The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced their new DEC Automated Licensing System (DECALS).
DECALS is an overwork of the previous licensing system designed to incorporate more user-friendly information to help users locate vendors, receive instant copies of a license, and enter and view harvest information and more.
As the system progresses and new features are added and updated, DECALS will include events calendars with upcoming season dates including youth hunts, clinics, and free fishing days. Full integration with the DEC’s Hunter Education Program which would make it easier to register for courses and automatically update certifications, and auto-renewal options for all annual licenses.
In order to get your hunting license, all aspiring hunters must complete a mandatory DEC hunter education course.
This course will continue to be available through Aug. 31, according to an announcement made by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) commissioner Basil Seggos.
The DEC is also making available an online bowhunter education course, available on July 15.
Since April, 24,000 hunters have completed the online hunter education course successfully. This is about a 20 percent increase from those who usually take the course, and of those who took it, 40 percent were women. This is also an increase from the typical in-person course, where 27 percent of students were women. Almost half of all who took the online course were 30 years or older.
Five waters in the Adirondacks (DEC’s Region 5) will be stocked with landlocked Atlantic salmon in the coming weeks. Ranging 2-6 pounds, the broodstock fish (used for spawning purposes) are from a hatchery operated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Vermont.
Over 2,500 of these salmon will be stocked into Lake George, Schroon Lake, Moose Pond (Town of St. Armand), Taylor Pond (Town of Black Brook) and Lake Colby. Anglers are reminded that established fishing regulations for landlocked salmon apply to these waters
The Plan was written to communicate what outcomes the DEC will strive to achieve while managing for a diversity of fishing experiences and providing anglers with the means to find those experiences. Plan objectives and strategies address the management of both wild and stocked trout, habitat enhancement and protection, public access, and outreach.
The 2020 season for Largemouth and Smallmouth bass opens this Saturday, June 20 and runs through Nov.30. Most waters also allow a catch and release season which starts Dec. 1 and continues until regular fishing season opens.
Anglers can use artificial lures during the regular season. Some waters have regulations particular to them, and New York State anglers should be sure to check out the DEC’s fishing regulations guide before heading out to the water.
The New York State Department of Enviornmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos Announced in a DEC Newsletter that the statewide fishing season for Lake Erie, Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River opens on the third Saturday in June (June 20th) this year. The statewide muskellunge season opener falls on May 30th as well in all locations excluding the ones mentioned above.
At sometimes 50 pounds are more, Muskies are the largest freshwater fish in NYS, with a minimum size limit of 40 inches (or 54 inches in Great Lakes waters). Anglers should review the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide on the DEC’s website before heading out on the water.
Muskellunge’s have always proved a challenge due to their size and their tenacity once hooked, earning them the nick name “the fish of 10,000 casts”. Their unpredictable nature has proven to be an irresistible challenge to many anglers come the summer season, and population management in New York entails habitat protection and enhancement, research, monitoring, stocking, and regulating as a consequence. At least 13 lakes and 19 rivers in New York State have muskellunge populations.
The DEC also wants to remind anglers that we are in fact still in a quarantine status, even though we have began reopening in phases. It is important to maintain a safe social distance while fishing. Remember to fish local, keep your trips short and avoid high traffic locations. When fishing on a boat, make sure it is large enough so persons on board can maintain 6 feet of space. If you don’t feel well, stay home, and be adaptive. Move quickly through parking lots and paths, and if a path is crowded, choose a different one.
Water chemistry values for 13 ponds in the Adirondacks have recently been evaluated and indicate that the brook trout that inhabit those waters may have the potential to reproduce naturally, which could eliminate the need for stocking. Stocking will be suspended in 2020 and 2021 and the ponds will be surveyed in 2022 to determine if stocking is needed.
The 14,000 brook trout fingerlings that would have been stocked in these waters will now be stocked into other Adirondack ponds to help offset an anticipated shortage of Temiscamie hybrid brook trout this fall.
Starting today (Saturday, May 2), it’s open season for cool water fish like walleye, northern pike, pickerel, and the tiger muskellunge.
Historically, walleye only inhabited waters in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, and Allegheny River watersheds in New York. Today, primarily due to stocking and other DEC management efforts, walleye occur in more than 140 waters from all of the major watersheds of the state.
Visit the DEC’s website here to find prime fishing locations, and check out the feature article “Prized ‘Eyes,” in DEC’s Freshwater Fishing Digest, where the DEC reveals how they manage walleye, and where to catch them.
Kristyn Hanna proudly holds a walleye she caught from Oneida Lake in February 2019. DEC photo
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announces the start of spring turkey hunting season on May 1. This applies to all Upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester county line.
Remember this season to follow the DEC’s safety tips in order to prevent injury and the spread of COVID – 19. The DEC’s annual youth turkey hunting weekend, for junior hunters aged 12 to 15, will take place as well this season on April 25-26.
During the 2019 spring season, Turkey hunters took around 17,000 birds. Spring harvest success is measured relative to two years prior, as hunters focus primarily on “gobblers” (2-year-old birds). The 2019 breeding season started off slow due to inclement weather, but conditions in summer of 2018, as well as good over winter survival due to abundant food in the fall has contributed to a population gain that may offset the slow start to 2019’s breeding season.
The Department of Environmental Conservation tested 2,658 harvested deer across New York State for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the animals harvested by hunters in the 2019 season. No evidence of CWD was found. “Preventing the introduction of CWD into New York is a high priority for DEC to ensure the health of our deer herd and to protect the recreational and viewing opportunities deer provide,” State DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a press release.
April 1 marked the beginning of trout season, and while getting fresh air and exercise outside is essential to your health and happiness, it’s important to remain proactive in preventing the spread of COVID-19 among your fellow anglers. The DEC has these recommendations:
First, make sure to get your fishing license. Due to the closure of locations where a license would normally be available, you can order one online by visiting this link, or over the phone by calling 1-866-933-2257.
Once you have your license, make sure you follow the fishing regulations. Requests for hardcopies are currently delayed due closures of the town clerk offices, but a PDF version of the 2020/2021 regulations is available for download from the DEC’s website. If you want to receive a hardcopy, just email [email protected] and include your physical mailing address.
Remember to socially distance yourself, and to avoid crowded fishing spots!
New York hunters harvested an estimated 224,190 deer during the 2019-20 hunting season. That’s according to Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos , who stated in a press release that “regulated hunting benefits all New Yorkers by reducing the negative impacts of deer on forests, communities, and crop producers, while also providing more than 10 million pounds of high quality, local protein to families and food pantries around the state every year.”
With several hunting seasons underway New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding hunters to put safety at the forefront when going afield. DEC estimate about 500,000 people hunt in New York State, which has a population of about 19.54 million.
In 2018, 13 hunting-related shooting incidents were reported in New York, leading to three deaths, down from 166 incidents in 1966, of which 13 of which were fatal. Most big game hunters involved in firearm-related incidents were not wearing hunter orange. Every year, hunters are seriously injured, paralyzed, or killed by falling out of tree stands. Falls from tree stands have become a major cause of hunting-related injuries and fatalities in New York. Hunting safety statistics from last year are available online [pdf]. » Continue Reading.
In early September, The Lake Champlain Basin Program’s boat launch steward Matthew Gorton was conducting routine boat inspections at the South Hero John Guilmette. There to help prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species, Gorton noticed an unusual looking plant hanging off a trailer backing into the Lake.
While Lake Champlain is host to 51 known nonnative and invasive aquatic species, Hydrilla verticillata has not yet been found there. The watercraft carrying the plant was last in the Connecticut River, a system in which the highly invasive plant hydrilla is well established. » Continue Reading.