While the springtime pulse of American shad and striped bass in the mainstem Hudson remained largely unseen, the life in the tributaries was obvious. Incredible numbers of glass eels and river herring surged have upstream all week. The herring should be here in our local stretch of the Mohawk soon, if not already.
Warm weather and a smooth lake greeted the 157 anglers who participated in last Saturday’s annual Spring Fishing Contest sponsored and conducted by the Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation.
Fishing was a tad slower than expected but that was likely due to the virtually cloudless skies, lack of any substantial breeze and bright sunshine. A cloudy day and a light “walleye chop” might have been better but few anglers complained about the weather we did have.
George Drygula of Amsterdam took first place in the northern pike division with a hefty 41 incher, followed by David Ryder of Broadalbin with a 37 3/8 incher and Jeff Smith of Schenectady with a 36 3/4 incher. In the walleye segment of the event Roger Dillenbeck of Glovserville took first place with a 23 3/4 incher, followed by Chris Graziano of Saratoga with a 22 5/8 incher and Bill Dingman of Gloversville with an 18 1/4 incher. In the trout division, three browns took the prizes. Josh Rumrill of Gloversville took first place and a plaque from the GSLFF for his 19 3/4 inch entry, followed by Beecher Lapan of Queensbury with a 15 7/8 incher and Steve George of Gloversville with a 15 5/8 incher.
GSLFF Committee members and helpers assisting at the event included Bob Nielsen, John Fura, Randy Gardinier, John Wszolek, Gus Muller, Brian Kedik, Rich Kedik, Tom Coughlin and Frank Maguire.
The next Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation event will be the summer fishing contest on June 15, the opening day of the statewide bass season. I’ll have additional details for you on that contest in a week or two.
TUMAN’S TAVERN TURKEY CONTEST RESULTS
Twenty-three two-person teams were entered in the annual Tuman’s Tavern one-day turkey contest held on Sunday, May 5.
The heat may have impacted the birds in much the same manner as it did the fish a day earlier because only three teams managed to score doubles, though several more of the teams did score with one bird anyway.
First place went to Nate Craig, Fonda, and Justin Craig, Amsterdam with two birds that came in at a combined weight of 43 pounds 7 ounces. Second place went to Andre Paro and Justie Paro with a total weight of 38 pounds 9 ounces and third place went to Nick Santiago and Rick Delos for two birds totaling 36 pounds 7 ounces.
Turkey takers during the first few days of Tuman’s Tavern season-long gobbler contest included: Alick Paro, 21 pounds 7 ounces, 9 inch beard 1 inch spurs; Ken Paro, 21pounds 1 ounce, 9 5/8 inch beard, 1 inch spurs; Chris Goldy, 20 pounds 5 ounces; Mike Auriemma, 21 pounds 14 ounces, 12 inc beard 1 1/2 inch spurs; and Blake Hart, 22 pounds 6 ounces, 11 inch beard 1 1/4 inch spurs.
TICKS AND LYME DISEASE
This is a good time to mention that deer ticks have become an increasing problem this year, especially for turkey hunters and deer ticks can carry Lyme Disease. The first cases of Lyme disease “clustering” were identified in Connecticut but reference to the disease dates all the way back to 1883 in Germany.
According to the NYS Health Department, Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted by deer ticks. It can affect people of any age and persons who spend time in grassy and wooded environments, including but not limited to turkey hunters and hikers, are at increased risk of exposure. Adult ticks are most active from March to late-May but again from mid-August through November, depending of course on the weather, but they remain a threat during all the warmer months anyway.
Hunters are especially susceptible because of the nature of their pursuit which often involves sitting on the ground for extended periods or walking through vegetation.
After every hunting trip examine your clothing carefully and brush off any ticks you find, before they can attach themselves to any skin they come in contact with. In most cases tick attachment takes a period of 36 hours or more so you do have plenty of time to take preventive action before the tick begins its work. Not all deer ticks are infected with the disease but if one or more do embed themselves, the first symptom you’ll likely see is a rash resembling a bulls-eye or solid patch about two inches in diameter around or near the site of the bite. Early symptoms of Lyme Disease normally occur within three to 30 days after the bite of an infected tick and as it progresses, can include chills and fever, headache, fatigue, stiff neck muscles and/or joint pain, and swollen glands. If not detected and treated in these early stages, the above symptoms can worsen and more severe ones can develop as well. Lyme disease treatments have become more effective but if undetected or allowed to progress the disease can cause severe and long-lasting effects.
If you discover a tick that has embedded itself, your best bet is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early treatment with antibiotics almost always results in a full cure though the chances for a full cure decrease as symptoms increase and treatment is delayed.
Insect repellents can be effective deterrents against tick bites and those containing DEET or permethrin are particularly effective. The DEET acts as a repellent while permethrin actually kills the ticks and other insects that come in contact with it. However, some people may be sensitive to one or both of these products so care should be taken before using them. If you do use a chemical repellent, apply it sparingly but thoroughly around your boot tops, trouser and shirt cuffs. Also, wear gutting gloves when field dressing a deer.
Other simple tactics that can help minimize the possibility of tick bites involve tucking your trouser cuffs into your socks and being certain your shirt is tucked into your trousers, since these and other ticks can be found not only in turkey country but might even be picked up when walking through vegetation while taking your dog for a walk. Also, after your walk or hunt, be careful of the clothing you wear. I prefer to remove those in my garage or cellar and throw them into the washer immediately. If that’s not an option, put the clothes in a plastic bag and sprinkle in some deet or permethrin and seal the bag.
HALL OF FAME
Saturday evening, April 27, I attended the 30th Anniversary and Induction Banquet of the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame in Canastota.
I was inducted into the Hall of Fame (now located at the Wildlife and Sports Educational Museum in Vails Mills, NY) several years ago and look forward to these annual gatherings to meet and welcome the new inductees. As a matter of fact, I currently serve on the groups’s Board of Directors. This year we welcomed seven new members to the Hall, including Larry Becker of Gainesville, Chuck Booker of West Amherst, Greg O’Hara of Inlet, Diane Macielewski of Elma, Frank Miskey, Sr. of Elma, Stan Pascoo of West Nyack and Art Segool of Orchard Park. A special Media Award was also presented to Steve Piatt, publisher of the New York Outdoor News magazine. It was a very well-attended event that included guests, past inductees, friends of the new members and a number of dignitaries as well.
Greg O’Hara of Inlet is a NYS-licenses guide who has been involved in Adirondack Search and Rescue activities for many years. In 2003 he founded CASART (Central Adirondack Search and Rescue Team) which involved recruiting volunteers, raising necessary funds, obtaining equipment and providing training in the many skills necessary fo this midssion. In the past decade, CASART has been involved in some search and rescue 40 missions. Greg has also presented many seminars on his “Hiking Safety” program in schools, camps and to Adirondack visitors. His election to the Hall of Fame was well-deserved and a plaque dedicated to Greg will soon be placed in the Hall of Fame display at the above museum.
The NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame was founded in 1983 and its first inductions followed. The Hall, including all its plaques and memorabilia was housed in the Gander Mountain Store in New Hartford, NY for several years but , thanks to the generosity of Bob Kazmierski, owner and founder of the Wildlife Museum in Vails Mills, the entire display was moved to his facility. Bob also arranged for a remodeling effort and gave up some of his museum gift shop space for the Hall of Fame, allowing it to have its own free-of-charge room. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the Wildlife and Sports Educational Museum is located near the intersection of Routes 29 and 30 in Fulton County and contains thousands of mounted animals from New York State and beyond, as well as old and modern fishing tackle, guns, trapping equipment and much more. It’s truly a fascinating place to visit.