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
Typically daytime temperatures are reaching into the 50s and 60s with nighttime temperatures in the 30s. Low to mid elevation trails may be muddy in low lying areas and near water. Middle and higher elevation trails may be wet and muddy. Wear waterproof footwear and gaiters, and walk through – not around – mud and water on trails. High elevation trails still have snow and ice on north facing slopes and in heavily wooded and other protected areas.
** WATERS RUNNING BELOW NORMAL
Water temperatures remain cold. With the exception of the Beaver River at the Stillwater Reservoir which is running high, the levels of streams throughout the region are generally at normal or just below normal. 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 40s.
Lake Champlain (at Burlington) water temperature is 40 degrees (for the first time this year).
Lake George (at Warner Bay) water temperature is 52 degrees.
** LAKE CHAMPLAIN LEVEL BELOW NORMAL
The gage at Burlington is reading 96.60 feet today, near the record low of 95.43 (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: MODERATE
Be sure campfires are out by drowning them with water. Stir to make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again. If you do not have water, use dirt not duff. Do not bury coals as they can smolder and break out into fire later.
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.
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 are beginning to rise into the 40s, colder water temperatures can be expected in higher elevation waters. Ausable River (in Wilmington) water temperature is in the 40s. Lake Champlain (at Burlington) water temperature is 40 degrees (for the first time this year). Lake George (at Warner Bay) water temperature is 52 degrees.
** Most Fishing Seasons Opening
Trout and Landlocked Salmon season is open. Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskie, Walleye seasons open May 5. Perch, Sunfish, Eel, Bullhead, Catfish and other panfish are open year round. 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. For catch and size limits view the freshwater fishing regulations online.
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
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. 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
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.
** Spring Turkey Season Opening May 1
The Spring Turkey hunting season opens May 1. Only bearded turkeys may be taken. There is two turkey limit for the season – one turkey per day.
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.
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.