Monday, April 14, 2014

DEC Proposes Expanding Black Bear Hunting

Black Bear Photo by Gary LemmoThe NYS Department of Environmental Conservation plans to expand bear hunting across New York to prevent conflicts with humans as the animal’s population spreads to new areas.

At one time, the state’s bears were largely confined to the Adirondacks, Catskills, and Allegheny Plateau. During the past two decades, however, they have spread to every county outside New York City and Long Island.

As a result, the number of bear complaints has risen dramatically in recent years. In most cases, bears in search of food—such as crops, bird seed, and garbage—cause property damage. Occasionally, they might break into a residence, attack pets, or act aggressively toward people. » Continue Reading.



Friday, April 4, 2014

Lake George: ‘Frozen Boats’ Program Established For Locals

LGPC ED Dave Wick and LGA Educator Jill Trunko seal the FC as part of the Frozen Boats ProgramThe Lake George Park Commission (LGPC) has established a “Frozen Boats” Program that allows local residents to have their boats certified as invasive-free with a Vessel Inspection Control Seal (VICS) in advance of the 2014 boating season.

Walt Lender, the LGA’s Executive Director, said in a statement issued to the press that “the LGPC’s efforts to create a comprehensive mandatory inspection program to protect the Lake is no small task – and seemingly minor details, such as tagging frozen boats, can help decrease congestion at the inspection stations early on in the season, which will be important to the success of the program this first year. When folks arrive at the Lake this summer we want them to understand that lake protection and recreation can go hand in hand. It’s like a first impression – you want to get it right.”

Having a boat with an intact inspection seal acquired through the Frozen Boats Program removes the need for that boat to visit one of the six regional inspection stations for a ‘clean, drained, and dry’ inspection prior to its first launch of the year into Lake George. This local program will provide inspection seals for trailered boats that have been demonstrated to be exposed to the winter elements sufficiently long to kill aquatic invasive species. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

NYS Helicopters Used to Lime Remote Pond For Brookies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs part of a collaborative effort to mitigate the impact of acid rain and restore brook trout to the Adirondacks, state helicopters delivered 34 tons of lime to an acidified pond in the Five Ponds Wilderness Area in the town of Webb, Herkimer County, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Judy Drabicki has announced.

According to the announcement, on March 6 and 7, approximately 40 DEC staff and New York State Police helicopter crews conducted the liming operation, which included 46 helicopter flights to transport 1,500 pounds of  lime from a staging area near the boat launch at Stillwater Reservoir to Hawk Pond.  The lime was deposited on the ice at the pond and later spread across the frozen surface. The liming of acidic lakes or ponds is a management tool used to neutralize the water’s acidity and create water quality that is more favorable for fish and aquatic life.  When the pond thaws this spring, the lime will enter the water and reduce its acidity level. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wolf Delisting Commentary:
Adirondack Wildlife Refuge’s Steve Hall

Cree_HowlingThe recent proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) is almost entirely about politics. The American alligator and the bald eagle, to use two examples, were not delisted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service until they had repopulated their former ranges, while wolves have repopulated only a fraction of their former ranges, and are already under heavy hunting pressure by the state governments of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

How many Americans are aware of the fact that in 1915, the US Congress, acting, as usual, under pressure from special interests, in that case, the ranching and hunting lobbies, provided funds to the Interior Department, to eliminate wolves, mountain lions and other predators from the United States? The Interior Department set up their “Animal Damage Control Unit”, and spent millions of taxpayer dollars to shoot, trap and poison wolves over several decades, with the only survivors being in the Boundary Waters area of Northern Minnesota, one of the most inaccessible regions of the U.S., not to mention a paradise for kayakers, canoeists and fisherman. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

NYS Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame Honors Dr. Nina Schoch

2013-NS RTLO Rls-9412-tThe New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame has announced that its class of inductees for 2014 will include Dr. Nina Schoch of Ray Brook, NY.  Schoch will be honored at the annual banquet April 26 in Canastota, NY.

Nina Schoch is best known for her role in conservation of the Adirondack loon.  Under her leadership the Biodiversity Research Institute’s Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation (ACLP) has involved hundreds of volunteers, school children, and government agencies in protecting the iconic symbol of the Adirondack wilderness.  The loon census, banding, research on health issues, and public awareness programs of the ACLP have contributed to the dramatic increase in the loon population in the past three decades. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Fulton Chain Fish Hatchery: A Short History

scan0002According to Frank Graham, Jr., the first conservation agency established by New York was the Fisheries Commission.  It was established in 1868 to examine Adirondack water sources used by downstate cities and to study the impact of forest destruction by timber cutting neighboring these waters and on the fish they contained.

By the 1880s, the agency established hatcheries in various areas of the state to bolster fish populations in those water bodies and their tributaries suffering from nearby industrial operations such as mills on the Black River.  Since fishing pools in the Adirondacks were being rapidly depleted by the growing popularity of the region, the agency determined to establish fisheries in that region.  » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lake George Mandatory Boat Inspections Begin May 15th

unnamed(3)The Lake George Park Commission the Commissioners unanimously voted yesterday to approve the final regulations for a Mandatory Inspection and Decontamination Program for Lake George.

The regulations will be filed with the Secretary of State and the program, which will apply to all trailered vessels, will begin May 15, 2014.

The new invasives regulation, comes on the heels of the announcement of similar regulations proposed for all DEC boat launches and fishing access sites. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New DEC Sporting and Game System Online

Thnys dec logoe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) new computerized sporting licensing system is operational, allowing sportsmen and sportswomen to conduct license transactions.

The transition of hunter, angler and trapper data required a temporary shutdown for sales of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, recreational marine fishing registrations and harvest game reporting. The data transfer has been completed and individuals can resume normal transactions and reporting on the new system. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Busy Year In The Backcountry For Lean2Rescue

Lean2RescuePic1_w400The past year was productive for Lean2Rescue, the volunteer organization that helps rebuild and refurbish Adirondack lean-tos and other back-country infrastructure.  According to an e-mail sent to volunteers by Paul Delucia, one of Lean2Rescue’s organizers, the group worked on or assessed 16 lean-tos, 3 bridges (Calkins, Windfall Trail #1 and Windfall Trail #2), and the fire tower on Woodhull Mountain.

“All of this happened because of you – a very special group of people willing (and eager) to give up their free time to make the Adirondacks a better place for others,” DeLucia wrote to volunteers. “That speaks volumes about who you are.” He also pointed out the many collaborations with other organizations and groups, including DEC whose partnership he called “the keystone of our success.” DeLucia singled out the DEC Operations Crew at Cranberry Lake for special praise. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Invasives Rules For Boat Launches, Access Points

LGPC Lake George Invasive Species PhotoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing new regulations to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species at DEC boat launches and fishing access sites. The proposed regulatory changes require boaters to remove all visible plants and animals from boats, trailers and associated equipment and to drain boats before launching at or leaving a DEC boat launch and waterway access.

Boats, trailers and the equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from waterbody to waterbody and significantly harm recreational and commercial use of a waterbody while having a detrimental effect on native fish, wildlife and plants. » Continue Reading.



Thursday, January 2, 2014

Proposed Regs Aimed At Controlling Wild Boar

feral-hogs1 nps.govNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner (DEC) has announced the proposal of new regulations that would prohibit hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boars in New York. The proposal is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness of DEC’s statewide eradication efforts. Public comments on the proposed regulations will be accepted until January 25, 2014.

Eurasian boars were brought to North America centuries ago and wild populations numbering in the millions now occur across much of the southern U.S. In recent years, wild boar populations have been appearing in more northern states too, often as a result of escapes from enclosed shooting facilities that offer “wild boar hunts.” » Continue Reading.



Thursday, December 19, 2013

DEC Seeks Help With Wild Turkey Research

QF Turkey cropOver the past 10 years wild turkey populations have declined in many parts of New York State. In an effort to better understand the factors influencing population changes and how these changes affect turkey management, DEC is beginning the second year of a four-year study. This project is expected to provide wildlife managers with current estimates of harvest and survival rates for female wild turkeys, or hens, in New York and guide future management efforts.

Beginning in January, DEC will embark on a statewide effort to capture wild turkey hens and fit them with leg bands to obtain accurate data on survival and harvest. A small number of these birds will also be tagged with satellite radio-transmitters. All of the work will be done by DEC personnel on both public and private lands from January through March. The research will be concentrated in DEC Regions 3 through 9 where turkey populations are largest. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, December 18, 2013

1878: The Vice President and the First Lady Go Fishing

3a22497rNews in 1878 that Vice President William Almon Wheeler of Malone, a recent widower, would be taking First Lady Lucy Hayes fishing in the Adirondacks without her husband, gave New Yorkers something else to talk about besides President Rutherford B.  Hayes’s latest feud with New York’s U.S. Senator Roscoe Conkling.

Wheeler had been disappearing into the Adirondacks to fish since he was a poor boy growing up in Malone, the county seat for Franklin County, located on the Canadian border. By the time he became a lawyer, state legislator, bank executive and railroad president, his annual fishing trips became newsworthy. As early as 1864, newspapers reported that Wheeler was heading into “the South Woods” or “the great Southern Wilderness” with a group of his political and business friends for a week of fishing. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Muzzleloading Season: One Last Shot

Muzzleloading Season in the adirondacksNew York’s northern zone regular firearm season came to an end this past Sunday, but that doesn’t mean it’s over for diehards here in the Adirondacks. There is a one week slot of traditional muzzleloader hunting in designated zones that gives hunters another chance to harvest a whitetail before the long winter.

Although it’s going to be cold and snowy, I’ll venture out this weekend. In the winter months deer herd-up. They congregate together for safety and warmth and often when you find one, there are several others around. That’s a perfect scenario for hunters. Although it may sound like shooting fish in a barrel, deer are very smart and can still be very hard to catch. The bucks are in the finally stages of the breeding season. I have seen does being bred by male deer well into the month of December and this late season can be an excellent chance to harvest a mature whitetail. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jason Richards: Iced-In At Hunting Camp

Winter 2013 084 (2)On my way to our hunting camp last week I was disappointed to see that some the nearby lakes were already iced over. Fortunately, or so it seemed, the channel where we put our boats in the water was open. So, with great optimism we loaded the boat with a few provisions and set off for one last trip to our outpost camp.

Since it was to be my last time on open water for the year, and our last trip in to camp, a sort of sadness came over me.  Although the rowing was difficult, it provided plenty of time to just enjoy being there in the moment. Few things bring me more peace than the rhythm of rowing, watching the shoreline go by, one stroke at a time. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lower Sargent Pond Native Brook Trout Project Underway

nobaitsignThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the department has recently used rotonone to eradicate non-native fish from Lower Sargent Pond in the Sargent Ponds Wild Forest in Hamilton County. The pond is expected to be stocked with fish next year in an effort to reestablish native brook that had existed before its population was depleted due to the presence of the non-native fish.

The eradication of non-native fish, followed by restocking with native brook trout is a key component of DEC’s Brook Trout Restoration Program. DEC is a partner in the Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture (http://easternbrooktrout.org/), which is working to protect, restore and enhance brook trout populations and habitats across their native range. » Continue Reading.



Sunday, November 24, 2013

Temporary State Land Hunting Camps

Adk AlmThe New York Department of Environmental Conservation has a program that allows individuals to apply for a permit to establish a temporary hunting camp on state land.  They’re a great opportunity for those of us who don’t own a large parcel of land, and a good way to avoid paying for a hunting lease. It does however, require some extra effort.  When I’m looking for a good hunting camp location, I consider a few important things.

Once I locate an area I want to hunt, access is key. I take some time and scout the ground. I usually take a spring fishing trip or hike and do this. Spring is a good time because the foliage is not on the trees and that makes it easier to spot old buck sign from the year before. » Continue Reading.



Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sportsman Education: A New Hunting Tradition

sepatwThis past year Mary Grose of Herkimer County become a certified Sportsman Education instructor through the Department of Environmental Conservation. The Almanack asked her to relate her experience for our readers.

Hunting symbolizes tradition, family, and a fair chase. Growing up in rural New York State, I was surrounded by the sport of hunting. Friends and family would share hunting stories throughout the years and I wanted to become part of that tradition. As a young girl I was privileged to have a father and brother who taught me about hunting. Now that I am older and an educated hunter I want to share my love of the outdoors with others. » Continue Reading.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Small Mammals: The Shrew That Walks On Water

shrewOn a morning walk around the pond, the dog and I encountered a dead shrew – perhaps the unfortunate casualty of a neighborhood feline or a red fox (shrews are well-known for being distasteful to mammalian predators). When I picked it up and noticed its velvety black fur, long tail, and unusually large hind feet, I realized that this was a species I did not recognize. I tossed it on the passenger seat of the car so I could identify it later at work.

Like all shrews, this small, mouse-like mammal lying on my desk had a long pointed snout and tiny eyes. Its minuscule ears were barely visible, covered by short velvety fur. As I stroked the soft black hair, I noticed that the fur offered little resistance no matter which direction my finger passed over it, a perfect adaptation for life underground, permitting the animal to slide easily through a tight tunnel in any direction. » Continue Reading.



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

2013 Lake George Steward Program Report

LGA Lake Steward looking for AISThis summer marked the sixth that the Lake George Association (LGA) has coordinated a Lake Steward Program on Lake George to combat invasive species. 2013 saw the most extensive boat launch coverage since the program began, due to increased funding.

Since 2008, the LGA’s lake stewards have inspected over 32,000 boats at high traffic launches around the Lake, removed 490 aquatic invasive species (AIS) samples from boats, and spoke with more than 75,000 boaters about invasive species spread prevention. » Continue Reading.



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