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conservation chatter corner

with ron schroder

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YOUR IN ON THE OUTDOORS FOR WESTERN NEW YORK
www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com

 

5 – 22 – 20

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

ANGLERS CAUTIONED TO AVOID SPAWNING LAKE STURGEON: Lake sturgeon can be unintentionally caught by anglers fishing in certain waters in New York during May and June when they’re spawning. The stress incurred from being caught by an angler can inhibit a lake sturgeon’s ability to spawn. It takes many years for female sturgeon to become sexually mature, and they only spawn every 4-7 years, so missing a spawning opportunity can have a big impact on the growth of a population. 

Keep in mind, lake sturgeon are listed as a threatened species in New York. There is no open season for lake sturgeon and possession is prohibited, so anglers should not be targeting these rare fish. If you catch a sturgeon, you should move to another area or change fishing gear to avoid catching another. Should you hook a lake sturgeon, follow these practices to ensure that it is returned to the water unharmed:

Avoid bringing the fish out of the water if possible.

Use pliers to remove the hook; sturgeon are almost always hooked in the mouth.

Always support the fish horizontally. Don't hold sturgeon in a vertical position by their head, gills, or tails.

Never touch their eyes or gills.

Minimize their time out of the water and return them to the water immediately once they are freed from fishing gear.

Be a lake sturgeon champion for New York and fish responsibly - it can make all the difference in returning this giant to our waters.

                                                                                                                  DEC Photo

 

MUSKELLUNGE SEASON OPENS MAY 30 IN MOST STATE WATERS: Anglers seeking the ultimate trophy fish don’t have to wait much longer. The fishing season for muskellunge, New York’s largest freshwater sportfish, opens on May 30 across much of the state. In New York’s Great Lakes waters (Lake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River) the season opens on June 20.

Capable of growing to 50 pounds or more, special techniques are often required when fishing for these massive predators. See Muskie 101 for tips on how to catch and handle them. New York’s most renowned muskellunge fisheries are in the St. Lawrence River, Upper Niagara River and Chautauqua Lake, but there are other quality waters including Waneta, Greenwood, Bear, and Cassadaga lakes and the Susquehanna, Chenango, Grass and Great Chazy rivers.

                                                            Photo DEC

 

 

BOWFISHING FOR CARP: Season started May 15.  You need a small game or fishing license to participate, and you must be in an area where both fishing and the discharge of a bow are permitted.  Only carp may be taken, so the same rule as in all hunting  applies - be sure of your target.  Hitting a fish other than a carp could be expensive.  One final observation: Some bowfishermen have been known to throw the carp back into the water after getting it.  Don’t!  It’s not like angling.  There is no catch and release.  Be considerate of others.  Remember, a rotting fish smells like . . . well, a rotten fish.  Disposing of your catch properly is not just a nice idea, it’s the law.

 

FIRST NEW YORK STATE RECORD FISH ESTABLISHED FOR 2020:

Morgan Fonzi record white bassWhile out fishing with his dad, Joe, on May 6th, Morgan Fonzi reeled in a new state record white bass from the Lower Niagara River. Weighing in at 3 lbs. 8 oz, it surpassed the previous state record set in 1992 by 2 ounces. Interestingly, the father-son duo had been out the day before when Joe Fonzi caught one even larger. When they realized what the (then) state record white bass weighed, they set out the following day specifically targeting that species and the rest is history.

It's safe to say, the fishing season in New York State is off to a great start! 

Congratulations Morgan!

For more information on New York's Angler Achievement Awards Program which covers state records, visit DEC's website.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Nothing from New York but in Michigan, DNR officers arrested a Pickford man who allegedly poached 18 wolves and three bald eagles after an investigation that lasted for months. Kurt Johnston Duncan, 56, was arraigned Wednesday in Chippewa County District court on a staggering 125 misdemeanor charges involving wildlife. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. The DNR did not give a lot of details on this case, but they shared a photo of officers investigating illegal snares allegedly set by Duncan.  

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php(CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. MANY ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

 

MAY

23-25 - 56th Annual National Lake Trout Derby on Seneca Lake in Geneva, New York, NY. The derby is a Finger Lakes tradition that brings participants from far and wide to enjoy the scenic waters of the region while competing for a $10,000 grand prize, among others! It is open to anyone with a New York State Fishing License. Registration for the derby is located online as well as in varying towns along Seneca Lake. All derby registration information and prize breakdowns are listed on www.laketroutderby.com Qualifying fish include lake trout, landlocked salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout. An award ceremony will be held on the final day of the Trout Derby at the Tiki Bar North/Stivers Marine Weigh Station at 401 Boody’s Hill Road, Waterloo NY. (For information call (315) 789 5520.)  

31 - Close of Spring Turkey Hunting Season

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for – “Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.”

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

 

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5 – 15  – 20

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

NATIONAL SAFE BOATING WEEK: National Safe Boating Week, which begins this Saturday, May 16, and runs through Friday, May 22, is the traditional early boating season reminder to help recreational boaters embrace safety all season long. However, the important National Safe Boating week recommendation urging life jacket wear is now joined by an equally important boating safety message — how to stay safe during the time of COVID-19.

The BoatUS Foundation offers two National Safe Boating Week tips:

Do everything you can to social distanceBoats should maintain a 50-foot separation on the water and not raft up; wash your hands and/or use sanitizer frequently; and pack all essentials. Additional tips can be found at the National Safe Boating Council’s CDC-based Tips for Navigating Social Distancing + Boating. The Marine Retailers Association of Americas offers boat storage facilities such as marinas, dealers or boat clubs a downloadable Communicate Safe Boating to Your Customers with tips for arriving at a marina, launching, storing and returning to the dock.

Your life jacket will save you. If there was one action a boater could easily take to dramatically increase safety aboard, it’s wearing his/her life jacket more often. According to U.S. Coast Guard statistics, approximately 84% of those who drowned were not wearing one. “The best life jacket is the one your will wear,” says Edmonston. “Inflatable life jackets are light, comfortable, keep you cool on a hot day, and are easily worn because you forget you are wearing one.” Boaters also need to have a properly sized U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for every person aboard, and can borrow a child’s life jacket for free at over 575 BoatUS Life Jacket Loaner Program sites.

For more information on National Safe Boating Week, go to safeboatingcampaign.com.

 

TURKEY SEASON: Well, we’re at the halfway point of the spring wild turkey hunting season and hunter reports are running good and bad.  For some, the season is already over with two birds in the freezer. While others are wondering what their chances are.  That depends on who you talk to.  Some experienced hunters will tell you it’s tougher in the latter part of the season because there are fewer birds left, and those that remain are smarter.  Others claim the remaining toms will be more receptive to your calls because most hens will be on the nest.  Both theories make sense and maybe one factor offsets the other.  One thing that isn’t in dispute is that visibility is decreasing as the leaves come out, making it more of a must that you be sure of your target and don’t take instinctive shots. A past example: One hunter, who was stalking a decoy, learned the hard way as he shot at a movement beyond the decoy, which turned out to be the hunter in wait, waving him away from the decoy. Luckily not a fatality but a very serious injury. It’s also a lesson for the “hunter in wait” don’t move if you see someone coming. Use your voice to let him know you are there. There’s no excuse for incidents like this. Be sure of your target! 

 

TURKEY HUNTER CHARGED WITH SHOOTING TWO HUNTERS: The wild turkey spring season is at its half-way point and unfortunately no longer accident free. State Police have charged a Lockport man with a misdemeanor assault charge today following an early morning turkey hunting accident in Niagara County that left two hunters injured. Scott Brown, 59, of Lockport, has been charged with third-degree assault and reckless endangerment, second degree.

The two injured hunters told investigators they had permission to hunt the property. They said they came across some turkey decoys and turned to leave, believing someone was already hunting there. Scott was charged for allegedly firing at the two men hitting one in the face and the other in the back. The injuries were not life-threatening. Scott allegedly spoke to the two men saying he was sorry and then left the scene. He was later located by troopers and arrested. He was issued an appearance ticket and is due back in Niagara Court later this month.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Duckling Rescue - Onondaga County: On May 6, ECO Don Damrath and Geddes Police Officer Mike Sheppard reunited 15 Mallard ducklings with their mother after the ducklings fell into a storm drain at a busy intersection. A local business employee and Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection staff retrieved 12 of the ducklings, but three ducklings swam deeper into the drainpipe and refused to come out. ECO Damrath coaxed the three stragglers from the pipe using recorded duckling sounds. ECO Damrath and Officer Sheppard then secured the trio and reunited them with their siblings and mother at a nearby pond.

Three baby ducklings in a cardboard box
Rescued ducklings in Onondaga County

Kit Rescue - Tioga County: On May 10, ECO Eric Templeton responded to the town of Nichols to investigate a report of a young fox kit stuck in a window well. Upon arrival, ECO Templeton was informed the baby fox had fallen into one of the homeowner's window wells and had been there since the previous day. The homeowner had placed a board into the window well, but the baby fox was unable to climb out. ECO Templeton put on his protective equipment, recovered the fox, and transported the animal, unharmed, to a wildlife rehabilitator in Ithaca.

An ECO holds a tiny grey fox kit in his hands after rescue
ECO Eric Templeton and rescued gray fox

TIPS FOR WATCHING WILDLIFE AT NIGHT: The best time to witness nocturnal wildlife is about 30 minutes after sunset. Follow these tips to maximize your nighttime wildlife watch:
-Wear comfortable clothes and sneakers or running shoes so that you can walk around quietly.
-Check which direction the wind is blowing and sit downwind so that the animals won't be able to smell you.
-Bring a blanket—it gets cold sitting on the ground.
-Place a piece of red cellophane paper over your flashlight and secure it with a rubber band. The red light allows your eyes to adjust to the darkness better, and you won't disturb the animals as much as with a bright white flashlight.
-Pick an area where there are a lot of night-flying insects—near water, flood lights or street lights. Certain animals feed on insects, and insects are attracted to light and water.
-Use binoculars to get a close view of animals; binoculars enable you to see animals better from a respectable and safe distance.
-Don't feed the animals!

                                                        Night Wildlife Watching You

 

IF YOU CARE, LEAVE IT THERE: New Yorkers should keep their distance and not to disturb newborn fawns or other young wildlife as many animals are in the peak season for giving birth, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) cautioned.

 

 

It is not unusual to see a young bird crouched in the yard or a young rabbit in the flower garden, both apparently abandoned. Finding a fawn deer lying by itself is also fairly common. Many people assume that young wildlife found alone are helpless and need assistance for their survival, however, in nearly all cases this is a mistake and typically human interaction does more damage than good. Those that see a fawn or other newborn wildlife should enjoy their encounter but keep it brief, maintain some distance and do not attempt to touch the animal.

Young wildlife quickly venture into the world on shaky legs or fragile wings. While most are learning survival from one or both parents, some normally receive little or no care. Often, wild animal parents stay away from their young when people are near. For all of these young animals, the perils of survival are a natural part of life in the wild.

White-tailed deer fawns present a good example of how human intervention with young wildlife can be problematic. Most fawns are born during late May and the first half of June. While fawns are able to walk shortly after birth, they spend most of their first several days lying still. During this period a fawn is also usually left alone by the adult female (doe) except when nursing. People occasionally find a lone fawn and mistakenly assume it has been orphaned or abandoned, which is very rare. Fawns should never be picked up. If human presence is detected by the doe, the doe may delay its next visit to nurse.

A fawn’s best chance to survive is by being raised by the adult doe. Fawns nurse three to four times a day, usually for less than 30 minutes at a time, but otherwise the doe keeps her distance. This helps reduce the chance that she will attract a predator to the fawn. The fawn’s protective coloration and ability to remain motionless all help it avoid detection by predators and people.     

By the end of its second week, a fawn begins to move about more and spend more time with the doe. It also begins to eat grass and leaves. At about ten weeks of age, fawns are no longer dependent on milk, although they continue to nurse occasionally into the fall. During August, all deer begin to grow their winter coat and fawns lose their spots during this process.

Should you find a fawn or other young wildlife, If You Care, Leave It There. In nearly all cases that is the best thing for the animal. DO NOT consider young wildlife as possible pets. This is illegal and is bad for the animal. Wild animals are not well suited for life in captivity and they may carry diseases that can be given to people. Resist the temptation to take them out of the wild. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about young wildlife, visit the DEC website at: www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6956.html

 

 

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php(CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. MANY ARE CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

 

16 – Free Learn To Catch a Fish Day at the Silver Lake State Park, Silver Springs, NY (11:00 am – 3:00 pm) Free Sport Fishing Events are fishing programs where participants can fish for free; no freshwater fishing license or enrollment in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry is required. In addition to fishing, participants can learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques, fisheries management, angling ethics and aquatic ecology.  (For information contact Douglas Kelly, NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation at 585-493-3605.)

16 - The Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament. The contest is a challenging test for one day. Bring your six-best salmon (chinook or coho) and see who scores the highest based on 10 points per fish and one point per pound. The basic concept is the same. However, here is what’s been put on the table for the 2020 competition. Observers no longer are required for teams, but polygraph testing will return. The rod limit is being increased from 6 to 8 rods and the Canadian border is again open for the contest. Remember that the regulations are slightly different in the lake in Canadian waters, such as rod limits. The tournament is limited to 50 boats and the entry fee is $1,000. Canadian money is accepted at par to help offset travel costs and the increased costs of docking and accommodations to encourage international participation. (For information, visit www.wilsonharborinvitational.com.)

16 – Niagara Frontier Friends of NRA Banquet at Salvatore's Italian Gardens, 6461 Transit Road,
Depew, NY (5:00 pm) (Cost: $50.00) (For information contact Georgina Grosofsky 716-866-7656  or email friendsofnrageorgina@gmail.com)

23-25 - 56th Annual National Lake Trout Derby on Seneca Lake in Geneva, New York, NY. The derby is a Finger Lakes tradition that brings participants from far and wide to enjoy the scenic waters of the region while competing for a $10,000 grand prize, among others! It is open to anyone with a New York State Fishing License. Registration for the derby is located online as well as in varying towns along Seneca Lake. All derby registration information and prize breakdowns are listed on www.laketroutderby.com Qualifying fish include lake trout, landlocked salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout. An award ceremony will be held on the final day of the Trout Derby at the Tiki Bar North/Stivers Marine Weigh Station at 401 Boody’s Hill Road, Waterloo NY. (For information call (315) 789 5520.)  

31 - Close of Spring Turkey Hunting Season

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for – “Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.”

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

 

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5 – 8  – 20

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

GOVERNORS OF NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY AND CONNECTICUT ANNOUNCE PLANS TO REOPEN MARINAS, BOATYARDS: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently announced marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers will be allowed open for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed. Chartered watercraft services or rentals will not be allowed, and restaurant activity at these sites must be limited to take-out or delivery only, like anywhere else in the three states. This announcement aligns the policies of the three states on this particular service.

“We’ve committed to working with our regional partners throughout this crisis to align our policies when and where appropriate,” said Governor Murphy. “A unified approach is the most effective way to alleviate confusion for the residents of our states during the ongoing public health emergency.”

“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve worked closely with our friends in neighboring states to implement a uniform regional approach to reducing the spread of the virus,” Governor Cuomo said. “Aligning our polices in this area is another example of that strong partnership, and will help ensure there is no confusion or ‘state shopping’ when it comes to marinas and boatyards.”

“Our states share workforces, resources, public transit, and we all have share a connection on the water,” Governor Lamont said. “This is yet another example of how our states have shared interests, which is all the more reason to collaborate on these kinds of decisions. This decision provides uniformity across our marinas.”

 

2020 CHINOOK SALMON AND STEELHEAD PEN-REARING PROJECTS: Fishing stocking in the waterEach year, DEC works with volunteer groups to stock a portion of the Lake Ontario Chinook salmon and steelhead in pen-rearing projects where the fish are held at the stocking location for 21 days prior to release. Previous studies have shown that pen-rearing improves both the survival of stocked fish and adult returns to the stocking site. This spring, the volunteer groups were able to develop alternate plans to operate the pen-rearing projects while still maintaining effective social distancing. Stocking of Lake Ontario pen-rearing projects began on April 3rd and was completed on April 14th. We were able to stock all planned Chinook salmon pen-rearing sites and three out of four planned steelhead pen-rearing sites this year. The pen-rearing program is a great example of DEC and anglers working together to provide enhanced management of the Lake Ontario fishery.

 

 

U.S.C.G. CAUTIONS BOATERS RE COLD WATER:  The Coast Guard reminds recreational boaters and paddlers to be aware of the risks involving cold water drownings.
Even as the area heads into warmer weather, it can still take many months for the rivers, lakes, and waterways to catch up. The water may be significantly colder than the outside ambient temperature.
Always wear a life jacket while out on the water. There is no time to don a life jacket when an accident or emergency occurs. The best vest is the one you wear.

“While hypothermia is a real concern, the true cause of most drownings this time of year is the rapid loss of one’s ability to swim or tread water due to cold water immersion,” said Capt. Nathan Coulter, chief of incident management for the 13th Coast Guard District. “Water temperatures in lakes and rivers are still near 50 degrees. If you enter water at those temperatures without a wet-suit or personal flotation device you may have less than 10 minutes to survive. Stay safe by dressing for the water temperature, not the air temperature.”

According to Frank Golden and Michael Tipton, internationally recognized experts in cold-water survival, water below 60-degrees Fahrenheit is immediately life-threatening, and many Washington waterways stay below 60-degrees Fahrenheit year round.

Sudden cold-water immersion makes it difficult, if not impossible, for boaters to keep their heads above water and stay afloat. Boating fatality statistics have shown that wearing a life jacket gives boaters the best chance of survival in the event of an accident, especially in cold water.

Small vessels such as kayaks, canoes, rafts, row boats, paddle boards, sailing vessels and open motorboats less than 21-feet long are the most vulnerable to capsizing.

Wear personal protective clothing, including dry or wet suits, clothing appropriate for a swim in the water temperature where you are venturing.

Boaters don’t just need to wear the proper gear but also need to equip their boats with required and recommended safety gear, such as a hand-held VHF-FM marine-band radio, a personal locator beacon and flares.
File a float plan. Take the time to write your contact information, with a waterproof permanent marker, on your kayak, paddle board or other personal water craft. A name, address and phone number can assist first responders in locating you, should your vessel be found.
New and inexperienced boaters should seek education before heading out on the water. Safety courses are offered through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and other state and local agencies, which are often offered at little or no cost.

 

BOATUS QUESTIONS WORK STOPPAGE ON THE ERIE CANAL: The New York State Canal System has long been recognized as essential transportation infrastructure, important to irrigation and flood control, the upstate economy, and communities that line its 524-mile length. However, the Canal Corporation’s parent agency, New York Power Authority (NYPA), ordered a work stoppage in March that has left eight canal locks dry with repair projects incomplete. This not only threatens this year’s May 15 opening but also could have lasting consequences.

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the national advocacy, services and safety group with more than 600,000 members — 39,000 in the Empire State alone — supports efforts by canal advocates to seek answers from NYPA about why essential infrastructure is not being maintained and when the work will resume so that negative impacts on navigation and communities can be minimized.

An April 14 article in The Buffalo News, “With Erie Canal Boating Season in Jeopardy, Business Owners, Officials Voice Concerns,” reported that workers were sent home March 17, and lock projects from Lockport to Whitehall, typically part of annual routine winter maintenance, could take up to 60 days to complete.

Said BoatUS Vice President of Public Affairs Scott Croft, “For nearly 200 years, the New York State Canal System has been essential transportation infrastructure. We’d like to know why maintenance activity has been allowed to stop while construction activities on the state’s trail system, parks and roads continue. The canal system is not only a critical waterway for recreational boaters, but also to the full recovery of New York State. It’s an economic engine for upstate communities from May through October, and its vital to have as much of the season as possible. We are hoping with the Governor Cuomo's recent April 19 executive order 202.96 to open marinas as essential will help encourage NYPA to act now to get the waterway ready for the season.”

Added Croft, “We can’t allow the system to fall behind. We don’t want the stoppage to potentially create a false choice down the road in which reduced water depth or minimized navigation is justified by a lack of scheduled maintenance. If the locks remain dry, there will be regions of the canal where recreational boaters and commercial vessels will not be able to navigate, directly affecting local economies.” Lock E23 in Brewerton, traditionally one of the busiest locks on the canal, is affected by the work stoppage. Other locks affected include E34/E35 (Lockport); E33 (Rochester), E26 (Clyde), E19 (Schuyler) E13 (Yosts), E7 (Niskayuna) and C12 (Whitehall).

Recreational boating contributes an $8.4 billion economic impact to New York, the third largest boating economy in the nation behind Florida and California. New York State recreational boating supports more than 2,300 businesses and provides nearly 40,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state. There are 444,103 registered boats in New York.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Sorry No Reports for Central/Western New York Area.

Barricaded Bears - Sullivan County: On April 15, ECOs Glen Parker and Ricky Wood responded to a bear complaint in Rock Hill. Upon arrival, the ECOs found two yearling black bears stuck inside a shed. The bears had knocked over a number of items inside the shed and were trapped inside. With assistance from two New York State Troopers, the ECOs were able to open the shed doors just wide enough for the bears to escape back into the nearby forest.

Two young bears in a wooden shed
Barricaded yearling black bears in Rock Hill

Injured Owl Fledgling - Sullivan County: On April 22, ECOs Glen Parker and Christopher Doroski responded to reports of an injured owl fledgling in the town of Neversink. Upon arrival, the officers located the owl and captured it without incident. The owl was taken to the New Paltz Animal Hospital where it was evaluated and determined to be underweight and suffering from an injured keel. The owl will be relayed to the Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center for recovery after its injuries are treated.

ECO poses for a picture with owl fledgling
ECO Doroski with owl fledgling

Not an Alligator - Schenectady County:

On April 27 at 9:45 a.m., ECOs responded to reports of a possible alligator siting at Steinmetz Park in Schenectady. The ECOs canvassed the park for signs of an alligator and found none. With the aid of binoculars, the responding officers observed a large common snapping turtle with a 16-inch carapace/shell just below the surface of the water, which could have been mistaken as an alligator swimming. A second canvass of the pond's edge revealed no tracks along the shoreline. The Schenectady Police Department has set up a portable camera pole overlooking the pond for future continuous observation. Area residents should call the DEC Law Enforcement Dispatch Center at 1-844-DEC-ECOs (1-844-332-3267) to report any additional sightings.

Blurry photo of large aquatic animal
Photos sent to DEC of alleged alligator

Wildfire: Town of Volney, Oswego County: On April 25 at 4:50 p.m., Oswego County 911 contacted Forest Ranger Michael Chappell to assist with a brush fire caused by a campfire on Bunny Drive in the town of Volney. When the Ranger arrived on scene, the fire was contained. Ranger Chappell assisted the responding fire department with extinguishing standing trees that were burning on the property. The fire was declared out at 6 p.m.

 

SNAKES: Now that the weather is warm, more people are starting to see snakes in their backyards, along trails, and in the woods. However, seeing a snake outside is no cause for alarm—if you see one, don’t panic. Leave it alone and walk away.

Regardless of whether a snake is venomous or non-venomous, snakes pose little threat to pets and children — if left alone. When confronted or harassed, snakes are more likely to flee than they are to bite. However, if given no escape route or they are restrained, they will bite or lunge toward their perceived aggressor to defend themselves. Watching for snakes and giving them a wide berth is an easy habit to learn, and powerfully effective for preventing snake bites.

To encourage a snake to leave your yard, try gently spraying it with a garden hose. This tactic can easily, and from a safe distance, entice the snake to go elsewhere. Removing one snake is a short-term solution that will not prevent another one from taking its place, and in the long-term does not reduce problems. However, here are a few tips that people can follow to make their backyards less hospitable to snakes.

· Clean up clutter – remove hiding places like piles of rocks, wood and other debris that attract rodents and snakes.

· Keep the lawn mowed. Snakes and their rodent prey prefer tall grasses where they can hide. They’re also easier to spot in shorter grass.

· Discourage snakes from entering your home by closing gaps and holes, repairing damage to siding and the foundation, and sealing openings under doors, windows and around water pipes.

When it comes to snakes, Hall says the most important thing people can do is to educate themselves and others about these beneficial reptiles and learn to appreciate them as an important part of the ecosystem.

Snakes are strictly carnivorous, preying on smaller animals such as rodents, slugs and insects. Snakes also serve as an important food source for other animals like foxes, raccoons, eagles, hawks, and owls. Instead of being widely feared and unjustly persecuted, snakes should be appreciated for the awesome creatures they are and treated with respect.

Photo by John Adamski

 

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php(CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. MANY ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

 

No events on record remain open.

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for – “Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.”

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

 

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4 – 17 – 20

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

A MESSAGE SENT TO ALL DEC HUNTER EDUCATION PROGRAM (HEP) INSTRUCTORS:

To give you an idea of the impact the Covid-19 cancellations have had on the Hunter Education Program (HEP), check out the following numbers:
From March 18 to April 30 (our current cancellation date) there were:
150+ hunter education courses cancelled with 2,657 students already registered
50+ bowhunter education courses cancelled with 675 students registered
10+ trapper education courses cancelled with 150 students registered
That is 210+ HEP courses cancelled and almost 3,500 student registrations in the system. And the numbers would have been higher if we hadn’t stopped new courses from opening.

HEP staff have received numerous pleas from instructors, parents, and students asking how they can get someone certified before spring turkey season begins or before the youth turkey hunting weekend in late April. Since NY accepts a hunter education certificate from any state in order to purchase a hunting license, many have figured out that taking a fully online course in another state enables them to get certified, and allows them to purchase a hunting license in New York before turkey season. However, many states that offer a fully online course are now restricting their online courses to residents only because so many non-residents, from New York, and many other states that also cancelled their hunter education courses, are overwhelming their computer systems or costing them a lot of money.

As a result, New York is now going to offer a fully online hunter education course so that students can get certified during this time when we cannot offer in-person courses. The online course is going to be offered through Kalkomey, the company that we use for Event Manager and the online homework. I approached Kalkomey approximately two weeks ago to see if we could get an online course operational in time for students to get certified before spring turkey season. They did an amazing job getting it all together so quickly.

The course will cost $19.95 per person. Right now the course will be available for a limited time, from April 15 through June 30, 2020. By late June, we will make a decision on whether to keep the course open for a longer period of time. Anyone age 11 or older can take the online course and you must be a resident of New York State. Students who successfully complete the course, and pass the final exam, will get a hunter education certificate. Starting Wednesday, the course can be found at https://www.hunter-ed.com/newyork/

Kalkomey is charging a fee for students to take this online course. That money stays with Kalkomey and helps pay for the customer support they provide for the online course. Providing this fee-based online course is an action that had to be taken at this time in order to continue offering hunter education courses, and to fulfill our legal obligation to issue hunter education certificates for those who want to purchase a hunting license.

HEP staff will email all the students who were registered for a hunter education course in March and April that was cancelled due to COVID-19. The email will let them know about the online course option if they need to get a hunter education certificate prior to turkey season.
I want to make it very clear, we are not eliminating in-person courses, and we have no plans to eliminate in-person courses in the future. We all know the value of hands-on, in-person courses. As soon as we have permission to resume scheduling in-person courses, we will let you know.
Please realize that all of us in the HEP are working from home. There are many challenges that come with working from home, as I am sure many of you who are also working from home have come to realize. We cannot mail paper copies to those that do not have email, we may take longer to answer an email question from you, most of us do not have state cell phones for you to call us, we may not have all the files and databases we have on our work computers, we may not have internet access at our home, and we may be homeschooling our kids while trying to get all our work done. Please be patient as we all try to do the best we can.

Thank you for understanding and thank you for your dedication to the Hunter Education Program.
Please stay safe and healthy.

Kelly Stang - Hunter Education Program Administrator

 

FORMER BASSMASTER CLASSIC CHAMP MIKE IACONELLI PLANS FREE ONLINE FISHING CLINIC:  The clinic is designed to help people interested in learning to fish get started as a way to be both active and socially responsible during the COVID-19 pandemic

What: Planned in partnership with Berkley Fishing, Ike’s Fishing 101 is a free entry-level fishing clinic, designed to give families and young anglers the information they need to be successful when fishing. Though fishing is ideally an activity to bring people together, during the COVID-19 pandemic fishing also serves as an ideal social-distancing activity that gets participants outdoors where they can reap the benefits of fresh air and sunshine. Sales data from the last month shows that sales of entry level rod and reel combos are soaring, indicating that more people are embracing fishing during this time. This clinic is meant to help them be more successful—and have more fun—on the water.

When: 2 p.m. (Eastern) daily beginning on Monday, April 20 and running through Friday, April 24. Each episode will last approximately one hour.

Where: Live episodes will be broadcast via Facebook Live on the Mike Iaconelli Fishing Facebook page (@MikeIaconelliFishing) and the Mike Iaconelli Instagram page (@mikeiaconelli).A Facebook and/or Instagram account will be needed for access to live episodes. There are no costs or fees associated with participation in the clinic.

Host: Mike Iaconelli, a native of southern New Jersey, is a fanfavorite professional angler with more than 20 years of professional competition to his credit. Iaconelli competes on the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour and is the only angler to ever win the Bassmaster Classic, Bassmaster Angler of the Year and the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship. In addition to competing at the highest levels of professional bass fishing, Iaconelli is driven to grow the sport of fishing with his own entertainment, education and charitable organizations: The Bass University, Ike Live Podcast, Going Ike YouTube Series and The Ike Foundation®. Iaconelli is host of the television show, “City Limits” on the Pursuit Channel and “Fish My City with Mike Iaconelli” on NatGeo Wild.

Curriculum: Episode 1 — Let’s Try Fishing

Fishing provides a great connection to nature and the outdoors. Fishing teaches lots of basic skills as well as important life lessons. Fishing can also be the ultimate form of social distancing. Fishing is easy to learn and a lot of fun

Episode 2 — Basic Fishing Gear

The great thing about fishing is you don't need a ton of specialized gear or a lot of money to get started. Just a rod and reels, some fishing line and a little bit of tackle. This episode will explain fishing gear and where to get it.

Episode 3 — Preparing Your Fishing Gear

Before heading out for your first fishing trip, prepare gear for a great day on the water by setting up a rod and reel, learning toattach bobbers and weights with basic knots and how to hold a rod and reel correctly. Practicing at home is fun, too!

Episode 4 — Finding a Fishing Spot

Finding a fishing spot near your home can be easy. Doesn't matter if you live in the country, in the suburbs or in a city. The great thing about both freshwater and saltwater fish species is that they are highly adaptable and can live in a wide variation of places. And don't worry if you don't have a boat as there are plenty of places where you can fish from the bank.

Episode 5 — Let’s Go Fishing

In the final episode, Mike Iaconelli takes his family to the water to put into use all the information learned throughout the course. Topics will include what to do once you get to your fishing location, picking a spot, making the cast, detecting bites, setting the hook and reeling in the fish.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Wilderness Rescue: Village of Warsaw, Wyoming County: On April 8 at 11:23 p.m., NYSP in Batavia contacted DEC's Central Dispatch requesting assistance in locating a missing 13-year-old boy in the village of Warsaw. The boy was playing with friends near his home when he went missing. Forest Ranger Lt. Tim Flanigan responded to the scene to conduct interviews and assist with the search. Forest Ranger John Kennedy also responded and conducted drone flights while the Warsaw Police Department, Wyoming County Sheriff's Office, friends, family, and volunteers searched the area. On April 9 at 5:45 a.m., Warsaw Police Officer Nick Wright located the boy and transported him back home where he was evaluated by Warsaw Ambulance and turned over to his parents. Ranger Kennedy interviewed the boy and discovered that at approximately 7 p.m., he was playing tag with his two brothers and a friend in a wooded area near his residence when the group ran ahead without him. He could not catch up with the others and became disoriented. After walking for some time, he saw lights and started heading in that direction. He came out of the woods at a nearby hardware center and sat on a bench. Officer Wright spotted the boy there and helped him to return home. Rangers were cleared of the scene at 8 a.m.

 

AMERICAN WOODCOCK: THE HARBINGERS OF SPRING: The arrival of American Woodcock back to New York is a telltale sign that spring is here to stay. Despite their diminutive size, woodcock are one of the earliest ground-nesting birds in the state. Just this week, DEC Biologist Jeremy Hurst found this female nesting in the snow on his property near Albany. If you’re curious where NY’s woodcock come from - DEC is currently part of a large cooperative research project to track both Fall and Spring migration of woodcock throughout their eastern range using tiny GPS transmitters. For weekly updates on their migration, please visit the Eastern Woodcock Migration Research Cooperative's website.

Getting outdoors and observing wildlife is a great way to stave off cabin fever in these tough times of social distancing. The coming weeks are also the perfect time to get outdoors and listen for the distinctive breeding calls and display of the American woodcock. Visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website for audio recordings. Each spring, in an effort to attract a female, the male woodcock will periodically “peent” from the ground. Then he will fly 300-500 feet in the air and slowly fly in a circle while rubbing his outermost flight feathers together to make a “twinkling” sound. Once you’ve heard this distinctive calling display, you can’t miss it! The best time to hear woodcock is April through May during the final hour of light, often just after legal sunset. To improve your odds of finding these birds, look for old farm fields that are becoming overgrown or agricultural fields near dense cover. Finding places with less noise pollution will also greatly increase your odds of hearing woodcock – so skip the field with a babbling brook next to it.

 

SPRING TURKEY SEASON STARTS MAY 1 – YOUTH HUNT APRIL 25/26: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that spring turkey season opens May 1 in all of Upstate New York north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary. In addition, DEC's annual youth turkey hunting weekend will take place April 25-26. The youth turkey hunt for junior hunters aged 12 to 15 is open in all of Upstate New York and Suffolk County.

Turkey hunters took about 17,000 birds in New York during the 2019 spring season. Spring harvest success is often tied to productivity two years prior, as hunters like to focus on adult gobblers (i.e., two-year-old birds). While the cold, wet start to the 2019 breeding season meant low reproductive success and poor recruitment in many areas, conditions were better in summer 2018. The population gains made in 2018, combined with good overwinter survival because of abundant food in the fall and relatively mild winter conditions this year, may offset 2019's poor reproductive success.

Important Details for the Youth Turkey Hunt on April 25 and 26

* Hunters 12-15 years of age are eligible and must hold a hunting license and a turkey permit;

* Youth 12-13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or adult over 21 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Youth 14-15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or adult over 18 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian;

* The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. The adult may assist the youth hunter, including calling, but may not carry a firearm, bow, or crossbow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt;

* Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day;

* The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and in Suffolk County;

* The bag limit for the youth weekend is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth's regular spring season bag limit of two bearded birds. A second bird may be taken only in Upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary, beginning May 1;

* Crossbows may only be used by hunters age 14 or older. In Suffolk and Westchester counties it is illegal to use a crossbow to hunt wild turkeys; and

* All other wild turkey hunting regulations remain in effect.

Other Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1-31, 2020:

* Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island;

* Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their hunting license;

* Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day;

* Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day;

* Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow or crossbow (except crossbows may not be used in Westchester County);

* Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested;

* Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report harvest online at DEC's Game Harvest Reporting website; and

For more information about turkey hunting in New York, see the 2019-20 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit the "Turkey Hunting" pages of DEC's website.

Hunt Safe, Hunt Smart!

While statistics show that hunting in New York State is safer than ever, mistakes are made each year. Every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable, and DEC encourages hunters to use common sense this season and remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunter Education Course:

> Point your gun in a safe direction;

> Treat every gun as if it were loaded;

> Be sure of your target and beyond;

> Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot; and

> Stalking stinks! Set-up with your back against a tree or other object wider than your shoulders and call birds to you.

> DEC also encourages all hunters to wear blaze orange or blaze pink when moving between hunting spots to make themselves more visible to other hunters. A blaze orange or blaze pink vest or other material can be hung in a nearby tree when you are set-up and calling birds so other hunters are alerted to your presence.

>A hunter education class is required for all new hunters. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, hunter education courses have been cancelled through April 30. To find a hunter education class in your area, visit DEC's Hunter Education Program website or call 1-888-HUNT-ED2 (1-888-486-8332).

"Hunting Safe" also means following social distancing and other guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

Purchase licenses and/or turkey permits online to avoid visiting busy stores or because stores may be closed or have limited hours. Licenses and tags purchased online take 10-14 days to arrive, so online purchases for the youth turkey hunt should be made by April 10, and for the regular season by April 16;

Hunt close to home. Opt for day trips instead of staying at a hunting camp to avoid close contact with other hunters;

Avoid crowds at parking areas and other locations where people congregate. Keep a distance of six feet or more from others;

Avoid high-traffic destinations. If a hunting location is crowded, choose a different spot or time to visit. For alternative hunting locations visit DEC's website.

Hunt alone. If hunting with someone not from your household, whether an adult or youth, practice social distancing, take separate vehicles to the hunting location, and make sure to maintain at least six feet of distance. Only share a hunting blind with someone from your household;

Carry hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face and wash mouth calls after handling; and

If hunters do not feel well, they should stay home. Anyone 70 and older or with a compromised immune system should postpone their trip.

For more information about getting outdoors and #RecreateLocal, go to DEC's Website.

 

 

 

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php(CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. MANY ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

 

APRIL 2020

18 - Seager Marine Perch Tournament headquartered at Seager Marine, 21 Parrish Street, Canandaigua, NY. (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) Pre-Register is by mail: $40 per team (1 – 3 persons). Teams weigh in 5 perch for total weight. (For information and registration forms visit seagermarine.com or call 585-394-1372 x216.)

18-19 - New York State Arms Collectors Association Gun Show at the NYS Fairgrounds Expo Center, 581 State Fair Boulevard, Syracuse , NY (Sat., 9 am-5 pm; Sun., 9 am-3 pm) 1,000 tables. (Admission: $7.00/seniors $5.00/children under 12 free) (For information contact Sandy Ackerman Klinger, 346 Paul Street, Endicott, NY 13760, 607-748-1010 email sandynysac@yahoo.com)

24 – Arbor Day

24-26 - 32nd Annual Bird of Prey Days at Braddock Bay at Braddock Bay Park, 199 East Manitou Road, Rochester, New York. Braddock Bay Raptor Research will host the Bird of Prey Days festival at Braddock Bay Park on Lake Ontario and home to one of the best spring raptor migrations on the continent! People of all ages are invited to come out and learn about hawks, eagles, falcons, owls, and other species in support BBRR’s conservation efforts. Activities will be held inside and out, including hawkwatching, raptor banding, owl prowls, live raptor programs, educational and art displays, and kids activities. $5 suggested donation for adults, kids are free. (For information contact: Braddock Bay Raptor Research, 585-267-5483, information@bbrr.org.)

25 - Central New York Friends of NRA Banquet at The Fireside Inn, 2345 West Genesee Road, Route 370, Baldwinsville, NY (5:30 pm) (Cost: $45.00) (For information contact James Middleton 315- 695-3981 or email: jlmiddleton1109@yahoo.com.)

25 - Whitetails Unlimited – Stonybrook Chapter Hunters Night Out at the Dansville Fire Department, 11 Franklin Street, Dansville, NY. (Cost: Adult - $45.00/Spouse/Youth - $25.00) Through our Grassroots Program, WTU provides grants to local projects and activities that advance our mission. Proceeds from this event will benefit youth conservation and training event. (For information call Tricia Griese, 845-447-4543 or go to http://www.whitetailsunlimited.com/events/banquets/)

25-26 - Niagara Frontier - Hamburg Gun Show (Canceled) at the Hamburg Fairgrounds, 5820 S Park Avenue, Hamburg, New York ((9:00 am – 4:00 pm/9:00 am - 3:00pm) 300 tables. NICS background checks available. (Cost: $7.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (90 Tables) (For information call Bruce Johnston 716-542-9929 or email nfgshows@aol.com)

25-26 - Greater Wellsville Trout Derby, Genesee River. (TIMES - Headquarters Opens at 12 pm, Friday April 24/Saturday Fishing 6 am to 7 pm/Sunday Fishing 6 am to 5 pm) (Registration Sites: Wellsville Town Clerk Office - 156 N. Main St., Wellsville Chamber of Commerce - 114 N. Main St., Strope Outdoor Supply - 5 William St. Addison NY. Over $25,000 money and 475 tagged fish. (FEES - If you register before April 1st the fee is $15, after April 1st the fee is $20) (For information/register go online to www.Trout-Derby.com or call 585-596-9274.)

25-26 - Spring Youth Turkey Hunt (Details page 45 19-20 Hunting & Trapping Guide)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for – “Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.”

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

 

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4 – 10 – 20

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

SPRING TURKEY SEASON STARTS MAY 1 – YOUTH HUNT APRIL 25/26: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that spring turkey season opens May 1 in all of Upstate New York north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary. In addition, DEC's annual youth turkey hunting weekend will take place April 25-26. The youth turkey hunt for junior hunters aged 12 to 15 is open in all of Upstate New York and Suffolk County.

Turkey hunters took about 17,000 birds in New York during the 2019 spring season. Spring harvest success is often tied to productivity two years prior, as hunters like to focus on adult gobblers (i.e., two-year-old birds). While the cold, wet start to the 2019 breeding season meant low reproductive success and poor recruitment in many areas, conditions were better in summer 2018. The population gains made in 2018, combined with good overwinter survival because of abundant food in the fall and relatively mild winter conditions this year, may offset 2019's poor reproductive success.

Important Details for the Youth Turkey Hunt on April 25 and 26

* Hunters 12-15 years of age are eligible and must hold a hunting license and a turkey permit;

* Youth 12-13 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or adult over 21 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Youth 14-15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or adult over 18 years of age with written permission from their parent or legal guardian;

* The accompanying adult must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. The adult may assist the youth hunter, including calling, but may not carry a firearm, bow, or crossbow, or kill or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt;

* Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day;

* The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary and in Suffolk County;

* The bag limit for the youth weekend is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth's regular spring season bag limit of two bearded birds. A second bird may be taken only in Upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary, beginning May 1;

* Crossbows may only be used by hunters age 14 or older. In Suffolk and Westchester counties it is illegal to use a crossbow to hunt wild turkeys; and

* All other wild turkey hunting regulations remain in effect.

Other Important Details for the Spring Turkey Season, May 1-31, 2020:

* Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island;

* Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their hunting license;

* Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day;

* Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day;

* Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow or crossbow (except crossbows may not be used in Westchester County);

* Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with their turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested;

* Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report harvest online at DEC's Game Harvest Reporting website; and

For more information about turkey hunting in New York, see the 2019-20 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit the "Turkey Hunting" pages of DEC's website.

Hunt Safe, Hunt Smart!

While statistics show that hunting in New York State is safer than ever, mistakes are made each year. Every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable, and DEC encourages hunters to use common sense this season and remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunter Education Course:

> Point your gun in a safe direction;

> Treat every gun as if it were loaded;

> Be sure of your target and beyond;

> Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot; and

> Stalking stinks! Set-up with your back against a tree or other object wider than your shoulders and call birds to you.

> DEC also encourages all hunters to wear blaze orange or blaze pink when moving between hunting spots to make themselves more visible to other hunters. A blaze orange or blaze pink vest or other material can be hung in a nearby tree when you are set-up and calling birds so other hunters are alerted to your presence.

>A hunter education class is required for all new hunters. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, hunter education courses have been cancelled through April 30. To find a hunter education class in your area, visit DEC's Hunter Education Program website or call 1-888-HUNT-ED2 (1-888-486-8332).

"Hunting Safe" also means following social distancing and other guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

Purchase licenses and/or turkey permits online to avoid visiting busy stores or because stores may be closed or have limited hours. Licenses and tags purchased online take 10-14 days to arrive, so online purchases for the youth turkey hunt should be made by April 10, and for the regular season by April 16;

Hunt close to home. Opt for day trips instead of staying at a hunting camp to avoid close contact with other hunters;

Avoid crowds at parking areas and other locations where people congregate. Keep a distance of six feet or more from others;

Avoid high-traffic destinations. If a hunting location is crowded, choose a different spot or time to visit. For alternative hunting locations visit DEC's website.

Hunt alone. If hunting with someone not from your household, whether an adult or youth, practice social distancing, take separate vehicles to the hunting location, and make sure to maintain at least six feet of distance. Only share a hunting blind with someone from your household;

Carry hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face and wash mouth calls after handling; and

If hunters do not feel well, they should stay home. Anyone 70 and older or with a compromised immune system should postpone their trip.

For more information about getting outdoors and #RecreateLocal, go to DEC's Website.

 

 

BOAT LAUNCH DOCK INSTALLATIONS UNDERWAY: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) announced that boat launch installations are ongoing across the state to ensure boaters have access to New York State's abundant recreational opportunities. Each spring, DEC and State Parks regional staff work to install docks at all sites, often before the opening day for various sportfish species. During the COVID -19 public health crisis, when boating and fishing DEC and State Parks encourage New Yorkers to recreate locally and use the hashtag #RecreateLocal, avoid busy waters, and follow the guidelines on DEC's website about fishing responsibly in New York State.

Docks are being installed at boat launches across the state. Schedules for boat launch installations can change based on water levels, weather, and ice conditions. Most sites are open for public use even if the boarding dock is not installed. Boaters are encouraged to call their regional fisheries office or State Park to check the boat launch status.

Restrooms at these facilities will remain closed out of an abundance of caution to prevent the community spread of COVID-19. Boat launches at DEC campgrounds remain closed at this time.

A list of New York State Boat Launching Sites (PDF, 7.7 MB) contains boating access and launching areas available to the public, as well as helpful information on launching and retrieving boats and aquatic invasive species. For people with mobility issues, DEC also maintains a photo album of accessible launch and fishing sites. For information about non-DEC boat launch site operations, please contact the specific municipality or agency.

Please continue to follow the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19.

New York's waters remain cold throughout the spring. Life jacket wear is required through May 1 on pleasure boats less than 21 feet long and dressing in layers is recommended to avoid hypothermia. Boaters should be alert at all times and follow the rules of the nautical road. Under Brianna's law, all operators of motorized vessels must take a safe boating course and earn a safe boating certificate by 2025. For information on recreational boating in New York, visit NYS Parks website.

 

EXPECT TO SEE MORE COYOTES AND FOX: Increased sightings of coyotes and fox in neighborhoods could be due to changes in human activity caused by COVID-19 or could coincide with the normal increase of activity seen every spring as pup-rearing season gears up.

While these animals, found across the state, are naturally wary of humans and tend to spend their time hiding and avoiding people whenever possible, glimpses of these elusive canines will become more frequent, with sightings peaking in May, as parents begin hunting day and night to feed their young.

To deter a coyote from coming near you, or into your yard, you can haze it by shouting, throwing small objects, and waving your arms in a threatening manner. You can also spray it with a water hose or shake a soda can filled with pennies to scare it away. The goal is to make the animal uncomfortable enough to leave the area and avoid contact with you.

Coyotes and fox rarely attack humans, although small pets, such as cats and small-breed dogs, can be taken as prey if left outside and unsupervised. For this reason, it is suggested that people keep small pets on a leash or keep them close enough to you that you can pick them up quickly if necessary. Past evidence shows that simply being nearby is the best way to keep small pets safe from coyotes when they’re outside. That, or keeping them in a coyote-proof enclosure; fencing should be at least 6’ tall and prevent animals from digging under.

To deter undesired wildlife from your yard, it is suggested clearing away brush along the edges of your yard, feeding pets indoors or removing food when your pet is finishing eating, and removing other food attractants such as unsecured garbage, bird seed on the ground and fallen fruit from trees.

In the absence of attractants, coyotes and fox will likely still pass through the area, but won’t make themselves at home. Combined with active hazing, this can effectively send the message to coyotes and fox that they are unwelcome.

This time of year, however, hazing is less likely to work if a den or young pups are nearby. Coyotes and fox are excellent parents and will not abandon their young, even if frightened.

Coyotes and fox tend to closely watch people who come near their den or pups, so if you are passing through a brushy or wooded area and notice a coyote watching you or even following at a distance, but only in a specific area, there may be a den nearby. Instead of hazing the coyote, it is suggested you leave the area calmly and, if possible, inform others to avoid the area for a few weeks. The dens are used only as a nursery for newborn pups. As soon as the pups can survive outside of the den, it will be abandoned.

                                                               Photo by John Adamski

 

NEW YORK RECEIVES $10,433,678: U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt today announced $227,125,000 will be distributed from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) to all 50 states, five U.S. territories and the District of Columbia for specified park and outdoor recreation and conservation projects. This represents an increase of $57 million over last year’s LWCF allocation, which is due to President Trump’s energy agenda that has resulted in an increase in revenues from qualified leases on the Outer Continental Shelf.

These funds are awarded through federal matching grants that leverage public and private investment in America’s state and local public parks. The LWCF was established by Congress in 1964 to ensure access to outdoor recreation resources for present and future generations, and to provide money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans. Funds are also used to permanently conserve outdoor recreation areas for public use and enjoyment. The funds enable state and local governments to improve park and other recreation areas in their communities by rehabilitating and upgrading existing parks, creating brand new parks in places that have none and developing and expanding trail systems that link communities to each other and to additional recreation opportunities.

Since the inception of the LWCF, more than $4.4 billion has been made available to state and local governments to fund more than 44,000 projects throughout the nation. The allocation for the State and Local Assistance Grant (state-side) Program is determined based on a formula set in the LWCF Act, and includes funds appropriated from the LWCF by Congress as well as revenue derived from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act.

The Fiscal Year 2020 apportionment for New York State is $10,433,678.

 

COMMON SENSE GUIDELINES PROMOTE SAFE RECREATION PRACTICES: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) encourage New Yorkers to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. DEC and State Parks recommendations incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases and encourage New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice physical distancing, and use common sense to protect themselves and others. In addition, DEC and State Parks launched a new hashtag - #RecreateLocal - and encouraged New Yorkers to get outside and discover open spaces and parks close to home.

Getting outdoors to walk, jog, hike, ride a bicycle, fish, or visit a park or state lands is a healthy way to stay active, spend time with immediate household family members, and reduce stress and anxiety when practicing social distancing. While indoor spaces and restrooms at State Parks and DEC’s public facilities may be closed out of an abundance of caution to prevent community spread of COVID-19, many parks, grounds, forests, and trails are open during daylight hours, seven days a week.

State Parks, lands, forests, and facilities are monitored by Park Police, Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and other staff. These parks, lands, forests, and facilities and visitors will incorporate physical distancing to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. In addition, these officers and staff respond to, and assist, local agencies with search and rescue missions, wildfire suppression, and other response activities. Following this guidance will prevent unnecessary burdens on, and dangers to, State resources and local responders during the ongoing COVID-19 response.

For the safety of all visitors and to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, DEC and State Parks are undertaking steps to reduce public density at State Parks, State Lands, and facilities:

> Closing all playgrounds;

> Limiting access to athletic courts and sporting fields;

> Canceling all public programs and events at State Parks, Lands, Forests, and facilities until further notice;

>Closing all indoor visitor facilities, such as nature centers, environmental education centers, visitor centers, and historic houses to the public until further notice;

> Camping changes: all state-operated campgrounds, cabins, and cottages are closed to overnight visitation through April 30. All visitors with reservations will be issued a full refund. We ask for your patience as refunds are processed. New York State has also suspended all new camping, cabin and cottage reservations for the 2020 season until further notice. We are assessing campground status on a daily basis. If you’ve made a reservation for the season beginning May 1, and we determine your campground is safe to open, your reservation will be honored. However, visitors who wish to cancel an existing reservation may do so and receive a full refund. Thank you for your patience as we work to protect the safety of our visitors and staff;

> Implementing precautionary measures at golf courses at State Parks, including increased intervals between tee times, removing bunker rakes and ball washers, and decreasing use of golf carts;

> DEC is closing access to DEC-controlled fire towers to the public. Trails and the summits to the towers remain open, but the towers themselves present a potential risk with multiple people climbing the stairs, in close quarters, unable to appropriately socially distance, and using the same handrails; and

> Limiting parking. If the parking lot is full, visit a different location to recreate responsibly. For visitor safety and the safety of others, do not park on roadsides and only park in designated parking areas.

While enjoying outdoor spaces, please continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:

> Stay home if you are sick, or showing or feeling any COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, coughing,and/or troubled breathing;

> Practice social distancing by keeping at least six (6) feet of distance between yourself and others, even when outdoors;

> Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, or high-fives;

> Wash hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available; and

> Avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces that are often touched, such as doorknobs and handrails.

> DEC and State Parks also encourage visitors to State Parks, State Lands, and other parks to:

Stay local and keep visits short;

> Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members;

> Maintain distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks;

> Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football, or soccer;

> Avoid playground equipment like slides and swings and other frequently touched surfaces;

> Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, balls, or Frisbees;

> If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail, or return another time/day to visit; and

> If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.

> New Yorkers over 70 years old or with a compromised immune system should not visit public spaces, including those outdoors. These New Yorkers should remain indoors or spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space, pre-screen visitors by taking their temperature, and require visitors to wear masks.

> New Yorkers who are sick or have had contact with someone who is sick in the last 14 days should stay home and spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space. Do not visit public outdoor spaces.

Visitors to the Adirondack and Catskill Parks are reminded to always follow the Hiker Responsibility Code and avoid busy trailheads. Find the trails less traveled and visit when trails may not be as busy during daylight hours. DEC also encourages New Yorkers to be safe and sustainable when recreating outdoors.

Learn more about how you can protect natural spaces when exploring outdoors by following the seven principles of Leave no Trace. Additional information is available on the DEC website.

 

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php(CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. MANY ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

 

APRIL 2020

11 – Fulton - Montgomery Trappers and Foothills Trappers Fur Auction at the VFW, 129 Mohawk Street, Herkimer, NY. (Check in 6:00 am/Sale 8:00 am) (For information call Paul at 312-429-2969.)

15 - End of Dog Training Seasons

15 – End of Snow Goose Hunting Season in Western New York

18 - Seager Marine Perch Tournament headquartered at Seager Marine, 21 Parrish Street, Canandaigua, NY. (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) Pre-Register is by mail: $40 per team (1 – 3 persons). Teams weigh in 5 perch for total weight. (For information and registration forms visit seagermarine.com or call 585-394-1372 x216.)

18-19 - New York State Arms Collectors Association Gun Show at the NYS Fairgrounds Expo Center, 581 State Fair Boulevard, Syracuse , NY (Sat., 9 am-5 pm; Sun., 9 am-3 pm) 1,000 tables. (Admission: $7.00/seniors $5.00/children under 12 free) (For information contact Sandy Ackerman Klinger, 346 Paul Street, Endicott, NY 13760, 607-748-1010 email sandynysac@yahoo.com)

24 – Arbor Day

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for – “Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.”

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

 

*******************************

 

4 – 3 – 20

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

VOLUNTEERS ENCOURAGED TO SUBMIT OBSERVATIONS OF NEW YORK'S BREEDING BIRDS:  The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced a call for citizen science volunteers to help in the development of a comprehensive, statewide survey that takes place every two decades to detail New York's breeding bird distribution. Starting in 2020, five years of field surveys will be conducted by volunteers and project partners to provide the data that will be analyzed to create the third New York State Breeding Bird Atlas.

New York will be the first state in the nation to implement a third breeding bird atlas. In addition to detailing the current distribution of breeding birds in the State, the data can be used to evaluate trends in distribution and species abundance, as well as assess the response of various species to climate change. These changes in distribution help identify species that may be in trouble and allow for the development of management programs to help address those declines.

DEC is partnering with the New York Natural Heritage Program, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), Audubon New York, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, New York State Ornithological Association, and New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit on this project. When complete, the atlas will provide species-specific details about distribution, maps, and illustrations.

The last atlas was published in 2008, with information on its results available on DEC's website. Five years of fieldwork by more than 1,200 contributors provided the data for the second addition to New York's understanding of the state's avifauna (birds). This substantial book revealed striking changes in the distributions of many of our breeding birds since New York's first Breeding Bird Atlas was published in 1988. Data showed that half of New York's 253 species showed a significant change in their distribution, with 70 species showing increases and 58 species showing declines. A comparison study between the first two atlases showed that the distribution of 129 species moved northward an average of 3.58 kilometers due to climate change. The 2020 atlas will provide further data on this shift and climate change's potential impact on wildlife.

To participate, volunteers can make a free eBird account and submit data online through the atlas website or via the eBird mobile app. Simply record the species and any breeding behaviors observed. All sightings can count. As observations are reported, data can be viewed on the atlas website.

While enjoying the outdoors, please continue to follow the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:

> Try to keep at least six (6) feet of distance between you and others.

> Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, kissing, or sharing equipment like binoculars.

> Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

> Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails, and playground equipment.

 

2019-20 NEW YORK DEER HARVEST ESTIMATES: Hunters in New York harvested an estimated 224,190 deer during the 2019-20 hunting seasons. The 2019 estimated deer take includes 103,787 antlerless deer and 120,403 antlered bucks. Statewide, this represents a nine percent decrease in antlerless harvest and a six percent increase in buck harvest from the last season. Regionally, hunters took 30,236 deer in the Northern Zone and 193,954 deer in the Southern Zone.

Across the state, hunters continued to voluntarily pass up young bucks The portion of yearlings (1.5 years old) in the adult buck harvest dropped to 37 percent, the lowest level ever, and for the first time, the harvest of 2.5-year-old bucks (41 percent) exceeded that of yearling bucks, demonstrating that New York hunters are adhering to the DEC campaign, Let Young Bucks Go and Watch Them Grow.

In addition, the 2019 season proved favorable for bowhunters, as take during the bowhunting season increased 18 percent from 2018. Deer take during the regular and muzzleloader seasons both dropped about six percent.

DEC's 2019 Deer Harvest Summary report (PDF, 7 MB) provides tables, charts, and maps detailing the deer harvest around the state that can be found on DEC's website. Past harvest summaries are also available on DEC's website.

2019 Deer Harvest Summary & Comparison:

                                                        2019                    2018                    Change             2014-18 Average

Total Take                                       224,190             227,787                  -1.6%                   217,184

Adult Male                                       120,403             113,385                  +6.2%                  107,274

Adult Female                                   82,176                 80,584                 +2.0%                  78,410

Antlerless                                        103,787             114,402                  -9.3%                   109,910

DMP Issued                                    624,612             618,186                 +1.0%                   624,525

DMP Take                                       81,134                 89,639                  -9.5%                   84,575

DMAP Take                                     8,257                   9,004                    -8.3%                   10,115

Muzzleloader*                                 16,944                 18,131                  -6.5%                   15,086

Bowhunting*                                    51,618                 43,832                 +17.8%                 41,472

Crossbow                                       10,569                 10,829                  -2.4%                    NA

Youth Hunt                                      1,148                   1,025                    +12.0%                1,105

Harvest Reporting Rate                  52.3%                  51.4%                                               46.3%   

Older Bucks (2.5+)                         62.6%                  58.8%                                               53.5%

* Values for Muzzleloader and Bow Season Take include deer taken on Bow/Muzz tags and DMPs

Notable Numbers

14.4 and 0.6 --- number of deer taken per square mile in the units with the highest (WMU 8R) and lowest (WMU 5F) harvest density.

62.6 percent --- portion of the adult buck harvest that was 2.5 years or older, the greatest in New York history and up from 40 percent a decade ago, and 30 percent in the 1990s.

65 percent --- portion of eligible junior hunters that participated in the 2019 Youth Deer Hunt.

15,574 --- number of hunter-harvested deer checked by DEC staff in 2019 to determine hunter reporting rate and collect biological data (e.g., age, sex, antler data).

2,658 --- deer tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in 2019-20; none tested positive. DEC has tested more than 54,000 deer for CWD since 2002.

Deer harvest data are gathered from two main sources: harvest reports required of all successful hunters and DEC's examination of more than 15,000 harvested deer at check stations and meat processors across the state Harvest estimates are made by cross-referencing these two data sources and calculating the total harvest from the reporting rate for each zone and tag type. A full report of the 2019-20 deer harvest, as well as past deer and bear harvest summaries, is available at DEC's deer and bear harvests webpage.

No CWD Detections in New York in 2019

DEC tested 2,658 harvested deer across the state and found no evidence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the herd. DEC partners with cooperating meat processors and taxidermists in obtaining samples for testing each year.

CWD is a highly contagious disease that affects deer, elk, moose, and caribou. CWD poses a significant threat to New York's wild white-tailed deer herd. It is always fatal and there are no vaccines or treatments available. CWD is believed to be caused by a prion, which is an infectious protein, that can infect animals through animal-to-animal contact or contaminated environments. CWD has been found in 26 states.

To expand protections for New York deer and moose, DEC adopted regulations in 2019 to prohibit importation of carcasses of deer, elk, moose, and caribou taken anywhere outside of New York. Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) have increased enforcement efforts in recent years, seizing and destroying hunter-killed deer brought in illegally.

For wildlife diseases like CWD, prevention is the most effective management policy. Hunters are important partners in disease prevention and should adopt several practices to prevent the introduction of infectious prions:

Debone or process your deer, elk, moose, or caribou before returning to New York. This practice removes "high risk" parts (brain, spinal cord) that could potentially spread CWD. If you bring a whole, intact carcass from anywhere outside of New York, you will be ticketed and your entire animal (including trophy heads) will be confiscated and destroyed. Deboned meat, cleaned skull cap, antlers with no flesh adhering, raw or processed cape or hide, cleaned teeth or lower jaw, and finished taxidermy products are permitted.

Consider alternatives to natural deer urine or lure products. Prions are shed in a deer's bodily fluids before the deer appears sick. Commercially available urine products are not tested for prions. Prions bind to soil and plants and remain infectious to deer. There is no method of disinfection.

Dispose of carcass waste, even from New York deer, into a proper waste stream either by putting butcher scraps in with your household trash or otherwise assuring it goes to a licensed landfill. A landowner may dispose of their own deer on their property, but it is illegal in all cases for businesses (butchers and taxidermists) to dispose of waste generated from their business in any way other than a landfill or rendering facility.

Do not feed wild deer or moose. Animals concentrated together can spread disease quickly.

If there is another CWD outbreak in New York, DEC and the State Department of Agriculture and Markets will implement their Interagency CWD Response Plan (PDF). The plan will guide actions if the disease is detected in either captive cervids-any species of the deer family-or wild white-tailed deer or moose. There are no documented cases of CWD infecting humans, but DEC urges caution when handling or processing CWD-susceptible animals. For more of what DEC is doing and what you should know about CWD, visit DEC's website.

 

ACA ANNOUNCES ONLINE TOURNAMENT FOR COLLEGE ANGLERS: Over the past few weeks, the amount of social media posts and traffic from the young student anglers is staggering. We are being sent fish catch pictures, tagged in posts, and receiving mentions daily as many of you are adhering to social distancing warnings and continuing to fish at the same time. The Association of Collegiate Anglers (ACA) now wants to introduce the "ACA Online Tournament" for anglers to participate in as they go on their daily fishing adventures while social distancing.

The first ACA Online Tournament will begin Thursday, April 2, at sunrise and run through sunset on Wednesday, April 8, all local times. Prizes will be awarded to the Top Five longest bass to include smallmouth, largemouth or spotted bass caught over the course of the week by a collegiate angler. If a collegiate angler submits multiple fish, their longest fish will be the one that counts.

All fish must be measured with mouth closed and nose pressed against a measuring board with the tail flat on the board (not pinched). Photos that do not show that will be deemed ineligible. Anglers can fish any form of water, including public lakes, creeks, private ponds, and anywhere bass can be caught. ***You do not have to fish out of a boat to qualify.***

On Wednesday at 5:00 PM CST, ACA staff will provide a keyword that all anglers will be required to write on a piece of paper to show in each fish picture they submit. You will be required to have that word in the photo for the catch to be eligible. Remember, the fish must be measured with the mouth closed, and tail flat. Participating anglers must also be current college students.

All fish catch pictures must be submitted via the ACA website using the ACA Online Submission FormRead more.

For more information about the Bass Pro Shops Collegiate Bass Fishing Series, please visit www.CollegiateBassChampionship.com.

 

COMMON SENSE GUIDELINES PROMOTE SAFE RECREATION PRACTICES: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) encourage New Yorkers to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. DEC and State Parks recommendations incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases and encourage New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice physical distancing, and use common sense to protect themselves and others. In addition, DEC and State Parks launched a new hashtag - #RecreateLocal - and encouraged New Yorkers to get outside and discover open spaces and parks close to home.

Getting outdoors to walk, jog, hike, ride a bicycle, fish, or visit a park or state lands is a healthy way to stay active, spend time with immediate household family members, and reduce stress and anxiety when practicing social distancing. While indoor spaces and restrooms at State Parks and DEC’s public facilities may be closed out of an abundance of caution to prevent community spread of COVID-19, many parks, grounds, forests, and trails are open during daylight hours, seven days a week.

State Parks, lands, forests, and facilities are monitored by Park Police, Forest Rangers, Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and other staff. These parks, lands, forests, and facilities and visitors will incorporate physical distancing to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. In addition, these officers and staff respond to, and assist, local agencies with search and rescue missions, wildfire suppression, and other response activities. Following this guidance will prevent unnecessary burdens on, and dangers to, State resources and local responders during the ongoing COVID-19 response.

For the safety of all visitors and to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, DEC and State Parks are undertaking steps to reduce public density at State Parks, State Lands, and facilities:

> Closing all playgrounds;

> Limiting access to athletic courts and sporting fields;

> Canceling all public programs and events at State Parks, Lands, Forests, and facilities until further notice;

>Closing all indoor visitor facilities, such as nature centers, environmental education centers, visitor centers, and historic houses to the public until further notice;

> Camping changes: all state-operated campgrounds, cabins, and cottages are closed to overnight visitation through April 30. All visitors with reservations will be issued a full refund. We ask for your patience as refunds are processed. New York State has also suspended all new camping, cabin and cottage reservations for the 2020 season until further notice. We are assessing campground status on a daily basis. If you’ve made a reservation for the season beginning May 1, and we determine your campground is safe to open, your reservation will be honored. However, visitors who wish to cancel an existing reservation may do so and receive a full refund. Thank you for your patience as we work to protect the safety of our visitors and staff;

> Implementing precautionary measures at golf courses at State Parks, including increased intervals between tee times, removing bunker rakes and ball washers, and decreasing use of golf carts;

> DEC is closing access to DEC-controlled fire towers to the public. Trails and the summits to the towers remain open, but the towers themselves present a potential risk with multiple people climbing the stairs, in close quarters, unable to appropriately socially distance, and using the same handrails; and

> Limiting parking. If the parking lot is full, visit a different location to recreate responsibly. For visitor safety and the safety of others, do not park on roadsides and only park in designated parking areas.

While enjoying outdoor spaces, please continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:

> Stay home if you are sick, or showing or feeling any COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, coughing,and/or troubled breathing;

> Practice social distancing by keeping at least six (6) feet of distance between yourself and others, even when outdoors;

> Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, or high-fives;

> Wash hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available; and

> Avoid unnecessary contact with surfaces that are often touched, such as doorknobs and handrails.

> DEC and State Parks also encourage visitors to State Parks, State Lands, and other parks to:

Stay local and keep visits short;

> Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members;

> Maintain distance from others while in places where people tend to congregate, such as parking lots, trailheads, and scenic overlooks;

> Avoid games and activities that require close contact, such as basketball, football, or soccer;

> Avoid playground equipment like slides and swings and other frequently touched surfaces;

> Do not share equipment, such as bicycles, helmets, balls, or Frisbees;

> If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail, or return another time/day to visit; and

> If parking lots are full, please do not park along roadsides or other undesignated areas. To protect your safety and that of others, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available.

> New Yorkers over 70 years old or with a compromised immune system should not visit public spaces, including those outdoors. These New Yorkers should remain indoors or spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space, pre-screen visitors by taking their temperature, and require visitors to wear masks.

> New Yorkers who are sick or have had contact with someone who is sick in the last 14 days should stay home and spend time in the backyard or other personal outdoor space. Do not visit public outdoor spaces.

Visitors to the Adirondack and Catskill Parks are reminded to always follow the Hiker Responsibility Code and avoid busy trailheads. Find the trails less traveled and visit when trails may not be as busy during daylight hours. DEC also encourages New Yorkers to be safe and sustainable when recreating outdoors.

Learn more about how you can protect natural spaces when exploring outdoors by following the seven principles of Leave no Trace. Additional information is available on the DEC website.

 

REDUCE BEAR CONFLICTS: The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminds New Yorkers to take steps to reduce conflicts with bears.

Feeding bears either intentionally, which is illegal, or unintentionally through careless practices around properties, has consequences for entire communities. DEC advises everyone who lives in or visits bear habitat, which is much of Upstate New York, to remove items that are attractive to bears. People should take down bird feeders by April 1, store garbage inside secure buildings, and feed pets indoors. These actions are necessary to live responsibly with black bears, protect people, property, and bears. Allowing bears to find food naturally keeps them out of trouble and reduces negative interactions with people and property.

For more information about how to reduce human/bear conflicts, visit DEC's website.

 

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php(CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. MANY ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

 

APRIL 2020

1 - Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (See fishing regulation guide. Great Lakes and tributaries as well as some inland waters are open all year)(>10/15)

1 - Start of Trout Season in Green Lake (Onondaga County), Rushford Lake (Allegany County) (>11/30)

3 - Whitetails Unlimited – Cortland County Chapter Banquet at the, Elks Lodge #748, Cortland, NY. (5:30 pm)Through our Grassroots Program, WTU provides grants to local projects and activities that advance our mission. Proceeds from this event will benefit youth conservation and training event. (For information call Bill Bailey 413-244-2304.)

3-5 - 8th Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club. (4/3 5:00 pm – 4/5 1:00 pm) The contest is simple. Best two bullheads based on total weight will win the top prizes. Tiebreaker is total length for those two fish. You may only fish in Niagara County waters. The weigh-in will take place at the club, located at 2934 Wilson Cambria Road, Wilson, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Awards to follow. Register at CMC Auto Repair in Wilson or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott. You can also register through PayPal. (For more information contact Eric at 716-628-6078.)

4 - 13th Annual Trout Derby, 2020 headquarted at the Phelps Fire Hall, 77 Ontario Street, Phelps, NY (Sunrise – 12:30 pm) The fishing area for the derby is Canandaigua Outlet & Flint Creek. Weigh-In: BY 12:45pm, At Headquarters: Phelps Fire Hall. (Entry fee: Adults $10 / 15 & Under $5 (Due by 4/2/20 @ 5:00 PM. The fee includes: Entry to the derby and a chance to win a Lake Ontario Fishing Charter (donated by Scream'n Reel Charters) (For information contact Michael Vienna? 585-752-0863.)

4 - Beyond BOW Event - Women's Hunter Education Course at Springville Field & Stream 8900 Chaise Road, Springville NY (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) (For information email jennifer.pettit@dec.ny.gov)

4 – Brighton-Henrietta-Pittsford Ducks Unlimited 40 Annual Dinner at the Eagle Vale Country Club, 4344 Nine Mile Point Road, Fairport, NY (6:00 pm) (Cost: $90 Single $145 Couple) (For information contact Conor Vandemark  518-570-5832  conorvan@buffalo.edu or Carol Wahl  585-733-0280  dwahl2@frontier.com.)

4 – 42nd Annual Maple Sugaring at the Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road, Naples, NY. (Breakfast 9:00 am-1:00 pm/Trail Demonstrations 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) This is a special addition to support the Center’s Walden Project. Explore the science and lore of maple syrup production with volunteer guides along the CNC Pioneer Trail and also enjoy a pancake breakfast. On the trail, participants learn how a tree makes sap and discover the different processing techniques while enjoying the outdoors. Other highlights include a 100 percent pure maple syrup tasting in the sugarhouse, and a pancake meal in the visitors center. All meals include pure maple syrup and a choice of beverage. Maple Sugaring is the CNC’s major annual fundraising event and helps maintain CNC operations. (Meal Cost: Adult - $10.00/Kids - $8.00) (For information call 585-374-6160)

4-5 - Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds, off Route 353, Little Valley NY. (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) ($5.00 admission) (For information call Jim Miller at 716-938-6928)

4-5 – Tri-County Trout Derby headquarted at the Arcade Fire Department, 145 North St, Arcade, NY (Fishing starts 5:00 am both days.) (Entry Fee: Adult Registration – $20/After March 16 – $30/Child Registration (12 and under)  $20) Register at Arcade Area Chamber of Commerce Office, Machias Outdoors, Pioneer Motorsport or on line. Registration Pick-Up Friday, April 3rd, 2:00 – 7:00 pm at Pioneer Motorsport, 12220 Route 16, Chaffee, NY. Prizes: Trophy ($750); Rainbow Trout ($500); Cast-Off ($400); Bobber ($250); Jig ($200); and Lunker ($100). (For information cal 585-492-5103 or email office@arcadechamber.org.)

5 - Finger Lakes Friends of NRA Banquet at the Harbor Hotel, 16 N. Franklin Street, Watkins Glen, NY (3:00 pm) (Cost: $50.00) (For information contact Kayla West 607-351-1382 flfriendsnra@gmail.com)

7 - End of Trapping Season for Beaver in Central and southeast portions of New York

11 – Fulton - Montgomery Trappers and Foothills Trappers Fur Auction at the VFW, 129 Mohawk Street, Herkimer, NY. (Check in 6:00 am/Sale 8:00 am) (For information call Paul at 312-429-2969.)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for – “Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.”

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

 

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3 - 28 – 20

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

NEW YORK'S TROUT AND SALMON FISHING SEASON OPENS APRIL 1: New York anglers are reminded that trout and salmon fishing season opens on Wednesday, April 1. New York's coldwater lakes and streams offer springtime trout anglers the opportunity to pursue trout in a wide array of settings across the state. During the current COVID-19 public health crisis, getting outdoors and connecting with nature while angling in New York's waters is a great way to help maintain mental and physical health.

New York's diverse and abundant trout and salmon fishing results in a cumulative five million days spent fishing the state's freshwater fisheries and contributing economically to local communities. Anglers looking forward to pursuing stocked trout can visit the DEC website to find a complete list of this spring's planned trout stocking for 2.27 million catchable-size brook, brown, and rainbow trout in 307 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,845 miles of streams across the state.

Spring stockings will include 1.68 million brown trout, 424,860 rainbow trout, and 156,970 brook trout. Approximately 98,000 two-year-old brown trout 13-14 inches in length are included in the brown trout total. Nearly 1.6 million yearling lake trout, steelhead, landlocked salmon, splake, and coho salmon will be also be stocked by DEC this spring to provide exciting angling opportunities over the next several years. Almost 307,000 brook trout fingerlings will be stocked in more than 300 Adirondack lakes and ponds this spring and fall to provide unique angling opportunities for future years.

On many waters, due to the constraints imposed by the recent discovery of zebra mussels at Rome Fish Hatchery, anglers can expect to find some species substitutions and changes in trout numbers compared to what was stocked in 2019. Additional information about DEC's strategic response to the discovery of this aquatic invasive species at the Rome Fish Hatchery and the impact on spring trout stocking is available on DEC's website. The list of waters stocked with trout in past years is available on the DEC website.

Robust populations of wild trout in waters ranging from small headwater streams to large rivers like the Upper Delaware offer outstanding fishing opportunities for anglers ready to test their skills. Trout fishing is a sport that can be readily combined with a hike or paddle and lead to a truly memorable outdoor experience.

While enjoying the outdoors, please continue to follow the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:

> Try to keep at least six (6) feet of distance between you and others.

> Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, and kissing.

> Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

> Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails, and playground equipment.

When fishing, DEC recommends avoiding busy waters and following the guidelines on DEC's website about fishing responsibly in New York State. If an angler arrives at a parking lot and there are several cars, they should consider going to another parking lot. If an angler is fishing upstream, they should fish downstream of the other angler or consider fishing another day. Anglers fishing from boats should be able to maintain at least six feet of distance between one another. For more information about the benefits of being outdoors safely and responsibly, go to DEC's website.

 

RENEW YOUR FISHING LICENSE: Now that your annual fishing license is good for 365 days from the date of purchase, it is very easy to forget when it expires. Be sure to check the expiration date before heading out. Anglers desiring to receive an e-mail reminder to renew their fishing license each year should be sure to add their e-mail address to their DECALS profile. This can be done online or by calling the DEC Call Center at 1-866-933-2257 (M-F 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM).

 

VISITING NEW YORK STATE PARKS DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK:  New York state parks, trails, and grounds of historic sites are open for solitary outdoor recreation. To encourage social distancing during this crisis;

> All public programs and events are CANCELED until further notice.

> All indoor visitor facilities, such as nature centers, visitor centers, and historic houses, will be CLOSED to the public until further notice.

> For the safety of all visitors and to stop the spread of COVID-19, all State Park playgrounds, athletic courts and sporting fields are CLOSED.

If you do plan on visiting, it should be for a solitary nature break. Please limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact, and avoid activities where you may come in close contact with other people. If you arrive at a park and crowds are forming, choose a different park, a different trail or return another time/day to visit. We appreciate your support and patience as we navigate this public health crisis together.

Learn more about COVID-19 and its impact on NY State Parks operations. Visit: COVID-19 UPDATE.

 

ANGLERS' REPORT CONFIRMS NEW YORK'S WORLD-CLASS FRESHWATER FISHING:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently announced that the state's world-class fishing opportunities continue to draw anglers from near and far to New York's many productive freshwater sportfisheries. New data on angler effort, patterns, preferences, and attitudes was released as part of DEC's statewide survey of freshwater anglers, which helps DEC assess both the biological and human dimension aspects of managing New York's freshwater fisheries.

New York State offers world class fishing for a wide variety of cold water and warm water species. Whether it is smallmouth bass fishing on Lake Erie, brook trout fishing on a crystal-clear Adirondack lake, Pacific salmon fishing on Lake Ontario, fishing for stripers on the Hudson River, brown trout fishing on the Beaver Kill or fishing for panfish on a local pond, there is something special in New York for every angler. In its 2019 rankings, and for the first time ever, Bassmaster Magazine named the St. Lawrence River as the top bass fishing destination in the nation.

DEC has surveyed its licensed freshwater anglers once every decade since 1973. The survey announced today was conducted in 2018, and summarizes the input provided by approximately 11,000 anglers that fished the freshwaters of New York State during the 2017 calendar year.

Combined direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts of freshwater angling in New York State totaled an estimated $2.14 billion and supported 10,961 jobs in 2017. Of this total, out-of-state anglers contributed approximately 26 percent, or $564 million. Freshwater anglers spent an estimated $252 million at New York fishing destinations in 2017, and an additional $204 million was expended at home or while traveling to fishing destinations. Purchases of fishing equipment and fishing-related equipment such as boats, motors, etc., generated an estimated $1.8 billion in additional expenditures.

Results of the survey revealed significant increases in angler effort for a number of waters when compared to a 2007 angler survey. The Saranac River experienced the greatest increase in angler effort (150 percent) as more anglers visited to fish primarily for smallmouth bass and brown trout. There was an increase of 141 percent in the number of anglers fishing Irondequoit Creek, a Lake Ontario tributary near Rochester, with a focus primarily on brown trout and steelhead. The Delaware River in southeastern New York has long been popular for trout fishing, and angler effort increased by about 140 percent from 2007. Conesus Lake saw an increase of 155 percent in angler activity, with northern pike, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass among the lake's most popular species. Other waterbodies that experienced a marked increase in angling activity included Whitney Point Reservoir (76 percent), Lake Champlain (72 percent), and the Batten Kill (61 percent).

Freshwater anglers enjoyed an estimated 19.89 million angler days in 2017 in New York's inland and Great Lakes waters, slightly more than a similar survey conducted for 2007. Many anglers fished for warmwater gamefish (44 percent), primarily largemouth and smallmouth bass. Coldwater gamefish were also popular (28 percent), including brown trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, steelhead, and Chinook salmon. Anglers fished primarily on inland lakes and ponds (49 percent), inland streams and rivers (25 percent), and the Great Lakes and their tributaries (22 percent).

Full results of DEC's Statewide Angler Survey can be found at DEC's website.

 

 

TAKING STEPS TO AVOID CONFLICTS WITH COYOTES: It’s that time of year again when many of New York's resident coyotes are setting up dens for pups that will arrive this spring. Coyotes are found throughout the state and are well adapted to suburban and even some urban environments. For the most part, coyotes will avoid contact with people. However, conflicts with people and pets may result as coyotes tend to be territorial around den sites during the spring through mid-summer as they search almost constantly to provide food for their young. 

Incidents with people or pets are rare, but it a coyote in snowis important to be aware of coyote presence so you can take steps to reduce the chance of a negative interaction. While people tolerate coyotes in suburban environments more, it is important to take steps to maintain coyotes’ natural wariness of people. This can include removing sources of food, not allowing coyotes to approach people or pets, and not letting pets roam unsupervised. If you are approached by a coyote, make loud noises and wave your arms to look large. If you suspect that a coyote has a den in the area, it is best to calmly leave the area and give the coyotes space. Contact your local police department and DEC regional office for assistance if coyotes are exhibiting "bold" behaviors and show little or no fear of people.

While coyotes are an integral part of our natural ecosystem and provide many benefits, we strongly encourage all New Yorkers to do their part and follow common-sense tips to ensure coyotes remain wary of people and minimize the chance of conflicts.

 

ICE-OUT IS GOOD TIME FOR POND OWNERS TO CHECK FOR WINTERKILL: Private pond owners across the state should check for fish that may have succumbed to winterkill now that those ponds should be devoid of ice.

Winterkills typically occur in small, shallow ponds with abundant aquatic vegetation. Snow and ice covering a pond prevent the water from exchanging oxygen with the air. Excessive snow and thick ice allows little sunlight penetration, so plants are not able to produce enough oxygen. If excessive snow cover persists, the plants die and subsequent decomposition, along with respiration by various aquatic organisms, can completely deplete the oxygen, resulting in a fish kill.

Depending on the size of the pond, the presence of 40 or 50 dead fish would not indicate a large winterkill; however, thousands of dead fish of various species and sizes would be evidence of a major die-off event.

It is suggested owners check for fish – visually and by angling – this spring to help determine the status of the fish populations. The findings from these actions could indicate a pond is a candidate for restocking.

 

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php)

  (CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. MANY ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

 

MARCH 2020

26-29 - Inaugural Finger Lakes Birding Festival. The Finger Lakes Region is a critically important stopover for millions of waterfowl and birds of prey as they migrate north to their breeding grounds. The Montezuma Audubon Center, Braddock Bay Raptor Research, Sterling Nature Center and Onondaga Audubon will lead a variety of birding tours, lectures, and workshops during this four-day event at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex, Braddock Bay, Sterling Nature Center and Onondaga Lake. Participants can expect to see up to three dozen waterfowl species and 20 species of raptors that utilize the region’s forests, wetlands, grasslands and waterways. Discounted hotel accommodations and program registrations will be available at www.facebook.com/fingerlakesbirdingfestival. (For information call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

28 - Whitetails Unlimited – Tobehanna Creek Chapter Hunters Night Out at the The Community Center, 4th Street, Watkins Glen, NY. Deadline for ticket sales – 3-20-20. (Cost: Adult - $45.00/Spouse - $25.00/Youth - $25.00) Through our Grassroots Program, WTU provides grants to local projects and activities that advance our mission. Proceeds from this event will benefit youth conservation and training event. (For information go to http://www.whitetailsunlimited.com/events/banquets/)

28-29 - Andover Fire Dept Gun Show at the Andover Fire Hall, 60 South Main Street, Andover, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) (Admission - $5.00/12 and under – Free) This event is hosted by the Andover Fire Department. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. The Allegany County Pistol Clerks on site both days. (For information contact Dennis Givens 607-478-5005 Email: dennis.givens@frontier.com or Matt Green 607-478-5327 Email: andoverfire@frontier.net)

28-29 – 42nd Annual Maple Sugaring (POSTPONED) at the Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road, Naples, NY. (Breakfast 9:00 am-1:00 pm/Trail Demonstrations 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) Explore the science and lore of maple syrup production with volunteer guides along the CNC Pioneer Trail and also enjoy a pancake breakfast. On the trail, participants learn how a tree makes sap and discover the different processing techniques while enjoying the outdoors. Other highlights include a 100 percent pure maple syrup tasting in the sugarhouse, and a pancake meal in the visitors center. All meals include pure maple syrup and a choice of beverage. Maple Sugaring is the CNC’s major annual fundraising event and helps maintain CNC operations. (Meal Cost: Adult - $10.00/Kids - $8.00) (For information call 585-374-6160)

29 - End of Hunting Season for Coyotes

29 - Finger Lakes Trollers Fishing Tackle, Outdoor Show and Flea Market at the Community Center at Clute Park, Watkins Glen, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) New, used and antique fishing tackle,fishing charters,archery, turkery hunting stuff,etc. There will be about 70 tables set up. (Tables are sold out). (Admission is $2.00 with kids under 10 free. Parking is free.) (For information call Mike Burt 607-765-9866)

31 - Close of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Trout in Salmon Creek (Cayuga County), Salmon Creek Above Ludlow Falls & West Branch Owego Creek (Tompkins County), Spring Creek on Caledonia State Fish Hatchery Property (8:00 am B 4:00 pm) (Livingston County), Oatka Creek from Bowerman Road Upstream to Union Street and from the Wheatland Center Road Upstream to the Mouth of Spring Creek, and Spring Creek (Monroe County), East Koy & Wiscoy Creeks (Allegany County), Clear Creek, Lime Lake Outlet, McKinstry Creek, Elm Creek, Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus County), Hosmer Brook and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Erie County), Wiscoy Creek (Minus Section 2 mile Each Side of East Hillside Road Bridge), East Koy Creek, Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam and Clear Creek from Mouth to County Line (Wyoming County)

31 - Falconry Season Closes

31 – Close of Crow Hunting Season

APRIL 2020

1 - Start of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Hybrids of these Species and Splake, Lake Trout, Landlocked/Atlantic Salmon and Kokanee (See fishing regulation guide. Great Lakes and tributaries as well as some inland waters are open all year)(>10/15)

1 - Start of Trout Season in Green Lake (Onondaga County), Rushford Lake (Allegany County) (>11/30)

1 - 58th Annual Naples Creek Rainbow Trout Derby. (CANCELLED) Entry is by pre-registration only - registration sites are Sutton’s Sporting Goods, Main Street, Naples, NY (During business hours) and the Derby Headquarters - Naples Fire Hall, Vine St (3/31/19 – 5:00 - 10:00 pm, 4/01/20 - 4 am to sunrise) (Entry Fees - $8 Ages 16-64, $5 under 16, $5 ages 65 and over) Enter fish at Derby Headquarters, Naples Fire Hall, Vine Street, Naples, NY (For additional information contact Joyce Doran 585-374-2782 or go to https://www.facebook.com/naplestroutderby

1 - 17th Annual Riedman Foundation Opening Day Trout Derby (POSTPONED) at the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park, 154 Park Road, Pittsford, NY (Register at Powder Horn Lodge – 6:30 am/Fishing 7:00 am – Noon) All ages are welcome to join in the fun at the Opening Day Trout Derby to benefit the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills Park. Again this year, the contestant weighing in the largest brown trout will be recognized with the Bank of America Angler Award, a $500 prize. There will also be "largest catch" prizes awarded in three age categories. Entry is only $5 per angler age eight and older. Fishing will take place in designated areas of Irondequoit Creek within the boundaries of Powder Mills Park. The derby weigh station is at Powder Horn Lodge. Prizes will be awarded at noon. Entry forms can be downloaded at www.fishpowdermill.org. (For information call Ron Mitchell 585-586-1670 or email info@fishpowdermill.org.)

3 - Whitetails Unlimited – Cortland County Chapter Banquet at the, Elks Lodge #748, Cortland, NY. (5:30 pm)Through our Grassroots Program, WTU provides grants to local projects and activities that advance our mission. Proceeds from this event will benefit youth conservation and training event. (For information call Bill Bailey 413-244-2304.)

3-5 - 8th Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club. (4/3 5:00 pm – 4/5 1:00 pm) The contest is simple. Best two bullheads based on total weight will win the top prizes. Tiebreaker is total length for those two fish. You may only fish in Niagara County waters. The weigh-in will take place at the club, located at 2934 Wilson Cambria Road, Wilson, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Awards to follow. Register at CMC Auto Repair in Wilson or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott. You can also register through PayPal. (For more information contact Eric at 716-628-6078.)

4 - 13th Annual Trout Derby, 2020 headquarted at the Phelps Fire Hall, 77 Ontario Street, Phelps, NY (Sunrise – 12:30 pm) The fishing area for the derby is Canandaigua Outlet & Flint Creek. Weigh-In: BY 12:45pm, At Headquarters: Phelps Fire Hall. (Entry fee: Adults $10 / 15 & Under $5 (Due by 4/2/20 @ 5:00 PM. The fee includes: Entry to the derby and a chance to win a Lake Ontario Fishing Charter (donated by Scream'n Reel Charters) (For information contact Michael Vienna? 585-752-0863.)

4 - Beyond BOW Event (CANCELLED)Women's Hunter Education Course at Springville Field & Stream 8900 Chaise Road, Springville NY (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) (For information email jennifer.pettit@dec.ny.gov)

4 – Brighton-Henrietta-Pittsford Ducks Unlimited 40 Annual Dinner at the Eagle Vale Country Club, 4344 Nine Mile Point Road, Fairport, NY (6:00 pm) (Cost: $90 Single $145 Couple) (For information contact Conor Vandemark  518-570-5832  conorvan@buffalo.edu or Carol Wahl  585-733-0280  dwahl2@frontier.com.)

4 – 42nd Annual Maple Sugaring (POSTPONED) at the Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road, Naples, NY. (Breakfast 9:00 am-1:00 pm/Trail Demonstrations 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) This is a special addition to support the Center’s Walden Project. Explore the science and lore of maple syrup production with volunteer guides along the CNC Pioneer Trail and also enjoy a pancake breakfast. On the trail, participants learn how a tree makes sap and discover the different processing techniques while enjoying the outdoors. Other highlights include a 100 percent pure maple syrup tasting in the sugarhouse, and a pancake meal in the visitors center. All meals include pure maple syrup and a choice of beverage. Maple Sugaring is the CNC’s major annual fundraising event and helps maintain CNC operations. (Meal Cost: Adult - $10.00/Kids - $8.00) (For information call 585-374-6160)

4-5 - Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department Sportsmen’s Show at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds, off Route 353, Little Valley NY. (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) ($5.00 admission) (For information call Jim Miller at 716-938-6928)

4-5 – Tri-County Trout Derby headquarted at the Arcade Fire Department, 145 North St, Arcade, NY (Fishing starts 5:00 am both days.) (Entry Fee: Adult Registration – $20/After March 16 – $30/Child Registration (12 and under)  $20) Register at Arcade Area Chamber of Commerce Office, Machias Outdoors, Pioneer Motorsport or on line. Registration Pick-Up Friday, April 3rd, 2:00 – 7:00 pm at Pioneer Motorsport, 12220 Route 16, Chaffee, NY. Prizes: Trophy ($750); Rainbow Trout ($500); Cast-Off ($400); Bobber ($250); Jig ($200); and Lunker ($100). (For information cal 585-492-5103 or email office@arcadechamber.org.)

5 - Finger Lakes Friends of NRA Banquet at the Harbor Hotel, 16 N. Franklin Street, Watkins Glen, NY (3:00 pm) (Cost: $50.00) (For information contact Kayla West 607-351-1382 flfriendsnra@gmail.com)

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for – “Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.”

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

 

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3 - 20 – 20

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

MONTEZUMA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE LOOKS FOR PUBLIC REVIEW 2020 DRAFT HUNTING AND FISHING PLAN: Hunting and fishing are traditional uses of the National Wildlife Refuge System. At Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge (NWR, Refuge), we welcome people of all backgrounds and abilities to participate in recreational hunting and to enjoy fishing access from refuge lands into state waters.

Montezuma NWR is seeking public review and comment on its proposed hunting and fishing programs. You are invited to review the draft documents for the proposed hunting and fishing programs, including the Draft Hunting and Fishing Plan, Compatibility Determination, and Environmental Assessment. These documents will be available for a comment period, ending May 1, 2020.

The Refuge is encouraging the public to comment on the programs overall, not just changes to the current program. The proposed changes below would expand the Refuge’s current programs:

Species changes: Gallinule hunting would be opened during the regular waterfowl hunting season; small game (eastern cottontail rabbit and gray squirrel) hunting would be opened.

Hunting area changes: New units would be opened for hunting snow goose during NYDEC snow goose seasons and waterfowl during the New York State regular waterfowl season.

Regulations: Limits on the number of shells permitted into the waterfowl hunting areas would be removed; limits to the number of daily permits available for deer hunting would be removed; dogs would be allowed for hunting fall turkey and eastern cottontail rabbit.

Seasonal changes: Expansion of turkey hunting to include the state spring season.

Fishing: Expansion of fishing access from the refuge to adjacent state waters.

Draft documents are available online at the refuge’s official website homepage: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/montezuma/

You can contact the refuge at 315-237-9862 or at andrea_vanbeusichem@fws.gov to request more information.

There will be a Facebook Live briefing on March 26, 2020, at 12:00 noon, online on the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsoftheMWC/. This is an opportunity to hear about the plan (proposed changes and things that won’t change), and get directions about how to provide your comments on the draft plan.

You can submit comments to the refuge:

By mail - Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, Attn: Hunting & Fishing Comments, 3395 US Route 20 East, Seneca Falls, NY 13148 or

By email - andrea_vanbeusichem@fws.gov

Across the country, National Wildlife Refuges work closely with state agencies, tribes, and private partners to expand recreational hunting and fishing access. Hunting and fishing provide opportunities for communities, families, and individuals to enjoy the outdoors, support conservation efforts, and participate in a popular American tradition.

 

EXAMS NOW SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 14, 2020:  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that out of an abundance of caution and to limit the community spread of COVID-19, DEC has postponed the examinations scheduled for April 3, 2020, to practice the sport of falconry, become a wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals. The exams were originally scheduled to be administered at DEC regional offices statewide.

DEC will offer these examinations on August 14, 2020, at most DEC Regional Offices. Individuals currently registered for the April 3 examinations can register for the August examinations by contacting the Special Licenses Unit at 518-402-8985 or SpecialLicenses@dec.ny.gov and request to have their names included for the August exams.

All others who wish to apply for the August exams can visit the DEC Special Licenses Unit website and complete an exam registration form. Applicants can mail, fax, or email the completed form to: NYSDEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752; fax: 518-402-8925; email: SpecialLicenses@dec.ny.gov. For phone inquiries, contact 518-402-8985.

 

LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT URGED BY THE NATIONAL DEER ALLIANCE (NDA): In a huge win for conservation, United States Senators from both sides of the aisle recently announced that President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have vowed to support bipartisan legislation to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Senate Bill 3422, or the Great American Outdoors Act, will "provide full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and address the $12 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks," according to Senator Gardner. Essentially, the new bill will combine two previous bills: S.1081, the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act and S.500, the Restore Our Parks Act.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund, created in 1965, provides funding for land and water conservation, outdoor recreation and historic preservation projects. The Fund is not tax-funded; rather, it's funded by royalties collected from offshore oil and gas operations. The Great American Outdoors Act will ensure that the LWCF will be fully funded at $900 million annually for the first time in the Fund's history. For reference, the Fund is slated to receive $495 million this year - the highest allocation in the last 17 years. 

Additionally, the new legislation will provide funding for the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog currently faced on our public lands. The Great American Outdoors Act will dedicate $9.5 billion to restore public land infrastructure over a period of five years, with the National Park Service (NPS) receiving 70% of these funds. Other federal agencies, such as the US Forest Service (USFS), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will receive most of the remainder. 

The National Deer Alliance (NDA) outlines wild deer conservation, sportsmen access and state and federal land management as top priority areas. "This new, bipartisan legislation will ensure that our nation's public lands remain intact, well-managed and open to hunting, fishing and other outdoor pursuits," said Torin Miller, NDA's policy and outreach coordinator. "We're hopeful that the Administration, Congress and others will continue to work together to ensure permanent funding at the highest level for the LWCF and our public lands' maintenance backlog."

Join NDA in supporting legislation that fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund and tackles the huge maintenance backlog currently faced on our public lands. Urge your Senators to get up-to-speed on the bill and to support funding for conservation projects, public lands and outdoor recreation. 

 

KUDOS TO ALFRED  STATE: The Alfred State archery team competed in the 51st USA Archery Indoor Nationals in Lancaster, Pa., earlier this month, returning home with eight medals and one archer sitting in national contention for an individual championship.

The Indoor Nationals are held at 13 regional venues over a three-day weekend throughout the United States. At the Pennsylvania site, the team swept the podium in both the men’s compound and men’s hunter classes.

Women’s hunter class archer Chloe Miles, a veterinary technology major from Canisteo, took first place, and men’s Olympic recurve archer Ethan Frederick, a criminal justice major from Baldwinsville, took third place.

In men’s compound, Nathan Summerville, mechanical engineering technology, Fulton; Jacob Houseknecht, culinary arts, Candor; and Dylan Krise, surveying engineering technology, Gillett, Pa., finished first through third, respectively.

The trio of Jay Lawrence, surveying and geomatics engineering technology, Fort Ann; Jacob Patanella, mechanical engineering technology, Churchville; and Simon Bond, mechanical engineering technology, Orchard Park, went top to third in their own podium sweep for men’s hunter class.

So far, 10 of the 13 regional sites have completed their competitions and reported their scoring. The top eight archers from each collegiate class qualify for the USA Archery National Indoor Final held in Louisville, Kentucky, a format that includes head-to-head, single elimination that results in crowning individual national champions.

Lawrence, a sophomore, is currently positioned in fourth place in the national scoring and is among the top eight and awaiting the results from the final three venues.

Alfred State archery competes in the USA Archery Collegiate Archery Program and the next collegiate event will be the Eastern Regionals (outdoor target) hosted at James Madison University April 24-26. Before that collegiate tournament, the team will participate in regional events such as the ASA Winter CanAm Classic, an indoor 3D event in Syracuse.

 

BOATUS SPRING - HELPING RECREATIONAL BOATERS PREP FOR THE SUMMER BOATING SEASON: Getting the boat ready for the summer boating season is an exciting time for America’s nearly 12 million recreational boaters. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has a Spring Commissioning Checklist to help boaters start the season right, along with a new YouTube Spring Fitting Out video library that shows you how to do some basic tasks, from changing the outdrive oil or fixing broken trailer lights to replacing zincs or changing a propeller.
Before You Launch

Inspect and replace hose clamps as necessary. Double clamp fuel lines and exhaust hoses with marine-rated stainless steel hose clamps. While not technically required, it’s a wise move to double clamp whenever possible on all hoses - especially those below the waterline.

Inspect all hoses for stiffness, rot, leaks and cracking, and replace any that are faulty. Make sure they fit snugly.

Inspect prop(s) for dings, pitting and distortion. Make sure cotter pins are secure.

Grip the prop (on inboard drive systems) and try moving the shaft up and down and side to side. If it’s loose and can be wiggled, the cutless bearing may need to be replaced.

Check the rudderstock to ensure it hasn’t been bent. Operate the wheel or tiller to ensure the steering works correctly.

Inspect the hull for blisters, distortions and stress cracks.

Make sure your engine intake sea strainer (if equipped) is not cracked or bent from ice and is free of corrosion, clean and properly secured.

With inboards, check the engine shaft and rudder stuffing boxes for correct adjustment. A stuffing box should leak no more than two drops each minute when the prop shaft is turning.

Inspect, lubricate and exercise seacocks.

Use a garden hose to check for deck leaks at ports and hatches. Renew caulk or gaskets as necessary.

Inspect and test the bilge pump and float switch to make sure they’re both working properly.

Check stove and remote LPG tanks for loose fittings and leaking hoses.

Inspect dock and anchor lines for chafe and wear.

If equipped, ensure that the stern drain plug is installed.

After the boat is launched, be sure to check all thru-hulls for leaks.

Engines and Fuel Systems

Inspect fuel lines, including fill and vent hoses, for softness, brittleness or cracking. Check all joints for leaks, and make sure all lines are well supported with noncombustible clips or straps with smooth edges.

Inspect fuel tanks, fuel pumps and filters for leaks. Ensure portable tanks and lines are completely drained of stale fuel before filling with fresh fuel. Clean or replace fuel filters and/or fuel-water separators if not done before winterization.

Every few years, remove and inspect exhaust manifolds for corrosion (for inboard-powered and inboard/outboard boats).

Charge battery.

Clean and tighten electrical connections, especially both ends of battery cables. Use a wire brush to clean battery terminals, and top up cells with distilled water (if applicable).

Inspect the bilge blower hose for leaks and run the blower to confirm correct operation.

Engine Outdrives and Outboards

Inspect rubber outdrive bellows for cracked, dried and/or deteriorated spots (look especially in the folds) and replace if suspect.

Check power steering and power trim oil levels.

Replace anodes/zincs that are more than half wasted.

Inspect the outer jacket of control cables. Cracks or swelling indicate corrosion and mean that the cable must be replaced.

Inspect lower unit oil level and top up as necessary.

Sailboat Rigging

Inspect swage fittings for cracks and heavy rust (some discoloration is acceptable). Inspect wire halyards and running backstays for “fishhooks” and rust.

Remove tape on turnbuckles and lubricate threads, preferably with Teflon. Replace old tape with fresh tape but don’t wrap airtight.

If you suspect the core around a chainplate is damp, remove the chainplate to inspect and make repairs.

Trailers

Inspect tire treads and sidewalls for cracks or lack of tread and replace as necessary. Check air pressure; don’t forget the spare.

Inspect wheel bearings and repack as necessary.

Test all lights and replace any broken bulbs or lenses.

Inspect winch to make sure it’s working properly. Inspect hitch chains.

Inspect trailer frame for rust. Sand and paint to prevent further deterioration.

Inspect brakes and brake fluid reservoir.

Safety

Check expiration dates on flares.

Inspect fire extinguishers. Replace if more than 12 years old or if age is unknown. More than 40 million Kidde extinguishers with plastic handles were recalled on Nov. 2, 2017.

Ensure you have properly sized and wearable life jackets in good condition for each passenger, including kids. Check inflatable life jacket cylinders and dissolvable “pill” bobbins in auto-inflating models.

Test smoke, carbon monoxide, fume and bilge alarms.

Check running lights for operation and spare bulb inventory.

Update paper charts and chartplotter software.

Replenish first-aid kit items that may have been used last season or are expired.

Check the operation of VHF radio(s) and that the MMSI number is correctly programmed in. (BoatUS members can obtain a free MMSI number at BoatUS.com/MMSI.)

Get a free vessel safety check from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons. Find out more at SafetySeal.net.

For the Dock

In addition to checking its entire length for wear or abrasions, check both ends of the shore power cable connections for burns, which indicate the cable and/or boat’s shore power inlet or the dock’s receptacle must be replaced.

Test ground-fault protection on your boat and private dock, and know how to prevent Electric Shock Drowning.

The Paperwork

Make sure your boat registration is up to date. Don’t forget your trailer tags.

Review your boat insurance policy and update coverage if needed. BoatUS provides free quotes at BoatUS.com/Insurance. Provide a copy to your marina or club.

Ensure your BoatUS Membership is in good standing. Login to BoatUS.com/Account to check your Membership status or join at BoatUS.com/Membership.

Download the free BoatUS App (BoatUS.com/App) to make it easy to summon on-water assistance and speed response times.

For more information about the nation’s largest advocacy, services and safety group, go to BoatUS.com.  

 

PA DEER HARVEST: Pennsylvania hunters posted their highest overall deer harvest in 15 years when they took 389,431 deer during the state’s 2019-20 hunting seasons, which closed in January.

The 2019-20 deer harvest topped the previous year’s harvest of 374,690 by about 4 percent. The last time the total deer harvest exceeded this season’s total was in 2004-05, when 409,320 whitetails were taken.

The statewide buck harvest saw a generous bump of 10 percent, coming in at 163,240. In the 2018-19 seasons, 147,750 bucks were taken. In the preceding license year, 163,750 bucks were harvested. The largest harvest in the antler-restrictions era – 165,416 – occurred in the first year.

The antlerless deer harvest over the 2019-20 seasons was 226,191, which includes 10,461 taken with chronic wasting disease Deer Management Assistance Program permits. The 2018-19 overall antlerless deer harvest was 226,940, which was about 10 percent larger than the 2017-18 harvest of 203,409.

The percentage of older bucks in the 2019-20 deer harvest remained amazingly high. About 66 percent of the bucks taken by hunters were at least 2 1/2 years old.. The remainder were 1½ years old.

“Pennsylvania deer hunters consistently continue to take 2½-year and older bucks over younger antlered bucks – by a two-to-one margin – in the Commonwealth,” said Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans. “If you hunted deer before antler restrictions, you know how significant this is. Most of us have waited a lifetime for deer hunting like Pennsylvania has today!

“The whitetail bucks roaming Penn’s Woods today are a product of an intensely managed deer herd,” Burhans noted. “But their existence also hinged on the willingness of deer hunters to sacrifice shooting spikes and small fork-horns for bucks with substantially more headgear!”

About 69 percent of the antlerless deer harvest was adult females; button-bucks comprised 16 percent and doe fawns made up 15 percent. In the 2018-19 seasons, adult females comprised 66 percent of the antlerless deer harvest.

Bowhunters accounted for about a third of Pennsylvania’s 2019-20 overall deer harvest, taking 145,908 deer (74,190 bucks and 71,718 antlerless deer) with either bows or crossbows. The 2018-19 archery buck harvest was 54,350, while the archery antlerless deer harvest was 56,369; unseasonably warm weather and rain impacted many fall bowhunting days in 2018.

The muzzleloader harvest – 29,604 – was up from to the previous year’s harvest of 23,909. The 2019-20 muzzleloader harvest included 1,260 antlered bucks compared to 1,290 bucks in the 2018-19 seasons.

  

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php(CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. MANY ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

 

MARCH 2020

24 & 31 - The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, NY. (7:00 – 8:30 pm) This program is in its 19th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 716-410-7003 or alberto@albertorey.com)

21 - Whitetails Unlimited – Broome County Chapter Hunters Night Out at the Holiday Inn Binghamton, 2 Hawley Street, Binghamton, NY. Deadline for ticket sales – March 14. (Cost: Adult - $50.00/Spouse - $30.00/Youth - $30.00) Through our Grassroots Program, WTU provides grants to local projects and activities that advance our mission. Proceeds from this event will benefit youth conservation and training event. (For information call Adam Hall at, 607-279-0227 or go to http://www.whitetailsunlimited.com/events/banquets/)

21 – South Western NY Friends of NRA Banquet at the Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, NY (4:30 pm) (Cost: $50.00) (For information contact Ray Patchkofsky 585-307-9824 or email raymondpatchkofsky@yahoo.com)

21 - Family Outdoor Time: Wildlife Conservation at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) March is a great time to start planning spring yardwork projects.  Did you know, some yard maintenance can be harmful to our wildlife?  With a few simple changes to yardwork activities, not only will backyards look beautiful, they will also be more bird-friendly for native birds.  Families will also learn ways to keep invasive birds from taking over bird houses. (Fee: $5/person, $15/family.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

21 - Braddock Bay Raptor Research Hawk Watch meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (9:00 am – 4:oo pm) Braddock Bay is a bird migration “hot spot” located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario just west of Rochester, NY. Early spring is the perfect time to look to the skies for many migratory raptor species so join us for a field trip to Braddock Bay Raptor Research (BBRR) for the chance to see hundreds of hawks, vultures, eagles, owls. We will meet with the President of BBRR, Daena Ford, for a live Bird of Prey presentation, take a short walk to search for Saw Whet Owls and Long-eared Owls, and we’ll visit the raptor banding station. Please pack a lunch, wear sturdy shoes, and dress for the weather. *RAINDATE- Sat. April 4. (Fee: $20/child, $30/adult. Fee to meet on location: $15/child, $25/adult. Pre-paid reservations required.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

21/22 - The 73rd Annual Batavia Gun and Sportsman Show at the Quality Inn & Suites Palm Island Waterpark, 8250 Park Road, Batavia, NY (Sat-9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun-9:00 am – 3:00 pm) This show is hosted by the Alabama Hunt Club. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. 150+ tables. (Cost: $5.00/under 12 free w/adult) (For information contact Denis Davis 585-798-6089 dwdavis70@gmail.com)

21-22 – 42nd Annual Maple Sugaring (Postponed) at the Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road, Naples, NY. (Breakfast 9:00 am-1:00 pm/Trail Demonstrations 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) Explore the science and lore of maple syrup production with volunteer guides along the CNC Pioneer Trail and also enjoy a pancake breakfast. On the trail, participants learn how a tree makes sap and discover the different processing techniques while enjoying the outdoors. Other highlights include a 100 percent pure maple syrup tasting in the sugarhouse, and a pancake meal in the visitors center. All meals include pure maple syrup and a choice of beverage. Maple Sugaring is the CNC’s major annual fundraising event and helps maintain CNC operations. (Meal Cost: Adult - $10.00/Kids - $8.00) (For information call 585-374-6160)

22 - Tioga County Trappers Association Fur Sale at the Tioga County Sportsman's Association, 1141 Carmichael Road, Owego, NY. (9:00 am to 12:00 pm.) (For information contact Bill Swagler at 607-222-8554 or Mike Verry 607-427-5589.) 

26 - New York Forest Owners Association Seminar at the Waterman Conservation Education Center, 403 Hilyon Road, Apalachin, NY. (For more info call Stephen Kutney, 607-862-9152.)

26-29 - Inaugural Finger Lakes Birding Festival. The Finger Lakes Region is a critically important stopover for millions of waterfowl and birds of prey as they migrate north to their breeding grounds. The Montezuma Audubon Center, Braddock Bay Raptor Research, Sterling Nature Center and Onondaga Audubon will lead a variety of birding tours, lectures, and workshops during this four-day event at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex, Braddock Bay, Sterling Nature Center and Onondaga Lake. Participants can expect to see up to three dozen waterfowl species and 20 species of raptors that utilize the region’s forests, wetlands, grasslands and waterways. Discounted hotel accommodations and program registrations will be available at www.facebook.com/fingerlakesbirdingfestival. (For information call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

28 - Whitetails Unlimited – Tobehanna Creek Chapter Hunters Night Out at the The Community Center, 4th Street, Watkins Glen, NY. Deadline for ticket sales – 3-20-20. (Cost: Adult - $45.00/Spouse - $25.00/Youth - $25.00) Through our Grassroots Program, WTU provides grants to local projects and activities that advance our mission. Proceeds from this event will benefit youth conservation and training event. (For information go to http://www.whitetailsunlimited.com/events/banquets/)

28-29 - Andover Fire Dept Gun Show at the Andover Fire Hall, 60 South Main Street, Andover, NY (Sat 9:00 am – 4:00 pm/Sun 9:00 am – 3:00 pm) (Admission - $5.00/12 and under – Free) This event is hosted by the Andover Fire Department. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed. The Allegany County Pistol Clerks on site both days. (For information contact Dennis Givens 607-478-5005 Email: dennis.givens@frontier.com or Matt Green 607-478-5327 Email: andoverfire@frontier.net)

28-29 – 42nd Annual Maple Sugaring (Postponed) at the Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road, Naples, NY. (Breakfast 9:00 am-1:00 pm/Trail Demonstrations 10:00 am – 2:00 pm) Explore the science and lore of maple syrup production with volunteer guides along the CNC Pioneer Trail and also enjoy a pancake breakfast. On the trail, participants learn how a tree makes sap and discover the different processing techniques while enjoying the outdoors. Other highlights include a 100 percent pure maple syrup tasting in the sugarhouse, and a pancake meal in the visitors center. All meals include pure maple syrup and a choice of beverage. Maple Sugaring is the CNC’s major annual fundraising event and helps maintain CNC operations. (Meal Cost: Adult - $10.00/Kids - $8.00) (For information call 585-374-6160)

29 - End of Hunting Season for Coyotes

29 - Finger Lakes Trollers Fishing Tackle, Outdoor Show and Flea Market at the Community Center at Clute Park, Watkins Glen, NY (9:00 am – 2:00 pm) New, used and antique fishing tackle,fishing charters,archery, turkery hunting stuff,etc. There will be about 70 tables set up. (Tables are sold out). (Admission is $2.00 with kids under 10 free. Parking is free.) (For information call Mike Burt 607-765-9866)

31 - Close of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Trout in Salmon Creek (Cayuga County), Salmon Creek Above Ludlow Falls & West Branch Owego Creek (Tompkins County), Spring Creek on Caledonia State Fish Hatchery Property (8:00 am B 4:00 pm) (Livingston County), Oatka Creek from Bowerman Road Upstream to Union Street and from the Wheatland Center Road Upstream to the Mouth of Spring Creek, and Spring Creek (Monroe County), East Koy & Wiscoy Creeks (Allegany County), Clear Creek, Lime Lake Outlet, McKinstry Creek, Elm Creek, Elton Creek, Mansfield Creek and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Cattaraugus County), Hosmer Brook and Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam (Erie County), Wiscoy Creek (Minus Section 2 mile Each Side of East Hillside Road Bridge), East Koy Creek, Cattaraugus Creek Upstream of Springville Dam and Clear Creek from Mouth to County Line (Wyoming County)

31 - Falconry Season Closes

31 – Close of Crow Hunting Season

 

Until our next meeting in the Corner, have a great time in the outdoors. This is Ron Schroder for – “Your In on The Outdoors for Western New York.”

What Do You Think? Have something for other sportspeople? Let us know HERE.

 

 

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3 - 13 – 20

 

Welcome to this week’s Conservation Chatter Corner – little bits of happenings concerning our outdoors and you, the sportspeople who enjoy being part of that outdoors.

 

ONLINE MEETING TO PRESENT 2020 LAKE ONTARIO CHINOOK SALMON STOCKING STRATEGY:  The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that an online public meeting will be held on March 18, to discuss changes in 2020 Chinook salmon stocking locations on Lake Ontario. These changes were developed in consultation with a focus group comprised of anglers and charter captains and are designed to maximize contributions of stocked salmon to sportfisheries.

DEC's stocking site allocations of salmon and trout are decades old and largely proportioned by shoreline miles within DEC's administrative regions bordering Lake Ontario. This proportional approach does not take into consideration fish movement studies, the benefits of pen rearing, and other factors that affect the success of the stocking program, including angler preferences, fishing effort, and geographic and seasonal differences in fish distribution. DEC is currently working with the Lake Ontario Fisheries Management Focus Group, a panel of 16 anglers representing open lake and tributary fisheries, to modify trout and salmon stocking allocations to optimize the benefits of stocked fish to the overall sportfishery.

In 2020, DEC will concentrate Chinook salmon stocking at fewer sites to enhance post-stocking survival and improve open lake fisheries overall. This strategy will also enhance New York State's late-summer staging fishery and existing tributary fisheries in key locations.

The online meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., on Wednesday, March 18. Participants can use the following link to join the meeting: WebEx Meeting. Participants are directed to use the meeting number 647 538 274, password: Chinook2020.

Upon joining the meeting, participants will be prompted to connect to audio using their computer. To connect to audio via phone, use the following call-in information: toll free number 1-844-633-8697 and access code: 641 790 213.

Stocking information presented at the meeting will be posted on the DEC's website the day of the meeting. Questions regarding this meeting can be directed to Steve LaPan, Great Lakes Fisheries Section Head, at 315-654-2147 or fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov.

                        

CANCELLED - RAINBOW TROUT SAMPLING DATES FOR FINGER LAKES: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the dates and locations for the annual sampling of the rainbow trout run in Finger Lakes tributaries. This year, sampling is scheduled for:

Thursday, March 19, 9 a.m., at Naples Creek, just north of the village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Rt. 245 bridge; and Friday, March 20, 10 a.m., at Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County.

DEC is conducting the sampling to aid its ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast.

During sampling, data will be collected for each fish, including length, weight, sex, and spawning condition. A scale from the fish is used to determine age and growth rate. Sampling results will be available to the public at the DEC Region 8 Fisheries Office prior to the April 1 opening of the "inland" trout fishing season. Anglers wanting to fish for trout before April 1 are reminded that trout fishing is open year-round in the main bodies of the Finger Lakes.

Directions to Naples Creek: Sampling will start at the Rt. 245 bridge, just north of the Village of Naples. Rt. 245 joins Rt. 21 just north of the village. The Rt. 245 bridge is approximately 0.2 to 0.3 miles from the junction with Rt. 21.

Directions to Cold Brook: From the Avon DEC office, go south on I-390, continue Southern Tier Expressway (Route 17/ I-86) south to Exit 38 in Bath. Turn left off Exit 38 onto Washington Street (Rt. 54) and continue straight through the light at the intersection of Rt. 415, turn left (north) at the next light following Rt. 54 (Liberty Street). Continue on Rt. 54, approximately six miles, to Pleasant Valley. Turn left onto Hammondsport-Pleasant Valley Road (County Rt. 88). Sampling site is at the stream crossing, approximately 1/2 mile.

 

ANNUAL STATE YOUTH ARCHERY TOURNAMENT ON MARCH 20: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that students representing 37 schools across New York State will be competing in the 12th Annual National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) state tournament at the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse on Friday, March 20. The tournament recognizes school students' diligence and focus in the practice of target archery. Winners of the state competition will qualify for the national tournament to be held this spring.

The event will host 45 teams of students in one of three divisions: High School, grades 9-12; Middle School, grades 6-8; and Elementary School, grades 4-5. Awards are given out in each of the three divisions for 1st through 10th places. Individuals who place in the Top 10 in their division, and teams that place first in each of the three divisions, qualify to compete and represent New York State at the NASP national tournament held in Louisville, Kentucky, in May.

More than four million students at 8,500 schools in 47 states and five countries have participated in NASP. Since New York implemented the Archery in Schools program in 2008, more than 400 schools and 41,000 students have participated. Last year's state competition drew 542 students from 32 school districts. A brief video of the 2018 tournament is available on DEC's YouTube page.

Participating Western/Central NY Schools by County

Allegany County
Canaseraga Central School
Fillmore Elementary School
Fillmore High School
Genesee Valley Central School

Cattaraugus County
Hinsdale Central School District
Salamanca City School-Seneca Intermediate
Salamanca High School

Cayuga County
Port Byron High School

Erie County
Grand Island High School
Holland Middle School
Holland High School

Livingston County
Livonia Middle/High School

Onondaga County
Fabius Pompey Middle-High School
Liverpool Middle School

Ontario County
Bloomfield Middle-High School
Honeoye Central School District

Oswego County
Altmar Parish Williamstown

Tioga County
North Spencer Christian Academy

The NASP initiative is a great way to introduce young people to archery and serves as a potential conduit to becoming interested in hunting and the outdoors. Educators report that NASP inspires students of all athletic abilities to greater academic achievement. DEC has facilitated the statewide program since its inception, helping schools to start and run their programs, training instructors and staff on teaching methods, and facilitating the collection of equipment for start-up programs.

For more information on how schools can become involved, visit DEC's website. To learn more about the, National Archery in the Schools Program, visit NASP's webpage.

(MAY BE CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

 

KUDOS: Rachael Paddock of Perry Central School has become the first Section V athlete to medal in air rifle shooting at the state championships. Rachael took the gold medal in the 3P air individual prone event with a perfect score of 100. She placed tied for 4th in the overall scoring (prone plus standing and kneeling). Her hopes are to make it to the Olympics. Good luck Rachael!

 

BRUSH BURNING PROHIBITED IN NYS MARCH 16 THROUGH MAY 14:  DEC reminds residents that with spring approaching, conditions for wildfires will become heightened, and residential brush burning is prohibited March 16 through May 14 across New York State.

Even though portions of the state are covered in snow, warming temperatures can quickly cause wildfire conditions to arise. DEC posts a fire danger rating map and forecast daily during fire season on its website and on the NY Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App available on DEC's website. Currently, wildfire conditions in the state are low risk.

Historically, open burning of debris is the largest single cause of spring wildfires in New York State. When temperatures are warmer and the past fall's debris, dead grass, and leaves dry out, wildfires can start and spread easily and be further fueled by winds and a lack of green vegetation.

Violators of the state's open burning regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense. To report environmental law violations call, 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332), or report online on DEC's website.

 

 

DISEASE-SNIFFING DOGS AMONG CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE RESEARCH: Last month the Pennsylvania Game Commission first unveiled tentative plans to majorly crack down on the spread of chronic wasting disease or CWD in the state.

Researchers will soon take an even more innovative approach to detecting the always-fatal neurological disease that affects members of the cervid family. According to Penn Live, the University of Pennsylvania will begin researching the potential for dogs to detect the disease in deer feces.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is providing $242,246 for the project, which will be undertaken by the Penn School of Veterinary Working Dog Center.

It's a novel idea that could help improve CWD testing. The biggest problem with detecting infected deer is that scientists have only been able to confirm CWD cases post-mortem through testing of brain matter or lymph nodes. CWD is a mad cow-like disease that spreads via a prion. The disease is highly infectious and can stay dormant in an animal for an extended period before symptoms become apparent. It is believed it can also lay dormant in soil for years before infecting another animal, which is why it's so concerning for sportsmen and women everywhere.

(https://www.wideopenspaces.com/disease-sniffing-dogs-part-of-pennsylvanias-cwd-detection-plan/)

 

DEC ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR DAY-OLD PHEASANT CHICK PROGRAM:

Many day-old pheasant chicks in a box.Applications are available for DEC’s cooperative Day-Old Pheasant Chick Program. The program provides pheasant hunting opportunities through a partnership among DEC, hunters, 4-H youth, and interested landowners. The program is funded through the State Conservation Fund from license fees paid by hunters, trappers, and anglers. In 2019, DEC distributed more than 31,500 day-old pheasant chicks to qualified applicants!

Day-old chicks are available at no cost to participants who can provide a brooding facility, a covered outdoor rearing pen, and an adequate release site. Applicants must provide daily care to the rapidly growing chicks, monitor the birds’ health, and ensure they have adequate feed and water. The pheasants may be released beginning when they are eight weeks old and must be released no later than Dec. 1.

All release sites must be approved in advance by DEC and must be open for public pheasant hunting opportunities. Approved applicants will receive the day-old chicks in April, May, or June.

Individuals interested in these programs should contact their nearest DEC regional office for applications and additional information. A “Pheasant Rearing Guide” and applications are  available on the DEC website. Applications must be filed with a DEC regional wildlife manager by March 25, 2020.

 

THIS WEEK’S EVENTS: (For complete future listings go to the Calendar Page - http://www.huntfishnyoutdoors.com/events.php(CHECK EVENT IN ADVANCE. SOME ARE BEING CANCELLED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS-19 CONCERNS.)

 

MARCH 2020

17, 24 & 31 - The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia, NY. (7:00 – 8:30 pm) This program is in its 19th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 716-410-7003 or alberto@albertorey.com)

13 – Deadline For April 3 Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator And Leashed Tracking Dog Examinations: Examinations for individuals seeking a license to practice the sport of falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are now scheduled.

The exams are scheduled for 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at most DEC Regional Offices across the state. A list of DEC Regional Offices can be found on DEC's website. These are free exams and exam registration forms can be found on DEC's website.

13 - Ten X Shooting Club Youth Rifle Shooting Program at the club, 853 Ransom Road, Lancaster NY. (6:00 pm) This program is for ages 9 through 20. New and first-time shooters should arrive at 6 p.m for safety and orientation training. Shooting begins at 6:30 p.m. Membership is not required. (Cost is $3 per night but no shooter is turned away.) (For information call Matt Giansante at 716-622-0705.)

13-14 – 2020 NYDU State Convention and Conservation Celebration at the Ramada Inn Lakefront, Geneva, New York. A celebration of the achievements during 2019. (Cost: Single (full weekend) $165/Couple (full weekend) $290/Greenwing (full weekend) $50/Adult (Fri only) $75/Adult (Sat only) $90) (For information call Eric Struening 908-894-4348 or go to www.ducks.org/new-york/events)

14 - Whitetails Unlimited - Western New York Deer Camp at the Willows, 177 Savage Road, Holland, NY. (5:00 pm) The deadline ticket date is March 11, 2019. Tickets may be ordered online at www.whitetailsunlimited.com or by phone - 1-800-274-5471. (Cost $45.00/$35.00 spouse/$30.00 - youth.) Everyone goes home with a Deer Camp Tour 2019 Shirt! (For information contact Bill Bailey  413-244-2304)

14 - Whitetails Unlimited Western New York Deer Camp at the Willows, 177 Savage Road, Holland, NY. The deadline ticket date is March 11. Tickets may be ordered online at www.whitetailsunlimited.com or by phone - 1-800-274-5471. (Cost $45.00/$35.00 Spouse/$30.00 youth.) Everyone goes home with a Deer Camp Tour 2017 Shirt! (For information contact Bill Bailey at 413-244-2304 between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm or go to http://www.whitetailsunlimited.com/events/banquets/)

14 - Bluebird Nest Box and Bug Hotel Building at the Home Depot in Olean, NY. (10:00 -11:00 am OR 11:00 am – noon) Spring is just around the corner which means our wild animal friends will soon be looking to start new families. If you would like to attract wildlife to your yard join us in building a bluebird box or a bug hotel or BOTH! If you love birds, you should also love bugs! Insects are the diet plan for all baby birds. Build a bug hotel to provide a food source for your feathered friends. Nature enthusiasts Tim Baird and Mike Ermer will be on hand to answer questions about these amazing animals. Craftsmen Joe Leo and Craig Myers will lead the construction activities. Preregistration is required and can be done through Pfeiffer Nature Center by 4 pm, Thursday, February 14th. Reservations are limited and are on a “first come first serve basis”. (Program fee: $10 per bird nest box or bug hotel and group of builders (1-3 participants per group). Children must be accompanied by adults. (For information/register contact the office at 716-933-0187.)

14 - Montezuma Migration Birding Tour at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (9:00 – 11:30 am) The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is Audubon’s first globally significant Important Bird Area because of the incredible number of waterfowl that stop here during the spring and fall migrations. Enjoy a leisurely ride in our van for an excursion to Montezuma’s birding hot spots where thousands of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and other raptors are a possibility too. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. (Fee: $8/child, $15/adult, $40/family. Pre-paid reservations required.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

14 - Ladies Shoot N’ Hoot at Wolcott Guns, 3052 Walden Avenue, Depew, NY. (12:30 pm) Register in advance. (For information/register call Colleen Gaskill at 716-628-9023.)

14 - Family Outdoor Time: Project NestWatch at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) March is a great time to start watching for migrating and nesting birds. Families will explore the forest to search for tree cavities, canopy trees and other potential nesting sites to discover how monitoring bird nests is an important community science project for families. Fee: $5/person, $15/family.

 (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

14 - Wine and Wings Raptor Van Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (1:00 – 4:00 pm) The spring migration is here so join us to search for migratory waterfowl, elusive Northern Harriers, breeding Bald Eagles and more! During the tour, we will stop at Izzo’s White Barn Winery and enjoy award-winning wines and learn how vineyards and Important Birds Areas can exist side by side. (Fee: $20/adult, includes wine tastings. Must be 21+. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

15 - Close of Statewide Fishing Seasons for Northern Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskellunge and Walleye

15 - Close of Fishing Season for Muskellunge in the Susquehanna River (Tioga County) & the Chemung River and Tributaries (Chemung County)

15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

15 - End of Trapping Season for Beaver in West portion of Southern Tier

15 - Genesee Valley Trappers Association Fur Auction at the Clubhouse, 4462 County Road 32 (3 miles east of Honeoye, south of 20A), Honeoye, NY (6:30 am fur checkin/10:00 am auction) ($10.00 charge for non-members) (For information call Tom Miller, 585-229-4759)