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.
** SUMMER CONDITIONS
With recent hot and dry weather the fire danger has been raised to MODERATE, but conditions will generally be excellent this weekend, provided you avoid the occasional afternoon thunderstorm that rolls across the Adirondacks at this time of year. Remember that conditions can change suddenly with weather so be prepared and carry a flashlight, first aid kit, food, water and extra clothing. Conditions on summits are always more extreme; avoid lightening
** LIGHTENING SAFETY
The possibility of encountering thunderstorms at this time of year means it’s a good time to review lighting safety. There is NO safe place outside in a thunderstorm, follow local weather closely and avoid storms. Hundreds of people are killed or permanently injured each year by being struck by lightening. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance so seek safe shelter immediately. If you are caught outdoors away from the safety of cars or buildings, then avoid open fields, hill-tops, and isolated trees, and stay away from water. Hikers should never be above the treeline when there is lightning.
It’s “Bug Season” in the Adirondacks. Now until the end of summer Black Flies, Mosquitoes, Deer Flies and/or Midges (No-see-ums) will be present. Wear light colored clothing, long sleeves and long pants; rap a rubber band around sleeves at the wrist; tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks; pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick and use an insect repellant.
** WATERS RUNNING AT OR BELOW NORMAL LEVELS
The levels of rivers and streams throughout the region are at or below normal. Consult the latest streamgage data if you are venturing onto the region’s waters.
** 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.
** ROUTE 86 ROAD CONSTRUCTION
NYS Department of Transportation is in the midst of a two week project to repave Route 86 between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Expect delays and plan accordingly.
Adirondack Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement Roads
The following roads or road systems remain closed. Users on foot 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:
Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands
Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands – all roads except the Fishhole Pond Access Road and town roads
Darling Ford Road (Hudson River Recreation Area, Lake George Wild Forest)
Buttermilk Road Extension (Hudson River Recreation Area, 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 DRAFTING ST. LAWRENCE FLATLANDS MANAGEMENT PLAN
DEC Region 6 is preparing a unit management plan (UMP) for ten state forests and seven detached forest preserve parcels in northern St. Lawrence and Franklin counties. This plan for the new St. Lawrence Flatlands management unit is a continuation of the former Brasher UMP which began several years ago. The state forests total 30,810 acres and are located in the Franklin County towns of Bombay and Moira, and the St. Lawrence County towns of Brasher, Madrid, Norfolk and Stockholm. The unit also includes seven widely scattered parcels of detached forest preserve lands located in the towns of Lisbon, Louisville, Massena, Oswegatchie and Waddington in St. Lawrence County. Comments on the future management of this unit should be addressed to Senior Forester Aaron Graves at NYSDEC, 6739 US Highway 11, Potsdam, NY, 13676, e-mail email@example.com, or call call (315) 265-3090. The deadline for this round of public comments is August 31, 2012.
** 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
** ADIRONDACK WATER TEMPERATURES
Ausable River (West Branch in Wilmington) water temperature is in the upper-60s and lower-70s.
Mirror Lake water temperature is 76 degrees.
Lake Champlain (at Burlington) water temperature has risen to 64 degrees.
Lake George (at Warner Bay) water temperature has risen to 71 degrees.
Fishing Seasons Open
Trout and Landlocked Salmon, Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskie, Walleye, Black Bass, Perch, Sunfish, Eel, Bullhead, Catfish and other panfish seasons are open.
Docks Installed at Boat Launch Sites
Docks have been installed at DEC boat launch sites. 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
Trout (lake, brook, rainbow, brown and hybrids, and splake) and landlocked Salmon seasons are open. Streams across the area continue to be clear and low. 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
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 June 30 and July 1 at Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George (pre-registration required) and on Saturday, June 30, from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. at the John A. Brooks Memorial Fishing Pier at South Bay on Lake Champlain. A full list of DEC’s 2012 Free Fishing Day clinic locations is available online.
The gate for the road to Lake Clear is open and access Meadow and St. Germain Ponds is restored.
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
** DEC ANNOUNCES TENTATIVE 2012-13 MIGRATORY GAME BIRD HUNTING SEASONS
The tentative schedule for many of New York’s 2012-13 migratory game bird seasons (including ducks, geese, woodcock, snipe and rails) is now available online. The final season dates, bag limits and other regulations for 2012-13 migratory game bird hunting seasons in New York will be announced once they are approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tentative season dates for the Lake Champlain Zone were not included because they will be determined by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board following public meetings likely to be held in August in Whitehall, NY and Burlington, VT. DEC encourages New York waterfowl hunters who frequent the Champlain Zone to attend one of these meetings; details will be announced later this summer. Comments and suggestions about the Lake Champlain Zone may also be submitted to any DEC season-setting team member or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.