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March 23, 2012 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

-- Noteworthy Dates --

participant learns how to shoot a bow and arrow in archery
In classes like Beginning Archery,
participants practice shooting
and also make their own arrows to keep

Register Early for Becoming an Outdoorswoman (BOW) Workshop 2012
Registration is now open for the June 29 through July 1 Becoming an Outdoorswoman (BOW) workshop. This year's workshop will be held at Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George in the Adirondacks. Of the 46 diverse classes being offered, participants can choose four of them to attend during this fun and enlightening weekend-long event. New classes offered this year include wild mushroom foraging, birding basics, nature crafts, Adirondack ecology, car camping and beginner crossbow. Classes fill quickly, and the registration fee increases by $40 after April 20, so register early to save money and get your top choices! Visit DEC's BOW webpage for workshop details and registration information.

April 14 - Spring Family Festival at Belmont Lake
Take the whole family out for the annual Spring Family Festival at Belmont Lake State Park on April 14 from 10 AM to 4 PM. Fishing rods and bait will be available for loan throughout the day as participants receive fishing instruction from DEC and NYS Office of Parks and Recreation staff. Prior to the event, the lake will be stocked with 4,000 trout to kick off DEC's 2012 spring trout stocking on Long Island. For more details on this festival, visit DEC's Long Island Calendar of Events webpage.

-- Significant Notes --

DEC staff stocking
Trucks specially equipped with
oxygenated tanks are used to transport
and release most hatchery-raised
fish to stocking sites

2012 Trout Fish Stocking Lists Now Available
Be among the first to know how many yearling and older trout are being stocked near you this spring. Each year, from March through May, DEC, along with help from county Federated Sportsmen clubs stock more than 1,200 public streams, rivers, lakes and ponds across the state with brown, rainbow and brook trout. You can find the anticipated distribution of trout by county on DEC's Spring Trout Stocking webpage. Also, check back for the complete 2011 stocking list of all muskellunge, walleye, trout and salmon species by county, which will be available soon on DEC's Fish Stocking Lists webpage.

Be Prepared for Awakening Bears
With the arrival of warmer weather, New York's black bear population will be in motion after their winter hibernation. Black bears will take advantage of readily available food sources, including bird feeders and garbage. To prevent encounters with bears, you should never intentionally feed them, and you should discourage them from seeking food from sources near your home or neighborhood. For helpful recommendations, view the most recent Guidance to Discourage Black Bear Encounters on DEC's website.

February Monthly Highlights Available
Read about the accomplishments of, plans for and challenges to conserving and managing New York State's fish, wildlife and marine resources by reading our Monthly Highlights. In the more recent February issue, you will learn about our efforts to boost endangered round whitefish populations, find out how we manage acidic Adirondack waters, and see the ways we monitor harmful contaminants in the Great Lakes, plus many additional highlights. To view this issue and others, visit our Monthly Highlights webpage on DEC's website.

Cooperative Effort with Virginia Results in Brown Trout Fingerlings for New York State
The DEC Rome Fish Hatchery has recently suffered a severe loss of young brown trout due to bacterial infection and parasites despite repeated therapeutic treatments. After contacting numerous states to find surplus fish, officials from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries graciously offered approximately 180,000 brown trout fingerlings to DEC's hatchery at no cost. These fish will replenish the lost numbers of fish that were planned for stocking in the spring of 2013. While it is abnormal for DEC to require additional fish, cooperation among states during a time in need is not unusual, and DEC has and will continue to help other states as necessary. To learn more about New York State's stocking operations, visit DEC's Fish Stocking and DEC Hatcheries webpages.

Horseshoe Crab Commercial Fishery Open
The horseshoe crab commercial fishery opened on March 16 with a limit of 30 crabs per day. Visit DEC's Commercial Fishing webpage where you can find details on commercial fisheries management, updated commercial fishing limits and more.

-- Public Input --

Provide Input on Fall 2012 Waterfowl Hunting Seasons
Waterfowl hunters may submit recommendations to waterfowl hunter task forces on prospective dates for the 2012 duck hunting season and other waterfowl hunting seasons. For the duck season, recommendations must fall within federal guidelines established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This is expected to be a 60-day season, split into no more than two segments per zone, opening no earlier than September 22, 2012 and closing no later than January 27, 2013. Comments must be provided on or before March 30. For more details and how to submit comments, visit DEC's Waterfowl Season Input webpage.

Comment on Draft Objectives for Lake Ontario's Fish Management
Provide your comments on the Fish-Community Objectives for Lake Ontario: Public Consultation Draft -2012 (PDF) (100 KB), which updates the joint strategic plan for Lake Ontario's fisheries management. The plan includes objectives aimed at providing sound management for a balanced ecosystem and recreational benefit, including reintroduction and restoration of native species, trout and salmon-stocking programs, maintenance of predator-prey balance and sea lamprey control. Comments may be submitted in writing through April 27 to NYSDEC Lake Ontario Fisheries Unit, P.O. Box 292, Cape Vincent, NY 13618 or to fwfishlo@gw.dec.state.ny.us

Seeking Input on Local Deer Herd Size in Portion of Albany County
Residents within DEC's Wildlife Management Unit 4J (WMU) are being asked to submit opinions to the deer task force regarding the local deer population size. The information the task force gathers will serve as the basis for recommendations to DEC, which are considered when determining future deer management decisions. Comments must be provided to the deer task force by March 30. For more details and how to submit comments, visit DEC's Albany County Local Deer Herd Input webpage.

-- Awards and Acknowledgements --

DEC Biologist and Others Voted into Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame
Scott Cornett, a DEC Region 9 Fisheries Biologist and eight other individuals were recently voted into the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame. Scott was recognized for his long-standing efforts to enhance fishing opportunities in New York. He has been instrumental in the planning and construction of many habitat improvement projects in trout streams in western New York, including spending countless hours of his free time working alongside volunteers. The Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame is located at the Wildlife Sports and Educational Museum in Vail Mills, NY. This year's induction ceremonies will be held at the organization's annual banquet in Canastota, NY, on April 28. Visit the Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame website at http://www.nysohof.org/ (link leaves DEC website) for more information.

-- Recreational Sporting Season Reminders --

Upcoming Seasons

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


  • April 1 - Trout, lake trout and landlocked Atlantic salmon season opens.
    To find size and catch limits, visit DEC's Freshwater Fishing Regulations webpage. Also, review the Special Regulations by County webpage to find if different regulations apply to a waterbody near you.
  • April 1 - Winter flounder season opens.
    The size limit is 12 inches or greater and the daily catch limit is 2 fish for this season that runs through May 30. Visit DEC's Saltwater Fishing Regulations for other season information.

Migratory Bird Hunting

  • March 31 - Final day for crow hunting statewide


  • April 7 - Final day for the following:
    (follow the links to view a season map for boundaries)
    • Beaver trapping in northern and eastern areas of New York State
    • Mink and muskrat in eastern areas of New York State
    • River otter in northern areas of New York State

Furbearer Hunting

  • March 25 - Final day for coyote hunting statewide

-- Other News in the Press --

Below are links to noteworthy DEC press releases:

Did You Know...?

Eastern bluebird
Male bluebird. ~Photo by Laurie Dirkx

The brightly-colored eastern bluebird was designated New York State's official state bird in 1970. Although a bluebird feather looks blue, it really isn't. In actuality, the bird's feathers absorb all wavelengths of colors except blue. The blue wavelength is reflected and scattered, resulting in the bird's blue appearance to the human eye.

Get more facts on this song-bird, and find out how to build a bluebird nest box by visiting DEC's Eastern Bluebird webpage

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