Greg Edwards, CCSFAB members visit local schools

I am officially old enough for early retirement now, as I have turned 62 years old. However my body decided it couldn’t wait that long and I have been retired since January 2012.

According to a number of physicians I have dealt with, if I want to collect my pension and Social Security for a long time I better lose weight … NOW!

Message received, and for my birthday, along with some other bad habits, there will be no birthday cake, dessert, and almost zero carbs for a long time. I plan on eating a lot of fish and venison, cooked in a healthy manner. Wish me good luck!

As Professor, the horned owl writer who was a character from the old comic strip Shoe once said to his boss, “The waist is a terrible thing to mind!”

On May 22, Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, as well as Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory board members Lance Ehrhardt, myself and Chairman Zen Olow, paid a visit to Fredonia Elementary and Middle School to visit students in grades 3-5.

The purpose was to congratulate the participants and winners of the 2013 CCSFAB annual essay contest. We were well-received by our group of youngsters, and Mr. Edwards does an excellent job of making each student and teacher feel special.

Edwards is a masterful public speaker and knows how to grab the attention of his audience by explaining who he is and what he does. He then had the CCSFAB members explain who they are and what they do. For instance, Captain Ehrhardt is a professional fisherman who operates a popular charter business. Ehrhardt entertained questions from each group and eventually every grade visited asked, “What’s the biggest fish you ever caught?”

Olow not only likes to fish, but spends much of his time serving on various groups and committees to help protect and promote fishing in our county, Lake Erie, and in general. Before making my introduction, Mr. Edwards addressed the youngsters about how cool it must be to get paid to write about hunting and fishing.

Due to time constraints, only a number of the contestants were asked to read aloud their entries, but every single one was important and treasured. The group, plus or minus a few members, has been touring the county delivering certificates and fishing poles to some of the winners during the month of May, with more visits scheduled for June. I hope to display more group photos in future columns and meeting with more people who like to go fishing. A special thanks go to all the teachers , including those from Mrs. Jill Putnam’s third-grade, Mrs. Janice Walzer-Meehl’s fourth-grade and Mrs. Lisa Forbes’ fifth-grade classes, who encouraged their students to participate in this year’s essay contest. Look for photos of the classes and winners to be on display at the Chautauqua County Fair in the Conservation Building in late July.

Here are a few pearls of wisdom borrowed from the New York Walleye Newsletter:

“A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.”

“The second mouse gets the cheese!”

“Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.”

“You may be only one person in the world, but you may be the world to one person!”

Remember: Take-A-Kid Fishing is Saturday. Sign up at the Con Club or call 366-1772 and leave a message.


I will be looking for hunting and fishing stories and photos to publish. Call 366-1772, 467-2079 or the OBSERVER at 366-3000, ext. 5 after 5 p.m. Good luck and be safe!

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun club will host a special rifle shoot on June 9, featuring a 200-yard open rifle shoot from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information on these shoots or on the Bear Lake Club, call Rob at 485-3773, Tom at 680-0209 or the club house at 595-3334. All shoots are open to the public.

There will be a pistol course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Wednesday from 5-10.p.m. There will also be another pistol course at the “Con Club” Thursday from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. There is a $55 fee for the pistol courses. For information, call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Take-A-Kid-Fishing Day is set for Saturday. Sign-up sheets are now available at the club.

The Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY will host their annual walleye tournament starting Saturday and ending on June 19. Deadline to enter is Friday at the Southtowns Walleye club house, located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg. Entry fee is $50 which includes a memberships and tournament fee. Optional Calcutta fee is $20, and walleye wallet is $5. You can sign up locally at Bill’s Hooks or at their June monthly meeting Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The club has changed a lot since they got their own club house so check it out.

Saturday, June 15 marks the first time the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Festival and the Great Lakes Experience (GLE) will be held in Dunkirk. This event is a sister event to the one held in Buffalo since 2001. For more information, email Jennifer Colon at

The Cassadaga Lakes Association will host their 20th annual Lew Mead Youth Fishing Tournament on June 29 at the DEC boat launch on Dale Drive in Cassadaga from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. This event is free for all youth ages 16 and younger. If you would like to donate a door prize, volunteer or are looking for more information, call 595-3950.

Several safe boating courses are being offered in the area. These classes are New York state-approved boater safety classes required for anyone between 10 and 18 years old to operate a motor boat and everyone age 14 and above to operate a personal water craft like a jet ski. There is no pre-registration required. All registration will be done on site. Parents of attendees under the age of 18 must sign a release form.

On June 15, the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will host a course at 1 North Mullet Street. The course is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with lunch provided. The course is free to anyone ages 10-17. Attendees age 18 and over will have to pay a $10 fee to New York state prior to receiving the certificate card.

Note there was no event calendar printed this year for hunter safety, trapping, or archery courses. In addition there will be a limited number of courses with limited seating. So attend the earliest course possible or you may have to do some traveling. There will be a mandatory two-day firearms hunting course at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club on Friday, July 19 from 6-10 p.m., returning on Saturday, July 20 from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Call Rich at 595-3917 to pre-register. Limited to 30 students. The archery training course is August 17 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Call 595-3917 to pre-register.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation firearms course is also a two day course on August 15 & 16 from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. both days. Call Gary at 366-3397 to pre-register. The bow course at the “Con Club” is September 21 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The trapping course at the “Con Club” is September 28 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Pre-register at 366- 3397 or 595-3917

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to