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January 27, 2012 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

Significant Notes

Draft Bobcat Management Plan Available for Public Comment
The public is invited to comment on DEC's proposed plan for guiding management of New York State's bobcat populations through the next five years. The draft plan describes three primary goals: maintain viable population levels and monitor trends in bobcat distribution and abundance; provide for sustainable harvest and enjoyment of bobcat by the public; and minimize negative bobcat-human interactions. Visit DEC's website to find the draft bobcat plan and comment submission information. Comments will be accepted through February 16, 2012.

New Staff Hired for New York State Fish Hatcheries
Eleven new employees, including ten fish culturists and one biologist, have been hired to work in New York State's fish hatcheries. Filling vacancies left by retirements in 2011, the fish culturists will work at DEC's hatcheries across the state, assisting in all aspects of growing and stocking fish. The new biologist will work with the fish health unit at the Rome hatchery, assisting in surveillance and treatment of fish diseases. Bringing hatcheries back to required staffing levels is a worthwhile investment. Anglers spend an estimated $530 million annually on fishing in New York State, due in large part to the approximately 900,000 pounds of hatchery-raised fish produced each year. Other information on New York State's fish hatcheries is available on DEC's website.

Register Your Kids for DEC Summer Camp
Send your child on a week-long conservation education adventure at one of our four environmental education camps this summer. For only $350, campers ages 11 through 17 can participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, bird watching, fly tying, archery, canoeing, hiking, camping, orienteering and hunter safety education. Campers also learn about fields, forests, streams and ponds through fun, hands-on activities and outdoor exploration. Starting January 28, applications should be mailed with the required fee to reserve a spot. Applications and details are available on DEC's website.

Pheasant Cooperative Program Applications Due by March 15
Partner with DEC in a cooperative program to help raise pheasants and release them for the fall hunting season. To participate, you must have a brooding facility and covered outdoor rearing pen, as well as an identified release site that is open to the public and approved by DEC. For more information and how to apply, review the DEC press release. For guidance and details on raising and releasing pheasants, review DEC's Cooperative Day-old Pheasant Chick Program Guide (PDF) (454 KB).

Black Sea Bass Commercial Fishery Closes January 29
The commercial fishery black sea bass harvest will close on January 29. The fishery is expected to re-open in the middle of May. Other details on fish harvest limits and draft quota distribution plans are available on DEC's Commercial Fishing webpage.

Learn About What We Do: Review Our Latest Monthly Highlights
In our Monthly Highlights, read about the research and activities by our division staff working to conserve and manage New York State's wildlife and natural resources. Now posted on DEC's website are the latest highlights from November and December. In these two issues, you will learn about several trout surveys conducted across New York State, habitat restoration projects aimed at protecting our fish and aquatic resources, fish stocking evaluation surveys, a successful fly-fishing event with military veterans and more.

Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

Upcoming Seasons

The reminders listed below include open and final recreational season dates for the weeks of January 27 through February 10. For all season dates and to view more information about hunting and fishing in New York State, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage.

Deer Hunting

Small Game Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting

  • January 29 - Final day to hunt for the following:
    - Canada Goose in the Eastern Long Island Canada Goose Area
    - Duck, Coot, Merganser and Brant in the Long Island Zone
    - Sea Duck in the Special Sea Duck Area
  • January 29 through April 15 - Open season for snow goose in the Western Zone
    The daily bag limit is 25 birds.
  • February 4 - Final day of Canada goose hunting in the Central Long Island Area
    A portion of the Central Long Island Area will remain open for the special late Canada goose season mentioned below.
  • February 5 through February 15 - Special late Canada goose season in a portion of Long Island
    The special late Canada goose season is open in a small portion (north shore) of the Central Long Island Area. The bag limit is five geese per day and the possession limit is ten. The possession limit is the maximum number of birds that any person may possess in total in the field, at home, in transit, or in storage. More details on the special late Canada goose season and descriptions of hunting area boundaries for this season are available on the 2011-12 Canada Goose Hunting webpage.

Other News in the Press

Below are links to noteworthy DEC press releases:

Did You Know...?

bald eagle in flight
Bald eagle flying over icy open water
with a fish in its talons.
~Photo by Eric Shaw

To survive the frigid months, some bald eagles fly more than 900 miles from Canada to the open waters of the Hudson and Delaware rivers in New York State, where they can hunt for their favorite food -- fish. Hundreds of bald eagles congregate in these open water areas throughout the winter to maintain a healthy diet prior to their breeding season.

January and February are the best times to view bald eagles in New York State. Visit DEC's Watchable Wildlife: Bald Eagle webpage for information on where to view these breathtaking birds and for additional interesting facts.

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