Lake Ontario should get greater consideration when it comes time to plan those 2013 fishing trip destinations.

A Department of Environmental Conservation preliminary summary of Lake Ontario fishing boat activity in 2012 indicates this lake has fishery prospects for many species. Results show some numbers near and at peaks seen during Ontario’s fish-harvest heydays of the 1980s and early 1990s.

A DEC Lake Ontario Unit survey of fishing effort in New York State waters showed a 19.4 percent decrease in the number of boat trips compared with outings of the past five years.

While fewer lines went into the water, anglers reeled in quicker catch rates and higher harvests for Chinook and coho salmon and average to above-average rates and harvests for rainbow and brown trout. Even lake trout, a species that has been in decline for two decades, showed slightly improved numbers from April 15 to Sept. 30 this past season.

King salmon and brown trout provided catch rates comparable with peak fishing forays in 1986, 1990 and 1993.

Boat surveys for smallmouth bass and yellow perch continued to decline, but most perch catches are harvested along shore rather than from boats.

With overall catch rates for 2012 at 24.3 percent above the five-year average, anglers might find 2013 a lucky year to go to Ontario.

Ski club open house

Buffalo Nordic Ski Club presents its Annual Open House Dec. 12 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. in the Wick Center at Daemen College, 4380 Main Street in Amherst.

This free event offers new and experienced cross country skiers an opportunity to view a video on skiing basics, see displays of all kinds of gear items, attend a waxing clinic, and chat with expert skiers and gear reps throughout the evening.

Members of the Buffalo Nordic Ski Club enjoy free lessons during the skiing season, weekly ski tours, weekend trips to near and distant sites and much more. Details on membership will be available at the Open House.

Snowmobile shootout

American Snowmobiler magazine has set up its 23rd Annual Shootout Trials.

Many models of snow machines will run a course at White Otter Fish & Game Club in Woodgate, north of Utica, on Friday.

Different manufacturers, selected at random, enter their box stock for testing after a series of computer tests held at the DynoTech Research Center in Batavia.

A quarter-mile track on club grounds will be open to spectators at 8 a.m. that day; tests continue until mid afternoon. For club directions and event details, call (315) 392-5499.

After two tests of machines taken from delivery crates, dealers may tune and modify units for outputs to 600 horsepower. Results of these field tests will appear in American Snowmobiler magazine. For details, visit

Snowmobile course recourse

A fee-based electronic snowmobile course posted last week does not offer certification to New York State residents.

A statewide listing of free courses is available at