From the April 2010 Conservationist
Briefly and Book Review
By Jenna Kerwin and Eileen Stegemann
The Good Fight
The invasive aquatic plant water chestnut
For several years, New York BASS (Bass Anglers Sportsman Society) Chapter Federation and the Salt City Bassmasters have been working to control the spread of water chestnut in the Three Rivers area of central NY, and their efforts are paying off. Since 2007, they have successfully hand pulled approximately 10,000 pounds of this invasive aquatic plant which is known to choke the waters where it occurs. Water chestnut is difficult to remove because its seeds are viable for years, so people must be sure to remove the entire plant before it can produce its nut pod. A cooperative effort that included participation from multiple area bass clubs, 14 junior bass club members, the Onondaga Water Quality Management, and Cornell Cooperative Extension, the removal program won the 2009 Berkley Conservation Award. To learn more, read the article.
Fishing the Hudson
Hudson River anglers are reminded that they now need a fishing license to fish the Hudson River south of the Troy Dam. Depending on the specific location fished, and the species fished for, an angler may need a recreational marine fishing license, or a regular fishing license for freshwater, or both. When fishing downstream of the Tappan Zee Bridge, you need a recreational marine fishing license. Upstream from the Tappan Zee Bridge, anglers need a regular fishing license when fishing for non-migratory fish (e.g. largemouth and smallmouth bass, catfish, carp, walleye, and perch), and a recreational marine fishing license if fishing for "migratory fish from the sea" (e.g. striped bass, blueback herring, or alewife). If you are fishing for both migratory fish from the sea and non-migratory fish, you need both licenses.
New Boat Launching Guide
Anglers and boaters will be happy to learn that the directory of boat launching sites in New York State has been updated. The directory is a valuable resource that contains a list of state access and boat launching sites (grouped by county), including details such as parking capacity and ramp type for each site. Downloaded the updated version for free. In addition, maps providing locations where DEC has acquired Public Fishing Rights are also available online.
DEC is looking for volunteers to take part in the River Herring Monitoring Program aimed at keeping track of the Hudson River herring population. During the annual springtime spawning runs, participants collect information about the presence or absence of herring on a number of local tributaries within the Hudson River Estuary. Information gathered helps biologists learn what tributaries river herring visit, when they visit, and the environmental factors affecting the fish's presence. During 2009, 69 volunteers participated in the program. This year's program runs from April 1 to May 31. Learn how you can participate.
Bringing the Hudson River to Students
The Discover the Hudson River booklet is now available to teachers and students in upper elementary grades. A joint venture between several organizations, led by Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), the booklet helps promote public understanding of the Hudson River in a fun and engaging way. It includes 16 pages of lively text, colors, games, activities, and maps containing information about the Hudson watershed, the variety of wildlife supported by the river, and the ways people influence and are influenced by the river. A preview of selected pages is available. A link to Project WET's online store is provided to purchase copies.
When Size Matters
When you're talking about state record fish, size and weight matter. In our December issue, we listed the weight of the new state record walleye incorrectly at 16 pounds, 6 ounces. It should have said 16 pounds, 9 ounces.
Green's Not Black & White: The Balanced Guide to Making Eco Decisions
Review by Jenna Kerwin
By Dominic Muren
144 pages; soft cover $14.99
Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
In a world where environmental concerns are ever-growing, it's only a matter of time before you feel bogged down by the barrage of eco-information. Is there such thing as clean coal? Is washing your clothes in cold water a smart choice? Well, Dominic Muren's Green's Not Black & White is here to answer questions like these and help you make informed environmental decisions.
Muren takes a new stance when it comes to sifting through today's avalanche of eco-information. Instead of planting feet firmly and taking a side, he outlines the pros and cons of a variety of topics, from eating less meat to using natural cleaning products.
For example, you may think using bamboo has no negative consequences. Muren's information may surprise you. Bamboo is a fast-growing, renewable resource. It is produced on plantations, so it does not contribute to rainforest destruction. However, it is expensive to transport from the tropical climates where it grows, to the countries that need it. In addition, bamboo in textiles must be carefully disposed of using chemicals, so carelessness can lead to environmental problems.
The book's two-page per topic layout and bulleted facts make it an informative, but not complicated read. The colorful illustrations and photographs are an enjoyable addition, and the entertaining cartoon art mixes harmoniously with Muren's fact reporting. Airplanes on bicycles and pole-vaulting fish may seem absurd, but when absorbed with the text, they delicately present the significance of each eco-decision.
With the amount of "pro & con" information in this book, you may find yourself wondering about what your next step should be. Have no fear; Muren not only gives you the information, he offers helpful suggestions on what to do with it.
Dominic Muren cuts through a lot of the hype surrounding today's conservation efforts, and presents impartial (and sometimes surprising) facts to help you make balanced eco-decisions. I recommend this book to those confused and lost in today's Green age, or those who just want some objective answers to their environmental questions. Green's Not Black & White shows the hidden grey in a world of confusing and somewhat contradictory eco-information.
Jenna Kerwin is the staff writer of Conservationist.