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May 20, 2011 - Field Notes

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

Significant Notes

  • Latest Division Monthly Highlights Available.
    Don't miss the latest issue of our Division's Monthly Highlights (PDF, 977 kb). In this issue learn about our statewide study on birds of prey like the short-eared owl and Northern harrier in their wintering habitats; find out how we monitor American eel populations in the Carman's and Hudson River; and how we help protect public health and safety through our shellfish marine biotoxin monitoring. Learn about our research on the common merganser and woodcock, or review highlights from the Lake Erie Annual Report for the status of fish populations and angling efforts in 2010. Read all this, and more!
  • New York University Red-Tailed Hawk Gets a Close Observation.
    hawk leg band (top) and nest (bottom)
    Top image: swollen foot and attached
    leg band: There is a noticeable gap
    between the band and the inside leg,
    which allows for circulation of blood
    to the foot. Bottom image: a view of
    the nest from inside the NYU President's
    Office. ~Photographs courtesy of NYU~
    Through the lens of a webcam focused on a red-tailed hawk nest at New York University, many viewers noticed that the adult female had an injured, swollen foot. To some observers, it appeared to be constricted by an aluminum leg band, which was placed on the bird in 2006 for research authorized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. On May 12th, a team of DEC staff and other raptor experts arrived on scene to analyze the medical condition of the bird, capture options at the site, and the well-being of the single hatchling. On close surveillance, the hawk appeared to be managing well, using her affected foot to land, hold prey and walk around the nest. The nest, located 12 stories high on the edge of a sloped window ledge made any capture attempt risky for both the birds and personnel. The team's day-long assessment resulted in the determination to leave the bird on site with her young, and closely evaluate and monitor her health via the webcam and limited direct observation. Complete details about the team's field inspection and their analysis and recommendations for the red-tailed hawk can be found in the Final Assessment Report on DEC's website.
  • Commercial Fishery Trip Limit Change.
    Effective May 15, 2011, the black sea bass commercial fishery re-opened with a daily trip limit set at 50 pounds. This limit will be set until further notice. Visit the Commercial Fishing Limits webpage for more details.
  • 2010 Fish Stocking Numbers Available.
    The long awaited 2010 Fish Stocking List, providing the actual numbers of freshwater fish stocked by county for last year's fishing season is now available. These fish are stocked for two main purposes -- to enhance recreational fishing and to restore native species to waters they formerly occupied. Each year, DEC releases over one million pounds of fish into more than 1,200 public streams, rivers, lakes and ponds across the state.

Laws & Rule-making

  • 2011 Recreational Saltwater Black Sea Bass Fishing Season Changes.
    black sea bass
    Black sea bass.
    ~Photo by Karen Roeder, courtesy of NOAA ~
    New York State has adopted new recreational fishing limits and season for 2011. The new measures adopted include a 13-inch minimum size limit and a 10-fish possession limit with a split open fishing season starting on June 13 through October 1; then November 1 through December 31. New York State, along with all Atlantic Coast States must comply with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Fishery Management Plan for black sea bass, which calls for a 40 percent reduction in coast-wide recreational harvest. Further details regarding this recent change can be found in the DEC press release.
  • DEC Proposes to Expand Bear Hunting in the Southern Zone.
    DEC has proposed regulatory changes that will open new areas east of the Hudson River for black bear hunting and establish uniform bear hunting season dates across the Southern Zone beginning in fall 2011. Black bears have been thriving in New York and have expanded their range considerably. Increasing opportunity for bear hunting in the Southern Zone will help alleviate agricultural and homeowner conflicts with bears, provide recreational opportunity, and facilitate wise use of bear meat and hides. To review the specific changes proposed for the Southern bear range, including a detailed map read the DEC press release. To provide comments and read proposed text and details in the regulatory impact statement, visit the Proposed Regulations webpage. DEC will be accepting public comments on the proposal through July 5, 2011.

Health and Safety - Shellfish Harvesting Closures

  • Underwater Areas in Towns of Southampton and Huntington Temporarily Close to Shellfish Harvesting.
    Following detection of harmful marine biotoxins within the waters of the Towns of Southampton and Huntington, the following areas will be temporarily closed to harvesting shellfish, such as clams, oysters, mussels and scallops until further notice:
    • Town of Huntington: All areas of Northport Bay; Centerport Harbor; Duck Island Harbor; Lloyd Harbor; Coast Guard Cove; and, Huntington Bay, lying south of a line extending from the northernmost point of land at Lloyd Point to the northernmost point of land at Eatons Neck Point. View map showing the affected areas.
    • Town of Southampton: All areas of Shinnecock Bay, and its tributaries, lying west of the Ponquoge Bridge and east of the Post Lane Bridge in Quogue. View map showing the affected areas. For the most up-to-date closure information, please call our 24 hour hotline at (631) 444-0480.
      For any other questions, please call the main shellfish office at (631) 444-0475 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday 8:30am until 4:45pm.
Marine biotoxins accumulate in shellfish like mussels, clams, oysters and scallops. If a contaminated shellfish is consumed it can cause a severe illness known as Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP), which cannot be removed through cooking. DEC's Shellfisheries Unit closely monitors sites around Long Island and prohibits shellfish harvesting if harmful levels of marine biotoxins are present in their water or shellfish samples. Learn more about marine biotoxins and DEC's monitoring program.

Upcoming Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

game harvest logo
Remember to report your
turkey harvest
within seven
days of taking.

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

Fishing (Saltwater)

-- May 24, 2011 --

  • Scup (Porgy) Fishing Season Opens. The season is open for all anglers, except for those that are fishing aboard a party or charter boat. The season for party or charter boats will open on June 8, 2011. For more details on catch and size limits, visit the saltwater fishing season webpage.

-- May 30, 2011 --

  • Final Day for Winter Flounder Fishing in the Marine and Coastal District.

Hunting (Small Game)

-- May 31, 2011 --

  • Final Day for Turkey Hunting Statewide.

Did You Know...?

minke whale (top); pipistrelle bat (bottom)
~A minke whale (top), credit: Glenn
Ostle/Feather and Fins Photography,
and an Eastern pipistrelle bat (bottom)
credit: Al Hicks~

Even though a bat lives on land and a whale lives in the sea, these two mammals have something in common. Unheard by the human ear, they use a variety of low sounds that travel through the air or water, bounces off objects, and returns back to them. Given the term "echolocation," this helps them identify the shape, size and distance of the objects around them.

Read more about the Whales of New York and the Bats of New York in previous articles of the Conservationist magazine. While you're there, make sure to click on the "Find us on Facebook" button and "Like" the magazine!

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