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June 29, 2012 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

bee collecting pollen from milkweed
Honey bee collecting pollen from
a milkweed wildflower - a plant crucial
to the survival of monarch butterflies
~Photo by Natalie Sacco

"Bee" Smart and Help Pollinators

With countless challenges and dwindling populations, many pollinators need your help. More than 200,000 species of animals act as pollinators, including hummingbirds, mice, bats, beetles, moths, butterflies and bees. Approximately 75 percent of plants, many of which are vital sources of food, need pollinators to grow. By following the suggestions listed below, you can help pollinators flourish in your backyard:

  • Nourish them with native flowering plants and wild flowers.
  • Provide shelter and nesting areas like brush piles, leaf litter, tree snags and small bare patches of dirt.
  • Control pests with non-chemical solutions.

For more recommendations and information on helping conserve pollinators for our future, visit the Pollinator Partnership's website (External Link) and the USDA Insects & Pollinators webpage (External Link).

Weekly Freshwater Fishing Reports and More!

Find out whether fish are biting before venturing outside. On DEC's Fishing Hotline/News webpage, you will find weekly updates on fishing conditions and other pertinent fishing information for select streams, lakes and rivers across New York State. To find a great location to drop your line, visit DEC's Places to Fish webpage. It offers detailed information on fishing hot spots among the more than 7,500 lakes and ponds and 50,000 miles of rivers and streams in New York State. By choosing a select body of water or region, you will learn about on-site amenities and the types of fish lurking beneath the water's surface at each location. Happy fishing!

Horseshoe Crab Commercial Fishery Closure

As of Tuesday, June 26, the commercial horseshoe crab fishery was closed due to landings exceeding the 150,000 limit. No commercial harvest, sale, trade or barter of horseshoe crabs is allowed through September 1, 2012 or until further notice. The non-commercial fishery harvest remains open, with a daily limit of five crabs per day for personal use only, no sales allowed. Please call DEC's Bureau of Marine Resources at 631-444-0444 with any questions.

Anglers hold up their prized catch
Just east of Olcott, this giant 38-pound Chinook salmon was
caught at a depth of350 feet in Lake Ontario

Olcott Named 2012 Ultimate Fishing Town

The hamlet of Olcott in Niagara County recently claimed first place in the "World Fishing Network's 2012 Ultimate Fishing Town" (External Link) contest. Beating nearly 500 U.S. towns, Olcott will receive a $25,000 donation for a fishing enhancement project. It is truly a fishing hot spot, boasting world-class trout and salmon fishing year-round. Olcott also offers a marina, bait and tackle shop, fish-cleaning station, fishing charters and lodging. Many anglers are drawn here with hopes of catching large Chinook or "king" salmon from Lake Ontario. Others enjoy excellent trout and salmon fishing near shore by wading in Eighteenmile creek or dropping a line from Olcott Harbor piers. If you plan on visiting this ultimate fishing town, see DEC's Great Lakes Fishing webpage for helpful tips on catching a tasty fish.

2012-13 Tentative Waterfowl Hunting Seasons

To help you plan your waterfowl hunting trip this fall, tentative dates for many duck, goose and brant hunting seasons are now available on DEC's Waterfowl Seasons and Information webpage. Tentative dates take into consideration the anticipated federal regulations and recommendations from Waterfowl Hunter Task Forces comprising local citizens. Dates for the Lake Champlain Zone are not included, as they will be determined by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board following public meetings later this summer. Meeting details will be announced soon. Final dates and other regulations will be available on DEC's website by mid-September, following approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hunters should check final regulations prior to going afield.

June Conservationist Magazine Cover
View from Algonquin
~Photo by Carl Heilman II

Enjoy the Latest Conservationist!

Be sure to see the latest issue of Conservationist. In the June issue, you can walk through New York State's wonderful botanical gardens, hike in the scenic High Peaks region of the Adirondacks, learn about a group of birds known as goatsuckers, meet the burbot (one of New York's more unusual fish), celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, discover one man's passion for Helderberg fossils and much more.

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

New Turkey Virus Detected in New York State

This spring, two wild turkeys in Columbia County tested positive for an emerging disease called Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus (LPDV). Surrounding northeastern states, Maine and Pennsylvania, also had confirmed LPDV cases. Skin lesions sometimes caused by LPDV resemble those caused by avian pox, another viral disease frequently found in wild turkeys. This similarity indicates LPDV in wild turkeys may have been overlooked and misdiagnosed. DEC's Wildlife Health Unit would like to obtain samples of birds with lesions to understand more about the disease and its occurrence in New York State. For instructions on providing a sample, contact your regional DEC office or e-mail fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us. DEC advises against eating any wild animals that appear sick. You can read more about LPDV in the January issue of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) Briefs (PDF) (External Link)

Temporary Shellfish Harvest Closures for July 4 Holiday

Starting Saturday, June 30, shellfish harvest will be prohibited in portions of Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Harbor (Sand Hole) and Port Jefferson Harbor through Monday, July 9. These closures are routine, as more boaters in bays and harbors during the holiday week may increase waste discharge in the water, contaminating shellfish and making them unsafe to eat. Boaters should be aware that these areas are designated as "no discharge zones," where the release of boat sewage is prohibited (find out more on DEC's No Discharge Zone webpage). Harvesters can call 631-444-0480 anytime for a recorded message on all shellfish area closures and when they reopen. Written descriptions and maps of holiday-related shellfish closures are available on DEC's Special Shellfish Closures webpage.

More DEC News

Below are noteworthy DEC press releases not to be missed!

snapping turtle resting on a log
Snapping turtles have a dinosaur-like appearance,
with a massive head, long spiked tail, pointy claws
and jagged rear shell. Although they look menacing,
they are harmless when left alone.
~Photo by Rob Hoover

Did You Know...?

With an opportunistic, omnivorous appetite, snapping turtles will eat anything they can fit into their large mouths. Plants and dead animals make up a significant portion of their diet, with an occasional snack of live prey like ducks, fish, snakes, crayfish and small mammals. Sometimes "snappers" are accused of depleting popular game fish and waterfowl populations, yet, compared to the appetites of some predatory mammals and birds, they have a very modest effect.

Watch a clip about Snapping Turtles on DEC TV for more facts on our state reptile!

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