Those rounds of January thaws might have planters thinking about coming seasons for digging into tree and shrub seedling sites.

Area soil and water conservation districts have their programs set up for order dates mainly in March and pick-up dates in April.

Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District accepts orders until March 15 and pickup at the fairgrounds in Hamburg goes April 13, with a special stock of American Chestnuts on April 20. For seedling varieties, planting tips and order form, visit the district’s Web site at

The Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District offers a wide variety of trees, shrubs, flowers, gardening accessories and even a fish-stocking program. Orders must be in by April 1 for a pick-up date, usually during the third week of April. For the entire program, go to

The Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District takes orders until April 1 for a pickup date to be announced. Genesee officials get stock from a variety of sources and has an extensive array of stock seen in its catalog downloadable at

The Niagara County Soil and Water Conservation District accepts orders to March 22 for pickup April 26 and 27. Along with other plantings, Niagara provides Deer Plot Mix in two sizes. For this and all tree, shrub and groundcover options, go to

The Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District’s seedling sale includes deciduous tree, conservation shrub and evergreen tree seedlings and accepts orders until March 15 for pickup on April 12 and 13. For an order form, call (585) 489-6274 or email

Measuring up bucks

Official Big Buck Club measurers will be at Niagara Outdoors in North Tonawanda from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to put the tape to antler and bear-head dimensions so hunters can know the score. For details, call 695-7853.

Contesting steelheads

Niagara River Anglers Association’s Annual Roger Toby Memorial Steelhead Contest is set for sunrise to 2 p.m. Feb. 16 on the lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario and its tributaries.

This contest sees differing weather and fishing conditions each year. Some competitions favor boaters; more than one slate of top-three finishers have come from shore-caster ranks.

An Awards Party will start at 3 p.m. at the Three-F Club in Lewiston. Entrants have an option to enter a Brown Trout Division and an Early Bird Draw before Feb. 14.

Anglers can register at Creek Road Bait & Tackle in Lewiston or Slipper Sinker Bait & Tackle in Olcott.