Adirondack Almanack provides this weekly Hunting and Fishing Report each Thursday evening, year round. The Almanack also provides weekly backcountry recreation conditions reports for those headed into the woods or onto the waters.
SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND
** indicates new or revised items.
** LATE SPRING CONDITIONS
After evening temperatures dipping into the mid- and upper-30s Friday night, Saturday and Sunday is expected to be in the 70s. Recent rains have resulted in wet and muddy trails and access roads.
** ROUTE 73 CASCADE PASS CLOSURES
Route 73 through Cascade Pass will be closed for road repairs the weekends of May 12/13 and May 19/20. Vehicles traveling between Keene and Lake Placid will need to use alternate routes. The eastern Pitchoff Mountain Trailhead parking areas and the parking areas along Lower Cascade Lake will be open and accessible from Keene. The Cascade Mountain Trailhead and western Pitchoff Mountain Trailhead parking areas will be open and accessible from Lake Placid, though the Stagecoach Rock parking areas will be closed. The Cascade Lakes Day Use Area between Lower and Upper Cascade Lakes will not be accessible.
** WATERS RUNNING ABOVE NORMAL
Water temperatures remain cold. The levels of streams throughout the region are generally above normal, though they should fall steadily into the weekend. Consult the latest streamgage data if you our venturing onto the region’s waters.
** ADIRONDACK WATER TEMPERATURES
Ausable River (in Wilmington) water temperature is in the mid-40s.
Lake Champlain (at Burlington) water temperature is 43 degrees.
Lake George (at Warner Bay) water temperature is 57 degrees.
** LAKE CHAMPLAIN LEVEL BELOW NORMAL
The gage at Burlington is reading 96.91 feet today. The record low is 95.43, and the average is 98.78 feet. On May 6, 2011 Lake Champlain reached a record 103.20 feet.
** KNOW THE LATEST WEATHER
Check the weather before entering the woods or heading onto the waters and be aware of weather conditions at all times. The National Weather Service (NWS) at Burlington and Albany cover the Adirondack region.
** Fire Danger: LOW
Be sure campfires are out by drowning them with water.
FIREWOOD BAN IN EFFECT
Due to the possibility of spreading invasive species that could devastate northern New York forests (such as Emerald Ash Borer, Hemlock Wooly Adeljid and Asian Longhorn Beetle), DEC prohibits moving untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source. Forest Rangers have been ticketing violators of the firewood ban. More details and frequently asked questions at the DEC website.
** Adirondack Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement Roads
The following roads or road systems remain closed for mud season. Hikers can still travel past gates and on muddy roads. The roads will be reopened for motor vehicle use as soon as they have dried and firmed up:
Moose River Plains Wild Forest
Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands
Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands – all roads except the Fishhole Pond Access Road
Darling Ford Road (Hudson River Recreation Area, Lake George Wild Forest)
Buttermilk Road Extension (Hudson River Recreation Area, Lake George Wild Forest)
Gay Pond Road (Hudson River Recreation Area, Lake George Wild Forest)
The following roads or road systems are now open:
Fishhole Pond Access Road (Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands)
Terry Mountain (Taylor Pond Wild Forest)
Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands
Shelving Rock and Dacy Clearing Roads (Eastern Lake George Wild Forest)
Lake Lila Road (William C. Whitney Wilderness)
Lake Clear Camp Road (Saranac Lakes Wild Forest)
Moose Pond Road (Saranac Lakes Wild Forest)
Jabe Pond Road (Lake George Wild Forest)
The following roads in the Hudson River Recreation of the Lake George Wild Forest are now open to motor vehicle access for people with a Motorized Access Permit for People With Disabilities (MAPPWD). MAPPWD holders must remember to check the allowable vehicle type and call the Warrensburg office (518-623-1209) for the current combination and conditions:
Pikes Beach Road – campsite repairs are scheduled for summer
Schofield Flats Road – access path and campsite repairs are scheduled for summer
Bear Slide Access Route – access path washed out, repairs are scheduled for summer
** DEC TO END SALE OF SPORTSMAN LICENSES IN WATERTOWN STATE OFFICE BUILDING
The DEC Law Enforcement Office in the Watertown Dulles State Office Building plans to discontinue selling sporting licenses on Friday, May 18. There are currently 7 other locations in Watertown, and 38 within Jefferson County, where licenses can be purchased. The full list of vendors can be found on the DEC website.
** PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD FOR F-35 ADIRONDACK FLY-OVERS
The Vermont Air National Guard (VANG), 158th Fighter Wing, Burlington, Vermont will present information about training activities which could occur over the Adirondacks if the F-35 aircraft is assigned to VANG’s 158th Fighter Wing. Also, an official hearing on the DEIS is being held on Thursday, May 17 from 5 to 8 PM at Case Middle School, 1237 Washington Street, Watertown, NY. Public comments will be accepted at this hearing. The informational meeting will be on Wednesday, May 16, from 4 to 7 PM at the Tupper Lake Train Depot in Tupper Lake, NY. The US Air Force is accepting public comment on the F‐35A Operational Basing Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) until June 1, 2012. Copies of the DEIS, and Executive Summary of the DEIS and other information regarding the F-35 Aircraft are online Those wishing to provide comments may send them to: Nicholas Germanos, HQ ACC/A7PS, 129 Andrews St., Suite 332, Langley AFB, VA 23665‐2769.
BECOMING AN OUTDOORSWOMAN (BOW) WORKSHOPS
Registration is now open for the June 29 through July 1 Becoming an Outdoorswoman (BOW) workshop at Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George. Of the 46 classes being offered, participants can choose four. New classes offered this year include wild mushroom foraging, birding basics, nature crafts, Adirondack ecology, car camping and beginner crossbow. Classes fill quickly, and the registration fee increases by $40 after April 20. Visit DEC’s BOW webpage for workshop details and registration information.
ADIRONDACK FISHING REPORTS
** Water Temperatures
Water temperatures in many of the Adirondack waters have risen into the 40s, colder water temperatures can be expected in higher elevation waters. Ausable River (in Wilmington) water temperature is in the mid-40s. Lake Champlain (at Burlington) water temperature is 43 degrees. Lake George (at Warner Bay) water temperature is 57 degrees.
** Most Fishing Seasons Open
Trout and Landlocked Salmon, Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskie, Walleye, Perch, Sunfish, Eel, Bullhead, Catfish and other panfish seasons are open.
** Black Bass Season Reminders
Black Bass season is closed but catch-and-release fishing for bass is allowed in the following Region 5 Counties; Clinton, Essex, Warren, Washington, Saratoga, and Fulton Counties. There is NOT a catch and release season for black bass in Franklin, Hamilton, St.Lawrence and Jefferson counties. The bass season is closed in those counties from Nov 30th to the third Saturday in June. Check the Fishing Regulations Guide for exceptions (e.g. Black River). For catch and size limits view the freshwater fishing regulations online.
** Docks Installed at DEC Boat Launch Sites
Docks have been installed at the following boat launch sites: Eagle Lake, Mossy Point (Lake George), Port Henry (Lake Champlain), Ticonderoga (Lake Champlain), Westport (Lake Champlain), Willsboro Bay (Lake Champlain). Docks will be installed next week at the following boat launch sites: Chateaugay Lake, Peru Dock (Lake Champlain). The dock for the Port Douglas Boat Launch Site on Lake Champlain is broken and will be re-installed as soon as it is repaired. The Chazy Lake Boat Launch is essentially unusable due to the water level draw down by the Town of Dannemora. The concrete ramp ends several yards from the water’s edge.
** Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control
Treatment of five tributaries and two or three deltas are planned for 2012, these include: Great Chazy River, Mill Brook, and Mount Hope Brook, Missisquoi River and Winooski River Delta, the Saranac River delta will be treated Bayluscide in September, the Mill Brook delta will be treated in October, treatment of the Boquet River delta will depend on the findings of this summer’s ammocoetes survey.
Fish Survey Data Added to Online Map
Adirondack DEC Fish Survey data has been added to the Adirondack Regional GIS (ARGIS) interactive map. The data is up to date as of Feb 16, 2012. You can use the identify tool to get the list of species for a lake, or you can filter by species using the quick filter (right click on the layer in the table of contents–>”Properties & Display Options”–>Quick Filter).
** Trout Season Report, Stocking Underway
Trout (lake, brook, rainbow, brown and hybrids, and splake) and landlocked Salmon seasons opened April 1. Streams across the area continue to be clear and low. Warm weather has moved up hatches. DEC and local fish hatchery crews and volunteers have been stocking waters with trout. For catch and size limits view the freshwater fishing regulations online.
2012 Coldwater Fishing Report
Trout season has begun and anglers are concerned this year with the impact of last year’s flooding on local streams. The Ausable and Boquet River watersheds were most severely affected and anglers will find major changes in these areas, particularly in the East Branch of the Ausable. Anglers should be aware of new hazards underwater. Also some changes in the river course and topography may be present. New pools may have formed where there was previously riffles and riffles may be found where there was previously pools. The complete DEC coldwater fishing report for 2012 can be found online.
2012 Trout Stocking List Now Online
Each year, from March through May, DEC, along with help from county Federated Sportsmen clubs stock more than 1,200 public streams, rivers, lakes and ponds across the state with brown, rainbow and brook trout. You can find the anticipated distribution of trout by county on DEC’s Spring Trout Stocking webpage. Also, check back for the complete 2011 stocking list of all muskellunge, walleye, trout and salmon species by county, which will be available soon on DEC’s Fish Stocking Lists webpage.
Free Fishing Day Clinics for 2012 Announced
Each year DEC offers free fishing day clinics at various locations statewide. This means participants can enjoy a day of fishing without the need to purchase a fishing license. In addition, participants learn about fish identification, fishing equipmentand techniques, DEC fisheries management, angling ethics and more. Free Fishing Clinics are scheduled for May 19 at Hawkins Point, Massena, at Remington Pond and all waters on Ft. Drum, and on June 30 and July 1 at Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George (pre-registration required). A full list of DEC’s 2012 Free Fishing Day clinic locations is available online.
The gate for the road to Lake Clear Girl Scout Camp is shut for the mud season. This road is used to access Meadow and St. Germain Ponds.
Kings Bay WMA
The gates for the roadway accessing Catfish Bay on Lake Champlain are closed and locked until next season.
Ausable Marsh WMA
The gate for the access road has been closed. Hikers, birders and others on foot can still travel pass the gate. The gate and road will reopen for motor vehicle use when it has dried and firmed up.
Lewis Preserve WMA
The Brandy Brook has jumped its bank creating a braided stream channel across the main foot trail adjacent to the existing foot bridge. Hunters, hikers should use caution while attempting to cross this new stream channel as it is very deep and swift moving.
Use Baitfish Wisely
Anglers using fish for bait are reminded to be careful with how these fish are used and disposed of. Careless use of baitfish is one of the primary means by which non-native species and fish diseases are spread from water to water. Unused baitfish should be discarded in an appropriate location on dry land. A “Green List” of commercially available baitfish species that are approved for use in New York State has now been established in regulation. A discussion of these regulations and how to identify approved baitfish species is available online. Personal collection and use of baitfish other than those on the “Green List” is permitted, but only on the water from which they were collected and they may not be transported overland by motorized vehicle. Anglers are reminded that new regulations for transportation of baitfish are currently under consideration, and these proposed regulations can be viewed online.
Preventing Invasive Species and Fish Diseases
Anglers are reminded to be sure to dry or disinfect their fishing and boating equipment, including waders and boots, before entering a new body of water. This is the only way to prevent the spread of potentially damaging invasive plant and animal species (didymo and zebra mussels) and fish diseases (Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) and whirling disease). Methods to clean and disinfect fishing gear can be found online.
Health Advisories on Fish
The NYSDOH has issued the 2010-2011 advisories on eating sportfish and game. Some of fish and game contain chemicals at levels that may be harmful to human health. See the DEC webpage on Fish Health Advisories for more information and links to the Department of Health information.
ADIRONDACK HUNTING REPORTS
** Spring Turkey Season Open
The Spring Turkey hunting season opened May 1. Only bearded turkeys may be taken. There is two turkey limit for the season – one turkey per day.
** New Disease in Wild Turkeys
DEC is seeking help in identifying whether an emerging disease called Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus (LPDV) is present in New York State’s wild turkeys. Skin lesions sometimes caused by LPDV resemble those caused by avian pox, another viral disease that has frequently been recorded in wild turkeys in New York. Because of the similarity in lesions, DEC are concerned that the presence of LPDV may be overlooked or dismissed as avian pox. DEC’s Wildlife Health Unit would like to obtain samples of birds harvested with these lesions. For instructions on how to provide a sample, contact your regional DEC office or e-mail email@example.com. DEC advises against eating any wild animals that appear sick. You can read more about LPDV in turkeys in the January issue of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study Briefs (PDF) and more about avian pox in the National Wild Turkey Federation article, Avian Pox: a Disease that Can Affect Any Bird (PDF).
Ruffed Grouse Survey for Turkey Hunters
As you wait for that wary turkey to come into sight during the spring turkey hunting season, consider recording the number of grouse you hear for DEC’s Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey. The characteristic drumming sound of a male grouse is as much a part of the spring woods as yelping hens and gobbling toms during the spring breeding season. Your information helps DEC track the distribution and abundance of this other popular game bird. For details on how to participate, visit DEC’s Ruffed Grouse Drumming Survey (http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/48169.html) webpage. To listen to a typical male grouse drumming call, visit Cornell University’s All About Birds (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/ruffed_grouse/sounds) website.
** Changes Proposed for Hunting Regulations
DEC has announced proposed rules affecting deer and bear hunting in New York to implement the state’s Five-Year Deer Management Plan which was adopted in October 2011 [pdf]. DEC will accept public comments on this proposal through May 21, 2012. Comments on this rule change should be specific to the proposals and should not be resubmissions of previous comments submitted on the full deer management plan or previous regulatory proposals, the agency said. To see more complete and detailed explanations of the proposals, including instructions for providing comments, visit the DEC website.
Lewis Preserve WMA
The Brandy Brook has jumped its bank creating a braided stream channel across the main foot trail adjacent to the existing foot bridge. Users should use caution while attempting to cross this new stream channel as it may be deep and swift moving.
Warnings and announcements drawn from DEC, NWS, NOAA, USGS, and other sources. Detailed Adirondack Park hunting, fishing, and trapping information can be found at DEC’s webpages. A DEC map of the Adirondack Park can also be found online [pdf].
The DEC Habitat/Access Stamp is available for $5 at all outlets where sporting licenses are sold, on-line and via telephone at 1-866-933-2257. Stamp proceeds support the DEC’s efforts to conserve habitat and increase public access for fish and wildlife related recreation. A Habitat/Access Stamp is not required to hunt, fish or trap, nor do you have to purchase a sporting license to buy a habitat stamp.