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October 08, 2010 - Field Notes

Noteworthy Dates

  • October 12. Black Sea Bass Recreational Fishing Mid-Season Closure.
    The 2010 recreational marine fishing season for black sea bass will be temporarily closed from October 12 through October 31, 2010. The shortened season applies to all state and federal waters between Maine and North Carolina to help keep recreational harvest within the allowable limits set by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Fishing for black sea bass will reopen from November 1 through December 31, 2010, and the recreational measures for 2011 will be set in December, 2010. Review the DEC press release for further information, or contact the DEC Bureau of Marine Resources by email or by telephone at (631) 444-0435 between the hours of 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.
  • October 16. Fishing Clinic Event at the Fall Family Fishing Festival.
    A free fishing clinic will be offered by I FISH NY at the Fall Family Fishing Festival at Hempstead Lake State Park in Suffolk County on October 16th from 10 AM to 4 PM. All the bait and tackle and helpful fly fishing tips and instruction will be provided! For contact information, visit the DEC's Free Fishing Clinic webpage.
  • October 16. Big Game Muzzleloading and Bowhunting Opportunities Open.
    On October 16, 2010, multiple big game hunting opportunities will be opening:
    Deer muzzleloading in the Northern Zone and deer bowhunting in the Southern Zone. Bear muzzleloading for various Northern Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) and bear bowhunting for Western, Central and Southeastern WMUs. For maps and detailed information visit the Deer and Bear Hunting Seasons webpage. Also, review the deer and bear hunting regulations and harvest reporting requirements before going afield.
  • October 16. Pheasant Hunting Season Opens for Central and Western Areas.
    Pheasant hunting will open on October 16, 2010 for Central and Western areas of New York State. View the Pheasant Hunting Season Map to find available open hunting areas, bag limits, and a link to 2010 pheasant release site information.
  • October 16. Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities across New York State.
    Waterfowl hunting seasons are open or will be open soon in many areas across New York State (including youth waterfowl days). Visit the 2010-11 Waterfowl Seasons webpage for a list of season dates and bag limits. All waterfowl hunters must register with the federal Harvest Information Program at http://www.ny-hip.com/ (offsite link, leaving DEC website), and hunters age 16 or older must have a 2010-11 federal duck stamp (offsite link, leaving DEC website).
  • October 20. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks Public Input on the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will host public meetings on Wednesday, October 20 at Refuge Headquarters in the Alabama/Shelby area of western New York to solicit public input regarding the proposed Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) for the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). The first meeting will take place from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., followed by another from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. For additional details and to find out how to review and comment on the draft plan, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at: www.fws.gov/northeast/planning/iroquois/ccphome.html (offsite link, leaving DEC website). The public comment period is now open and will end on November 8, 2010.
October 2010 Conservationist issue cover

Outdoor enthusiasts take note!
You won't want to miss the October issue of the Conservationist magazine. In it you'll discover how biologists track ruffed grouse, and learn about a mystery turkey tag found in Rensselaer County. Also, read an ECO's firsthand account of working on the Gulf Oil Spill, and view incredible photos of owls that visit New York City. Celebrate the spectacular fall foliage at Prospect Mountain near Lake George, read about climate change in the Adirondacks, and check out the reader-contributed photos of a barred owl and a family of bobcats. All this and more is in the October issue, so subscribe today by calling 1-800-678-6399 or by visiting http://www.theconservationist.org/

Significant Notes

hunting blind at Chautauqua Lake
  • New Accessible Waterfowl Hunting Blind at Chautauqua Lake.
    Our Region 9 wildlife staff recently developed an accessible waterfowl hunting blind and wildlife observation deck on the southwest shoreline of Chautauqua Lake at the Chautauqua Lake Fish and Wildlife Management Area (F&WMA) - Stow Farm Site in North Harmony, NY. Funded in part by the Environmental Protection Fund and Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act Fund, this universally accessible waterfowl hunting blind will help to provide current and future generations with improved access to this area's valuable natural resources. Acquired by New York State in 2002, the Chautauqua Lake F&WMA is made up of three sites: Stow Farm, Tom's Point, and Cheney Farm, totaling 125 acres and protecting over 6,400 feet of shoreline.
  • Hunting Site Opens at Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area.
    One of the two restricted areas at Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Onondaga County has been opened to allow hunting opportunities for the 2010 small game, big game and waterfowl seasons. Review the DEC press release for details on the new open hunting area known as the "Hundred Acre Marsh".
  • Waterfowl Consumption Advisory.
    With waterfowl hunting seasons opening around the state, hunters are reminded that wild ducks and geese may contain chemicals (PCBs and some pesticides) at levels that may be harmful to health. Despite improvements in environmental quality, some waterfowl species in particular may contain elevated levels of these chemicals, particularly in their fatty tissues. The Department of Health (DOH) provides advice so that hunters and others who eat wild waterfowl can enjoy these wild foods and reduce their exposures to toxic chemicals. The DOH advisory states that: "Mergansers are the most heavily contaminated waterfowl species and should not be eaten. Eat no more than two meals per month of other wild waterfowl; you should skin them and remove all fat before cooking and discard stuffing after cooking. Wood ducks and Canada geese are less contaminated than other wild waterfowl species, and diving ducks are more contaminated than dabbler ducks." Following these guidelines will reduce the risk to consumers of any adverse effects from eating wild waterfowl harvested in New York. DOH's complete advisories for sportfish and game can be found at http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/fish/fish.htm (offsite link, leaving DEC website)

Welcoming Two New Bureau Chiefs

We congratulate and welcome two of our newly appointed Bureau Chiefs: Gordon Batcheller, as our Chief of the Bureau of Wildlife, and Christina Dowd, as our Chief of the Bureau of Habitat.

  • Gordon Batcheller, Chief of the Bureau of Wildlife.
    Gordon is a certified wildlife biologist and previously served as section leader for wildlife services in DEC's Albany headquarters. A graduate of the University of Maine (B.S., wildlife management) and Oklahoma State University (M.S., wildlife ecology), Gordon started his career with DEC in 1981, beginning as a field biologist in Region 9. In his career at DEC, Gordon has been an active participant on several DEC teams responsible for managing furbearers, big game, and game birds; and has helped develop policies to reform DEC's response to nuisance wildlife problems.
  • Christina Dowd, Chief of the Bureau of Habitat.
    Christina has wide and varied experience at DEC, beginning her biologist career in 1987 in Region 2 where she worked for seven years on wetlands permitting and compliance as well as urban wildlife studies. She came to Central Office in 1994 to join the Hazardous Waste Site Evaluation Unit, first as biologist and then as Unit Leader. After 2003, Christina became a Section Head, overseeing not only contaminated site cleanup, but also impact assessment for power plants, hydroelectric facilities, and windpower projects.

Did You Know...?

monarch butterflies
Photo courtesy of
life.nbii.gov; Elizabeth
A. Sellers

During this time of year masses of monarch butterflies are on their grand migration, traveling over thousands of miles across eastern North America from as far north as Canada to reach just a few mountaintops in Central Mexico for the winter.

Track the monarch's during their fall migration by visiting www.learner.org/jnorth (offsite link, leaving DEC website)!

Read more facts about this intriguing butterfly on the DEC web-site!

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