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A weekend of pole, paddle and portage

I remain refreshed with the completion of my first extended angling adventure of the season. Last weekend, I spent four days in the St. Regis Canoe Area of Franklin County, pursuing brook trout, lake trout and splake. Dividing time between paddles, poles and portages; we were fortunate to find active fish on nearly all waters we covered. Despite competing with a number of winged anglers that included osprey, loons and even a bald eagle; we managed to provide enough sustenance for our evening meals and and managed to catch at least one of each species, with a five pound lake trout taking top honors. Although access trails remained littered with winters debris and downed trees, there were a fair number of fellow anglers out on the ponds. Yet, it never seemed crowded and it appeared that there were plenty of fish to go around. As insect hatches progress and black flies return to the necks and hairlines of Adirondackers for a quick snack; the fishing will continue to improve. ith a headnet on and performing that old familiar wave; I will be back on the water for most of the month seeking the brook trout that have haunted my dreams since mid-October of 2007. Take up paddle and rod and enjoy the season, as Mothers Day weekend usually signals the peak of the brook trout opportunities for spin fishermen. For anglers that prefer trout on the fly, opportunities will gradually increase with continued fly hatches. Ive always found the peak for flyfishing to arrive around Fathers Day weekend, in mid June. Flyfishing for youth The Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Warren County is currently recruiting new members for its 4-H Fly Fishing Club. The program will introduce youth to the history of fly fishing, equipment used, and fly tying techniques. Youth will learn how to identify different fish species and how and where they live. Club leaders will educate youth about the importance that the watershed, rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds in the local ecosystem as they participate in exciting hands-on projects and have the opportunity to go on field trips. The 4-H Fly Fishing Club meets on Sunday, May 25, at 1 pm at the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Education Center in Warrensburg. The 4-H Fly Fishing Club will be holding a meeting for potential new members and will be giving casting demonstrations and instruction. For more information regarding this club or to register for this program please contact Shawn Lynch at the CUCE office by calling 623-3291 or 338-4881. Invasive species workshop for outdoor professionals On Tuesday, May 20, a consortium of organizations will join together to provide a workshop on invasive species for local tourism businesses. The free, evening workshop, hosted at the Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake from 7-8:30 pm, will provide an overview of problems caused by Adirondack aquatic invasive species and offer suggestions and solutions to combat the situation. It will also offer specific ideas and resources that local businesses can share with their clientele in order to limit the spread of such threats as Eurasian milfoil, zebra mussels, didymo (aka rock snot, a particularly dangerous threat to local trout streams) and others. The session, which is jointly sponsored by Jones Outfitters, the Ausable River Association, the Lake Champlain Basin Program will feature Hilary Oles of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP). The program is a regional cooperative effort initiated in 1998 among citizens and organizations of the park. Their mission is to protect the park from the negative impacts of nonnative invasive plants. The program coordinates two projects, the Aquatic Invasive Plant Project and the Terrestrial Invasive Plant Project. Ms. Oles will assist outfitters, guides, marina owners and other tourism businesses concerned with protecting our waters against invasives. Participants will learn to identify threats and potential pathways of transport. More importantly, for tourism providers, the workshop will offer methods to communicate this information to their customers-the boaters, paddlers, anglers and swimmers that frequent the parks precious waters. Individuals interested in attending should contact Janet Manor at the Lake Champlain Sea Grant, 518-564-3038 or at janet.manor@plattsburgh.edu by May 13. Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net

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