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June 03, 2011 - Field Notes

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

Get Involved - Volunteer!

  • Participate in Our Annual Goose Drive.
    On June 29, consider participating in our annual goose drive at the Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in St. Lawrence County. DEC staff and volunteers use canoes and walk along the shore to "herd" an average of one thousand geese into holding pens. In late June and early July, geese lose (molt) their feathers and cannot fly, which provides a great opportunity to round up these birds for banding and to obtain biological data on resident Canada geese. Everyone that assists is treated to a lunch by the local Rod and Gun Club. If interested in participating, please contact Blanche Town at 315-265-3090 or by e-mail at betown@gw.dec.state.ny.us by June 23. For more information, visit the Wilson Hill Goose Drive webpage.

Significant Notes

moose cow (female) with calf (newborn)
The new response manual aids DEC
staff and enforcement offers in handling
issues with moose, including responding
to moose in or near traffic areas.
~Photo by Kirt Lapham, Essex County~
  • New Moose Response Manual Complete.
    Balancing the needs and benefits of moose with public safety and protection of property is the goal of a new guidance document prepared by DEC staff. The complete Moose Response Manual provides local law enforcement authorities with information on appropriate actions to take if a moose is reported in their community. This manual contains information to help DEC staff and other interested parties address various situations involving moose, including:
    • Moose Observations and Sightings
    • Moose in or near High Traffic Areas
    • Moose in an Urban Area
    • Moose in an Enclosed Structure
    • Aggressive Moose
    • Moose Calf Appears Orphaned or Separated from Cow
    • Sick or Injured Moose
    • Moose Agriculture Conflicts
  • Feeding Wildlife: A Wrong Choice.
    Did you know it is illegal to feed deer, moose, and bears in New York State, and waterfowl feeding is prohibited in many villages and towns? Wildlife biologists recommend against feeding wild animals for many reasons: Feeding can threaten human and animal safety, can lead to overabundant populations, can promote the spread of diseases, can cause malnutrition in animals, and much more. Visit our new webpage, Feeding Wildlife: A Wrong Choice to learn more about the harmful effects of feeding wildlife. While you are there, you can also learn tips on natural ways to help keep our wildlife healthy and wild.
  • Avoid Eating Gastropods (Whelks, Conchs, and Snails) and the Digestive Organs of Crabs and Lobsters Harvested in Waters of Southampton and Huntington.
    DEC and the Department of Health (DOH) are advising consumers to avoid eating gastropods like whelks, conchs, and moonsnails, as well as the digestive organs (hepatopancreas/tomalley) of harvested crabs and lobsters due to the presence of marine biotoxins in the following areas: Western Shinnecock Bay (Town of Southampton) and Huntington Bay, Huntington Harbor, Lloyd Harbor, Northport Bay, Northport Harbor, Centerport Harbor and Duck Island Harbor (Town of Huntington). View closure area maps. Please be advised, the digestive organs (hepatopancreas) of lobsters and crabs should never be consumed from any water body in New York State as this tissue can contain high levels of chemical contaminants. For more details, review the DEC Press Release. Also, visit the DOH website to read about Health Advice on Eating Sportfish and Game (offsite link).
  • If You Care, Leave Them There.
    This time of year, chicks, fawns, pups and other newborn wildlife are developing and learning skills for survival in the wild. It is important to refrain from touching or approaching newborns even if they appear abandoned. Sometimes young are left alone on purpose, or adults may leave their young if people are nearby. For more details visit our If You Care, Leave Them There webpage.

June Conservationist!

June 2011 - Conservationist magazine cover

The new issue of Conservationist is hot off the press, so be sure to check it out. In it, readers can view incredible close-up photographs of dragonflies and damselflies (and find out how to tell the difference between the two!), learn about some of New York's longest-tenured inhabitants, horseshoe crabs, which have been around for more than 200 million years, read about preserving working forests of the Upper Hudson Woodlands, discover how great the camping is in New York, see how DEC is battling the spread of the invasive emerald ash borer, and much more

Read the new issue online and subscribe to receive future issues in your mailbox by visiting: TheConservationist.org

Laws & Rule-making

  • Law Offers Big Game Hunting Opportunity for Younger Bowhunters.
    A recently amended law lowered the minimum age for youth hunters to purchase a Junior Bowhunting License from 14 to 12 years of age. Now, 12-13 year old Junior Bowhunters can hunt deer and bear, if they meet the following requirements:
    • Have completed both hunter and bowhunter safety education courses (External Link)
    • Have obtained a junior bowhunting license.
    • Are accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or a "youth mentor" who is 21 years or older and designated in writing by their parent or legal guardian (please use the permission form - PDF, 24 kb). The adult mentor must have at least three years' experience in hunting deer or bear by longbow AND have a current valid license to hunt big game.
  • Proposed Changes on Using Crossbows For Big Game Hunting.
    DEC has proposed a rule-making change to allow the taking of big game (deer and bear) by the use of crossbow during any regular or special late big game season with required crossbow safety education training. Additionally, the proposed changes will allow physically impaired citizens to take big game or small game without obtaining a "modified archer permit" when using specially equipped longbows that help in the drawing, holding and releasing of a bowstring. Further details on this proposed change can be found in the DEC Press Release. To review the proposed rule-making changes, the regulatory impact statement, and to provide comments, visit the Proposed Regulations webpage. Public comments will be accepted through July 5, 2011.
  • Potential Freshwater Sportfish Regulation Changes for 2012-2014.
    To help gauge public interest and concerns before developing regulatory changes, DEC is soliciting input on prospective modifications for the freshwater fishing regulations. Considered changes include adjusting the current seasons, size limits, and catch limits on certain waters for popular game fish species such as trout, salmon, walleye, black bass, pickerel, muskellunge, and tiger muskellunge. Additional suggested changes pertain to ice fishing on certain waters, as well as for establishing specific gear requirements for certain angling practices. For details on each proposed change and to submit comments visit the DEC website. Comments will be accepted through June 24, 2011.

Upcoming Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

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

Saltwater Fishing

-- June 8, 2011 --

  • Scup/Porgy Fishing Season Opens for Anglers Aboard Party and Charter Boats. Anglers aboard party or charter boats can possess 10 fish with a 11-inch minimum size limit through September 6. More details can be found on the Saltwater Fishing Seasons webpage.

-- June 13, 2011 --

  • Black Sea Bass Fishing Season Opens. Anglers may catch a daily limit of 10-fish with a 13-inch minimum size limit. The season will close on October 1 and will re-open November 1 through December 31.

Hunting - Small Game

-- June 15, 2011 --

  • Frog Hunting Opens Statewide. Hunters cannot take leopard frogs in Wildlife Management Units 1A, 1C and 2A on Long Island, and cannot take Northern cricket frogs and Eastern spadefoot toads in any area of the state. Visit the Reptile and Amphibian Hunting Season webpage for more details.

Freshwater Fishing

-- June 17, 2011 --

  • Final Day for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass (Black Bass) Catch and Release Season Statewide.

-- June 18, 2011 --

  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass (Black Bass) Regular Fishing Season Opens Statewide. The season runs through November 30, 2011 with a 12-inch minimum size limit and a five fish daily possession limit. Before going fishing, review the special regulations by county to check for less or more restrictive regulations in select waters near you.

Other News in the Press

Below are additional links to noteworthy DEC press releases. Click on the links for detailed information:

  • DEC to Reopen 2,500 Acres of Shellfishing Areas
  • DEC Announces Program to Protect Backcountry Hikers and Campers
  • New York Announces Initiative to Keep Lake Ontario Waters Clean

Did You Know...?

fawn (newborn deer) in grass
~Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service~

From late May to early June, newborn deer (fawns) are born with natural camouflage and a lack of scent. With weak legs hindering mobility, the fawn will be left alone so the scent of the mother does not attract nearby predators to the newborns' location.

Often times, people think young wildlife are abandoned; however, it is only a part of their survival. For this reason, it is important to leave young wildlife alone. Read more about the Care of Young Wildlife on the DEC website.

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