Tuesday will be March 1. I don’t remember if the month arrives like a lion, a lamb, a rabbit or a rodent. And I think he comes out like a turtle. Or maybe he flutters like a butterfly and stings like a bee…I forget. So many hooks in the language.

One thing I know for sure that never crosses my mind is when trout season starts and it’s a month away.

April 1st is a magical date for river anglers. You better make sure you have egg sacks and your rewind, because the annual Naples Rainbow Trout Derby is back in town and will return with the original format.

“Last year’s 60th Annual Naples Creek Rainbow Trout Derby looked a little different due to the state of the pandemic,” Micah Moore told me during a recent phone call.

“Rather than all participants meeting on April 1, the derby has been extended to a four-day event.

“We will change this format for 2022 and return to the traditional one-day format.”

Moore, president, and co-president Sherry French are coordinating the iconic Naples Rotary-sponsored event and they’re returning to the traditional format for the 61st annual event.

“We will have weigh-ins at the fire station, during the derby which starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. This year we will have more prizes and raffles,” Moore told me.

The derby committee is working on the Fish and Release division, which will be easier for senior anglers, who aren’t the most efficient with recent technology (I raise my hand at this description).

Taking a photo and texting it to headquarters seems to be this year’s program.

Any derby that can give anglers a rewarding experience for 61 years is doing something right. I asked Moore how it all started.

“The Rotary Club of Naples threw its first Naples Creek Rainbow Derby in 1961,” he told me. “The event quickly became a favorite area attraction, drawing hundreds of men, women and children to Naples Creek from all over New York and beyond, including a large audience from the Buffalo area. .

“It’s become a generational tradition,” said Mike Joseph of the Naples Valley Visitor’s Association. “Any sportsman or sportswoman who comes to the derby also tries to bring their children.”

Moore said that although the number of participants has dropped significantly in recent years, an average of 400 to 500 or more participants still gather for the derby each April 1. Additional rules have been added, including reducing the entry limit to one fish.

A variety of contest categories include longest fish for male, female, boy and girl anglers respectively as well as senior anglers, not to mention specialty categories for local and youth entrants.

A leaderboard with all categories is updated throughout the competition, adding to the excitement. Rankings are updated at the Naples Volunteer Fire Department / Maxfield Hose Company located at 2 Race Street, Naples throughout the day.

Why rainbow trout?Early each spring, as the warm sun begins to melt the glacial waterways of the Finger Lakes, rainbow trout begin to swim up Naples Creek from tributaries such as Grimes Creek, Eelpot Creek, and Tannery. Creek. These rainbow trout then swim up Naples Creek to lay their eggs before returning home. During this annual race, visitors watch rainbow trout, many of which weigh more than 8 to 10 pounds, jump in and out of the water, their opalescent silver scales glistening in the sun.

I want to come in! How can I join?Derby participants simply pay $10 for adults and $5 for children under 16 and head out to the creek to catch their fish. All proceeds support Naples Rotary Club community service projects. Derby officials sit outside and monitor activity, measure fish and update the standings. People are encouraged to continue the long tradition of fishing at this annual event. Join us for fun and camaraderie at the fire station at the end of the day where trophies and prizes are awarded to recognize the best positions in each category. We also finish drawing prizes from our raffle, and every angler is automatically in the running for those prizes as well.

Tournament date: 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 1, 2022For more information, please contact Micah Moore at 585-704-5601.

For more information, keep checking their Facebook page for updates.

DEC announces 21 was the safest season ever for New York huntersLowest number of hunting-related hunting incidents since the DEC Hunter Education Program was established in 1949

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that the 2021 hunting seasons in New York City are the safest ever, with the lowest number of hunting-related incidents since records began. DEC Environmental Protection Police (ECO) officers investigated nine hunting related shooting incidents (HRSI) in 2021, including one fatality.

“Hunting is an enjoyable and safe form of outdoor recreation with a long and storied history in New York State,” Commissioner Seggos said. “This past year has been the safest on record in New York, with the lowest number of hunting-related shooting incidents since the DEC Hunter Education Program began in 1949. I am proud of our program. of hunter education and our volunteer educators and instructors. , working to ensure that licensed hunters have a safe hunting season. Every hunting death is preventable when New Yorkers hunt. safely and responsibly.”

Seven of the nine HRSIs that occurred in 2021 were incidents involving firearms between two parties; two incidents were self-inflicted. All of the shooters identified were experienced hunters with an average of 40 years of hunting experience, underscoring the need for all hunters to remain vigilant when going overseas. All of the incidents could have been avoided if those involved had followed hunting safety rules.

A new hunting regulation that came into effect in 2021 extended the legal shooting hours for big game from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. None of the deer hunting incidents last year occurred during the new extended hours. The four incidents involving deer hunters occurred between 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Another new regulatory change that came into effect last year requires all persons hunting deer or bear with a firearm, or anyone accompanying these hunters, to wear a uniform or patterned neon orange or neon pink hat, waistcoat or jacket, visible from all directions. Sadly, the only fatality in 2021 involved a deer hunter not wearing fluorescent orange or pink. The hunter was mistaken for game and shot by a hunting partner.

Also new in 2021, 52 upstate counties have passed local laws allowing licensed hunters ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a gun or crossbow under the supervision of an experienced, licensed adult hunter. . None of the nine HRSIs studied in 2021 involved a 12- or 13-year-old hunter.

All entry-level hunters, bowhunters and trappers must successfully complete a hunter, bowhunter or trapper safety education course before they can purchase a hunting or trapping license or hunting privilege. the arch in upstate New York. DEC-trained and certified volunteer instructors have been teaching hunters and trappers to be safe, responsible and ethical since 1949. Learn more about DEC’s Hunter Education Program.

In recent years, DEC has also tracked and investigated high hunting incidents (EHI), formerly known as tree stand incidents. EHIs are under-reported and the DEC is not always informed when these drops occur. In 2021, 10 EHIs were reported; one was fatal. Only one of the 10 hunters involved was wearing a safety harness. However, the harness was not attached to the tree at the time of the fall. Safety in tree stands is incorporated into DEC’s hunter education course, as these incidents have become a leading cause of hunting-related injuries. Proper use of tree stands and tree stand safety equipment will help prevent these injuries and fatalities. Used correctly, a full body harness and lifeline keep hunters connected from the moment they leave the ground until they come back down.

Most incidents in tree stands can be avoided when hunters follow the “ABCs” of tree stand safety:

Always inspect the tree stand before each use

Buckle the full body harness securely every time

Connect to the tree before your feet leave the ground.

A video showing the proper way to climb up and down a tree (leaves DEC’s website) can be viewed on DEC’s YouTube channel. More information, including the 2021 Hunting Safety Statistics (PDF) and the 2021 Tree Stand Safety Statistics (PDF), is available on the DEC website.

Chris Kenyon’s Outdoors” appears in all other weekend editions. Contact Chris at (315) 879-1341 or [email protected]