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March 11, 2011 - Field Notes

Noteworthy News from the Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources

Volunteers Needed

a young American eel
This young American eel, known as an
elver, was found in the Hudson River after
its migration from the Atlantic Ocean. The
elver will spend around four to ten years
in the river to mature, and then return
to the ocean to spawn.
  • Help Catch Juvenile Eels for Research!
    With the arrival of spring, the NYSDEC Estuary Program and Research Reserve is looking for volunteers to help out with American eel monitoring on Hudson River streams. Volunteers will be trained on how to check nets that capture two-inch juvenile eels that migrated here from their birthplace in the Atlantic Ocean. Teams will be checking nets in Yonkers, Oscawana, West Haverstraw, Cold Spring, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Hyde Park, West Park, Annandale, and Ravena/New Baltimore. In 2010, volunteers caught and released over 11,000 juvenile eels, and this information contributes to an eel conservation project along the entire east coast. Visit the American Eel Research webpage for more details and information.

Significant Notes

  • Preparing For Trout Fishing This Spring.
    It's never too early to start thinking about fishing for the delectable trout as the season opens statewide on April 1. Beginning in March and running through May, DEC will be busy stocking yearling and older trout in waters near you. Check out the 2011 Spring Stocking Lists for a list of stocked waters and the anticipated number of fish to be stocked by county. Actual numbers and stocking times may vary depending on fish availability and weather conditions. For more information on fishing, including seasons and regulations, purchasing a license, and places to fish, visit DEC's Fishing webpage.
  • Shellfish Harvest Areas to Re-Open.
    Approximately 3,200 acres of shellfish harvest areas in Long Island are slated to re-open. These areas now meet state and federal sanitary condition standards for the safe harvest and consumption of molluscan shellfish (clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops). To legally re-classify these areas as certified (open) to harvest, the changes must be adopted into the New York State Codes, Rules and Regulations in Part 41: Sanitary Conditions of Shellfish Lands. Once adopted, the following areas will re-open:
    • Approximately, 2,500 acres of underwater lands in Hempstead Harbor (Nassau County). The area will be scheduled to re-open year-round for shellfish harvesting following the public comment period on the proposed regulation change. For details on the proposed rule-making and a map to identify the planned open harvest areas, visit DEC's Proposed Opening of Shellfish Areas website.
    • Approximately 700 acres of underwater lands in the Towns of Southold, Southampton, Riverhead, Brookhaven and Oyster Bay. These areas will re-open to shellfish harvesting on March 16, 2011 as it is adopted into the state regulations. To view maps of the areas that will be opening, visit the Shellfish Regulatory Changes webpage.

      More details on these shellfish harvest changes can be found in the DEC Press Release.

Public Meetings & Hearings

  • March 15 -- Marine Resources Advisory Council Meeting.
    The next Marine Resources Advisory Council Meeting will be held on March 15, 2011 at the Bureau of Marine Resources in East Setauket, NY (view driving directions). The meeting will begin at 2:00 p.m. and the public is invited to attend. Among the topics to be discussed includes the 2011 fluke regulations. Check the DEC's MRAC Meetings and Agendas webpage for the complete agenda as it becomes available.

Noteworthy Dates & Events

becoming an outdoorswoman collage
Photos from previous BOW courses,
including plant identification, archery, fishing
and kayaking. Check out more photos
in the BOW Photo Gallery.
  • Become an Outdoorswoman!
    Learn new skills for the great outdoors by participating in the next Becoming an Outdoorswoman Workshop (BOW)! This year, the workshop will be June 24-26 at Silver Bay on Lake George. Choose from over 40 different classes ranging from hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, studying nature and more! A list of course descriptions and details on registering can be found on DEC's Becoming an Outdoorswoman website. Registering early is recommended as space is limited, and if you register before April 9 you can save $30!

Upcoming Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

A complete list of sporting season dates can be found by following the appropriate links:

Waterfowl Hunting

-- March, 11, 2011 --

  • Special Late Snow Goose Season Opens Today! Waterfowl hunters throughout upstate New York may take snow geese (up to 25/day) from March 11 through April 15 as part of a concerted effort by wildlife agencies to reduce the population of greater snow geese in the Atlantic Flyway. Large flocks of snow geese are expected to arrive soon in New York as part of their annual spring migration back to breeding areas in the Arctic. Flocks of these large white birds, numbering in the thousands, provide a spectacle for wildlife viewing, especially in the Finger Lakes and Champlain Valley regions. However, the overall population has grown from approximately 50,000 birds in the mid 1960s to close to one million birds in recent years. Such large numbers of geese are causing damage to natural plant communities throughout their range, prompting biologists to open a special season for harvest of snow geese to help control the population. Read more information on harvest regulations and snow goose problems on the DEC website.

Freshwater Fishing

-- March, 15, 2011 --

  • Last Day of Fishing for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge, and Walleye. Some areas across the state may remain open for these species; check the Special Fishing Regulations by County to identify whether there are exceptions near you.

-- March, 16, 2011 --

  • Striped Bass Fishing Opens in the Hudson River north of the George Washington Bridge. The daily catch limit is one fish with a minimum length of 18 inches. All recreational anglers fishing in the Hudson River for anadromous fish (fish that live in saltwater and spawn in freshwater), which includes striped bass, must obtain a recreational marine fishing license.

Furbearer Trapping

-- March 15, 2011 --

  • Final Day for Beaver Trapping in Portions of Western New York. View the Beaver Trapping Season Map to identify the areas that will be closing.

Did You Know...?

beaver
~Photo by NYSDEC ~

One family of beavers, usually consisting of the parents, the present year's offspring, and often times a member from the previous year's litter, may consume as much as a ton (2,000 pounds) of bark in a single winter!

Read more about the beaver on DEC's website.

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