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April 2013 Outdoor Discovery

DEC Outdoor Discovery is published by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

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A fly fisherman in the middle of the Delaware River.

New York State has wonderful recreational opportunities which will be highlighted for you each month. Get ready to start planning your next adventure!

April 2013 Conservationist cover: A detail of the painting Lake George by Alfred Thompson Bricher.

Check out Conservationist magazine. In the upcoming April issue: get tipsfor brook trout fishing; learn what to do if you discover a bear in your cottage; explore Hudson River School art; and much more! Subscribe online or call 1-800-678-6399


DEC Events

Select Recreation Events
Trout Fishing Opens - 4/1
Spring Awakenings - 4/6
Spring Family Freshwater Fishing Festival - 4/13
Citizen Science: Frogwatch - 4/19
Youth Turkey Hunt - 4/20,21

See more upcoming events


Nature Notes

An adult male Wild Turkey.

Adult male wild turkey, also called "toms" or "gobblers," have red, blue, and white skin on their heads during the spring breeding display.


Safe and Sound

Two kids holding a fish on a boat.

Fishing is a great pastime, but what you catch isn't always edible. Learn about which fish are safe to eat.


Featured Video

A closeup of a fishing rod and lure.

According to expert anglers across New York State, there is no better place in the world to go fly fishing. Welcome to Trout Town in Roscoe, NY on DEC's YouTube page.


Explore for FREE

You can explore many state lands free of charge. However, some state campgrounds and day-use areas charge a small fee, depending on the season (campsite rentals extra).


Let Us Know

We hope you enjoy this newsletter and will share your favorite hiking spot, recreation activity or outdoor tip with us. Your feedback is always welcome.
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Photo Credits

Top banner: Michael Linse
"Hugging Trees": Jacqui Wensich
Tom Turkey: Mrs. Larry Burch
Frog: Barbara Nuffer

A man fly fishing in the Beaver Kill river.

Trout Fishing on the Famed Beaver Kill

The wait is over for anglers looking forward to New York's 2013 trout season opener. When it comes to stream trout fishing in the state, it's tough to beat the famous Beaver Kill in the Catskill Mountains.

The Beaver Kill, located in Delaware and Sullivan counties, offers great opportunities to catch wild brown, brook and rainbow trout. In addition to these wild trout populations, DEC annually stocks over 1,500 two-year-old brown trout and more than 11,000 yearling brown trout. The Beaver Kill has miles of easily accessible public fishing rights easements.

Visit DEC's website for public fishing rights maps of the Beaver Kill. And be sure to check the special regulations pages for Delaware and Sullivan counties.

For information about camping on the Beaver Kill, visit DEC's Beaver Kill campground webpage.


Youth Turkey Hunt

A youth hunter with her Wild Turkey harvest.

Hunting is a great family tradition, and the Youth Hunt for Wild Turkey is a good way to introduce the next generation to this activity. The special Youth Hunt weekend takes place April 20-21, 2013 and offers an excellent opportunity for junior hunters (ages 12-15) to spend time afield with experienced hunters. The regular spring turkey hunting season runs from May 1 through May 31.

A few tips for turkey hunting:

  • Most successful hunters use a variety of calls.
  • Head-to-toe camouflage helps conceal hunters, but wearing hunter orange while moving between hunting locations helps keep hunters safe.
  • Before shooting, always identify your target and what is beyond it.
  • Don't stalk; let the bird do the walking.

More information about Turkey Hunting is available on DEC's website.


Hike of the Month: Finger Lakes Trail

The Hugging Trees on the Finger Lakes Trail.

At more than 950 miles long, the Finger Lakes Trail system is a hiker's dream. The main trail branches out to Niagara Falls, the Genesee River valley, the Great Eastern Trail south of Corning, the central Finger Lakes, and the Syracuse region. You can hike on over 10 miles of the Finger Lakes/North Country Trail at the James D. Kennedy Memorial State Forest.

At James D. Kennedy Memorial State Forest, fishing, bird watching and free camping among towering hemlocks are some other kinds of outdoor recreation enjoyed here. Scan the view from Virgil Mountain, the highest point in Cortland County. In addition to birds, watch for a variety of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Depending on the time of day, you're likely to see white-tailed deer, woodchucks, chipmunks, grey, red and flying squirrels, and bats. In addition, box turtles, salamanders, frogs and garter snakes are commonly encountered.


Watchable Wildlife: Frogs at Tillman Rd. WMA

A frog crouched on some moss.

The croak, ribbit and peep of frogs are unmistakable signs that spring is here. At Tillman Road Wildlife Management Area, you can walk through the marsh during the spring and summer, and seven different species of frogs will serenade you.

Two hiking trails and a self-guided nature loop encircle the wetlands and grassy fields. The area, in the town of Clarence, 8 miles east of Buffalo, also includes a deciduous swamp and hardwood forest and is home to muskrats, beaver, mink, deer, grebes, wading birds, herons and ducks. A boardwalk with a viewing platform is located at the Bergtold Road entrance.

The property, totaling 230 acres, is a prime spot for wildlife watching, fishing and hiking. The interpretive trail and viewing platform are accessible to persons with disabilities. For more watchable wildlife opportunities, visit the New York Watchable Wildlife webpage.


Meandering Moose River Trail

A scenic view across one of the lakes on the Moose River trail.

One of the most popular spots in the Adirondacks now has a new year-round trail for hiking, biking and snowmobiling.

The 12.8-mile multiple-use trail connects the communities of Inlet and Raquette Lake through the Moose River Plains Wild Forest in Hamilton County. It joins with the current Moose River Plains Wild Forest trail system, which is the center of a trail system that connects to Newcomb in Essex County and Old Forge in Herkimer County.

April 2013 DEC Outdoor Discovery Newsletter © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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