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April 25, 2011

Angler Group Plans Spring Cleanup on Salmon River May 7

The Lake Ontario Tributary Anglers Council will hold a trash cleanup Saturday, May 7 on the Salmon River. Pictured is LOTAC member John Wehrle at the group's catch and clean tournament last fall. LOTAC is dedicated to conserving the Lake Ontario tributaries. (Photo by Jessica Burt, Oswego County Tourism Office.)

ALTMAR, NY - A group of dedicated anglers will return to the Salmon River Saturday, May 7 - not to fish, but to pick up trash and debris - for their second annual Salmon River Clean Up. The Lake Ontario Tributary Anglers Council (LOTAC) will meet at 10 a.m. at Fox Hollow Lodge, 2740 State Route 13. Volunteers will receive trash bags and gloves and disperse in teams to pick up trash along the river.

Anyone interested in helping out is welcome to join in the effort.

All trash will be collected in a utility trailer at the boat launch parking lot off County Route 2A near Pulaski. LOTAC members will meet back at Fox Hollow at 3 p.m. for food provided by the lodge and raffles of donated gear and tackle. Refreshments will be $6 per person.

The following Saturday, May 14, LOTAC members will assist the DEC and other organizations in planting 7,000 trees along the stream banks of the Salmon River.

"After last year's flooding of the river in the fall, this start of stream bank restoration will be the beginning of a lot of work," said Jim Rood, LOTAC chief financial officer. "For that event we will be meeting at the Salmon River Hatchery on County Route 22 in Altmar at 8 a.m. to split up into groups and disperse to plant the trees."

Club president Jim Kirtland said LOTAC was created in the fall of 2007 when the Lake Ontario basin was struck with a severe drought that caused record low water levels on the Salmon River and other Lake Ontario tributaries.

"There were several factors that influenced LOTAC's creation, with the primary cause being the outrage that many of us felt in witnessing a blatant disregard of fishing regulations by unethical fishing practices in low water conditions," said Kirtland. "We recognize that Lake Ontario tributaries are an integral part of the Lake Ontario ecosystem, supporting a viable and varied fishery capable of delivering maximum recreational value within a sustainable ecological framework. LOTAC members believe that expanded efforts should be made to further conserve and manage tributary fisheries for optimal sustainable use."

Kirtland said that LOTAC members are very concerned about the current fiscal crisis facing New York State.

"We feel the general pool of state funds do not adequately guarantee the future of the Lake Ontario tributary fishery," he added. "Through conservation and education efforts, LOTAC intends to assist in the infinite preservation, overall fishery, and habitat improvement of all streams, rivers, and creeks that flow into Lake Ontario."

The organization was very visible in education and conservation projects during its first year.

"Last year, in our first fully operational year, we started off on the right foot with helping in our conservation efforts," said Rood. "We held our first river cleanup, hauling out items from clumps of monofilament to a mountain bike. We assisted the DEC in planting 2,000 tree saplings and had two booths helping kids learn how to tie flies at the Salmon River Festival and National Hunting and Fishing Day open house at the hatchery. We also held our first annual Catch and Clean Tournament that combined catch and release fishing along with another river cleanup. We hauled out over a ton of garbage."

The group expects to have its official non-profit status with the Internal Revenue Service in the next few months, and members are looking forward to continuing programs that help to preserve Lake Ontario tributary streams.

For more information, contact , call Kirtland at 607-239-7861, or visit the Web site at www.lotac.org.

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