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July 29, 2011 - Field Notes

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

Record Breakers

  • New York Documents Oldest Yellow Warbler in North America.
    the oldest known yellow warbler in North America
    ~Photo credit: Jane Tatlock~
    On June 15, 2011, a new record was set for the oldest known yellow warbler in North America. The female bird was first captured and banded in June of 2001 through the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) program at DEC's Five Rivers bird banding station in Albany County. Based on conventions set by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for calculating bird ages, she was determined to be at least eleven years old. Information collected from banded birds is reported to the federal USGS Bird Banding Lab and is used to help biologists understand movement, life-span, population growth, and behavior of birds. For more information about bird banding, visit the USGS North America Bird Banding website (link leaves DEC website).
  • New State Record Brook Trout Caught.
    record brook trout caught in 2011
    Dan Germain with his
    record-breaking brook trout.
    On June 15, 2011, Dan Germain from Forestport, Oneida County reeled in a New York State record brook trout. Weighing 5 pounds, 8 ounces and measuring 22 inches long, the trout was caught in Herkimer County at South Lake with a Lake Clear Wabbler and a worm. This new record brook trout beat the previous state record set in 2009 by 3.5 ounces. Details of the winning fish were submitted through the DEC Angler Achievement Award Program. Visit the Angler Awards web page to look through the State freshwater fish records or to submit details of your prospective award winning fish that you may catch next!

Get Involved in Citizen Science!

  • Participate in the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey.
    Help us evaluate turkey reproductive success by participating in the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey. For the entire month of August, you can report turkeys you observe by recording their gender, age, and number of turkeys in the flock. On the survey web page you can download the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey Form for recording your observations or you can review past survey results. You may also ask for survey forms by calling (518) 402-8886 or by e-mailing fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us. Thanks for your help!
  • Help Monitor Ring-necked Pheasants in the Genesee Valley.
    We need your help to monitor ring-necked pheasant populations in the designated habitat focus area within the Genesee Valley. This focus area includes portions of Livingston, Genesee, Wyoming and Monroe counties. With New York's wild pheasant populations largely located in the Great Lakes Plain of the State, DEC has developed this focus area to concentrate habitat conservation efforts and help sustain wild pheasant populations. You can help monitor pheasant populations through one of the following programs:
    1. Farmer-Pheasant Inventory: If you are a farmer in one of the four counties in the focus area, consider participating in the Farmer-Pheasant Inventory. This survey requests that you record observations of pheasants you see while conducting your normal spring (April) or summer (August) farming activities. If you'd like to participate, send an email to fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us or call us at (518) 402-8886.
    2. Pheasant Sighting Survey: If you are not a farmer, you can record the gender and age of pheasants you observe within the focus area through the month of August. To record your observations, you can print a survey form (PDF, 252kb) and follow the directions on the form. You may also request survey forms by calling (518) 402-8886.

Significant Notes

  • Landowner Funding Opportunity for Habitat Management in Lake Champlain Basin.
    open field
    Grasslands are important to conserve
    to benefit wildlife. Through programs
    like the NRCS WHIP and the DEC
    LIP (Landowner Incentive Program),
    landowners are provided with funding
    to help assist in protecting these
    important habitats.
    Through the America's Great Outdoors initiative, the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced special funding to landowners within the Lake Champlain Basin, which includes areas within Clinton, Franklin, Essex, Warren, and Washington Counties. Eligible landowners within the basin can enroll in the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), which will provide funding and guidance to landowners on conservation practices. For this particular program, NRCS has reduced the minimum land requirement to five acres, allowing landowners with smaller property to participate. Visit the NRCS website to find out more about the program and how to apply (link leaves DEC website). The deadline for enrollment is August 10, 2011. Saltwater Commercial Fishing Trip Limit Changes.
    The black sea bass commercial fishery closed on July 26, 2011, and will remain closed through August 31, 2011. On September 1, 2011, the black sea bass commercial fishery will re-open with a 50 pound daily trip limit. For more information visit the commercial fishing trip limits web page.
  • DEC History Timeline Online.
    Check out the DEC Timeline to learn about the array of environmental achievements of the agency. Beginning in the 1970s, the timeline illustrates the various challenges and goals faced by the DEC up to the current year. With each milestone, you will discover how the DEC works to achieve its mission: "To conserve, protect and improve New York's natural resources and environment...to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being."
  • Photo Contest to Celebrate New York's Forests.
    sycamore tree
    Sycamore tree.
    ~Photo by Susan Shafer~
    In honor of the 2011 International Year of Forests, the DEC Division of Lands and Forests (DLF) kicks off the "Celebrating New York's Forests Photo Contest." This contest is an effort to increase awareness of and appreciation for all types of forests, urban and rural, large and small, public and privately owned, across the State. Details of the photo contest rules and submissions can be found online. Photos must be received by November 1, 2011, so there is still time to grab your camera, get outdoors, and take pictures that qualify for submission under any of the five categories:
    1. Nature (wildlife, plants, natural landscapes, etc.)
    2. Enjoying the forest (hunting, fishing, trails, camping, hiking, etc.)
    3. Trees where we live (parks, streets, yards, etc.)
    4. Forest products (maple syrup, lumber, baseball bats, furniture, etc.)
    5. State-owned forests (State Forests, Forest Preserve lands, forested Wildlife Management Areas, Campgrounds)

Noteworthy Events

  • Beyond Becoming an Outdoorswoman Workshop Opportunities.
    There are several opportunities coming up in August and September through our Adirondack Beyond Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program. On August 13, you can take a wilderness adventure hike and learn how to stay safe while exploring the backcountry. On September 17, you can hike with a licensed guide to the summit of an Adirondack high peak and see breathtaking views. These and other Beyond BOW events are open to all, and are not limited to women. For information on cost and registration, and to view additional upcoming events, visit the Beyond BOW Workshops Schedule on the DEC website. To view details of each event, download the Beyond BOW Workshop Events Guide (PDF, 47kb).

Upcoming Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

View complete sporting season dates and regulations online:

Other News in the Press

Below are additional links to noteworthy DEC press releases:

  • DEC Policy to Reduce Cooling Water Intake Fish Kills by 90 Percent.
  • Moose River Plains Road to Indian Lake will be Fully Open this Weekend.
  • DEC Announces $1,000,000 in Urban Forestry Grants: Funding Will Help Support Tree Plantings and Other Projects Across the State.
  • Emerald Ash Borer Found In Orange County: State to Expand Quarantine of the Invasive Beetle.

Did You Know...?

striped skunk scurrying along on mowed grass
~Photo credit: Katie Tomlinson~

Known for its repulsive smell, striped skunks are excellent marksman that can accurately reach an intimidator with its pungent spray up to ten feet away!

Read more about striped skunk!

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