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June 11, 2010 - Field Notes

Noteworthy Dates

June 19: Black Bass Season Opens! Please review the catch and size limits on the Fishing Regulations web page. Also, if you plan on fishing in Lake Ontario this season, please consider participating in our Angler Diary Program. The information helps DEC gain additional insight into the recent declining trend in fishing effort and fishing quality experienced among Lake Ontario's bass anglers. For more information, and to find out how you can participate, visit the Angler Diary Program web page.

July 16-18: Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) camping workshop at Mongaup Pond campground in Sullivan County, NY. This is a reminder to send in your registration, on or before June 15, in order to be eligible for the early registration fee of only 65 dollars. You don't want to miss out on this great weekend-long experience in the lovely Catskills, where you will learn camping, kayaking, canoeing, geocaching, hiking, trail bicycling and many more skills for the outdoors! Additional workshop information and registration materials can be found on the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman web page on the DEC website, or by calling 518-402-8862.

Ladybug Spotting

A lady bug on a bunch of flowers in the field
A seven-spotted ladybug
~Photograph courtesy
of Melody Wolcott

Help Keep an Eye Out for Ladybugs!
Did you know that North America has around 500 different species of ladybugs, and some of our native ladybugs (like the nine-spotted ladybug) are very rare to find? Cornell University is asking for your help with their Lost Ladybug Project (offsite link, leaving DEC website) so they can document the distribution of all ladybugs, especially our rare natives. All you have to do is take photos, record some simple field notes (time, location, and habitat), upload your photos and submit your data online. For all details on this project, including helpful information for finding, identifying, collecting, photographing and submitting all your ladybug encounters, visit http://www.lostladybug.org/ (offsite link, leaving DEC website). You may be lucky enough to spot a rare ladybug, so make sure to keep your eyes open while in the field or in your backyard this year!

Significant Notes

Protecting the Hudson River Estuary. NYSDEC's Hudson River Estuary Program has implemented a 2010-2014 action agenda that identifies and addresses the steps that need to be taken in order to protect and promote a healthy Hudson River estuary today and for the future. To find out more about the plan, visit the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda web page.

Invasive Beetle Continues to Spread. The invasive beetle, known as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), has been confirmed to have spread within Cattaragus County. In the larval state, the beetle attacks and kills ash trees, and can easily spread by the transportation of untreated firewood (read DEC's firewood regulations). For further details about the recent spread of the EAB infestation, and for information on DEC's eradication methods and ways that you can help, review the press release on the DEC website.

Fixing Marinas in Suffolk County. A new and improved marina and boat ramp has been completed in Mattituck, NY to provide easier access into the waters of Eastern Long Island Sound. NYSDEC and Operations staff outfitted the marina with a two lane ramp, 60 car/trailer parking area, pump-out station, boat wash area, and a canoe and kayak launching site. Additionally, renovations have been made to the Moriches Bay Waterway Access site. The site received a 700 foot stone armored shoreline for erosion control, an improved upland area with removed invasive vegetation, and a newly re-graded blue stone parking area and access road to the ramp. Visit DEC's Boating web page for information on boating in New York State and for finding boat launch locations.

Proposed Policy on Cooling Water Intake Structures. To help reduce mortality and entrapment of fish and other aquatic life through water intake in certain power plants and other industrial facilities, DEC proposed a policy to make closed cycle cooling the preferred choice for meeting BTA ("best technology available") mandates. The public comment period for this draft policy has recently been extended to July 9. Review the press release for more information and to learn how to comment on this proposed policy.

Did You Know...?

a winter flounder on the bottom of the sea floor
Winter flounder blending in well
~Photograph courtes of USGS

Peculiar to most fish species, flatfish (like winter and summer flounder) have an eye that migrates across the top of their head to the other side of their body as they transform from larvae to juvenile? The left eye of the winter flounder migrates to its right side, while the right eye of the summer flounder migrates to its left side. Therefore, as they lay flat and camouflaged on the sea floor, with their two beady eyes scanning for food nearby, the summer flounder faces to the left, and the winter flounder faces to the right!

a winter flounder and a summer flounder side by side
Illustrations of summer flounder (left) and winter flounder (right)
~Illustrations courtesy of of Dimitri Schidlovsky (summer flounder)
and Charles Bradford Hudson (winter flounder)
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