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August 10, 2012 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue

On Alert for EHD Virus in White-tailed Deer

DEC needs your help identifying outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), a fatal virus transmitted to deer by biting midges, generally known as "no see-ums" or "gnats." Infections commonly occur in late summer and early fall. Sick deer have small bruises in the mouth and nose and swelling of the head, neck, tongue and lips. A large number of sick or dead deer may be found in a small area, particularly in or near water sources. New York State previously had limited EHD outbreaks in 2007 in Albany and Niagara counties and in 2011 in Rockland County. The virus is not a problem for humans or domestic animals but can have a significant impact on deer populations. If you encounter a sick deer or an unusual number of dead deer, please report it to your nearest DEC regional wildlife office.

cover of 2012-13 hunt trap guide
2012-13 Hunting & Trapping Guide

Get the 2012-13 Hunting & Trapping Guide

The 2012-13 Hunting & Trapping Laws and Regulations Guide is now available on DEC's website. Hard copies will be available on August 13 with the purchase of a sporting license. The latest guide features:

  • New law and regulation changes for 2012-13
  • Information for most hunting and trapping seasons starting as early as September
  • Articles on feral swine, antler restrictions, high-tech ammunition, mallards and more
  • Statewide map with public hunting access
  • Sunrise/sunset chart to plan your hunting times

...and much more! Visit DEC's Hunting & Trapping Regulations Guide webpage, where you can either view the guide online, download and print it or find out where you can pick up a hard copy.

New 2012-13 Freshwater Fishing Guide

cover of 2012-13 freshwater fish guide
2012-13 Freshwater Fishing Guide

The 2012-13 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide is now available on DEC's website. Hard copies will be available on August 13 with the purchase of a sporting license. The 2012-13 regulations become effective October 1, 2012, so be sure to reference the 2011-12 guide through September 30. The latest fishing guide features:

  • Highlights of regulation changes
  • 2012-13 freshwater fishing regulations statewide and by county
  • Articles on Finger Lakes fishing
  • 2012 fish health advisories
  • Baitfish regulations, hatchery information and annual stocking report

...and much more! Visit DEC's Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide webpage, where you can view the guide online or download and print it today!

New York State's Extensive Wildlife Health Program

DEC recently launched a comprehensive statewide Wildlife Health Program in cooperation with the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at Cornell University. The program aims to improve wildlife disease monitoring through testing and data analysis, conduct surveillance for new and emerging diseases of concern, provide staff support and training and build inter-agency communication with many other state and federal partners. This integrated inter-agency cooperation is part of a global movement known as the "One Health" initiative, which is vital to keeping both humans and animals healthy. This summer, staff are conducting workshops for DEC field offices to introduce the program, get feedback on staff needs and provide guidance for safe handling of wildlife disease cases. Visit DEC's Managing and Diagnosing Wildlife Diseases webpage for more information.

Reminder: Sporting Licenses and Deer Management Permits on Sale August 13

The 2012-13 hunting, trapping and freshwater fishing licenses, as well as deer management permits (DMPs) will be available on Monday, August 13. Licenses and permits can be purchased online, by phone or at several DEC offices, town clerks offices and many sporting good stores. Visit DEC's Sporting Licenses or Deer Management Permits webpages for more information. When purchasing your license, don't forget to get a copy of the 2012-13 Hunting & Trapping or Freshwater Fishing regulations guide.

First 2012 Cases of West Nile Virus in Wildlife

DEC's Wildlife Health Unit identified the first 2012 cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in crows during late June in Tompkins County. In July and early August, additional birds were found infected in Tompkins County and in several other counties, including Albany, Rensselaer, Erie, Essex, Nassau and Delaware. WNV infections typically peak in August and September; however, it is not unusual to have WNV occur as early as June. DEC does not conduct a systematic surveillance program for WNV, but these earlier cases indicate the virus is seasonally active. DEC is sharing case information with local county health departments. For more information about WNV and how you can protect yourself from exposure, visit the DOH website (External Link).

A Conservationist You Don't Want to Miss

cover of August 2012 Conservationist
August 2012 Conservationist
Magazine Cover

Don't forget to read the latest Conservationist. In the August issue, you can read about a state-record brook trout and discover how to increase your chances of catching record fish; learn about a day spent exploring the Hudson River; read how Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee affected New York; go on an armchair adventure with the oldest hiking club in New York; and much more! To get your copy, call 1-800-678-6399, or visit us online at http://www.theconservationist.org/

See DEC at the Great New York State Fair

From August 23 through September 3, DEC will be offering something for everyone at the State Fair in Syracuse (External Link). You can see fish on display, purchase a 2012-13 sporting license, sign up for a Sportsman Education class, speak with an environmental conservation officer or biologist, subscribe to Conservationist magazine to enter a contest for a free lifetime fishing license, get a free tree seedling, find information for your next recreational adventure and much more! All exhibits and DEC staff will be available from 10 AM through 6 PM daily (license sales stop at 5 PM) at either the Aquarium Building or the Log Cabin. DEC hopes to see you at the Great New York State Fair!

Freshwater Fishing Regulation Changes Effective October 1

Newly adopted changes to freshwater fishing regulations will become effective on October 1, 2012. Highlights of changes can be seen in DEC's press release, New Freshwater Fishing Regulations for 2012-2014, and a complete list of changes can be viewed on DEC's Sportfishing Regulations - Express Term Adopted webpage. Specific changes are also available in the 2012-13 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide.

More Noteworthy DEC News

Below are DEC press releases not to be missed!

male wood duck on water
Male wood duck with its rich colorful feathers
and bold white stripes during the breeding
season ~Photo by Tim McCabe;
courtesy of USFWS

Did You Know...?

A male wood duck is one of the most colorful ducks in North America. However, when it "molts" or sheds feathers after breeding, its signature bold white stripes and colorful array of emerald, teal, burgundy and gold vanishes. This is called an "eclipse" plumage because the duck's brightly colored feathers appear masked with dull grayish-brown hues similar to the female's coloring. Not all vibrancy is lost, however, as the male's orange, yellow, white and black bill and bright red eyes remain!

Read more cool facts about wood ducks on Cornell's "All About Birds" website (External Link).

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