Big bear

North Country Taxidermy Studio brought a brown bear to last weekend’s New York Sportsmen’s Expo in suburban Syracuse.

The New York Sportsmen’s Expo was held last weekend in the new Exposition Center at the New York State Fairgrounds in suburban Syracuse. According to promoter John Lenox of Rush Outdoors, the event attracted a record number of spectators on both weekend days.

The Niagara Fishing Expo happened the weekend before than, meaning the winter show circuit is now in full swing.

The Springfield (Mass.) Trade Show is in a few weeks. However, the big event of the moment is occurring right now in Pennsylvania.

The Great American Outdoor Show is a nine-day spectacle celebrating hunting, fishing and outdoor traditions that are treasured by millions of Americans and their families. The show features more than 1,100 exhibitors ranging from shooting manufacturers to outfitters, from fishing boats to RVs, and archery to art. It covers 650,000 square feet of exhibit hall space — not to mention a jam-packed schedule that includes country music concerts, fundraising dinners, speaking events, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars, demonstrations and much more.

Regular one-day admission is $14, but with so much to see and do, one day just won’t be enough. Purchase a two-day pass for $24 and ensure you don’t miss a moment of it all.

Special rates apply for children, seniors and groups. Children 5 and younger, along with guests who purchase or renew their National Rifle Association membership at the show, get in free.

The show, which began Saturday at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, continues through Feb. 10.

To buy tickets or browse the exciting list of events, seminars, exhibitors and more, visit www.greatamericanoutdoorshow.org or follow the show on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, posting with the hashtag #GAOS2019.

Five Great Lakes fishery proposals

With the help of feedback from a Lake Ontario Fisheries Management focus group, five Great Lakes fisheries proposals are up for public discussion — with the hope of making changes by April 1, 2020.

The group consisted of four delegates from each Department of Environmental Conservation region along the lake.

The five proposals are:

1) Reduce the daily creel limit for brown trout in Lake Ontario tributaries (2020_GL_02).

Description: Reduce the daily creel limit for brown trout in Lake Ontario tributaries from three fish per day to one fish per day (excluding the Lower Niagara River).

Rationale: This potential change is intended to prolong high-quality brown trout fishing opportunities through the winter months, while still allowing anglers the opportunity to harvest a trophy fish. Fishing effort on Lake Ontario tributaries can be intense each year from fall through spring, and maintaining brown trout fishing opportunities relies on anglers releasing a high proportion of their catch.

2) Increase the minimum size limit for rainbow trout/steelhead on Lake Ontario tributaries (2020_GL_03).

Description: Increase the minimum size limit for rainbow trout/steelhead on Lake Ontario tributaries from 21 inches to 25 inches (excluding the Lower Niagara River).

Rationale: This potential change is intended to prolong high-quality rainbow trout/steelhead fishing opportunities through the winter months, while still allowing anglers the opportunity to harvest a trophy fish. Anglers have noted smaller rainbow trout/steelhead in recent years, and declining rainbow trout/steelhead fishing success as the winter season progresses.

3) Decrease the daily creel limit for rainbow trout/steelhead on Lake Ontario and the Lower Niagara River (2020_GL_04).

Description: Reduce the daily creel limit for rainbow trout/steelhead on Lake Ontario and the Lower Niagara River from three fish per day to two fish per day.

Rationale: Rainbow trout/steelhead provide the primary sportfishery in Lake Ontario’s tributaries from November through the following spring. This potential change is designed to increase numbers and sustainability of rainbow trout/steelhead in the tributary fishery by reducing open lake harvest during periods when Chinook fishing success in the lake declines and more anglers specifically target rainbow trout/steelhead.

4) Eliminate special Lake Erie tributary regulations applied to Spooner Creek and North Branch of Clear Creek (Erie County) (2020_GL_05).

Description: Angling on Spooner Creek and the North Branch of Clear Creek is currently closed each year from Jan. 1 through March 31. Under this potential change, anglers would be able to fish species with an open season during the period Jan. 1 through March 31.

Rationale: The original intent of these regulations was to protect adult steelhead and promote natural reproduction in these two tributaries. More recent research has indicated that juvenile habitat is the factor limiting wild steelhead production, not the number of adults. Moreover, these regulations apply to stream sections that are entirely privately owned and are posted, significantly limiting angling pressure.

5) Extend the open season for lake trout in Lake Ontario and the Lower Niagara River (2020_GL 01).

Description: Open the Lake Ontario/Lower Niagara River lake trout season on Dec. 1 (currently opens Jan. 1). The season would be closed from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30.

Rationale: Anglers targeting rainbow trout/steelhead in the Lower Niagara River frequently catch lake trout. Since lake trout spawning is largely over by the end of November, opening the lake trout season on Dec. 1 will provide anglers with additional opportunities to harvest trophy lake trout without jeopardizing lake trout restoration efforts.

To submit input regarding any of the possible changes being considered, send an email to regulations.fish@dec.ny.gov with the subject line “Possible Great Lakes Fishing Regulation Changes [ID number of the regulation you are commenting on, such as “2020_GL 01”].

For your convenience, each “Email a comment” link below each potential regulation change will fill in the “To:” and “Subject:” lines with the correct information. To ensure suggestions are received and reviewed properly, leave the subject line as it appears on the email and be sure to indicate the ID#(s) of the regulation(s) for which you’re submitting comments.

Chris Kenyon’s “Outdoors” appears every other Sunday. Contact Chris at (315) 879-1341 or ckenyonrun@gmail.com.

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