More pics to come

This page is dedicated to Douglas K. Stein, Friend, Sportsman, Charter Captain, Organizer, and very competitive kind of person. Doug meant so much to the outdoors community that he will surely be missed by all.

Stein was the kind of guy that if he thought "it should be this way" he was generally right. His many years of volunteering for the fishers and shooters of this area will seldom be duplicated. As quoted from Mike Gillis [below] "He was a gentleman of action and accomplished a great deal. He knew how to delegate and was a diplomat."

Stein served as president of the Niagara River Anglers Association for nearly nine years [since 1996] and will be remembered for his many accomplishments during his tenure. He began his "career" with this association by volunteering and heading several committees within, and served as  director before being voted in as president for 1996.

If you would like to add something to this dedication, please email it to me  here

Make sure you scroll down to read what others had to say here

Memorial to Doug from Brother Cliff here

PICTURES COMING.....Check Back 02/15/09

The Following appeared in the Niagara Gazette column by Bill Hilts jr. .... Hilts story is typical of Doug Stein and how much he meant to his friends and colleagues:

Niagara Outdoors for Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009

Stein Left Mark on Local Outdoors Scene
By Bill Hilts, Jr.

Capt. Doug Stein of Grand Island passed away this past week, [February 9 2009] a person remembered for his many contributions to the local fishing and outdoor scene. He was president of the Niagara River Anglers Association for eight years, starting in 1996. Stein ran the club with a heavy hand and a big heart, supporting the sportfishery as only he could do.

If something needed to get done, he was at the front of the line leading the charge. When sporting groups started to pursue pen rearing projects for salmon in Lake Ontario, Stein made sure that Niagara County was one of the first and the Niagara River was the location. He helped to start up the popular Ice Breaker Raffle for the NRAA and he was one of the guys who came up with the idea for the group’s mini-fishing pond.

He was a charter captain who fished Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. He served as a delegate to the Lake Ontario Stakeholders group that was organized by the Department of Environmental Conservation, lending his vast knowledge and experience as input for key decisions that the state needed to make in relation to the sportfishery.

He was also very competitive, be it for fishing, shooting or any other outdoor activity. I shared quite a bit of time with the man, at tournaments in St. Catharines; in goose blinds in the Finger Lakes; on our winter skeet league team; at local sporting clays courses; fishing on these great waters of WNY; and sometimes just getting together with friends. While he came across as a macho kind of guy, he was soft at heart and a very caring individual. He was also a great guy to pick on.

A bunch of Doug’s friends gathered at a table at the 3-F club earlier this week to share stories about Stein. We laughed until our stomachs hurt as we took turns telling common stories of the great outdoors with the man.

Capt. Bruce Blakelock shared a story when they were returning from their hunting blind in the Finger Lakes to the hotel. Not knowing where they were at the time, Bruce plugged in the address of the hotel into the GPS. “Take a left turn,” said the unit. Doug looked at Bruce. “That’s wrong,” he said and took a right. “Take a u-turn,” said the unit as Doug continued to head in the wrong direction. For the next half hour, he proceeded to take the opposite directions of whatever the GPS would instruct. Frustrated, Blakelock tried to figure out where Stein was coming from. As he looked over, there was a smirk on his face. He had gotten him.

Bob Cinelli remembered when he was in a rush to get to the blinds last winter and in his haste, managed to lock his keys in his truck – after he had started it up to warm. With no spare key to gain entry, we had to call the AAA for some assistance. And even though he arrived at the blind later than he had hoped, the birds never flew until later that morning.

“Doug had a difficult time getting up from the bucket seats at times,” sai d Cinelli. “He would grab a hold of my shoulder and use it as leverage to stand. Many times, the shooting would be over with by the time he got up, facing only falling birds from the sky. His retaliation was to hit one of the falling birds and yell, “I got that one!”

I remember one of the tournaments we were fishing in St. Catharines and we always had a competition going on between our team and his. After the first day, his team was in the hunt; our team had been disqualified because of a “double-touch” because we went to the gas docks before heading to the scales. Of course, Stein proceeded to rub this in over the course of the evening.

The next day, Team Stein struggled to catch fish; we came in with one of the biggest catches for the tournament and nipped their team by less than a point. The look on his face was one of shock and as he walked away from us, I remember him kicking a rock like a little kid. It was no different when we battled out for high gun on our skeet team last year. On the final da y, I was able to narrowly edge him out by one bird. He looked like a little puppy dog that had his bone taken away. He could take the ribbings; and he could dish them out, too. He was a kid at heart.

Mark Daul of Youngstown, a charter member of the NRAA, noted: “He was an outstanding person that had a lot of sense and he was always a straight shooter – up front with everything. He was that same way with his fishing, too.”

It won’t be the same without having Doug around. He was 62 years old, way too young to leave us. Losing close friends at an early age helps us to recognize how short life can be. We need to live life each day like it’s our last; doing the things we enjoy and surrounding ourselves with people we want to be around … like Doug. We’ll miss you, man!


The following are comments left on the popular Outdoors Niagara Forum where fellow outdoorsmen left their condolences as of February 12 '09 ~ more will be added here as they come in.

Author Comment    


Feb 9, 09 - 11:34 AM
Sad News

Doug Stein has passed away, today.
The wake will be this Friday, 3:00- 8:00 pm,(2-13-09)
on Grand Island.
Cliff (brother)
Mark Daul


Feb 9th, 2009 - 2:21 PM
Re: Sad News

Doug Stein was a man of his word for all the years I have known him and we soon became good friends. He knew all my family and watched my children growing up throughout the years, and always asked "how's the kids doing?" whenever I saw him.

As president of the NRAA for nearly 9 years, he accomplished many things that no one could ever duplicate, and before being President, he spent much time for the betterment of the Association by giving his time to much needed fund raising activities. If someone was needed, "Stein was there"

I am deeply saddened by his passing.

Thank You Doug.
Mark Daul
Dirty Harry


Feb 10th, 2009 - 1:07 PM
Re: Sad News

Doug was missed the day he left the NRAA presidency and now is certainly a sad time in the lives of many. The NRAA will never have another president like him or even come close. Doug as always, seemed to get things done and it didn't matter how big or small the project was. There were always good people to pitch in. I have to say this, I left that club when Doug did and may God rest his soul and I'm sure he'll be catching walleye & salmon from the sky.


Feb 10th, 2009 - 2:20 PM
Re: Sad News

Doug will be waked at:

Kaiser Funeral Home
1950 Whitehaven Road
Grand Island, NY 14072

3:00-8:00pm this Friday, 2-13-09
Service will be at 8:00pm this Friday at
the funeral home.

Thanks, Cliff
Joe Ognibene


Feb 11th, 2009 - 8:36 AM
Re: Sad News

Doug Stein was a valued friend and a pleasure to know. His nine-year reign as president of NRAA was without a doubt the period of the club's greatest growth and accomplishments. He became my departed wife Mary's hero when he gave her some swabs to lessen bee stings. He will be sorely missed by all off us who appreciate knowing a gentle man who was also a gentleman. We lost one of the "good guys."
Mike Gillis


Feb 11th, 2009 - 4:26 PM
Re: Sad News

When I was a director on the NRAA staff I quickly learned that Doug was a true leader. He was a gentleman of action and accomplished a great deal. He knew how to delegate and was a diplomat.

He provided real support for John Ranney when John went through his similar illness.

John and Doug's spirits are fishing the Niagara on the "Blue Goose"
We Be Fishin


Feb 12th, 2009 - 11:33 PM
Re: Sad News

If you would like to sign the guest Book for Doug,
Copy and paste this address to your web browser.


Feb 14th, 2009 - 1:08 AM
Re: Sad News

I would like to thank all those who came to my brothers wake Friday. The expression of sympathy was heart felt.
Thanks, Cliff
PS. A memorial tree will be planted in the
spring in Doug's name. At the NRAA site. Thanks again.


Enthusiasts remembered ~ From Will Elliott, Buffalo News Outdoors Columnist 2/15/09

Outdoors folk lost two major volunteer contributors this past week with the death of Doug Stein on Sunday night and the passing of Donna Zawacki on Monday morning.

Stein fought a bitter bout with cancer. A seasoned charter captain on Lake Erie and on Lake Ontario, Stein also served an eight-year term as Niagara River Anglers Association president, during which he founded the clubs’ involvement in pen-rearing projects and kids fishing ponds at the 3-F Club. NRAA members and angling friends throughout Western New York have lost an expert marine engine mechanic and a valued friend.

Zawacki served as a solid supporter of Hawkeye Bowmen events and activities since she and her husband, Dick Zawacki, joined the club nearly 50 years ago. After more than 15 years of heart complications, she died Monday morning. Hawkeye members, family, and hosts of friends remembered her on Wednesday evening.

Both devoted a lifetime to the outdoors and amassed legions of good friends along the way.

Memorial from brother Cliff  

As a memorial to my brother Doug, who passed away February 9, 2009.

Doug was an US Army Veteran and a fishing charter captain on the great lakes.

"Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy Sh*t!!! What a Ride!!!"

Indeed he did.

You will be missed.

Cliff Stein

Recent Photo of Doug with Wife Kim

Back Home

Back to Outdoors Forum

Back to Hilts Friday Fish Locator