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January 11, 2013 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

Get Involved: Help Support Wild Turkey Management

You can help DEC learn more about how winter weather affects wild turkeys and improve management of this popular game bird by participating from January through March in DEC's Winter Flock Survey and new Wild Turkey Hen Survival Study:

  • Winter Flock Survey - print a survey form (PDF, 30kb) and record observations of each turkey flock you see in your backyard.
  • NEW! Hen Survival Study - starting this year, DEC is banding about 400 turkey hens statewide each winter for the next four years on both public and private lands upstate. DEC is looking for landowners interested in allowing research staff to trap and release birds on their land, as well as to report flocks regularly seen, either by contacting a local project coordinator or by completing the Winter Flock Survey Form (see above).

Remember: Safety First When Ice Fishing

Before venturing out to cut your fishing hole this winter, keep some ice safety measures in mind. As a rule, a minimum of three to four inches of solid ice is safe for an angler on foot; however, remain alert, as ice thickness varies on every body of water, and even within the same body of water. Be particularly wary of areas along the shore and where there is moving water, including where streams enter the lake and around spillways and dams where ice is thin. Finally, the buddy system makes ice fishing more fun and helps keep everyone safer, so invite a family member or friend to join you. Visit DEC's Ice Fishing webpage for more ice safety tips and information on cutting ice, ice fishing gear, proper clothing and statewide ice fishing regulations.

Don't Miss the 2013 Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Workshop

Mark your calendar for the weekend of June 28 through 30 for this year's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop, to be held at Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George. More than 40 classes on topics ranging from hunting and fishing to camping, kayaking, nature study and more are available. While registration doesn't open until March, you can view last year's BOW Workshop Course Guide (PDF, 75kb) to get an idea about what you'd like to register for this year. Also, watch the DEC TV: Outdoors-Woman Program to see all the fun you will experience at a BOW workshop!

Regulation Increases Opportunity to Sell Hatchery-Raised Largemouth Bass

As of January 2, 2013 a newly adopted regulation has made it easier to sell hatchery-raised largemouth bass as food by allowing those who purchase from licensed hatcheries to sell, resell and distribute the fish within the state. As previously permitted, hatchery-reared smallmouth bass and largemouth bass may still be sold for stocking and exhibition purposes, but smallmouth bass may not be sold as food. Visit DEC's Black Bass Transportation and Sale FAQs webpage for additional information about the new regulation.

Commercial Fishery Updates

The following are recent and upcoming commercial fishery trip limit changes for the month of January:

  • Effective January 1:
    • Summer flounder fishery daily trip limit reduced to 70 pounds.
    • Scup fishery daily trip limit increased to 50,000 pounds.
    • Bluefish fishery daily trip limit reduced to 3,000 pounds.
  • Effective January 6: Black sea bass fishery opened with a daily trip limit of 50 pounds. The fishery will remain open through January 26.
  • Effective January 12: Weekly summer flounder program, which runs from Saturday to Friday, opens with a weekly trip limit of 1,000 pounds.

To view the latest trip limit updates, visit DEC's Commercial Fishing Limits webpage.

Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

Listed below are recreational sporting season dates for Saturday, January 12, 2013 through Friday, January 25, 2013 only. To view all fishing, hunting and trapping seasons, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage or the new Sporting Seasons calendar.

Hunting

Waterfowl
View maps and descriptions of Waterfowl Hunting Zones or Canada Goose Hunting Areas for the seasons listed below:

  • January 13: Duck, coot and merganser season final day in the Western Waterfowl Hunting Zone
  • January 15: Canada goose season final day in the following areas:
    • South Goose Hunting Area (season will reopen in this area on February 23)
    • West Central Goose Hunting Area.
  • January 16: Snow goose season reopens in Lake Champlain Waterfowl Hunting Zone

Did You Know...?

Common garter snakes are docile snakes
Common garter snakes are docile snakes
that vary in color and pattern
~Photo by Laurie Dirkx

Beneath the frost line in rock outcroppings or mammal burrows, common garter snakes spend winters in groups, ranging from just a few to thousands. Fairly tolerant of the cold, some may temporarily venture out of hibernation sites on warm winter days to bask in the sun.

Learn more fun facts on the array of snakes found in New York in DEC's Snakes of New York (PDF, 1mb) brochure.

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