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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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Trout season opens next week

Next Tuesday is the opening of trout season, a date that also happens to be April Fool’s Day. Although we have been dreaming of pleasant spring days on our favorite streams, the reality is more likely a gray day with cold rain or snow, cold water, possibly high and muddy streams and a lack of fishing action. Nevertheless, the opening of trout season marks a beginning of spring activity and hope for better days to come.
There isn’t as much drama associated with the opening of trout season or the number of trout fishermen that there used to be. There are several factors that contribute to this including the fact that there are now opportunities to fish during the winter or early spring on several streams. The number of anglers has been declining and of course many people realize that the season is long and there will be more pleasant days and better fishing conditions in the weeks to come.
This week there is still several inches of snow covering the ground in this area and even more snow in the higher elevations, making it likely we will face tough fishing conditions. But even if the fishing conditions are not very good, many will get out next week or in the following week to celebrate a rite of spring.
Cold water temperatures mean that the fish will not be very active because their metabolism is slower in cold water, regardless of other conditions. If the streams are high, fast and cold, then fishing will be even tougher. In fast water the trout will seek shelter in side eddies, under cut banks or behind boulders. The current at the bottom of deep pools is not as strong and there are usually rocks to break the current and provide shelter.
Temperature at the deeper areas of pools will be less affected by cold weather and run-offs from snow or rain. During mid-day the water in shallow eddies or the inside of bends in the stream may warm a few degrees. These areas will probably have temperatures closer to the optimum 60-65 degrees that trout prefer.
Trout will not only seek shelter from swift current, but from the mud and silt which can clog their gills. Thus areas behind rocks or other protection are more likely to hold trout in early season high water conditions.
My advice is usually fish smaller local waters, wait until mid-morning before going fishing and use bait such as nightcrawlers or salted minnows. Use only a minimum of split shot to get your bait down and tumbling along the bottom slowly and naturally.
Normally the local streams are your best bet in early April. But many of them such as Oneida Creek are still feeling the effects of the ravaging floods, especially the big one in June of last year. Fish populations suffered a big loss in many areas and it will take some time for them to recover.
At this time of year the smaller streams are your best bet for finding fishable water conditions and cooperative trout. Chittenango, Cowaselon, Oriskany and Sconondoa Creeks are always popular spots. Save the bigger waters like Mad River, Fish Creek or West Canada Creek until later.
But even if fishing is challenging it is an excuse to get out and probably meet some old friends along the stream. It is a chance to see if your skills are as rusty as the hooks you forgot to take out of the pocket of your fishing vest. It whets the appetite and gets up your spirits for the season to come. Fishing season is here again!
NYSOHOF Recognizes ECO
The New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame (NYSOHOF) honors those who have made a significant difference in conservation and enhancement of outdoor sports with induction into the Hall of Fame. This is typically an award based on many years or even a lifetime of service.
The Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Association also recognizes other individuals who have made noteworthy achievements, typically over a shorter period of time. These special awards are not considered an induction into the Hall of Fame but they are still significant honors. One such special award is the Dave Pierce Memorial Award, named after the late sportsmen’s advocate who did much for the cause of conservation and outdoor sports. This award is given periodically to a person who has done an outstanding job of working with youths.
This year the Dave Pierce Memorial Award will be presented to Ricardo Grisolini, a DEC Environmental Conservation Officer, for his outstanding success with the Oneida County Youth turkey Hunt. Several years ago Grisolini approached the Federation of Sportsmen of Oneida County about having a Youth Turkey Hunt. This program has given many youngsters who did not have a family member or adult mentor the opportunity to learn turkey hunting and hunt with an ECO as a mentor.
ECO Grisolini has worked hard to secure property for the Youth Hunts to take place and organizes a Safety Day for the youngsters to learn about safety, turkey hunting techniques and patterning their gun. These sessions are conducted by ECO Firearms Instructors. This year’s hunt will take place on April 26 and 27, prior to the opening of the regular turkey season.
Ric Grisolini has actively recruited ECOs and some expert turkey hunters to assist in the program and serve as mentors while hunting. With the growing success of the program there is an increased need for mentors. He has also actively sought donations to help fund this program. His hard work, organizational skills and dedication to the idea of helping young people enjoy the outdoors epitomize the spirit of the statewide honor.
Grisolini will be honored and presented with the award at the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Annual Banquet to be held on Saturday, April 26, at the Rusty Rail in Canastota. Social hour and registration will begin at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. Friends and other sportsmen are cordially invited to attend and share this moment of honor with Ricardo Grisolini. Reservations may be made by calling 829-3588 or 363-3896 by April 19.
Mentor Program Annual Youth Turkey Hunt: The Oneida County Sportsmen’s Federation and ECOs are teaming up to give youngsters a great experience during the Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend, April 26 and 27.
Youngsters eligible for the youth hunt and who do not have the opportunity to learn from a family member or an adult mentor will have the opportunity to go turkey hunting with a mentor. Call 829-3588 for details. Youngsters must complete the application and submit it by email by April 1.
DU Dinner: Utica Area Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual banquet on Friday, April 4 at Harts Hill Inn, Whitesboro. Doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. There will be a live auction, silent auction and lots of door prizes. Sporting goods and artwork, as well as other household and outdoor items will be featured. For more information call (315) 726-1932.
Adirondack Outdoors: The Spring issue of Adirondack Outdoors magazine is now available at many area locations. Spring turkey hunting, ice out fishing, hiking and destinations are featured in many articles. There are also articles on Placid Boatworks, Black Flies, Search and Rescue and Adirondack issues affecting sportsmen. Free copies are available locally at Sweet Temptations Café, Hanifin Tires, Herb Philipsons and Shari’s Diner in Sherrill.


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