Power in Membership

Power in Membership

If you’re a sportsperson who is into hunting, fishing, trapping etc., in Erie County or any other county in New York State I urge you to consider joining one of the many sportsmen’s clubs in your area. If you are a member of one of the sportsman’s clubs and the club is not a member of the local county federation such as the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen (ECFSC) please consider joining one of these county federations. The information about joining is readily available on our local ECFSC website. There are currently about 40 clubs in the ECFSC and I know there are many other clubs in Erie County who should consider joining as we once had over 50 members!

The ECFSC meets 1/month at various clubs throughout Erie County such as Bison City Rod and Gun, Springville Rod and Gun, The Niagara River Station etc. These meetings are very informative and discuss all local and statewide sportsmen issues.

(Click HERE and check out the calendar of events for meeting information. Meeting date, time. location and directions are listed in the calendar.)

They do not have a meeting in August because of the Erie County fair as many clubs participate at the Erie County Fair in the Conservation building. Be sure to stop in this building during the fair, most everything is free such as the daily raffle of 2 free fish pole reel combos given to children of Erie County residents and information on the ECFSC annual lifetime license program for children of Erie Country Residents.

If your club joins the ECFSC their delegates can attend our monthly meetings and be made aware of all the anti-sportsmen and anti-gun legislation that is continually being proposed in New York and what to do about it. You will also learn about the many ECFSC programs like the children’s fishing clinics and our pheasant stocking program. We also donate money to support the high schools trap shooting leagues, sending children to summer camps and giving scholarships to children who reside in Erie County

As a member of the ECFSC you or your club can propose a regulation change regarding hunting, fishing, trapping etc. at one of the ECFSC meetings. The ECFSC can consider this proposal and submit it as a resolution to its members for consideration and a vote at a future meeting. If it is passed it will then be submitted to the New York State Conservation Council (NYSCC) as a resolution for a vote at their annual Convention in the fall. If it is passed it will go to the legislative vice president of the council who will lobby in Albany with the NYSDEC for a regulation change or if a new law is required, the state legislature. This is the  way you, as an individual ,can accomplish a regulation or law change!! Good examples of how this has been successful are Sunday hunting, big game rifle hunting in southern tier counties, and of course legalization and use of the crossbow. They all started as resolutions from the NYSCC!

Joe Fischer

 

Fishing with Mike Elam

Fishing with Mike Elam

Last summer I got invited by Mike Elam, a fellow fish committee member of the New York State Conservation Council (NYSCC) to go fishing. We would be fishing on Lake Alice, a small lake created by the dam of the Oak Orchard Creek at Watersport New York. Mike lives in a home on the lake so we would be literally fishing out of his front yard!

As I parked in Mike’s driveway, I noticed that he had 2 Aluminum fishing boats ready to go. Now here’s where the story gets interesting. He has an attached garage so when I went into the garage, I was immediately surrounded by probably 100 fishing poles of all types. I thought I had a lot of equipment but this was a mini fishing store.  I was invited into the house and noticed that every window ledge was full of old fishing reels, Garcia Mitchell’s, Pflueger’s, Shakespeare’s etc. The living room had beautiful fish mounts of cold and warm water species, salmon, trout walleye etc. Old Fishing lures were also placed or hung in various places throughout the living and dining room. The real treat was going into the bathroom which had posters advertising Brooks Reefers, Lazy Ike’s etc. on the walls. The toilet paper dispenser was actually a level wind reel!! I was told that that Mikes real mother lode of fishing equipment was located in the cellar. I found out that Mike was the son of one of the owners of the original Hatch and Elam boat livery on Oak Orchard Creek and he really was born surrounded by fishing equipment.

I consider myself a decent fisherman, but Mike out fished me that day catching 3 fish to my one. He is an expert using jigs and catches all species of fish with them from bluegills to large Northern Pike, walleyes and steelhead. I now call him a “jigmaster”. He recently caught a Northern Pike over 40” while fishing for perch. By the way he considers Northern Pike excellent table fare.  Mike takes people fishing all the time including many elderly people that he must help get in his boat. He also takes out a few children that are challenged. He has driven to several of our ECFSC fishing clinics and had a great rubber and plastic bait display as one of our learning stations. Come and say hello to him at one of our upcoming fishing clinics!!!

Joe Fischer

 

World Class Fishing in WNY

World Class Fishing in WNY

Do you realize that we live in an area that is the best, most diverse freshwater fishery in United States? Within 100 miles of Buffalo you can find superb Crappie fishing on Chautauqua lake.  You can then hop in your car and drive up to Lake Ontario or the lower Niagara River and fish for trophy Salmon and Trout.  You also have the option to go over to Lake Erie and fish for trophy Walleyes or Perch. Walleyes at 5-10 lbs are not uncommon in Lake Erie. If your more of a small lake fisherman an option could be Silver Lake for Northern Pike or Lime Lake for Norlunge.  Lake Alice and Oak Orchard Creek in Orleans County also offers superb multi species fishing and in many areas a boat is not required. Muskies in excess of 50”can be caught in the small boat harbor/Niagara River or in Chautauqua Lake. No place else in the USA do you have so many options so I guess we truly live in a “fishy place”…

Shore fishing in Buffalo Harbor is very good especially in the spring when the Bass are spawning but this is Catch and Release fishing .The Upper Niagara River shore fishing can also be productive for many species of fish. Other areas where shore fishing is productive are the Erie Barge Canal, Tonawanda Creek, Ellicott Creek, Cayuga Creek,18 mile creek and Cattaraugus Creek etc.  I would suggest picking up one the local Hot Spot fishing maps which are available at fishing stores and local fishing clinics run by the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen (ECFSC) or its member clubs. Check the ECFSC website for the latest information on the upcoming fishing clinics.

Fishing at Como Park can be good especially after the DEC annual spring Trout stocking!  I personally enjoyed shore Northern Pike fishing at Ransom ,Tonawanda and Ellicott Creeks. This is grass roots fishing and does not require very expensive poles, reels etc, a good old Zebco 33 is a good solid pole and reel for this kind of fishing. Usually you have a lot of action shore fishing and that’s what kids especially like! Keep an eye out for W.Hilts Jr fishing column in the Buffalo News or listen to his weekly fishing forecast on WBEN radio on Saturday morning for the latest fishing information and upcoming fishing clinics.

More fishing licenses are sold in Erie County than any other county in New York State and the reason is that fishing opportunities are abundant and excellent.!!

Joseph Fischer

Eyes on 2024 Fishing Clinics

Eyes on 2024 Fishing Clinics

It is now 2024 and I would like to tell our readers with young children why they should put attending one the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s (ECFSC) annual fishing clinics at Tifft Nature preserve and Chestnut Ridge Park in June. ECFSC members also assist at many other club fishing clinics when requested. The ECFSC clinics are unlike many fishing clinics which quite often amount to giving a child a fishing pole and letting them fish in a nearby body of water and walking around and helping them fish.

When you check into an ECFSC clinic the child is given a punch card. These punch cards have words like “casting” or “where to fish” written on them These are the various learning stations the child and his parent or guardian must go through before they fish. These cards are punched as the child goes through these learning stations. These stations are manned by fishing experts and many of these experts are members of the New York State Outdoorsman Hall of Fame. When the child finishes the learning stations, he then can obtain fishing equipment or use his own to fish. ECFSC members will be walking the shore and assisting the children in fishing where needed.

When the fishing is completed in one to three hours children will be given prizes based on their age. The ECFSC would like to extend many thanks to our sponsors like Cabela’s, Fraternal Order of Eagles Depew chapter, Erie County and of course many of the clubs and volunteers for their annual donations and help in making these events successful. These are great events, come to one you won’t be disappointed. I wish we had these types of events when I was young back in the depression!!

See you there!!!

Joseph Fischer

2023 ends with many accomplishments

2023 ends with many accomplishments

We have come to the end of 2023 and the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen (ECFSC) has accomplished a lot!! We finished off the year by awarding 12 lifetime sportsmen licenses to Erie County children. They can choose between hunting, fishing, trapping etc.  The federation has given away over 70 of these licenses in the last few years!! The ECFSC has also supported many of the trap shooting school programs throughout the county.

The ECFSC hosted 2 children’s fishing clinics, one at the Tifft Nature Preserve and the other at Chestnut Ridge Park and assisted many federation clubs in setting up and running fishing clinics throughout the county. The ECFSC puts a lot of time and effort in promoting these children’s clinics as they are the sportsmen of tomorrow and you need to reach these children before they become teenagers!!

Our webmaster Joe McAdams has created a great informative website, and we are receiving thousands of hits to the site every month, incidentally if you or your club wants to advertise or promote one of your upcoming functions contact Joe and he will advertise it on the website.

2024 is around the corner and it promises to be a a tumultuous year topped off by a presidential election in November. I am sure more anti-gun legislation will be coming so we must be vigilant and involved. The days of sitting in your hunting cabin and ignoring what’s going on are over. I know most people want to ignore politics but as once was said,” If you ignore politics, you will be ruled by your inferiors”; and as stated in a previous column, VOTE!!  (The sportsmen have been terrible in this regard.)

We all know what we are dealing with in New York State, so we have to be aware and reactive if necessary. The recent ammunition bill is a good example of a bill that has forcing smaller gun shops to close because of the incredibly burdensome paperwork which is exactly what it intended to do! Join a sportsmen’s club and better yet attend some of the ECFS meetings, the dates and times are posted on the website.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!

Joseph Fischer