Thursday, March 23, 2023

Lake Champlain Management Cooperative Announces Further Stocking Reduction for Lake Trout

dec logoOn March 15, the Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative – a working group of fisheries professionals from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service –  announced the decision to further reduce the number of stocked lake trout released annually. This decision was prompted by the continued increase in natural reproduction and the documentation of multiple age classes of wild fish.

A stocking program was established in the 1950s to restore lake trout in Lake Champlain following the loss of native populations due to water quality and habitat changes. Although the lake was stocked with 82,000 fin clipped fish annually, there is little evidence of successful natural reproduction during the first 60 years of this program.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Adirondack Land Trust to Offer Community Input Session on Preliminary Glenview Plan, March 28

“Spring Light,” oil on canvas depicting Glenview’s scenic vista, provided by artist Sandra Hildreth.

Harrietstown, NY — The Adirondack Land Trust is inviting community members to review preliminary designs for possible public access to its Glenview Preserve in Harrietstown. This 238-acre property, off State Route 86 between Saranac Lake and Paul Smiths, is being maintained as a scenic vista and managed for pollinator and wildlife habitat, water quality protection, and maple syrup production.

The draft plan reflects input from neighbors and community members, and now the land trust and Saratoga Associates are hosting an open-house-style work session to provide opportunities for additional input and feedback.

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Sunday, March 19, 2023

Stoneflies Are Emerging: A Sure Sign of Spring 

Stonefly Nymph

While enjoying a very spring-like late-winter afternoon beside the Trout River, at my home in northern Franklin County, I found myself greatly appreciating the sunshine and fascinated by the large number of black bugs that seemed to also be enjoying the sun’s long-awaited warmth.

The adult stoneflies were emerging in fairly-large numbers; making their way across the ice and snow and onto the tree trunks along the bank; some finding the half-dozen sap buckets I have hanging there. Unfortunately, several made their way into the sap contained in those pails.

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Sunday, March 19, 2023

Triploid Grass Carp permit applications available from Herkimer County SWCD

Herkimer County Soil and Water Conservation District logo.

Herkimer County SWCD – If you have a weed problem in your pond, you may want to consider stocking it with Grass Carp. These fish have a tremendous appetite for aquatic vegetation and can be used as a non-chemical agent to control weed growth in ponds, such as hydrilla, milfoil, coontail, elodea, and pondweeds.

The fish that are available for stocking are Triploid Grass Carp, which means they are sterile and cannot produce viable young. This non-native species of fish does not compete with native fish species that you may already have swimming around in your pond. Please note, these fish will not eat species such as cattails, bulrush, or water lilies.

Because Grass Carp are not native to New York and because they have huge appetites, a permit is required from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC). The Herkimer County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) starts the permitting process now, with stocking to take place in June 2023. The permitting process conducted by the NYS DEC is free of charge.

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Saturday, March 18, 2023

Peeking at backyard wildlife: A flying squirrel and barred owl

Barred owl in the yard

The couple inches of snow on Friday night [March 10] got us through the weekend for Snofest. It looks like we might need a snowmobile to get around this week, if all the snow predictions come true. Looking at the weather map, they are getting much more to the south of us just like most of the storms this year…some went south of us, and some went north of us. I did see some skiers enjoying the new snow on the ski trail out back both Saturday and Sunday [March 11 and 12.] I could hear the snowmobiles going up the shoulder of the road out front while here at my computer.

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Saturday, March 11, 2023

Tales of babysitting a coon cat, fat flying squirrels, and unpredictable weather

Snow Bunting

This week stayed more like winter…or at least the ground was white. I did blow out the driveway a couple times, but after the first snowstorm there was nothing but a misty rain the following day which froze [and created] a sharp crust on the snow that night. I had a couple runs to Utica this week and one day it was 33 degrees the whole way with light rain but when I got to Deerfield Hill it was a whiteout. Then going down the other side I could see all of Utica. Coming home that night it was the same [temperature] (33 degrees) and light rain until I hit Old Forge. Then it went [down] to 29 degrees and [I had] an instant freeze on my windshield at the top of the summit. I’m glad it wasn’t that way all the way home.

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Monday, March 6, 2023

Falconry, Wildlife Rehabilitator, and Leashed Tracking Dog Handler Exams Set for April 14

Falcon

Examinations for individuals seeking a license to practice the sport of falconry, become a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator, or use leashed tracking dogs to find wounded or injured big game animals are scheduled for Friday, April 14, 2023. The registration deadline for these free exams is Wednesday, April 12, 2023. To provide broad access to these examinations, DEC is offering them exclusively online.

Free study guides, the link to the registration website, and directions on how to register are provided on each of the individual license webpages. An email acknowledgment of registration will be sent to applicants along with an additional one-time link to access the website on the day of the exam.

For questions or assistance, please contact the Special Licenses Unit by mail at NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4752; by phone at 518-402-8985; or email us.

Photo at top courtesy of USFWS, provided by the NYS DEC.


Saturday, March 4, 2023

Inlet’s Frozen Fire & Lights a snowy success despite lack of wind

Trumpeter Swans

Well, we had our sixth January thaw this week as the temperature got up to 51 [degrees] on Tuesday [Feb. 21] and 49 [degrees] on Wednesday [Feb. 22.] [The temperature] dipped down, so it could snow Thursday [Feb. 23] morning about six inches. Then the temperature went up all day, and hovered right around freezing. When Karen came home from the library, it was 28 degrees and raining which put a razor-sharp crust on what snow we had. Then it zipped down below zero and didn’t get much above zero all day Friday [Feb. 24]. We got a couple more inches of snow and then right during Inlet’s Frozen Fire & Lights activities it snowed more, but not a wisp of wind for the kite fliers [on] Saturday afternoon [Feb. 25].

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Saturday, March 4, 2023

DEC: Be Coyote Conscious

Being cautious of coyotes graphic.

Have you heard or seen coyotes around recently? New York is currently in the midst of coyote breeding season, which generally runs from January-March. During this time of year, coyotes are especially active as they mate and begin to set up dens for pups that will arrive this spring. They also tend to be more territorial, which can increase the risk of conflicts with people and pets.

To minimize this risk, DEC recommends that everyone follow the tips outlined below.

  • Never feed coyotes.
  • Feed pets indoors.
  • Appreciate coyotes from a distance. If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior: stand tall and hold your arms up or out to look as large as possible. If a coyote lingers for too long, make loud noises, wave your arms, and throw sticks and stones.
  • Do not allow pets to run free. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable.

If a coyote is exhibiting bold behaviors and shows little or no fear of people, contact your Regional Wildlife Office or, in emergency situations, the local police department. Visit the DEC website for more information on coyotes and preventing conflicts with coyotes.

Photo at top: NYS DEC photo.


Saturday, February 25, 2023

Remembering the Atomic Project, and the hydrochloric acid incident of 1956

Red wing blackbird

More spring-like weather this week, [with] temperatures up to 51 [degrees] on Wednesday, [February 15], and I had a Red Wing Blackbird at the feeder. Then it was up to 49 [degrees] on Thursday, [February 16] with some rain and snow late in the day. Friday, [February 17] I went to Utica and the temperature was 35 [degrees] all the way down, with wet snow falling. [I] got my truck serviced and headed home and it was still 35 degrees there, but went down to 22 [degrees] by the time I hit Old Forge. [There was] no rain or snow [at the time], just a trace overnight, but the temperature zipped down to 10 [degrees]. That brought the Evening Grosbeaks into the feeder that morning and I banded eight before we went to the Chili Bowl [Luncheon] at View.

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Saturday, February 25, 2023

DEC: Free Seedlings Available to Qualified Landowners for Streamside Plantings

dec logoOn February 13, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced that the application period for the Trees for Tribs’ “Buffer in a Bag” program is now open. Qualifying private and public landowners may apply for a free bag of 25 tree and shrub seedlings for planting near streams, rivers, or lakes to help stabilize banks, protect water quality, combat climate change, and improve wildlife habitat.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Watchable Wildlife: Great Horned Owl

Juvenile great horned owl

Now may be a good time to see great horned owls (Bubo virginianus). They are year-round residents, but start sitting in their nests as early as January or February. Great horned owls are large birds (adults can be 18-25 inches in length) and have large ear tufts on their head and large yellow eyes. Their feathers are usually a mix of colors: white, reddish-brown, gray, and black, with a white patch on their throat.

Great horned owls can be found throughout New York state in a variety of habitats, such as forests or fields, near cliffs, and even around suburban or urban areas. They are most active at night, especially dusk and dawn, but sometimes hunt during the day. Listen for their distinctive “hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo” call.

Photo at top: Juvenile great horned owl. Photo by D. Arlene Bonnett. Photo provided by the NYS DEC.


Saturday, February 18, 2023

Free Fishing Days this weekend, ice anglers enjoying atypical winter

Amaryllis

This week was a February thaw most of the time, with rain and wet snow. Then Friday night [Feb. 10] we did get two inches of nice snow to start the weekend…and Old Forge’s Winter Carnival. About the only time I got outside was to feed the birds and get the mail, as the ankle is still not up to par. The cold I had, I passed on to Karen and so far, we have both survived it. Got tested for Covid and strep throat, had neither…just a good, old fashioned cold. Alka-Seltzer, cough drops, and many naps for the cure.

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Saturday, February 18, 2023

2023 Long Lake/Lake Eaton Ice Fishing Results

 

Marty Pierce took 1st place in Pike with his 13.63lb 39 inch pike.

On Saturday, February 11, 2023 in Long Lake, NY several eager groups of ice fisherman gathered at the Long Lake Geiger Arena to register for the Long Lake/Lake Eaton Ice Fishing Derby. Some anglers chose to fish Long Lake, and some opted for Lake Eaton, looking to catch the top prize for Lake Trout with an accumulating payout of $500. There were fifteen junior participants and 34 adults. A total of 23 fish were weighted in for the competition. Kids brought in a total of eleven Northern Pike. Adults weighed-in with a total of twelve fish. Lake Eaton produced five Land-Locked Salmon and two Rainbow Trout. Pike numbered a total of five entries. Marty Pierce’s winning fish weighed in at 13.63 lbs and 39 inches.

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Friday, February 17, 2023

Keeping bird feeders safe and clean

 

Keeping a close eye on your feeder's House Finches can help prevent the spread of House Finch eye disease. Photo: Jennifer Lint / Great Backyard Bird Count

These simple tips can ensure your feeder is a safe source of food for birds all year long.

Feeding birds is one of the great joys for winter birders. While setting up a feeder of your own can be fun, it comes with the responsibility of keeping your feeder birds safe. Follow these tips to make sure your feeder brings your local birds as much joy as it brings you!

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