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January 25, 2013 - Field Notes

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

In This Issue:

Rare Moth Reappears in New York After 100 Years

A faded gray geometer moth
A faded gray geometer moth is small (30-40 mm) and pale
white, with gray and brown lines.Its larvae feed on oaks.
~ Photo © Jim Troubridge, courtesy of the North American
Moth Photographers Group

Last summer, surveys at Fort Drum Military Installation by the New York Natural Heritage Program turned up a surprise. A faded gray geometer (Stenoporpia polygrammaria), a species of moth that has not been discovered in New York State for 100 years, was found in a sandy grassland on the edge of woods. Until then, this rare moth was believed to be limited to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, where it is listed as state threatened. For unknown reasons, the species had declined sharply in our region. To assist in research and environmental review, New York Natural Heritage has mapped the location where the moth was found. Learn more about this species in the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Faded Gray Geometer Fact Sheet (PDF) (332 KB).

Special Snow Goose Hunting Season Opens Earlier in 2013

Snow geese flock in a wetland
Snow geese gather by the thousands during their
northern winter migration to their arctic breeding grounds
~ Photo by Jamie Richie, courtesy of USFWS

Newly adopted state regulations expanded the special snow goose hunting season upstate to open earlier this year. Previously, the special season would not have started until March 11 but began in 2013 on January 23. The expanded season, which continues through April 15, increases the opportunity to harvest snow geese when they are most abundant throughout winter and early spring. The season includes a bag limit of 25 snow geese per day, and hunters are allowed to use electronic calls and "unplugged" guns (shotguns capable of holding more than three shells). For more information, visit DEC's Special Snow Goose Season webpage. A DEC press release is available with more details.

Shellfish Harvesting Opportunities Open in Several Locations on Long Island

Three conditional shellfish harvesting programs have opened in Oyster Bay Harbor, Dering Harbor and Mattituck Creek. These popular programs allow for harvest of oysters, scallops, mussels and clams from areas usually closed to shellfishing and that have tested negative for harmful toxins. The areas typically are available during colder months when bacteria levels in the water are lower. DEC's Bureau of Marine Resources collaborates with towns in Nassau and Suffolk counties to open them to harvesters and is working to establish more conditional harvesting programs for 2013. For more information, including maps of currently available areas, visit DEC's Conditional Shellfish Harvesting Programs webpage.

New State Forest in Forestport

New State Forest land in Oneida County
Green shaded area represents the 518 acres of newly
acquired land located in northern Oneida County

DEC recently purchased more than 500 acres of land along the foothills of the Adirondacks in Oneida County. The land runs almost a mile along the Black River and is characterized by year-round springs, bogs, forested wetlands and undeveloped forests of northern hardwoods and conifers. Because no other state forests border the newly acquired property, it will receive its own name. The $385,400 acquisition, paid for by the Environmental Protection Fund, serves an integral role in protecting the Black River Valley Corridor, a priority conservation project in the New York Open Space Conservation Plan. It will also serve to increase opportunities for outdoor recreation, enhance conservation of unique wildlife and plant species, and add protection for the Town of Forestport water wells and water supply.

Recreational Sporting Season Reminders

Listed below are recreational sporting season dates for Saturday, January 26, 2013 through Friday, February 8, 2013 only. To view all fishing, hunting and trapping seasons, visit DEC's Outdoor Activities webpage or the new Sporting Seasons calendar.

Hunting/Trapping

Big Game

  • January 31: Final day for special firearms deer season in Suffolk County. Remember to your report your harvest within 7 days.

Small Game

Waterfowl

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

  • January 27: Final day for brant, duck, coot, merganser and sea duck hunting on Long Island
  • January 30: Canada goose season final day for Eastern Long Island Goose Hunting Area
  • February 7: Special late Canada goose season begins only in a small portion (north shore) of the Central Long Island Goose Hunting Area. Canada goose hunting is closed for all other portions of the Central Long Island Goose Hunting Area. During the special late season, hunters may take 5 Canada goose per day.
  • Correction: The last issue of Field Notes (January 11) incorrectly stated that the special snow goose season opened on Lake Champlain on January 16. Although the special season is now open for all areas upstate, pending regulations were not finalized until January 23. For more information, see DEC's press release with details on the special snow goose season.

More Noteworthy DEC News

Below are DEC press releases not to be missed!

  • Saturday, January 26: Free Ice Fishing Clinic on Crumhorn Lake, Otsego County
    Gather your family and friends for a free day of ice fishing, with no fishing license required, at the Henderson Scout Reservation on Crumhorn Lake in the Town of Milford, Otsego County.
  • DEC Recognizes Efforts of Bald Eagle Volunteer
    Tom Rauber was presented with a certificate of appreciation from DEC for his countless hours of volunteer work that contributed to the highly successful restoration of New York State's bald eagle population.
  • Strategy to Address Invasive Species in Lake George
    In preparation for the 2013 summer boating season, DEC and the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) will take action to combat the threat and spread of invasive species such as Asian clams. They also will begin an environmental review of a comprehensive long-term plan to protect Lake George from invasive species.
Snowy owl
Male snowy owls are whiter in color,
with fewer barred markings than females
~ Photo © Michael Gäbler/Wikimedia
Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0

Did You Know...?

Unlike most owls that hunt during the night, snowy owls hunt both day and night. They are common in the Arctic tundra but may remain in New York for the winter. Thick feathers protect them from the cold and add extra weight, making them the heaviest owls in North America.

Learn more about this winter-white bird on Cornell University's All About Birds (External Link) webpage.

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