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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

 

4 – 3 – 20

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

2019 Deer Harvest Summary & Comparison:

                                                        2019                    2018                    Change             2014-18 Average

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crossbow                                       10,569                 10,829                  -2.4%                    NA

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

Harvest Reporting Rate                  52.3%                  51.4%                                               46.3%   

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

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

Notable Numbers

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

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

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

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

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

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

No CWD Detections in New York in 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

> Closing all playgrounds;

> Limiting access to athletic courts and sporting fields;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay local and keep visits short;

> Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

APRIL 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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3 - 28 – 20

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

MARCH 2020

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

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

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

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

29 - End of Hunting Season for Coyotes

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

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

31 - Falconry Season Closes

31 – Close of Crow Hunting Season

APRIL 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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3 - 20 – 20

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can submit comments to the refuge:

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

By email - andrea_vanbeusichem@fws.gov

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inspect the hull for blisters, distortions and stress cracks.

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

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

Inspect, lubricate and exercise seacocks.

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

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

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

Inspect dock and anchor lines for chafe and wear.

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

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

Engines and Fuel Systems

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

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

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

Charge battery.

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

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

Engine Outdrives and Outboards

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

Check power steering and power trim oil levels.

Replace anodes/zincs that are more than half wasted.

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

Inspect lower unit oil level and top up as necessary.

Sailboat Rigging

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

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

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

Trailers

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

Inspect wheel bearings and repack as necessary.

Test all lights and replace any broken bulbs or lenses.

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

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

Inspect brakes and brake fluid reservoir.

Safety

Check expiration dates on flares.

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

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

Test smoke, carbon monoxide, fume and bilge alarms.

Check running lights for operation and spare bulb inventory.

Update paper charts and chartplotter software.

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

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

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

For the Dock

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

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

The Paperwork

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

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

 

MARCH 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

29 - End of Hunting Season for Coyotes

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

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

31 - Falconry Season Closes

31 – Close of Crow Hunting Season

 

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

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

 

 

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3 - 13 – 20

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

                        

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Participating Western/Central NY Schools by County

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

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

Cayuga County
Port Byron High School

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

Livingston County
Livonia Middle/High School

Onondaga County
Fabius Pompey Middle-High School
Liverpool Middle School

Ontario County
Bloomfield Middle-High School
Honeoye Central School District

Oswego County
Altmar Parish Williamstown

Tioga County
North Spencer Christian Academy

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

DEC ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR DAY-OLD PHEASANT CHICK PROGRAM:

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

MARCH 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15 - Deadline for removing Ice Shanties from all waters.

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

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

15 - Close of Finger Lakes Bass Season.

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

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

15 - Eastren Lake Ontario Salmon & Trout Assoc. Nautical and Fishing Tackle Sale at the Brewerton Firehouse, Route 11, Brewerton, NY (9:00 am – 1:30 pm)

16 - Start of Catch and Release (Artificial Lures Only) Season for Black Bass in all Finger Lakes except Cayuga, Otisco, Owasco and Skaneateles Lakes. (>6/19/16)

16 - Fishing Ban (No Fishing) on Otselic River from mouth to Whitney Point Reservoir Dam, Susquehanna River in Binghamton between Rock Bottom Dam and Exchange Street Bridge, Susquehanna River in the towns of Union and Vestal from the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad bridge downstream to Murphy's Island, Tioughnioga River from New York Route 26 bridge to US Route 11 bridge, Little Choconut Creek from mouth to Goudey Station Building (Broome County), Dutch Hollow Brook from Owasco Lake upstream to the Route 38A bridge (Cayuga County), Scriba Creek from mouth upstream to Fish Hatchery Dam (Oswego County) (>5/31)

19 - Spring Migration Birding Tour at the Montezuma Audubon Center, 2295 State Route 89, Savannah, NY (10:00 am – 12:30 pm) Celebrate the first day of spring and explore the Montezuma Wetlands Complex, Audubon’s first globally significant Important Bird Area. Enjoy a leisurely ride in our van for an excursion to Montezuma’s birding hot spots where thousands of ducks, geese and swans can be seen. Sandhill Cranes, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and other birds are a possibility too. Binoculars and field guides will be provided. (Fee: $8/child, $15/adult, $40/family. Pre-paid reservations required.) (For information or register call 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org)

19 - NYSDEC Electro Shocking of Naples Creek – Crew starts just north of the Village of Naples, Ontario County, at the Route 245 bridge. (9:00 am) The sampling is conducted to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast. (For information call 585-226-5324)

20 – NYSDEC Electro Shocking of Cold Brook (Keuka Inlet) – Crew starts in the hamlet of Pleasant Valley, Steuben County. (10:00 am) The sampling is conducted to aid in the ongoing assessment of Finger Lakes fisheries management practices and to provide up-to-date information for the opening day fishing forecast. (For information call 585-226-5324)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.”

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