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March 09, 2012 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

-- Get Involved --

river hering spawning
River herring group together during
spawning events, usually in shallow waters
of Hudson River tributaries
~Photo by Byron Young

Help Monitor River Herring in the Hudson River
Volunteer to help DEC monitor declining populations of river herring species, in particular blueback herring and alewife that migrate from the ocean to the Hudson River to spawn in the spring. Because the Hudson River estuary is longer than 150 miles and has 65 major streams branching from it, DEC needs your help in observing all of it for the presence or absence of these important species. Volunteers will be asked to attend a two-hour training course at the end of March, and monitor a nearby stream twice a week for at least 15 minutes each time between April 1 and May 31. To find out more about this volunteer program and to sign up for the training, visit DEC's Volunteer River Herring Monitoring webpage.

-- Noteworthy Dates --

March 27 - Public Hearing on Menhaden Fishery Management Plan, Amendment 2
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is in the process of implementing harvest reductions for Atlantic menhaden (bunker). Public hearings will be held in all Atlantic coast states to obtain input on the best methods for reducing overfishing, which will be incorporated into the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden, Amendment 2. New York State is hosting a meeting on March 27 at DEC's Marine Resources headquarters in East Setauket, NY at 7 PM. For more information, view the public information document (PID) available on ASMFC's website at http://www.asmfc.org/ (the document is found under "Public Input") (link leaves DEC website).

Conservationist for Kids cover for the Winter 2012 issue

"Meet the Sea" in Conservationist for Kids!

The winter 2012 Conservationist for Kids (C4K) issue takes reader's through an educational exploration of New York's ocean and saltwater environments. In this issue, learn about the state's marine habitats, and identify which remarkable saltwater-loving animals are found here. Readers will also identify how we use the ocean and what we can do to protect and contribute to its care.

Start exploring online, or find out how you can receive this issue at home by visiting DEC's Conservationist for Kids webpage.

-- Significant Notes --

2011 Deer and Bear Harvest Information Available
Hunters in New York State harvested more than a quarter-million deer and a record number of bear during the 2011 big game hunting seasons. The 2011 deer take varied less than one percent from the 2010 take statewide, with approximately 118,350 antlerless deer (adult females and fawns) and more than 110,000 adult male deer (bucks) harvested. The 2011 bear take reached 1,250 bears, with record-setting harvest in central and western New York State. More details on the 2011 deer and bear harvest are available in DEC's press release.

Learn About What We Do in Our Monthly Highlights
Interested in learning about the research, management and outreach activities of our division? You can find the latest information on New York State's fisheries, wildlife and marine resources management by visiting DEC's Monthly Highlights webpage. The January 2012 Monthly Highlights issue is available now. It features many aspects of the state's fisheries management, including information on newly developed distribution maps for 41 rare fish species, efforts to re-populate deepwater cisco fish in Lake Ontario, analysis of the Lake Ontario angling catch and effort survey and more.

Atlantic herring management area map
Atlantic Herring Management Areas Map
Area 2 includes all state and federal
coastal waters between Massachusetts
and North Carolina, which incorporates
all waters west and south of Cape Cod
at 70° 0' W Longitude

Atlantic Herring Commercial Fishery Closure in Management Area 2
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMSF) and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) closed the 2012 directed fishery for Atlantic sea herring in Management Area 2 to account for catch overages and to prevent overfishing. The closure remains in effect through December 31, 2012 for all state and federal coastal waters between Massachusetts and North Carolina. Vessels targeting other fish may catch up to 2,000 pounds of herring per trip to account for unintentional catch (bycatch). The directed fishery will re-open on January 1, 2013. This closure is in accordance with the Atlantic Sea Herring Interstate Fishery Management Plan, Section 5.1.1 of Amendment 2 and Section 2.1.3.1 of Addendum II to Amendment 2, which can be viewed on the ASMFC website at http://www.asmfc.org/ (link leaves DEC website).

Period 1 Weekly Summer Flounder Commercial Fishery Closure
Effective March 10, the weekly trip limit fishery for summer flounder will close. The daily trip limit fishery remains open with a 70-pound daily limit. For more information, visit DEC's Commercial Fishery webpage where you can find details on the 2012 summer flounder quota distribution plan and updated commercial trip limits.

Return a Gift to Wildlfie logo

Donate to Return a Gift to Wildlife

Consider donating to support New York State's fish and wildlife conservation through Return a Gift to Wildlife. Your generous contributions continue to help support integral wildlife conservation and educational programs, major publications, research reports, educational pamphlets and more than 250 wildlife conservation and management projects. Look for the "Return a Gift to Wildlife" line on your New York State Income Tax form, or tell your tax preparer that you wish to make a donation. Thank you for your support!

-- Awards and Acknowledgements --

photos of awardees
Top Image: Richard LeClerc, President of
the NY Chapter of the Wildlife Society
presents Jeremy Hurst, NYSDEC big
game biologist, with the
Outstanding Professional Award
Bottom Image: An avid birder and wildlife
conservation advocate, Sean Mahar,
director of government relations and
communications at Audubon New
York, received the Outstanding
Conservationist Award

New York Chapter of the Wildlife Society Honors Conservation Partner and DEC Biologist
On Friday, March 2, the New York Chapter of the Wildlife Society recognized two outstanding professionals for their accomplishments in advancing wildlife conservation in New York State. This year's award winners included DEC wildlife biologist, Jeremy Hurst, who received the Outstanding Professional Award, and Audubon New York's director of government relations and communications, Sean Mahar, who received the Outstanding Conservationist Award. Jeremy Hurst has been recognized for his integrity and professionalism in managing New York State's big game populations of white-tailed deer, bear and moose. His organizational skills and leadership helped bring about the recent completion of New York's deer management plan, which will play a pivotal and essential role in deer management. Sean Mahar was recognized for his resourceful, energetic and tireless advocacy for the support of New York's wildlife conservation programs, as well as his ability to build bridges among non-game wildlife constituents, sportsmen and women and agricultural communities.

The Wildlife Society is the primary professional organization representing wildlife biologists across the country. For more information about the organization and details on these annual awards, visit the Wildlife Society website (link leaves DEC website).

-- Recreational Sporting Season Reminders --

Upcoming Seasons

The reminders listed below include open and final recreational season dates for the weeks of March 9 through March 23. For all season dates and to view more information about hunting and fishing in New York State, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage.

Fishing

  • March 15 - Final day for northern pike, pickerel, tiger muskellunge and walleye fishing statewide, unless exceptions apply.
    Exceptions are listed by water body and county on DEC's Freshwater Fishing Regulations web page.
  • March 16 through November 30 - Open season for striped bass in the Hudson River.
    This includes all waters and tributaries of the Hudson River north of the George Washington Bridge. The minimum size limit is 18 inches, and the daily possession limit is 1. Fishing for striped bass in marine and coastal waters south of the George Washington Bridge will open on April 15.

Waterfowl Hunting

Trapping

  • March 15 - Final day for beaver trapping in remaining open areas of western New York State

Small Game Hunting

Did You Know...?

northern cricket frog
~Photo by Matthew D. Schlesinger

Despite being the smallest frog in New York State, the northern cricket frog has amazing locomotive abilities. It is capable of leaping as high as three feet and jumping as far as four feet - approximately 50 times its body length! Cricket frogs get their name from the non-froglike "clicking" noise they make, which sounds like a chorus of crickets.

Read more about this endangered New York State frog in DEC's Cricket Frog Fact Sheet, or in the latest Conservationist magazine article, "Tiny Caller"

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