The environmental stress that Chautauqua Lake faces from human factors is illustrated by the stress placed on the lake’s largest fish, the musky. On Friday morning, Fletcher Ward will discuss his 2013 book, Saving Chautauqua’s Muskies, as part of the Men’s Club Speaker Series.
Ward is a native of Bemus Point and grew up with great fishing tales. More than that, fishermen instilled a reverence of and for nature and the unique beauty of Chautauqua Lake. His adolescent interests led to many days with the fish hatchery staff and learning the challenging task of helping the muskellunge. Much has changed since those days, but the story of a few men who brought this great fish back from endangerment is a main focus of his book.
In 2013, a national musky catch-and-release fishing tournament was held on Chautauqua Lake, and officials reported that this was “the best musky lake in the USA” — a testimony to the progress made when Ward’s book was published.
Ward graduated from Kent State University in 1971. After a brief career with the Conservation Department, he went to work as the environmental, safety and health director for a local manufacturer and worked through a major groundwater contamination remediation project. Since then, he has initiated a collaborative effort of local businesses, governmental officials and two local colleges to assist business in avoiding environmental issues through enhanced training, monthly seminars and a regional environmental newsletter. Fletcher is author of another Chautauqua book about the great rowing race that was presented in last month’s Heritage Series.
Men’s Club talks are open to all men and women. The talks are at 9 a.m. Friday in the Methodist House, located next to the Amphitheater. Guest are welcome to join in coffee and refreshments on the porch before and after this talk.