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May, 7 2010 - Field Notes

Noteworthy Dates

  • May 10: Conservation Fund Advisory Board meeting will be held at 625 Broadway in Albany at 9:00 AM. For topics of discussion review the CFAB Agenda (PDF, 35 kB) and visit the CFAB web page for information about the Board.
  • May 11: Marine Resources Advisory Council (MRAC) meeting will be held at DEC Bureau of Marine Resources, 205 N. Belle Mead Road in East Setauket at 2:00 PM. For more information about MRAC, visit the MRAC page on the SUNY Stony Brook website (offsite link, leaving DEC website).
  • May 15: Opening day of Summer Flounder/Fluke recreational fishing season! Please review the catch and size limits and the season dates by visiting the saltwater fishing regulations page.
  • May 15 - 16: Free Fishing Clinics are scheduled in Chenango, Franklin and Westchester counties. Go to the 2010 Free Fishing Clinics web page for the clinic locations and additional information.

binoculars logo

Check out the Watchable Wildlife Events page to find upcoming wildlife viewing and other outdoor fun-filled activities near you.

Significant Notes

  • Attention Wildlife Shutterbugs! Do you have a New York State moose captured on either film or digital media that you would like to share? DEC has created a Wildlife Photo Gallery for this majestic icon of the North Woods. If you would like to share your moose images with us or view previously submitted photos, please visit the moose photo gallery and simply follow the instructions outlined in the Contributor's Guide. Thanks for sharing your moose encounter!
  • Air Guns Now Allowed for Small Game Hunting. DEC has adopted a new regulation that will allow small game hunters to go afield with an air gun. Modern air guns are very advanced and many are designed to effectively take small game. Prior to the recent change, DEC regulations did not clearly allow their use for hunting. The new regulation permits the use of air guns that shoot a pellet that is .17 caliber or larger, using either a rifled or smooth bore barrel. The air gun must produce a pellet velocity of at least 600 feet per second. Air guns may be used to take any small game species that may also be taken with a .22 caliber rimfire firearm. This includes rabbits, squirrels, ruffed grouse, and hunted furbearer species, such as fox, coyote, and raccoon. Modern air guns are also available in "big bore" calibers and are very suitable for larger mammals, including furbearers. At the present time, air guns are not allowed for hunting big game. Review the new regulation online.
  • DEC Funding Available to Private Landowners for Bog Turtle Protection Program. DEC is offering approximately $150,000 in grants to eligible private landowners interested in managing and restoring critical bog turtle habitat. To best achieve this purpose and focus conservation efforts, the DEC has limited eligibility to the Hudson Valley, which includes all or part of the following counties: Columbia, Greene, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster.
    To learn more about the program and obtain an application form, visit the Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) page and LIP Bog Turtle Protection Project page on DEC's website. Email questions or comments regarding the program or call 518-402-8898. The deadline for pre-application submission is June 1, 2010.
  • If You Care, Leave Them There: Keeping Your Distance from Newborn Fawns. It is not uncommon to find fawns lying alone in a field edge, in the tall grass near a stream or under a thicket. Even though they may appear abandoned, it is actually normal behavior for newborn fawns to be separated from the doe much of the time. Until fawns are able to run well, their survival from predators depends on remaining undetected. Therefore, a doe will spend very little time with her fawn to avoid attracting predators by sight or scent. Please review the press release for more information about leaving fawns and other young wildlife undisturbed, even if they appear alone and abandoned.
  • Allegany State Park Draft Master Plan. The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) has released a draft plan for the 64,800 acre Allegany State Park in Cattaraugus County. The plan considers alternatives and seeks input on management of fish and wildlife resources, biodiversity, and related recreational opportunities. Copies of the Draft Plan/Draft Environmental Impact Statement are available for review on the OPRHP website (offsite link, leaving DEC website). Comments should be emailed no later than May 28 to: Allegany.Plan@oprhp.state.ny.us
    Public meetings will be held on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 7:00PM in the Auditorium of Salamanca High School, 50 Iroquois Dr. in Salamanca and Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 7:00PM at the Buffalo and Erie County Library, 1 Lafayette Square in Buffalo.


Two biologists in the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources each received a prestigious award, recognizing their leadership roles in conservation and significant efforts in the management of New York's fish and wildlife resources.

Kim Mckown with ASMFC Award
Kim Mckown with
her ASMFC award

Kim Mckown, senior fisheries biologist in the Bureau of Marine Resources received this year's Scientific, Technical and Advisory Award of Excellence from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). This annual award is given to professionals who've made a difference in the management and conservation of Atlantic coast fisheries. Kim was honored this award due to her inspiring leadership skills, adherence to sound scientific methods, and compelling devotion towards improving the sustainability and management of our fisheries resources while serving as a technical member in many ASMFC fisheries stock assessment committees.

Bryan Swift doing field work with migratory waterfowl
Bryan Swift out in the field
with a tagged Canadian

Bryan Swift, Game Bird Unit Leader in the Bureau of Wildlife, was named this year's recipient of the Hesselton Award. The award is presented annually by the Northeast Association of Wildlife Administrators to recognize a biologist who has demonstrated initiative and made significant contributions in wildlife research and management under the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program. Bryan is well known internationally for his work with waterfowl, and currently serves as the Chair of the Atlantic Flyway Technical Section. He has developed efficient methods for monitoring waterfowl populations in New York and the Northeast, and led efforts to have this information incorporated in the annual season setting process. He has worked closely with DEC staff, university faculty members, and graduate students on a variety of research projects and peer-reviewed publications.

Did You Know...?

Unlike other shellfish species, adult bay scallops can move across the seafloor by "clapping" their valves together using their large adductor muscles (the part you eat!) to jet through the water?! Read more information about this intriguing bivalve on the DEC website!

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