November 05, 2010 - Field Notes
Noteworthy News from the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources
- Hellbender Salamander: Road to Recovery.
DEC and the Buffalo Zoo have collaborated in an attempt to help replenish New York's declining populations of the largest salamander in North America, the Eastern Hellbender. With few juvenile hellbenders found during surveys, there is uncertainty about the future of hellbender populations. Over the past year, efforts have been productive, as 744 eggs were collected from the Allegheny River Watershed, and 600 hellbender larvae successfully hatched in rearing tanks at the Buffalo Zoo. Several of the successfully hatched hellbender larvae have been sent to the Bronx Zoo (40 larvae) and the Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park (20 larvae) to assist in raising these hellbenders. Additionally, staff from the DEC and the Department of Transportation (DOT) completed habitat restoration in areas of the Allegheny River with the placement of large flat rocks on the stream bottom to provide cover for juvenile hellbenders. In the summer of 2013, the surviving head-started hellbenders will be tagged and released at these restored habitat sites in the Allegheny Watershed to perhaps lead the road to recovery. (Images from top to bottom: an adult hellbender salamander, a successfully hatched larval hellbender, and hellbender habitat restoration efforts by DEC and DOT).
- Upcoming Change to Game Harvest Reporting.
Effective November 17, there will be a new regulation extending the game harvest reporting deadline from 48 hours to 7 days. Successful hunters of deer, bear, and turkey are required to report their harvest through DEC's online reporting system or by calling 1-866-GAME-RPT (1-866-426-3778). The purpose of this reporting change is to increase flexibility for hunters to comply with the reporting requirement, particularly for hunters who hunt in remote areas that lack cell phone coverage or internet access or both. Game harvest reporting is essential for proper management of deer, bear and turkeys. When hunters report their harvest, they perform a crucial step in the management process by providing data on when and where an animal was taken and estimates in the number of animals harvested each year throughout the State.
- Commercial Fishing Trip Limit Changes.
As of November 1, 2010 the commercial fishing daily trip limit for scup has increased from 140 pounds to 2,000 pounds, and the daily trip limit for bluefish has increased from 1,500 pounds to 2,000 pounds. View additional commercial trip limit regulations online. For questions or concerns contact the Bureau of Marine Resources by e-mail or call (631) 444-5621.
For weekly updates and reports on fishing around the state, check out the Fishing Hotline webpages.
- Central New York Steelhead Fishing Forecast.
The two main steelhead waters in Central New York (DEC's Region 7) are the Salmon and Oswego Rivers. The main run of steelhead is just beginning, with December being a very good month to pursue steelhead in either of these rivers based on past survey catch rate results. Currently, for the Oswego River, the steelhead action is starting to pick up with anglers using trout beads, egg sacs, flies and skein. With the fluctuating water levels, personal flotation devices (life jackets) are highly recommended when you are near the water. Fishing is good anywhere from the dam to downstream. Currently, for the Salmon River, the main steelhead destinations are the Upper Fly Fishing area below the Altmar Bridge, Frazier's Run, the Schoolhouse, Trestle, Refrigerator, and Town pools, as well as the Long Bridge area. Anglers having the most success are covering lots of water while fishing spey flies, using egg patterns under a strike indicator or float fishing with egg sacs and trout beads. The Pineville Bridge has been removed creating a detour in the area, so plan accordingly. For current flow information on the Salmon River call 1-800-452-1742, enter code 365123.
- Lake Erie Steelhead Fishing Forecast.
The fall steelhead run in Western New York's Lake Erie Tributaries (DEC's Region 9) has been below average thus far; mainly due to low flow conditions in stocked tributaries like Canadaway Creek and 18 Mile Creek. Early runs have been slightly better in the waters of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Creeks. Creek conditions are expected to improve when the second run of steelhead typically arrive in November. Anglers should be keying in on streams with water levels that drop down after high water events, and should look for fresh run fish that are holding in pools and in the lower and middle sections of the streams. Eggs, egg sacs, and egg imitations remain the staple offering; however, woolly buggers, streamers, and stonefly imitations will also work well. Small nymphs are also a good choice in clear water conditions. Anglers looking to fish Cattaraugus Creek should pay close attention to the water levels at the USGS gauge station in Gowanda, as optimal fishing conditions occur when gauges are below 500 cfs (cubic feet per second).
Next Week Hunting Season Reminders
Get all available hunting dates by visiting the Hunting Seasons webpage.
- 11/6 - Duck, Coot, and Merganser Hunting Opens in the Southeastern Zone of the State.
Hunting for ducks (including sea ducks), coots, and mergansers in the Southeastern Zone starts November 6, 2010 and runs until December 26, 2010, both dates inclusive. Review license requirements and regulations for waterfowl and migratory game birds before going afield. Please remember, all licensed waterfowl hunters must register with HIP and have a federal migratory bird/duck stamp. Waterfowl bag limits can be found online.
- 11/9 - Last Day for Hunting Snipe, Rails & Gallinules.
The final day to hunt for snipe, rails, and gallinules is November 9, 2010. If you plan to hunt for these species before the season ends, review the bag limits and regulations online.
- 11/10 - Furbearer Trapping Opportunities Open in Southeastern Areas of the State.
Trapping for beaver, mink and muskrat, and river otter in Southeastern Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) is open on November 10, 2010. View the appropriate Trapping Season Map online to identify open WMUs. Also, review trapping regulations and trapping license information before going afield. Please remember, beavers and river otters must be tagged and pelt sealed.
- 11/13 - 11/14 - Youth Waterfowl Hunting in Long Island.
The junior (ages 12-15) migratory waterfowl hunting season for ducks, coots, mergansers, Canada geese, and brant in the Long Island Waterfowl Hunting Zone (includes Suffolk, Nassau and parts of Westchester County) is on Saturday, November 13, 2010 and Sunday, November 14, 2010. The daily bag limits for Canada geese are 2 per day, and bag limits for all other waterfowl are the same as regular season bag limits. Adults are required to accompany junior hunters and must have a hunting license, a federal migratory bird/duck stamp, and must also be registered with the Harvest Information Program (HIP). Junior hunters must have a junior hunting license and must register with HIP, but do not need a federal migratory bird/duck stamp. Review details on waterfowl hunting regulations and license information online before going afield.
Corrections & Clarifications
- Small Game Hunting and Furbearer Hunting in New York City.
In last week's issue, it was noted that hunting opportunities were opening on November 1, 2010 for New York City Wildlife Management Units; however, it was not specified that hunting for small game is by falconry only (hunting small game with a trained raptor). To participate in the sport of falconry, you must be licensed by NYSDEC (find information on obtaining a falconry license online or by contacting DEC's Special Licenses Unit at 518-402-8985). Additionally, it was incorrectly stated that hunting for furbearer species opens in New York City WMUs when only trapping opportunities are open in this area.
Please note, the DEC may allow for the use of firearms and bows for hunting, yet local zone ordinances may restrict the use of these weapons in your area; therefore, please check with local authorities and officials in order to comply with laws pertaining to the use of firearms and other weapons.
Did You Know...?
~Photo courtesy of the publication: Amphibians and
Reptiles of New York State
With a diet consisting primarily of crayfish, an adult hellbender salamander can grow greater than two feet, weigh around five pounds, and can survive for as long as 30 years!