Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kayaks and Fishing and Whitewater, oh my! (6/18/09 - 6/24/09)

Although our week began wet and cold, summer started and with it the weather appears to be changing. Summer began on June 21st, and the Eastern Lake Ontario Dunes and Salmon River Stewards were happy to see it bring good weather and an increase in visitors to the natural resource areas around Lake Ontario and the Salmon River corridor. The Salmon River and Lake Ontario shore are starting to come alive as more events are being scheduled in the area. The work week seemed to fly by. Here are some of the things we found ourselves busy with:

Salmon River Steward Jim Katz spent his Saturday at a fishing event at the Pineville public fishing access. The event, called Spey Nation, allowed anglers to congregate and demo new equipment while discussing different techniques. Spey fishing is similar to fly fishing, except there is a longer fishing rod, and it requires less effort and allows for a much longer cast. All who attended were excited to learn new techniques and try different rods and reels.

Photo of angler on Salmon River by Salmon River Steward Jim Katz

Salmon River Steward Emily Freeman also spent Saturday along the Salmon River, but her time was devoted to the scheduled 400 CFS whitewater release. Time was spent getting to know the kayakers and tubers, conducting whitewater surveys. About 40 kayakers, tubers and canoers turned out for the release. Some whitewater enthusiasts were local, while others from South Buffalo. Most were part of a paddlers group called FLOW (Finger Lakes Ontario Watershed), who had carpooled to the Salmon River. They also arranged to shuttle each other, launching at Compactor Pool on County Route 2A, and taking out at Black Hole on Riverview. All paddlers were extremely happy with the conditions and are eagerly anticipating the next release of 750 CFS that will occur on 7/4-7/5.

Visitors enjoying the whitewater release on 6/20.
Photos by Salmon River Steward Emily Freeman.

The stewards spent the rest of the week picking up litter, performing maintenance on river edge trails, and conversing with anglers from as far away as New Jersey. 5,000 brown trout were stocked this week. In addition to catching smaller trout, anglers reported landing some Skamania (summer run) steelhead and Atlantic salmon. Don't forget that while the Salmon River is famous for its' autumn Pacific salmon run, there is still plenty of good fishing to be found in the summer!

Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Stewards

Deer Creek WMA has yet to see it's summer rush, but with school letting out for the summer, that should be soon. Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Steward Stacy Furgal reports that trash continues to accumulate. Visitors are encouraged to lend a hand and utilize the area's Carry-In, Carry-Out program. There has been an increase in the construction of fires which is prohibited in the area. Not only does it make the area unsightly, it can disrupt the fragile dune ecosystem and wildlife living there. A Wildlife Management Area is designed to be a haven for them, let's try to keep it that way!

Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Steward Greg Chapman was busy this week installing string fence to protect the dunes while preserving the view for visitors. Sandy Pond Beach Natural Area saw an increase over the weekend in visitors, mostly sunbathers and picnickers. Some chose the more adventurous route and tried their hand at windboarding!

Windboarding on Eastern Lake Ontario.
Photo by Chief Steward Greg Chapman

Lakeview WMA has been quiet the last week. Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Steward Paul Dawson has continued to clean up the beach, as Lake Ontario has a habit of washing large amounts of garbage onto shore. There were also some dogs off leashes, which can trample fragile dune vegetation and disturb local wildlife.

Great news! Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Steward Liz Wolff reports that the channel in El Dorado Nature Preserve has finally closed for the summer. Visitors can now enter El Dorado without getting soaked! Many families came out to Black Pond WMA on Father's Day. Everyone was enjoying the resource and using it respectfully.

Unfortunately, on other days at Black Pond WMA, Liz has seen people fishing in the bird sanctuary area. This area is prohibited to human and domesticated animal use as it disrupts the feeding and nesting time of shorebirds. Liz instead encourages anglers to use the fishing platform that overlooks Black Pond.

Enjoying Fathers Day at Black Pond WMA.
Photo by Eastern Lake Ontario Dune Steward Liz Wolff.

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