July 30, 2010 - Field Notes
- Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey Nearly Upon Us.
Help participate during the month of August in DEC's annual Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey. Download a survey form (PDF) (296 KB) with detailed instructions on how to record your observations, and visit the DEC web-site to learn more about the survey and how your information is used. This is a great way to partner with DEC and help monitor this popular game bird!
- Hybrid Striped Bass Caught in Montauk.
Twenty-two years after the DEC's final stocking of hybrid striped bass in Fort Pond, a proud angler reeled one in this past week that weighed 8 lbs. 10 oz! From 1982 to 1988, the DEC stocked hybrid striped bass in an effort to control an overabundant white perch population. While the predator helped reduce white perch populations, the species did not provide significant returns to anglers, which resulted in the end of the project. In 1997, the DEC began stocking walleye as another attempt to control white perch. According to recent surveys, the population size structure of white perch has substantially improved, and walleye are reaching sizes of up to eight pounds. Details about the hybrid striped bass and other true bass of New York can be found on the DEC web-site.
(~Photo courtesy of William I. Gwynn)
- No Changes to DEC's Canada Geese Management Plan.
Wildlife staff and others have been responding to a statewide media flurry and countless calls and e-mails caused by a story about Canada geese published in the New York Times on July 23rd. That story gave readers an incorrect impression that DEC was planning to capture and kill geese on an unprecedented scale. On the contrary, there are absolutely no plans by DEC or others to capture, euthanize and bury 170,000 local-nesting or "resident" geese to achieve the statewide population goal of 85,000 birds. Visit the DEC web-site to learn more about this story and geese population management in New York.
- Preserving and Protecting Undeveloped Finger Lakes.
Of the 11 Finger Lakes in New York, Canadice and Hemlock Lakes are the only two that remain in their natural state. These two watersheds are of high importance as they supply pristine drinking water to the City of Rochester, provide vast recreational opportunities, and support important fish and wildlife populations. Recognizing the significance in protecting this natural resource, NYS DEC recently acquired and purchased the land from the City of Rochester. For more information about the newly acquired land, review the press release online.
- Chautauqua Hatchery Muskellunge Mortality.
The Chautauqua Hatchery experienced severe mortality of young muskellunge in late May and June 2010. The cause was determined to be twofold: transition of the fishes' diet from live feed (brine shrimp) to dry feed, which can be particularly difficult during the rearing process, and introduction of new dry feed that many young fish refused to eat. Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission generously provided Chautauqua Hatchery with approximately 24,000 Ohio River strain musky fingerlings. Thanks to their donation, the outlook for muskellunge stocks this fall is positive. Read more details about this story on the DEC web-site.
- Hunters, Anglers and Climate Change.
NYS DEC's Commissioner Grannis has identified combating climate change as a high priority. There are many resources available to learn about this immense environmental challenge, and a great starting point is DEC's informative Climate Change web page. Hunters and anglers may ask, "How does this affect me?" By visiting the new web-site, seasonsend.org (offsite link, leaving DEC website), outdoor enthusiasts can get answers about the impacts of climate change on hunting and fishing, and learn how a warming Earth could alter populations of fish and game. Sponsored, in part, by highly regarded organizations like Trout Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited, "Seasons' End" is an important conduit for concerned sportsmen and sportswomen to stay informed about the threats of climate change to our outdoor heritage.
- Providing Google Earth Tools for Your Next Outdoor Adventure.
Visit DEC's Google Mapping Gateway web page to locate your next boat launch site, plan a trip to a new campground or hiking trail, or find the right depth in your lake for a prime fishing spot. These are just a few examples of DEC's Google map applications that can help you plan your outdoor adventures. DEC's Mapping Gateway has expanded to include information on over 2,446 miles of recreational trails managed by DEC and many other useful maps. For more information about the enhanced DEC Google Mapping Gateway, review the press release online.
- Division Highlights for June.
Learn about our Divisions program and activities in the DFWMR June Monthly Highlights (PDF) (1.85 MB). In this months highlight, you will find information on emerald ash borer surveillance, Atlantic sturgeon monitoring, American lobster resource management, screech owl nest monitoring, muskrat trapping analysis, lake trout spawning habitat restoration and many more DFWMR fish and wildlife surveys and activities from around the state!
- National Trappers Association Awards DEC Wildlife Biologist.
Wildlife biologist Gordon Batcheller, a 29-year veteran of the Division, was chosen by the National Trappers Association (NTA) (offsite link, leaving DEC website) to receive their "Conservationist of the Year" award. This significant award is presented to an individual who works on behalf of sound wildlife management programs within an organization, state or federal agency or association across the United States. Gordon has worked very effectively and collaboratively on behalf of trapping in NY, and has been influential at the national and international level with the development of trapping Best Management Practices, which ensures humane trapping while meeting our obligations with the European markets for fur trade. The award will be presented to Gordon at the 51st Annual NTA Convention (offsite link, leaving DEC website) on August 5th in Wisconsin. Congratulations Gordon!
Did You Know...?
Holding muskellunge in high regard, anglers
typically catch and release "muskies" in an effort
to support their limited populations.
~Photograph courtesy of NYS DEC
Ranked as a king among New York's freshwater fish, the Muskellunge is the largest member of the pike family, growing over 55 inches long!? Due to their giant size, extreme strength and elusive behavior, the musky is known as the "fish of ten thousand casts" as it can take an experienced angler up to 50 hours of fishing before landing one of these trophy-sized fish!"