Fly Fishing news

Scattershots: Life Ring initiative, fire extinguisher regulations, Olcott Pen Project


Bill Hilts Jr.

Life Ring initiative begins

The mighty Niagara River can be a dangerous place under a wide variety of conditions and circumstances. To help make the famous river a little safer, the Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY is raising money and creating an awareness for an important Life Ring initiative that they hope will save lives in the long run.

With sponsorship from Buffalo City Council member Joe Golombek Jr., the fishing club has partnered with the Buffalo Professional Firefighters Local 282, the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association and the East Side Angler’s Association on this lifesaving cause.

At the Hamburg Sport Show, the Southtowns Club solicited $5 donations and has raised more than $8,500 – good for about 17 life rings, based on the $500 cost (for the plastic harness, Life Ring and rope). The Buffalo Publics Works Department would be tasked with installing the life rings within the Buffalo city limits. The focus right now is with the City of Buffalo, and 50 rings is the goal.

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To find out more information, check out https://southtownswalleye.com/resources/life-ring. The club said its intention is to have some of these in place this year and then continue down the line to Tonawanda, North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls.

New fire extinguisher regulations

Effective April 20, the U.S. Coast Guard will be implementing a regulation for certain kinds of fire extinguishers, as well as different carriage requirements for older/newer model year vessels. The new regulation will require a 12-year expiration date from the date of manufacture starting April 20. While the regulation does not change the type (U.S. Coast Guard-rated) or quantity or requirement for USCG-approved fire extinguishers aboard, it does specify the minimum Underwriter Laboratory (UL) classification of extinguishers to be carried aboard certain vessels — depending on the boat’s model year.

Vessels on the water today that are less than 26 feet and model year 2017 or older may continue to carry older, dated, or undated “B-I” or “B-II” disposable extinguishers. However, when they are no longer serviceable or have reached 12 years of age since manufacture, they must be replaced with newer class “5-B” or greater extinguishers. Boats less than 26 feet and 2018 model year or newer must carry unexpired “5-B” “10-B” or “20-B” fire extinguishers. Having older “B-I” and “B-II” types do not meet the new carriage requirements.

A new requirement is also in place for 26 feet in length or greater. For more information on the new requirement, as well as frequently asked questions and an infographic, go to uscgboating.org.

In-person hunter education course

Spring turkey season is just around the corner and there are plenty of opportunities to take an in-person Hunter Education Program course for free. You also have the option of obtaining a hunter safety certificate online, but for a fee.

DEC’s online registration system at https://register-ed.com/programs/new_york/165 makes it easy to view a list of all available courses within the student’s proximity to course locations. Students can register from any device – smartphone, tablet, or computer – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Classes fill quickly. Some local courses are available this spring at Springville Field & Stream, Bison City Rod & Gun Club, Limestone Sportsmen Club and many more.

Olcott Pen Project begins April 2

It is time to get the pens ready to accept salmon and trout. Every year, clubs and community groups work together to construct, update and maintain specially built pens that will hold salmon and steelhead at various ports along the lakeshore. The Olcott pen rearing project, held in the Town of Newfane Marina, is coordinated by the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association. Through these important projects, Chinook salmon will survive by better than two to one. In addition, it helps these fish imprint to the waters of 18 Mile Creek, where they will return when they mature.

Olcott, one of the five super ports for Lake Ontario for salmon fishing, will rear 112,000 Chinook salmon, as well as nearly 17,000 steelhead. If you would like to assist in this effort, show up at the parking lot of the marina at 9:30 a.m. April 2. Bring along some wire cutters or something to clip zip ties.

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