve your seat. Cash payment can be dropped off at 296 Water St. Fredonia from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday. For more information call 672-6210.
The Monday Night Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Fly Tyers will meet Monday at 6 p.m. weather permitting. The event is open to the public and is free of charge.
The Westfield Fish and Game Club located on Ogden Road in Westfield will be conducting a gun safety training course starting on Monday, March 25, from 7-10 p.m. The class will then resume on Saturday, March 29, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Students must attend both days and be at least 12 years old. For more information, call 326-3218. They will also offer a trapping course on September 17 and 18 from 6-10 p.m. Limit 30 students.
The Falconer Rod & Gun Club will host a trapping course on Sept. 24 and 26 from 5:30-10 p.m. each day. Register the first day.
There will be gun safety courses at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club located on Route 310 Cassadaga-Stockton Road on April 10 and 11 from 5-10 p.m. Must attend both days and pre-register by calling Rich at 595-3917. There will also be another course on July 10 and 11, which will use the same time frame. The archery course at the Bear Lake club will be on Aug. 20 and 21 from 6 until 10 p.m. Two-day attendance is required as well as pre-registration. Their trapping course will be on Oct. 16 and 17 from 6-10 p.m. both days. Limit of 35 students.
There will be a gun safety course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on April 16 and 17 from 5-10 p.m. Two-day attendance mandatory. Call Gary at 366-3397. There will be another two-day course given on August 27 and 28. Note these classes are limited to 35 students.
Another two-day course will be on September 24 and 25. Same time frame.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER?outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.
There will be one date for the archery course at the "Con Club" on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. There is a class limit of 60 students. Bring a lunch. Pre-register by calling Gary at 366-3397.
The trapping course at the "Con Club" will be on Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Limit 60 students.
Raw fur pickup schedule: North American Fur Auctions' (NAFA) location is Lucky Lanes bowling alley on Route 60, in Fredonia. Time is 4:30 p.m., on April 28. The agent is Ernest Mosher and he can be reached by calling 315-868-6275. Note: The fur must be put up and dried. No green pelts will be accepted.
If your club is hosting a shooting event, or training course (turkey shoot, etc.), drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar.
The Sportsmen's Show at the Little Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. will be on April 5 and 6. Admission will be $5 with kids under the age of 12 admitted free. For information on directions, or to be a vendor, call Jim Miller at 938-6928.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.