The Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District and Wayne County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs are once again hosting the Wayne County Youth Fishing Derby. The 22nd annual event, for anglers ages 4-16, began June 19 and will continue until July 31. The competition includes all waters in Wayne County.
Social distancing and face coverings are encouraged.
New this year: Jarvis Bait in Wolcott, along with the Ontario and Palmyra CountryMax stores, will serve as weigh-in stations. All stores sell bait for the contest. Other stations are Krenzer Marine, Hughes Marina, Davenport’s, and Bay Bridge Sport Shop.
The Youth Derby is designed as three tournaments in one:
• The Al Shultz Memorial Challenge is for youth 4-7 years old. Anglers compete to catch the most panfish — bluegill, perch, rock bass and sunfish. Although the non-perch species do not need to be weighed, anglers must complete a fish entry form.
• The Merchants Challenge is for youth 8-16 years old and is considered the “Grand Slam.” Catch all five of the shallow-water species — perch, walleye, largemouth bass, northern pike and smallmouth bass — to be eligible for the grand prize.
• The Species Challenge is open to all entrants. In this derby, anglers compete to catch the largest fish in any of the five species: perch, walleye, largemouth bass, northern pike and smallmouth bass.
The entry fee is $5. Prizes consist of merchandise and trophies. The prize structure is based on the number of registered entrants.
Pay by cash or check. Registrations are being taken online and paid using any major credit card. The entrant’s registration number is generated at checkout. Visit https://waynecountynysoilandwater.org/youth-derby/ to sign up online.
The derby committee thanks all of the businesses and clubs in Wayne County that support this great youth fishing opportunity: Nancy Wilkes of McDonald’s in Wayne County, PJ Unisex Salon, Lyons National Bank, Franklyn House Tavern, Zip N’ Zin Charters, Lyons Veterinary Clinic, Sodus Rotary, Katlynn Marine, Rubinos on the Bay, Ashley Insurance, Clingerman Taxidermy, Dynalec Corp., Patons Sodus Market, Humbert Farms, KC Baily Orchards, Johnson Forest Management, V&C Development, Lake Breeze Orchards, Farm Bureau of Wayne County, Ely & Leene Insurance, JJs Hot Dogs, Mack’s Auto Joey’s Northside Grocery, Termatec Molding Inc., Sodus Bay Sportsman Club, Wayne County Tourism, Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District, Wayne County Federation of Sportsmen Clubs, and of course, all the bait and weigh stations.
Participants will enter fish caught only in the Wayne County waters of Lake Ontario (half-mile west of Ginna Plant and east to Blind Sodus Bay) and its embayments; and in the waters of the Erie Canal and streams located in Wayne County, in accordance with all state Department of Environmental Conservation rules and regulations. Participants must have a valid state fishing license, unless exempt by law. The awards banquet, which is sponsored by McDonald’s of Wayne County, is Aug. 15 at the fire hall in Sodus Point. The county Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and the district are working out ways to practice social distancing but still provide awards and prizes to youth anglers.
To register for the derby, visit https://waynecountynysoilandwater.org/youth-derby/.
LOC Summer Derby
The Lake Ontario Counties Summer Trout and Salmon Derby begins June 26 and continues until 1 p.m. July 25.
The grand prize from the $33,550 purse is $10,000 for the largest salmon.
There are divisions for Salmon, Lake Trout, Walleye and Brown Trout, with payouts as follows: first place, $1,000; second, $600; third, $300; fourth $200; fifth $100; sixth through 10th, $75 apiece; 11th through 20th, $50 apiece.
In addition, there will be $2,500 in “Big Fish of the Week” prizes and a $750 cash award from LOTSA for the largest valid LOC Salmon. Both entrant and witness must be LOTSA members and noted on the official LOC weigh-in form to be valid.
The awards ceremony is July 25 at Captain Jack’s Goodtime Tavern in Sodus Point.
Saiff pleads guilty
Professional hunting guide and fishing charter captain William “Bill” Saiff III, 57, of Henderson, pleaded guilty recently to a felony violation of the Lacey Act for hiring guides to lead paying hunters on illegal waterfowl hunts over baited ponds.
Saiff is the former host of the hunting and shooting sports program “Cabin Country,” which aired on public TV stations nationwide.
In pleading guilty, Saiff admitted that in 2018 he baited ponds in Jefferson County repeatedly and sent hunting guides and paying clients to hunt wild ducks over ponds while they were baited. Saiff admitted that he violated the Lacey Act.
Additionally, he was in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and admitted that he was on federal probation when he committed these offenses in 2018, having been previously convicted in federal court in Syracuse in 2017 for guiding illegal waterfowl hunts over bait.
Saiff faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to three years. He will be sentenced Oct. 7.
The case is being investigated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement, and the state DEC, Division of Law Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Perry.
DEC crafts deer plan
The Management Plan for White-tailed Deer in New York State, 2021-2030 (https://bit.ly/3h9ZNYL) is the product of public input, expert review and sound science that will improve the management of white-tailed deer across New York state.
The plan outlines strategies to manage deer-related impacts and deer populations of different sizes, and it enhances DEC programs that provide relief to landowners and the public experiencing deer damage and conflicts. It also seeks to protect New York’s deer from the devastating potential of Chronic Wasting Disease, and improves the state’s deer hunting traditions.
To begin carrying out portions of the management plan, DEC proposed rule changes that will improve deer management, simplify big-game hunting, expand hunting opportunity, and increase hunter safety. To view the proposed regulations and provide comment, visit the Fish and Wildlife Proposed Regulations page at https://bit.ly/3qqYtVo.
DEC will accept written comments through Aug. 8.