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An online space for outdoorsmen from CNY and beyond. Tell us about the one you caught or the one that got away.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Boaters left out in the cold for the opening of Walleye seaon

High water levels on the Oneida River and Seneca River prompted the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Dept. to order these waters closed to all boaters on Tuesday. Shortly thereafter, the Oswego and Oneida County Sheriff’s Depts. closed Oneida Lake to all boaters. The order remains in effect until further notice. With heavy rains in the forecast for the remainder of the week, it is highly unlikely that these waters will be open for the weekend for the opening of the walleye season.
The Sheriff’s Dept. said that their decision to close the waterways to boaters is an effort to minimize shoreline damage. A no-wake advisory remains in effect in other waters to protect shoreline properties.
The opening of the walleye season is Saturday. Oneida Lake and surrounding waterways are traditionally one of the most popular areas in the state and anglers were looking forward to the season opener. Since high water will also prevent access to many other areas, most anglers will likely have to wait or find other waters around the state. Fish Creek, one of the main tributaries of Oneida Lake was very high and virtually unfishable in recent days and is unlikely to see lower water levels in the near future.
Boaters who try other waters that are open to fishing should exercise extreme caution. The sheer mass of floating debris in most waters that has washed into lakes and ponds poses a hazard to boaters. Boaters should proceed slowly and be on the lookout for hazards, including wood, floating limbs or partially sunken trees.
Ted Dobs said that for those anglers who do have access to shoreline on Oneida Lake it may be good fishing. The heavy rains and floods have washed many nutrients into the lake and small baitfish will be feeding in the area, perhaps drawing walleye into the area to feed on the baitfish. Higher water levels will mean that walleye may also be found closer to shore than normal.
Other areas that are popular with walleye fisherman are Canadarago Lake, Otisco Lake, Lake Delta and Whitney Point Reservoir. Some of the smaller reservoirs in southern Madison County also hold nice walleye populations. At press time there was no word about the status of these waters, but if they are open to boaters be sure to use caution.
Further north, anglers will be seeking walleye along Sandy Pond, Henderson Harbor and Black River Bay.
When Tom Yacovella caught a new record brook trout in 2009 many people were amazed. Not that he had caught a five pound, five and one half ounce brookie, but that it came from the Adirondacks. Fishing in Adirondacks in recent years has been somewhat of a mystery or often ignored.
This is what the annual Adirondack Fishing Expo is hoping to change.
The Adirondack Fishing Expo will be held May 21-22 in Old Forge. It will be at the Community Center on Park Ave, located behind Souvenir Village at the "Five Corners." Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. It is sponsored by Souvenir Village and the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame with proceeds to benefit Hall of Fame youth programs.
There have been a renewed interest in fishing the Adirondacks but many people are unaware of the potential that exists there, or the methods to take advantage of it. With exhibits, demonstrations and seminars the attendees of the Expo will have a much better idea of where to go and how to fish for the species they desire.
There will be exhibitors ranging from canoe and kayak sales, fishing tackle vendors, Adirondack guides, outfitters such as canoe rentals or seaplanes, fly tyers, conservation organizations, tourist information, wildlife artists and craftsmen. You will have the chance to meet and talk with award winning artist and outdoorsman Tom Yacovella and hear his methods for brook trout fishing.
Throughout the day there will be seminars and presentations on Adirondack bass fishing, brook trout fishing, kayak fishing, fishing remote trout waters, trolling techniques and lures, fly fishing and photography. Learn and sample fish cooking techniques from the masters Nick Bankert and Jim Holt. Professional photographer Angie Berchielli will share her tips for taking better fish photos.
There will be information on fishing various lakes, ponds, and rivers, as well as the "fish finder" maps available from Explore the options of getting to fishing waters ranging from roadside boat launches to flying in by seaplane, packing in by horseback, or traveling by canoe. Meet the outfitters and learn from their presentations on what to take and how to pack.
There will be fly fishing demonstrations, clinics, or lessons. You will have the chance to meet popular authors and get autographed books. There will be free fishing maps courtesy of and other material from Embark magazine.
Seminars and demonstrations will include kayak fishing at 10 a.m., floatplane at 10:30 a.m., Yacovella on brook trout at 11 a.m., fly tying demo at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., a fly casting clinic at 11:30 a.m., back country brookies at noon, a fish cooking demo at 1 p.m., bass fishing at 1:30 p.m., better fishing photos at 2:15 p.m., pack in by canoe at 2:45 p.m. and trolling techniques and lures at 3 p.m. See the Hall of Fame web site for more information.
FISHING REPORT: Although high water levels have made most streams unfishable and curtailed boat activity on lakes, the fishing for brown trout along the Lake Ontario shoreline has been great. Running stickbaits and spoons on flatlines or planer boards have produced many nice browns. Check or for complete reports.
HALL OF FAME BANQUET: A good crowd, including a virtual "who’s who" of conservation leaders and outdoor sportsmen, turned out at the Rusty Rail last Saturday for the annual NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Banquet. Sportsmen from Long Island to Chautauqua County came to honor the eight inductees which include Bob Fields of Rome and Lin Menninger and Ed Pugliese from nearby Onondaga County. Also receiving special recognition as Sportsmen of the Year was the Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club for its many years of dedication to successfully restoring Atlantic salmon to Fish Creek and area waters.
TURKEY TALES: The opening of turkey season last Sunday was one of the few pleasant days we have had and many area turkey hunters took advantage of it. Most people reported seeing or hearing a good number of birds, including some big toms. But most of them had real hens with them or were otherwise reluctant to come into the calls.
My friend Glenn Sapir, former editor of "Field & Stream" magazine stayed at my home for the weekend and went hunting with me. Glenn called in a nice gobbler early in the morning but it came up the hill obscured from my vision by a big stump. As Glenn whispered – "there he is" I only caught a short glance at the head and hesitated. The bird became suspicious, disappeared behind a brush pile and headed back down the hill. We later had other birds answer us but none came into range.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: The Utica Office of the DEC is looking for volunteers on May 17 to help plant shrubs and trees along the newly restored bank of the Mohawk River north of Westernville. If you can assist, call Dave Erway at 793-2556.


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