Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fishing doesn’t end when the lake freezes

            When the temperatures start dropping and the waterways start freezing in the Queen City, it doesn’t mean that all water activities should stop.
            Ice fishing has been a staple in the local waters for many years, especially in the small boat harbor on the West Side. Those interested who want to take up this winter activity need to follow some procedures and safety precautions.
            “First three things about ice fishing is safety, safety and safety,” said Earl Graf, an associate at Niagara Outdoors, a local sporting goods store.  
            The Department of Environmental Conservation recommends that the ice be at least 3 inches to 4 inches thick before venturing out. The other major safety precaution will be dressing warm.
         “In order to keep warm, layers are the key,” said Graf. “Good long underwear, a good wool sweater and a windbreaker, because it’s always windy out on the ice.”
           Along with safety, there are also legal precautions that a first-time ice fisher would need to be familiar with. Those fishing will need to obtain a fishing license from New York State.
      “You can pick up a license at most town clerks, at any DEC office, and many sporting goods stores including Dicks, Gander Mountain and even Walmart,” said DEC Fisheries Biologist Mike Todd. “But the ice fishing community is a very friendly group, so if you have are having trouble, you can ask a fellow angler for a few tips. By Joe Losito and Mhairi Moorhead