Thursday, March 12, 2015

DEC: Fishing Shanties Must Be Removed Saturday

nys-dec-logoThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding ice anglers that all ice fishing shanties must be removed from water bodies by March 15.

Shanties that fall partially through the ice may be difficult to remove and also create hazards for snowmobiles and other motorized vehicles on the ice. Shanties that remain after the ice has gone out also present navigation hazards for boats. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How Wildlife Are Affected By Intense Cold

February 15 2015 Extreme ColdIntense cold is hard on all forms of wildlife, however, some of nature’s creatures are better adapted to deal with this type of adversity than others. Those animals whose geographic range extends well northward into Canada and Alaska have evolved various strategies to cope with prolonged bouts of sub-arctic weather and are quite capable of surviving the unrelenting cold that the Adirondacks has experienced this winter.

Conversely, some components of the Park’s fauna are on the northern fringe of their range and are better suited for functioning in a temperate region, such as southern New York and the mid-Atlantic States. These creatures are probably not faring well this season. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 2, 2015

2 Notorious Guides In Adirondack History

P326ABefore railroads and automobiles, travelers depended on the quality and skills of North Woods guides to show them the region’s natural beauty, to feed them and provide the best in hunting and fishing.  Often, guides were entrusted with taking ladies in the woods.

The guides, especially those not aligned with large hotels, depended on per diem fees for subsistence and quality reputations for honesty, dependability and woodcraft benefited all guides.  So when two guides brought dishonor to the profession, guides hoped people realized these two were the exception. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Adirondack Lake Trout At Risk

Adirondack Lake TroutIn one traditional method of lake-trout fishing, an angler holds in his or her hand a weighted line while trolling from a boat. To collect the line, the angler uses a jerry-rigged Victrola record player with a spool in the middle.

“As they pulled in the line, they turned on their [hand-cranked] Victrola,” said Joe Hackett, a fishing guide from Ray Brook. “Lake-trout fishing is so specialized. That’s something you learn from your father, or uncle, or grandfather.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Tips for Game Camera Success

TOS.gamecameraillustrationMy town had the job of removing a dead beaver from a culvert pipe cage, a rather sad and odorous affair, but also an opportunity. I alerted the usual suspects – there’s nothing like a rotting carcass to bring camera trappers together – and we moved the body into the woods and set up a few cameras.

We placed the body in mature forest near the wetland. We figured that just about any of our meso-carnivores might appear: coyote, fox, fisher, and bobcat were all possibilities. We didn’t get the bobcat, but we did get the others, and the fisher photos were especially nice. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Should DEC Plan For The Return Of The Wolf?

March coverCan wolves return to the Adirondacks on their own? If so, should the state Department of Environmental Conservation develop a plan to facilitate their recovery?

These are questions discussed in Mike Lynch’s cover story for the March-April issue of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine—the second in a series of articles on the Adirondacks’ missing predators.

Some people believe that the wolf, like the moose before it, could disperse to the Adirondacks. The nearest wolf population is only a few hundred miles away in Algonquin Provincial Park. There also is a substantial wolf population in the western Great Lakes states. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Identifying Trees In Winter Using Buds

Tree BudsEvery winter I teach several tree identification classes to biology students. Cold or colder, it’s always outdoors, but if student evaluations are on the level, it’s always fun. Demonstrating how to tell one leaf-bereft hardwood from another is one thing.

Bark is not the best feature for identifying trees. Sure, white bark means birch, but some birches have black, yellow or reddish bark. Typical bark patterns, such as diamond-shaped furrows for ash, can be absent depending on site conditions and tree health. Cherry and ironwood bark have light-colored horizontal dashes called lenticels, but only on young wood. Not all hickories have shaggy bark. Bark may provide a clue, but it’s not to be trusted as a sole, or even a primary, source of information. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wilmington Route 86 Bridge Closing Begins Monday

Route 86 Bridge in Wilmington photo by Peter FraileyThe Route 86 bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable River in Wilmington, Essex County, will be closed starting on Monday, March 2 for a bridge replacement project.  The NYS Department of Transportation is expected to post signs alerting residents and visitors that businesses near the bridge are open. The bridge will also be closed to pedestrians during the closure period. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hunter Admits Shooting Bull Moose

MooseA New Hampshire man has admitted illegally shooting a bull moose in the town of Croghan just west of the Adirondack Park.

Steven Zehr of Walpole, New Hampshire, turned himself in after shooting the animal on private land on the morning of November 25, according to Stephen Litwhiler, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Litwhiler said Zehr was in a tree stand and mistook the moose, which weighed nearly 690 pounds, for an antlered deer. It was about 10 a.m. when the moose was killed. Zehr was charged with illegally taking wild game, a misdemeanor, and paid a $1,200 civil fine. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Cuomo Endorses A Park-Wide Invasive Species Plan

Andrew Cuomo in the AdirondacksThe Adirondack Park may become the first region in New York State to have its own, integrated program to halt the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the state legislature to appropriate $1 million  to develop the  Adirondack-wide strategy.

According to Morris Peters, a spokesman for the Division of the Budget, the money for the new initiative will come from an increase in appropriations to the Environmental Protection Fund. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 9, 2015

2014 Hunting Accidents Report

Hunting Accidents 2014The 2014 New York hunting season closed with the second lowest number of hunting related-shooting incidents on record according to the State Department of Environmental Conservation, but almost half of all hunting accidents occurred in Northern New York.

Of the 22 hunting incidents that occurred in 2014, nine occurred in Northern New York. Statewide, eight accidents resulted in self-inflicted injuries, eleven involved members of the same hunting party and three occurred between a victim and shooter who did not know each other. Incidents in Northern New York included: » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 31, 2015

Ducks On Fish Backs, Walking

Linesville PA carp and ducksOn rainy nights, if you listen closely, you can hear opera music coming out of the stout wooden bench in front of our Adirondack cabin’s fieldstone fireplace. That’s what Paul Schaefer told us when he brought us the piece of beam and said it would make a fine bench for our indoor fireplace.

Paul was a contractor in Schenectady, NY, who built early American style homes. He and my father Howard Zahniser were also Adirondack conservation partners, beginning in 1946, when I was six months old. Paul served as middle-man when my parents bought our cabin near Bakers Mills from Harold and Pansy Allen that August. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lake Champlain Salmon Restoration Update

ChamplainSalmonOfficials from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation have announced that 2014 assessment results show continued gains in the Lake Champlain landlocked Atlantic salmon fishery restoration program.

The three groups, which work together on restoration efforts as the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative, reported to the press a number of highlights from recent evaluation activities that indicate further improvement to the lake’s salmon population. One primary indicator is the strength of annual spawning runs – which produced several record or near-record numbers in 2014.  Some of the key data includes: » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Great South Woods Meeting In Piseco

GSW_trailnetwork2The first of several workshops to support regional recreation planning in the southern part of New York’s Adirondack Park will be 6 to 8 pm, on Wednesday, January 28th at Piseco Central School.

The meeting is open to the public and has been organized by a partnership between the Great South Woods Project and the Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System. It follows the Great South Woods kick-off meeting Dec. 17 at Lake Pleasant Central School in Speculator, during which more than 80 participants shared their knowledge of, and vision for, recreation opportunities in the two-million acre planning area. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bakers Mills: Remembering Earl And Daisy Allen

668-47 Earl AllenIt was during the late 1980’s that Paul Schaefer introduced me to Daisy and Earl Allen in Bakers Mills. Earl has passed away this past month, and his wife Daisy died some 14 years before. But the memories of Daisy’s warmth and kitchen, and Earl’s legend as a teamster, maple sugar maker, artisan, maker of hay rakes, and master of old engines remain strong. Both would do anything they could for people.

Paul and his fellow hunters relied on Earl for some twenty years or more to hitch up his team of work horses to a wagon and bring there gear into hunting camp and out again. Rev. Daisy Dalaba Allen was pastor of the Sodom Community Church and president of the Pentecostal Holiness Association. » Continue Reading.


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