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May 28, 2010 - Field Notes

Noteworthy Dates

June 5: Free Fishing Clinics are scheduled in Schenectady, Onondaga, Niagara and Oneida Counties. Visit the 2010 Free Fishing Day Clinics web page for contact information and clinic locations.

Request for Volunteers

Horseshoe Crab Survey Volunteers Needed! Volunteers in Long Island and New York City are needed to help conduct horseshoe crab spawning surveys. Horseshoe crabs are harvested for bait for a number of fisheries, and their eggs are an important food source for shorebirds and marine fish. The horseshoe crab spawning survey is being conducted to track the relative abundance of horseshoe crabs in the coastal waters of New York. Information about the spawning survey and how to volunteer can be found at www.nyhorseshoecrab.org (offsite link, leaving DEC website). You can also read more interesting facts about this fossil-like creature on the DEC website.

WANTED: Lake Ontario Bass Anglers. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is recruiting volunteer bass anglers to participate in a Lake Ontario Black Bass Angler Diary Program. The intent of this program is to gain additional insight into the recent declining trend in fishing effort and quality among Lake Ontario's bass anglers. Please visit the Lake Ontario Black Bass Angler Diary Program web page for more information.

Significant Notes

Become a Licensed Outdoor Guide. Interested in becoming a guide for fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, whitewater rafting/canoeing/kayaking, or rock climbing? The next licensed guide examination will be held on June 10, and an application must be submitted on or before June 4. Detailed information can be found on the licensed guide application form or by visiting the Licensed Guide Program web page on the DEC website.

Plan Ahead for Migratory Game Bird Hunting. The 2010-2011 tentative migratory game bird hunting season schedule is now available for review on the DEC website. These dates will not be finalized until federal regulations are adopted later this summer. For more information pertaining to these tentative seasons please review the press release. License requirements and hunting regulation information can be found on the Waterfowl and Migratory Game Birds web page.

Commercial Fishing 2010 Quota Allocations. The 2010 commercial fishing quota allocation distribution plans for scup, black sea bass, summer flounder and bluefish are now available for review on the DEC website. Links to detailed information on quota distribution plans for each fish species can be found on the Commercial Fishing web page. Also, you can find updated trip limits and fishery status (open or close) for quota managed species throughout the year by visiting the Commercial Fishing Limits web page.

Hotline for Reporting Giant Hogweeds. Giant Hogweed is an invasive plant species that takes over and competes with native plants. In the spring and summer, it grows rapidly along streams and rivers, near houses, in vacant lots and along railways and roads. During the winter, as the plant dies back, it will leave riverbanks and steeply sloped areas vulnerable to soil erosion. Visit the Giant Hogweed web page on the DEC website for detailed information and images on this invasive plant, helpful information on how to control it and a map of known hogweed sites in NY. If you find this plant while out in the field, please take photos, note your location (GPS coordinates are helpful) and call the NYSDEC Giant Hogweed Hotline at 845-256-3111. Also, very importantly do not touch this plant as it can cause a burning reaction on your skin!

conservationist magazine promotional logo

Outdoor enthusiasts take note!

You won't want to miss the June issue of the Conservationist magazine. In it you will find incredible photos of coyote pups in their den, and an article showing the amazing variety of beautiful orchids that dot New York's landscape. Subscribe for the magazine today by calling 1-800-678-6399 or by visiting www.TheConservationist.org where you can also view previous issues.

Critter Highlight!

Peregrine falcon receiving a silver band from DEC's wildlife staff
~Photograph courtesy of Jeff Gilka

Banding Young Peregrine Falcons. DEC Wildlife staff, Bonnie Parton and Mike Allen, recently banded a healthy brood of four peregrine eyasses (chicks), two females and two males, at the State Tower Building in Syracuse, NY. This is the seventh year that the same adult pair has produced eyasses in this location. Bands were attached to each of the eyasses, a silver band indicative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was attached to one leg, and fastened to the other leg was a black and green band that identifies the bird from the eastern region of the U.S. Additionally, each band has a unique number that helps to differentiate individual peregrine falcons. The banding procedure was done swiftly in about an hour's time in order to mitigate the stress on the chicks, and they were safely returned to their nest box with their parents. In two more weeks the eyasses will start to fly, initiating their coming of age and movement into the next stage of their lives. Visit the Why Band Young Peregrine Falcons web page for more information, and learn about the various stages of Growth and Development of Peregrine Falcon Chicks on the DEC website.

Did You Know...?

American eels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are exclusively females? They take 20 years or more to reach sexual maturity when they begin their long journey to the Sargasso Sea of the Atlantic Ocean to spawn once and die.
Watch a DEC TV clip about the impressive migratory juvenile American eel survey, and also learn how you can help lend a hand in American eel research

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