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Scattershots (Dec. 11, 2019)

Hurst to speak at LOTSA/Fish board meeting Dec. 12

Steve Hurst, Chief of the Bureau of Fisheries for the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, will be the featured speaker for the joint meeting of the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association and the Niagara County Fisheries Development Board. The meeting will take place at North Amherst Fire Company, 2200 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst, starting at 7 p.m. This is a new meeting location for the group.

Hurst will talk about the agency’s initiative to conduct more outreach, explain what it is doing at the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls on Jan. 17-19 by holding a DEC Open House and remind everyone that the deadline for making comment on the new proposed Great Lakes fishing regulations is coming soon. There also will be a question and answer period. This is open to the public.

Wilson-Lake Plains Christmas bird count Dec. 21

If you have a bird feeder in your yard and you live within a 15-mile circle that takes in northern Lockport, Cambria, Somerset, Ransomville, Olcott/Newfane, Wilson and Appleton (including a great deal of the waterfront between Wilson and Somerset), organizers of the 19th annual Wilson-Lake Plains Christmas bird count are looking for help on Dec. 21. It doesn’t have to be all day, but most participants will watch their bird feeders from dawn to dusk to collect this important information.

Over the course of the day, try and identify as many of the birds visiting your feeder as possible, as well as how many. At the end of the day, email the information to Garner Light at The group also has eight teams of In Field Observers who will drive the roads and walk the trails in search of visiting birds. There also is a Facebook page: Wilson-Lake Plains Christmas Bird Count. Effort organizers would love for more homeowners to be involved. Check out the Outdoor Calendar for other Bird Counts that may be going on in your area.

Pennsylvania record bear harvest confirmed

It didn’t look like it was going to happen, but when Pennsylvania black bear harvest statistics started to pour in following the 4-day hunt, the preliminary bear take sat at 4,577 bruins – a new record. The previous record came in 2011 when Keystone State hunters bagged a total of 4,350 animals.

Thanks to expanded hunting opportunities through new special firearms and muzzleloader bear seasons, as well as an expanded archery bear season, more opportunities translated into a much larger harvest this year. Record bear hunting license sales also have had an impact on the season. License sales for bear currently exceeds 200,000 tags. The bear population in the state is estimated at over 20,000 black bears.

50th anniversary Bassmaster Classic drawing

As an added incentive to attend this year’s Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo Jan. 17-19, 2020 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls, there will a chance to win a trip for two to attend this year’s 50th anniversary 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk March 6-8 at Lake Guntersville in Alabama.

The Greater Niagara Fishing Expo collaborated with the Greater Gadsden Area of northeast Alabama and to make this happen. To qualify, attend one of the many bass fishing seminars or instructional sessions at the Hawg Trough and fill out a survey. Attend more than one session and receive an entry for each educational class focused on bass and bass fishing. The winner will receive airfare to the Bassmaster Classic for two, a hotel room, a rental car and VIP passes for the weigh-in at this historic event. For information on the Greater Niagara Fishing Expo, visit the show website at Complete details should be posted by the end of the month.

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