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May 21, 2010 - Field Notes

Noteworthy Dates

  • July 16-18: Becoming an Outdoors-Woman camping workshop at Mongaup Pond campground in Sullivan County, NY. Come to learn beginning camping skills and experience hands-on classes in fishing, plant identification, kayaking, canoeing, wildlife in the Catskills, geocaching and trail bicycling. This is a weekend-long, outdoor skills workshop for women ages 18 or older, and is designed for women with little or no camping experience. The early registration fee is $65 (postmarked on or before June 15). Additional workshop information and registration materials can be found on the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman web page on the DEC website. Don't miss out on this great outdoor experience!
binoculars logo

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

Significant Notes

  • Remember to Report Your Turkey Harvest! Hunters must report their turkey harvest within 48 hours of taking a bird. You can report by phone (1-800-GAME-RPT) or by internet. Reporting on the web is fast and easy. Remember, reporting your turkey isn't just mandatory, it's good management!
  • Draft Forest Resources Assessment and Strategy Plan. Did you know that New York is the most heavily forested state in the northeast? Forests provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and a place for people to enjoy these resources and general outdoor recreation. A draft plan describing forest conditions on public and private lands in the state, and identifying issues and threats that need to be addressed has been completed by the Division of Lands and Forests. Visit the Forest Resource Assessment page on the DEC website to review the assessment and offer your comments by May 31.
  • Expansion of Shellfish Closure Area in Town of Huntington. Last week there was a closure on all shellfishing activities in a selected area surrounding the Town of Huntington. The closure was instituted due to the detection of saxitoxin, a marine biotoxin which causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) when consumed. For the protection of public health, DEC is expanding the closure area and prohibiting all recreational and commercial shellfishing in affected areas until further notice. For specific closure locations and information on how to check the status of the closure review the press release online.
  • Take a Sportsmen Education Class. Newly scheduled sportsmen education classes have been posted on the Sportsmen Education Classes web page. (External Link) These classes are a requirement in order to purchase a New York State hunting or trapping license, and so you can enjoy these activities safely in the great outdoors!

Fish Stocking Time!

stocking fish from a chute in the helicopter and into the water

Stocking Fish by Helicopter. The Bureau of Fisheries, with assistance from the State Police Aviation Unit, recently completed its spring air stocking program. Brook, brown, rainbow, and lake trout, landlocked salmon, and splake were stocked into 51 remote Adirondack lakes, ponds and rivers. Fish ranged in size from fingerling heritage strain brook trout, to two-year-old brown trout that average 12 to 14 inches in length. A State Police helicopter is specially fitted with aerated holding tanks, and fish are stocked through a chute while hovering over the target waterbody. Hundreds of additional ponds will be stocked in the fall, primarily with fingerling brook trout. These air-stocked fish provide for unique angling experiences in wilderness-like settings far from roads and more crowded streams.

stocking fish from a chute on the barge and into the water

Stocking Fish by Barge. The Department is currently conducting its annual "barge stocking" of brown trout and lake trout in Lake Ontario. In traditional shore stocking, fish are piped from hatchery trucks into relatively shallow waters along the lake shoreline. Barge stocking involves transporting hatchery trucks offshore with a military landing craft in order to stock fish over deeper water. Brown trout barge stocked over deep water dispersed more quickly, and DEC studies documented that anglers caught 2.5 times as many barge stocked browns compared to shore stocked fish. Similar studies indicated that barge stocked lake trout survived about two times better than shore stocked fish. In a typical year, DEC barge stocks a total of 116,800 yearling brown trout at four sites (Stony Point to Fairhaven), and 500,000 yearling lake trout at five sites (Stony Point to Olcott).

Did You Know...?

female turkey ('hen") with a beard, that is why they are called bearded hens
A bearded female turkey ("hen")
~Photo courtesy of John H. Northrup

Adult male wild turkeys, or "toms", are well known for their long "beards", which is actually a modified feather that hangs from the turkey's breast. Interestingly, a female turkey, or "hen", can also have a beard! Based on a recent DEC study, about 6% of the hens in NY have beards averaging at a length of about 6 inches.

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