A Little Bit About Our Club
We would like to think that our club is well known but there are a lot of non-sportsmen and women who may not know of us or the things that we do. Our activities reach out to everyone in our community, not just sport-fishermen. The Southtowns Walleye Association is not the typical fishing club. As a club, we are very community orientated. and try to do a lot for our community through fishing.
The seventeen individuals who founded our club wanted to save the walleye from over-harvest by commercial fishermen in the New York State waters of Lake Erie. At the very first public meeting of the club, over six hundred new members joined. As a result of their efforts gill netting was banned in the New York waters of Lake Erie. Our club was also instrumental in getting the walleye designated as a game fish in New York, protecting it from further commercial exploitation. The new club expanded its mission to include conservation of all species in the lake and ecosystem, education of our youth, boating safety, access to Lake Erie, and promotion of this region as a premiere tourist destination.
Our annual amateur walleye tournament began in 1985 and today has grown to be one of the largest tournaments of its kind in North America. Last year we awarded cash and prizes valued at over $34,000. This club has grown to be one of the largest in the country with over 2000 members. Our monthly magazine, “the FISHLINE”, details club activities, conservation information and how to articles for our members.
Kids Fishing Derby
On average over 300 kids and their parents come annually to learn to fish and win prizes. We cook over 1000 hot dogs in under an hour!
Our belief is that everyone should have access to the water for an opportunity to fish. To provide this access, we constructed a handicapable access fishing platform at the Tifft Nature Preserve.
Sport and Travel Expo
The club works closely with Erie Promotions and Expos to help present the Annual W.N.Y. Outdoor and Travel Expo at the Hamburg Fair Grounds. The Expo features hundreds of exhibits and interesting speakers. The show is spread out over four buildings with plenty of free parking for everyone. Children under 12 years of age are admitted free and Sunday's schedule features many activities for the kids. Don't miss out on this great event, there is something for everyone!
Education is important to us. Annually we award $2000 in college scholarships for students studying; marine science/biology, conservation or conservation law enforcement. We also send four kids to the N.Y.S. DEC Conservation Camp for a week each summer. We hope our youth, once introduced to outdoor activities, make it a life long pursuit. To support this, we annually award several local resident children a N.Y.S. lifetime fishing license enabling them to fish free for life.
Special People Fishing Event
Our mission also includes creating recreational opportunities for people with special needs. Those who would not ordinarily be able to participate in fishing due to physical or mental handicaps are invited to fish for trout in our indoor pond. This popular program has expanded to become a five day event! Last year we had over six hundred Special People fish with us. It is all free to the public and any handicapable individual can participate in this event.
As fishermen, we are consumers of our Great Lakes resources and one of our core founding principles is conservation. As a club we have done much, yet we will continue to look for new ways to improve our fishery. We are on the verge of a bold project with other organizations to restore a spawning population of walleye to the Buffalo River. When successfully completed this will improve our already great fishery and protect the walleye from population swings due to poor seasons of lake spawning. Each month at our membership meetings we discuss issues concerning our Great Lakes fishery. With guest speakers often in attendance from the N.Y.S. DEC and other state agencies and organizations who support the protection and conservation of our Great Lakes, we stay informed and act on challenges impacting this great natural resource.Our membership prides itself on being dedicated to furthering the sport of fishing on all bodies of water with a clear focus on community and the outdoors. This commitment to preserving our natural resources for today and future generations is key to the success of our sport and the betterment of our community.Won't you join us and become part of what makes this a great organization?
Finally, if you want to know more about the Southtowns Walleye Association attend one of our meetings. They are held on the third Thursday of every month. They are always open to the public and held at the former Club Loreli at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg, NY or you can call the club office at 716-649-8202 for more information. You may also use our contact us page to send us an email.