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Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

April 19, 2012 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

Get Involved

ruffed grouse diplaying for mating
The male grouse uses its wings to
produce a series of deep thumping
sounds that increase in tempo,
sounding much like a drum

Participate in DEC's Ruffed Grouse Survey while Turkey Hunting
As you wait for that wary turkey to come into sight during the spring turkey hunting season, consider recording the number of grouse you hear for DEC's Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey. The characteristic drumming sound of a male grouse is as much a part of the spring woods as yelping hens and gobbling toms during the spring breeding season. Your information helps DEC track the distribution and abundance of this other popular game bird. For details on how to participate, visit DEC's Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey webpage. To listen to a typical male grouse drumming call, visit Cornell University's All About Birds website.

Perhaps You Can Discover the Next Lost Ladybug this Summer
Get out your magnifying glass, and help find the next lost ladybug by participating in Cornell University's Lost Ladybug Project. Last July, a volunteer citizen scientist re-discovered the nine-spotted ladybug (C9) on Long Island, long thought to be extinct. Perhaps you will be the next to find another population of rare ladybugs in New York State. If interested in participating, visit Cornell University's Lost Ladybug Project website.

tautog and black sea bass on an artificial reef
As pictured, tautog and black sea
bass are common visitors on New
York State's artificial reefs.
~Photo by Rob Schepis

Anglers and Divers: Help Us Monitor Marine Life on Artificial Reefs
If you enjoy fishing or diving on New York State's artificial reefs, consider participating in DEC's Volunteer Reef Angler and Volunteer Reef Diver programs. What you catch on your line or see underwater can help DEC identify and keep track of the marine life that live on or near our artificial reefs. Your observations also provide helpful information on the health of reef populations and the status of reef material. Share your observations by completing a volunteer angler log of your catch or a diver log of what you see on the reefs, and submit them to DEC's Artificial Reef Program. Visit DEC's Artificial Reefs webpage for more details on the program and how to participate during your next artificial reef adventure!

Significant Notes

Increase Your Fishing Skills with DEC's Freshwater Fishing Tips
Want to know all the nooks and crannies where a fish may be hiding? Visit DEC's new webpages, Where to Fish: Rivers and Streams and Where to Fish: Lakes and Ponds to find information on the best locations to drop your line and reel in a fish from a flowing stream or calm lake. You can learn other techniques and tips for a better fishing experience by visiting DEC's Fishing Skills webpage.

Rodenticides Cause Mortality in Three Manhattan Red-Tailed Hawks
Four red-tailed hawks found dead in and around Manhattan in late February and early March were submitted for examination to DEC's Wildlife Health Unit. Based on results from necropsies (animal autopsy) and diagnostic laboratory tests, anticoagulant rodenticides (rat or mouse poison) were determined to be the primary cause of death in three of four birds. Detailed reports and background information on each case are available on DEC's new Wildlife Necropsy Reports webpage.

Harvest Closures for Conch, Whelk and Other Marine Snails for Several Waterbodies
The harvesting of carnivorous gastropods (conch, whelk and other marine snails) is prohibited for particular underwater areas in the towns of Huntington (Northport Bay, Northport Harbor and Centerport Harbor), Southampton (parts of Shinnecock Bay) and Riverhead (Meetinghouse Creek) until further notice. For detailed boundary descriptions of these closures, visit DEC's Commercial Fishing webpage. Harvesters can check the most current status of these closures by calling the shellfish emergency closure information line at 631-444-0480.

April 2012 image cover for Conservationist magazine
~Photo by Barbara A. Loucks

April Issue of Conservationist

Don't miss the April issue of Conservationist. In this issue, you can tag along with biologists as they band peregrine falcons, fly-fish on a secret beaver pond, learn about trout stocking, hike the Appalachian Trail, discover ways to survive a wilderness emergency and much more! !

To get your copy, call 1-800-678-6399, or visit us online at TheConservationist.org

Laws and Rulemakings

Recreational Fishing Changes for Summer Flounder, Black Sea Bass and Scup
New recreational harvest limits for summer flounder (fluke), scup (porgy) and black sea bass are now in place for the 2012 saltwater fishing year. The new limits will increase the opportunity for anglers to keep more of the fish they catch. Complete limits for each species are available on DEC's Saltwater Fishing Regulations webpage, and the changes compared to last year's limits are listed below.

  • Summer Flounder (Fluke) - The daily possession limit increased from 3 to 4 fish, and the minimum size limit decreased from 20.5 to 19.5 inches.
  • Scup (Porgy) - The daily possession limit increased from 10 to 20 fish, and the season increased by 29 days, opening on May 1 and extending through December 31. Recreational anglers on board a licensed party or charter vessel can enjoy a longer bonus season - from September 1 through October 31 - due to the addition of 25 days. The bonus season
  • Black Sea Bass - The daily possession limit increased from 10 to 15 fish, and the season is no longer split, remaining open from June 15 through December 31.

Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

The reminders listed below include open and final recreational season dates for the weeks of April 20 through May 4. For all season dates and to view more information about hunting, trapping and fishing in New York State, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage.


  • May 1 - Opening Day for Fluke (Summer Flounder) and Scup
    Details on possession and size limits for summer flounder and scup are available on DEC's Saltwater Fishing Regulations webpage. All anglers not fishing on board a licensed party or charter boat must enroll in the free New York State Recreational Marine Fishing Registry prior to fishing.
  • May 5 - Opening Day for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye
    Daily catch and size limits for each species are available on DEC's Freshwater Fishing Regulations webpage. Exceptions may apply per waterbody, so please review Special Regulations by County to ensure rules do not vary where you will be angling.
report your game harvest logo
Don't forget to report
your turkey harvest

Turkey Hunting

  • April 21-22 - Youth Turkey Hunt Weekend
    With a valid junior hunting license and turkey permit, hunters ages 12-15 can participate in this special two-day youth hunt and take one bearded bird. All upstate areas north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and Suffolk County (Wildlife Management Unit 1C) are open for this youth hunt weekend. For complete details, visit DEC's Youth Hunt for Wild Turkey webpage.
  • May 1 - Opening Day for Spring Turkey Season
    From May 1 through May 31, hunters with a valid small game hunting license and turkey permit may take two bearded birds (one per day) for the season. The season is open throughout upstate New York north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary. Shooting hours are from a half- hour before sunrise to noon each day. For detailed regulations and tips on safe hunting, visit DEC's Turkey Hunting webpage.

Other News in the Press

Below are links to noteworthy DEC press releases:

Awards and Acknowledgements

Congressman Serrano receiving his award
New York's TWA representative,
Sean Mahar (right) of NY Audubon
and Mary Pffarfko (left) of AFWA in
Washington, present the award to
Congressman José Serrano

New York Congressman Honored for Support of Wildlife
New York State Congressman José Serrano (D-Bronx) was honored by the Teaming with Wildlife Coalition (TWC) and Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) at the "Celebrating Champions of Wildlife" congressional reception. He was recognized for his outstanding leadership in safeguarding at-risk wildlife species through his consistent support of the State and Tribal Wildlife Grants Program. This federal funding source helps state agencies like DEC perform actions aimed at restoring fish and wildlife species in greatest conservation need (find out more about New York's State Wildlife Grants (SWG) Program). According to Congressman Serrano, "These sorts of environmental funding sources must not dry up in today's anti-spending atmosphere. In addition to their environmental impact, they support vital jobs and science." Serrano, who represents New York's 16th District, has been an advocate for the restoration of natural resources, including the return of river herring to the Bronx River.

Did You Know...?

earth in hands

More than twenty million demonstrators and thousands of schools and local communities across the country participated in the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. This grassroots effort that we continue to commemorate more than 40 years later was initiated by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, when he invited the nation to gather in a demonstration on behalf of the environment to persuade the federal government to add environmental concerns to its agenda.

Read sentiments from Senator Gaylord himself by visiting DEC's How Earth Day Began webpage.

Ways You Can Celebrate Earth Day!

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