If last year’s salmon catch serves as a gauge, the 2013 Lake Ontario king salmon season should be regal.
Throughout the 2012 season, boaters and shore casters from the Niagara River eastward to well past Point Breeze saw a steady run of “teeners” - 2-year-old king salmon that were sizeable for their age and scrappy fighters in shallow and deeper waters on the main lake and into all major feeder streams along the Ontario shoreline.
Anglers at all skill and gear-keeping levels have an opportunity to get in on this big-king fling as soon as salmon schools begin moving closer to shore this spring.
The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association (LOTSA) puts together an informative and resourceful gathering each year to help anglers learn more about this salmonid fishery and gather funds for the LOTSA pen rearing project.
This weekend the 2013 Salmon Spectacular Weekend includes a day-long LOTSA Salmon School on Saturday and a Fishing Expo and Flea Market from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24.
Two seasoned charter captains, Pete Alex of Vision Quest Sportfishing and Tom Allen of A-Tom-Mik Mfg., will cover the basics and fine points of competition and recreational trout and salmon catching on Lake Ontario. A few seats remain open for this seminar.
The Sunday schedule includes seminars along with the exhibitor/vendor booths set up at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building at 4487 Lake Ave. (Route 78) in Lockport. A “Beginners/Basics Class” goes from 10:30 a.m. to noon; the “Kids Fishing Clinic” is set for 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Instructions key on the most fundamental of fishing approaches. Attendees in both sessions can walk in with virtually no on-the-water experience and find out ways to simplify setting up and upping the odds for the enjoyment of bigger and better catches.
Most of the Sunday exhibitors are veteran charter captains and/or Ontario anglers with years of experience fishing for everything from the big bluegills to king-sized salmon. Ontario regulars and first-time trekkers can find bargain-priced gear throughout the day of the Flea Market.
Manufacturers offer new products at show prices. From weighted pencil bobbers to side-planers and marine electronics, anglers have an abundant array of items available at this market. Gear hunters might consider arriving early for these equipment offers, but worthwhile fishing advice abounds throughout the expo day.
The LOTSA pen rearing project ensures a greater presence of salmon and trout in Lake Ontario’s area waters. Last year, the project reared more than 67,000 Chinook salmon and about 3,500 rainbow/steelhead trout.
LOTSA volunteers help with setting up the pens, feeding the fish and taking down the gear after the fish are released. The project requires about $2,500 for basic expenses each year, and the LOTSA Fishing Expo and Flea Market helps in gathering funds for this effort.
For more details on this Salmon Spectacular Weekend events and seminar/class registrations, check with Joe Yeager at 636-0519 or go to lotsa.org.