Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - January 28, 2005, Syracuse, New York PAGE D-8 THE POST-STANDARD Friday, January OUTDOORS Something fishy with records T.MICHAEL KELLY OUTDOOISW1ITE1 If the good old days were all they're cracked up to be, why have three-quarters of New York's state-record fish been hooked since 1990? The Department of Environ- mental Conservation lists record catches in 45 freshwater catego- ries, from largemouth bass to lake whitefish. during the past 14 fish- ing seasons, including four that went into the books from 2000, on Five records for the state's biggest rainbow trout, splake, brook trout, hybrid striped bass and fallfish were recognized in 2004 alone. 1 he largest ot the new chart- toooers is the 31-pound, 3-ounce rainbow trout that Robert J. Wil- son of Talmadge, Ohio, boated while fishing at the western end of Lake Ontario on Aug. 14. Wilson's stupendous steelhead struck a Pirate 55 spoon. It eclipsed the former state-re- cord "bow, also an Ontario fish, by more than four pourids. Another monster w as the re- cord splake caught by Jonathan Simon of Rome on June 27 in Herkimer County's Limekiln Lake. It bettered die previous state record for the spe- cies by 9 ounces. Splake are sterile hybrids that result from the cross-mating of lake trout and brook trout. That makes Simon's beauty a sort of shirt-tail relative of the record brookie, caught by Lake Placid- area guide Joe Hackett on Oct. 4. ,_j prize came from the St. Regis Canoe Area. It succeeds a much larger 7-pound brookie that the DEC decided to retire from the record roster because it was a soon after it was stocked. The Hackett fish, just two ounces heavier than the min- imum qualifying weight estab- lished for a brook trout record, struck a jig-and-worm combo. Bryan Colley of Croton Falls ci'jght the record hybrid on a live sawbelly minnow on lu'y 30 in LaVe Waccabuc in Westchester County. It weighed 15 pounds, 5 ounces. The old re- cord came from the same lake in 2000 and was more than 4 pounds lighter. Many anglers are annoyed when they hook fallfish, which are a kind of river chub, but they'd show them more respect if the j were all as big as the one Jeffrey S. Weibly of Ithaca caught on a curly tail jig in the Tioughnioga River on Feb. 29. At 3 pounds, 7 ounces, it was 18 ounces heavier than the former state-best fallfish, which came from Schoharie Creek. You'll find a list of all 45 freshwater state-record fish on the DEC web site, Bus for the bio show i The Sportsmen's Den in Whitney Point is sponsoring a Feb. 8 bus trip to Hanisburg, Pa., for the annual Eastern Sports Outdoor Show. Held at me Male Farm anow Complex on Harrisburg's north side, the event is one of the na- tion's largest hunting and fishing expositions, with more than exhibits and dozens of free seminars. It runs from Feb. 8-16. The bus will depart from the cf 2t a.in. on Feb. 8 and return at about p.m. the same day Tickets for the bus and show combined are each. For details, call the Sports- men's Den at (607) 692-4266. Cancellation The Central New York Rod Gun Club's annual gun show, scheduled for Feb. 5 at the Phoe- nix fire house, has been canceled. Area trout streams Forget tne trout fishing until we have a major tnaw in Central New York Oneida Lake The lake is entirely iced over but there may be some th-p spoTs beneath tnat deep so be pyt'orpoiv -g-jtious 35 vou trv SOOTS Wai! a'e sa d :o be b on and Kasrnaster sooons in 22 to 25 feet of water off North Bay Salmon River Trt cold r ce a sc' c_s problem so stick to the water above Pinevilie if you give it a try Steelhead are holding in all tie large pools and can be caught on blue egg sacks or small nymphs with a bit of Estaz or fluorescent chenille in the dressing Oswego River Tne r.ver nas recently dropped to a gooo shore-fishable level but watch your steo on the slipoery sidewalk Your best baits are going to oe egg sanies or green and pink yarn flies. Fishing forecast bounced on bottom Seneca take Few nave tr ed due to the nasty weatner but until tre last storm ble.v in pertn were biting botn in deep water and at popular sho'e 'oca fions Good spots to try from shore small minnows include 5ampson State Park and the Cayuga Lake Virtually nooody has been out lately due to ro'd b j11? v s 3 VST" UP trout and salmon should bite on egg sacks or minnows at tj'ii.tKer. Stdt on The at the "C-tS or may not be sate yet so use extra caution be fore venturing out from shore Owasco Lake !ce fishing should be decent tor pike and perch at the south end but the north end is still ques- tionable Check with a local source before Skaneateles Lake Ice fishing is now available at the north end of the iake and you might be able to catch some perch or lake trout on small m-nnows or ]ig- g ng spools St. Lawrence River Ai! of the larger coves, including Goose Bay, Ch ppev.-a Bay and Ee' Bay produc'pg fair numbers of northern pike, on minnows fished tip ups Otisco Lske Tne nortn end of the lake has a sof.d surface and can be fished for tiger muskies or bluegilli but be exTemelv cautious about trying else- where Whitney Point Reservoir The New York State Crappie Derby is expected to attract about to 2 000 fishermen and many additional spectators to the reservoir ice on Saturday Calicoes will hit small minnows a few feet oelow the surface Sodus Bay Tre ce is 5 thick ana taking lots of 8 to 10-inch perch and some big- ger ones all over the bay Use small minnows or jig with teardrop and grub CLASSIFIED EFFECTIVE REQUIRES PLACE YOUR AD HERE. PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK. Place your classified ad and get the results you've been looking for. Your classified ad will appear in The Post-Standard and on Syracuse.com. The Best Local Classifieds in Print and Online The Bret-Standard Go to to get started. x Submitted photo JOE BISTROVICH of Syracuse shot this handsome bull elk during a 2003 hunt in Colorado. Members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation hope to reintroduce elk to New York. A Hold on Elk State halts import to curb fatal disease By J.Michael Kelly Staff writer In January 2002, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation put the finishing touches on a proposal to bring wild elk back to the Cat- skills after an absence of a century and a half. As it turned out, trie riming couldn't have been much worse. Four months after the restoration plan was unveiled, state agencies banned the import of live deer and elk into New York, to curb the spread of chronic wasting disease, a fatal ail- ment that had spread through wild and do- mestic herds in several Western and Mid- western states and Canadian provinces. Three years later, the prohibition remains in force, and the elk's comeback in New York has been postponed indefinitely. "At the time (the ban was all of the legwork had been done and the project was getting overwhelmingly positive feed- back from the said Tim Foster of Schoharie. the Rocky Mountain Elk Founda- tion's northeast regional director. Yet the conservation organization did not object to the elk-transport ban. and in fact has supported it while scientists hunt for alterna- tive methods to prevent CWD from leapfrog- ging across state borders. "We are a co-sponsor of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance, and we work closely with disease researchers across the na- Foster said. thp irnnort ban was enacted the Foundation has awarded grants for promising avenues of research and scientific symposia on the disease. While waiting for resolution of the CWD dilemma, members of the organ- ization's 13 New York state chapters have kept their chins up by holding banquets, golf tournaments and other events to raise cash for various conservation and education programs. The Central New York Chapter has sched- uled its annual banquet-auction for 7 p.m. March 18 at the Spinning Wheel restaurant in North Syracuse, Ticket information is avail- able from Fay Sorrells, 633-0365. "The organization isn't standing Foster said. "One thing the members are doing is supporting projects funded by our State Grant Initiative, which puts a percent- age of the money raised by local chapters into programs in their state.'' Recent state grants in New York included allocations of for the Venison Donation Coalition. SI .000 to assist the Cooperative Extension 4-H youth shooting program and to fund a elk-viewing field trip by stu- dents in the Cuba Central School District to northwest Pennsylvania, where a herd of more than 650 elk lives today. "I'm hoping that not too far down the road people will be able to see elk roaming wild and free in New Foster said. No living person has seen such a sight. Although the quarter-ton members of the deer family once were common in York, the state's last native elk died in 1847, A combination of forest-habitat destruction and unregulated hunting led to the species' de- mise. Today, the only elk found in New York are those held captive by zoos, on venison farms or behind the fences of licensed hunt- ing preserves. In 1996, the Elk Foundation, which previ- ously had piloted successful restoration ef- forts in Michigan, Minnesota, Kentucky and Wisconsin, commissioned scientists at Cor- nell University and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry to evaluate the feasibility of trapping wild elk in western states and releas- ing them in the Empire State. Those researchers gave a theoretical thumbs-up to a restoration effort centered on either the Adirondacks or the Catskills, and in 2002 the Foundation submitted a report to the DEC recommending that elk be released in Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster coun- ties. The outlook was promising until chronic wasting oisease oiurrea me picture. A contagious nervous system ailment of unknown origin. CWD is typified by extreme weight loss, and is always fatal to deer and elk. One worrisome aspect of the illness is its resemblance to mad cow disease, which af- fects bovines, and to Cruetzfeldt-Jacob syn- drome, a brain disease that can be fatal to hu- mans. Scientists do not know the extent to which infected deer can sicken cows or hu- mans, but government officials aren't taking chances. State fish and game, agriculture and public health departments across the nation intensifi- ed efforts to clamp down on CWD as it spread from the Rocky Mountain region into Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois between 2001 and 2003. hi addition to banning the import of wild deer and elk, New York has barred the artifi- cial feeding of deer, to deter disease from spreading among congregated whitetails. Catch of ihe Week Walt Palmieri, East Syracuse Night-bite walleye Although it has a reputation far and wide as a place where anglers catch frequent limits of eating-size walleyes, Oneida Lake is capable of growing some lunkers, too. One of the best times to tie into a big 'eye in Oneida is in late autumn, when schools of hungry walleyes cruise the shallows after dark. Walt Palmieri is an avid fall fisherman. He hooked this while casting at a favorite south-shore snnt nn Wnv 70 HP ncino a Tr Spot OH INOV. ZV. ne Was USlug a Jr. Department, The Pot-Standard. P.O. Box 4915, Syracuse, Please include a brief where you can be reached during the day.