Saturday, July 10, 2021

DEC Proposes Amendment to Fisher and Marten Trapping Regulations

fisher in the snowAfter DEC completed the New York State Fisher Management Plan (PDF) in 2016, we adopted regulations to revise the fisher trapping season in some regions and open new fisher trapping opportunities in others.

The adopted regulations also required a free special permit for all fisher trapping. The special permit allowed DEC biologists to collect biological data on harvested fisher and trapping effort data, information necessary to ensure sustainable harvest opportunities for this popular furbearer.

After five seasons of data collection, sufficient information on harvest pressure and take has been collected such that the special permit is no longer needed. The information from trapping activity logs, fisher carcasses, and field surveys in areas open to fisher harvest all confirm that fisher are abundant and current harvest opportunities are sustainable.

For several years, trappers were also required get a special marten trapping permit and to submit the carcass of harvested martens so biological data could be collected to help managers understand population dynamics. A sufficient amount of data has been collected such that marten carcasses are no longer needed for harvest management of this species, but the special permit is still needed to help managers track trapping participation and effort.

The proposed regulations would remove the requirement for trappers to obtain a special fisher trapping permit. The proposal would also remove the requirement for trappers to submit marten carcasses while maintaining the requirement for a special pine marten permit. A trapping license and pelt sealing would still be required for both fisher and marten.

To review the proposed regulations and submit comments, visit the Fish and Wildlife Proposed Regulations page. Written comments will be received through August 15, 2021.

Photo of fisher courtesy of Ryan Pennesi.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

8 Responses

  1. habitatman says:

    My father did considerable trapping (particularly during the depression) in our part of rural Oswego County during his lifetime. Upon reflection prior to his death he told me that trapping was extremely cruel. I’m just saying—–

  2. Alan West says:

    I am pleased to see that you are publishing consumptive use matters such as trapping and hunting.
    I agree with the DEC proposal, however I see nothing in it regarding season dates or lengths. I feel that DEC over reacted when they shortened the Adirondack fisher trapping season, BUT ON THE WRONG END! No regard was given to when the fur would be prime and at it’s best. Instead we were told the fur would still be “saleable”.
    Also the October season in the southern tier counties is far, far too early. DEC needs to get away from this “trophy” mentality and look to harvesting this valuable resource when it is at it’s best.

    • Tim-Brunswick says:

      Al: you’re on the money with all comments and we trappers have been trying to get NYSDEC see the light for years to no avail.

  3. Boreas says:

    With the special permits no longer needed, how will the population dynamics be monitored?

  4. Tim-Brunswick says:

    Al: you’re on the money with all comments and we trappers have been trying to get NYSDEC see the light for years to no avail.

  5. Al West says:

    When the decline in Adirondack fisher populations was brought to the attention of DEC they responded by shortening the season in some of the northern management units, however they shortened the season on the wrong end. They also established a short season in the southern tier in October. No attention was made to harvest these animals when they are at their best.Instead DEC chose to use the term “trophy”. We were told that early caught fisher were “still saleable.
    DEC chooses to ignore their own St.Lawrence county study that proves later season trapping had no negative affect upon the population.Instead they required trappers to keep a log book in an attempt to prove the college theory of TPUE, traps per unit of effort.Thousands of skulls were required to be submitted to determine the age composition of the harvest.
    I participated in the fisher best management study, determining the most humane traps to use, but DEC would not listen to experienced trappers, instead telling us what traps we must use.
    In my opinion DEC has done a very poor job of managing this furbearer and ignoring the voices of trappers to establish a reasonable season