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December 30, 2011 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

Get Involved!

Help Us Keep an Eye on Turkey Populations
Start recording your observations of turkey flocks as soon as the New Year strikes by participating in our annual winter wild turkey flock survey. The information you record can help us monitor the status and health of wild turkeys across the state. Just print a turkey-sighting form, record the number of turkeys you see in a flock from January through March, and send in your results to the address noted on the form at the end the survey period. Visit the Winter Wild Turkey Flock Survey webpage to get your form and to view results from years past. In 2011, more than 640 reports were received, resulting in 10,200 birds counted in 49 of the 62 counties in New York State. Thanks so much for your help and continued involvement!

Noteworthy Events

Learn New Outdoor Skills at Beyond BOW Events in the Adirondacks
Want to know how to efficiently read a map and compass, cast a fishing rod, navigate the backcountry, or hunt for deer? You can learn these fun and exciting outdoor skills and many others by signing up for a Beyond Becoming an Outdoorswoman workshop in 2012. Course descriptions, costs, dates and registration information are available on DEC's website.

Significant Notes

Get Your Free I FISH NY Freshwater Fishing Map Today
Available for your next freshwater fishing excursion is our new, colorful map brochure with fishing information on more than 400 lakes, ponds, rivers and streams in New York State. One side of the foldout shows locations of some of the best fishing waters in the state, while the other side provides details on each site, including access points, types of fish, marinas and campsites and other important information. To receive a map in the mail, send an e-mail request with "NY Fishing Map" as the subject to fwfish@gw.dec.state.ny.us. Remember to include your name and complete address in the e-mail.

winning photograph
Brookfield Woods by Wells Horton is the winner of
the "Commissioner's Choice" category. Congratulations!

"Celebrating New York's Forests" Photo Contest Winners Announced
DEC's Division of Lands and Forests has announced the winners of the 2011 "Celebrating New York's Forests" Photo Contest. More than 530 photos were submitted and judged. The winners' and semifinalists' photographs for each of the five categories: "Enjoying the Forest," "Trees Where We Live," "Forest Products," "State-owned Forests," and "Commissioner's Choice," can be viewed by going to the Celebrating New York's Forests - Photo Contest webpage on DEC's website. Congratulations and thanks to all photographers for contributing such striking forest photographs!

January 1 Commercial Fishery Daily Trip Limit Changes
Bluefish, scup, and summer flounder fishery daily trip limit changes will go in effect on January 1. The bluefish daily trip limit will increase to 5,000 pounds, the scup daily trip limit will increase to 50,000 pounds, and the summer flounder daily trip limit will decrease to 70 pounds.

Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

New Recreational Marine Fishing Registry Year Starts January 1
With a new year beginning, make sure you enroll in the 2012 Recreational Marine Fishing Registry, which is a requirement when fishing for all saltwater and migratory fish in New York State. Registration is free, so enroll today to prepare for your next saltwater fishing adventure. Visit DEC's website for information on the marine registry and how to enroll.

Upcoming Sporting Seasons

The reminders listed below include open and final recreational season dates during the next two weeks (December 16 through December 30). For all season dates and to view more information about hunting and fishing in New York State, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage.

Saltwater Fishing

  • Black Sea Bass - Final day for fishing is December 31.

Deer and Bear Hunting
(View the deer and bear season maps to identify open hunting zones)

In Westchester County:

  • December 31 is the final day for deer and bear hunting in this area.

In Suffolk County:

  • December 31 is the final day for the deer bowhunting season in this area.
  • January 9 through January 31 is the open weekday special firearm season for deer hunting. Visit DEC's website for more information on the special firearm deer season, including required permits and the type of firearms that can be used.

Small Game Hunting

  • December 31 is the final day of hunting for the following:
  • January 1 through January 31 is the open season for varying/snowshoe hare hunting in portions of central and western New York State.

Waterfowl Hunting

(Visit the Canada goose hunting areas page on DEC's website to identify areas described below.)
For Canada Goose:

  • January 2 is the final day for hunting in the Hudson Valley Canada goose hunting area for the 2011-12 season.
  • January 8 is the final day of the split hunting season in the South Canada goose hunting area. The season will reopen on February 25, 2012.
  • January 9 is the final day for hunting in the West Central Canada goose hunting area for the 2011-12 season.
waterfowl hunting zones map
Please note: The map does not display
the Canada goose hunting areas.
Only the waterfowl hunting zones
are shown on this map.

(View the following map to the right to identify waterfowl hunting zones described below.)
For Duck, Coot and Merganser:

  • January 9 is the final day of hunting in the Western waterfowl hunting zone.

For Snow Goose:

  • December 31 is the final day of the first split season in the Northeastern waterfowl hunting zone. The season will re-open on February 25, 2012.
  • January 9 is the final day of the split season in the Western waterfowl hunting zone. The season will re-open on January 29, 2012.

Please review our Hunter Safety Tips before going afield!

Other News in the Press

Below are additional links to noteworthy DEC press releases:

  • DEC Lifeguard Tests Begin January 8, 2012
  • Two Found Guilty in Civil and Criminal Contempt Stormwater Case
  • DEC Seeks Information on Copper Theft

Did You Know...?

black-capped chickadee eating a seed while resting on a branch
A black-capped chickadee enjoying a
sunflower seed, a favorite food in winter
~ Photo by James Marshall

A year-round New York State resident, the black-capped chickadee embraces winter with special behavior, such as different eating habits. In frigid temperatures, the chickadee consumes up to 60 percent of its body weight in high-calorie foods. This helps to keep its metabolism operating and its body temperature warm. To ensure it does not run out of food, the chickadee also stashes assorted seeds and berries in hundreds of crevices found in tree bark. A month later, the chickadee returns to these locations for a convenient meal.

Read more about the black-capped chickadee and other birds that overwinter in New York State in the February 2010 Conservationist article, "Feathered Friends of Winter," available online.

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