Take-A-Kid Fishing Day a success for all involved

A prayer of thanks to the Almighty – the annual Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club’s Take-A-Kid Fishing Day was another success. The rain held off, the fish cooperated and everyone had fun. Even the old-timers were smiling. The kids , along with their parents or guardians, met at the front of the beautiful Dunkirk Yacht Club, who graciously opened their doors to allow the party access to one of the best hot spots in our area.

Each youth was equipped with a new rod and reel combo while the veteran anglers brought their own equipment. Away they went with a warning: no running. Each youth was equipped with a life preserver, which was provided , as well as bait compliments of Weekly’s , Bill’s Hooks, and Miller’s Bait and Tackle.

The fish must have been sleeping because the bite didn’t pick up until 9:00 a.m. when rock bass, several big black bass, a catfish, and several yellow perch provided action. All fish were returned to the water for future expeditions.

By 10 a.m. the activities moved to the “Con Club” where the youngsters received their t-shirts, did fly tying, made worm harnesses, talked with the trappers, shot cork guns in the shooting gallery and had some great chow.

These events are made possible by donations from our sponsors: Hometown Auto Service, Bill’s Hooks, the Chautauqua County Federation of Sports Clubs, The Dunkirk PBA, Don Selemi Jr. and the Con Club Ladies Auxiliary along with the Chicken BBQ gang.

Thanks also go out to the great volunteers, including: Bob “Pops” Gloff, Pete Shareno, Dennis, Paul and Christine Pomietlasz; fly tyers Kenny Hollander, Don Szwejbka, and Monte Kennedy; old trappers Gary Dudek and Rich Lazarczyk; helpers Don Merckle, Julio Deleon, Zen Olow, Jeff Tintsman, Skip Gustafson, Gene Wlodarek, Ken Sikorski, Ed Ruge, Ron Szwejbka, Dwayne Bobik, Rob Graham; The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Crew – Tim Abbey, Rob and Dalton Becker, Luke Ames, Joe Pitts, Wade Fricker and Denny Russel; President Doug Jaffrey and his wife Mary Lou; and Christine Kern and Cindy Zolnoske and Juli Root, who do the sign-up sheets every year. Tony Guido did another great job on the t-shirts.

If I forgot anyone I sincerely apologize, but understand that because of all your generosity this was another memorable family event.

Thank you!

Thanks also to the OBSERVER for all the column space!


The Bear Lake Rod & Gun club will host a special rifle shoot today, 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 on July 6 from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. There is a $55 fee for the course. For information, call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.

This Saturday 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. Lunch will be 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 courses, 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. The class is 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 Club’s firearms course is also a two-day course, which will be held on August 15 and 16 from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m both days. Call Gary at 366-3397 to pre-register.

A bow course at the “Con Club” is September 21, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The trapping course is scheduled for 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