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Avid and hardcore trappers now have a contest to test their trapping skills and gear during the First Annual Great Lakes Trapping Contest set for Nov. 3 in West Valley.
The Cattaraugus County Houndsmen and Conservation Club will hold this competition out its clubhouse on Route 240 in West Valley.
Contest Coordinator Mike Chirico has worked out a point system for the total morning catch of coyote, fox and raccoon.
Entries skinned or altered in any way and pooled harvests will be disqualified.
Entry time for catches will be from noon to 4 p.m. that day.
Prizes go to the top five point gainers and a free raffle entry will be given to each kid under age 16 who accompanies a trapper during this contest.
Food and drinks will be available; awards will be presented as soon as all entrants have been checked.
For more details and entry information, check with Chirico at 570-0025 or email mchirico65@gmail.com.

Archery education

The National Archery in the School Program (NASP) has been growing across New York State with help from the DEC and physical education teachers at schools from downstate to Chautauqua County.
Scott Shawley, educator at Washington Middle School in Jamestown, noted, “I have kids ask me when archery club will start when I see them in the summer months.”
Participating schools organize teams to compete in a virtual tournament NASP holds each year in March. Students compete at their respective schools and submit scores to a NASP state coordinator.
Students and educators interested in establishing archery clubs and shooting competitions can check with Melissa Bailey, New York State NASP coordinator, for details at (315) 793-2515 or email mrbailey@gw.dec.state.ny.us.
For more information about NASP and to view photos of the competition, go to dec.ny.gov/education/81939.html.

Ontario angles

Surveys of Lake Ontario show it is an angler’s place to go for fishing fun. Preliminary results for a fishing boat survey held each warm-water season showed increased catch rates for every salmonid species except coho salmon.
Catch rates remained at or near record highs from April through July; late summer trollers off Western New York ports had schools of mature and two-year-old Chinook salmon in abundance virtually every day on the water.
While that fishery was going on, the statewide count put the rainbow trout catch just behind record and near-record catch rates for Chinooks.
Even smallmouth bass, a species that has seen severe declines during the past decade, showed slight increases in both catch and harvest rates.
Most anglers now target Ontario’s streams for trout and salmon, but look for promising Ontario fish catches and harvest in 2013.

email: odrswill@gmail.com