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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

 

8 - 16 – 19

 

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.

 

NORTH SANDY POND BOAT LAUNCH SITE REOPENED: The North Sandy Pond boat launch located in the town of Sandy Creek, Oswego County is now open following record-high water levels on Lake Ontario. During the closure, DEC implemented several site repairs to ensure safe and convenient public access to the launch.

Lake Ontario is New York's most heavily fished waterbody, offering the potential to catch trophy-sized fish from a wide variety of species, including Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout, Atlantic salmon, bass, walleye, and panfish. Lake Ontario is consistently ranked among the top fishing destinations in the country by national publications. The past few years have provided record-breaking fishing for several popular species and the 2019 season is, again, providing excellent opportunities along New York's scenic northern coastline.

A full list of state- and municipally-operated Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River boat launch facilities and their status can be found on DEC's website. As water levels continue to decrease, launches will be reopened when considered safe. In the past month, Oak Orchard West (OPRHP) in Orleans County, Grass Point's Fisher's Landing (OPRHP) in Jefferson County, and Wright's Landing (City of Oswego) in Oswego County; the City of Rochester launch on the Genesee River in the Port of Rochester; the Sandy Creek Boat Launch; and the Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park have reopened.

 

PROPOSED CHANGES TO PROTECT NEW YORK DEER AND MOOSE FROM CWD: Chronic Wasting Diseaseis a fatal and untreatable nervous-system disease affects deer, elk, and moose and is believed to be caused by abnormally shaped proteins called prions. CWD prions are shed through saliva, urine, and feces of infected animals. A healthy deer, elk, or moose can pick up the disease by direct contact with the infected animal's body fluids or by eating contaminated sources of food or water.

DEC and the Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) recently finalized the New York State Interagency Chronic Wasting Disease Risk Minimization Plan, which includes recommendations to strengthen protection of New York's wild white-tailed deer and moose populations, as well as captive cervids (deer and elk) held at enclosed breeding and shooting facilities.

Proposed changes include:

> Expanding the prohibition on the importation of carcasses and carcass parts of CWD-susceptible animals to include all jurisdictions outside of New York;

> Clarifying that the only parts of CWD-susceptible animals that may be imported into New York are 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;

> Modifying the list of species referenced in the regulations to only include known CWD-susceptible species;

> Increasing the ease with which DEC's Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) can enforce DAM regulations to ensure owners of captive-bred, CWD-susceptible animals comply with DAM's captive cervid health requirements;

> Clarifying disposal requirements for taxidermists that process CWD-susceptible animals; and

> Removing text associated with feeding wild deer and moose, as that prohibition is being established in a separate rulemaking.

Public comments will be accepted on these proposals through Oct. 6, 2019. For more detailed explanations of these proposals and for instructions for submitting comments, visit DEC's website.

Along with regulation changes affecting hunters, DEC biologists and DAM veterinarians will be conducting joint inspections of captive deer and elk facilities and improving record-sharing among agencies to increase compliance with cervid health requirements. DEC and DAM will also explore several potential oversight and CWD-testing improvements for captive cervid facilities.

DEC issued the following advice to reduce the likelihood that CWD will come into New York.

Hunters, taxidermists, and deer processors are directed to:

> Not import whole deer, elk, moose, or caribou carcasses into New York;

> Avoid natural deer urine-based attractants and use synthetics forms instead; and

> Dispose of carcasses and carcass parts properly at approved landfills

All New Yorkers are encouraged to:

> Report sick or abnormally behaving deer;

>Not feed wild deer or moose; and

>Report violators.

DEC also recently announced that new proposed regulations for the feeding of wild deer and moose and the use of 4-PosterTM devices are available for public comment until Sept. 1, 2019. The measure is needed to strengthen and clarify the existing prohibition on the intentional feeding of wild deer and moose. Prohibiting the feeding of wild deer and moose is a best management approach to reduce risks associated with communicable wildlife diseases like chronic wasting disease, minimize conflicts with deer, and protect wildlife habitats. More information can be found on DEC's website.

To learn more about CWD and DEC efforts to protect wild deer and moose in New York (PDF), visit DEC's website.

 

NEW BOATING SAFETY LEGISLATION:  Brianna's Law (to improve boating safety) requires all motorboat operators to complete a boating safety course and obtain a certificate from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The measure expands an earlier law that requires boaters born after May 1, 1996 to complete a safety course before operating a motorized watercraft. Under the phase-in, all motor boat operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1993 must complete a safety course to operate a motor boat beginning in 2020. Those born after Jan. 1, 1988 must complete a safety course beginning in 2022. Those born on or after Jan. 1, 1983 must complete a safety course beginning in 2023. Those born on or after Jan. 1, 1978 must complete a safety course beginning in 2024. The requirement would extend to all motor boat operators beginning in 2025, regardless of age. Failure to comply could result in a fine of between $100 and $250 under the new law that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020. The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which administers the law, estimates that there are nearly one million boaters who will have to take the safety courses before the end of the phase-in on Jan. 1, 2025. For more information, go to the NYS Parks Boating Education website. To learn more about fishing Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence and New York State fishing regulations, DEC's Guide to Great Lakes Fishing contains valuable information about the area's waters and tips for increasing success. For more regional news, fishing reports and local information related to Lake Ontario fishing, visit the I Love NY website.

                                                                                                                                     Photo by John Adamski

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

Community Outreach: Town of Seneca Falls, Seneca County: On Aug. 8, to celebrate Smokey Bear's 75th birthday and to surprise the many children present, Forest Ranger Will Roberts and Smokey Bear visited the Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls. Roberts and Smokey used the event to help spread the word that every forest fire is preventable by using commonsense approaches for outdoor fires. Visit Smokey Bear's website to learn more about Smokey Bear's birthday.

Smokey Bear stands between Forest Ranger Roberts and their new friend
Forest Ranger Roberts with Smokey Bear and a new friend

Fuel Oil Folly - Ontario County: On July 20, Ontario County 911 received a complaint about a truck spilling oil on County Rt 7 in the town of Manchester. Additional calls reported oil on the road at other locations, as well. Fire departments were dispatched to close the road and spread speedy dry to contain the oil. New York State Police (NYSP) Trooper Robert Chapman and ECO Keith Levanway followed the stains on the road and, with a tip from a caller, were led to a home in Phelps. The resident there told them he had removed an old fuel oil tank during renovations to the home and that the tank sat outside for a few years until that day when he and a friend loaded it into a trailer. The friend drove away with the tank leaking and oil dumping onto the road. Realizing this and not wanting to take the leaking tank directly to his original destination, he drove around contaminating the roads and creating the hazardous situation. On Aug. 3, the investigation concluded with both men being charged with multiple offenses. The driver of the vehicle was charged with Reckless Endangerment 2nd degree by NYSP, and six environmental offenses by ECO Levanway. The homeowner was charged with three environmental offenses. The cases will be heard in Manchester and Phelps town courts.

Struggling Eagle Makes a Quick Comeback - Wayne County: On Aug. 3, ECOs Todd Smith and Tony Drahms responded to a complaint of an eagle struggling in Lake Ontario near Port Bay in Wolcott. The ECOs performed a quick assessment of the eagle's health and determined that although it was wet and exhausted from its time in the water, the eagle appeared to be healthy. The ECOs placed the eagle in the sun to help speed up the feather-drying process and it soon flew off to a lofty tree-top. The complainant reported later that the eagle spent several hours drying its feathers before flying off.

ECO stands with a large eagle in his hands as it spreads its wings to dry in the sun.
ECO Drahms moves the eagle into the sun to help dry its feathers

Out-of-Season Geese - Chautauqua County: On Aug. 6, ECO Darci Dougherty received a complaint in the town of Carroll that the caller's neighbor had shot two Canada geese the morning before. The complainant said that she was watching the geese fly over her house when she suddenly heard gunshots and watched as her neighbors placed two geese into a bucket. ECOs Dougherty and Chris Freeman arrived at the suspect's house and found a bucket containing carcasses as described by the caller. The goose breast meat had already been eaten. The officers charged the shooter with taking Canada geese out of season and unlawfully possessing protected wildlife.

 

CAMERA RECOMMENDATIONS FROM JOHN: The following is an excerpt from Chapter One in my latest book, "Nature in a Nutshell ~ A Beginner's Guide to Wildlife Photography".

                                         Photo by John Adamski

I recommend using a DSLR because you can change lenses and control exposure. Auto-focus and other preset camera functions are essential when you’re scrambling to compose a spontaneous wildlife shot. The first thing to remember in wildlife photography is to always expect the unexpected. Look for an auto-focus telephoto zoom lens with a focal range up to at least 200mm. A 300mm zoom lens is better and a super-zoom telephoto lens up to 500 or even 600mm is best for photographing big game. It all depends on what you can afford If you already own a collection of lenses, let that be your guide in selecting a compatible camera. If not, you can always add to your lens inventory as you progress.

     With DSLR cameras that have an APS-C sensor, there is an approximate 1.5X multiplication factor, which means that your 200mm lens is actually recording an image equivalent in magnification to one taken with a 300mm lens; 500mm will be recorded at 750mm, and so forth. This can be an advantage in wildlife photography but remember that you will also need a tripod or other means of solid support while shooting at higher magnifications. When photographing big game animals, distance is a given and a tripod is essential, even if your outfit has some form of image stabilizing compensation. With full frame DSLR cameras, the multiplication factor does not apply.

 

HUNTING AND TRAPPING EDUCATION COURSES REQUIRED FOR FIRST LICENSE: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminds all new hunters and trappers that registration for required hunter education classes is now open. Courses fill quickly and interested hunters and trappers are encouraged to register early. Each year, more than 45,000 New Yorkers take DEC's hunter and trapper education courses.

Hunting in New York is a proud tradition that helps manage the state's incredible natural resources. Before getting their license and going afield, all new hunters and trappers must complete a hunter, bowhunter, or trapper education course. DEC works closely with thousands of dedicated, DEC-certified instructors statewide to provide these training courses free of charge. Courses are offered for Hunter Education, Bowhunter Education, Trapper Education, and Waterfowl Hunter Education.

DEC's online registration system makes it easy to view a list of available courses. Students can register from any device-smartphone, tablet, or computer-24 hours a day, seven days a week. Courses are added continuously throughout the year, so those interested should regularly check the online system to find a course near them. To locate a hunter or trapper education course, visit DEC's website or contact a local DEC office for assistance.

Students must complete homework prior to attending the required classroom and field course. The homework portion of the course provides an introduction to the subject and enhances students' understanding of the course material. Proof of the completed homework is required to attend the course. Students should register for the course well in advance of the course date to allow time to complete the homework requirement, which can take several hours.

Access to the homework materials and online homework options can be found on DEC's website or you can follow the guidelines listed in the course announcement when you register for a course. Course manuals and homework sheets are always available from DEC wildlife offices and Hunter Education Program instructors.

 

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

 

JULY 2019

1-8/31 – New York State Summer Classic: This is a statewide tournament event that allows anglers to fish any waterway in NY state using any legal angling method (in boats, from shore & piers, etc.) any time of day for a period of two months. It features 10 categories of fish to go after with an overall cash payout based on the number of anglers that enter. Anglers can bring fish in to any of the 60+ weigh-in locations across the state based on where they are fishing, and there is a protocol for fishing after hours. The event website has a map of the weigh-in locations, online leader boards, tournament announcements, and any other information regarding the event including registration. The event concludes with a sportsman show and awards ceremony to be held at the Batavia Downs Casino Resort, where all Top-3 placing anglers will be housed overnight as part of their awards package. Door prizes and giveaways will be handed out at the awards ceremony that all anglers are encouraged to attend! (For information call Tim Thomas at 585-330-0494 or go to www.NYSsummerclassic.com.)

12-8/30 - Nature Storytime at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 3395 U.S. Route 20 East, Seneca Falls, NY. (10:00 – 11:30 am) Each Friday from July 12 – August 30, children will meet with Miss Gayle at the Refuge Visitor Center on her eagle nest storytime mat, where she will read a nature-themed children’s story. The group will do a related craft and then head outside (weather-permitting) to explore nature first-hand. Topics will include things like birds (nesting, waterfowl, birds of prey), wildflowers and pollinators (bees, butterflies, bats), dragonflies, turtles, fox and other mammals. Nature Storytime is designed for ages pre-K – 3rd grade. Parents are required to stay with their children during these programs. Please come prepared with sunscreen, insect repellent, and sturdy shoes. There is no fee for either program. (To pre-register, please call (315) 568-5987. For more information, email andrea_vanbeusichem@fws.gov)

 

AUGUST 2019

1-31 -  Celebrate Seneca Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, at 617 feet, the deepest lake in NY! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

3-18 - Orleans County Rotary Derby - This long time favorite offers a $4,000 Grand Prize and over $10,000 in cash and prizes. Lake Ontario waters from the Niagara River to the Genesee River are the eligible waters for this Trout and Salmon Derby. (For information call 585-589-9881 or go to www.orleanscountyfishingderby.com)

16 - 4th Annual Reelin’ for a Cure Tournament, ladies day only event, Olcott Harbor. This 4th annual ladies event will once again be held out of Olcott. It’s a great way to celebrate life and pay tribute to cancer survivors. Last year over $10,000 was raised for Look Good, Feel Better as 21 teams also competed for cash prizes. (Call Stephanie at (716) 481-6388 and also log onto the event’s Facebook page.)

16 - Free- Fishing for Kids at Black Rock Canal, 16 Black Rock Harbor, Buffalo, NY (6:00 pm) Kids, 4 – 14, learn the basics of fishing, fish ID, fishing equipment and techniques, knot tying, angling ethics and aquatic ecology. Fishing poles provided. Limited to 15 kids, parents must stay on site. No fishing license required. (For information call 716-858-8355 or email Erie_County_Parks@erie.gov.)

16-18 - 72st Annual Woodsmen's Field Days at the Oneida County Fair Grounds, Route 294, Boonville. The primary goals of the Woodsmen's Field Days are promotion of the forest industry in general, and in keeping with the intent of Rev. Reed, the lumberjack in particular, a vanishing breed of men. With these goals in mind we felt what better way to do so than establish a forum on the Information Super Highway (the World Wide Web in particular), thereby making related information available to anyone, any time, any place. (For information and schedule go to http://www.starwebhosting.net/woodsmen/boonvil1.html)

16-9/2 - Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Fall Trout and Salmon Derby 2019. Over $66,000 in cash prizes including a $25,000 Grand Prize for the largest trout or salmon caught during this 18-day event. Help anglers celebrate the return of the mighty king salmon on Lake Ontario!  Sign up in local tackle shops or call (888) REEL-2-IN.  You can also visit http://www.loc.org/ to register.

17 - National Wild Turkey Federation - Lakeshore Longbeards Chapter JAKES Day Youth Event at the Westfield Fish & Game Club, Ogden Road, Westfield, NY.

17 - Kayaks and Canoes on Cayuga Lake meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (12:00 – 3:00 pm) Join us for a 1-hour paddle on the tranquil waters of Cayuga Lake to experience the late summer bird migration. No experience is necessary and instructions will be provided. Following the paddle, we will visit the Buttonwood Grove Winery tasting room for wine and cheese pairings.  Then, Daena Ford from Braddock Bay Raptor Research will lead a birds of prey presentation featuring hawks and owls. The event will run rain or shine. If it rains, the paddle will become a guided birding hike at the winery. Fee: $50/couple with canoe rental, $35/person with solo kayak rental, $20/person without rental. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

17-25 - 43rd Annual Greater Niagara “Fall Classic” Derby – 2019: A Fish Odyssey The journey continues with another great event set for 2019 – 43 years of derbies! Last year, over $14,000 in cash and prizes were handed out to winning anglers at the Olcott Fire Hall on awards night. Species categories included salmon, rainbow/brown trout, lake trout, smallmouth bass, carp and walleye. All have a chance to win the Grand Prize. Kids are FREE in a special youth division. (For more information, call (877) FALLS US or visit www.fishodyssey.net.) 

21 - Boy Scout Merit Badge: Geology at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (7:00 – 9:00 pm) All Boy Scouts are invited to complete the requirements for the Geology Merit Badge with regional geologist, Fred Hayes. Scouts should be prepared to go outside to explore the glacial terrane. All scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone. Fee: $8/Scout. Pre-requisites/pre-registration is required. (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

22 - Nature Explorers Program Series - Are you a Butterfly? at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 3395 U.S. Route 20 East, Seneca Falls, NY. (6:00 – 7:30 pm) Take a walk with our guides to the refuge’s Monarch Waystation – a special habitat created with butterflies in mind!  Learn the difference between butterflies and moths.  Help our guides catch a butterfly or moth for closer observation in our magnifying bug box. Craft: Create a butterfly life cycle! Led by Librarian and The Lodge Nature Store Manager, Gayle James, and retired Science Teacher and Volunteer, Mary Jo Doyle, Nature Explorers is for children and families of various ages. Earn a nature badge when you participate in each program. Attend all three and become eligible for a prize! Parents are required to stay with their children during these programs. Please come prepared with sunscreen, insect repellent, and sturdy shoes. There is no fee for either program. (To pre-register, please call (315) 568-5987.  For more information, email andrea_vanbeusichem@fws.gov)

23 - Free- Fishing for Kids at Ellicott Creek, 1 Ellicott Creek Drive, Tonawanda, NY (6:00 pm) Kids, 4 – 14, learn the basics of fishing, fish ID, fishing equipment and techniques, knot tying, angling ethics and aquatic ecology. Fishing poles provided. Limited to 15 kids, parents must stay on site. No fishing license required. (For information call 716-858-8355 or email Erie_County_Parks@erie.gov.)

23-24 - The Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge at Dunkirk Harbor. 1-day tourney with optional Big-Fish Friday derby. Limited to 65 boats, $500 entry fee, 6-walleye weigh-in. Registration deadline: August 1.  (For information contact Jim Steel 716-481-5348 or go to www.innovative-outdoors.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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8 - 9 – 19

 

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.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION POLICE OFFICER AND FOREST RANGER EXAMS BEING HELD IN OCTOBER: Individuals interested in becoming a Forest Ranger or Environmental Conservation Police Officer (ECO) should apply for civil service exams being offered for the positions this fall. Applications are being accepted until September 4, 2019.

The civil service exams will be held the weekend of October 19, 2019. There are separate exams and different qualifications for becoming an Environmental Conservation Police Officer or Forest Ranger. Potential applicants should closely review qualifications required for each position to determine which exam they are eligible to take. Those who want to apply for both positions, and meet the required qualifications, must submit separate applications and will be required to take both exams.

A full summary of qualifications, salary, and application procedures can be found online at the New York State Department of Civil Service exam announcements web pages for Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers.

Exam scores will be used to rank candidates and create eligible lists to fill openings for Environmental Conservation Police Officers or Forest Rangers. Although the exam is being offered, there is no guarantee that there will be openings. The eligibility list from this exam is expected to remain active for up to four years.

In the future, candidates selected from the list would be required to attend a 28-week residential training program at the DEC Basic Academy. Recruits must pass all elements of the Academy before being assigned to a work location. DEC recently began the 22nd Basic School for Uniformed Officers on May 19. For an inside look into what it takes to be an Environmental Conservation Police Officer or a Forest Ranger, watch a 4-minute clip from 2017's Basic School for Uniformed Officers available on YouTube. Additional information on DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers and Forest Rangers is available online.

For more information about the upcoming state civil service exams and qualifications, visit the New York State Department of Civil Service website.

 

INPUT WANTED ON CARPENTER FALLS PUBLIC ACCESS IMPROVEMENT PROJECT: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host two public meetings to present specific project designs and accept feedback on the Carpenter Falls Public Access Improvement Project located in the town of Niles, Cayuga County.

DEC will open a 30-day comment period on the project design with two public information sessions on Wednesday, August 21, 2019, from 2 to 4 p.m, and 6 to 8 p.m. in the Community Room at the Niles Town Hall, 5923 New Hope Road, Moravia, NY 13118.

DEC is in the process of developing site upgrades to improve public access to the popular waterfalls that are located on Carpenter Falls Unique Area. Improvements will include a parking lot, boardwalk, and observation platform to view Carpenter Falls, all designed to welcome individuals with mobility impairments.

The project area is part of the larger Hewitt-Cayuga Highlands Management Unit. On June 7, 2018 DEC presented the concept of improving public access to Carpenter Falls as part of the unit management plan update. DEC considered project comments during the design process, which included requests for additional opportunities to comment on a specific project design.

DEC welcomes public comments until Monday, September 23 via email with the subject line "Carpenter Falls Public Access Improvement Project" to R7.UMP@dec.ny.gov, and by U.S. mail or phone to: John Clancy, Supervising Forester, NYSDEC Region 7, 1285 Fisher Ave., Cortland, NY 13045, (607) 753-3095 ext. 224.

 

 

RENEW YOUR HUNTING LICENSE AND APPLY FOR DEER MANAGEMENT PERMITS: reminder that 2019-20 hunting licenses and privileges are on sale now!  Also remember that October 1 is the deadline for applying for deer management permits. Sporting licenses, privileges and permits for the 2019-20 license year can be obtained at any one of DEC’s 1,300 license issuing outlets, by phone at 866-933-2257, or online through the DEC website (please allow up to two weeks for receipt of hunting licenses and permits ordered by phone or online). DEC's computerized licensing system allows hunters to know immediately whether or not they were selected to receive their deer management permits.  Hunters must apply for DMPs by October 1 and should review their chances of selection before applying.  The DMP application fee is $10.00. The fee is waived for junior hunters and Lifetime (Sportsmen) License holders who purchased on or before October 1, 2009.

When purchasing your licenses and privileges, please also consider purchasing a Habitat & Access Stamp. With the purchase of a $5 Habitat & Access Stamp, you can help fund projects aimed at protecting and improving fish and wildlife habitat, and improving access for fish and wildlife related activities.  For more information on Habitat & Access Stamps, visit our website

 

DEC STOCKED OVER 2.5 MILLION SALMON AND TROUT IN LAKE ONTARIO THIS SPRING: DEC concluded spring salmon and trout stocking in Lake Ontario, placing  approximately 1,004,187 Chinook salmon, 623,200 rainbow trout, 464,660 brown trout, 400,000 lake trout, 90,000 coho salmon, and 14,000 Atlantic salmon in the water to supply exceptional angling opportunities. Spring stocking 2019 included traditional shore stocking, as well as two specialized stocking methods: pen-rearing and offshore barge stocking.

Thanks to the continued dedication of volunteer anglers, over 558,000 Chinook salmon and 52,000 steelhead were raised in the pen-rearing program in 2019. These fish where held and cared for in net pens at the stocking location for a period of 21-days before being released to improve survival and enhance fall tributary returns of adult fish to the stocking site.

Despite high water levels, DEC hatchery staff were able to carry out almost all of their planned offshore barge stocking. They stocked all lake trout, as well as 144,000 brown trout in the eastern end of the lake (Stony Point to Fairhaven) using a military landing craft to carry the fish offshore to release them over deeper water and reduce predation by fish eating birds such as Double Crested Cormorants. They met all barge stocking targets, except for brown trout scheduled to be stocked at Mexico Point. These fish needed to be stocked out of Oswego due to high water levels. However, DEC shore stocked approximately 20,000 surplus brown trout in Mexico Bay.

Fishing in Lake Ontario has been outstanding in recent years, and DEC’s fish culture and stocking programs should ensure continued fishing success in the future. For more information about fisheries management in Lake Ontario, contact the Lake Ontario Fisheries Unit or visit the Lake Ontario/St. Lawrence River research web page.

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

Crime Scene and Forensic Unit Training - Oneida County: In late July, ECOs completed a course in Advanced Investigations for Hazardous Environments at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany, taught by a team of instructors from the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training at Louisiana State University. This course addresses response in a hazardous environment, with an emphasis on evidence collection and recovery. The course is designed so that participants will develop the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to investigate a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-yield explosive, toxic industrial chemical, or hazardous environment crime scene and collect and preserve evidence for further testing. Members of DEC's CSI Sampling Team, which currently consists of 29 Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) members, and the Environmental Forensic Unit (EFU), which consists of 19 DLE members, participated in the training.

Division of Law Enforcement and Environmental Forenic Unit members line up for a photo in their Hazmat suits during training ECOs sit at a table and learn Crime Scene and Forensic Unit Trainings
DLE members participate in a crime scene and forensic evidence training course

Multi-Agency Traffic Enforcement - Schuyler County: On July 31, ECO John Lifrieri organized a multi-purpose checkpoint in the town of Dix on State Rt. 14 in between Watkins Glen and Montour Falls involving several law enforcement agencies and partners, including DEC's Division of Air Resources, DEC's Spills Unit, New York State Police, New York State Park Police, the Schuyler County Sheriff's Office, New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), and the Watkins Glen Police Department. ECOs Erik Dalecki, Todd Smith, Paul Blanton, and Jarrod Lomozik also participated. DEC and NYSDOT focused on commercial vehicle enforcement while other agencies focused on vehicle traffic traveling into the area for the NASCAR event at Watkins Glen. Over 80 violations, including three misdemeanors, were issued, with charges ranging from tampering with emissions control devices, to emissions failures, seat belt violations, unlicensed and suspended operators, speeding, and drug enforcement. All cases will either be heard in Dix Town Court or Watkins Glen Village Court.

 

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

 

AUGUST 2019

1-31 -  Celebrate Seneca Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, at 617 feet, the deepest lake in NY! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

3-18 - Orleans County Rotary Derby - This long time favorite offers a $4,000 Grand Prize and over $10,000 in cash and prizes. Lake Ontario waters from the Niagara River to the Genesee River are the eligible waters for this Trout and Salmon Derby. (For information call 585-589-9881 or go to www.orleanscountyfishingderby.com)

9 - Free- Fishing for Kids at Chestnut Ridge Park, 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, NY (6:00 pm) Kids, 4 – 14, learn the basics of fishing, fish ID, fishing equipment and techniques, knot tying, angling ethics and aquatic ecology. Fishing poles provided. Limited to 15 kids, parents must stay on site. No fishing license required. (For information call 716-858-8355 or email Erie_County_Parks@erie.gov.)                

9 - Montezuma Moth Night at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (7:00 – 9:30 pm) Join us as we welcome Dr. Meena Madhav Haribal, semi-retired Chemical Ecologist from Cornell University who studies the behaviors and interactions between different organisms based on their chemistry. Dr. Haribal will lead an informative indoor presentation about the unique characteristics of moths and set up equipment outside to attract Montezuma’s moths so you can see them up close. This is a family-friendly event and all ages are welcome. Bug spray, a flashlight and camera are recommended. (Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $20/family. FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (RAINDATE 8/16/19) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

9-11 – Cattaraugus County Trappers Association Annual Sportsmen’s Rendezvous at the Cattauagus County Fair Grounds, Route 353, , NY Trapping demos, trapping supplies, gun dealers and much more. (For information call Kevin Parker at 716-474-7251.)

9-11 - Women's Adirondack Weekend at the Adirondack Ecological Center, ESF Newcomb Campus. Items covered include: Learn the history, ecology and wildlife of the Adirondacks; Learn wilderness safety, ethics and how to row a historic guide boat; Hike to a fire tower (suitable for beginners) and enjoy educational programs and much more! Build confidence, have fun, and connect with the wilderness on this all-women, Adirondack adventure! (Cost: $190.) Registration includes lodging and meals for the weekend. Lodging is dormitory style. Limited space available, please register early. Minimum age 18. No experience needed. (Contact e-mail Ro Woodard of NY Outdoors-Women for registration and information.

10 - Annual Flea Market and Chicken BBQ at The Sandy Pond Sportsmen's Association, 3201 Co Route 15, Pulaski, NY. (Flea Market – 8:00 am/BBQ – Noon). (For information call 315-387-6310.)

10 – Wildlife Expo at the ROC Dome Arena, 2695 East Henrietta Roar, Henrietta, NY (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) This family friendly event will offer Wildlife Presentations throughout the day, Wildlife Exhibits, Petting Zoo, Chainsaw Carving, Art Exhibits, Children’s Activities and much more. Proceeds to support Bridges For Brain Injury for brain injury survivors and people with disabilities. (Cost: $10.00 advance/$15.00 at the door) (For information go to http://www.wildlife-expo.com) 

11 - Beyond BOW - Women’s Guided Fishing Trip on Lake Ontario from the Oswego Marina, Oswego, NY (5:30 am or 1:30 pm) Enjoy a 6 hour guided fishing trip for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Steelhead aboard a 28’ Baha Cruiser. All fishing equipment is provided. No fishing experience necessary. The boat has an enclosed bathroom with plumbing! Open to women age 18 or over. Bring your valid NYS fishing license. These fishing trips sold out last year, so reserve your spot early. (Fee: $150 per person) Pre-registration is required. Weather cancellations are at the Captain's discretion and money will either be refunded or the charter will be rescheduled. (Contact Captain Dave Wilson at 315-481-5716 or email captaindavewilson@yahoo.com for information and/or preregistration)

11 - Chautauqua Bassmasters Tournament No. 3 on Chautauqua Lake/Long Point State Park. (For information contact Mike Russo at 716-640-6915.)

11 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Summer Slam at the Mendon Fire Department Pavilion, 101 Mendon-Ionia Road (Rt.64), Mendon, NY. (3:30 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled. (For more information contact Neil Gottfried  585-245-3051  longbeardg@gmail.com)

12-16 - Montezuma Audubon Center’s Summer Camps - Nature Camp at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Nature Camp will let kids be kids while exploring the wonders of nature through a variety of nature games, crafts, and activities.  Campers will catch frogs, search for signs of mammal activity in the forest, and discover birds that live in the grassland and wetland. (For ages 6 - 10) (Cost: $150) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma to download the summer camp registration forms.)

14 - Montezuma Sunset Birding Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (6:00 - 8:30 pm) The autumn bird migration has begun and Montezuma is a unique ecosystem where millions of migratory birds can be seen. Join us in our van to explore several birding hotspots where shorebirds, marsh birds, songbirds and raptors rest during their long and impressive journey. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. Fee: $8/child, $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

15 - Start of Dog Training on Small Game (>4/15/20)

16 - 4th Annual Reelin’ for a Cure Tournament, ladies day only event, Olcott Harbor. This 4th annual ladies event will once again be held out of Olcott. It’s a great way to celebrate life and pay tribute to cancer survivors. Last year over $10,000 was raised for Look Good, Feel Better as 21 teams also competed for cash prizes. (Call Stephanie at (716) 481-6388 and also log onto the event’s Facebook page.)

16 - Free- Fishing for Kids at Black Rock Canal, 16 Black Rock Harbor, Buffalo, NY (6:00 pm) Kids, 4 – 14, learn the basics of fishing, fish ID, fishing equipment and techniques, knot tying, angling ethics and aquatic ecology. Fishing poles provided. Limited to 15 kids, parents must stay on site. No fishing license required. (For information call 716-858-8355 or email Erie_County_Parks@erie.gov.)

16-18 - 72st Annual Woodsmen's Field Days at the Oneida County Fair Grounds, Route 294, Boonville. The primary goals of the Woodsmen's Field Days are promotion of the forest industry in general, and in keeping with the intent of Rev. Reed, the lumberjack in particular, a vanishing breed of men. With these goals in mind we felt what better way to do so than establish a forum on the Information Super Highway (the World Wide Web in particular), thereby making related information available to anyone, any time, any place. (For information and schedule go to http://www.starwebhosting.net/woodsmen/boonvil1.html)

16-9/2 - Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Fall Trout and Salmon Derby 2019. Over $66,000 in cash prizes including a $25,000 Grand Prize for the largest trout or salmon caught during this 18-day event. Help anglers celebrate the return of the mighty king salmon on Lake Ontario!  Sign up in local tackle shops or call (888) REEL-2-IN.  You can also visit http://www.loc.org/ to register.

17 - National Wild Turkey Federation - Lakeshore Longbeards Chapter JAKES Day Youth Event at the Westfield Fish & Game Club, Ogden Road, Westfield, NY.

17 - Kayaks and Canoes on Cayuga Lake meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (12:00 – 3:00 pm) Join us for a 1-hour paddle on the tranquil waters of Cayuga Lake to experience the late summer bird migration. No experience is necessary and instructions will be provided. Following the paddle, we will visit the Buttonwood Grove Winery tasting room for wine and cheese pairings.  Then, Daena Ford from Braddock Bay Raptor Research will lead a birds of prey presentation featuring hawks and owls. The event will run rain or shine. If it rains, the paddle will become a guided birding hike at the winery. Fee: $50/couple with canoe rental, $35/person with solo kayak rental, $20/person without rental. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

17-25 - 43rd Annual Greater Niagara “Fall Classic” Derby – 2019: A Fish Odyssey The journey continues with another great event set for 2019 – 43 years of derbies! Last year, over $14,000 in cash and prizes were handed out to winning anglers at the Olcott Fire Hall on awards night. Species categories included salmon, rainbow/brown trout, lake trout, smallmouth bass, carp and walleye. All have a chance to win the Grand Prize. Kids are FREE in a special youth division. (For more information, call (877) FALLS US or visit www.fishodyssey.net.) 

 

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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8 - 2 – 19

 

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.

 

APPLICATIONS FOR SPONSORED PHEASANT HUNTS: DEC is accepting applications for sponsored pheasant hunts. The program enables interest groups to obtain pheasants for use in sponsored hunts to engage more people with the outdoors, especially youth, women, novices, veterans, and people with disabilities. Applications to participate in the program are due September 1, 2019

Sponsored hunts are free, non-competitive events coordinated by a group, club, individual, or organization. Dedicated local sportsmen and sportswomen share their expertise with beginning hunters in a supportive environment. This program gives individuals the chance to embark on a lifelong pursuit of hunting and outdoor enjoyment.

In addition to the pheasants reared for fall stocking throughout New York State, staff at DEC's Reynolds Game Farm raise 2,000 pheasants each year for sponsored hunts across the state. DEC provides up to 50 game-farm-raised pheasants to each sponsoring organization free of charge for these hunts.

Volunteers are key to this program's success. If an individual or a group would like to sponsor a hunt, please contact the DEC regional office for an application (a list of DEC regional offices is provided below). Program requirements and an application may also be downloaded from DEC's website. All applications must be received by a regional wildlife office no later than September 1, 2019. Successful applicants will be notified via phone. If an application is approved, the applicant will be required to make arrangements with staff at the Reynolds Game Farm, located in Ithaca, Tompkins County, to coordinate a delivery time, date, and location.

R7 - Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Tioga and Tompkins counties:
1285 Fisher Ave.
Cortland, NY 13045
(607) 753-3095 x 247

R8 - Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates counties:
6274 East Avon-Lima Rd.
Avon, NY 14414
(585) 226-5380

R9 - Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Niagara and Wyoming counties:
182 East Union, Suite 3
Allegany, NY 14706-1328
(716) 372-0645

 

REPORT YOUR TURKEY SIGHTINGS THIS AUGUST: While you are exploring the forests and fields around your home or driving through the state’s beautiful landscapes this summer, be sure to keep an eye out for wild turkeys.

DEC uses reported observations of wild turkeys to track changes in abundance and productivity (number of poults produced per adult hen) over time and in different parts of the state. It also helps forecast hunting prospects for the coming fall season and for subsequent spring seasons. Download survey forms from DEC's website or submit your observations online.

 

$450,000 UPGRADES TO MUD LOCK BOAT LAUNCH SITE: NYSDEC announced the completion of $450,000 in upgrades to the Mud Lock boat launch located at the north end of Cayuga Lake in the town of Aurelius, Cayuga County. Site upgrades will reduce congestion and improve the safety of boaters using the site to launch and retrieve boats. Enhancements include:

> Construction of a new concrete launch ramp and floating boarding docks to allow launching under lower lake levels;

> Redesign and paving of the launch access and boat preparation area for safer and more efficient launching; and

> Paving and striping of the parking area to accommodate 21 vehicles with trailers and 7 single vehicles, including accessible parking.

"The north end of Cayuga Lake offers a diverse array of scenery, wildlife, and fish for outdoor enthusiasts to explore, observe, and pursue," said DEC Region 7 Director Matthew Marko. "The recent improvements to Mud Lock will provide a safer and more convenient launching experience for all visitors."

Cayuga Lake is the second largest of the 11 Finger Lakes and supports diverse cold- and warmwater sport fisheries including largemouth bass, chain pickerel, northern pike, crappie, yellow perch, sunfish, gar, and bowfin. Current fishing information is available on DEC's Central New York Fishing Hotline.

The launch will remain open late into the season for use by waterfowl hunters. DEC operates the launch in cooperation with the town of Aurelius and New York State Canal Corporation.

Anglers and boaters are asked to be aware of the part they may play in the spread of invasive species and to take action to help stop their spread. Following recommended guidelines such as properly cleaning, draining, and drying your boat and gear will lessen the likelihood of spreading these species and diseases as you fish or boat.

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

Wilderness Search: Town of Clarence, Erie County: On July 28 at 8 a.m., State Police contacted Central Dispatch requesting Forest Ranger and ECO assistance to search the Tillman Preserve Wilderness Management Area for a 30-year-old male from Clarence. The subject had run from a welfare check the night before. Type 1 crews, K-9s, helicopters, and drones searched the trails and open areas of the thickly vegetated swamp. The man was located in the wilderness area by a State Police drone operator. Working in tandem with the drone, Forest Ranger John Kennedy used his drone to walk a ground crew into the wilderness area to locate the man and to bring him out to the Shisler Road parking area. The man was evaluated and taken to a local hospital by Twin City Ambulance for further evaluation. All units were cleared by 5:30 p.m.

Forest Rangers, ECOs and local law enforcement use a drone in a heavily wooded area to locate a missing man
Drone operator helps guide rescue crews to missing man

 

THOUSANDS OF SONGBIRDS ARE BEING ILLEGALLY TRAPPED IN THE MIAMI AREA:

This week National Geographic reported that law enforcement officers have uncovered a thriving illegal underground bird trapping activity that sells songbirds to become pets and to sing in competitions. Thousands of migratory songbirds are being caught in Florida each year to supply a thriving illegal market. People are buying colorful buntings, orioles, cardinals, and grosbeaks for their beauty and to hear their songs – perhaps in the hope they’ll win big in songbird singing competitions.

                                                                                                                           Photo by John Adamski

Migratory birds, including songbirds, are protected under the Migratory Bird Act – a century-old law shared by the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other nations – that makes it illegal to capture, kill, or possess any of these birds. Violators are subject to fines and possible imprisonment for up to six months, or if they sell or smuggle the birds they could face felony charges that may result in more extensive jail time.

Yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that 40 protected bird species are routinely trapped in southern Florida, mostly songbirds but also owls and hawks. According to an undercover officer who heads the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s songbird investigations, almost all songbird trapping in the state occurs in national parks, state lands, and on private property around Miami.

For more information about this breaking news story, see https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/07/songbirds-are-being-snatched-from-miamis-forests/

 

DEC LAUNCHES NEW 'DECINFO LOCATOR':  DEC recently launched DECinfo Locator, an interactive map that provides access to DEC documents and public data about New York's environment and outdoor recreation resources. This first-of-its-kind DEC mapping application generates results specific to locations across the state and includes 50 interactive data layers. Several information layers can be active at the same time, allowing users to see the many ways DEC is working to protect and enhance the state’s environment and recreational opportunities.

Among other uses, the public can:

> Find out which communities across the state received grant funds to install electric charging stations for plug-in hybrids and all battery electric vehicles available to the public

> Explore new places for recreation such as hiking, cross-country skiing, or mountain biking

> Generate maps to check out both your favorite fishing location and learn about the water quality there

> Look up the rules for a nearby Wildlife Management Area

> Access a web page with details about allowed uses on a nearby Conservation Easement

> Find a DEC campground and see photos of individual campsites (where available)

>Activate the Public Fishing Rights layer to see available locations and nearby boat launches, then overlay information about the water quality of lakes, rivers, and streams to access DEC data for specific locations

To access the mapping application, visit the DECinfo Locator web page. Learn more about its features from the DECinfo Locator Tutorial on YouTube.

 

TIPS ON “ORPHANED” YOUNG SQUIRRELS: Wildlife personnel are seeing an influx of phone calls from concerned citizens who think they have found an “orphaned” baby squirrel and want to know what to do. As it turns out, the answer is “It depends.” In many cases, if a baby squirrel has fallen out of the nest, wildlife professionals recommend leaving it alone for a time to give the female ample opportunity to retrieve it. It is unlikely the mother squirrel will abandon her young, even if the nest has fallen out of the tree or has been destroyed.

August is typically the peak time of year when wildlife professionals see a spike in reports of “abandoned” baby squirrels. That’s because August is when gray squirrels are giving birth to their second litters of the year. Summer storms and an increase of tree-cutting activities during warmer months can displace young squirrels from their nests.

When this happens, female squirrels will rebuild the nest and retrieve their young, even if the young have been handled by humans.

It’s a myth that most animals will abandon their young if they’ve been touched by humans. Unless you have been advised to do otherwise by a wildlife rehabilitator, leave the squirrel where you found it. You can check back every hour or so but avoid ‘hovering’ as your immediate presence likely will keep the female away.

Do not take the young squirrel into your home or attempt to care for it. Although people may mean well, handling a wild animal, particularly a young one, can cause more harm than good. This is especially true if the female comes looking for her young and can’t find them. The chances that a young wild animal will survive for long in the care of humans are pretty slim. Even those that stay alive long enough to be released usually lack the skills to survive on their own.

It may take several hours for the female to return and retrieve her young, particularly if the nest has been destroyed and she needs to construct a new one. If this is the case, a wildlife rehabilitator may advise you to place the young squirrel in an open box near where you found it to keep it safe and warm until the female is ready to return it to the nest.

If there has been no sign of the female and the young squirrel is in the same place after several hours, get the advice of a wildlife rehabilitator before taking further action.

Remember the best caretaker for any young wild animal is its own mother. The ideal way to help is to give it the best possible chance of being reunited with its mother, or if necessary, taking it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who can provide proper care until it can survive on its own.

While most often the hands-off approach is best, there are times when human intervention can help, such as if the animal is noticeably sick or injured, it is following people or pets, it has been handled by a pet, or if it has been in human care for 24 hours or more.

In these instances, calling a licensed wildlife rehabilitator is strongly recommended as it is illegal in New York to keep native squirrels as pets, or to keep one in your possession except to transport it to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

 

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

 

AUGUST 2019

1-31 -  Celebrate Seneca Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, at 617 feet, the deepest lake in NY! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

2 - Free- Fishing for Kids at Isle View, 796 Niagara Street, Tonawanda, NY (6:00 pm) Kids, 4 – 14, learn the basics of fishing, fish ID, fishing equipment and techniques, knot tying, angling ethics and aquatic ecology. Fishing poles provided. Limited to 15 kids, parents must stay on site. No fishing license required. (For information call 716-858-8355 or email Erie_County_Parks@erie.gov.)         

2 - Birding and Boating on the Seneca River meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (6:00 - 8:30 pm) What better way to enjoy a summer sunset than a relaxing canoe/kayak paddle to explore the birds, other wildlife and their habitats near the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We will paddle along the Seneca River to explore a variety of songbirds, shorebirds, and raptors like Bald Eagles and Osprey. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent a boat from us. (Fee: $10/child without rental, $15/adult without rental, $25/solo kayak rental, $40/canoe rental (maximum 2 adults plus 1 child). PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

2-4 - The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Tournament. (For information contact Zen Olow at 716-640-2776.) (LOC) Fall derby is Aug. 16 – Sept. 2. Innovative Outdoors Walleye Derby is August 22-23. Contact Capt. Jim Steel at 983-7867.

3 – Ely Fagan American Legion Post 1151 Kids Fishing Derby at Martin Road Park at the Buyck Pavillon, 1344 Martin Road, Henrietta, NY. (7:00 – 10:30 am) Bring the kids and enjoy the sport of fishing! Awards and free lunch provided. Bring your own rods and bait. Register by July 6. (Ages 4 – 14 years) (For information and to register go to parksandrecreation.henrietta.org.)

3 - Montezuma Paddle Dip & Wine Sip meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:00 - 4:00 pm) What better way to enjoy a summer afternoon than a relaxing canoe/kayak paddle to explore the birds, other wildlife and their habitats near the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We will launch boats into the Seneca River to explore a variety of songbirds, shorebirds, and raptors like Bald Eagles and Osprey. Afterwards, quench your thirst with a refreshing wine tasting at Montezuma Winery and keep the souvenir glass. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent a boat from us. Fee:  $50/couple with canoe rental, $35/person with single kayak rental, $25/person without rental. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

3 - 2019 Paddle Keuka 5K Race & Sponsorships at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. (9:00 am – Noon) Paddle your way across Keuka Lake and back as this exciting event returns for the 4th year! All proceeds benefit the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium. Pre-registration for the race will end at 9pm on Thursday, August 1, 2019. RACE CATEGORIES: Please indicate which category you will be participating in when registering. Recreational: boats up to 17 feet in length. This category is for fun, and is open to the novice paddler and less experienced racer. If your boat is primarily used for recreation (not racing), this is the category for you. Unlimited: racing boats in excess of 17 feet in length. This category is for the more experienced racer. *Race start time may be adjusted in case of inclement weather. Must be 17 years old to participate. (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

3-18 - Orleans County Rotary Derby - This long time favorite offers a $4,000 Grand Prize and over $10,000 in cash and prizes. Lake Ontario waters from the Niagara River to the Genesee River are the eligible waters for this Trout and Salmon Derby. (For information call 585-589-9881 or go to www.orleanscountyfishingderby.com)

5-9 - Montezuma Audubon Center’s Summer Camps - Montezuma Unplugged Camp at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Montezuma Unplugged Camp participants will leave their electronics at home and explore the Montezuma Wetlands Complex’s habitats and wildlife through hiking, canoeing, navigating and other outdoor activities. Audubon educators will lead participants around the 50,000-acre Complex and various habitats including forests, marshes, swamps, grasslands, streams and rivers. (For ages 11 – 15) (Cost: $150) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma to download the summer camp registration forms.)

6 & 13 Explore Archery (Sea2 & Sea3) at the Veterans Memorial Park, Softball Field #1, 595 Calkins Road, Henrietta, NY. (9:30 – 10:45 am)Explore Archery is fun and a perfect fit for archers of any age or ability wanting to get involved in the sport of target archery. If you are new to the sport or a beginner archer looking for an introductory program – sign up. You’ll learn important skills like range safety and proper shooting form. For ages 8 and up.(Cost: Resident $40.00/Non-resident $50.00.) (For information call 585-359-2540.)

6-8 - Empire Farm Days Show at Rodman Lott & Son Farms, Route 414, 2 miles south of Seneca Falls, NY (11 & 12 9:00 am – 5:00 pm/13 9:00 am – 4:00 pm) (For information: 877-697-7837 / mwickham@empirefarmdays.com )

8 - Lake Ontario Friends of NRA Event at the Eagle Vale Golf Club, 4344 Nine Mile Pt Road, Fairport, NY (5:00 pm) (Cost: $50.00) (For information call David Dentico 315-986-1717 or email ddentico@aol.com)

9 - Free- Fishing for Kids at Chestnut Ridge Park, 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, NY (6:00 pm) Kids, 4 – 14, learn the basics of fishing, fish ID, fishing equipment and techniques, knot tying, angling ethics and aquatic ecology. Fishing poles provided. Limited to 15 kids, parents must stay on site. No fishing license required. (For information call 716-858-8355 or email Erie_County_Parks@erie.gov.)                

9 - Montezuma Moth Night at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (7:00 – 9:30 pm) Join us as we welcome Dr. Meena Madhav Haribal, semi-retired Chemical Ecologist from Cornell University who studies the behaviors and interactions between different organisms based on their chemistry. Dr. Haribal will lead an informative indoor presentation about the unique characteristics of moths and set up equipment outside to attract Montezuma’s moths so you can see them up close. This is a family-friendly event and all ages are welcome. Bug spray, a flashlight and camera are recommended. (Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $20/family. FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (RAINDATE 8/16/19) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

9-11 – Cattaraugus County Trappers Association Annual Sportsmen’s Rendezvous at the Cattauagus County Fair Grounds, Route 353, , NY Trapping demos, trapping supplies, gun dealers and much more. (For information call Kevin Parker at 716-474-7251.)

9-11 - Women's Adirondack Weekend at the Adirondack Ecological Center, ESF Newcomb Campus. Items covered include: Learn the history, ecology and wildlife of the Adirondacks; Learn wilderness safety, ethics and how to row a historic guide boat; Hike to a fire tower (suitable for beginners) and enjoy educational programs and much more! Build confidence, have fun, and connect with the wilderness on this all-women, Adirondack adventure! (Cost: $190.) Registration includes lodging and meals for the weekend. Lodging is dormitory style. Limited space available, please register early. Minimum age 18. No experience needed. (Contact e-mail Ro Woodard of NY Outdoors-Women for registration and information.

10 - Annual Flea Market and Chicken BBQ at The Sandy Pond Sportsmen's Association, 3201 Co Route 15, Pulaski, NY. (Flea Market – 8:00 am/BBQ – Noon). (For information call 315-387-6310.)

10 – Wildlife Expo at the ROC Dome Arena, 2695 East Henrietta Roar, Henrietta, NY (10:00 am – 4:00 pm) This family friendly event will offer Wildlife Presentations throughout the day, Wildlife Exhibits, Petting Zoo, Chainsaw Carving, Art Exhibits, Children’s Activities and much more. Proceeds to support Bridges For Brain Injury for brain injury survivors and people with disabilities. (Cost: $10.00 advance/$15.00 at the door) (For information go to http://www.wildlife-expo.com) 

11 - Beyond BOW - Women’s Guided Fishing Trip on Lake Ontario from the Oswego Marina, Oswego, NY (5:30 am or 1:30 pm) Enjoy a 6 hour guided fishing trip for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Steelhead aboard a 28’ Baha Cruiser. All fishing equipment is provided. No fishing experience necessary. The boat has an enclosed bathroom with plumbing! Open to women age 18 or over. Bring your valid NYS fishing license. These fishing trips sold out last year, so reserve your spot early. (Fee: $150 per person) Pre-registration is required. Weather cancellations are at the Captain's discretion and money will either be refunded or the charter will be rescheduled. (Contact Captain Dave Wilson at 315-481-5716 or email captaindavewilson@yahoo.com for information and/or preregistration)

11 - Chautauqua Bassmasters Tournament No. 3 on Chautauqua Lake/Long Point State Park. (For information contact Mike Russo at 716-640-6915.)

11 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Summer Slam at the Mendon Fire Department Pavilion, 101 Mendon-Ionia Road (Rt.64), Mendon, NY. (3:30 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled. (For more information contact Neil Gottfried  585-245-3051  longbeardg@gmail.com)

12-16 - Montezuma Audubon Center’s Summer Camps - Nature Camp at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Nature Camp will let kids be kids while exploring the wonders of nature through a variety of nature games, crafts, and activities.  Campers will catch frogs, search for signs of mammal activity in the forest, and discover birds that live in the grassland and wetland. (For ages 6 - 10) (Cost: $150) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma to download the summer camp registration forms.)

 

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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7 - 26 – 19

 

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.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT WANTED ON DEER FEEDING AND BEAR HUNTING PROPOSALS: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing changes to current deer feeding and bear hunting regulations. Public comments will be accepted until Sept. 1, 2019, on proposals related to feeding wild deer and moose, including the permitting of 4-PosterTM devices, and expansion of early bear hunting to reduce population growth in parts of Delaware and Sullivan counties.

DEC's proposal on feeding wild deer and moose and the use of 4-PosterTM devices is needed to strengthen and clarify the existing prohibition on the intentional feeding of wild deer and moose. Prohibiting the feeding of wild deer and moose is a best management approach to reduce risks associated with communicable wildlife diseases like chronic wasting disease, minimize conflicts with deer, and protect wildlife habitats.

The proposal requires that products packaged to be sold as a food or attractant for deer or moose carry a clear label stating that such use is illegal in New York. It would continue to provide appropriate exceptions for wildlife plantings, agricultural practices, livestock husbandry, and research and nuisance abatement actions permitted by DEC. The proposed rule also clarifies that incidental feeding, such as the attraction of deer or moose to a birdfeeder, would only be considered a violation if DEC has previously issued a written warning about incidental feeding. This would allow DEC to respond to specific nuisance situations without limiting bird feeding in general.

Additionally, this rulemaking proposes to define the application procedures and conditions for issuance of a permit for the use of a 4-Poster TickicideTM, including the requirement that automated feeding devices used with a 4-PosterTM be used only in the context of a comprehensive management approach that also addresses local deer abundance.

The bear-hunting proposal would expand bear hunting opportunities in DEC Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 4W. This rulemaking is necessary to reduce bear population growth in WMU 4W, which includes parts of Delaware and Sullivan counties. The current bear management objective for WMU 4W, as identified in DEC's 2014-2024 Black Bear Management Plan for New York State, is to maintain a moderate bear population density. However, current harvest levels are not adequate to achieve that objective and the bear population in 4W is greater than desired and growing. Although bear hunting is currently allowed in WMU 4W during the regular season, 4W is not open to early bear hunting. Opening WMU 4W to early bear season is expected to yield the modest increase in bear harvest necessary to reduce population growth. As drafted, the proposed change would take effect in fall 2020.

The regulatory proposals are available on the DEC website or in the July 3 New York State Register. Comments on these regulatory proposals should be submitted via e-mail to wildliferegs@dec.ny.gov or via mail to Game Management Section, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754. Comments will be accepted through Sept. 1, 2019.

 

CWD RISK MINIMIZATION: The National Deer Alliance (NDA), along with several other conservation groups, recently sent a letter to Governor Cuomo to sign the proposed regulations included in the New York State Interagency CWD Risk Minimization Plan. The plan proposes regulatory changes and new action to minimize the risk of CWD entering or spreading in New York State. The plan is currently sitting with the Governor, unsigned.

“We applaud the great work of the impressive team that created New York’s CWD Risk Management Plan, but its recommendations can only be effective if they’re implemented fully,” said Nick Pinizzotto, president/CEO of National Deer Alliance. “The state remains vulnerable to infected deer being brought across the border from other states, and that’s unacceptable.”

The New York State Interagency CWD Risk Minimization Plan was put together well over a year ago by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner (Ag & Markets) Richard Ball.

Signees of this letter requesting action include: Archery Trade Association, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers - New York Chapter, Boone and Crockett Club,
Mule Deer Foundation, National Deer Alliance, National Prio Disease Pathology Surveillance Center,
National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Quality Deer Management Association, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the
Wildlife Management Institute.

 

MINNESOTA DNR: LOON DEATHS CAUSED BY WEST NILE VIRUS:

Amid a recent uptick in reports of dead loons, test results indicate an impact from West Nile virus (WNV), according to nongame wildlife staff at the Minnesota DNR.

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Minnesota confirmed WNV as the cause of death in two of three dead loons from northeastern Minnesota earlier this month, the DNR said in a news release Thursday, July 18, adding that wildlife staff are receiving a small but noticeable increase in calls from people finding dead loons in northeastern Minnesota this summer.

WNV was first confirmed in Minnesota in 2002 and was documented as a cause of loon mortality in Minnesota as early as 2005. It is not uncommon for people, animals and birds to be exposed to WNV through mosquito bites. Most people and animals successfully fight off the virus and develop antibodies against future infection. Some birds, like loons, crows and other corvids, are especially susceptible to the infection. Researchers are attempting to discover the rates of infection among ruffed grouse.

Loons can die from a variety of illnesses and injuries and individual bird deaths are a normal occurrence and not cause for alarm.

Lake homeowners and other lake users who observe two or more dead loons on a single lake with no obvious injury or cause of death are asked to email the nearest DNR nongame wildlife staff for tracking:

Individual bird carcasses can be disposed of by burial or in the trash. There is no evidence people can contract WNV from infected birds, but gloves or a plastic bag are recommended when handling any dead animal. If reporting numbers reach a threshold that indicates a need for further testing, more information and handling protocols will follow.

The Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program is funded almost entirely through grants and donations. More information about the DNR’s Nongame Wildlife Program and the Loon Monitoring Program can be found on the DNR website at mndnr.gov/nongame.

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

Wilderness Rescue: Town of Arkwright, Chautauqua County: On July 15 at 9:30 p.m., the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office received a call from a group of 11 hikers reporting they were lost while hiking in the creek bed of the Canadaway Creek Wildlife Management Area. The group from Dunkirk stated that they had been hiking to Arkwright Falls and became disoriented when they could not locate the trail due to darkness. The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office contacted Forest Ranger Zachary Robitaille, who responded along with sheriff's deputies. Forest Ranger Robitaille and the deputies hiked in along the creek bed and located the group approximately 1.5 miles from the road. The group was in good health and assisted back to their vehicles at approximately 1:30 a.m. Chautauqua County Sheriff's Deputies, Chautauqua Area Search Team (CAST), and Cassadaga Fire Department assisted in the search.

Waterfowl Identification Presentation at Montezuma Audubon Center - Wayne County: On July 11 and 12, Lt. Mark Colesante and ECO Scott Sincebaugh presented a waterfowl identification course for students participating in the week-long environmental day camp at the Montezuma Audubon Wildlife Center, a state-owned facility operated by DEC and the National Audubon Society. In addition to learning about the vast array of waterfowl in New York, campers were provided the opportunity to earn their hunter education certification, bow hunter education certification, and trapper education training.

ECOs posing for a picture with a group of kidsECOs posing for a picture with a group of young kids, some holding their bows for bowhunting
ECO Scott Sincebaugh and Lt. Mark Colesante with     ECOs Josh Crain and Kevin Thomas with future bowhunters

future waterfowl identification experts

Capsized Vessel - Lake Ontario: On July 13, Lt. Bruce Hummel and ECO Eoin Snowdon answered a United States Coast Guard (USCG) distress call for an overturned vessel approximately 12 miles off shore from Point Breeze. With a severe storm approaching, Hummel and Snowdon, along with the USCG and Monroe County Sheriff's Department Marine Unit, responded. USCG retrieved four occupants from the overturned vessel's hull, while ECOs checked the surrounding waters for any other possible victims. The Delaware-based crew had been participating in a cross-lake sailboat race when a sudden and intense storm caused conditions on the lake to become volatile quickly, resulting in the vessel capsizing. All four vessel occupants removed from the water declined medical treatment.

A U.S. Coast Guard vessel on open water assisting an overturned sailboat
U.S. Coast Guard with overturned sailboat

Fawn in a Fence - Erie County: On July 14, ECO Scott Marshall responded to a call of a fawn stuck in a fence in the town of Clarence. ECO Marshall arrived to find that a fawn had attempted to jump over a fence and got its hind quarters caught between the slats. The officer contacted ECO Tim Machnica for assistance, and together they removed the fawn while Fuzzy Fawn Rehabilitation came to take the animal for treatment. The animal appeared to have only lost circulation to its back legs and was dehydrated. The fawn is expected to be released near the site of its rescue after several days of care.

A small fawn with its hind legs wedged between two slats of a white picket fence
Fawn stuck in the fence

 

3 SIMPLE WAYS TO REDUCE PLASTIC WASTE AND POLLUTION WHEN BOATING:

Each year, an estimated 18 billion pounds of plastic is dumped into our oceans from coastal regions. According to a study by the World Economic Forum, at the current rate of pollution, there will be more plastics than fish, by weight, in the ocean by 2050. To help reverse this trend, here are three tips from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water to help boaters reduce plastic waste and pollution while on the water.

1. Pack for the boat trip: Microplastics are very small pieces of plastic, less than 5mm in size, that are the result of larger plastic products partially decomposing from sunlight, heat and wave action. While we haven’t seen the full effects on humans consuming fish and other marine species contaminated with microplastics, studies show that ingested microplastics can seriously damage marine organisms. One of the simplest ways to reduce plastics aboard your boat is to fill up and carry aboard (or stash in a cooler) an insulated container that can hold enough cold water for the day instead of buying individual bottles. Invest in a set of non-breakable plates, cutlery, and food and drink containers to limit single-use plastics aboard. These efforts won’t break the bank, don’t take a lot of extra effort, and can pay big dividends for boaters and the environment in the long-term.

2. Get your crew involved: Before heading out, provide your crew with a pre-departure briefing and remind them not to put anything overboard. Boats are notoriously windy places, and popular, crowded summer anchorages are particularly prone to wind-driven pollution. When underway, secure possessions as well as any trash below deck or in a storage container. If anything is lost overboard, or if you come across plastic pollution such as a deflated birthday balloon, and conditions permit, it may be a good opportunity — and good practice — for the captain and crew to safely conduct a man-overboard drill to retrieve the item.
3. Recycle: If your family gets you a fishfinder, a pair of shiny, new boat fenders, or a new boat doodad for your birthday or other event, thank them profusely but unwrap the gift at home and recycle the gift’s packaging if possible. If your marina or boat club doesn’t have a recycling program for plastics and other recyclables, ask about starting one. Ensure all your boating guests know where recyclables go. When fishing, do your best to retrieve fishing line snags, and when respooling, recycle the old line instead of throwing it in the trash.

 

A NEW BOOK FROM JOHN:

Four years ago, I developed a workshop combined with a photo slide presentation, which was intended to inspire folks who had a desire to learn how to photograph wildlife and to show them how to go about getting started. It was a sold-out summer program for the Finger Lakes Museum three years in a row–and now it’s a book. The title for both the lecture and my newest book was inspired by the photo on the book cover above, of a red eft prospecting for larvae in a squirrel-chiseled hickory nut shell. It was the first digital photo that I ever took.

I’ve been photographing wild animals, birds, and wilderness landscapes for more than 40 years; since I worked in the woods in the Adirondack Mountains in the 1970s. I started out with a 35mm single-lens-reflex camera and two after-market lenses, and it seems like I’ve ratcheted miles of slide film through that outfit. Today I use four digital single-lens-reflex cameras, each of which is dedicated to a different lens. Except for a few New York Institute of Photography mail-order courses, which I took in the early days of shooting film, I am not a duly-trained photographer. I learned by trial-and-error. Some pros and serious photographers may consider my methods and techniques to be unconventional and even contrary to what they might do in similar wildlife encounters–but they work for me and I know they’ll work for you.

“Nature in a Nutshell” is a 184-page wildlife photography guide with 270 full color photos that illustrate its content. It was written to teach aspiring wildlife photographers how to find and photograph wild animals and birds by showing them where to look, what to look for, and when to look there. It ranges from songbirds to big game animals and covers everything in between. It also includes tips on cameras, lenses and other photo gear as well as camouflage, cover scents and photo blinds.

“Nature in a Nutshell” is available in image-wrap hardcover, dust jacket hardcover and softcover editions. You can review and order it in your choice of covers here:  https://www.blurb.com/b/9545402-nature-in-a-nutshell.

 

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

 

1-31 -  Celebrate Canandaigua Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, home to the smallest island in the Finger Lakes! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

1-8/31 – New York State Summer Classic: This is a statewide tournament event that allows anglers to fish any waterway in NY state using any legal angling method (in boats, from shore & piers, etc.) any time of day for a period of two months. It features 10 categories of fish to go after with an overall cash payout based on the number of anglers that enter. Anglers can bring fish in to any of the 60+ weigh-in locations across the state based on where they are fishing, and there is a protocol for fishing after hours. The event website has a map of the weigh-in locations, online leader boards, tournament announcements, and any other information regarding the event including registration. The event concludes with a sportsman show and awards ceremony to be held at the Batavia Downs Casino Resort, where all Top-3 placing anglers will be housed overnight as part of their awards package. Door prizes and giveaways will be handed out at the awards ceremony that all anglers are encouraged to attend! (For information call Tim Thomas at 585-330-0494 or go to www.NYSsummerclassic.com.)

27 - Birding and Boating at Montezuma meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:30 – 4:00 pm) Join us for a relaxing canoe/kayak paddle to explore the waterways around the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. This is a unique to explore Montezuma’s birds and their habitats and to try canoeing/kayaking for the first time. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent a boat from us. (Fee: $10/child without rental, $15/adult without rental, $25/solo kayak rental, $40/canoe rental (maximum 2 adults plus 1 child). PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

28 - Chautauqua Lake Summer Bass Team OPEN at Chautauqua Lake, Long Point State Park, 4459, Route 430 Bemus Point, NY. (For information contact Mike Russo at 716- 640-6915.)

30, 8/6 & 8/13  Explore Archery (Sea2 & Sea3) at the Veterans Memorial Park, Softball Field #1, 595 Calkins Road, Henrietta, NY. (9:30 – 10:45 am)Explore Archery is fun and a perfect fit for archers of any age or ability wanting to get involved in the sport of target archery. If you are new to the sport or a beginner archer looking for an introductory program – sign up. You’ll learn important skills like range safety and proper shooting form. For ages 8 and up.(Cost: Resident $40.00/Non-resident $50.00.) (For information call 585-359-2540.)

AUGUST 2019

1-31 -  Celebrate Seneca Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, at 617 feet, the deepest lake in NY! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

2 - Free- Fishing for Kids at Isle View, 796 Niagara Street, Tonawanda, NY (6:00 pm) Kids, 4 – 14, learn the basics of fishing, fish ID, fishing equipment and techniques, knot tying, angling ethics and aquatic ecology. Fishing poles provided. Limited to 15 kids, parents must stay on site. No fishing license required. (For information call 716-858-8355 or email Erie_County_Parks@erie.gov.)         

2 - Birding and Boating on the Seneca River meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (6:00 - 8:30 pm) What better way to enjoy a summer sunset than a relaxing canoe/kayak paddle to explore the birds, other wildlife and their habitats near the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We will paddle along the Seneca River to explore a variety of songbirds, shorebirds, and raptors like Bald Eagles and Osprey. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent a boat from us. (Fee: $10/child without rental, $15/adult without rental, $25/solo kayak rental, $40/canoe rental (maximum 2 adults plus 1 child). PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

2-4 - The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Tournament. (For information contact Zen Olow at 716-640-2776.) (LOC) Fall derby is Aug. 16 – Sept. 2. Innovative Outdoors Walleye Derby is August 22-23. Contact Capt. Jim Steel at 983-7867.

3 – Ely Fagan American Legion Post 1151 Kids Fishing Derby at Martin Road Park at the Buyck Pavillon, 1344 Martin Road, Henrietta, NY. (7:00 – 10:30 am) Bring the kids and enjoy the sport of fishing! Awards and free lunch provided. Bring your own rods and bait. Register by July 6. (Ages 4 – 14 years) (For information and to register go to parksandrecreation.henrietta.org.)

3 - Montezuma Paddle Dip & Wine Sip meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:00 - 4:00 pm) What better way to enjoy a summer afternoon than a relaxing canoe/kayak paddle to explore the birds, other wildlife and their habitats near the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. We will launch boats into the Seneca River to explore a variety of songbirds, shorebirds, and raptors like Bald Eagles and Osprey. Afterwards, quench your thirst with a refreshing wine tasting at Montezuma Winery and keep the souvenir glass. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent a boat from us. Fee:  $50/couple with canoe rental, $35/person with single kayak rental, $25/person without rental. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

3 - 2019 Paddle Keuka 5K Race & Sponsorships at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. (9:00 am – Noon) Paddle your way across Keuka Lake and back as this exciting event returns for the 4th year! All proceeds benefit the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium. Pre-registration for the race will end at 9pm on Thursday, August 1, 2019. RACE CATEGORIES: Please indicate which category you will be participating in when registering. Recreational: boats up to 17 feet in length. This category is for fun, and is open to the novice paddler and less experienced racer. If your boat is primarily used for recreation (not racing), this is the category for you. Unlimited: racing boats in excess of 17 feet in length. This category is for the more experienced racer. *Race start time may be adjusted in case of inclement weather. Must be 17 years old to participate. (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

3-18 - Orleans County Rotary Derby - This long time favorite offers a $4,000 Grand Prize and over $10,000 in cash and prizes. Lake Ontario waters from the Niagara River to the Genesee River are the eligible waters for this Trout and Salmon Derby. (For information call 585-589-9881 or go to www.orleanscountyfishingderby.com)

5-9 - Montezuma Audubon Center’s Summer Camps - Montezuma Unplugged Camp at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Montezuma Unplugged Camp participants will leave their electronics at home and explore the Montezuma Wetlands Complex’s habitats and wildlife through hiking, canoeing, navigating and other outdoor activities. Audubon educators will lead participants around the 50,000-acre Complex and various habitats including forests, marshes, swamps, grasslands, streams and rivers. (For ages 11 – 15) (Cost: $150) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma to download the summer camp registration forms.)

 

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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7 - 19 – 19

 

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.

 

THE APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR THE DEER MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM IS AUGUST 1:  Landowners who are experiencing damage from deer may wish to consider applying for extra harvest tags through our Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP). DMAP helps qualifying landowners and resource managers implement site-specific deer management on their lands to address crop damage or forest regeneration problems, protect areas of sensitive and rare plants, or conduct custom deer management programs. It can also be used by municipalities to reduce deer-related problems in residential communities.

DMAP permittees receive antlerless deer harvest tags that they can distribute to licensed hunters of their choice for use on the property where they are experiencing problems. The tags can be used only during open deer hunting seasons.

                                                    Photo by Dick Thomas

To see the eligibility requirements for DMAP or to download an application form, visit the DMAP webpage. Applications for this fall must be submitted to your regional DEC office by August 1.

 

139-POUND STURGEON CAUGHT IN ONEIDA LAKE: Fisheries researchers working under a DEC-funded contract at Cornell University's Biological Field Station at Shackleton Point recently caught a 72.5-inch, 139-pound lake sturgeon.

DEC began stocking lake sturgeon in Oneida Lake in 1995, to reverse past devastating losses due to overfishing and damming of rivers, which are critical spawning habitats. Since then, DEC has stocked almost 11,000 sturgeon in Oneida Lake. Before the stocking program began, the lake sturgeon population throughout the Great Lakes region was estimated at one percent of historic levels.

This large sturgeon, estimated to be 20 years old, was one of 11 caught in a single day earlier this summer. Once captured, biologists sedate the sturgeon, measure and weigh the fish, take samples to determine age, tag it, and allow the fish to recover before releasing it back into the lake.

Lake sturgeon can reach maximum lengths of greater than seven feet and can weigh more than 200 pounds. There is an historic report of an 83-inch, 104-pound sturgeon caught by an angler in Oneida Lake in 1856. The largest sturgeon recorded in New York in recent history was an 88-inch, 250-pound fish that washed up on the shores of Lake Erie in 1998.

Lake sturgeon in Oneida Lake are known to grow exceptionally quickly compared to populations in other water bodies. The fish take advantage of the lake's high productivity and diverse food sources, including worms, snails, zebra mussels, and even winter-killed gizzard shad. The relatively warm waters of the lake help growth rates, as well.

The sturgeon stocked into Oneida Lake have also been found to migrate to the Oneida and Seneca rivers to travel into Onondaga and Cross lakes. Some fish have even traveled from the Oswego River to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.

DEC's lake sturgeon recovery program has made great progress statewide Anglers are now more likely to encounter lake sturgeon while fishing. Anglers should remember that there is no open season for lake sturgeon and possession is prohibited. Any lake sturgeon caught accidentally must be immediately released without harm. If anglers see a sturgeon bearing a yellow dangler tag on the dorsal (top) fin, they should make note of the number without removing the tag and contact the nearest DEC regional office Any sightings of lake sturgeon are of interest to DEC and research partners.

For more information on the Lake Sturgeon Recovery Plan, view the Lake Sturgeon Recovery Plan (PDF).

Five Fisheries Researchers posing with the Juvenile Sturgeon that lays in a small pool filled with water
Research interns from Cornell University's Biological Field Station at Shackleton Point pose with a 139-lb lake sturgeon caught and released in Oneida Lake on June 19, 2019.

 

BoatUS Urges New York State Boaters to Have Their Voices Heard On “Reimagining the Erie Canal.” The nation’s largest advocacy group for recreational boaters, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is urging Empire State boaters and those who transit the Erie Canal System to have their voices heard at upcoming “Reimagine the Canal” stakeholder sessions this week in Lockport and Brockport and in the following weeks in Syracuse and Utica. They may also share their comments online. The community engagement sessions are organized by the New York State Canal Corporation’s parent, the New York Power Authority, and managed by the Rockefeller Group, to “identify new uses” of the historic waterway.

At the first scheduled stakeholder session held in Schenectady last week on July 11, the Times Union of Albany reported that some boaters voiced concerns that process may be ignoring the needs of recreational boaters. In the Friday, July 12, feature, “State Collecting Ideas for Reinventing Erie Canal,” one longtime canal enthusiast wondered why a video, shown at the start of last week's meeting explaining the project, largely ignored the most obvious use of the canal: powerboating. “If they are not in the pictures they are not in the reimagination,” said local boat owner Ted Bochenek as reported by the Times. Other previous sessions were in Lockport:? Monday, July 15 and in Brockport July 16. Scheduled sessions remaining are in Syracuse,?Tuesday, July 23, 6-8 p.m., at the SUNY ESF Gateway Center, 1 Forestry Drive, Syracuse and in Utica,?Tuesday, July 30, 6-8 p.m., at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Campus Center, 100 Seymour Avenue, Utica.

“Any boater who uses the canal, including local boat owners; the cruising community, including snowbirds that transit the waterway each fall and spring on their annual migration; and out-of-state boaters doing the Great Loop, should speak up now or attend an event if they can,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy. “While the state has previously invested in the canal’s future with more recreational boating amenities such as safe harbors to tie up for the night, we want to ensure that recreational boating is not minimized in the current decision-making process,” added Kennedy.

While recreational boating in general has declined from its peak 30 years ago with a corresponding drop in canal traffic, New York State remains No. 3 in the nation for recreational boating economic activity with an $8.4 billion annual economic impact. Other measures such as shortening of the canal system operating season and hours of operation and increased flood events may also have an effect on reducing lock-throughs. The state has more than 440,000 registered recreational vessels and nearly 38,000 dues-paying BoatUS members.

Boaters can go to the Reimagine the Canal website to RSVP to attend one of the remaining meetings or, if unable to attend, post a comment. Rockefeller Group also advises that additional community stakeholder sessions will be announced later this summer.

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

The Case of the Goose at the Gas Station - Onondaga County: Late in the evening of July 4, ECO Don Damrath received a call from a Dewitt Police Officer requesting assistance with a wildlife case under investigation. Two employees of a Kwik Fill station told the officer that a customer lured several Canada Geese into close range with crackers, grabbed one of the geese, strangled it, tossed it into his van, and quickly drove away. Damrath took statements from the eyewitnesses and viewed the security camera footage of the incident. The officer determined the suspect's vehicle registration information and found the man several hours later. The suspect did not deny killing the goose at the gas station, but excused his actions by claiming the goose had attacked him. When informed by ECO Damrath of the security video, the subject admitted to killing the goose and taking it away. ECO Damrath charged the man with taking waterfowl out of season and illegally taking protected wildlife. The tickets are returnable to the Town of Dewitt Court and, if found guilty, the subject could face fines of up to $250 and imprisonment up to 15 days on each charge.

Tall Ships 2019 in Buffalo Harbor - Erie County: Region 9 ECOs took part in a multi-agency security detail during the Tall Ships 2019 event in Buffalo between July 4 and 7. The event began with a parade that included 12 tall ships sailing into the harbor while the U.S. Coast Guard, federal, state, county, and local law enforcement agencies maintained a moving safety zone around the ships until they were moored along the Buffalo waterfront. The ECOs used two patrol vessels and two personal watercraft to conduct daily patrols in and around the ships and maintained a safety zone while the ships were moored. During the entire weekend of patrols, the officers made contact with several hundred vessels and operators and issued 18 tickets for various violations. One subject was arrested on a bench warrant.

ECO boat in the water patrolling other ships coming through

 DLE conducting patrols around the tall ships


Discovery of Illegal Discharge - Tompkins County: On July 5, ECO Jeff Krueger investigated a wastewater discharge complaint at a laundromat in the village of Trumansburg. With help from DEC Spills responder Chris Rossi and Lt. Mark Colesante, Krueger took water samples from a discharge pipe and conducted a dye test that determined the effluent was coming from the laundromat and discharging into Trumansburg Creek. The creek empties into Cayuga Lake, the source of drinking water for several townships and parts of Ithaca. The following day, ECO Krueger and Lt Ric Warner contacted the owner, who agreed to shut down the laundromat until the facility can come into compliance with water quality regulations.

ECO standing near a creek at night, shining a light on the water and doing some tests
ECO Jeff Kruger investigates illegal discharge into Trumansburg Creek

Conviction of Illegal Shark Trafficker:  DEC investigation led by Environmental Crimes Investigator Jeffrey Conway and Environmental Conservation Officer Deo W. Read, under the supervision of Lt. Nick Desotelle, Lt. Mike Buckley, Captain Martin Townley, and Major Scott Florence of the DEC's Division of Law Enforcement has led to the conviction and sentencing of Joshua Seguine, age 38, of the Hamlet of LaGrangeville in Dutchess County for illegally trafficking and selling sharks. Seguine pleaded guilty in the Town of LaGrange Justice Court with Illegal Commercialization of Fish, Shellfish, Crustaceans, and Wildlife (Environmental Conservation Law ECL 71-0924(2) for the illegal possession with intent to sell seven Sandbar Sharks, a protected species under New York law. Sentencing is scheduled for September 12, 2019.

According to the felony complaint and statements made by the prosecutor at arraignment, Seguine came to the attention of DEC Law Enforcement in July of 2017, after he was found in possession of five undersized sharks in the back of his truck in Georgia. According to authorities, Seguine admitted that he was transporting the sharks to New York State, where he intended to sell them, and that he possessed additional live sharks at his house in New York. After this information was sent to DEC, investigators discovered that Seguine was conducting business under the name Aquatic Apex Life LLC, which had offered sharks for sale as recently as June 29, 2017 on the website MonsterFishKeepers.com.

Using this information, DEC police obtained a warrant to search Seguine's house in LaGrangeville. DEC officers, accompanied by biologists from the Long Island Aquarium located in Riverhead, New York, and the Wildlife Conservation Society's New York Aquarium located in Coney Island, discovered an above-ground pool at Seguine's house that contained seven live sharks. The sharks were subsequently identified as Sandbar Sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus), the possession of which is prohibited by New York law without a special license. The search also uncovered two dead Leopard Sharks, one dead Hammerhead Shark, and the rostrum (snout) of a Smalltooth Sawfish, an endangered species.

Biologists used nets to catch the sharks, took blood samples, measured their lengths, tagged them, and transferred them to the Riverhead facility, using the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation's box truck, which was specially equipped with tanks, oxygen, and climate control to safely transport the sharks. The sharks were subsequently moved to the New York Aquarium in Coney Island, where they are on display as part of the "Ocean Wonders: Sharks!" exhibit. The cost to legally acquire a Sandbar Shark is approximately $11,500.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Hugh L. McLean of the Attorney General's Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau's Environmental Crimes Unit. The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph D'Arrigo. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice José Maldonado.

 

FIRST EVER SAFE ACT CONVICTION DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE:  The 2014 indictment leveled against Defendant-Appellant Ben Wassell in the first ever SAFE Act case was dismissed with prejudice in Chautauqua County Court on Monday. This final action represents the culminating victory for Wassell and Second Amendment civil rights advocates across New York. 

“Judge Cass, a distinguished county court judge, has dismissed all charges against Ben Wassell with prejudice, meaning they can never be brought again,” Jim Ostrowski, Ben Wassell’s attorney, said. “It so happens that the error that the appellate division ruled on, which is the attorney general’s lack of jurisdiction, was only one issue in our brief. But, they felt that, once they had reached that issue, that was enough to dismiss the case, and dismiss the indictment and send it back to this court for what happened today. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t plenty of other issues in the case, such as the lack of evidence that Mr. Wassell had actually committed these crimes in the first place, and the fact that the statute that he was charged under was unconstitutional under the Second Amendment because it banned rifles that are in common use among Americans. And we do expect that the five members on the [U.S.] Supreme Court who support the Second Amendment clearly will eventually overturn this law.”

(Source: Black Rifles United) 

 

 

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

 

JULY 2019 

19 - Registration Deadline for DEC Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator And Leashed Tracking Dog ExaminationsScheduled for August 9: Examinations will run from 10:00 am to noon at most DEC regional offices across the state. The list of DEC Regional offices can be found on the DEC website. Exam Registration Forms can be found on the DEC website. There is no charge to take any of the written exams. To apply for any of these exams, visit the DEC Special Licenses Unit and complete an exam registration form. Completed forms can be sent by mail, fax or email to: NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752, Fax: 518-402-8925, Email: SpecialLicenses@dec.ny.gov.   

19 - Bats of Montezuma at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (8:00 – 10:00 pm) Join us as we welcome NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Wildlife Biologists who will lead an informative presentation about these fascinating flying mammals. Once dusk falls, we’ll use special equipment outside to hear bats echolocate as they search for prey. This is a family-friendly event and all ages are welcome. Bug spray and a flashlight are recommended. (Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $20/family, FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (*RAINDATE July 26) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

20 - Montezuma Heritage Park Birding Walk at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) If you are interested in Erie Canal history and the birds that call the Montezuma Wetlands Complex their home, this is the program for you. Join a local historian and Audubon staff for a leisurely walk to explore the Town of Montezuma trails and search for newly fledged birds, native wildflowers, and learn about the economic impact the canal system had on upstate NY. Directions will be provided upon registration. (Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $20/family. FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

20 - Photo Safari for Kids at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (2:00 – 4:00 pm) Do you have a digital camera, tablet or mobile phone? Would you like to learn how to use it to take creative photos? This program is focused on kids ages 8 and up and will start with a brief introduction to basic photography. Then we will head outside for an easy 1-mile stroll through forests, around wetlands, and through grasslands to photograph wildflowers, butterflies, and birds; perfect subjects for new photographers. At the conclusion of the program, we will view the photos on the big screen. Children must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. (Fee: $8/child. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

19-20 - 9th Annual Sunset Bay Walleye SHOOTOUT.100% cash back tournament. This is a 1-day tourney with optional Big-Fish Friday derby.  $500 entry fee, teams of 2 to 5 anglers per boat, 6-fish bag weigh-in, 7AM – 3:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m. weigh-in at Cabana Sam’s.  Up to $100,000 in cash and prize awards. (For information contact Don Ruppert 716-435-4137 or go to https://walleyeshootout.com/.)

20 - 16th Annual Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association King Salmon Tournament, Olcott, NY. (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) This event offers 100 cash pay back. All participants must be LOTSA members. (For information/register (Deadline July 17 at 6:00 pm) go to www.lotsa.org.)

20 - Kayak Lessons (Beginner & Intermediate) at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. (9:00 am – Noon) Learn Beginning or Intermediate kayaking skills on beautiful Sugar Creek, while also learning a bit about the cultural and natural history of the area. Beginning kayaking skills, taught by Debbie Lyon, NYS Outdoor Guide & FLM&A Program Director, include safe entry and exit, equipment, forward, reverse, sweeps and draw strokes. Intermediate Kayaking taught by Pat Atkinson, NYS Outdoor Guide & FLM&A Educator, will include refining all of the above skills, plus the sculling draw stroke and basic rescue. This course is for those who are already comfortable in a kayak and are ready to expand and polish their skills. Registration fee includes equipment rental. Children under the ages of 13 must be accompanied by an adult. (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

22-26 - Montezuma Audubon Center’s Summer Camps - Fisheries Camp at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)Fisheries Camp participants will learn from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Biologists about safe fishing practices through hands-on and fun experiences while fishing for trout, panfish, bass and more around the Finger Lakes Region. Activities will include a trip to Powder Mills Park, canoeing around the Montezuma Wetlands Complex, invasive species management projects, fly fishing demonstrations and a trip to Savannah Dhu. (For ages 11 – 15) (Cost: $150) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma to download the summer camp registration forms.)

23, 30, 8/6 & 8/13  Explore Archery (Sea2 & Sea3) at the Veterans Memorial Park, Softball Field #1, 595 Calkins Road, Henrietta, NY. (9:30 – 10:45 am)Explore Archery is fun and a perfect fit for archers of any age or ability wanting to get involved in the sport of target archery. If you are new to the sport or a beginner archer looking for an introductory program – sign up. You’ll learn important skills like range safety and proper shooting form. For ages 8 and up.(Cost: Resident $40.00/Non-resident $50.00.) (For information call 585-359-2540.)

24 - Montezuma Birding Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (6:00 – 8:30 pm) The summer is full of young birds learning about life outside their nests. Join us as we look for raptors, waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds and observe how dedicated parents prepare their young for the fall migration. We will explore Montezuma’s birding hotspots where dozens of species can be seen and heard. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. (Fee: $8/child, $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

25 – Nature Explorers Program Series - Insects and Other Crawly Friends at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 3395 U.S. Route 20 East, Seneca Falls, NY. (6:00 – 7:30 pm) Join our guides on a frog and toad watch as you explore habitats around our Visitor Center and Seneca Trail.  Follow our guides along the Seneca Trail on a BUG HUNT! Look high and low – even under logs – for insects and other crawling creatures.  Learn about insect camouflage! Use an insect net to catch one from the fields.  Take a closer look at your discovery in our magnifying bug boxes.  Craft: Make a stick bug! Led by Librarian and The Lodge Nature Store Manager, Gayle James, and retired Science Teacher and Volunteer, Mary Jo Doyle, Nature Explorers is for children and families of various ages.  Earn a nature badge when you participate in each program.  Attend all three and become eligible for a prize! Parents are required to stay with their children during these programs.  Please come prepared with sunscreen, insect repellent, and sturdy shoes.  There is no fee for either program. (To pre-register, please call (315) 568-5987.  For more information, email andrea_vanbeusichem@fws.gov)

27 - Birding and Boating at Montezuma meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:30 – 4:00 pm) Join us for a relaxing canoe/kayak paddle to explore the waterways around the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. This is a unique to explore Montezuma’s birds and their habitats and to try canoeing/kayaking for the first time. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent a boat from us. (Fee: $10/child without rental, $15/adult without rental, $25/solo kayak rental, $40/canoe rental (maximum 2 adults plus 1 child). PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

28 - Chautauqua Lake Summer Bass Team OPEN at Chautauqua Lake, Long Point State Park, 4459, Route 430 Bemus Point, NY. (For information contact Mike Russo at 716- 640-6915.)

 

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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7 - 12 – 19

 

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.

 

LARGEST SEIZURE OF ILLEGAL REPTILES IN STATE HISTORY: Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) charged an Allegany man with multiple violations in connection with an ongoing investigation into the illegal possession and sale of wildlife, resulting in the largest seizure of illegal reptiles in state history.

William Engelder, 71, of Allegany, Cattaraugus County, was charged with reckless endangerment in the 1st degree, a class D felony; illegal sale of wildlife, a class E felony; possessing a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, a misdemeanor; nine counts of overdriving, torturing, and injuring animals, an Agriculture and Markets Law class A misdemeanor; failure to provide proper sustenance, an Agriculture and Markets Law class A misdemeanor; 26 counts of illegally possessing and transporting venomous reptiles, a violation; possessing an endangered species without a permit, a violation; and 283 counts of illegally possessing a wild animal as a pet, a violation.

ECOs and Investigators with DEC's Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI) unit along with DEC's Division of Wildlife staff conducted a search warrant at Engelder's residence in Allegany in August 2018, after receiving a tip about a man harboring illegal animals. The warrant resulted in the largest-ever law enforcement seizure of reptiles in New York State. Several of the animals seized were threatened species or species of special concern.

Venomous reptiles, including three king cobras, one of which was over 10 feet long, and six Gila monsters were among the animals allegedly illegally housed at the residence. King cobras are among the most deadly animal species on earth.

Seventeen bog turtles, a native endangered species of New York; two box turtles; 28 Blanding's turtles; 53 wood turtles; two painted turtles; six snapping turtles; and 184 spotted turtles that were allegedly being illegally possessed were also seized. The final count of illegally kept wildlife amounted to 292 animals. Twenty boxes of various species of turtle eggs were also seized.

The Cattaraugus County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case. If convicted on all charges, the defendant faces up to a maximum fine of $104,000 and/or up to 33 years in prison.

various turtles in a large tub with some water, wood, and rocksKing Cobra in a small enclosure

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

DEC Forest Ranger Is Heading To Alaska to assist in the containment of wildfires. The Ranger will support firefighting efforts as a helicopter manager in Alaska's Delta Area Forest for two weeks. Today's deployment is the initial resource mobilized for New York State, and marks the beginning of what may be an active wildfire season for the U.S. in 2019.

The Forest Ranger will join wildland fighters from other states and will be assigned to manage helicopter flights. As a helicopter manager, the Ranger will supervise and direct helicopter operations, including establishing a work schedule, coordinating scheduling, ensuring pilots and personnel have required protective equipment, directing personnel in conducting flight operations, leading safety sessions and critiques, and more.

In recent years, DEC has sent crews and single resources to the western and southern states, Alaska, and the Canadian provinces to help contain wildfires. All travel and administrative costs will be paid by the U.S. Forest Service or reimbursed to the State. New York first sent a firefighting crew to assist western states in fighting large wildfires in 1979. On average, New York sends one or two crews to assist each year. In addition to helping contain the western wildfires and minimize damage, these crews also gain valuable experience that can be utilized fighting wildfires in New York.
Outreach:
Town of Warsaw, Wyoming County: On July 3, Forest Ranger John Kennedy joined Smokey Bear in celebrating Smokey's 75th Anniversary in the annual parade through downtown Warsaw. Various organizations attended the parade including NYSP, Wyoming County Sheriff's Department, and local area fire departments. Roughly 2,000 people attended this popular holiday parade.

Forest Ranger John Kennedy and Smokey Bear in an automobile
Forest Ranger John Kennedy and Smokey Bear ride through Warsaw parade

Wildland Search and Rescue: Town of Persia, Cattaraugus County: On July 6 at 3 p.m., Cattaraugus County 911 Dispatch received a call from two subjects who were hiking in the South Branch of the Cattaraugus Creek when localized heavy rains forced water from the creek bed into the woods. The hikers were unaware of how to return to their vehicle parked in the DEC parking area in the Zoar Valley Unique Area. Forest Ranger Robert Rogers, Wayne Krulish, Assistant Forest Ranger Feather, and members of the Gowanda Fire Department and Gowanda Ambulance Company responded to the area. Cattaraugus County was able to get a cell phone location from the 911 call. Forest Ranger Rogers, Feather, and members of the Gowanda FD operated a UTV along trails of The Nature Conservancy's Deer Lick Preserve and then hiked the remaining half mile to the location of the coordinates. As the search team approached, Forest Ranger Rogers made contact with the two individuals and guided them back to the remaining rescuers for the final hike back to the UTVs and a motorized evacuation.

Up to No Good - Wyoming County: On June 27, ECOs James Hunt and RJ Ward were patrolling by boat on Silver Lake when they spotted two people on a small boat tucked behind a willow tree along the shore. The ECOs watched as the operator of the vessel filleted fish and dumped the carcasses over the side of the boat, which is illegal in New York. The officers approached the boat and found carcasses of pumpkinseeds and black crappies in the water alongside it. In addition, the boat was not registered and did not have enough life jackets on board. The ECOs escorted the vessel back to shore and issued tickets for both ECL and Navigation Law offenses, returnable to the Perry Town Court.

Wildlife Rescue Success Story - Broome County: On June 28, ECO Andy McCormick released a Canada Goose back into the wild at Otsiningo Park in the town of Dickinson. ECO McCormick had previously rescued and transported the goose to Cornell University for rehabilitation after it became entangled with an injury to its foot. At Cornell, the goose received veterinary care and deemed releasable.

ECO McCormick, Broome County Security Officer Dewing, and goose
ECO McCormick, Broome County Security Officer Dewing, and goose

 

FROM DUCKS UNLIMITED: CONSERVATION GOES HIGH-TECH:   Ducks Unlimited was founded on science, and science continues to be at the heart of the organization’s conservation work. DU researchers constantly seek out the most valuable data, which might be obtained from government databases, from research published by others, or from research DU carries out in partnership with universities, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations. DU’s conservation experts must also keep up with the latest advances in technology, whether that means knowing how to use high-tech tools or knowing how to analyze and make use of the data they provide. Following are some examples of how high-tech tools on the ground, in the air, and high in space are aiding the research and planning that support DU’s conservation programs.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Commonly referred to as drones, unmanned aerial vehicles can be piloted remotely or programmed to fly autonomously. They may carry equipment that captures high-resolution video and still images as well as geospatial (location-based) data that can be used to create maps and three-dimensional models.

DU has begun testing the use of drones for surveying waterfowl, and initial results are promising. A pilot study in Connecticut showed that images taken by drones could be used to accurately detect and identify randomly placed decoys in coastal salt marshes. And the drones caused little disturbance when flown over live birds. This makes drones a promising option for surveying American black ducks, which are very secretive and hard to locate using on-the-ground methods. A second pilot study in Iowa and Minnesota tested drones for locating duck broods as part of research studying brood use within wetlands impacted by agriculture. This study was a collaborative effort by DU, Iowa State University, Louisiana State University, Delta Waterfowl, and the U.S. Geological Survey Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. The drones, which were provided by DU and Delta Waterfowl, were found to actually improve brood detection rates compared to on-the-ground surveys. Researchers hope that drones may offer easier, safer, and more cost-effective ways to survey waterfowl in smaller areas, such as national wildlife refuges.

Telemetry Devices

A telemetry device makes use of a transmitter and a receiver that work in tandem to record an animal’s location. Early technology used VHF radio signals sent to receivers over short distances. Today, telemetry devices are lighter, more compact, and more powerful. They allow researchers to track birds and other animals via satellites, global positioning systems, and even cell phone towers.

DU and its partners use telemetry devices to collect a wealth of detailed data about seasonal waterfowl movements, habitat selection, and even behavioral responses to factors such as human activity, weather events, and the presence of wind farms. For example, one DU-supported study, being led by researchers at Texas A&M University−Kingsville along with other partners, is tracking the migration of female northern pintails that winter along the Gulf Coast and in other key areas. The purpose of the three-year study is to better understand various pintail migration strategies and how time spent on nonbreeding landscapes impacts the birds’ survival and breeding success. This information will help DU and its partners plan and deliver conservation programs beneficial to pintails. Over the course of the study, nearly 500 birds will be fitted with solar-powered transmitters that download data via cell towers as the birds pass by.

Light-Level Geolocators

A light-level geolocator is an “archival” device that stores tracking data rather than transmitting it. The tiny, lightweight unit comes equipped with a long-lasting battery, a small computer, memory for data storage, and a clock. It uses light sensors to record photoperiod, or daily cycles of light and dark, over long periods. Recordings are synced with local time. Once downloaded, the combined data are used to calculate geographic coordinates in order to map a bird’s movements.

Geolocators are typically used to document long-distance movements of birds. Now, DU and partners are using this technology in a novel way to document breeding propensity (the proportion of hens that nest and lay at least one egg). When a hen fitted with a geolocator leg tag sits on the nest for an extended time, such as during egg laying or incubation, the unit’s light sensor is blocked from sunlight, and it records the event as a period of darkness. Studying these extended periods of darkness can help biologists estimate the time a hen spends on a nest, and that in turn can suggest nest success or failure. Studies using this technology are under way with female mottled ducks and Atlantic brant. These studies are expected to last several years, and the birds will need to be recovered to retrieve the data.

Earth Observation Satellites

Earth observation satellites orbit the planet (typically from pole to pole) to acquire data about Earth’s surface and atmosphere. The data are downloaded to ground stations worldwide, and in most cases datasets are available to the public at little or no cost.

DU makes use of imagery from earth observation satellites operated by government agencies and companies around the world, including those in the United States, Canada, and the European Union. Specialists interpret the satellite data and use it to classify, inventory, and evaluate wetlands and other habitats beneficial to waterfowl. Satellite imagery also helps DU detect changes to landscapes over time as well as monitor its projects. Satellite imagery is often the foundation for tools that help DU target its conservation programs.

Geographic Information Systems

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer-based systems used for analyzing, organizing, and displaying layers of landscape information on a map or other visual representation. Layers can be manipulated to create different scenarios and visualize different outcomes.

GIS maps are key to identifying where to restore and protect habitat in the most effective manner. They are the basis for Decision Support Tools that guide planning for DU’s conservation work. And they help support other aspects of DU’s work too, including project proposals, marketing materials, interactive products for members, public policy efforts, and fundraising. GIS datasets can represent a wide array of information. One good example is a Decision Support Tool that DU’s Great Lakes/Atlantic Region staff recently developed in partnership with the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture. The tool incorporated layers of geospatial data about breeding waterfowl, water quality, and agricultural activity. It also layered in “human dimension” data about the habits of bird-watchers and hunters, specifically how far they are willing to drive to participate in these activities. The resulting “hot spot” map will help DU and its partners select areas where it might be possible not only to address water-quality concerns and those habitats that support breeding waterfowl but also engage more conservation-minded people. (By Jennifer Boudart)

 

JIM BEAM WAREHOUSE FIRE KILLS 'TENS OF THOUSANDS' OF FISH:

dead fish

The Kentucky River is littered with dead fish following the horrible event. On July 2, a massive fire broke out at a Jim Beam bourbon facility in Versailles in Woodford County, Kentucky.

According to Beam Suntory, the company that owns the facility, roughly 45,000 barrels of "relatively young" whiskey burned in the fire. Unfortunately, however, not only the barrels of whiskey were lost, as so were "tens of thousands" of fish, according to wildlife officials.

According to the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, there's what's called an "alcohol plume" from the bourbon runoff that's about 23 miles long in the Kentucky River.

"These teams will continue assessments and work to mitigation efforts of the spill until water quality returns to normal conditions in the river," the cabinet said in its statement. "Other impacts observed on the river include foaming discoloration and odor."

The cabinet also said it expects the bourbon to dissipate when it reaches the larger Ohio River.

So, all in all, while this is a tragic loss for the Kentucky River, it does appear to only be temporary.

It's always shocking when we learn how severe the effects of our manmade mistakes can truly be. In this case, it fortunately looks like it won't do much long-term damage, but losing that many fish can have a serious impact on an ecosystem. Not to mention, local anglers will certainly be hurting on fishing opportunities.

 

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

 

JULY 2019 

12-13 – New York State Trappers Association Biggest Little Rondy in NY at Nichols Pond, Canastota, NY. (For information call Bill Swagler 606-222-8554 or Ken Hellijas  518-231-0266.)

12-8/30 - Nature Storytime at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 3395 U.S. Route 20 East, Seneca Falls, NY. (10:00 – 11:30 am) Each Friday from July 12 – August 30, children will meet with Miss Gayle at the Refuge Visitor Center on her eagle nest storytime mat, where she will read a nature-themed children’s story.  The group will do a related craft and then head outside (weather-permitting) to explore nature first-hand.  Topics will include things like birds (nesting, waterfowl, birds of prey), wildflowers and pollinators (bees, butterflies, bats), dragonflies, turtles, fox and other mammals.  Nature Storytime is designed for ages pre-K – 3rd grade. Parents are required to stay with their children during these programs.  Please come prepared with sunscreen, insect repellent, and sturdy shoes.  There is no fee for either program. (To pre-register, please call (315) 568-5987.  For more information, email andrea_vanbeusichem@fws.gov)

13 – 24th Annual Kids Fishing Derby at Chestnut Ridge Park, 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, NY sponsored by Southtowns Walleye Association of (8:00 – 11:00 am) Awards will follow. (For information call Dennis Stroberl at 716-861-5687.)  

13 – Safe Harbor Open Bass League one-day contest out of Safe Harbor Marina, Buffalo, NY (6:00 – 9:00 pm)  ($60.00 for one or two-person teams.) Best 5 fish. (Pay at the launch.)

13 - Empire State Native Pollinator Workshop at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (10:00 am – 4:30 pm) Join scientists from the New York Natural Heritage Program for a volunteer training on how to survey for a variety of at-risk pollinator species. The goal of the survey is to determine the conservation status of a wide array of native insect pollinators in non-agricultural habitats. We will target native bees, flies, beetles, and butterfly/moth species. Please bring a lunch and be prepared to go outside. (Fee: FREE) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

14 - Beyond BOW - Women’s Guided Fishing Trip on Lake Ontario from the Oswego Marina, Oswego, NY (5:30 am or 1:30 pm) Enjoy a 6 hour guided fishing trip for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Steelhead aboard a 28’ Baha Cruiser. All fishing equipment is provided. No fishing experience necessary. The boat has an enclosed bathroom with plumbing! Open to women age 18 or over. Bring your valid NYS fishing license. These fishing trips sold out last year, so reserve your spot early. (Fee: $150 per person) Pre-registration is required. Weather cancellations are at the Captain's discretion and money will either be refunded or the charter will be rescheduled. (Contact Captain Dave Wilson at 315-481-5716 or email captaindavewilson@yahoo.com for information and/or preregistration)

15 – Start of Snapping Turtle Season (>9/30)

15-19 -  Montezuma Audubon Center’s Summer Camps - Bowhunter and Trapper Summer Camp at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)Bowhunter and Trapper Summer Camp participants will learn from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Officers and Audubon educators to earn their bowhunter and trapper education certificates through hands-on learning and outdoor experiences. Activities will include trail camera monitoring, a trip to Heritage Outdoor Sports for target practice, canoeing around muskrat habitats, and field dressing lessons. Campers will be given the course manuals and workbooks prior to camp. (For ages 11 – 15) (Cost: $150) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma to download the summer camp registration forms.)

16-19 –Explore Archery (Sea1) at the Veterans Memorial Park, Softball Field #1, 595 Calkins Road, Henrietta, NY. (9:30 – 10:45 am)Explore Archery is fun and a perfect fit for archers of any age or ability wanting to get involved in the sport of target archery. If you are new to the sport or a beginner archer looking for an introductory program – sign up. You’ll learn important skills like range safety and proper shooting form. For ages 8 and up.(Cost: Resident $40.00/Non-resident $50.00.) (For information call 585-359-2540.)

17 - Birding and Boating on Cayuga Lake, meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (6:00 - 8:30 pm) What better way to enjoy a summer sunset than a relaxing canoe/kayak paddle. Join us to explore the birds, other wildlife and their habitats at the north end of Cayuga Lake. This is a great opportunity to see Bald Eagles and Osprey that are nesting in the area. Bring your own canoe/kayak or rent a boat from us. (Fee: $10/child without rental, $15/adult without rental, $25/solo kayak rental, $40/canoe rental (maximum 2 adults plus 1 child). PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

19 - Registration Deadline for DEC Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator And Leashed Tracking Dog Examinations Scheduled for August 9: Examinations will run from 10:00 am to noon at most DEC regional offices across the state. The list of DEC Regional offices can be found on the DEC website. Exam Registration Forms can be found on the DEC website. There is no charge to take any of the written exams. To apply for any of these exams, visit the DEC Special Licenses Unit and complete an exam registration form. Completed forms can be sent by mail, fax or email to: NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752, Fax: 518-402-8925, Email: SpecialLicenses@dec.ny.gov.   

19 - Bats of Montezuma at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (8:00 – 10:00 pm) Join us as we welcome NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Wildlife Biologists who will lead an informative presentation about these fascinating flying mammals. Once dusk falls, we’ll use special equipment outside to hear bats echolocate as they search for prey. This is a family-friendly event and all ages are welcome. Bug spray and a flashlight are recommended. (Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $20/family, FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (*RAINDATE July 26) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

20 - Montezuma Heritage Park Birding Walk at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (10:00 am – 12:00 pm) If you are interested in Erie Canal history and the birds that call the Montezuma Wetlands Complex their home, this is the program for you. Join a local historian and Audubon staff for a leisurely walk to explore the Town of Montezuma trails and search for newly fledged birds, native wildflowers, and learn about the economic impact the canal system had on upstate NY. Directions will be provided upon registration. (Fee: $5/child, $10/adult, $20/family. FREE for Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

20 - Photo Safari for Kids at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (2:00 – 4:00 pm) Do you have a digital camera, tablet or mobile phone? Would you like to learn how to use it to take creative photos? This program is focused on kids ages 8 and up and will start with a brief introduction to basic photography. Then we will head outside for an easy 1-mile stroll through forests, around wetlands, and through grasslands to photograph wildflowers, butterflies, and birds; perfect subjects for new photographers. At the conclusion of the program, we will view the photos on the big screen. Children must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. (Fee: $8/child. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

19-20 - 9th Annual Sunset Bay Walleye SHOOTOUT. 100% cash back tournament. This is a 1-day tourney with optional Big-Fish Friday derby.  $500 entry fee, teams of 2 to 5 anglers per boat, 6-fish bag weigh-in, 7AM – 3:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m. weigh-in at Cabana Sam’s.  Up to $100,000 in cash and prize awards. (For information contact Don Ruppert 716-435-4137 or go to https://walleyeshootout.com/.)

20 - 16th Annual Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association King Salmon Tournament, Olcott, NY. (6:00 am – 3:00 pm) This event offers 100 cash pay back. All participants must be LOTSA members. (For information/register (Deadline July 17 at 6:00 pm) go to www.lotsa.org.)

20 - Kayak Lessons (Beginner & Intermediate) at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. (9:00 am – Noon) Learn Beginning or Intermediate kayaking skills on beautiful Sugar Creek, while also learning a bit about the cultural and natural history of the area. Beginning kayaking skills, taught by Debbie Lyon, NYS Outdoor Guide & FLM&A Program Director, include safe entry and exit, equipment, forward, reverse, sweeps and draw strokes. Intermediate Kayaking taught by Pat Atkinson, NYS Outdoor Guide & FLM&A Educator, will include refining all of the above skills, plus the sculling draw stroke and basic rescue. This course is for those who are already comfortable in a kayak and are ready to expand and polish their skills. Registration fee includes equipment rental. Children under the ages of 13 must be accompanied by an adult. (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

 

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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7 - 5 – 19

 

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.

 

DEC SEEKS INPUT ON DRAFT TREATY LINE UNIT MANAGEMENT PLAN: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a public comment hearing to provide information, answer questions, and accept public input on the draft Treaty Line Unit Management Plan (UMP). Highlights of the plan include maintaining 208 acres of high conservation value forest, 18,050 acres of forest landscape connectivity corridors, and more than 28 miles of designated recreational trails.

The Treaty Line Unit consists of 19,186 acres of State lands located within portions of Broome, Chenango, and Delaware counties, including Artic-China, Barbour Brook, Beals Pond, Columbia Lake, Kerryville, Melondy Hill, Michigan Hill, Pine Hill and Steam Mill State Forests. The draft UMP was developed to guide management activities on these properties.

Recreational activities currently available on the unit include hiking, camping, snowmobiling, hunting, trapping, fishing, picnicking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, bird watching, wildlife viewing, and limited all-terrain vehicle (ATV) access for people with mobility impairments.

DEC manages State Forest lands for multiple benefits to serve the people of New York State in a relatively undeveloped setting. The draft Treaty Line UMP proposes to: a) address overall management and maintenance activities on these State Lands; b) maintain unfragmented, healthy, sustainable, and biologically diverse ecosystems; and c) provide continued opportunities for forest product sales, recreational use, environmental education, and research. The complete draft plan and additional information are available on DEC's website.

DEC recently received an independent proposal advocating for the development of a public trail riding area for motorized vehicles. The proposal seeks to designate and develop over 20,000 acres of State-owned public lands for ATV and motorcycle use, including six State Forests within the Treaty Line Unit, two additional State Forests outside the unit, and the Oquaga Creek State Park. Oquaga Creek State Park is administered by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The proposal was received after the creation of the draft UMP and is not currently included in the draft.

A public comment hearing will be held on Wednesday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m. in the Sidney Junior/Senior High School Auditorium, 95 West Main Street, Sidney, NY. The hearing will begin with a brief presentation, followed by an open house forum to discuss ideas and issues directly with DEC staff. There will also be a formal opportunity to provide verbal comments. Verbal and written comments will be considered equally during the UMP process and meeting attendance is not required to submit input on the plan.

DEC will open an extended comment period on the draft UMP that lasts until Nov. 1, 2019. DEC will review all collected comments and provide written responses in the final UMP. To submit written comments, send an email with the subject line "Treaty Line Unit" to R7.UMP@dec.ny.gov, by U.S. Mail, or phone to: Jason Schoellig, Senior Forester, NYS DEC, 2715 State Route 80, Sherburne, NY 13460, (607) 674-4017 ext. 607; or Nathan Funk, Senior Forester, NYS DEC, 65561 State Route 10, Stamford, NY 12167, (607) 652-3694.

 

REPORT OAK WILT DISEASE: July and August are times to spot oak wilt disease in New York State. Oaks infected with the disease often stand out among healthy, green-leafed trees. In red oak species, symptoms can appear and progress quickly, sometimes leading to the death of the tree as soon as four to six weeks. White oak species typically die back just one or two branches at a time and may take years to succumb to the disease.

Leaves infected with oak wilt tend to brown from the outside of the leaf towards the stemOak wilt disease symptoms include:

Leaves browning from the outer edge back towards the stem

Dieback starting in the top of the tree and progressing downward

Leaves of all colors will fall off, and many will still have green on them

Most or all leaves fall off in July/August.

If you suspect you've seen oak wilt, you can e-mail pictures of the tree (leaves, trunk, entire tree) and location information to foresthealth@dec.ny.gov. For more info on oak wilt, check out our website.

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

Rescue Training: Town of East Aurora, Erie County: On June 29, Forest Rangers participated in a rope training drill with approximately 40 members of an Erie/Cattaraugus County regional rope rescue team. The team is made up of trained and qualified members from across many disciplines (fire, police, SAR volunteers, and EMTs) that drill periodically to enhance their capabilities and learn to work and communicate with members outside their agency. The drill scenario included five "victims," that had to be retrieved after a vehicle crash off a bridge. Participants included volunteer firefighters and EMT personnel from Seneca Hose, East Aurora, Eden, West Falls, Hillcrest, Erie County DHSES, Orchard Park, Niagara Frontier SAR, East Aurora PD, Eden Emergency Squad, and Erie County Sheriff's SWAT.

Forest Rangers practicing rope training and extraction off the side of a bridge
Forest Rangers train in a rope rescue scenario involving a car crash off a bridge

Injured Deer Complaint Turns into Puppy Rescue - Schuyler County: On June 22, ECO Erik Dalecki responded to a call of an injured deer in the town of Reading. ECO Dalecki located the injured deer, but as he approached it he heard a dog crying and howling. The ECO followed the dog's cries until he located an approximately six-month-old Husky puppy in a large trap. With the assistance of Schuyler County 911, ECO Dalecki found the dog's owner and returned the dog. The dog had slipped its collar and run off almost 24 hours earlier. ECO Dalecki then located the subject who had set the live trap, and discovered it had been set to catch raccoons, opossums, and possibly coyotes. ECO Dalecki issued two tickets and a written warning to the trap's owner for trapping out of season, operating an untagged trap, and not having a trapping license.

ECO and Fire Department Team Up to Free Trapped Robin - Ontario County: On June 26, ECO Keith Levanway responded to a call from a Canandaigua resident who saw a bird tangled in string hanging upside down in a tree. ECO Levanway arrived to find a young robin tangled in the tree about 25 feet up, too far from the trunk to reach from a ladder. Chief Frank Magnera of the City of Canandaigua Fire Department agreed to assist with a ladder truck and Firefighter Robert Younger climbed the ladder and cut the offending branches. Once back to the ground, the string was removed from the otherwise uninjured bird and it was set free.

Fire truck in a driveway with its ladder extended to the branch on a tree where the bird was dangling
Canandaigua City Fire Department working to free tangled bird

 

GUIDANCE TO REDUCE BEAR-HUMAN CONFLICTS: Conflicts between people and bears typically increase in summer months due to the dispersal of young bears from family groups, the onset of the breeding season, and a lull in natural food availability prior to the ripening of local berries and other natural food sources. These conditions occasionally cause bears to travel through unfamiliar areas. Bears will take advantage of anything they consider a food source as they travel, adding to the potential for conflict. The most common attractants are poorly stored garbage, bird feeders, messy grills, and pet food left outdoors. Once a bear finds these foods, it will often continue to return to the area in hopes of finding the same food again.

When bears have access to human foods, it encourages behaviors that can put bears at risk. While bears can be intimidating, they generally shy away from getting into conflicts with people. The bears seen recently are mostly young individuals dispersing from their natural habitat, searching for new suitable habitat. If bears find reliable food sources near human residences, they may become temporarily established in green spaces in urban and suburban areas.

Bears will avoid large groups of people. If a bear is seen in a community, residents should simply be aware of the bear's presence and avoid any interaction with it.

DEC staff and local police officers will sometimes attempt to direct a bear toward a better location, away from developed areas, but this is not always possible. Nearly all urban bears leave as quickly and quietly as they appear, without serious conflict or need for physical removal.

Residents and visitors should take the following steps to avoid attracting and creating nuisance bears:

NEVER FEED BEARS INTENTIONALLY - Feeding bears intentionally is illegal and a ticketable offense. Bears that obtain food from humans will continue to seek food from humans and become nuisance bears.

Around Dwellings

>Remove all bird feeders;

>Keep garbage, grills, pet food, and bird seed inside a solid, secure structure (house, shed, garage, etc.);

>If grills cannot be secured, move grills away from houses and remove grease traps after each use;

>Put garbage on the curb the morning of collection, not the night before, and use bear-resistant trash containers; and

>Close garage doors and ground-floor windows/doors at night.

At Campgrounds

>Keep campsites as clean as possible;

>Clean up after all meals immediately. Keep grills, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and wash basins clean when not in use;

>Leave coolers and food inside car trunks or truck cabs;

>Store food and coolers in food lockers when available;

>NEVER keep food, coolers, or scented items in tents when camping. Store toiletries securely with coolers and food;

>Do not put grease, garbage, plastic diapers, cans, bottles, or other refuse into the fireplace; and

>Dispose of garbage in the campground's dumpsters every evening.

In the Backcountry

>Pack a minimal amount of food. Use lightweight and dehydrated foods. Plan all meals to avoid leftovers;

>Use bear-resistant food canisters, which are required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness of the Adirondack Park;

>Cook and eat before dark and cook away from campsites;

>Avoid spills and drippings while cooking and do not pour grease into fire pits; and

>Never leave food unattended.

If you encounter a bear

>Don't panic. Most bears are just as afraid of people as people are of bears;

>Never approach, surround, or corner a bear;

>Back away slowly - do not run;

>Do not throw backpacks or food at bears. If bears are rewarded with food, they will continue to seek food from people; and

>If feeling threatened by a bear, raise your arms over your head to look bigger and yell loudly at the bear while slowly backing away.

More information on avoiding and creating conflicts with nuisance bears is available on DEC's website.

 

KUDOS: DEC RESEARCH SCIENTIST SCOTT COOK HONORED BY NEW YORK STATE FEDERATION OF LAKE ASSOCIATIONS: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Research Scientist and Finger Lakes Water Hub Supervisor Scott Cook was recently presented with the 2019 Lake Tear of the Clouds Award by the New York State Federation of Lake Associations (NYSFOLA). The award, NYSFOLA's highest honor, is bestowed annually to a person who has shown the highest dedication to lakes and watersheds, assisted NYSFOLA in its mission, and produced exceptional performance in his or her field of endeavor.

Cook, a 35-year employee of DEC, has been involved in all aspects of lake management. NYSFOLA recognized Cook for activities such as water quality monitoring; assisting lake communities in their quest to manage for an improved lake; serving as an advocate for both regulators and those affected by permitting decisions; working behind the scenes to support watershed management actions; and serving as a knowledgeable, fair, and conscientious bridge among diverse groups. In 2016, Cook was promoted to supervisor of DEC's newly created Finger Lakes Water Hub where he leads a talented group of scientists dedicated to addressing water quality in the Finger Lakes and developing new policies, programs, and technologies that will serve to benefit all New York State lakes.

The award is named for the highest lake in New York State. Lake Tear of the Clouds, the headwaters of the Hudson River, is a two-acre pond situated on Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains, the highest peak in NYS. From Lake Tear, the Hudson journeys 315 miles and drops 4,322 feet in elevation on its way to New York Harbor.

 

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

JULY 2019  

1-31 -  Celebrate Canandaigua Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, home to the smallest island in the Finger Lakes! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

1-8/31 – New York State Summer Classic: This is a statewide tournament event that allows anglers to fish any waterway in NY state using any legal angling method (in boats, from shore & piers, etc.) any time of day for a period of two months. It features 10 categories of fish to go after with an overall cash payout based on the number of anglers that enter. Anglers can bring fish in to any of the 60+ weigh-in locations across the state based on where they are fishing, and there is a protocol for fishing after hours. The event website has a map of the weigh-in locations, online leader boards, tournament announcements, and any other information regarding the event including registration. The event concludes with a sportsman show and awards ceremony to be held at the Batavia Downs Casino Resort, where all Top-3 placing anglers will be housed overnight as part of their awards package. Door prizes and giveaways will be handed out at the awards ceremony that all anglers are encouraged to attend! (For information call Tim Thomas at 585-330-0494 or go to www.NYSsummerclassic.com.)

3-14 - 29th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby. The Erie Canal is spotlighted for this family-oriented fishing competition offering up more than $8,000 in prizes. Eligible waters include from the Niagara River to the Main Street Bridge in Albion (Route 98) – 50 miles of waters. For more information visit www.eriecanalderby.com.

6 - Beyond BOW - Women’s Guided Fishing Trip on Lake Ontario from the Oswego Marina, Oswego, NY (5:30 am or 1:30 pm) Enjoy a 6 hour guided fishing trip for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Steelhead aboard a 28’ Baha Cruiser. All fishing equipment is provided. No fishing experience necessary. The boat has an enclosed bathroom with plumbing! Open to women age 18 or over. Bring your valid NYS fishing license. These fishing trips sold out last year, so reserve your spot early. (Fee: $150 per person) Pre-registration is required. Weather cancellations are at the Captain's discretion and money will either be refunded or the charter will be rescheduled. (Contact Captain Dave Wilson at 315-481-5716 or email captaindavewilson@yahoo.com for information and/or preregistration)

6 – Beginner Kayaking with Kelly at Beaver Island State Park, Grand Island, NY. Class times start at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. for one hour. (For information/register call 716-282-5154.)

6 – Woods Walk: The Secret Life of Trees at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (11:00 am) No registration required. (For information call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

8-12 - Montezuma Audubon Center’s Summer Camps - Hunter Education and Waterfowl Summer Camp at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) Hunter and Waterfowl Summer Camp participants will learn from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Officers and Audubon educators to earn their hunter safety and waterfowl education certificates through hands-on learning and outdoor experiences. Activities will include canoeing, target practice at a local shooting range, nest box monitoring, and dog demonstrations. Participants will be given the course manuals and workbooks prior to camp. (For ages 11 – 15) (Cost: $150) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma to download the summer camp registration forms.)

9 – Birds of Prey Presentation at the Niagara Musky Association monthly meeting (date changed this month) at the Eldredge Club, 17 Broad Street, Tonawanda, NY. (7:00 pm) Guest speaker will be Hawk Creek Wildlife Center with live birds of prey.

9 – Second Amendment for Ever monthly meeting at the Wilson Conservation Club, Route 425, Wilson, NY. (7:00 pm)

10 – Safe Harbor Open Bass League one-day contest out of Safe Harbor Marina, Buffalo, NY (6:00 – 9:00 pm)  ($40.00 for one or two-person teams.) Best 3 fish. (Pay at the launch.)

11-12 - Invasive Species Curriculum at the Finger Lakes Institute, 601 South Main Street Geneva, NY (Thur. 8:30 am – Fri. 3:00 pm) Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, insects and diseases that threaten our environment, health and economy and are a major ecological threat in the Finger Lakes region and throughout NYS. Due to a lack of predators, invasive species populations grow quickly and outcompete our native species for resources, disrupting food webs and even endangering some species. It is crucial that students have a basic understanding of invasive species and the importance of environmental stewardship. Teachers will learn the history of invasive species and participate in hands-on identification of high priority aquatic and terrestrial invasive species in this two-day workshop. Additionally, participants will receive in-depth training on the new invasive species curriculum developed in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for grades 6-8, but can be scaled up or down for different grade levels. This workshop is free and open to educators. The two-day training will include: 12 hours CTLE credits/An introduction to invasive species/How to utilize iMapInvasives, an invasive species database and student-friendly app/Review a two-week unit on invasive species/Field ID guides, lesson plans and activity guides and other resources. Lunch will be provided both days of training. Please plan for outdoor field work on land and water both days. This training is part of the 2019 New York State Invasive Species Awareness Week. (Cost: Free) (For information call the NYSDEC Avon Office 585-226-2466)

12-13 – New York State Trappers Association Biggest Little Rondy in NY at Nichols Pond, Canastota, NY. (For information call Bill Swagler 606-222-8554 or Ken Hellijas  518-231-0266.)

12-8/30 - Nature Storytime at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 3395 U.S. Route 20 East, Seneca Falls, NY. (10:00 – 11:30 am) Each Friday from July 12 – August 30, children will meet with Miss Gayle at the Refuge Visitor Center on her eagle nest storytime mat, where she will read a nature-themed children’s story.  The group will do a related craft and then head outside (weather-permitting) to explore nature first-hand.  Topics will include things like birds (nesting, waterfowl, birds of prey), wildflowers and pollinators (bees, butterflies, bats), dragonflies, turtles, fox and other mammals.  Nature Storytime is designed for ages pre-K – 3rd grade. Parents are required to stay with their children during these programs.  Please come prepared with sunscreen, insect repellent, and sturdy shoes.  There is no fee for either program. (To pre-register, please call (315) 568-5987.  For more information, email andrea_vanbeusichem@fws.gov)

13 – 24th Annual Kids Fishing Derby at Chestnut Ridge Park, 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, NY sponsored by Southtowns Walleye Association of (8:00 – 11:00 am) Awards will follow. (For information call Dennis Stroberl at 716-861-5687.)  

13 – Safe Harbor Open Bass League one-day contest out of Safe Harbor Marina, Buffalo, NY (6:00 – 9:00 pm)  ($60.00 for one or two-person teams.) Best 5 fish. (Pay at the launch.)

13 - Empire State Native Pollinator Workshop at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (10:00 am – 4:30 pm) Join scientists from the New York Natural Heritage Program for a volunteer training on how to survey for a variety of at-risk pollinator species. The goal of the survey is to determine the conservation status of a wide array of native insect pollinators in non-agricultural habitats. We will target native bees, flies, beetles, and butterfly/moth species. Please bring a lunch and be prepared to go outside. (Fee: FREE) (For information/register call (315) 365-3588, email montezuma@audubon.org or visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma)

14 - Beyond BOW - Women’s Guided Fishing Trip on Lake Ontario from the Oswego Marina, Oswego, NY (5:30 am or 1:30 pm) Enjoy a 6 hour guided fishing trip for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Steelhead aboard a 28’ Baha Cruiser. All fishing equipment is provided. No fishing experience necessary. The boat has an enclosed bathroom with plumbing! Open to women age 18 or over. Bring your valid NYS fishing license. These fishing trips sold out last year, so reserve your spot early. (Fee: $150 per person) Pre-registration is required. Weather cancellations are at the Captain's discretion and money will either be refunded or the charter will be rescheduled. (Contact Captain Dave Wilson at 315-481-5716 or email captaindavewilson@yahoo.com for information and/or preregistration)

 

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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6 - 28 – 19

 

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.

 


7 WAYS TO SURVIVE FOURTH OF JULY ON THE WATER:  Each year about three out of four recreational boat owners say they plan to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday aboard the family boat. With nearly 12 million registered vessels in the U.S., that could spell mayhem at launch ramps, marinas and popular anchorages, requiring extra skill, patience and courtesy. The nation’s advocate for recreational boaters, Boat Owners Association of The United States, (BoatUS) says the congestion and nighttime operation requires vigilance. Here are seven safety tips to help boaters survive peak traffic days.

1. Boaters will host thousands of guests aboard their vessels this holiday period – many with no boating experience. Before you head out, give a short orientation to guests, not only about essential items, such as how to move about a moving vessel (with one hand always connected to the boat) or how use the head, but also show them how easy it is to use the VHF radio and safety gear, especially life jackets.

2. For that unexpected young guest without a life jacket, the non-profit BoatUS Foundation’s free Kids Life Jacket Loaner program gives boaters a chance to borrow child-size life jackets for the day, afternoon, or weekend. Nearly 600 locations across the U.S. ensure that there’s a location near you.

3. Don’t overload the boat. Be careful about adding extra passengers, coolers and gear, especially with small vessels that are more prone to swamping. It’s also important to keep everyone in the boat and avoid allowing passengers to ride or sit anywhere other than designated places while underway. Riding with legs over the side or on gunnels and seat backs is considered unsafe operation.

4. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Wait to celebrate with alcohol until after you’ve safely returned to homeport for the night. Added to the effects of sun, wind and waves, alcohol lowers situational awareness and slows reaction times.

5. After viewing fireworks from the water and pulling up anchor, you may have the urge to rush home. Don’t. Slow down. Opt out of taking that tricky, shallow shortcut home. Be cautious and patient – especially at the launch ramp – and the odds for a safe return home increase.

6. Avoid the two biggest mistakes. The TowBoatUS on-water towing fleet reports that battery jumps, as a result of running music or other accessories all day, and anchor-line entanglements that occur at crowded fireworks show anchorages, are common requests for on-water assistance over the holiday. Monitor your battery drain, go slow while hauling anchor line, and be super vigilant so you don’t run over someone else’s anchor line after the fireworks show ends. As a backstop, boaters can prepare for the holiday period by downloading the free BoatUS App to summon on-water assistance. Purchasing a BoatUS Unlimited Towing Membership before the holiday begins could save you from a hefty towing bill.

7. The more lookouts you have aboard at night, the better. However, after dark, white lights in the cockpit or on deck can interfere with your crew’s night vision and their ability to see boating traffic or hazards. Turn off or dim the lighting, especially if using a cell phone, or consider using only red helm or accessory lights on the boat. Portable LED headlamps with red lenses can help your crew get around the boat and preserve their sight for spotting traffic.

 

WATERFOWL SUPPORTER ED FIORINO DIES: Longtime waterfowl advocate Ed Fiorino of Albion died last week. He was 82 years old. Fiorino was an award-winning bird carver and an active member with Ducks Unlimited, a past president of the Lake Plains Waterfowl Association and volunteered at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Orleans and Genesee counties.

He helped to run a Youth Waterfowl Hunt on Iroquois for more than 20 years with the help of his Lake Plains club. Fiorino was also a 15-year member of DEC’s Western Zone Waterfowl Task Force before it was discontinued a few years ago. He will be missed throughout the waterfowl community.

Ed also participated in many of the National Hunting and Fishing Day celebrations I coordinated at the Avon DEC Office, where I acquired one of his carvings. A friend gone but not forgotten!

 

REPORT GIANT HOGWEED LOCATIONS, ESPECIALLY AS PLANTS BEGIN BLOOMING: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that statewide efforts to control giant hogweed are making substantial headway in eradicating this large, invasive, and dangerous plant. The Giant Hogweed Program, managed by DEC's Division of Lands and Forests, is in its twelfth year and has eradicated the plants from 623 sites, with another 448 plant-free sites being monitored.

A man standing next to a giant hogweed which towers over him

Giant hogweed can cause severe skin and eye irritation, including painful burns and scarring when skin exposed to its sap becomes more sensitive to UV radiation. As a noxious weed, is unlawful to propagate, sell, or transport. In addition to health concerns, giant hogweed negatively impacts the state's ecosystem by crowding out native plants and contributing to soil erosion.

Over the years, the diligence of DEC and its regional and municipal partners has led to the confirmation of 2,484 giant hogweed sites in 51 counties. The majority of active sites are concentrated in Central and Western New York. With landowner permission, crews visit and remove these invasive plants using root-cutting, herbicide, and umbel (flower head) removal control methods.

DEC today released a 2018 Annual Report, which details the progress being made to identify giant hogweed and eradicate this noxious weed. During the 2018 season:

Crews visited 1,993 sites to survey for or control giant hogweed;

No plants were found for the third consecutive year at 118 sites, bringing the total number of eradicated sites to 623 - an increase of 25 percent from 2017;

Of all sites previously treated for infestation, 43 percent (1,071 sites) had no plants in 2018;

Crews removed approximately 678,000 plants from 1,271 sites during the 2018 field season;

Stream surveys were conducted for the first time last year. Crews searched upstream for additional infestations that may have contributed to known giant hogweed locations from seeds being carried downstream. A two-person crew visited 317 stream-side properties, surveyed 37.6 miles of stream frontage, and found 76 new infestations;

Of the sites statewide that still had plants, 71 percent (1,005) had less than 100 plants and are considered small sites that can be eradicated relatively quickly. DEC expects many more of these sites to have no new plants in the next few years; and

Larger sites are responding well to control. Many larger sites that required herbicide treatment are now small enough to be treated by root cutting. Fewer sites have large flowering plants and, in general, sites are patchier than in previous years.

In addition to working with regional and municipal partners, the public has been an invaluable partner in DEC's Giant Hogweed Program, by submitting about 2,000 location reports via phone calls and e-mails each year. Giant hogweed is currently flowering, making this one of the easiest times of the year to locate the plant. Flowering giant hogweed are eight to 14 feet tall and have large, flat-topped clusters of small white flowers, a green stem with purple blotches and coarse white hairs, and large leaves up to five feet across.

If a member of the public finds giant hogweed, please do not touch the plant, take photos of the entire plant (stem, leaves, flower, seeds), note the location, and send a report with the information via email to ghogweed@dec.ny.gov, text to 518-320-0309, or call the Information Line at 845-256-3111. If confirmed, DEC will contact the landowner to discuss control options. To report and learn more about other invasive species, the public can use the iMapInvasives database and mapping tool that helps share and coordinate information about detections and response efforts.

New York State is taking a comprehensive approach to reduce the negative impacts of invasive species through control or removal activities, research, and spread prevention. Recently, Governor Cuomo announced more than $2.8 million in grants to DEC's partners across the state for a variety of projects to address invasive species, including giant hogweed. From July 7-13, 2019, New York State will hold Invasive Species Awareness Week featuring statewide events that encourage New Yorkers to help protect the state's resources from the negative impacts of invasive species.

For more information about giant hogweed, including eradication efforts, plant ID, or to view the 2018 Annual Report, visit DEC's website.

 

THE 2019 STATE PARKS CAMPING GUIDE IS HERE! The new digital 2019 NYS Camping Guide is now available. This user-friendly guide is the perfect sidekick for helping you plan your next overnight getaway. Whether you enjoy camping in a tent, RV, cabin or cottage, New York State has a variety of campgrounds to choose from. The guide also notes which campgrounds offer activities such as swimming, hiking, boating, and more. 

 

 

NEW YORK BOAT STEWARD:  As your summer adventures on the water begin, you're likely to bump into an aquatic invasive species (AIS) boat steward at a launch. Boat stewards are volunteers or paid members of your community who help protect NY waters from the harmful effects of invasive species such as hydrilla or spiny waterflea. One of the main ways these species are spread between waterbodies is through recreational boating. This year, more than 200 boat launches across the state will have stewards present.

Boat stewards will conduct a brief equipment check and ask which waterbody you last visited. These stewards not only help stop potential AIS introductions, but also inspire awareness and education about practices that reduce the chance of spreading AIS such as cleaning, draining, and drying your boat. Feel free to ask them questions!

For more information on this program, including a list of boat steward stations across New York, check out our website.

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

Wilderness Rescue: Town of Almond, Allegany County: On June 21 at 9:20 p.m., Forest Rangers Justin Thaine, Zachary Robitaille, and Wayne Krulish responded to a call from a lost hiker on county-owned lands. The 51-year-old hiker from Levonia reported that she was unable to hike out due to rising creek waters and darkness. Forest Rangers obtained her coordinates and the hiker was later found cold but in good health. The hiker was provided warm clothing and escorted a half-mile out of the woods where she was given a courtesy transport back to her vehicle. The incident concluded at 12:22 a.m.

Wildland Search Training: Town of Lyndon, Cattaraugus County: On June 23, Forest Rangers Robert Rogers and Wayne Krulish instructed a Basic Wildland Search Skills Course at the Lyndon Fire Department for 34 fire service personnel from numerous fire departments in Cattaraugus County. The importance of having trained volunteers to support Forest Ranger search and rescue efforts is integral to bolstering the strength of response capabilities across the state.

"Remove the Garbage" Doesn't Mean Burn the Garbage - Cayuga County: On June 15, ECO Scott Sincebaugh responded to a call from the Cayuga County Health Department reporting an unlawful open burn of solid waste in the town of Moravia. On June 12, representatives from the County Health Department, in response to unsanitary conditions, had instructed the property owner to remove the waste from his property and dispose of it lawfully. Rather than haul the waste to a permitted disposal facility, the owner burned the garbage. ECO Sincebaugh issued a ticket to the subject for unlawful open burning. If found guilty of the charge, the subject faces a minimum fine of $500 and/or up to one year in jail.

A pile of garbage on top of a pile of brushA large, charred area of grass and brush that has been burned
Garbage before and after being burned

LOCKWOOD MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN HUNTING FATALITY CASE: A Lockwood man who shot and killed his hunting companion in Barton, Tioga County, last December has pleaded guilty to Criminally Negligent Homicide.

Dean A. Brockoff, 54, pleaded guilty Monday in Tioga County Court to the Class E felony before Honorable Justice Gerald A. Keene. In doing so, Brockoff admitted that on Dec. 9, 2018, he was hunting at 7 a.m., before legal sunrise, and shot at movement without identifying his target, negligently causing the death of his hunting partner David Barden, 73, on property off Miller Hollow Road in Lockwood.

Brockoff was sentenced to serve six months in county jail, five years supervised probation, and 512 hours of community service and will be ineligible to receive a certificate or waiver of relief to possess a firearm. The court also issued an order of protection against the defendant to stay away from the victim's spouse.

This case was prosecuted by Tioga County District Attorney Kirk Martin following an investigation by DEC's Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI). DEC Investigator Robert Johnson, DEC Lieutenant Chris Didion, DEC Captain Jesse Paluch, the Tioga County Sheriff's Department, and the New York State Police were all instrumental in the investigation.

 

FROM THE EMAIL BAG:

Is Logic the same thing as common sense?       

1 - Eleven teens die each day because of texting while driving. Maybe it's time to raise the age of Smartphone ownership to 21.

2 - If gun control laws actually worked, Chicago would be Mayberry.

3 - The Second Amendment makes more women equal than the entire feminist movement.

4 - Legal gun owners have 300 million guns and probably a trillion rounds of ammo. Seriously, folks, if we were the problem, you'd know it.

5 - When JFK was killed, nobody blamed the rifle

6 - The NRA murders 0 people and receives $0 in government funds. Planned Parenthood kills 350,000 babies every year and receives $500,000,000 in tax dollars annually.

7 - I have no problem with vigorous background checks when it comes to firearms. While we're at it, let's do the same when it comes to immigration, Voter I.D, and Candidates running for office.

8 - You don't need a smoke detector; that's what the fire department is for. Now...if you think that sounds stupid, you know how I feel when you say I don't need a gun.

9 - Folks keep talking about another Civil War. One side knows how to shoot and has a trillion bullets. The other side has crying closets and is confused about which bathroom to use. How do you think that's going to END 

 

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

 

JUNE 2019  

1-30 - Celebrate Keuka Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake that looks like a “Y” & the only lake that flows north AND south! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

27-28 - 16th Annual Greater Niagara BassEye Celebrity Challenge, Safe Harbor Marina, Lake Erie. (27th dinner at the Atrium @ Rich’s, One Robert Rich Way, Buffalo, NY/28th derby) The Challenge is filled with opportunities to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, everything from social to sporting functions.   The event involves a one-day catch-and-release tournament in which anglers have the opportunity to fish for bass and walleye with a professional fishing guide.  (For information contact Tiffany Rolleck at 716-204-2535 or online at http://www.cff.org.)

28 - WNY Heroes Fishing Tourney for Military Vets,Chadwick Bay, Free to veterans, Fishing from 7am - 1pm, competition among veterans, lunch provided at Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 2-4pm. Coordinator: Captain Jim Steel, 716-983-7867; email: info@innovative-outdoors.com, or visit: https://lakeeriewalleyetournament.com/.  The Mission of WNYHeroes is to provide veterans, members of the armed services, and the widows and children of deceased veterans with access to essential services, financial assistance and resources that support their lives and sustain their dignity.

29 - The Lew Mead Aannual Kids Fishing Contest on Cassadaga Lake. The event is free and open to youths 15 years old and younger with prizes in four age groups. Sign up at the state boat launch located at Lilly Dale by 8 a.m. with the weigh in at 11 a.m. at the same place. Trophies and prizes awarded shortly afterwards.

29 - The Monroe County Offshore Classic put on by the Genesee Charter Boat Association. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Dream Factory. Anglers can sign up at Mitchel's Bait and Tackle, 4531 Lake Avenue, Rochester, NY; South Bay Boat and Tackle, 4531 Lake Ave, Rochester NY and B-E Fishing Tackle Inc. 6275 Dean Parkway, Ontario NY. (Entry Fee:  $200 per boat with cash payouts) (For information go to 2019-Monroe-County-Offshore-Classic (1).docx)

29 - Chautauqua Showdown Musky Tournament at the Mayville launch. (7:00 am – 3:00 pm) Catch & Release. There will also be a Kids raffle table. (For information go to nymusky69@yahoo.com.)   

29 - Family Fishing Day at the foot of Ferry Street, Buffalo, NY. (For information contact George Johnson at 716-818-3410.)

29 – Pistol Training Course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY (5:30 - 10:30 pm) (Cost: $80.00) (For details contact Gary Dudek at 716-366- 3397.)

29-30 - FREE FISHING DAY in New York State. No license required. Anyone can fish the fresh waters of New York State. All other freshwater fishing regulations still apply.

29-7/28 - 10th Annual Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Summer Derby. Grand prize is $10,000 for biggest salmon. Weekly prizes for the divisions, $30,000 overall. (For more information, call 888-REEL-2-IN or visit http://www.loc.org/.)

JULY 2019

1 – Start of Dog Training on raccoon, fox, coyote and bobcat (>4/15/20)

1 – Last Day to Register for 9/13-15/19 Fall BOW Workshop at the Silver Bay YMCA Retreat in Hague, NY in the Adirondacks. Returning Courses: Hunter education, trapper education, kayaking, stand up paddleboard, wilderness survival, map & compass, rifle, shotgun, archery, crossbow, food preservation, Adirondack ecology, taxidermy, wild fish & game cooking, fly fishing, snorkeling, and much more! NewThis Year at BOW: K-9 first aid, basic self-defense in the outdoors, hawk watching, become a hobby farmer, exploring nature with kids. How to Register: Check out our course book (PDF) and choose from more than 50 different classes! Fill out the registration form (PDF) and send in your registration fee. A limited number of partial ($100) scholarships are available. Contact BOW staff for an application. Registration admission will be determined via lottery.

1-31 -  Celebrate Canandaigua Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, home to the smallest island in the Finger Lakes! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

1-8/31 – New York State Summer Classic: This is a statewide tournament event that allows anglers to fish any waterway in NY state using any legal angling method (in boats, from shore & piers, etc.) any time of day for a period of two months. It features 10 categories of fish to go after with an overall cash payout based on the number of anglers that enter. Anglers can bring fish in to any of the 60+ weigh-in locations across the state based on where they are fishing, and there is a protocol for fishing after hours. The event website has a map of the weigh-in locations, online leader boards, tournament announcements, and any other information regarding the event including registration. The event concludes with a sportsman show and awards ceremony to be held at the Batavia Downs Casino Resort, where all Top-3 placing anglers will be housed overnight as part of their awards package. Door prizes and giveaways will be handed out at the awards ceremony that all anglers are encouraged to attend! (For information call Tim Thomas at 585-330-0494 or go to www.NYSsummerclassic.com.)

3-14 - 29th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby. The Erie Canal is spotlighted for this family-oriented fishing competition offering up more than $8,000 in prizes. Eligible waters include from the Niagara River to the Main Street Bridge in Albion (Route 98) – 50 miles of waters. For more information visit www.eriecanalderby.com.

6 - Beyond BOW - Women’s Guided Fishing Trip on Lake Ontario from the Oswego Marina, Oswego, NY (5:30 am or 1:30 pm) Enjoy a 6 hour guided fishing trip for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Steelhead aboard a 28’ Baha Cruiser. All fishing equipment is provided. No fishing experience necessary. The boat has an enclosed bathroom with plumbing! Open to women age 18 or over. Bring your valid NYS fishing license. These fishing trips sold out last year, so reserve your spot early. (Fee: $150 per person) Pre-registration is required. Weather cancellations are at the Captain's discretion and money will either be refunded or the charter will be rescheduled. (Contact Captain Dave Wilson at 315-481-5716 or email captaindavewilson@yahoo.com for information and/or preregistration)

 

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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6 - 21 – 19

 

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.

 

INFORMATION SESSION ON HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR LITTLE JOHN WMA:

DEC will host a public information session to provide information and answer questions about a recently completed habitat management plan for the Little John Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The meeting will be held Wednesday, June 26, from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. at the Pulaski Village Offices, 4917 Jefferson Street, Pulaski NY.

Active habitat management to benefit wildlife populations is fundamental to wildlife management and has been an important component of New York's efforts for decades. To further support these efforts, DEC launched the Young Forest Initiative in 2015. The initiative was the catalyst for an in-depth planning process for wildlife habitat management projects. Young forests are an important part of the forest landscape, but have declined over the past 50 years along with the wildlife that depend on this habitat type.

Little John WMA is located in the towns of Boylston and Redfield in Oswego County and the towns of Lorraine and Worth in Jefferson County, and was established in 1928 on abandoned farmland that was transferred to the State. The 7,918-acre property is approximately 60 percent mature forest with a mixture of hard- and softwoods and less than three percent open space, including water and grass- and shrubland areas. As part of DEC's Young Forest Initiative, Little John WMA will be managed to provide habitat for species such as snowshoe hare, American woodcock, and ruffed grouse.

The meeting will include a presentation about Little John, with specific activities and locations for the management actions planned for the WMA, a brief overview of the Young Forest Initiative, and a question and answer period. The meeting location is wheelchair accessible. Please contact Adam Perry at 607-753-3095 ext. 240 with any specific requests for accommodations.

DEC will continue active management on Little John WMA to benefit wildlife abundance and diversity, promote best management practices for targeted wildlife and habitats, and provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation, such as hunting and birdwatching. The Little John habitat management plan and more information about the WMA can be found on DEC's website.

 

BOW AND BEYOND BOW OPPORTUNITIES COMING UP!

Fall BOW Workshop - DEC will hold the Fall Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Workshop September 13-15, 2019 at the Silver Bay YMCA Retreat in Hague, NY in the Adirondacks.Returning Courses: Hunter education, trapper education, kayaking, stand up paddleboard, wilderness survival, map & compass, rifle, shotgun, archery, crossbow, food preservation, Adirondack ecology, taxidermy, wild fish & game cooking, fly fishing, snorkeling, and much more! New This Year at BOW: K-9 first aid, basic self-defense in the outdoors, hawk watching, become a hobby farmer, exploring nature with kids.

kayaking for BOW on Lake George

How to Register: Check out our course book (PDF) and choose from more than 50 different classes!

Fill out the registration form (PDF) and send in your registration fee. A limited number of partial ($100) scholarships are available.
Contact BOW staff for an application.

Last day to register is July 1st. Registration admission will be determined via lottery.

Summer Beyond BOW Courses:

Sheila and Sonny Young of Adirondack Foothills Guide Service in the heart of the Northern Adirondacks are offering the following courses throughout this summer, with special pricing through Beyond BOW:

Wilderness First Aid – certification
Arkville - July 13 - $120

Adirondack Byway: A Raquette River Paddle
Tupper Lake - August 17 - $100 (plus optional canoe/kayak rental)

Camping at Copperas Pond
Wilmington - August 14-15 - $120

 - hikers at the top of an Adirondack peak

High Peak Jaunt: Views from the Summit
Lake Placid - August 31 - $100

Adult CPR/AED and First Aid
Tupper Lake - September 7 - $135
Hike on the Tongue Mountain Range
Lake George - September 28 - $100

Please see the flyer for more information on each class and for contact and registration information.

 

REPORT ALL SIGHTINGS OF ATLANTIC STURGEON: Atlantic sturgeon sign on beachDuring the summer months, human and Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus) interactions may increase due to heightened commercial fishing and recreational boating activity. Sturgeons may be accidentally injured or killed due to vessel collisions or entanglements, and deceased Atlantic sturgeon may wash up on beaches. Carcasses most commonly wash up on ocean beaches but can also be found off Long Island Sound beaches as well. To better conserve this species, it's important to collect data on these observations. If you encounter a live or deceased Atlantic sturgeon in the marine environment, including Long Island Sound, please contact NYSDEC by calling (631) 444-0462. Atlantic sturgeon are anadromous fish, which means they’re born in freshwater but spend most their lives in saltwater, returning to freshwater only to spawn. Sturgeon are one of the largest and longest-lived anadromous fish in North America. They are commonly seen off the coast of Long Island and in the Hudson River during the spring and fall. Historically, they supported a major commercial fishery in New York, but due to overfishing they’re now listed as an endangered species.

 

DEC Announces 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 scheduled for Friday, August 9, 2019, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The exams will run from 10 a.m. to noon at most DEC Regional Offices across the state. A list of DEC Regional Offices can be found on DEC's website. The deadline for registering to take any of these free exams is Friday, July 19, 2019, and exam registration forms can be found on DEC's webpage.

Apprentice Falconry License

Falconry has a rich history and tradition throughout the world and requires a significant commitment in time and effort. Apprentices are limited to possessing one bird, either an American kestrel or a red-tailed hawk A falconry study guide and examination manual are available at no cost from DEC. The cost of a five-year falconry license is $40.

To qualify for the Apprentice Falconry license, applicants must:

score 80 percent or higher on the written exam;

be at least 14 years of age;

possess a valid New York State hunting license; and

maintain DEC-approved facilities for housing falconry raptors.

Wildlife Rehabilitator License

Wildlife rehabilitators provide for the care of injured, sick and orphaned wild animals for the purpose of returning rehabilitated animals to the wild. Prospective applicants are encouraged to gain experience by serving as an assistant to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. A wildlife rehabilitator study guide and examination manual are available at no cost from DEC. There is no cost for the license, which is good for five years.

To qualify for the Wildlife Rehabilitator License, applicants must:

score 80 percent or higher on the written exam;

be at least 16 years of age; and

be interviewed by DEC Regional wildlife staff.

Leashed Tracking Dog Handler

Leashed tracking dog handlers use their dogs to track and recover dead, wounded or injured big game. Leashed tracking dog handlers provide a valuable service in aiding hunters in locating wounded big game that otherwise may go unrecovered. A leashed tracking dog study guide is available at no cost from DEC. There is a $50 license fee for the five-year license and a $25 non-refundable application fee.

To qualify for a Leashed Tracking Dog Handler License, applicants must:

score 80 percent or higher on the written exam; and

possess a valid New York State hunting license.

To apply for any of these exams, visit the NYSDEC Special Licenses Unit website and fill out an exam registration form. You can mail, fax or email the completed form to: NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752 Phone: 518-402-8985, Fax: 518-402-8925, Email: SpecialLicenses@dec.ny.gov

 

SUCCESSFUL "CLEANSWEEPNY" COLLECTION IN WESTERN NY:

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that a successful CleanSweepNY collection was held this spring in Gowanda, Warsaw, and Lockport as part of a targeted initiative in DEC's Region 9 office, which includes Allegany, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Erie, Niagara, and Wyoming counties. CleanSweepNY events promote a healthy and sustainable New York by providing opportunities for proper disposal of unwanted and/or obsolete pesticides and other chemicals.

The spring CleanSweepNY event resulted in the collection of 93,633 pounds of chemicals from 112 participants in Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara, and Wyoming counties. CleanSweepNY staff collected 66,327 pounds of pesticides, 3,005 pounds of chemicals used and stored by school districts, 12,431 pounds of paint, more than 5,000 mercury-containing devices, and 342 aerosol containers.

DEC schedules and organizes CleanSweepNY events in collaboration with the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT); the collection events were held at three DOT facilities.

The Western New York CleanSweepNY collection event was the first event paid for with funds provided by the State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and the 27th since the program's creation in 2002. Under this program, more than 1.83 million pounds of chemicals and over 908 pounds of elemental mercury have been collected and properly disposed. Approximately 6,000 plastic pesticide containers have been collected for recycling that may otherwise have been disposed of in landfills.

CleanSweepNY services are available to agricultural and non-agricultural professional pesticide applicators, schools, and certain businesses, such as golf courses, cemeteries, and marinas; homeowners cannot participate. For information about reducing household hazardous waste, visit DEC's website.

The program is endorsed by Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Agricultural Container Recycling Council, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, the New York Farm Bureau, and related agricultural associations. For more information on CleanSweepNY, visit the CleanSweepNY website or call toll free: 1-877-SWEEPNY (877-793-3769).

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

Wilderness Rescue: City of Ithaca, Tompkins County: On June 16 at 7:18 p.m., Central Dispatch received a call from Thompkins County 911 requesting assistance for a lost female hiker in the Buttermilk Falls State Park. The hiker called 911 claiming she was stuck in the mud along a creek. Thompkins County 911 was able to get the coordinates of the hiker's location before her cell phone died. Attempts to locate the hiker at that location proved unsuccessful. At 12:40 a.m., Forest Ranger Anne Staples reported that the hiker had been located by State Police walking along Route 13. The subject was wet but in good health.

ECO Graduates from FBI Academy - Quantico, Virginia: On June 7, Major George Steele, a 23-year veteran of the DEC's Division of Law Enforcement, was one of 256 law enforcement officers from 49 states who graduated from the FBI National Academy Program at Quantico, Virginia. Also included in the class were officers from 35 countries, five military organizations, and seven federal organizations. Internationally known for its 10-week advanced course in law enforcement communication, leadership, and training, the FBI academy selects candidates from the top one percent of police officers within the nation's 18,000 police agencies. On average, these officers have 21 years of law enforcement experience. A total of 52,026 graduates now represent the alumni of the FBI National Academy since it began in 1935. Steele, 49, is a native of Oswego County and graduated Sandy Creek Central School in 1987, and Community College of the Finger Lakes in 1990. His first job with DEC was as a Fish and Wildlife technician in Region 8. Steele became an ECO in 1996, and served across the state in a number of roles as both a field officer and command staff. Steele currently serves as the Division's head of investigations and external affairs. George and his wife of 25 years, Jennie, live in Oswego County.

Peregrine Falcon Rescue and Release - Broome County: On June 9, ECO Eric Templeton responded to reports of a juvenile Peregrine Falcon on the sidewalk at the corner of Court and Exchange streets in the city of Binghamton. ECO Templeton captured the apparently distressed bird and brought it to off-duty Lt. Ric Warner, an experienced falconer, for banding. After a brief inspection, Lt. Warner determined the bird should be transported to the Janet Swanson Wildlife Center at Cornell University for a health assessment prior to release. Lt. Warner spoke with veterinarian Dr. Sara Childs the following day, and on June 11, the bird had recovered. Lt. Warner, accompanied by ECO Ozzie Eisenberg, conducted the banding with the assistance of Cornell personnel at the Wildlife Center. The healthy Peregrine was then taken back to Binghamton and released from the rooftop of the Security Mutual Building, where local peregrines raise their young each year.

ECO kneeling on ground next to vehicle holding a falconECO on a rooftop getting ready to release a falcon
ECO Templeton with the falcon (top) and Lt. Warner preparing for its release (right)

 

FROM AUDUBON NEW YORK: BRING HUMMINGBIRDS TO YOUR YARD WITH NATIVE PLANTS: National Pollinator Week is here, and you’re ready to grow! Before you head out to your local nursery, however, consider native plants. They’re naturally low maintenance and adapted for our climate—and they give birds the food and shelter they need.
Native plants like Wild Columbine, Bee Balm, and Trumpet Honeysuckle thrive in New York and can attract desirable visitors like hummingbirds. They help ease the impact of climate change and support a host of beneficial insects.
Want a quick, curated list of plants to attract hummingbirds? Just enter your zip code into our native plants database. With enhanced bird customization, easy filtering of plants, and additional resources in your community, you’ll find everything you need to get growing.

 

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

 

JUNE 2019  

1-30 - Celebrate Keuka Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake that looks like a “Y” & the only lake that flows north AND south! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

7-26 – Kids’ Freshwater Fishing Tournament in all New York State waters sponsored by the New York Muskie Association. The tournament is open to all kids 18 and under who reside in New York state. There will be 4 categories of completion – musie/tiger muskie/pike, walleye, bass and panfish. Prizes will be awarded to top three entries in each division. Contestants must send a photo of their catch no later than June26. (For information/registration go to www,facebook.com/new-york-muskies-inc-69-new-york-state-kids-tournament-1602530713223581.)

21-22 - Lake Erie Big Dawg Walleye Tournament. This is a one day five walleye/day . Optional Big Fish Friday is on July 6. Unlimited boat field with two to five anglers per boat. $500 entry fee. 100 percent pay back. (Call Mark Mohr for details at 998-9871 or go to www.rayzorbigdawg.com.)

21-23 - The 2019 Crosman All-American Field Target Championship at the Rochester Brooks Gun Club, 962 Honeoye Falls #6 Road, Rush, NY. Dedicated air gun competitors from around the globe can now register for the three-day competition which features multiple shooting matches including the main two-day rifle event. There are five divisions and classes for competitors, Open, Hunter, WFTF, Freestyle and Pistol. In addition to the main rifle event, this year will also feature a pistol match, the Quigley Bucket Match and the Pyramyd Air Gunslinger match. For more details and wanting to register can do so online by visiting  https://www.crosman.com/caaftc. Participants can also download and mail-in the registration form if they choose http://www.crosman.com/connect/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/FTC-2019-Registration-Form.pdf.

22 - Teach-Me-to-Fish Event at the Chestnut Ridge Park Lake, Shelter No. 10, 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, NY. (For information call  Joe McAdam at 716-570-3436.)

22 - Chip Holt Nature Center Free Fishing Clinic at Vitale Park (Conesus Lake), Lakeville, NY (9:00 am – 12:00pm) (For information call Matthew Sanderson, Chip Holt Nature Center  585-243-1904)

22 - Spey Nation at the Pineville Boat Launch, Salmon River, Pineville, NY. Demonstrations, and instruction by some of the biggest names in 2 handed casting from the East and West Coasts today.   Great Lakes anglers finally have the opportunity to learn Traditional Spey, Scandinavian, and Skagit techniques from the experts.  Free lunch. (For information go to speynation.com/.)

22-24 – ACA Kayak Instructor Training Course at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY (Sat 8:00 am Mon 4:00 pm) ACA Certified Instructor Trainer Tom Nickels, owner of Riverwind Kayak, will be leading this Level 1/Level 2 class. Tom has been leading kayak adventures and training instructors for almost two decades. Paddling skills and techniques, safety rescue and towing will all be covered, along with teaching styles and group management. Completing the three-day class will make the participant eligible for the Level 2 certification. A two-day, Level 1 certification is also available. More information about the course and the instructor is available at http://www.riverwindkayak.com/. If you wish to register, or discuss the course with the instructor, please e-mail Tom at tom.nickels1@gmail.com. (Cost is $375 for the 3-day Level 2 Certification/Cost is $250 for the 2-day Level 1 Certification. Payment is to be made through PayPal at https://www.riverwindkayak.com/about-tom/paypal.) (For information/register contact 315-595-2200 mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org)

26 - Information Session on Habitat Management Plan for Little John WMA at the Pulaski Village Offices, 4917 Jefferson Street, Pulaski NY (6:00 – 8:30 pm) Little John WMA is located in the towns of Boylston and Redfield in Oswego County and the towns of Lorraine and Worth in Jefferson County. The Little John habitat management plan and more information about the WMA can be found on DEC's website. The meeting will include a presentation about Little John, with specific activities and locations for the management actions planned for the WMA, a brief overview of the Young Forest Initiative, and a question and answer period. The meeting location is wheelchair accessible. Please contact Adam Perry at 607-753-3095 ext. 240 with any specific requests for accommodations.

26 -  Public Meeting on Onondaga Lake Beach Feasibility Study and Design Project at the St. Josephs Healthcare Lakeview Amphitheater “VIP Club”, 490 Restoration Way, Syracuse, NY. (5:00 – 7:00 pm) The Onondaga County Office of Environment will hold the second of three public meetings to discuss the Onondaga Lake Beach Feasibility Study and Design project. The purpose of this meeting is to share updates regarding the project market analysis and survey, site selection, review the status of the lake cleanup and water quality, and to seek further public input on amenities and design features. This event will include a presentation at 5:30pm followed by a Q&A poster session during which attendees can provide input on site design and amenities and will be able to speak with scientists and agency representatives regarding the beach project. (For information contact the Onondaga County Office of Environment, 315-435-8497.)

27 - Public Information Session On Habitat Management Plans At Carlton Hill Multiple Use Area: DEC will host a public information session to provide information and answer questions about the recently completed habitat management plan for the Carlton Hill Multiple Use Area (MUA) in the town of Middlebury, Wyoming County. The session will take place on Thursday, June 27, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Wyoming County Cooperative Extension, 36 Center Street, Warsaw, in meeting room LC-1. An open house will take place from 6 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a formal presentation. The meeting will include a presentation about the history of management on Carlton Hill MUA, specific activities and locations for the management actions planned for the MUA, a brief overview of the Young Forest Initiative, and a question and answer period. The habitat management plan for Carlton Hill MUA can be found on DEC's website This meeting is wheelchair accessible. Please contact Greg Ecker at (716) 851-7010 with any specific requests for accommodations or for more information regarding this meeting.

27 - Nature Explorers Program Series - Toads, Frogs & Pollywogs at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 3395 U.S. Route 20 East, Seneca Falls, NY. (6:00 – 7:30 pm) Join our guides on a frog and toad watch as you explore habitats around our Visitor Center and Seneca Trail.  Learn the differences between frogs and toads, about their life cycles, and where they live.  Craft: Make a toad house! Led by Librarian and The Lodge Nature Store Manager, Gayle James, and retired Science Teacher and Volunteer, Mary Jo Doyle, Nature Explorers is for children and families of various ages.  Earn a nature badge when you participate in each program.  Attend all three and become eligible for a prize!  Parents are required to stay with their children during these programs.  Please come prepared with sunscreen, insect repellent, and sturdy shoes.  There is no fee for either program. (To pre-register, please call (315) 568-5987.  For more information, email andrea_vanbeusichem@fws.gov)

27 - Montezuma Birdwatching Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:30 am – 12:00 pm) The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is teeming with breeding songbirds, marsh birds, and other wildlife this time of year. Join us for a van tour through Montezuma's marshes, forests and grasslands to explore the abundant wildlife as they go about their morning activities. Bring your camera to capture images of the beautiful habitats and wildlife. Binoculars and field guides provided. (Fee: $8/child, $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.(For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

27-28 - 16th Annual Greater Niagara BassEye Celebrity Challenge, Safe Harbor Marina, Lake Erie. (27th dinner at the Atrium @ Rich’s, One Robert Rich Way, Buffalo, NY/28th derby) The Challenge is filled with opportunities to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, everything from social to sporting functions.   The event involves a one-day catch-and-release tournament in which anglers have the opportunity to fish for bass and walleye with a professional fishing guide.  (For information contact Tiffany Rolleck at 716-204-2535 or online at http://www.cff.org.)

28 - WNY Heroes Fishing Tourney for Military Vets,Chadwick Bay, Free to veterans, Fishing from 7am - 1pm, competition among veterans, lunch provided at Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 2-4pm. Coordinator: Captain Jim Steel, 716-983-7867; email: info@innovative-outdoors.com, or visit: https://lakeeriewalleyetournament.com/.  The Mission of WNYHeroes is to provide veterans, members of the armed services, and the widows and children of deceased veterans with access to essential services, financial assistance and resources that support their lives and sustain their dignity.

29 - The Lew Mead Aannual Kids Fishing Contest on Cassadaga Lake. The event is free and open to youths 15 years old and younger with prizes in four age groups. Sign up at the state boat launch located at Lilly Dale by 8 a.m. with the weigh in at 11 a.m. at the same place. Trophies and prizes awarded shortly afterwards.

29 - The Monroe County Offshore Classic put on by the Genesee Charter Boat Association. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Dream Factory. Anglers can sign up at Mitchel's Bait and Tackle, 4531 Lake Avenue, Rochester, NY; South Bay Boat and Tackle, 4531 Lake Ave, Rochester NY and B-E Fishing Tackle Inc. 6275 Dean Parkway, Ontario NY. (Entry Fee:  $200 per boat with cash payouts) (For information go to 2019-Monroe-County-Offshore-Classic (1).docx)

29 - Chautauqua Showdown Musky Tournament at the Mayville launch. (7:00 am – 3:00 pm) Catch & Release. There will also be a Kids raffle table. (For information go to nymusky69@yahoo.com.)   

29 - Family Fishing Day at the foot of Ferry Street, Buffalo, NY. (For information contact George Johnson at 716-818-3410.)

29 – Pistol Training Course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, One Mullett Street (1.5 miles west of Route 60), Dunkirk, NY (5:30 - 10:30 pm) (Cost: $80.00) (For details contact Gary Dudek at 716-366- 3397.)

29-30 - FREE FISHING DAY in New York State. No license required. Anyone can fish the fresh waters of New York State. All other freshwater fishing regulations still apply.

29-7/28 - 10th Annual Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Summer Derby. Grand prize is $10,000 for biggest salmon. Weekly prizes for the divisions, $30,000 overall. (For more information, call 888-REEL-2-IN or visit http://www.loc.org/.)

 

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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6 - 14 – 19

 

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.

JUNE IS PEAK FLEDGING SEASON:  As we slip into summer, young birds begin showing up in our yards, neighborhoods, and favorite birding areas. Many nesting birds have succeeded in raising their nestlings to fledging. Many people think that when nestlings leave the nest they are on their own; but realistically, when young birds leave the nest, they are the most vulnerable of all. New fledglings are still under the care and protection of at least one adult during a post-fledging period that may last a couple days, a couple weeks, or several months.

You may see newly fledged robins, bluebirds, grackles, swallows, or others soon after leaving the nest. Watch them for a while. You will see that even when seemingly left to themselves, an adult periodically brings food to each fledgling; and when necessary, an adult will dive-bomb and chase potential dangerous animals – maybe even you – to protect a fledgling and give it an added moment to elevate to a safer location, or fly away to another area.

Most important, enjoy the young birds you see this fledging season; enjoy the behaviors you witness, appreciate the frailty of the process, and keep improving your yard for nesting, migrating, and wintering birds. Likewise, support conservation issues to protect and improve conditions for birds – locally, nationally, and internationally. It’s the very best way to help birds – in your yard and far beyond.

(For entire article go to http://www.birdingwire.com/releases/2e8689db-5fe2-489e-bf7a-c0e75357fc98/)

PUBLIC INFORMATION SESSION ON HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLANS ON CARLTON HILL MULTIPLE USE AREA: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a public information session to provide information and answer questions about the recently completed habitat management plan for the Carlton Hill Multiple Use Area (MUA) in the town of Middlebury, Wyoming County. The session will take place on Thursday, June 27, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Wyoming County Cooperative Extension, 36 Center Street, Warsaw, in meeting room LC-1. An open house will take place from 6 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a formal presentation.

"Habitat management plans on our Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) guide our conservation efforts to benefit wildlife and facilitate wildlife-dependent recreation," said DEC Regional Director Abby Snyder. "Lands managed by the Bureau of Wildlife provide essential habitat for many birds and other wildlife and the proposed management activities will enhance this special area."

Active habitat management to benefit wildlife populations has been an important component of New York's efforts for decades. The launch of the young forest initiative in 2015 was the catalyst for starting an in-depth planning process for wildlife habitat management projects. Habitat management plans are being developed for all WMAs and other DEC properties, including select Multiple Use and Unique Areas. These plans guide land use management for a 10-year time period, after which time DEC will assess implementation progress and modify the plans as needed.

DEC's Young Forest Initiative aims to establish a minimum of 10 percent of the forested acreage on WMA/MUAs as young forest over the next 10 years, and to manage for young forests in perpetuity. Young forests are an important part of the forest landscape, but they have declined over the past 50 years along with the wildlife that depend on this habitat type. While DEC has been managing forests on WMA/MUAs to improve wildlife habitat for many years, DEC is increasing its efforts and raising awareness about these actions.

In addition to incorporating aspects of the Young Forest Initiative, the habitat management plan integrates recommendations from various other sources including Unit Management Plans, existing WMA/MUA habitat management guidelines, best management practices, the New York Natural Heritage Program's WMAMUA biodiversity inventory reports, and Bird Conservation Area guidelines.

Located in the northwestern Cattaraugus Highlands portion of the Appalachian Plateau, Carlton Hill Multiple Use Area (MUA) is a 2,500 acre area composed of abandoned farmland interspersed with scattered small woodlots that provide a variety of habitat types for many kinds of wildlife. DEC will continue active management on this MUA to benefit wildlife abundance and diversity, promote best management practices for targeted wildlife and habitats, and provide opportunities for wildlife-dependent recreation

The meeting will include a presentation about the history of management on Carlton Hill MUA, specific activities and locations for the management actions planned for the MUA, a brief overview of the Young Forest Initiative, and a question and answer period. The habitat management plan for Carlton Hill MUA can be found on DEC's website This meeting is wheelchair accessible. Please contact Greg Ecker at (716) 851-7010 with any specific requests for accommodations or for more information regarding this meeting.

PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE: ONONDAGA LAKE BEACH FEASIBILITY STUDY AND DESIGN PROJECT: The Onondaga County Office of Environment will hold the second of three public meetings to discuss the Onondaga Lake Beach Feasibility Study and Design project on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, 5-7pm, at the Clubhouse at the St. Josephs Healthcare Lakeview Amphitheater”, 490 Restoration Way, Syracuse, NY. The purpose of this meeting is to share updates regarding the project market analysis and survey, site selection, review the status of the lake cleanup and water quality, and to seek further public input on amenities and design features.

This event will include a presentation at 5:30pm followed by a Q&A poster session during which attendees can provide input on site design and amenities and will be able to speak with scientists and agency representatives regarding the beach project. Onondaga County residents are encouraged to arrive at 5:00pm to participate in voting for site design features. During the meeting, the Project Committee will also review how public input received during the first public meeting and through the online public opinion survey have been incorporated.

Contact: Onondaga County Office of Environment, 315-435-8497

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

International Road Check - Chautauqua County: On June 3 and June 6, ECOs Darci Dougherty, Jerry Kinney, and Lt. Don Pleakis worked a joint detail with the New York State Police, Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office, State DOT, and US DOT at the I-86 rest area in the town of Ellery. The officers were part of a 72-hour international commercial vehicle enforcement blitz targeting inspections for safety and environmental violations. ECOs issued several tickets to drivers for violations ranging from operating an unregistered truck to exhaust leaks.

ECO vehicle and a large semi truck parked at a rest stop for inspection
DLE vehicle at commercial vehicle inspection site in Chautauqua County

 

BIRD OF PREY: WATCH THE AWARD-WINNING DOCUMENTARY NOW:  Fourteen stories high in a rainforest tree, a pair of Great Philippine Eagles struggles to raise their chick. Watch with us as this new life grows from gawky chick to powerful eaglet—one of fewer than 800 remaining. Our stunning film tells the moving tale of a small but devoted group of people who refuse to believe in anything less than this magnificent bird's recovery. See the breathtaking trailer.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s debut film, the award-winning documentary Bird of Prey, is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and Vimeo. With fewer than 800 Great Philippine Eagles remaining on Earth, the film tells the moving tale of a small but devoted group of people who are determined to save these magnificent birds from extinction.

Bird of Prey weaves stunning natural history footage of the critically endangered Great Philippine Eagle with the remarkable story of wildlife cinematographer Neil Rettig and a small group of conservationists from the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) who work tirelessly to save the bird from extinction. The film follows Rettig’s return to the Philippines 36 years after he and his crew captured the first-ever recorded images of the eagle in the wild. Decades later, at the age of 64, Neil returns to the Philippine jungle on a grueling expedition to find the reclusive raptor and once again film a pair of eagles as they attempt to raise a newborn chick.
Bird of Prey is now available for rent ($4.99) or purchase ($12.99) on iTunes, Amazon, and Vimeo. Proceeds support the Cornell Lab's nonprofit conservation work. Find links to these platforms and additional information on the film’s website and on Facebook.

 

KUDOS: S3DA NAMES MIKE PRICE NEW YORK STATE COORDINATOR:  Scholastic 3-D Archery is proud to announce Mike Price of Phelps, NY as the New York S3DA State Coordinator. Mike will oversee all aspects of the S3DA program in New York including tournaments, trainings and the division of the state into regions. Mike is already working with ASA NY, NFAA NY, and RBD NY and has reached out to other important archery organizations as well. His goal is to bring all the organizations together to support one another and to expand the archery community. Mike’s short-term goal is getting NY S3DA organized and regional directors put in place. Mike’s long-term goal is to facilitate a club/team that can put New York S3DA at the top and foster the growth for more youth archers.

Michael Price is an S3DA Advanced Instructor and USA Archery Level 4 coach. He is founder and head coach of Heritage Archery Academy in Phelps, New York. Mike has been involved in the sport of archery for over 40 years as an avid bowhunter and a competitive pro shooter, earning multiple state and national titles, including an IBO World Championship. Mike has been on the pro staff of multiple archery manufacturers, including Hoyt and Easton, for numerous years. Mike is one of the most exceptional professional coaches in the U.S., having coached hundreds of competitive shooters throughout his career, including a multitude of state, national and world champions. His son, Louis, is currently a professional archer and a Hoyt Pro Staff member.

Mike’s friend introduced him to 3-D archery in his early twenties. Mike caught the competitive bug and went on to shoot all disciplines of archery. Mike’s passion is to help archers in every aspect of the sport. With Mike’s expertise as a skilled bow technician, he is highly knowledgeable and dedicated. He has mentored dozens of archers that work under his tutelage at Heritage Archery Academy.

Mike learned about S3DA through Gary Coffey at the S3DA Indoor Nationals event. After discussion and learning more about the program, Mike saw a need for more help, so he contacted Rudy Abersold, NY ASA Representative.

Mike Price states, “I have looked at the state of New York in detail and we should have 5 regional coordinators. I have already reached out to some key archery influence people in each area. The way on which I will recruit regional coordinators is a pretty simple process. When looking for the right candidates, just keep in mind, it is what we can do as human-beings to give back to the sport we love so much, the life-changing sport of archery.”

Started in December 2012 by the Scholastic Archery Association, S3DA has grown exponentially as a next step program to follow introductory programs offered as part of 4-H or the National Archery in Schools Program. S3DA addresses the need for a program to bridge beginning target archery experience and more advanced activities such as 3-D shooting and bowhunting. The program currently operates across the United States with hundreds of certified coaches serving thousands of young archers, grades 3–12. For more information on S3DA membership go to: WWW.S3DA.ORG or email: infos3darchery@gmail.com. Check out S3DA on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram

 

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

 

JUNE 2019  

1-30 - Celebrate Keuka Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake that looks like a “Y” & the only lake that flows north AND south! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

14 - Close of Trophy Season on Lake Erie and Tribs for Black Bass

14 - Close of Statewide and Finger Lakes Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass

15 - Start of Statewide Black Bass (Largemouth & Smallmouth) Fishing Season (11/30)

15 - Start of Finger Lakes Black Bass (Largemouth & Smallmouth) Fishing Season (3/15/20)

15 - Start of Lake Erie and Tributaries and Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season (11/30)

15 – Start of Frog Season (A fishing or small game hunting license may be used) (>9/30)

15 - The 24th Annual City of Tonawanda Kids Free Fishing Derby at Niawanda ParkTonawanda, NY. (9:00 am – Noon) Registration starts at 8 a.m. at the Bandshell in the park. Grab bags will be handed out to the first 200 kids registered. Age groups are 14 to 16, 11 to 13, 8 to 10 and 7 and under. If a youth is 16 years of age, they are required to have a fishing license. Some great prizes up for grabs. Awards will take place at 11:30 a.m. (For information call John White at 692-6306.)

15 -  The 33rd Annual Niagara County Youth Fishing Derby at the Wilson Conservation Club, 2934 Wilson-Cambria Road (Route 425), Wilson, NY. (8:00 am to Noon) This contest, for kids ages 3 to 14, is based on fish length. No trout and salmon will be judged. Youths may fish any Niagara County waters. All kids will receive a consolation prize. Awards presentation is at 1 p.m. (For information call Mike at 585-205-1353. )

15 – Kayak Lessons (Beginner & Intermediate) at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. (9:00 am – Noon) Learn Beginning or Intermediate kayaking skills on beautiful Sugar Creek, while also learning a bit about the cultural and natural history of the area. Beginning kayaking skills, taught by Pat Atkinson, NYS Outdoor Guide & FLM&A Educator, include safe entry and exit, equipment, forward, reverse, sweeps and draw strokes. Intermediate Kayaking taught by Dan Murn, professional Kayaking Coach based out of Fairport, NY, will include refining all of the above skills, plus the sculling draw stroke and basic rescue. This course is for those who are already comfortable in a kayak and are ready to expand and polish their skills. Registration fee includes equipment rental. Children under the ages of 13 must be accompanied by an adult. (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

15 - Sunset Birding Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. ( 6:00 – 8:00 pm) Summer is almost here, and the days are getting longer. Join us for a dusk van tour of Montezuma’s birding hot spots where dozens of species can be seen and heard! Waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, and raptors are all likely possibilities to be spotted.  (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)

15 – Pond Life at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Scoop and search for pond inhabitants as we discover the adaptations that allow them to survive underwater. Wear waterproof boots or old sneakers. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

15 - Rod & Gun Auction at Hessney Auction Center, 2741 Lyons Road (Route 14N), Geneva, NY (9:30 am) Over 400 shotguns, rifles, handguns, military, decoys, knives, mounts, fishing, ammo and swords. (For more information call 315-789-9349 or 585-734-6082 or go to www.hessney.com)

16 - Catch and Release Kids Fishing Derby at Wide Waters Marina, Lockport, NY (8:00 to 11:00 am) Fishing; lunch and awards will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is being hosted by Moose Lodge 617, 204 Monroe Street, Lockport, NY.

16 – Niagara Frontier - Alexander Gun Show at the Alexander Fireman’s Rec Hall, 10708 Alexander Road (Route 98) Alexander, NY (8:00 am – 3:00pm) 100 tables. NICS background checks available. (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email guns@nfgshows.com)

21-22 - Lake Erie Big Dawg Walleye Tournament. This is a one day five walleye/day . Optional Big Fish Friday is on July 6. Unlimited boat field with two to five anglers per boat. $500 entry fee. 100 percent pay back. (Call Mark Mohr for details at 998-9871 or go to www.rayzorbigdawg.com.)

21-23 - The 2019 Crosman All-American Field Target Championship at the Rochester Brooks Gun Club, 962 Honeoye Falls #6 Road, Rush, NY. Dedicated air gun competitors from around the globe can now register for the three-day competition which features multiple shooting matches including the main two-day rifle event. There are five divisions and classes for competitors, Open, Hunter, WFTF, Freestyle and Pistol. In addition to the main rifle event, this year will also feature a pistol match, the Quigley Bucket Match and the Pyramyd Air Gunslinger match. For more details and wanting to register can do so online by visiting  https://www.crosman.com/caaftc. Participants can also download and mail-in the registration form if they choose http://www.crosman.com/connect/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/FTC-2019-Registration-Form.pdf.

22 - Teach-Me-to-Fish Event at the Chestnut Ridge Park Lake, Shelter No. 10, 6121 Chestnut Ridge Road, Orchard Park, NY. (For information call  Joe McAdam at 716-570-3436.)

22 - Chip Holt Nature Center Free Fishing Clinic at Vitale Park (Conesus Lake), Lakeville, NY (9:00 am – 12:00pm) (For information call Matthew Sanderson, Chip Holt Nature Center  585-243-1904)

22 - Spey Nation at the Pineville Boat Launch, Salmon River, Pineville, NY. Demonstrations, and instruction by some of the biggest names in 2 handed casting from the East and West Coasts today. Great Lakes anglers finally have the opportunity to learn Traditional Spey, Scandinavian, and Skagit techniques from the experts.  Free lunch. (For information go to speynation.com/.)

22-24 – ACA Kayak Instructor Training Course at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY (Sat 8:00 am Mon 4:00 pm) ACA Certified Instructor Trainer Tom Nickels, owner of Riverwind Kayak, will be leading this Level 1/Level 2 class. Tom has been leading kayak adventures and training instructors for almost two decades. Paddling skills and techniques, safety rescue and towing will all be covered, along with teaching styles and group management. Completing the three-day class will make the participant eligible for the Level 2 certification. A two-day, Level 1 certification is also available. More information about the course and the instructor is available at http://www.riverwindkayak.com/. If you wish to register, or discuss the course with the instructor, please e-mail Tom at tom.nickels1@gmail.com. (Cost is $375 for the 3-day Level 2 Certification/Cost is $250 for the 2-day Level 1 Certification. Payment is to be made through PayPal at https://www.riverwindkayak.com/about-tom/paypal.) (For information/register contact 315-595-2200 mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org)

 

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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6 - 7 – 19

 

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.

 

UPDATE: NEW YORK HUNTING CONTEST BAN LEGISLATION TABLED FOR DISCUSSION:  After a deluge of calls and letters to members of the New York Assembly Environmental Committee, New York Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick (D) laid aside her bill, Assembly Bill 722, which would ban any hunting competition and many dog-training events, to allow more time to discuss the language. Unfortunately, the bill can still be brought back up by the committee, but this delay gives New York sportsmen more time to call their legislators to oppose AB 722.

The Sportsmen’s Alliance has built a strong coalition between its New York members, the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club and the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America to explain the problems with the bill.

Hearing from New York hunters has already made a big difference. The original bill was so broadly written that many current hunting practices in New York would have become illegal, along with other common practices, such as field trials:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to organize, sponsor, conduct, promote, or participate in any contest, competition, tournament or derby with the objective of taking or hunting wildlife for prizes or other inducement, or for entertainment.”

In response to feedback from sportsmen, the bill was amended with language that attempted to exempt field trials. Unfortunately, it didn’t go far enough. Only formal events were protected, while other canine performance events and practices are still left vulnerable to prosecution. The problems with the bill don’t stop with just field trials and hunting contests, though. Simple promotion of an event could land someone in jail.

A local volunteer fire department holding a big-buck contest to raise money for equipment would be in violation of the law. If the local mayor posted a flyer for the contest to social media to help his fire department raise that money, he, too, would be guilty of a crime for “promoting” the contest.

The penalties for violating the law are also hefty. A person could be sent to jail for up to a year and would face up to a $2,000 fine for otherwise legal hunting methods, training their dog or making a social-media post.

“We are glad that the members on both sides of the aisle on the Environment Conservation Committee understood that such broad and vague language contained in AB 722 was an unjustified attack on sportsmen and women,” said Bruce Tague, vice president of government affairs for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Our hope is that the committee will see that this legislation is unnecessary and only punishes sportsmen and women engaged in lawful wildlife management practices.”

 

MAN SENTENCED FOR 2018 ASSAULT ON AN ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION POLICE OFFICER:  A man who injured and dragged a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Police Officer (ECO) on a UTV that refused to stop was sentenced to serve one year in jail for the offense. Town of Wheatfield Town Justice Gary Strenkoski sentenced James J. Olscamp, 31, of Sanborn, to serve one year in the Niagara County Jail after pleading guilty to assault in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor. In addition, the defendant is required to pay restitution to the State in the amount of $2,237 for equipment destroyed during the course of the assault.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred on July 22, 2018, when ECO Shea Mathis responded to a report of trespassing on private property on Liberty Road in the town of Wheatfield. When ECO Mathis attempted to stop two men who were operating an ATV and a UTV, both operators refused.

Dean R. Banks, 52, of Niagara Falls, was driving the ATV and nearly ran over Mathis when he sped from the scene. When ECO Mathis attempted to place James J. Olscamp, 30, of Sanborn, under arrest, the man refused to stop, dragging Mathis while fleeing. ECO Mathis sustained cuts and bruises to his legs and arms and injuries to his forehead after being dragged an estimated 400 yards.

ECO Mathis requested assistance through the County 911 system. Niagara County Deputy Sheriff's responded along with New York State Police and US. Department of Homeland Security officers. ECO Mathis was transported to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and released that night. Twitter posts by Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour generated tips that led investigators to tracking down the subjects.

"I'd like to thank the DEC officers for their dedication in bringing this case to fruition and the work of ADA Ryan Parisi for finalizing the results," Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek said "I believe this is a fair result for what the defendant did in putting the officer in extreme danger."

Banks previously plead guilty to attempted reckless endangerment, a Class B misdemeanor, and ATV trespassing, a violation, and paid $1,030 in fines and surcharges.

The investigation was led by DEC Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI) Inv. Robert Peinkofer with the assistance of ECOs under the direction of Lt. Robert O'Connor and Capt. Jesse Paluch. Also assisting were the Niagara County Sheriff's Office and the New York State Police.

The case was prosecuted by the Niagara County District Attorney's Office, headed by District Attorney Wojtaszek, and ADA Parisi.

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

High Angle Rescue Training: Town of Orchard Park, Erie County: On May 30 and 31, Forest Rangers from DEC Regions 8 and 9 participated in an annual rope rescue training. These exercises help hone Rangers' skills and enhance their knowledge of new techniques and equipment. The training also helps the Rangers to maintain accreditation with the Mountain Rescue Association as a division. On the second day of the exercise, Rangers rappelled or were lowered into a gorge utilizing different techniques for belay and lowering of rescue loads.

Group of Forest Rangers in the woods practicing rope rescue techniques
Forest Rangers from DEC Regions 8 and 9 train in rope rescue techniques

Hunter Shot While Turkey Hunting - Steuben County: On the morning of May 15, ECO Matthew Baker received a call from Steuben County 911 reporting that one adult male had been admitted to Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville with a gunshot wound suffered while turkey hunting in the town of Cohocton. ECO Baker drove to the hospital and interviewed the subject, who was lucky to have suffered only minor injuries from a pellet lodged in his middle finger. The man said he and his hunting partner had set up two turkey decoys in a field that morning and returned to separate parts of the field where they could not see each other. The subject attempted to set up a third decoy without notifying his hunting partner. Dressed in camouflage and carrying the decoy in front of him, the man began to move through a hedgerow and out into the field. The hunting partner saw what he thought was a real turkey and fired one shot, striking the subject. New York State Police, ECO Shawn Dussault, K-9 Ski, BECI Investigators Lt. Chris Didion and Inv. Mark Wojtkowiak, and ECO Keith Levanway helped investigate the incident, which involved recreating the scene. DEC would like to remind all hunters to follow the four basic rules of hunter safety when afield.

Decoy Turkey on the back of a truck
Turkey decoy recovered from hunting related shooting incident

Out-Foxed by Fence - Tioga County: On May 25, ECO Stan Winnick was contacted by the Tioga County Sheriff's Department about a curious kit fox that managed to get its head stuck in a chain link fence in the town of Owego. Once on scene, ECO Winnick utilized bolt cutters to cut away a small portion of the fence, freeing the fox.

Small fox with its head stuck in a chain link fence
ECO Stan Winnick rescued this young fox from a difficult situation

 

WORKING WITH NATURE'S ENGINEERS TO BUILD COHO SALMON HABITAT:  On the Oregon coast, NOAA and partners are leveraging the strong engineering skills of their beloved state animal to restore important habitat for threatened coho salmon and other species.

Supported by NOAA, partners at the Wild Salmon Center and Upper Nehalem Watershed Council are embarking on a pilot project. It will assist beavers with building dams in key areas of tributaries where juvenile migrating fish grow. Once built, beaver dams create slower moving sections of streams for juvenile fish to use as habitat.

Similar to estuaries and river delta habitats, the slow-moving pools of water behind beaver dams offer juvenile salmon critical time for feeding and growing before their trip to the ocean. Unlike man-made barriers to fish passage, adult salmon are able pass beaver dams when they migrate back upstream to spawn.

With these pilot projects, NOAA and partners are building foundation structures, called “analogs.” They are placed in areas where beavers once lived, and where the stream grade and size are optimal for juvenile salmon habitat. Think of them as the foundations of a home.

These pilots are one piece of a larger effort, the Oregon Coast Coho Recovery Plan, to restore Oregon Coast coho salmon habitat. We are providing funding and technical support to the Wild Salmon Center to implement a series of habitat restoration projects across the Oregon Coast. We are working with a variety of partners including local and state governments, non-profit organizations, tribes, and other federal agencies. Together these coordinated efforts are targeting restoration where it will have the greatest benefit and make the biggest impact for threatened coho salmon.

(From The Fishing Wire for Friday, May 31)

 

HELP MONITOR WILDFLOWERS WITH THE AVID METHOD:  This year’s rainy weather has provided plenty of water for spring wildflowers, but even so, forest favorites like trillium and jack-in-the-pulpit can be hard to find. One reason these plants are much less common than they used to be in many areas is that they are being eaten by deer. Deer populations in parts of the state are high enough to harm their habitat and the forest ecosystem. The lack of wildflowers may be one of the most obvious signs, but the entire forest can be threatened if deer browsing prevents tree seedlings from growing up to replace trees that fall. Heavy grazing of shrubs and ground cover by deer also destroys habitat for birds and other wildlife.

DEC has partnered with Cornell University to provide a way for forest owners and people concerned about forest health to assess and monitor the ecological impacts of deer. It involves marking some plants and measuring their height at the same time each year. The method is called Assessing Vegetation Impacts from Deer (AVID), and the AVID website provides all the information you need to start monitoring. For people who would like some hands-on training using AVID, Cornell Cooperative Extension offers half-day workshops. Look for a workshop near you.

 

KUDOS: JOHNNY MORRIS, BASS PRO SHOPS AND CABELA’S DONATING MORE THAN 55,000 RODS AND REELS ACROSS NORTH AMERICA IN CHALLENGE TO GET MORE KIDS OUTSIDE:  Noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is challenging families everywhere to put down their digital devices and head outside to discover the joys of fishing this summer. Morris, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s are donating more than 55,000 rods and reels to not-for-profit partners that help kids from all backgrounds connect to the great outdoors to kick off Gone Fishing.

The nationwide movement is part of an annual call-to-action that aims to introduce the sport to millions of kids. Activities include donations, nonprofit partnerships and a variety of free in-store activities at all Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s locations the weekends of June 8-9 and 15-16. Since the program’s inception, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have donated more than 400,000 items to youth-focused nonprofit organizations across North America.

For more information about Gone Fishing, visit basspro.com/gonefishing.

 

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

 

MAY 2019

15 - Start of Bowfishing for Carp Season (A fishing or small game hunting license may be used) Water must be legal for fishing and discharge of a bow. (>9/30)

25 - Start of Statewide Muskellunge Fishing Season (>11/30)

31 - Close of Spring Turkey Hunting Season

31- 6/1 - Oneida Lake Walleye Open, sponsored by i1Baits. First prize will be up to $5,000, depending on number of entries. Entry fee is $325 per two-person team. There’s a Big Fish side tournament on the first day (May 31), with a $40 entry. Winner take all. (For more information go to the i1baits website.)

31-6/2 - 35th Annual Skip Hartman Memorial Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team TournamentThe tournament is back to two days with one day set aside in case of bad weather. Over $40,000 in cash and prizes last year. Log on to the tournament website for rules and sign up information. 100 percent payback of entry fees! (For information call 877-FALLS-US or go to www.lakeontarioproam.net.)

JUNE 2019  

1-30 - Celebrate Keuka Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake that looks like a “Y” & the only lake that flows north AND south! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

1-30 - Celebrate Keuka Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake that looks like a “Y” & the only lake that flows north AND south! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

2-8 – National Fishing Week

5 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - Lake Erie Work Group – location to be announced (1:00 – 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding. RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Shannon Dougherty, Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov, 716-851-7070)

5 - Northern Montezuma Birding Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:30 – 4:00 pm) Leave the driving to us as we explore the Northern part of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. We will take the Audubon van to several locations looking and listening for nesting birds including marsh birds and songbirds. Nearly two dozen Warbler species could be present, as well as Sandhill Cranes, Bald Eagles, Osprey, and more. We will also highlight the 10,000-year cultural and natural history of this unique area. Binoculars and bird guides will be provided. (Fee: $8/child; $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

6 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - SW Lake Ontario Work Group – location to be announced. (1:00 – 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding. RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Shannon Dougherty, Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov, 716-851-7070)

6 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Lake Plains Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the VFW-Fairport, 300 Macedon Center Road • Fairport,, NY. (6:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled. (For more information contact Mark Johnson at (585) 443-0366 or email bgottfried@nwtf.net

6-16 - The 35th Annual Walleye Derby on Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River, sponsored by Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York out of Hamburg, N.Y. Featuring more than $100,000 in cash and prizes with anglers expected from throughout Western N.Y., multiple states and Canada. The top 10 places win big money, with the top prize as much as $8,000 in cash plus prizes. This year a special $10,000 cash prize will go to the angler who brings in a walleye weighing more than 13 pounds. (For information call Rob Kroh 585-356-3696 or Jim Skoczylas 716-796-5372 or go to see the association’s website.)

7 - International Game Fish Angling Day (IGFA Day) The focus of the first IGFA Day will be youth education and the IGFA’s ongoing initiative to teach 100,000 kids to fish. Through the distribution of IGFA Passports to Fishing kits, the launch of new online learning modules and the creation of strategic partnerships with organizations involved in youth education, the IGFA plans to coordinate fishing clinics for kids in at least 20 different countries on six different continents.

7 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Salmon River Strutters Chapter Dinner at the Elms Golf Club, 2 Country Club Lane, Sandy Creek, NY. (6:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled. (For more information contact William Wilbur 315-440-4351 wwilbur551@aol.com) 

7-26 – Kids’ Freshwater Fishing Tournament in all New York State waters sponsored by the New York Muskie Association. The tournament is open to all kids 18 and under who reside in New York state. There will be 4 categories of completion – musie/tiger muskie/pike, walleye, bass and panfish. Prizes will be awarded to top three entries in each division. Contestants must send a photo of their catch no later than June26. (For information/registration go to www,facebook.com/new-york-muskies-inc-69-new-york-state-kids-tournament-1602530713223581.)

8 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Hardwood Strutters Chapter JAKES Day at the North Seneca Sportsmen’s Club, Yarnell Road, Ovid, NY. (For more information contact Andrew Schibley at 315-694-0011 or Debra Vanni at 315-246-8738.)

8 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Springville Strutters Chapter WITO at Erie County Conservation Club, Miller Avenue, Chaffee, NY (9:00 am) A great time to help raise vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled. (For more information contact Becky Werchowski 716-942-6858 viewofcountry@yahoo.com)

8 - DEC/Erie County Federation Teach-Me-to-Fish Eventat the Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo, NY. (For information contact Mike Todd at 716-851-7200.)

8 - Great Lakes Experience at the Dunkirk Memorial Park, Dunkirk, NY (Lake Erie) (7:00 am – 1:00 pm) (For information call Zen Olow, Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club  716-640-2776)

8 – 22st Annual Genesee Valley Chapter Of The Adirondack Mountain Club Outdoor Expo at Mendon Ponds- Hundred Acre Pond parking lot, Mendon, NY (Monroe County) (9:30 am – 3:30 pm) Demonstrations, discussions and activities will be offered all day on a wide variety of outdoor related topics. More than 70 workshops on various aspects of outdoor activities. Attendees also view and inspect outdoor gear and try out canoes and kayaks on the Hundred Acre Pond. ADK, other local outdoor clubs, and local outdoor retailers present all of the events. (For information call 585-224-0912 or go to adk-gvc.org/expo)

8 - BoatUS Foundation On-Water Training Programs at Fleet Boat Club, 1384 Empire Blvd, Rochester, NY. Whether you love boating and want to gain confidence at the helm, you're considering buying or renting a boat and want to learn new skills, or you're just curious about boating come learn. No experience necessary! There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our participants. Sometimes weather can be a limiting factor on the water. If the weather forecast is questionable, we will contact you no later than 24 hours before your scheduled course. It is a fun, easy, and affordable way to develop your sea legs! Two courses are available: Course 1 – Intro to Boating – 3 hours on the water; 3-4 students per boat; includes Centering the wheel, Shifting gears and throttle control, Preparing the boat for departure, Steering straight at idle speed and Station Holding. Course 2 - Women Making Waves (Women Only) – 3 hours on the water; 3-4 students per boat; includes Centering the wheel, Shifting gears and throttle control, Preparing the boat for departure, Steering straight at idle speed and Station Holding. Spots are filling fast. (Cost: $129.00 per course.) (For information/register go to https://boatusfoundation.ticketspice.com/fleet-boat-club-rochester-ny.)   

8-16 - The 35th Annual Walleye Derby on Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River, sponsored by Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York out of Hamburg, N.Y. Touted as the largest amateur walleye fishing tournament in the country. Featuring more than $100,000 in cash and prizes with anglers expected from throughout Western N.Y., multiple states and Canada. This year a $10,000 cash prize will go to the angler who brings in a walleye weighing more than 13 pounds. (For information call Rob Kroh at 585-356-3696 or see the Southtowns Walleye Association website.)

13 - Montezuma Birdwatching Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (3:30 – 6:00 pm) The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is teeming with eagles, osprey, herons, and songbirds. Join us for a van tour through Montezuma's marshes, forests and grasslands to explore the abundant wildlife as they go about their daily activities. Bring your camera to capture images of the beautiful habitats and wildlife. Binoculars and field guides provided. (Fee: $8/child, $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

14 - Close of Trophy Season on Lake Erie and Tribs for Black Bass

14 - Close of Statewide and Finger Lakes Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass

15 - Start of Statewide Black Bass (Largemouth & Smallmouth) Fishing Season (11/30)

15 - Start of Finger Lakes Black Bass (Largemouth & Smallmouth) Fishing Season (3/15/20)

15 - Start of Lake Erie and Tributaries and Lake Ontario and Tributaries Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge Fishing Season (11/30)

15 – Start of Frog Season (A fishing or small game hunting license may be used) (>9/30)

15 – Kayak Lessons (Beginner & Intermediate) at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. (9:00 am – Noon) Learn Beginning or Intermediate kayaking skills on beautiful Sugar Creek, while also learning a bit about the cultural and natural history of the area. Beginning kayaking skills, taught by Pat Atkinson, NYS Outdoor Guide & FLM&A Educator, include safe entry and exit, equipment, forward, reverse, sweeps and draw strokes. Intermediate Kayaking taught by Dan Murn, professional Kayaking Coach based out of Fairport, NY, will include refining all of the above skills, plus the sculling draw stroke and basic rescue. This course is for those who are already comfortable in a kayak and are ready to expand and polish their skills. Registration fee includes equipment rental. Children under the ages of 13 must be accompanied by an adult. (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

15 - Sunset Birding Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. ( 6:00 – 8:00 pm) Summer is almost here, and the days are getting longer. Join us for a dusk van tour of Montezuma’s birding hot spots where dozens of species can be seen and heard! Waterfowl, shorebirds, songbirds, and raptors are all likely possibilities to be spotted.  (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)

15 – Pond Life at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Scoop and search for pond inhabitants as we discover the adaptations that allow them to survive underwater. Wear waterproof boots or old sneakers. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

15 - Rod & Gun Auction at Hessney Auction Center, 2741 Lyons Road (Route 14N), Geneva, NY (9:30 am) Over 400 shotguns, rifles, handguns, military, decoys, knives, mounts, fishing, ammo and swords. (For more information call 315-789-9349 or 585-734-6082 or go to www.hessney.com)

16 – Niagara Frontier - Alexander Gun Show at the Alexander Fireman’s Rec Hall, 10708 Alexander Road (Route 98) Alexander, NY (8:00 am – 3:00pm) 100 tables. NICS background checks available. (Cost: $5.00/children under 12 free when accompanied by a paid adult) (For information call 716-542-9929 or email guns@nfgshows.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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5 - 31 – 19

 

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.

 

CROSSBOW NEWS: Recently  Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner and Senator Jen Metzger introduced crossbow bills. These bills are not full inclusion but they offer significant movement toward it. (A7627 (Woerner)/S5818 (Metzger) 

What do these bills do?

>Changes crossbow to the bowhunting privilege from the muzzleloader privilege

>Replaces the special longbow season with a special archery season and adds crossbow

>Allows 12 - 15 year olds to hunt with a crossbow (removes the prior prohibition on 12 and 13 year old's)

>Authorizes those 55 years old or older to use a crossbow in a special archery season

>Authorizes those physical unable to draw a longbow as determined by a physician to use a crossbow in a special archery season

>Allows youth to hunt wild small game and wild upland birds with a crossbow

>Changes the term bolt to arrow

>Removes the 200 lb maximum draw weight and the minimum 17" width restriction

>Repeals the prohibition on the use of mechanical devise with a bow and authorization (permit) for disabled hunters to use crossbows which may be discharged only using one's breath

>Authorizes DEC to adopt regulations authorizing the taking of wildlife using a crossbow and to include a summary of such regulations in the hunting syllabus

>Reduces the setback to discharge a crossbow to 150 feet consistent with a long bow 

NYCC has been collecting crossbow letters of support and have submitted over 4000 of them to the Assembly and Senate so far. If you have not submitted one since January, please download it, fill it out and return it to us through the mail or you can scan it and email it to us. Support Letter Link. For sportspeople who do not know who their legislator is - Board of Election Legislator Look-up.

 

NEW BOAT LAUNCH BEING BUILT AT ONONDAGA LAKE: The Kenneth P. Lynch Boat Launch at Onondaga Lake will offer launching capabilities for trailered motorboats and car-top boats, such as canoes and kayaks. To provide recreational opportunities for persons of all abilities, both launches and a separate fishing deck will incorporate accessible features for persons with mobility impairments. Other site amenities will include car and trailer parking, a picnic area with restrooms, invasive species disposal and boat wash station to help boaters control the spread of aquatic invasive species. Additionally, Onondaga County's Loop-the-Lake Trail will pass through the site, enhancing pedestrian access from all parts of the lake. The boat launch facility is being funded and constructed by Honeywell through an Environmental Benefit Project (EBP) as part of an Onondaga Lake cleanup Consent Order. EPBs are agreed to as part of the settlement of an enforcement matter and are designed to benefit the local community and environment. Construction will occur during 2019. Upon completion, the site will be turned over to DEC and is anticipated to be available for free public use in fall 2019.

Aerial view of Onondaga Lake looking north. The Inner Harbor is in the foreground.

                                                                          DEC Photo

The new facility is named for retired DEC Executive Deputy Commissioner and former Region 7 Director, Kenneth P. Lynch. For 23 years, Lynch worked at DEC to help advance several unparalleled environmental and conservation successes, including the cleanup and revitalization of Onondaga Lake. Lynch first joined DEC as the Region 7 Regional Attorney in 1995. In 1997, he was appointed Regional Director of Region 7. Lynch was instrumental in the implementation of the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Environmental Bond Act. In the region he advanced many critical open space protection and infrastructure improvement projects.

Lynch was DEC's point person for advancing the cleanup of Onondaga Lake. He successfully negotiated the legal agreement with Honeywell to implement remediation of hazardous waste in the lake and also the legal agreements with Onondaga County to mitigate wastewater and stormwater impacts to the lake, including enabling the innovative green infrastructure program. Lynch was also instrumental in achieving settlement of the Natural Resource Damages Assessment and Restoration for Onondaga Lake. After promotion to Executive Deputy Commissioner in 2016, Lynch continued to have a profound impact on the environment in Central New York and all of New York State until his retirement in April 2019.

Onondaga Lake is the cleanest it has been in more than 100 years. Under the strict oversight of DEC, Honeywell completed dredging, capping and habitat improvements and is now in the long-term monitoring and maintenance phase. Wastewater and stormwater improvements are also contributing to a cleaner lake and watershed. Under the direction of DEC, Onondaga County has vastly improved water quality through facility upgrades and reduced stormwater impacts with their award-winning Save the Rain program that continues to serve as a national model.

With these significant efforts, Onondaga Lake habitat is vastly improved, native fish and wildlife are returning, the ecosystem is flourishing, and the lake is now supporting a range of recreational uses. The cleanup of Onondaga Lake is creating opportunities for the public to reconnect with this resource. In addition to the Loop-the-Lake Trail, Lakeview Amphitheater, Onondaga Creekwalk and Inner Harbor development, plans are in place to continue expanding public access and user engagement with the lake Projects include:

>Extending the Erie Canalway Trail from Camillus to the Loop the Lake Trail (3.2 miles) and from the Honeywell Visitor Center to Harbor Brook (1.2 miles). This extension aids in the completion of Governor Cuomo's Empire State Trail plan, filling in one of the remain gaps in the existing Erie Canalway recreation trail;

>Improving preservation efforts, bolstering habitat restoration, and increasing public access to more than 1,400 acres along Ninemile and Onondaga creeks in the Onondaga Lake watershed, including public fishing rights and parking areas;

>Installing structures within over 275 acres of Onondaga Lake to provide habitat for fish, amphibians, and invertebrates;

>Identifying and removing invasive species within approximately 1,700 acres of wetlands, lake/river littoral zone, and riparian habitat;

>Restoring wetland and fish habitat within and adjacent to Onondaga County parklands;

>Restoring 100 acres of warm season grassland;

>Constructing a new deep-water fishing pier on Onondaga Lake;

>Enhancing jetties at the Onondaga Lake outlet to improve access;

>Constructing new boat launch on the Seneca River; and

>Transferring Honeywell's Onondaga Lake Visitor Center to a public agency.

The community conversation is shifting toward Onondaga Lake as a public asset. Volunteer opportunities such as the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps allow the public to contribute to restoration projects that are creating or improving wildlife habitat in the Onondaga Lake watershed.

Onondaga Lake is one of the most studied lakes in the country. The results that have been accomplished at Onondaga Lake build on decades of work by incredible scientists and engineers, as well as scores of volunteers who have gathered and analyzed data, developed solutions and implemented projects that are helping achieve a remarkable recovery.

 

THE GOODGUYS AT WORK:

Wilderness Rescue: Town of Pembroke, Genesee County: On May 21 at 4:15 p.m., a 58-year-old Pembroke man was reported missing to Genesee County 911 Dispatch by his wife. Local fire department personnel, EMS, and law enforcement officials began a search utilizing two helicopters and a drone and worked the immediate area until dark. The following day, Forest Rangers Daniel Cordell and Capt. Daniel Richter responded to assist with search efforts. At approximately 5:30 p.m., the missing man was located a mile away from his last known point. The subject was taken to a medical facility for further treatment.

Loons in the Road - Niagara and Broome Counties: While on patrol on May 18, ECOs Shea Mathis and George Scheer came across a vehicle parked sideways across a roadway in the town of Wheatfield. The driver said that he was trying to prevent traffic from hitting a loon sitting in the roadway. The ECOs thanked the good Samaritan, blocked traffic with their patrol vehicle, and safely captured the loon. The loon appeared to be malnourished and was transported to a local wildlife rehabilitator for treatment. On May 21, ECO Eric Templeton responded to a report of a loon on a road that may have been struck by a vehicle in the town of Maine. ECO Templeton captured the bird and transported it to the Janet Swanson Wildlife Clinic at Cornell University in Ithaca. The veterinarian prescribed supportive care with subcutaneous fluids and antibiotics and the bird was dewormed. On May 23, ECO Templeton received word that the bird was back to full health. He picked up the loon and brought it to a watershed near where it had been found. He released the bird and it swam away.

ECO approaching a loon that is lying down in the middle of the road

Orphaned Foxes - Niagara County: On May 21, ECO Kevin Holzle responded to a call from Wild Critters of Niagara County about fox pups on the Niagara County Community College Campus in the town of Cambria. The mother had been struck by a vehicle and killed, leaving the young pups orphaned. ECO Holzle assisted Wild Critters of Niagara County, who had placed the fox pups between two large shipping containers. It was a challenge to catch them in the narrow space between the shipping containers, but ECO Holzle and Wild Critters staff succeeded by using a combination of a catch pole from the top and a net on the ground. Wild Critters will care for the pups until they are ready to be released back into the wild.

tiny fox pups seen in a small space between two red shipping containers

 

WAYS BOATERS CAN BE GREEN THIS SUMMER:  All across America boating season has begun. With some help from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, here are six ways boaters can help keep waters clean and be good environmental stewards all summer long.

1. Cleaning and waxing: When making your boat sparkle, understand that some general cleaning soaps may have harmful chemicals, so consider using alternate cleaning methods.  You’d be surprised, for example, of how effective (and affordable) having a spray bottle with the proper mix of white vinegar and water can be as an all-purpose cleaner.

2. Waste management: A simple thing like having a trash bin aboard can make a difference, especially in a crowded Saturday afternoon anchorage. Ensure it has a lid that can be secured to prevent trash from blowing overboard. The presence of a trash can, and ensuring everyone aboard knows where it is, will encourage guests be good environmental stewards as well.

3. Sewage handling: If you have a head aboard, ensure it’s in good working condition. Also familiarize yourself with how to use a pumpout correctly. Mistakes here can make it into family lore. Before you go to the pumpout location, call ahead to ensure it’s operating, advise of your boat length and ask if there are any restrictions on getting access to the pump as it may be in a tight location. The good news is that many are inexpensive or free.

4. Fuel efficiency: In addition to having the engine tuned, have you had last season’s propeller dings fixed? You’d be surprised what a little time in a prop shop can do for a boat’s fuel economy. Other places to look to save gas: Are you carrying around a bunch of extra junk (weight) in lockers? Are your trim tabs in good working order? Balancing the load, especially in smaller boats, not only improves efficiency but safety as well.

5. Fishing: While everyone wants to have the biggest catch after a long day of fishing, it’s important to practice selective harvesting. This encourages you to keep more midsized fish and release the biggest ones as they’re more likely to reproduce next season. Use circle hooks to minimize damage, and do your best never to leave fishing line in the water. Encourage your community’s line recycling by making a monofilament fishing line recycling bin and start a recycling program at your boating and fishing club, launch ramp or marina.

6. Refueling: Check out this short refueling tips video. Never use hands-free clips, and avoid any distractions while fueling. Fuel expands as temperatures rise, so don’t top off your tank. Know how much fuel your tank holds and fill it to about 90%. Clean up fuel spills immediately with an oil-only absorbent pad. The U.S. Coast Guard must be notified if a spill creates sheen on the water. Call the Coast Guard National Response Center at 800-424-8802 to report a spill.  If you are refueling at a gas station, ensure you do not refuel your marine engine with E15 (15% ethanol) fuel or greater blends as this is against the law and will void your engine’s warranty.

 

IF YOU CARE, LEAVE IT THERE: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding New Yorkers to enjoy wildlife and their young from a safe distance and resist the urge to touch or pick up newborn fawns and other young wildlife. Human contact with wildlife can carry unintended consequences detrimental to wildlife safety and development.

At this time of year, animal sightings and encounters are not unusual. Young wildlife quickly venture into the world on wobbly legs or are unable to fly on their own. While most young wildlife learn survival skills from one or both adults, some receive little or no care. Often, wild animals stay away from their young, especially when people are present. For all these young animals, the perils of survival are a natural part of life in the wild. Unfortunately, well-intentioned individuals may attempt to care for young wild animals they believe to be abandoned or in need of assistance. However, human interaction typically does more damage than good.

White-tailed deer fawns are a good example of how human interaction with young wildlife can be problematic. Most fawns are born during late May and early June. Although fawns can walk shortly after birth, they spend most of their first several days lying still in tall grass, leaf litter, or sometimes relatively unconcealed. During this period, a fawn is usually left alone by the adult female (doe), except when nursing. People occasionally find a lone fawn and mistakenly assume it has been abandoned, which is 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 to be 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 a predator will follow her to the fawn. A fawn's protective coloration and ability to remain motionless help it avoid detection by predators and people.

By the end of its second week, a fawn begins to move about and spend more time with the doe. It also begins to eat grass and leaves. At about 10 weeks of age, fawns are no longer dependent on milk, although they continue to nurse occasionally into the fall. During August, deer begin to grow their winter coats and fawns lose their spots.

In addition, young wildlife are not pets. Keeping wildlife in captivity is both illegal and harmful to the animal. Wild animals are not well-suited for life in captivity and may carry diseases that can be transferred to humans. Resist the temptation to take them out of the wild. Those who observe sick-acting wildlife or wildlife acting abnormally should keep people and pets away and contact their DEC regional wildlife office. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about young wildlife, visit DEC's website.

 

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

 

MAY 2019

15 - Start of Bowfishing for Carp Season (A fishing or small game hunting license may be used) Water must be legal for fishing and discharge of a bow. (>9/30)

25 - Start of Statewide Muskellunge Fishing Season (>11/30)

31 - Close of Spring Turkey Hunting Season

31- 6/1 - Oneida Lake Walleye Open, sponsored by i1Baits. First prize will be up to $5,000, depending on number of entries. Entry fee is $325 per two-person team. There’s a Big Fish side tournament on the first day (May 31), with a $40 entry. Winner take all. (For more information go to the i1baits website.)

31-6/2 - 35th Annual Skip Hartman Memorial Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team TournamentThe tournament is back to two days with one day set aside in case of bad weather. Over $40,000 in cash and prizes last year. Log on to the tournament website for rules and sign up information. 100 percent payback of entry fees! (For information call 877-FALLS-US or go to www.lakeontarioproam.net.)

JUNE 2019  

1 - Free Take a Kid Fishing Clinic at Dunkirk Memorial Park/Dunkirk Yacht Club (Lake Erie) sponsored by the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club and others. (8:00 am - Noon) (For information call Gene Pauszek, 716-366-1772)

1 - Teach-Me-To-Fish Event at the East Aurora Fish & Game Club, 1018 Luther Road, East Aurora, NY (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) (For information call Dave Barus 716-597—4081)

1 - 15th Annual Free Fishing Clinic at Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery, 1672 Route 321, Elbridge, NY (9:30 am – 12:30 pm) During the free fishing clinic, participants can learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and technique, aquatic invertebrates, and how to cook and clean fish during four, 15-minute instructional sections presented by DEC. During the second half of the session, the group will split time between casting practice and fishing in a trout pond. The event is free, and fishing licenses are not required to fish during the program. Fishing rods, tackle, bait, and educational materials will be provided. The event is catch and release only. Children under age 16 must be supervised. (For information call Jim Everard, NYS DEC  315-753-3095) 

1 - Howland’s Island Paddle Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 – 11:30 am) Calling all paddlers- first timers to those with experience. Join us for our first paddle of the season, exploring the edge of Howland’s Island which is rich with birds, other wildlife and history. We will look and listen for breeding warblers, like the Prothonotary and the Cerulean. The route is up to 3 miles, round trip, and is on calm, flat water. Tandem canoes, solo kayaks, paddles, and PFDs can be rented or you can bring your own. (Fee: $10/child without rental, $15/adult without rental, $25/solo kayak rental, $40/canoe rental (maximum 2 adults plus 1 child). PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.(For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

1 - Springfling Bowfishing Contest. 2-4 man teams required, max is 4 people per boat. 10 fish per team allowed. The highest weight of the 10 fish will be the winner. In case of a tie the 1st team that weighed in will be the winner. (Registration fee: $300.00 Per team.) (For more info go to www.nybowfishing.com or email nybowfishing@gmail.com.)

1-30 - Celebrate Keuka Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake that looks like a “Y” & the only lake that flows north AND south! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

2-8 – National Fishing Week

5 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - Lake Erie Work Group – location to be announced (1:00 – 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding. RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Shannon Dougherty, Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov, 716-851-7070)

5 - Northern Montezuma Birding Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:30 – 4:00 pm) Leave the driving to us as we explore the Northern part of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. We will take the Audubon van to several locations looking and listening for nesting birds including marsh birds and songbirds. Nearly two dozen Warbler species could be present, as well as Sandhill Cranes, Bald Eagles, Osprey, and more. We will also highlight the 10,000-year cultural and natural history of this unique area. Binoculars and bird guides will be provided. (Fee: $8/child; $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

6 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - SW Lake Ontario Work Group – location to be announced. (1:00 – 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding. RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Shannon Dougherty, Shannon.Dougherty@dec.ny.gov, 716-851-7070)

6 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Lake Plains Chapter Hunting Heritage Banquet at the VFW-Fairport, 300 Macedon Center Road • Fairport,, NY. (6:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled. (For more information contact Mark Johnson at (585) 443-0366 or email bgottfried@nwtf.net

6-16 - The 35th Annual Walleye Derby on Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River, sponsored by Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York out of Hamburg, N.Y. Featuring more than $100,000 in cash and prizes with anglers expected from throughout Western N.Y., multiple states and Canada. The top 10 places win big money, with the top prize as much as $8,000 in cash plus prizes. This year a special $10,000 cash prize will go to the angler who brings in a walleye weighing more than 13 pounds. (For information call Rob Kroh 585-356-3696 or Jim Skoczylas 716-796-5372 or go to see the association’s website.)

7 - International Game Fish Angling Day (IGFA Day) The focus of the first IGFA Day will be youth education and the IGFA’s ongoing initiative to teach 100,000 kids to fish. Through the distribution of IGFA Passports to Fishing kits, the launch of new online learning modules and the creation of strategic partnerships with organizations involved in youth education, the IGFA plans to coordinate fishing clinics for kids in at least 20 different countries on six different continents.

7 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Salmon River Strutters Chapter Dinner at the Elms Golf Club, 2 Country Club Lane, Sandy Creek, NY. (6:00 pm) The NWTF banquets are where you can buy exclusive merchandise and have a great time with friends. All the while, you will be raising vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled. (For more information contact William Wilbur 315-440-4351 wwilbur551@aol.com) 

8 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Hardwood Strutters Chapter JAKES Day at the North Seneca Sportsmen’s Club, Yarnell Road, Ovid, NY. (For more information contact Andrew Schibley at 315-694-0011 or Debra Vanni at 315-246-8738.)

8 - National Wild Turkey Federation – Springville Strutters Chapter WITO at Erie County Conservation Club, Miller Avenue, Chaffee, NY (9:00 am) A great time to help raise vital funds for wild turkey conservation and important programs that introduce the outdoors to women, children and the disabled. (For more information contact Becky Werchowski 716-942-6858 viewofcountry@yahoo.com)

8 - DEC/Erie County Federation Teach-Me-to-Fish Event at the Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Boulevard, Buffalo, NY. (For information contact Mike Todd at 716-851-7200.)

8 - Great Lakes Experience at the Dunkirk Memorial Park, Dunkirk, NY (Lake Erie) (7:00 am – 1:00 pm) (For information call Zen Olow, Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club  716-640-2776)

8 – 22st Annual Genesee Valley Chapter Of The Adirondack Mountain Club Outdoor Expo at Mendon Ponds- Hundred Acre Pond parking lot, Mendon, NY (Monroe County) (9:30 am – 3:30 pm) Demonstrations, discussions and activities will be offered all day on a wide variety of outdoor related topics. More than 70 workshops on various aspects of outdoor activities. Attendees also view and inspect outdoor gear and try out canoes and kayaks on the Hundred Acre Pond. ADK, other local outdoor clubs, and local outdoor retailers present all of the events. (For information call 585-224-0912 or go to adk-gvc.org/expo)

8 - BoatUS Foundation On-Water Training Programs at Fleet Boat Club, 1384 Empire Blvd, Rochester, NY. Whether you love boating and want to gain confidence at the helm, you're considering buying or renting a boat and want to learn new skills, or you're just curious about boating come learn. No experience necessary! There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our participants. Sometimes weather can be a limiting factor on the water. If the weather forecast is questionable, we will contact you no later than 24 hours before your scheduled course. It is a fun, easy, and affordable way to develop your sea legs! Two courses are available: Course 1 – Intro to Boating – 3 hours on the water; 3-4 students per boat; includes Centering the wheel, Shifting gears and throttle control, Preparing the boat for departure, Steering straight at idle speed and Station Holding. Course 2 - Women Making Waves (Women Only) – 3 hours on the water; 3-4 students per boat; includes Centering the wheel, Shifting gears and throttle control, Preparing the boat for departure, Steering straight at idle speed and Station Holding. Spots are filling fast. (Cost: $129.00 per course.) (For information/register go to https://boatusfoundation.ticketspice.com/fleet-boat-club-rochester-ny.)   

8-16 - The 35th Annual Walleye Derby on Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River, sponsored by Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York out of Hamburg, N.Y. Touted as the largest amateur walleye fishing tournament in the country. Featuring more than $100,000 in cash and prizes with anglers expected from throughout Western N.Y., multiple states and Canada. This year a $10,000 cash prize will go to the angler who brings in a walleye weighing more than 13 pounds. (For information call Rob Kroh at 585-356-3696 or see the Southtowns Walleye Association website.)

 

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 - 24 – 19

 

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.

 

MUSKELLUNGE SEASON OPENS MAY 25 IN MOST STATE WATERS:

man holding a muskieFishing season for muskellunge, also known as "muskie" or "musky", starts in inland waters Saturday, May 25 and in Great Lakes waters (Lake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River) on June 15. New York's minimum size regulations reflect the muskellunge's trophy status. The statewide minimum size limit is 40 inches. In Great Lakes waters, it is 54 inches. Review the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide for more information. For more information on fishing in New York State and other season openings, please visit our website.

 

58 ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION POLICE OFFICER AND FOREST RANGER RECRUITS BEGIN BASIC TRAINING: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has opened the 22nd Basic School for Uniformed Officers, the 29-week training academy in Pulaski to prepare the newest class of recruits for careers as Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) and Forest Rangers.

The academy opened Sunday, May 19, with 42 ECO and 16 Forest Ranger candidates reporting for duty. Of the 58, 10 are women - seven ECO recruits and three Forest Ranger recruits. The future officers hail from 31 counties across New York State, with three recruits from New Jersey, and one each from Maine and North Carolina. The recruits range in age from 22 to 48 years old.

The academy runs from Sunday evenings to Friday afternoons, during which time recruits will log 1,538 hours of training. While the first few weeks focus primarily on basic police skills such as physical training, drill and ceremony, and computer skills, recruits will delve into intensive instruction including firearms training, swiftwater rescues, wildland fire suppression, and emergency vehicle operation. Graduation is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 6.

ECO job duties are centered on the 71 chapters of New York State Environmental Conservation Law and range from investigating deer poaching, conducting surveillance on a company suspected of dumping chemical waste, or checking fishing licenses on a local waterway. In 2018, ECOs responded to more than 21,668 calls and issued more than 20,665 tickets.

Forest Ranger duties focus on the public's use of DEC-administered state lands and forests and can span from patrolling state properties to conducting search and rescue operations to fighting forest fires. In 2018, DEC Forest Rangers conducted 346 search-and-rescue missions that helped protect the public, extinguished 105 wildfires that burned a total of 845 acres, participated in 24 prescribed fires that burned and rejuvenated 610 acres, and worked on cases that resulted in 2,354 tickets or arrests.

ECOs and Forest Rangers are full-fledged New York State Police officers and are often called upon to assist in some of New York's most important police work. They were among the first responders on the scene to help in the aftermath of Sept. 11, assisted in the response to Superstorm Sandy, helped in the 2015 search for two escaped felons from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, and have traveled to battle wildfires in western states.

ECOs, originally called Game Protectors, were first appointed for service in 1880.

The first Forest Rangers, originally known as Fire Wardens, were put into service in 1885 when the New York State Legislature established the Forest Preserve of New York State.

The recruits in this newest class were selected from an eligible list of qualifications and passing scores generated from the most recent Civil Service exam, which became active in March of 2017. To view job qualifications for ECOs, visit the Environmental Conservation Officer job description web page and for Forest Rangers, visit the Forest Ranger job description web page. For an inside look into what it takes to be an ECO or a Forest Ranger, watch a 4-minute clip from 2017's Basic School for Uniformed Officers available on YouTube.

Upon graduation, recruits will be assigned patrol areas, typically consisting of one or two counties. They will join the ranks of 284 ECOs and 131 Forest Rangers currently serving across the state.

 

CALLS NEEDED TO STOP NEW YORK HUNTING CONTEST BANS:  New York Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick (D-Greenwich Village) and Senator Monica Martinez (D- Brentwood) have both introduced legislation (Assembly Bill 722/Senate Bill 4253) that would ban wildlife hunting contests. Both bills were recently amended to exempt field trials after hearing complaints from the Sportsmen’s Alliance, Associated Dog Clubs of New York State, New York Masters of Foxhounds and many other New York sportsmen.

While the new language exempts field trials, these bills are still so broadly written that a father and daughter could be in violation of the law if they wagered an ice cream cone on who harvests the biggest buck. AB 722 is currently in the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee and SB 4253 is in the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee where both bills await a hearing.

Take Action Today! New York members should contact their assembly member and state senator and ask them to vote NO on Assembly Bill 722 and Senate Bill 4253.

Current New York law allows for hunting competitions, such as coyote hunting contests, to take place in the state. Legislation like AB 722 and SB 4253 are part of a national push supported by animal-rights groups like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which are seeking to end hunting contests nationwide. Currently there are seven other states where anti-hunting contest legislation/regulations have been introduced: Arizona, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

Under the New York bills, any person or organization caught participating, organizing or promoting any contest, competition, tournament or derby that takes or hunts wildlife for prizes or entertainment will face a year of jail time and/or be faced with a fine between $500 and $2000 per violation. As a result, any hunter who buys dinner for the most pheasants, ducks, coyotes or the biggest deer harvested would be in violation of the law and face jail time.

“AB 722 and SB 4253 are the animal-rights movement’s attempt to skirt sound wildlife management laws with the threat to fine and jail people to discourage them from hunting,” said Bruce Tague vice president government affairs for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “That a friendly bet over which hunter trees the first racoon is suddenly worth incarceration is an extremist proposal to say the least. It is our hope that both chambers see the negative impacts these bills will have on the recruitment of new hunters and the slippery slope New York will face as it heads toward terminating all forms of hunting in the state.” 

 

SALMON RIVER HATCHERY EGG COLLECTION REPORT: 

DEC staff at hatcheryDEC Salmon River Hatchery staff completed Steelhead egg collections on Wednesday April 4, 2019. The egg take resulted in over 2.47 million eggs collected from 681 Washington strain steelhead, exceeding the target number of 2.15 million eggs. Fish hatched from these eggs will be raised in the hatchery for approximately one year and will be stocked as spring yearlings in 2020. Staff collected an additional 194,724 eggs from 51 Skamania strain steelhead. Steelhead are stocked every spring in tributaries to Lake Ontario and Lake Erie where they contribute to both tributary and open lake fisheries. Current Lake Ontario Steelhead/rainbow trout stocking includes 497,700 Washington strain yearlings, 43,000 Skamania strain yearlings and 75,000 “domestic” strain rainbow trout yearlings. Lake Erie stocking includes 255,000 Washington strain yearlings and 5,000 “domestic” strain rainbow trout.

 

 

ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS – CHECK OUT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY:

For many of us, Memorial Day marks the beginning of the season to hike, fish, boat, and swim. Living in upstate New York gives us an amazing variety of nearby parks where we can do that! And having a library card provides an opportunity for free admission to about 50 New York State parks! Visit a participating local library and check out an Empire Pass, take the pass to the park, and have a blast! Click here to find a list of participating Monroe County libraries and important information about using the Empire Pass.

The Empire Pass permits unlimited vehicle access to most facilities operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic preservation and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The Empire pass in useable for all motor vehicles except those used in the business of transporting passengers for hire including public or private buses, shuttles ,taxis, limousines or other livery vehicles. The Empire Pass will not be accepted if it has been altered in any way. The Empire Pass must be presented upon entry to the facility. Without the pass, you will be required to pay the vehicle entry fee. Lost or stolen passes will be reported to the New York State Parks and will be charged a replacement fee.

BOATUS RELEASES ANNUAL LIST OF THE TOP 10 BOAT NAMES: Each year, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) tallies the most popular boat names. The tradition dates back a quarter century, with the list derived from adding up requests for boat name designs from BoatUS Boat Graphics. Each reveals something about the personality of the vessel’s owner.

The 2019 BoatUS Top 10 Boat Names:

1. Aquaholic: After a four-year absence from the Top 10 list, this popular boat name returns. Its appeal is in its intoxicating wordplay about overdoing too much time on the water. This kind of imbibing, however, won’t give you a hangover – except maybe on a Monday morning when you have to go back to work!

2. Pearl: Sometimes a shortening of the name of the fictional ship in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series, folks who put Pearl on the transom likely know that their luxurious vessel has an understated luster.

3. Forever Young: While boating isn’t exactly like the Fountain of Youth, many boaters say the feeling of boating, sailing or fishing keeps them feeling young. A perfect name for maintaining a stress-free boating life.

4. Second Chance: This boat owner has likely had an opportunity for a do-over – be it with boating or a life challenge related to health, career or matrimony. It’s a reminder to take advantage of the chance to start over.

5. Squid Pro Quo: It’s clear this fishing vessel owner appreciates Latin, or at least perhaps understands that life is a game of give-and-take.

6. More Cowbell: A 2000 Saturday Night Live comedy skit featuring Will Farrell and Christopher Walken pokes fun at taking things too far. Perhaps this boat is a little over the top as well.

7. Pegasus: A winged horse from Greek mythology that was capable of creating water springs just by striking his hoof into the earth. This boat name that connects earth and sky is commonly found on both sailboat and powerboat transoms.

8. Feelin’ Nauti: Who says you can’t be amorous while boating?

9. Why Knot?: These owners appreciate nautical wordplay and realize sometimes you just have to jump into things without overanalyzing it.

10. High Maintenance: This term, sometimes used to reference a boat owner’s spouse, can also indicate that this vessel also requires much time, money or effort. A good choice for a high-performance boat.

For a look at all of the BoatUS Top 10 Boat Names lists over the years go to BoatUS.com/Boatgraphics/Top-10-boat-names.

 

IF YOU CARE, LEAVE IT THERE: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding New Yorkers to enjoy wildlife and their young from a safe distance and resist the urge to touch or pick up newborn fawns and other young wildlife. Human contact with wildlife can carry unintended consequences detrimental to wildlife safety and development.

At this time of year, animal sightings and encounters are not unusual. Young wildlife quickly venture into the world on wobbly legs or are unable to fly on their own. While most young wildlife learn survival skills from one or both adults, some receive little or no care. Often, wild animals stay away from their young, especially when people are present. For all these young animals, the perils of survival are a natural part of life in the wild. Unfortunately, well-intentioned individuals may attempt to care for young wild animals they believe to be abandoned or in need of assistance. However, human interaction typically does more damage than good.

White-tailed deer fawns are a good example of how human interaction with young wildlife can be problematic. Most fawns are born during late May and early June. Although fawns can walk shortly after birth, they spend most of their first several days lying still in tall grass, leaf litter, or sometimes relatively unconcealed. During this period, a fawn is usually left alone by the adult female (doe), except when nursing. People occasionally find a lone fawn and mistakenly assume it has been abandoned, which is 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 to be 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 a predator will follow her to the fawn. A fawn's protective coloration and ability to remain motionless help it avoid detection by predators and people.

By the end of its second week, a fawn begins to move about and spend more time with the doe. It also begins to eat grass and leaves. At about 10 weeks of age, fawns are no longer dependent on milk, although they continue to nurse occasionally into the fall. During August, deer begin to grow their winter coats and fawns lose their spots.

In addition, young wildlife are not pets. Keeping wildlife in captivity is both illegal and harmful to the animal. Wild animals are not well-suited for life in captivity and may carry diseases that can be transferred to humans. Resist the temptation to take them out of the wild. Those who observe sick-acting wildlife or wildlife acting abnormally should keep people and pets away and contact their DEC regional wildlife office. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about young wildlife, visit DEC's website.

 

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

 

MAY 2019

15 - Start of Bowfishing for Carp Season (A fishing or small game hunting license may be used) Water must be legal for fishing and discharge of a bow. (>9/30)

25 - Start of Statewide Muskellunge Fishing Season (>11/30)

25 - Surviving White-tailed Deer at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Learn facts and myths about white-tailed deer and how to keep them from destroying your gardens. For adults only. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

25 - Lightning-Fast Hummingbirds at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (1:00 pm) Leap into the stunning physical abilities and light-speed lives of the world’s tiniest birds. Includes a guided pollinator walk and observation at our hummingbird feeders. For adults and children ages 8 and older.(For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov) 

25 - Birding 101: Class #5 at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (2:30 pm) Learn why some birds stay just for the summer and which ones to look for during the summer season. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email einsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

25 - Howland’s Island Birding Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (8:00 – 10:30 am) Spring songbird migration and breeding season is underway so join us for an early morning tour behind the locked gates of Howland’s Island. We’ll drive onto the island and make stops along the way listening and looking for migrants like the Warbling Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, and nearly two dozen Warbler species. We will also highlight the 10,000-year cultural and natural history of this unique island habitat.  Binoculars and bird guides will be provided. (Fee: $8/child; $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

25-26 - Free Go Outdoors Event at Bass Pro Shops, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY and Cabela’s, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. Summer is near and for those looking to expand their outdoor adventures beyond the neighborhood park and pool, Go Outdoors provides opportunities to learn new skills and gear up for camping, hiking, kayaking, fishing, outdoor cooking and many more summer adventures. Go Outdoors offers a variety of free activities including how-to seminars for kids and adults, workshops, kids’ crafts, giveaways and a chance to win an exclusive 2019 Tracker OFF ROAD vehicle. Scheduled events: Saturday - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s present a free BBQ sampling as award-winning teams will showcase their pit master culinary expertise/12 noon to 5 p.m. – Free catch-and-release pond; Free photo download; Free kids’ craft/1 to 3 p.m. – Free Flossie’s Funnel Cake and Uncle Buck’s Hushpuppy samples/1:30 p.m. – Camping fun workshop—first 50 kids to attend the workshop will receive a free wristband. Sunday - 12 noon to 4 p.m. – Free catch-and-release pond; Free photo download; Free kids’ craft/1 to 3 p.m. – Free Flossie’s Funnel Cake and Uncle Buck’s Hushpuppy samples/1:30 p.m. – Camping fun  orkshop—first 50 kids to attend the workshop will receive a free wristband. (For information call – Bass Pro Shop 315-258-2700 and Cabela’s - 716) 608-4770)

25-27 – 50th 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 $5,000 grand prize, among others!  Qualifying fish include landlocked salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout. (Learn more about the National Lake Trout Derby.)

29 - Great Lakes Action Agenda Work Group Meeting - SE Lake Ontario Work Group at Fair Haven Beach State Park, NY (tentative). (1:00 - 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share information on funding and resources, key project updates and collaborative opportunities relevant to sub basin work plans and discuss progress of EBM demonstration area watersheds and identify next steps. (For information contact Emily Sheridan at 315-785-2382 or email Emily.Sheridan@dec.ny.gov,)

29 -  Insects, Pollinators and Grassland Birds. Free seminar to be held at Finger Lakes National Forest, Hector Ranger Station, 5218 State Rt. 414, Hector, NY 14841. (6:30 - 9:30 pm) Event sponsored by The American Wildlife Conservation Foundation. Three presentations: Stressors associated with world-wide insect declines; Importance, status and conservation of NY’s wild bees; Importance, status and management of grassland birds in NY State. For more info contact Gary Goff grg3@cornell.edu)

30 - Great Lakes Action Agenda - NE Lake Ontario Work Group at the Gouverneur Community Center, Gouverneur, NY (1:00 - 4:00 pm) NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a basinwide partnership to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) opportunities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). Meeting objectives include: Share updates on Great Lakes funding, mapping tools and partner efforts. Report on implementation progress of work group priorities and EBM Demonstration Areas. Facilitate focused planning discussions to identify collaborative projects in anticipation of upcoming grant funding. RSVP to greatlakes@dec.ny.gov at least one week in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. (Questions or comments contact Emily Sheridan, Emily.Sheridan@dec.ny.gov, 315-785-2382.)

30 - 18th Annual Don Johannes Memorial Big Fish Contest and 13th Annual Pete DeAngelo Memorial Three-Fish Contest. This is a precursor to the Pro-Am tournaments to get the teams warmed up for the fishing action. You don’t have to be in the pro-am to fish, though. Sign up at The Slippery Sinker, The Boat Doctors or The Gas Shack in Wilson. (Entry fee: $100 per boat. 100 percent cash pay out.) (For information call 716-778-0713.)

30 - L.L. Bean Partner Clinic at Keuka Lake State Park, 3560 Pepper Rd, Keuka Park, NY (6:00 – 8:00 pm)  More details coming soon about the topic that will be covered! (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

31 - Close of Spring Turkey Hunting Season

31- 6/1 - Oneida Lake Walleye Open, sponsored by i1Baits. First prize will be up to $5,000, depending on number of entries. Entry fee is $325 per two-person team. There’s a Big Fish side tournament on the first day (May 31), with a $40 entry. Winner take all. (For more information go to the i1baits website.)

31-6/2 - 35th Annual Skip Hartman Memorial Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team TournamentThe tournament is back to two days with one day set aside in case of bad weather. Over $40,000 in cash and prizes last year. Log on to the tournament website for rules and sign up information. 100 percent payback of entry fees! (For information call 877-FALLS-US or go to www.lakeontarioproam.net.)

JUNE 2019  

1 - Free Take a Kid Fishing Clinic at Dunkirk Memorial Park/Dunkirk Yacht Club (Lake Erie) sponsored by the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club and others. (8:00 am - Noon) (For information call Gene Pauszek, 716-366-1772)

1 - Howland’s Island Paddle Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 – 11:30 am) Calling all paddlers- first timers to those with experience. Join us for our first paddle of the season, exploring the edge of Howland’s Island which is rich with birds, other wildlife and history. We will look and listen for breeding warblers, like the Prothonotary and the Cerulean. The route is up to 3 miles, round trip, and is on calm, flat water. Tandem canoes, solo kayaks, paddles, and PFDs can be rented or you can bring your own. (Fee: $10/child without rental, $15/adult without rental, $25/solo kayak rental, $40/canoe rental (maximum 2 adults plus 1 child). PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.(For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

1 - Springfling Bowfishing Contest. 2-4 man teams required, max is 4 people per boat. 10 fish per team allowed. The highest weight of the 10 fish will be the winner. In case of a tie the 1st team that weighed in will be the winner. (Registration fee: $300.00 Per team.) (For more info go to www.nybowfishing.com or email nybowfishing@gmail.com.)

1-30 - Celebrate Keuka Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake that looks like a “Y” & the only lake that flows north AND south! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

1 - Teach-Me-To-Fish Event at the East Aurora Fish & Game Club, 1018 Luther Road, East Aurora, NY (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) (For information call Dave Barus 716-597—4081)

2-8 – National Fishing Week

 

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 - 17 – 19

 

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.

 

TURKEY HUNTING: 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! 

 

BOWFISHING FOR CARP: Season started Wednes, 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.

 

2019 "I BIRD NY" CHALLENGES: From Montauk to Buffalo, New York is home to a wide array of habitats that support more than 450 different bird species. There are also 59 Bird Conservation Areas across the state. Bird watching is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and experiences in any community. The state's I Bird NY program encourages New Yorkers to get outdoors and engage in birding all year long.

DEC is hosting its annual I Bird NY Beginner's Birding Challenge, which is open to anyone 16 years of age and younger. To complete the Beginner's Birding Challenge, participants must identify 10 common New York bird species and submit their challenge sheet to DEC. All participants in this challenge will receive a certificate of participation, an official I Bird NY bracelet, and be entered to win birding accessories.

In addition to the Beginner's Birding Challenge, DEC is offering the I Bird NY Experienced Birder Challenge. To complete the challenge, birders of all ages must identify at least 10 of 50 listed bird species found across New York State. All participants in this challenge will receive a certificate of participation, an official I Bird NY bracelet, and be entered into a drawing for birding accessories.

Nature enthusiasts can visit I Bird NY to access the birding challenge sheets as well as find information on where and how to watch birds, upcoming bird walks, and other events, a downloadable kid's booklet, and additional resources.

                                                  NYSDEC Photo

 

KUDOS:  The 50th World Series of Birding competition was conducted on an excellent spring migration day this past Saturday, when 59 teams competed within 24 hours to see which teams could find the most birds in their respective categories across all or parts of the state of New Jersey. The results are in: Birders set a new world records for the biggest team of people birding during a single day! Although more reports are still being submitted, the current tally shows that more than 33,586 birders from around the world reported 6,843 species in 171 countries on May 4. Collectively, American birders found 719 species and birders in Canada tallied 394 species; but special congratulations are due to birders in Colombia, who collectively found 1,591 species in one day!

The winning team in the Bird Conservation Challenge Category 1: Boundless Birding Search and second overall were the Cornell Redheads with 207 species of birds seen or heard.

All teams competed in the Series in an effort to raise funds for a selected conservation project or organization. The Redheads represented the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:

Speed Pollutes - Broome County: On May 1, Lt. Kenric Warner responded to a truck rollover on State Route 17 in the town of Windsor. A tractor trailer hauling residential household waste to the Seneca Meadows Landfill overturned on a bridge over Tuscarora Creek, a tributary to the Susquehanna River. Waste spilled over the bridge into the stream, onto the highway, and along the side of the highway. New York State Police (NYSP) found vehicle and traffic law violations and ticketed the driver for speeding and an unsafe lane change. ECO Eric Templeton followed up on the case and charged the driver with a misdemeanor, contravention of water quality standards based on negligent actions that resulted in the trash ending up in the stream. The case will be heard in Town of Windsor Court, and the ECL charge can result in fines ranging from $3,750 to $37,500 and/or up to one year in jail. John Okesson with DEC Spill Response was on scene to monitor the cleanup by National Response Corp. (NRC) out of Syracuse as NRC cleaned up the affected stream and banks. The New York State Department of Transportation helped remove the waste from the roadway.

Garbage and debris spread out on the ground, down an embankment and into a stream.Damaged tractor trailer in a field on the side of the road
Garbage in Tuscarora Creek and wrecked tractor trailer

Wrong Time to Take a Shot - Allegany County: On the morning of May 3, a New York State Trooper was travelling behind a pickup truck in the town of Grove when the truck suddenly stopped in the middle of the road. Much to the Trooper's disbelief, the operator of the truck pointed a gun out the window and fired two rounds at a turkey approximately 10 yards off the road. Both shots missed and the turkey flew away unharmed. The Trooper pulled the truck over. ECO RJ Ward responded to assist After interviewing the shooter, ECO Ward charged the subject with possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, discharging a firearm from a public highway, illegally attempting to kill a turkey, attempting to take wildlife from a public highway, and attempting to take wildlife from a motor vehicle.

 

BOATUS CHECKLIST: HOW TO RENT YOUR BOAT:  Airbnb has shown that the sharing economy can work. A new report says, in 2018, the peer-to-peer rental company’s annual sales surpassed Hilton, based on data from U.S. travelers (excluding business spending). For boat owners looking to make extra money renting their boats on peer-to-peer boat rental networks like Boatsetter, what can they learn from Airbnb’s success? Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers five tips for the most important things boat owners should consider before renting out their boats.

1. Know your liabilities: If you wish to rent your boat, your first concern should be insurance. Most everyday recreational marine insurance policies don’t cover boat rentals, so you need to see if the peer-to-peer rental company offers coverage for both the boat (hull) and liability, as well as other coverages like medical payments for potential claims such as a trip to the emergency room. Most peer-to-peer boat rental companies, however, simply advise owners that they need to determine if coverage is provided under the owner’s boat policy. The largest peer-to-peer network, Boatsetter, offers both boat (hull) coverage and liability coverage through the BoatUS Marine Insurance program’s peer-to-peer policy, regardless of the boat’s own insurance policy.

2. Know your coverage: Once you have insurance coverage, you need to understand it. It may be different, both in type, coverages and policy limits, from your boat’s own policy. The BoatUS peer-to-peer policy for Boatsetter is underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance and provides hull coverage on an actual-cash-value basis and includes $300,000 per person liability coverage and $300,000 total liability per accident, $25,000 in medical payments, and $100,000 in uninsured boater coverage. Renters using peer-to-peer networks are typically responsible for any deductibles related to insurance. In the case of Boatsetter, the company takes a $1,000 deposit at every rental for this purpose.

3. Unexpected breakdowns: Recognize that unexpected breakdowns can happen and there may be a need to tow your boat to the dock or launch ramp. If a boat owner has an on-water assistance towing plan provided by a national towing-assistance company, chances are that the service is not extended to a renter, so the owner will likely need to make arrangements and pay separately for this service, which averages about $750 per incident nationwide. BoatUS provides all Boatsetter rentals with 24-hour on-water assistance by TowBoatUS, dispatched through the BoatUS App or by calling 24-hour nationwide dispatch. This service is included with the rental fee.

4. Will you be the captain? While most peer-to-peer boat rentals are “bareboat,” you may want to helm your boat for the rental period or provide a hired captain. Just remember that any captain on a hired vessel must be U.S. Coast Guard-licensed. Having a captain also means the number of guests aboard is limited to six, which complies with regulations for an Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (“6-Pack”) license. To carry more than six passengers, additional regulations and inspections will apply.

5. Do a little checking up: Most peer-to-peer companies require renters to fill out a boating experience questionnaire and will confirm a valid driver’s license. Like Airbnb, peer-to-peer boat rental companies also provide a rating system that’s useful when past renters want to rent your boat. That’s harder to do with new renters. That’s when it’s up to the owner to work on building their comfort level. Set up a phone call way ahead of time or meet the renters, or take them out for a short ride to get a feel for their experience, abilities and any boating safety training. This would also be a good time to familiarize the renter with systems and equipment on the boat. Most peer-to-peer boat rentals give the owner (and renter) the option to cancel for any reason, but it usually must be done by a certain date prior to the beginning of the rental period.

 

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

 

MAY 2019

15 - Start of Bowfishing for Carp Season (A fishing or small game hunting license may be used) Water must be legal for fishing and discharge of a bow. (>9/30)

16 - Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club Banquet at the Camden Rod & Gun Club, 2655 Moron Post Road, Camden, NY. (7:00 pm) (For information call Paul Wenham at 315-964-2888.)

18 - Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium Open House at 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) Have you been wondering what is happening at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium? Join Museum staff, volunteers, and trustees to find out! Tour the Finger Lakes Museum campus and explore the wetlands by land and water on mini guided wetland walks and mini guided eco-paddles from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2 p.m. Visual highlights will show our achievements and future plans. (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

18 - 2nd Annual GCBA Kids' Fishing Derby at Club Terrace, Rochester NY (7;00 – 10:00 am) The event is free and no license is required for parents. Prizes: 1st Place- Longest Fish- Fishing Charter, Okuma Pole; 2nd- Place- Brand New Okuma Rod and Reel Combo, FishUSA Hat; 3rd Place- Brand New Okuma Rod and Reel Combo, FishUSA T-Shirt; 4th Place- Brand New Okuma Rod and Reel Combo, FishUSA donated lures. (For information contact Larry Hammond  captlarry@bullseyecharter.com)

18 - 9th Annual Ray's Kids Day at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive (off Como Park Blvd.), Cheektowaga, NY. (8:30 am) This all day event is sponsored by the Lake Erie Chapter of Fly Fishers International. The event will have seminars on fly casting, fly tying and entomology. After lunch, participants get a chance to fish with the flies they tied and use their fly-casting lessons. Registration is limited and participants must be 9 to 15 years of age.  Applications can be downloaded from the club’s website at www.lake-erie-fff.org. The application deadline is May 11. (For questions and further information call Dave Rosner at 716-675-4766.) 

18 - The Annual Southtowns Walleye Association Perch Contest. The event is open to members only ($35) and the contest fee is $10 per angler. They give away cash prizes and have a fish fry at the end of the contest for the contestants. It’s a great time.

18-19 - Barney and Bear's 33rd Annual Trout Derby on Cayuga Lake. You can sign up at Bear's Baits, located at Myers Park in Lansing New York. (For information call 607-387-5576.)

18-19 – Free Go Outdoors Event at Bass Pro Shops, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY and Cabela’s, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. Summer is near and for those looking to expand their outdoor adventures beyond the neighborhood park and pool, Go Outdoors provides opportunities to learn new skills and gear up for camping, hiking, kayaking, fishing, outdoor cooking and many more summer adventures. Go Outdoors offers a variety of free activities including how-to seminars for kids and adults, workshops, kids’ crafts, giveaways and a chance to win an exclusive 2019 Tracker OFF ROAD vehicle. Scheduled events: Saturday - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s present a free BBQ sampling as award-winning teams will showcase their pit master culinary expertise/11 a.m. – Fryers: Learn the facts and functions about fryers and how to fix everything from fish to French fries/1 p.m. – Grilling: Discover outdoor grilling techniques for cooking on the patio or at the tent site/2 p.m. – Smoking: Get the basics of smoking meats and more. Sunday - 1:30 p.m. – Kayaking: From family fun to the tournament trail choose the kayak that fits the fun/2:30 p.m. – Paddle Sports Accessories: Learn how to select the right life jacket, dry bags and more for your next adventure. (For information call – Bass Pro Shop 315-258-2700 and Cabela’s - 716) 608-4770)

19 - Jimmy Griffin Memorial “Teach Me to Fish” Day at the Bison City Rod & Gun Club, 511 Ohio Street, Buffalo, NY. (2:00 – 5:00 pm)  The event is for kids 15 years of age and under, who would like to learn about fishing. There will be numerous hands-on learning stations, free prizes hand outs and Sahlen hotdogs. The event is free. (For information contact Dave Barus at 716-597-4081.)

20 - Ospreys Across the Pond–A European Osprey Tourat the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY (7:30 pm) The speaker will be Dr. Alan Poole, Retired Editor: Birds of North America, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The extraordinary revival in Osprey numbers that we are witnessing here in North America has not been restricted to our shores. Nearly eliminated from most of Europe half a century ago, Ospreys are staging a remarkable comeback there as well—from Scotland to Spain and from France to Finland. Follow local Osprey expert Alan Poole as he leads us along on a 3-week summer trip through Europe, visiting Osprey researchers and gathering material for his recently published book: Ospreys: The Revival of a Global Raptor. Part travelogue, part natural history—this beautifully illustrated lecture will give us glimpses of Europe through an Osprey lens. Come celebrate the revival of a global raptor! This event is free and open to the public. Join us in person in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's auditorium, or watch online. (For information call 800-843-2473.)

21 - 2019 Third Annual Arc Foundation’s Sporting Clays and Clinic Event at the Rochester Brooks International Trap and Skeet Club, 962 Honeoye Falls #6 Rd, Rush, NY (11:00 am – 6:00 pm) Please join us in the great outdoors for The Arc Foundation’s Sporting Clays Tournament! Arc’s mission is to create an inclusive society where the people we support may live truly integrated lives and reach their full potential as a part of our community. (Fees: $500.00 - Tournament Foursome Entry: Entry for four shooters to the tournament and dinner ; $125.00 - Tournament Single Entry: Entry for one shooter to the tournament and dinner: $75.00 - Skeet Clinic and Dinner Ticket: Participation in skeet clinic and dinner for one; and $50.00 - Dinner Ticket: Dinner for one) (for information go to ARCMONROE.ORG/EVENTS)

22 - Update on Status of Lake Erie and Upper Niagara River Fisheries at Woodlawn Beach State Park's Lodge, S-3580 Lakeshore Road, Blasdell, NY (6;30 – 9:30 pm) This annual event provides an excellent opportunity for anglers to interact with the biologists who study and manage Lake Erie and Niagara River fisheries. This year's meeting will feature emerging results about Lake Erie walleye movement, the Cattaraugus Creek fish passage project, Lake Erie prey base, and upper Niagara River habitat work. The meeting will begin with an informal discussion, followed by a series of presentations on Lake Erie and Upper Niagara River fisheries topics, and will include opportunities for discussion on a variety of fisheries management activities. Key members of Lake Erie and Niagara River's fisheries management and research community will present information on management and assessment activities for prominent Lake Erie sport fisheries. (For information call 716- 851-7201.)

22 - Montezuma Wildlife Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (9:00 – 11:30 am) The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is teeming with migratory songbirds, marsh birds, and other wildlife this time of year. Join us for a van tour around Montezuma’s marshes, forests and grasslands to explore the abundant wildlife. Everything from snapping turtles, to Bald Eagles, to muskrats can be seen. Bring your camera to capture images of the beautiful habitats and wildlife. Binoculars and field guides provided. (Fee: $8/child, $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

23 - Seneca County Federation of Sportsmen Banquet at the Waterloo Sportsmen’s Club, 2654 Edwards Road, Waterloo, NY. (6:00 pm) (For information call Fred Beary 351-651-0115.)

25 - Surviving White-tailed Deer at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am) Learn facts and myths about white-tailed deer and how to keep them from destroying your gardens. For adults only. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

25 - Lightning-Fast Hummingbirds at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (1:00 pm) Leap into the stunning physical abilities and light-speed lives of the world’s tiniest birds. Includes a guided pollinator walk and observation at our hummingbird feeders. For adults and children ages 8 and older.(For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov) 

25 - Birding 101: Class #5 at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (2:30 pm) Learn why some birds stay just for the summer and which ones to look for during the summer season. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email einsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

25 - Howland’s Island Birding Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (8:00 – 10:30 am) Spring songbird migration and breeding season is underway so join us for an early morning tour behind the locked gates of Howland’s Island. We’ll drive onto the island and make stops along the way listening and looking for migrants like the Warbling Vireo, Scarlet Tanager, and nearly two dozen Warbler species. We will also highlight the 10,000-year cultural and natural history of this unique island habitat.  Binoculars and bird guides will be provided. (Fee: $8/child; $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

25-26 - Free Go Outdoors Event at Bass Pro Shops, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY and Cabela’s, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. Summer is near and for those looking to expand their outdoor adventures beyond the neighborhood park and pool, Go Outdoors provides opportunities to learn new skills and gear up for camping, hiking, kayaking, fishing, outdoor cooking and many more summer adventures. Go Outdoors offers a variety of free activities including how-to seminars for kids and adults, workshops, kids’ crafts, giveaways and a chance to win an exclusive 2019 Tracker OFF ROAD vehicle. Scheduled events: Saturday - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s present a free BBQ sampling as award-winning teams will showcase their pit master culinary expertise/12 noon to 5 p.m. – Free catch-and-release pond; Free photo download; Free kids’ craft/1 to 3 p.m. – Free Flossie’s Funnel Cake and Uncle Buck’s Hushpuppy samples/1:30 p.m. – Camping fun workshop—first 50 kids to attend the workshop will receive a free wristband. Sunday - 12 noon to 4 p.m. – Free catch-and-release pond; Free photo download; Free kids’ craft/1 to 3 p.m. – Free Flossie’s Funnel Cake and Uncle Buck’s Hushpuppy samples/1:30 p.m. – Camping fun Workshop—first 50 kids to attend the workshop will receive a free wristband. (For information call – Bass Pro Shop 315-258-2700 and Cabela’s – 716-608-4770)

 

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 - 10 – 19

 

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.

 

UPDATE ON STATUS OF LAKE ERIE AND UPPER NIAGARA RIVER FISHERIES: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) invites the public to learn more about the status of Lake Erie and Upper Niagara River fisheries at a public meeting on Wednesday, May 22, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Woodlawn Beach State Park's Lodge, 3580 Lake Shore Road, Blasdell, NY .

"This annual event provides an excellent opportunity for anglers to interact with the biologists who study and manage Lake Erie and Niagara River fisheries," said DEC Regional Director Abby Snyder." This year's meeting will feature emerging results about Lake Erie walleye movement, the Cattaraugus Creek fish passage project, Lake Erie prey base, and upper Niagara River habitat work."

The meeting will begin with an informal discussion, followed by a series of presentations on Lake Erie and Upper Niagara River fisheries topics, and will include opportunities for discussion on a variety of fisheries management activities. Key members of Lake Erie and Niagara River's fisheries management and research community will present information on management and assessment activities for prominent Lake Erie sport fisheries.

This annual meeting is sponsored by DEC's Lake Erie Fisheries Research Unit and Region 9 Fisheries offices. Anyone interested is welcome to attend this free event and registration is not required.

The Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River rank among New York State's top fishing destinations, especially for walleye, smallmouth bass and steelhead. The 2007 statewide angler survey estimated more than 800,000 angler days spent on these waters and the estimated value of these fisheries exceeded $22 million to the local New York economy.

 

WATERFOWL NEWS FOR 2019-2020: Due to a slow, but steady decline in mallards across the northeastern United States, the mallard daily bag limit has been reduced from four birds (two hens) per day to two birds (one hen) per day (PDF)

The Canada goose season length in the Northeast, West Central, East Central, Hudson Valley, and Lake Champlain zones has been reduced from 50 days to 30 days and the bag limit has been reduced from three per day to two per day (PDF)

The northern pintail bag limit has been reduced from two per day to one per day.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Opportunities

Two ducksDuck hunting seasons begin with designated "youth waterfowl hunts" across the state. These hunts allow youth hunters to spend time afield with experienced adult hunters and gain necessary knowledge and skills to become safe and responsible members of the hunting community. Junior hunters (12 to 15 years of age) accompanied by a licensed adult hunter with up-to-date Harvest Information Program registration and a duck stamp may participate. During the youth hunt, the adult hunter may not possess a firearm or shoot any birds unless the respective regular season is open. Daily bag limits are the same as those allowed during the regular hunting season for all species (excludes September Canada goose bag limits). The youth hunts are held on weekends in each zone of the state, as follows:

Southeastern Zone - Sept. 21-22

Northeastern Zone - Sept. 21-22

Lake Champlain Zone - Sept. 28-29

Western Zone - Oct. 5-6

Long Island Zone - Nov. 9-10

Duck Hunting Season Dates: Each year, DEC works with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Atlantic Flyway Council to develop waterfowl hunting regulations and season dates. This year, DEC, with the assistance of Cornell University and the waterfowl hunter task forces, implemented a new process for selecting the 60-day duck season dates within the dates allowed by the USFWS. New York duck seasons offer opportunity to hunt from the first week of October through the last Sunday in January, depending on the waterfowl hunting zone. By having five waterfowl zones, it allows DEC to select dates that maximize duck abundance in each zone which varies based on habitat and latitude.

              Waterfowl Hunting Zone                         Ducks, Coots, Mergansers

                            Western                                         Oct. 19 – Nov. 10

                                                                                    Nov. 30 – Jan. 5

                            Northeast                                        Oct. 5 – Oct. 27

                                                                                    Nov. 2 – Dec 8

                            Lake Champlain                              Oct. 10 – Nov. 1

                                                                                    Nov. 23 – Dec. 29

                            Southeast                                      Oct. 19 – Dec. 1          

                                                                                    Dec. 7 – Dec. 22

                            Long Island                                    Nov. 23 – Dec. 1

                                                                                    Dec.7 – Jan. 26

2019-2020 Canada Goose Seasons

Canada goose hunting regulations can often be confusing because of the number of zones, varied bag limits and season lengths. Although some of the boundaries and bag limit differences appear to be random, they were designed using scientific data to maximize opportunity for resident Canada geese, but also to protect migratory populations that are much more sensitive to hunter harvest. Season lengths and bag limits are, again, developed in collaboration between the USFWS and the Atlantic Flyway Council. After the season frameworks are established (e.g., season length, bag limits, outside allowable dates), DEC gathers input from waterfowl hunters and the waterfowl hunter task forces to select dates that maximize opportunity for hunters in each zone.

Map of Canada Goose Seasons for each region in New York.

Bag Limits for all Other Species

There are no changes to season dates or bag limits for any of the other webless migratory game birds (rails, gallinules, snipe, and American woodcock). For more information and season dates for these species, please visit DEC's website.

 

MOST DEER SURVIVED HARSH 2018-19 WINTER CONDITIONS:

A map showing the winter severity index for whitetail deer across New York State. For most, this past winter didn’t appear overly harsh for whitetail deer. Several mid-winter thaws reduced snow depths, and overall temperatures were slightly more moderate than prior winters. The Winter Severity Index (WSI) map confirms these assertions. WSI is calculated by adding the number of days with a snow depth of at least 15’’ to the number of days when the minimum temperature was 0°F or below. However, there are many other factors that play a part in a whitetail’s ability to withstand winter conditions. Here are some reasons why this past winter may have proven a bit harsher than indicated by the WSI:

Limited natural foods in the fall—Portions of NY experienced mild drought which lessened production and nutrition of grasses, forbs, and soft mast (berries, cherries, apples). Then, hard mast (acorns, beechnuts) production was lower than average as well, so many deer went into winter with reduced fat reserve.

Early snow— November’s snowfall was double its average. Deep, heavy snow blanketed much of NY, hampering deer movements to late season food sources. Bucks burned more energy searching for does during the rut as well.

Seemingly, most deer pulled through despite some mortality reports. Hopefully this winter serves as a reminder to the importance of managing deer herds and habitats for a sustainable future. Cutting brush, opening the canopy, and removing adult does when necessary facilitates healthy deer populations. Consider ways you can improve habitat quality through forest management and creation of young forest to better equip deer to withstand New York’s dynamic winters.

 

DEER MANAGEMENT IN URBAN & SUBURBAN NEW YORK:

The cover of the DEC's report on Urban and Suburban Deer Management in New York.DEC published a comprehensive review of deer overabundance and management in urban and suburban areas. You can download this report as a PDF from DEC's website. 

Because deer in developed areas are occupying and using many small private parcels with different landowners, widespread resident support and participation are usually necessary for effective deer management. In some communities, unfamiliarity with deer biology and discomfort with population reduction methods hinder and delay the development of management programs. Expense can also be a significant obstacle.

Due to the nature of biological systems, reducing deer populations is necessary for long-term, community-wide reduction of deer-related impacts (deer-vehicle collisions, overbrowsing forests, damage to landscape plantings). Successful programs include hunting, culling, or both. Continued research on fertility control methods may produce additional useful options in the future. Actions that are taken to reduce deer populations must be maintained, or the problems will quickly return.

With guidance and assistance from DEC biologists, many communities are finding ways to address their problems with overabundant deer, but it's important to recognize at the outset that urban/suburban deer management is a complicated process requiring a long-term commitment. Communities and individuals interested in developing a deer management program can find DEC’s Community Deer Management Guide and other useful resources and contact information on DEC's website.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:
ECOs Bust Boat Dumper - Niagara County: On March 26, DEC ECOs received a report of a 25-foot-long boat dumped on 15th Street in the city of Niagara Falls. The boat's motor had been removed and the identifying information, including the hull identification number (HIN) and the state registration numbers, had been defaced. The name of the boat, "Road Rage," remained on each side of the boat. A story of the dumping case appeared in the Niagara Gazette on March 30, and led to DEC Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigation (BECI) unit Investigator Bob Peinkofer receiving an anonymous tip.

Peinkofer conducted an investigation and secured video footage from security cameras at a company in the town of Niagara where a suspect had been identified. Workers at the company reported that employee David Smouse, 53, of Niagara Falls, had been seen with the boat at the facility.

Working with the City of Niagara Falls Police Department and the Niagara County District Attorney's Office, Peinkofer charged Smouse with forgery of a vehicle identification number and possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, both felonies, and unlawful disposal of solid waste in excess of 10 cubic yards, an Environmental Conservation Law misdemeanor. Niagara Falls Police also charged Smouse with a violation of a city ordinance that prohibits unlawful dumping. On April 16, Smouse surrendered himself to the authorities and was arraigned in the Town of Niagara and City of Niagara Falls Courts. The subject was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to appear in the City of Niagara Falls and the Town of Niagara to face the charges.

Large boat named Road Rage on the side of a residential street.
Boat dumped in City of Niagara Falls;
Photo Credit: Mark Scheer/staff photographer Niagara Gazette

Sucker Poaching - Tompkins County: On April 19, ECO Jeff Krueger responded to a midnight call at the Cayuga Inlet fish ladder in the town of Ithaca. State Troopers Malysa and Theurkauf had responded to a trespassing complaint and found a subject with a large quantity of suckers, a native fish that spawns in shallow rivers and streams in the early spring. Troopers immediately contacted ECO Krueger to respond due to violations of state Environmental Conservation Law. The man, in possession of a crossbow pistol and a homemade pickaxe, said he used the crossbow to take two fish and the pickaxe to take 42 fish. He attempted to justify his actions by saying he was helping DEC by removing the suckers because the suckers eat trout eggs. ECO Kruger educated the subject on restrictions against taking fish at the fish ladder, the Finger Lakes tributary fishing regulations, and New York's angling requirements. ECO Krueger issued two summonses, one for fishing at the fish ladder and one for taking fish by means other than angling. Both charges are returnable to the Town of Ithaca Court and punishable by fines of up to $250 and up to 15 days in jail per charge. The crossbow and pickaxe were seized as evidence.

Prescribed Fire: Towns of Hornby and Orange, Steuben and Schuyler Counties: On April 29, Region 8 DEC staff conducted two prescribed fires to conclude the agency's spring prescribed fire details. The first fire took place at the West Hill State Forest in Steuben County and burned four acres in size. Burning in this unit helps invigorate native warm season grasses while reducing invasive plant species. The second fire took place at the Coon Hollow State Forest in Schuyler County and was nine acres in size. This is the first time this unit has been burned since the Six Nations Prescribed Fire Plan was approved, and DEC anticipates that the introduction of prescribed fire into this unit will revitalize the remaining warm season grasses.

Forest Rangers in a wooded area conducting and monitoring a prescribed fire
Forest Rangers conduct a prescribed fire in Region 8

Wildland Rescue: Town of Persia, Cattaraugus County: On May 4 at 10 p.m., Cattaraugus County 911 contacted Forest Rangers for a report of four lost hikers in the Zoar Valley Multiple Day Use Area Two females, one from Silver Creek and one from Forrestville, and two children became disoriented while hiking. The hikers contacted 911 and their coordinates were relayed to the Rangers. A regional swift water team was deployed, but was unable to reach the group due to rocks in the stream Rangers John Kennedy and Nathan Sprague then proceeded to hike in with crews on each bank to pinpoint the hikers' location. The group was located early Sunday morning and taken out by raft. All were in good health. EMS met the hikers at the parking lot, where they were evaluated and released.

Forest Rangers with two yellow rafts in a river, rescuing disoriented hikers
Rescue crews work to remove lost hikers in Zoar Valley

Be sure to properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC's Hiking Safety and Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for more information.

A Day at the Circus - Broome County: On April 25, Lt. Kenric Warner and ECOs Tony Rigoli and Andy McCormick conducted a compliance inspection of the Garden Bros. Circus before the scheduled afternoon performance at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton. The inspection focused on the permits required to exhibit elephants in New York State. In 2017, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law that goes into effect on Oct. 19, 2019, prohibiting DEC from issuing any license or permit authorizing the use of elephants in entertainment acts. Until that time, a permit issued by the DEC is required to exhibit elephants. The officers found that the two elephants traveling with the circus are covered by valid DEC permits. ECOs also found no violations of laws involving other animals travelling with the circus.

 

DEC HOSTS HUNTING 101 WORKSHOP FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS: Instructors show workshop participants the basics of firearm safety and marksmanship.DEC recently hosted a Hunting 101 workshop at Reynolds Game Farm in Ithaca, NY. The purpose of the workshop was to teach college students without any previous hunting experience the basics of hunting, to highlight the broader benefits of hunting, and to inspire students to adopt positive hunting-related attitudes and behaviors.

Workshop participants learned about the role of hunting in wildlife management, hunting ethics, hunting methods, how to look for game sign, the basics of field dressing and game care, the benefits of eating and cooking wild game, and the basics of firearm safety and marksmanship.

The workshop included instructors from the Bureau of Wildlife, volunteer instructors from DEC’s Hunter Education Program, and staff from Cornell Cooperative Extension. Participants’ impressions of the workshop and attitudes about hunting are being evaluated by Cornell University’s Center for Conservation Social Sciences as part of a national project coordinated by North Carolina State University. The goal of the national project is to evaluate the short and long-term efficacy of hunter recruitment, retention and reactivation programs specifically designed for college students.

After the workshop, most participants indicated they are interested in going on to take a DEC Hunter Education course, the first step to becoming a licensed hunter. This was a significant increase from the number that indicated they would take a hunter education course prior to the workshop.

 

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

 

MAY 2019

1 – Start of Spring Turkey Hunting Season (½ hour before sunrise till noon/ Bearded Birds Only) (>5-31)

1-31 - Celebrate Conesus Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, with an award winning stream bank erosion remediation! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

8 - Montezuma Birdwatching Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (5:30 – 8:00 pm) The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is teeming with migratory songbirds, marsh birds, and other wildlife this time of year. Join us for an evening van tour through the Montezuma's marshes, forests and grasslands to explore the abundant wildlife as they prepare for their nocturnal activities. Bring your camera to capture images of the beautiful habitats and wildlife. Binoculars and field guides provided. (Fee: $8/child, $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

8-11 - 2018 Wild Carp Classic – this event is sold out. Opening Ceremonies will be on May 7, 2019 with 50 teams registered. This tournament is a Big 10 format, with prizes awarded to the teams with the most combined weight of their 10 largest carp caught over 15 pounds. There will also be prizes for the single largest carp caught. There are no prizes for mirror carp. The anglers will be fishing from spots along the river from the village of Baldwinsville down to Long Branch Park at Onondaga Lake. (Entry to the Wild Carp Classic is $1000 per 2 or 3-person team.) (For information email: Paul - paul@carpfishingny.com or Ginny - ginny@carpfishingny.com)

10-19 - Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby 2019. 1st of 3 LOC Derbies offering over $30,000 in cash and prizes with a grand prize of $15,000 for the largest overall Salmon caught. (For more information call 888-733-5246 or visit their website at www.loc.org.)

11 - 6th Annual Bird Walk with Mahlon and Eleanor Hurst Townsend-Grady Wildlife Preserve, Townsend Rd, Branchport, NY  (8:00 am – 10:00 pm) Join us for a walk through the FLM&A's Townsend-Grady Wildlife Preserve wetlands to discover what bird species are migrating and nesting there. Last year over 40 species were identified by sight and sound! Please wear sturdy boots that can withstand wet, mud, and uneven ground, and bring your binoculars and journals! Parking is available on either side of Townsend Road. (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

11 - Educator Workshop: Aquatic Wild + Great Lakes Bins at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am -3:00 pm) Join an interactive workshop by NYSDEC and NY Sea Grant with an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on Great Lakes wildlife and ecosystems. Participants receive a curriculum guide and an intro to Great Lakes Educator Ecosystem Exchange (GLEEE) Basin Bins, plus a $75 stipend and lunch. For educators of students in grades K- 12. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

11 - Warblers For Beginners at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (2:30 pm) Learn about the colorful warblers that migrate to and through Reinstein Woods. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

11 - Scouts BSA Merit Badge: Amphibians & Reptiles at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (12:00 – 3:00 pm) Scouts are invited to complete the requirements for the Reptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge during a fun and interactive program. As always, please be prepared to go outside, and dress appropriately for the weather. Pre-requisites/pre-registration is required.  All scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone.  (Fee: $8/Scout. PRE- REGISTRATION REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

11 - Warblers and Wine Van Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:00 – 4:00 pm) Join us for a trip to Thorpe Vineyard, located along the Lake Ontario shoreline in Wolcott, NY. During the tour, guests will sample award-winning wines at the winery and then explore nearby Chimney Bluffs State Park to search for Cerulean Warblers and nearly two dozen other warbler species. Short distance, easy to moderate hiking will be part of the program. Must be 21+ to participate. (Fee: $20/adult includes wine tasting. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

13- Cayuga Bird Club Presentation - Birding the Caldera of a Supervolcano in Arizona by Meg Richardson and Carl Steckler at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Auditorium, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY. (7:30 – 9:00 pm) This trip added 43 life birds to Carl’s life list and provided an exceptional look at the life in the desert. Southeast Arizona is truly a birder’s and photographer’s paradise. Arizona is a vast landscape of bold color, formations and piercing beauty. The southeastern corner is no exception. Isolated mountains called “Sky Islands,” the remnants of a supervolcano, rise abruptly from the arid desert highlands and harbor a tremendous variety of plant and animal life. Carl and Meg will give a brief geological history of the Tucson area and its flora and fauna. Club business begins at 7:30 p.m. with the presentation to follow. Everyone is welcome! (For information call 800-843-2473 or email lms9@cornell.edu.)

14 - Timber Frame Raising at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. Join us on this exciting day as we raise our Timber Frame Pavilion in the Townsend Grady Wildlife Preserve. The timbers for this pavilion were tooled to perfection by a great team taught by Rob Hughes in a 2018 workshop. (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

16 - Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club Banquet at the Camden Rod & Gun Club, 2655 Moron Post Road, Camden, NY. (7:00 pm) (For information call Paul Wenham at 315-964-2888.)

18 - Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium Open House at 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY (10:00 am – 2:00 pm) Have you been wondering what is happening at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium? Join Museum staff, volunteers, and trustees to find out! Tour the Finger Lakes Museum campus and explore the wetlands by land and water on mini guided wetland walks and mini guided eco-paddles from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2 p.m. Visual highlights will show our achievements and future plans. (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

18 - 2nd Annual GCBA Kids' Fishing Derby at Club Terrace, Rochester NY (7;00 – 10:00 am) The event is free and no license is required for parents. Prizes: 1st Place- Longest Fish- Fishing Charter, Okuma Pole; 2nd- Place- Brand New Okuma Rod and Reel Combo, FishUSA Hat; 3rd Place- Brand New Okuma Rod and Reel Combo, FishUSA T-Shirt; 4th Place- Brand New Okuma Rod and Reel Combo, FishUSA donated lures. (For information contact Larry Hammond  captlarry@bullseyecharter.com)

18 - 9th Annual Ray's Kids Day at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve, 93 Honorine Drive (off Como Park Blvd.), Cheektowaga, NY. (8:30 am) This all day event is sponsored by the Lake Erie Chapter of Fly Fishers International. The event will have seminars on fly casting, fly tying and entomology. After lunch, participants get a chance to fish with the flies they tied and use their fly-casting lessons. Registration is limited and participants must be 9 to 15 years of age.  Applications can be downloaded from the club’s website at www.lake-erie-fff.org. The application deadline is May 11. (For questions and further information call Dave Rosner at 716-675-4766.) 

18 - The Annual Southtowns Walleye Association Perch Contest. The event is open to members only ($35) and the contest fee is $10 per angler. They give away cash prizes and have a fish fry at the end of the contest for the contestants. It’s a great time.

18-19 - Barney and Bear's 33rd Annual Trout Derby on Cayuga Lake. You can sign up at Bear's Baits, located at Myers Park in Lansing New York. (For information call 607-387-5576.)

18-19 – Free Go Outdoors Event at Bass Pro Shops, 1579 Clark Street Road, Auburn, NY and Cabela’s, 2003 Walden Avenue, Cheektowaga, NY. Summer is near and for those looking to expand their outdoor adventures beyond the neighborhood park and pool, Go Outdoors provides opportunities to learn new skills and gear up for camping, hiking, kayaking, fishing, outdoor cooking and many more summer adventures. Go Outdoors offers a variety of free activities including how-to seminars for kids and adults, workshops, kids’ crafts, giveaways and a chance to win an exclusive 2019 Tracker OFF ROAD vehicle. Scheduled events: Saturday - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s present a free BBQ sampling as award-winning teams will showcase their pit master culinary expertise/11 a.m. – Fryers: Learn the facts and functions about fryers and how to fix everything from fish to French fries/1 p.m. – Grilling: Discover outdoor grilling techniques for cooking on the patio or at the tent site/2 p.m. – Smoking: Get the basics of smoking meats and more. Sunday - 1:30 p.m. – Kayaking: From family fun to the tournament trail choose the kayak that fits the fun/2:30 p.m. – Paddle Sports Accessories: Learn how to select the right life jacket, dry bags and more for your next adventure. (For information call – Bass Pro Shop 315-258-2700 and Cabela’s - 716) 608-4770)

19 - Jimmy Griffin Memorial “Teach Me to Fish” Day at the Bison City Rod & Gun Club, 511 Ohio Street, Buffalo, NY. (2:00 – 5:00 pm)  The event is for kids 15 years of age and under, who would like to learn about fishing. There will be numerous hands-on learning stations, free prizes hand outs and Sahlen hotdogs. The event is free. (For information contact Dave Barus at 716-597-4081.)

 

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 - 3 – 19

 

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.

 

EXCEPTIONAL FISHING PREDICTED FOR SEVERAL NEW YORK STATE WATERS: Tomorrow marks the beginning of the fishing season for several popular coolwater sportfish species, including walleye, northern pike, pickerel, and tiger muskellunge. The coolwater conditions of early spring can render walleye and northern pike fishing particularly good and anglers are encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities New York has to offer.

From Long Island to Lake Erie, walleye occur in every major watershed and more than 140 waters throughout New York State. Three of the state's top walleye fisheries: Lake Erie, Oneida Lake, and Chautauqua Lake, are projected to provide very good fishing again in 2019. In Lake Erie, four exceptional walleye year-classes have occurred since 2010, which should provide excellent walleye fishing this year and for several years to come. The Oneida Lake population is benefitting from lower than normal angler harvest since 2016 and a large 2014 year-class that recruited into the fishery in 2018. A combination of successful stocking and natural reproduction has significantly improved the fishing in Chautauqua Lake in recent years. Walleye from 18 to 21 inches are especially abundant in the lake as a result of large 2014 and 2015 year-classes. Read the 2018 Chautauqua Lake Annual Fall Walleye Survey Fisheries Technical Brief for details

 

CAMPING SEASON IS AROUND THE CORNER: Most of DEC's campgrounds open on May 17, so start planning your visit now. DEC campgrounds provide a wide variety of experiences, including island camping, tent and trailer camping, boat launching facilities, hiking trails, beaches, and day use areas with picnic tables and grills.

CampingVirtual Campground Tours

Want to get a look at a campground before you book a week sight unseen? DEC's website now offers virtual tours of many of its campgrounds so you can see the amenities available.

Newest Campground Accepting Reservations

Reservations for the new Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian and Day Use Area in the Adirondacks are now open. You can make reservations for this coming summer season - June 28 through Columbus Day weekend. DEC encourages interested campers to book campsites early since we expect demand to be high for the State's newest campground.

First-Time Camper Program Announced for 2019

Have you ever wanted to try camping before but just not sure how to start? New York will once again provide First-Time Camper weekends this summer Established in 2017 with eight participating parks, this program will include 11 campgrounds over nine weekends from June until after Labor Day with locations across the state. New campers will receive a family tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camp chairs, lantern, and even firewood. A camping ambassador will meet families upon arrival and help them get set up with a camping 101 lesson. Throughout the weekend, there will be even more opportunities to learn from experts how to fish, hike, paddle, bird watch and more.

To apply, sign up through the online lottery system between May 10 to May 12.

Learn more about the 2019 program. Watch a video, and get inspired to go camping.

NEW YORK HUNTERS INTERESTED IN MORE CROSSBOW OPPORTUNITIES:

CrossbowDEC recently conducted an e-mail survey of 10,000 licensed hunters to gather more information about crossbow use and preferences regarding big game hunting with crossbows in New York. Over 3,800 people responded to the survey. When asked in which wildlife management unit (WMU) they hunt most often, respondents named 81 of the 89 WMUs in the state.
Most survey respondents who don’t currently own a crossbow said that they would get one if crossbows could be used during the entire big game bow season. By a more than 3-to-1 margin, respondents are in favor of purchasing a bowhunting privilege rather than a muzzleloading privilege to hunt with a crossbow. Most respondents are also in favor of allowing 12 and 13-year-olds to hunt with crossbows and allowing crossbow use in archery-only WMUs. With respect to the latter question, respondents who hunt primarily in those WMUs support allowing crossbow use there by a 4-to-1 margin.

 

THE GOOD GUYS AT WORK:
Prescribed fire: Town of Lysander, Onondaga County
 On April 25, DEC Forest Rangers conducted a 26-acre prescribed fire in Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area. Staff from several DEC programs assisted with the burn designed to propagate warm season grasses and eliminate invasive species.


DEC Forest Rangers conduct a prescribed fire in Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area

Prescribed fire: Town of Rush, Monroe County: On April 25, DEC Forest Rangers conducted a 62-acre prescribed fire in Rush Oak Openings Unique Area. Staff from several DEC programs and volunteers assisted with the burn in this rare oak savanna. Burning in this unit helps invigorate native warm season grasses while reducing invasive plant species. This prescribed fire also served as training for 14 NYS Excelsior Corps crew members to help complete their field exercise requirements for the federal basic wildland firefighter qualification.

 

THE US FOREST SERVICE IS FUNDING GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE, FOREST HEALTH IMPROVEMENT, AND COASTAL WETLAND ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS IN THE GREAT LAKES BASIN: The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service anticipates that up to $4.1 million in new funds will be available for tree planting and forest health improvement in the Great Lakes Basin. This funding will be competitively awarded to the best proposals received through the June 28, 2019 deadline through grants.gov. Search for Grant Opportunity Number USDA-FS-2019-GLRI.

Funds will be distributed across three program areas, and include the following metrics:

>Forest Insect and Disease Mitigation: Acres treated for mitigation of impacts or control of invasive forest insects and diseases, to enhance biodiversity and water quality.

>Reduce Runoff from Degraded Sites through Green Infrastructure: Gallons of stormwater runoff avoided through improved green infrastructure using trees and other vegetation.

>Enhance Coastal Wetland Filtration: Acres treated in enhancing native tree and vegetation cover to improve coastal wetland function.        

An informational webinar to discuss the application process is scheduled for Thursday, May 2 at 10:00 am. The webinar will discuss the Request for Applications, purpose of the grant Program Areas, eligibility, and how to apply, and will be recorded for future viewing. The webinar can be accessed through adobe connect at: https://usfs.adobeconnectcom/na-500/ (link is external)

More information and applications are available on the USDA Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative RFA website.

Funding is provided under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Projects implemented through this grant program help move forward key actions identified by the NY Great Lakes Action Agenda, and can achieve goals for environmental quality, habitat restoration, and community resiliency within NY’s Great Lakes basin. To learn more about NY’s Great Lakes Action Agenda, visit: https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/91881.html

 

SCIENTISTS CALL FOR NEW CAT MANAGEMENT STRATEGY TO REDUCE RISK TO TOXOPLASMOSIS: New research published in EcoHealth by veterinary, public health, and wildlife conservation scientists, including American Bird Conservancy’s (ABC’s) Director of Invasive Species Programs Grant Sizemore, calls for an updated approach to managing human and animal exposure risks to the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which causes the disease toxoplasmosis. Over 1 million people in the United States are infected with T. gondii each year, and research focused on wildlife populations increasingly indicates widespread environmental contamination and endangered species deaths.

To reduce environmental exposure risks for people, wildlife, and domestic animals, the study’s authors identified the importance of policies that reduce the number of domestic cats (Felis catus) outdoors. Domestic cats and other felines are the definitive hosts for T. gondiiand are the only species to excrete the parasite’s infectious eggs (oocysts) into the environment. According to the authors, “Recent studies have demonstrated that environmental oocyst transmission is the major route ofT. gondii transmission, presenting a direct public and animal health problem.”

“The best way to manage infectious disease risks from cats — whether it be toxoplasmosis, rabies, or any other disease — is to keep cats safely contained indoors, on a leash, or in a catio,” said ABC’s Sizemore. “Permitting cats, especially stray and feral cats, to roam the landscape increases risks to the whole community, human and animal alike.”

T. gondii infection has long been recognized as a risk for pregnant women, but new research has emphasized chronic and acute infection risks in all people. Consequences of infection may include miscarriage, premature birth, deafness, cognitive decline, and even death. Toxoplasmosis is also a major cause of blindness, with an estimated 5,000 people developing ocular toxoplasmosis in the United States every year.

(https://www.theoutdoorwire.com/releases/621a18cc-7991-474d-8543-ee24adf4ee88)

 

KUDOS: DU RECOGNIZES OUTSTANDING COLLEGIATE CHAPTERS: Each spring, Ducks Unlimited has announced its All-American list of top-producing collegiate chapters throughout the nation. This elite group is considered the best of the best when it comes to fundraising and overall chapter strength.

To qualify as an All-American, chapters must raise a minimum of $25,000 in event income in a calendar year. Collegiate chapters throughout the country raised more than $2.1 million in 2018, more than $1.5 million of which was from the All-American chapters. Among the 2018 All-American qualifying chapters is  SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Syracuse, NY in the Bronze category.

“DU’s university program continues to be a vital part of our organization’s mission. It is a valued revenue generator for our conservation efforts, as well as an important source of organizational awareness and leadership,” said David Schuessler, DU's national director of event fundraising. “I congratulate not only the All-American chapter volunteers, but all college students who have chosen to support DU through university chapters.”

 

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

 

MAY 2019

 

1-31 - Celebrate Conesus Lake Month at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, 3369 Guyanoga Road, Branchport, NY. The Museum focuses attention on the lake, with an award winning stream bank erosion remediation! (Free) (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.)

3 - Greater Lewiston Smelt Festival, at Academy Park, 890 Center Street, Lewiston, NY. (near Niagara Falls). (5:00 – 10:00 pm) Lewiston celebrates one of its natural resources; the Smelt! Enjoy free smelt samples (donations are welcome as they help support programs supported by the Niagara River Anglers) and live music! New this year, a smelt eating contest! Hosted by the Niagara River Anglers and the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce. Food and Beverage available for purchase. This event is free to the public. (For information call 716-754-9500 or go to www.niagarariverregion.com)

3 - Central NY Friends of NRA Event at the Barbagallos Restaurant, 6344 East Molloy Road, E. Syracuse, NY (5:30 pm) (Cost: $45.00) (For information call James Middleton at 315-695-3981 or email: jmiddlet@twcny.rr.com)

3-5 – Birds of Prey Days at Braddock Bay, 199 East Manitou Road, Rochester, NY.

4 - Montezuma Audubon Center’s 13th Annual Wildlife Festival at the Montezuma Audubon Center, Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 3:00 pm) The 13th Annual Wildlife Festival will celebrate the importance of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex for 300 bird species that are found in this globally significant Important Bird Area. “The Montezuma Wetlands Complex serves as a vital rest stop for hundreds of thousands of waterfowl during the spring and autumn migration, said Chris Lajewski, Montezuma Audubon Center Director. “Additionally, the Complex is home to nine active Bald Eagle nests and an amazing 74 Bald Eagles during the winter months. The Wildlife Festival is an opportunity for nature enthusiasts to explore and celebrate the birds and habitats of this dynamic ecosystem and interact with a variety of vendors from across New York State.” (Festival admission is $5/person, $20/family.) (For information call 315-365-3588, visit http://ny.audubon.org/montezuma or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org.)

4 - Annual Frank Mills Memorial Turkey Shoot at the Pompey Rod & Gun Club, Swift Road, Pompey, NY (For more info call Robert Fallert 315-656-8810.)

4 - Woods Walk: Insects In Sprng at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (1:00 pm) Explore the woods to see what insects are out. (For information call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov) 

4 - Gardening For Migrating Monarchs at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (2:30 pm) Learn what a monarch waystation is, why they’re important and how to make your own. Provide habitat for butterflies, and register your garden to a nation-wide map! For adults and children ages 12 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

4 - Whitetails Unlimited – Broome County Chapter Hunters Night Out at the Holiday Inn Binghamton, 2 Hawley Street, Binghamton, NY. Deadline for ticket sales – 5-1-19. (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/)

4-5 - Women's Hunting 101 Workshop at the Amahami Adventure Center, Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways, 434 Page Pond Road, Deposit, NY. Earn your NYS Hunter Education Certification* With Other Women, Taught by Women! Topics include: Learn firearm safety, cleaning, and techniques / Handle and shoot shotguns, rifles and crossbows / Discuss hunting gear and use tree stands / Track a blood trail and field dress a game animal / Game meat preparation and Much More! This Beyond BOW event is an All Women’s Hunting Workshop for women ages 18+ who do not yet have their Hunter Education Certification. You must complete the required homework prior to the workshop, attend all sessions of the weekend, demonstrate proper attitude and safety, and pass a final written exam to receive your Hunter Education Certificate of Qualification, which is required for purchasing a first-time hunting license in New York State. This workshop does not include bowhunter education certification. (Registration Fee: $110 - Includes lunch & dinner on Saturday, lodging Saturday night, breakfast and lunch on Sunday, snacks, drinks, program materials, equipment and supplies.) (For more information, contact: Katrina.talbot@dec.ny.gov 518-402-8963)

4-5 - Oneida Lake Walleye Derby, sponsored by the Chittenango Lions Club. On-Line Registration $15 Entry Fee Ticket purchase deadline is midnight May 3, 2019. CASH AND MERCHANDISE PRIZES Door and Bonus Draw Prizes, 50/50 Raffle, Tagged Fish Contest, Top 25 Size Contest and Measuring Station Awards (For information call 315-699-3187 email info@lionswalleyederby.org or go to www.Lionswalleyederby.org.)

8 - Montezuma Birdwatching Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (5:30 – 8:00 pm) The Montezuma Wetlands Complex is teeming with migratory songbirds, marsh birds, and other wildlife this time of year. Join us for an evening van tour through the Montezuma's marshes, forests and grasslands to explore the abundant wildlife as they prepare for their nocturnal activities. Bring your camera to capture images of the beautiful habitats and wildlife. Binoculars and field guides provided. (Fee: $8/child, $15/adult. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

8-11 - 2018 Wild Carp Classic – this event is sold out. Opening Ceremonies will be on May 7, 2019 with 50 teams registered. This tournament is a Big 10 format, with prizes awarded to the teams with the most combined weight of their 10 largest carp caught over 15 pounds. There will also be prizes for the single largest carp caught. There are no prizes for mirror carp. The anglers will be fishing from spots along the river from the village of Baldwinsville down to Long Branch Park at Onondaga Lake. (Entry to the Wild Carp Classic is $1000 per 2 or 3-person team.) (For information email: Paul - paul@carpfishingny.com or Ginny - ginny@carpfishingny.com)

10-19 - Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby 2019. 1st of 3 LOC Derbies offering over $30,000 in cash and prizes with a grand prize of $15,000 for the largest overall Salmon caught. (For more information call 888-733-5246 or visit their website at www.loc.org.)

11 - 6th Annual Bird Walk with Mahlon and Eleanor Hurst Townsend-Grady Wildlife Preserve, Townsend Rd, Branchport, NY  (8:00 am – 10:00 pm) Join us for a walk through the FLM&A's Townsend-Grady Wildlife Preserve wetlands to discover what bird species are migrating and nesting there. Last year over 40 species were identified by sight and sound! Please wear sturdy boots that can withstand wet, mud, and uneven ground, and bring your binoculars and journals! Parking is available on either side of Townsend Road. (For information email mail@fingerlakesmuseum.org.) 

11 - Educator Workshop: Aquatic Wild + Great Lakes Bins at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (10:30 am -3:00 pm) Join an interactive workshop by NYSDEC and NY Sea Grant with an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on Great Lakes wildlife and ecosystems. Participants receive a curriculum guide and an intro to Great Lakes Educator Ecosystem Exchange (GLEEE) Basin Bins, plus a $75 stipend and lunch. For educators of students in grades K- 12. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

11 - Warblers For Beginners at the Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center, 93 Honorine Drive, Depew, NY (Town of Cheektowaga) (2:30 pm) Learn about the colorful warblers that migrate to and through Reinstein Woods. For adults and children ages 8 and older. (For information and register call 716-683-5959 or email reinsteinwoods@dec.ny.gov)

11 - Scouts BSA Merit Badge: Amphibians & Reptiles at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (12:00 – 3:00 pm) Scouts are invited to complete the requirements for the Reptile and Amphibian Study Merit Badge during a fun and interactive program. As always, please be prepared to go outside, and dress appropriately for the weather. Pre-requisites/pre-registration is required.  All scouts must be accompanied by a parent, leader, or chaperone.  (Fee: $8/Scout. PRE- REGISTRATION REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

11 - Warblers and Wine Van Tour meet at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY. (1:00 – 4:00 pm) Join us for a trip to Thorpe Vineyard, located along the Lake Ontario shoreline in Wolcott, NY. During the tour, guests will sample award-winning wines at the winery and then explore nearby Chimney Bluffs State Park to search for Cerulean Warblers and nearly two dozen other warbler species. Short distance, easy to moderate hiking will be part of the program. Must be 21+ to participate. (Fee: $20/adult includes wine tasting. PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS REQUIRED.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

 

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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