Photo submitted Nolan Paro, of Fort Plain, holds the 26 inch, 6 pound walleye he caught while trolling a white crawler spinner harness somewhere along Great Sacandaga Lake on June 29. The setup was rigged by Dave Allen of Dave's Bait and Tackle.
Dick Nelson/For The Recorder Frank Manning, left, and Goose Hupkes, of Edinburg, hold several of the bass they caught during the June 21 Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation's Summer Fishing Tournament. While each of the fish made for great eating, they all fell short of cashing in on the prize money.
I hate to rain on your holiday barbecue, but there is more to this Fourth of July weekend than hot dogs, hamburgers and/or getting a "hot deal" on a car or boat. It's not even about celebrating our nation's birthday with fireworks or a cold one. No, Independence Day 2014 is more about the Constitution of the United States and its "Bill of Rights" - the 10 amendments that was adopted years after our founding fathers pledged their "lives, fortunes and sacred honor" when each put his signature on a document forever known around the world as the Declaration of Independence.
Among the Constitution's chief points were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected -- directly by the people or by the state legislators.
Realizing the influence state legislators would have in congress, they wisely decided on the people.
The creation of many minds, the U.S. Constitution has stood as a model of cooperative statesmanship, and the freedoms that sacred document has represented for 238 years. However, we are slowly seeing those freedoms slip away as our government grows larger - and I'm not even talking about Obamacare, Operation Fast and Furious Benghazi, IRS, Veterans Administration and other Obama Administration scandals.
Out-of-control spending, a national debt that increases by the second, and regulations that have not only intruded in our daily lives, but has also encroached on the way we recreate -- and it goes way beyond hunting, fishing and trapping.
For more than 70 years, progressives have been trying to repeal the Second Amendment, which under the Constitution guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms. And, had it not been for the National Rifle Association -- a grass roots organization whose members are in more accord with the framers' way of thinking than those seeking to dismantle what so many men and women fought and died to protect -- they would have accomplished their goals decades ago.
Believe me, anti-gun zealots will do whatever it takes to separate you from your guns.
The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act -- more commonly referred as the SAFE Act -- is a prime example. Never in the history of the country has a government passed legislation that is as close to confiscation as you can get - and we have Senate Republican Majority co-leader Dean Skelos to blame.
Now we're about to lose the Senate as Senate Democrat Majority co-leader Jeffery Klein plans to end the power-sharing arrangement with Republicans and return the body to Democratic control. And, if the democrats remain in control after the November election, every anti-gun bill brought up for a vote will most assuredly be signed into law.
So as we celebrate this weekend with parades, fireworks and family gatherings, don't forget how we got here in the first place. It is a privilege to live in this country. It may not be perfect, but it's still the greatest country in the world. And, let's not let the progressives take away the freedoms men such as John Adams, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson provided us with, and if you're not sure what they are take the time to read the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.
New York's sportsmen and sportswomen are aware of what is taking place, and the only way they can destroy the parasites that are eating away at our freedoms is to register and vote. There are enough gunowners in New York to influence the outcome of the November election. So if you value those rights it is essential to elect representatives that understand and respect your beliefs and that includes those running for local office.
Trick shot artist coming to New York
Exhibition shooter Tim Bradley will demonstrate his prowess with a scattergun at the Austerlitz Club, 634 Dugway Road, Chatham (Columbia County) on July 19 beginning at 1 p.m. Not to be confused with the former WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, this Tim Bradley - a pro staff member of Benelli USA - is a trick shot artist extraordinaire, who is equally as proficient with a .22 scoped rifle and 22 centerfire pistol as he is with a shotgun and he does it right- or left-handed.
Admission is $10 for adults and free to youngsters age 15 and under. This is Bradley's only appearance in New York and his performance is definitely worth seeing. To view him in action visit: www.benelliusa.com/benelli-pro-staff/tim-bradley-exhibition-sharpshooter.
Hunting and shooting is big busine$$
Responding to demand for a combined report the National Shooting Sports Foundation has issued a booklet on the broad economic impact hunters and target shooters have on America's economy.
Titled "Economic Impact of Hunting and Target Shooting in America," the booklet shows that spending by America's sportsmen and women results in a total impact of $110 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
The report contains some surprising findings and interesting comparisons, such as "the more than 866,000 jobs supported by hunting and target shooting would rank as the seventh largest employer in the world, ahead of IBM or McDonald's. And, the $48 billion in retail sales exceed those of Fortune 100 Companies like Coca-Cola, Federal Express or Disney."
Given that taxes are on everyone's mind, it's notable that expenditures by hunters and target shooters result in combined state, local and federal taxes of more than $15 billion, an annual collection that would pay more than 336,000 firefighters.
Based on spending activity from 2011, the report includes a state-by-state breakdown that shows the impact in New York alone is $4.6 billion of the economic contributions from combined hunting and target shooting activities. Leading the pack is Texas whose hunters and shooters generate $5.1 billion in economic activity, followed by Michigan $4.6 billion and Wisconsin at $4.2 billion.
The "Economic Impact of Hunting and Target Shooting in America" report, as well as the individual "Hunting in America" and "Target Shooting in America" reports, are available at nssf.org/research .
HSUS and others pay circus millions in settlement
It has been reported that the "Humane Society of the United States has -- along with Born Free USA/ Animal Protection Institute, Fund for Animals, Animal Welfare Institute and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals -- agreed to a $15.75 million dollar settlement to end a racketeering case brought against them by Feld Entertainment, Inc., operator of the Ringling Brothers Circus." According to a story in www.theoutdoorwire.com, "the payment is a partial recovery of attorneys fees from a lawsuit filed against Feld in 2000 alleging mistreatment of federally-protected Asian elephants."
In reporting the story, www.theoutdoorwire.com said, "Feld Entertainment, Inc., sued HSUS and the other groups under federal anti-racketeering laws - the RICO Act."
Spiny water flea confirmed in Lake Champlain
The Lake Champlain Research Institute (LCRI) has recently confirmed massive numbers of spiny water fleas in the Glens Falls Champlain Canal Feeder -- the junction basin where the feeder canal branches off the Hudson River at Glens Falls. According to LCRI director Dr. Tim Mihuc, "Recent sampling indicates that numbers this year have increased dramatically. This invasive, nuisance species can be expected to arrive in Lake Champlain via the Glens Falls Champlain Canal Feeder, meaning they are on their way into the lake, if not already there". Dr. Mihuc then added, "Once it arrives in Lake Champlain, expect it to be with us forever."
The presence of the spiny water flea was confirmed in Great Sacandaga Lake in the fall of 2008 at Speculator and in Lake George in July 2012 after a fisherman reported having a clump of small organisms on his fishing line.
Spiny water fleas are a nuisance as they attach to fish lines and leaders. Clumping on lines, they foul the eyes on fishing poles.
However, as Dr. Mihuc points out, attaching to fishing lines is a small part of the problem.
"When the spiny water flea population explodes, it consumes large amounts of native plankton on which walleye, perch and many other species of fish rely on each year during early stages of their development. Thus, the spiny water flea has the potential to negatively impact native fisheries," he said.
The spiny water flea is itself protected by its long spiny tail from being eaten by fish smaller than about two inches in length. The spiny tail may also puncture the stomachs of juvenile fish who feed on them.
The spiny water flea is only one of several invasive species the DEC is trying to keep from spreading and why it has adopted new regulations that require boaters to remove all visible plant and animal materials from boats, trailers and associated equipment, and to drain boats prior to launching from DEC lands.
The regulations, which are effective today, pertain to all DEC boat launches, fishing access sites and other DEC lands where watercraft such as boats, kayak or canoes, can be launched into the water.
The entire text of the regulation can be viewed and/or downloaded from the DEC website at: www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/95111.html .
Monthly contest yields some nice fish
Dave Allen, of Dave's Bait and Tackle in Northville, tells us that Luke Olson of Northville took the first- and second-place spots in the bass category of the shops monthly fishing contest with 17 5/8 inch and 16 3/4 inch smallmouths. John Stewart, of Wells, was third with a 14 inch smallie.
Olsen also tied for the top spot in the walleye division with Northville's Brian Gander each of whom caught 20 inch marbleyes. Stewart was second with 19 1/2, followed by Gander and Edinburgh's Dan Looman who tied with 19 inch fish.
Stewart was first in the trout category with a 16 1/2 inch rainbow. George Albert was second with 16 inch rainbow followed by Ron Smith of Catskill with 13 1/2.
It was the 14 3/4 inch yellow perch (YP) that landed Gander in the position, with Looman and Smith tying for second with 14 1/4 inch YP's and Looman scoring again with a 13 3/8 YP. When it came to white perch only a quarter-inch separated the same two anglers - Smith catching a 12 3/4 inch WP with Looman netting a 12 1/2 and 12 1/4 inch WP for second and third.
Each of the winners received gift certificates for their first, second and third place finish. Anglers can still enter the July contest. The entry fee is $10. Call 863-8318 for details.
TU's Clean Water Act report watered down.
In a new report "Rising to the Challenge" (www.tu.org/rising-challenge), Trout Unlimited (TU) details the importance of small seasonal streams across America and is urging anglers to take action to protect waters by contacting their members of Congress and telling lawmakers to keep the Clean Water Act intact.
However, what the report doesn't mention is how passage of the measure would give the federal government control in regulating state waters regardless of size.
Both Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH) Chairman of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment and Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA) Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure opposed the extension of the Clean Water Act as written, stating their case against the rule change during a Water Resources and Environmental Subcommittee hearing on June 11th.
"Should this measure move forward, it will undermine that federal-state partnership and erode state authority by granting sweeping new federal jurisdiction to waters never intended for regulation under the Clean Water Act, including ditches, man-made ponds, floodplain's, riparian areas, and seasonally-wet areas," Gibbs said in both written and verbal testimony.
"I am extremely concerned that there are serious flaws with this rule. Twice, the Supreme Court has told the agencies that there are limits to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act, and that they had gone too far in asserting their authority. Now the Administration has taken those Supreme Court rulings and cherry-picked discreet language from them in an attempt to gain expanded authority over new waters, rather than heeding the directive of the Court," said Schuster.
"Unilaterally broadening the scope of the Clean Water Act and the federal government's reach into our everyday lives will adversely affect the Nation's economy, threaten jobs, invite costly litigation, and restrict the rights of landowners, states, and local governments to make decisions about their lands," he continued..
To read the testimonies visit: http://transportation.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=378392 .
'While I can understand and appreciate TU's position on protecting the nation's trout streams, I don't want the federal government having control over my little pond. The DEC is doing an excellent job on protecting our waters and wetlands, and I'm sure even they don't want the feds or some environmental group dictating policy to them.
Even the American Farm Bureau is against it, so how good can it be.
So before you urge your representative to support the rule change, you best learn what's involved and revisit www.greendecoys.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/green-decoys-report.pdf -- a report published by the Center for Consumer Freedom that shows how some sportsmen's advocacy groups have been taken over by "radical environmentalists with a hidden far-left agenda".
Dropping anchor 'til next time.
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To contact Dick Nelson with an event, club news or photograph email: firstname.lastname@example.org.