OUTDOORS: “Weighing” in on the walleye cheaters | Sports activities


I realize this is old news, but I need to “catch up” with my take on the crooks who cheated during a recent Lake Erie walleye tournament. I was the Tournament Director for the Wayne County Pro-Am for nine years. Wayne teamed up with Niagara, Orleans and Oswego Counties to offer a four-port fishing event that was not only competitive with the teams that fished the waters of Lake Ontario, but brought in a whole lot of tourist dollars for each location.

Competition was intense and each port worked together to ensure a fair event. Some of the rules to achieve this goal were: Each team had to provide one person as an observer. This observer was randomly selected to spend the day on another team’s boat. Upon entering port at exactly 2pm (committee member was at the pier) they had to stay with the catch until it was handed over to the pre-inspection station. Teams had to be at the pre-control line by 3:00 p.m. to give them time to secure their boat.

If teams did not reach the pier head by 2:00 p.m., they were disqualified (DQ) for the day. The Pro-Ams were two-day events.

At one of the events, a team made it to the pier at 2:00 p.m. but missed the 3:00 p.m. deadline for pre-checking. They have been DQed.

They later told me that she had motor problems; However, everyone had my emergency phone number, and I told them they should have called.

I found out later that they were bar hopping in Sodus Bay.

So…my long-winded point is that most fishing tournaments involve anglers who like competition and camaraderie. Sometimes the pocket money doesn’t even cover the cost of fishing the tournaments.

Most fishing tournaments have rules and regulations and organizers try their best to eliminate cheaters and they usually get caught. They just don’t make headlines.

At the Lake Erie Walleye Trail (LEWT) Championship, the two anglers were caught cheating. The LEWT is a well organized fishing competition and the Director noted that the fish entered by the two were heavier than anything on the scales. They were heavier because of the lead weights stuffed into the fish.

Because of social media, the scammers made up all the news, and now the good news.

On October 12, Cuyahoga County Attorney Michael O’Malley announced that the county grand jury had returned the indictment in the two counts of fraud.

Fishing tournament scammers are tempted by the payout, but they also like the attention. Why? Because they are very insecure individuals.

Land Donation Secures Over 1,000 Feet of Seneca Lake Shoreline The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) announced today that it has received a donation of 30 acres containing 1,080 feet of undeveloped shoreline on Seneca Lake in the town of Fayette, Seneca County. Located three miles south of Geneva, the property is a gift from the estate of Robert Kriss, who passed away in 2021. Robert was a Geneva resident who enjoyed outdoor recreation and was deeply concerned about the natural environment.

Two non-contiguous parcels comprise the 30 acres set in agricultural landscape on the northeastern side of Lake Seneca. A 10 hectare wooded coastal parcel is separated by a railway line of 20 hectares which includes woods, shrubland and an agricultural field. The property’s natural shoreline is of particular importance for fish and wildlife.

The FLLT intends to manage the property as the Kriss Family Nature Preserve. Due to limited land access to the site, public access is currently only available by boat. Protecting undeveloped shores is one of the organization’s key strategies to ensure water quality and allow public access to our region’s lakeshores.

Other FLLT protected areas in the region include the Bishop Nature Preserve, which provides access to the Cayuga-Seneca Canal Trail, and the Kashong Conservation Area, owned and managed by the City of Geneva.

“We are grateful for this tremendous gift to the Land Trust, the community and Seneca Lake,” said Andy Zepp, Executive Director of the Land Trust. “Undeveloped shoreline is scarce in the Finger Lakes and is so important to the wildlife and lake health.”

By working collaboratively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 29,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakefront, rugged canyons, rolling forest and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of over 46 protected areas that are open to the public and has perpetual conservation facilitations on 172 privately owned properties.

The FLLT focuses on protecting critical fish and wildlife habitats, preserving areas important to water quality, connecting existing protected areas, and preserving prime agricultural arable land. The organization also offers programs to educate local governments, landowners and residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.

For information on the area’s top outdoor recreation destinations, including the Finger Lakes National Forest, visit www.gofingerlakes.org, a resource created by the FLLT to encourage people to get outdoors. For more information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust, visit http://www.fllt.org.

Upcoming Free Fishing Day During the Free Fishing Days/Weekends, anyone can fish in the fresh waters of New York State, and no fishing license is required! All other freshwater fishing regulations still apply.

Mark your calendar – Free Fishing Day – November 11, 2022

Free fishing days ideas

  • Try fishing for the first time.
  • Haven’t fished for a long time? Remember the joy of catching a fish for free again!
  • Become a sport ambassador; Take a friend fishing for the first time.
  • Invite a friend to go fishing in New York.
  • Take a spouse or significant other fishing with you.
  • Go fishing with the family… and don’t forget the grandparents!

Lake Ontario webinar

What: In Search of What You Can’t See – Chemicals in Lake Ontario webinar.

When: Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 12 p.m. ET

Where: The event will be hosted on Zoom —

Register here

This is part of the Let’s Talk Lake Ontario webinar series and provides an overview of: chemical contaminants in the Great Lakes, how to monitor and measure toxic chemicals in Lake Ontario fish, and current research on microplastics in Lake Ontario and Canadian regulations addressing the issue administer.

Audience questions are welcome. Information is also provided on how people at home and in their communities can prevent harmful chemicals from entering Lake Ontario. This event is organized by the Lake Ontario Outreach and Engagement Subcommittee.

Operation Green Night – Orleans County They Catch… They Get Caught Between October 7th and 9th, ECOs from across the state participated in “Operation Green Night,” a detail targeting illegal salmon fishing in Orleans County. Officers used marked and unmarked units, thermal and night vision goggles, and undercover tactics to verify compliance. The ECOs responded to several complaints of snagging, trespassing and illegal fishing. During the three-day deployment, ECOs issued multiple violations across the county for not having a freshwater fishing license, using illegal fishing gear, not releasing fish with rotten hooks, and committing unauthorized entry into restricted areas.