Imagine walking down a trail or bushwhacking through some dense underbrush. A flash of movement appears out of the corner of your eye that just might be a three-toed woodpecker (or any other bird, mammal, insect, plant or mineral of interest).
The backpack is carefully is removed, opened, and fished through in an attempt to find a full-sized pair of binoculars. After finally locating the binoculars, the case is opened and the binoculars are ready to be focused on this rare bird species (or mammal, insect, plant or mineral). Unfortunately, it is long gone and you are out of luck. » Continue Reading.
The Wild Center is kicking off the Fourth of July weekend with an all day festival on Saturday, July 2nd. BuzzzFest will be a day of fun honoring creatures from dragonflies to honey bees and all the buzzing, chirping and crawling things in between.
During Bug Chef David George Gordon’s three live cooking shows he will create culinary masterpieces using ants, grasshoppers, waterbugs, centipedes, scorpions and their kin. Visitors can help in the cooking and the tasting with the freewheeling naturalist who has been featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, National Geographic Kids, The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine. He’s been a guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, ABC’s Nightline and The View.
For those who want to hear some bugs and not eat them, The Beatles Revolution, an internationally-known Beatles Tribute Band will be on-hand. They have performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool and were featured on the BBC. Their four-set show spans the life, music and costumes of the Fab Four. The show runs from Ed Sullivan to Abbey Road.
On the live insect side, The God of Insects is bringing a collection of some of the world’s most astounding insects. No discredit intended to our own black flies and mosquitos, but the God of Insects collection has some of the stars of the insect world, including Madagascar hissing roaches, bess beetles, stick insects, giant millipedes, huge exotic spiders and more.
BuzzzFest will feature honey chicken barbecue and festive Fourth of July food prepared by the Center’s new Executive Chef Phil Smith and plenty of meal offerings from area culinary enterprises.
The new live theater show Unhuggables will premiere at 1pm. It’s all about Adirondack animals with bad reputations. With humor, stories and lots of live animals you’ll be able to see how some creatures that don’t get much love deserve some.
The day will also feature CSI Bugs. Visitors can catch bugs or see the ones collected by staff under the huge microscope. Center staff will be on hand to help you see what’s what in the insect world. You can bring in a mosquito to see exactly how it does its vampire act. The Center’s Butterfly Garden will be open, plus there will be insect races, insect tours, and a live bee hive demonstration with a hive expert to show you how to raise your own bees, and free buzzz cuts for the kids and the willing.
“Bring the family,” said Rob Carr, who is heading up the day at the Center, “and we’ll do everything we can to send you home buzzzing with ideas. We plan to have big day where people can kick back, relax and enjoy a fun Adirondack Fourth…on the Second.”
The Wild Center is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6p.m. between Memorial Day and Labor Day. For more information, visit www.wildcenter.org.
Fireworks and BBQs are on the roster this weekend as our nation steps up to celebration its Independence Day. Around the Adirondack Park, there will be plenty to do this 4th of July, but in Lake George there’s a whole week’s worth of family activities.
Some activities are for a fee, like the tubing in Lake Luzerne. At Adirondack Tubing Adventures you can tube for $21.95 for adults and $18.95 for children (12 and under) “The Lazy Linx Float” is a guided tubing, rafting, or canoe trip. There are also options for a two-person inflatable kayak or the single person hard bottom kayak. There are three trips a day (10:30 a.m., 12:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m) so reservations are recommended by calling 518-696-6133. Adirondack Tubing Adventures is open seven days a week so don’t despair; there are plenty of opportunities to get onto the water.
Dane Morton, owner of Adirondack Tubing Adventures, says, “This is our third summer of operations. All the trips are guided but vary in distance. We take all ages from adults to young kids (one and up) accompanied by a parent.”
For a discount to Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom call 518-681-7452. If you prefer adventure, then try one of the ropes courses at Adirondack Extreme Adventure or perhaps a pleasant ice cream cruise on Lake George is more your speed where children 11 and under are free.
There are also FREE activities such as Lego Building and Sand Castle Building Contests.
Of course there are other activities around Lake George such as hiking Prospect Mountain, taking a scenic drive or just enjoying the beautiful Adirondack view!
Having a hummingbird feeder near your home and being able to regularly monitor the activity around this colorful structure can provide some insight into the summer life of this tiny, iridescent bird.
When the hummingbird returns in the spring, this petite creature tends to seek out the same general region that served as its home the previous summer. Older adults are known to claim the same surroundings which they used the past year as their breeding territory.
Since these birds are already familiar with the area and know the location of various sources of food, it is soon after their arrival that they appear outside a window to take advantage of the artificial nectar placed there. » Continue Reading.
What follows is a story of some young men from Albany learning to fly fish on the West Branch of the Ausable River, and who for the first time experience the pull of the river, its rocks and pools, a trout on the line, and in their hands. I start with some background.
When Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve organized one year ago, we decided to seek out non-traditional allies and educational partners in our efforts to broaden aware, informed support for wild nature. One of those partners is Brother Yusuf Burgess of Albany. For many years, Brother Yusuf has been helping young urban youth to discover discipline, teamwork, self-awareness and self-worth in the great outdoors. As often as time and funds allow, Yusuf brings youth from Albany to the Adirondacks, Catskills, Hudson Valley and beyond to learn outdoor skills such as boat-building, fishing, skiing, camping. He understands young people and the streets. He has walked their walk.
A former counselor at the Albany Boys and Girls Clubs, Yusuf is employed as Family Intervention Specialist with Green Tech Charter High School. He is an experienced kayaker and fisherman, founder of the Environmental Awareness Network for Diversity in Conservation, and is also New York’s representative on the Children and Nature Network. For several years, Yusuf worked for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to recruit more children and families of color into DEC’s Summer Campership program. His successful efforts to create teen “eco-clubs” in urban America have been noticed at home and internationally, and he is widely sought as a speaker. Some of the young men and women whom Yusuf influenced have gone on to professional careers, and some have returned to help Yusuf mentor today’s teens.
Yusuf and his students are featured in the acclaimed 2010 documentary film, Mother Nature’s Child (Fuzzy Slippers Productions, Burlington, VT), which explores nature’s powerful role in children’s health and development. To quote from the film’s promotional materials, “The film marks a moment in time when a living generation can still recall childhoods of free play outdoors; this will not be true for most children growing up today.” For more, go to www.mothernaturesmovie.com.
Recently, Yusuf brought six young men from Albany’s Green Tech Charter High School to learn fly fishing from Adirondack Wild’s Dan Plumley, to apply what they learn on the West Branch of the Ausable River, and to camp out at Dan’s oak grove in Keene. Yusuf had each boy equipped with fly rod, poncho, and camping gear. Dan worked tirelessly to improve their casting technique, where the thumb and tip of the rod work together to drop the fly where it wants to be – right where the hatch is rising and the fish biting. Few other sports require the wrist and shoulder to be so still. Slowly, with Dan’s careful guidance some of them got the feel for it.
On the river, Dan explained about the Forest Preserve and its significance, and taught the boys that this particular section of the West Branch was a “no kill” conservation area, where fish are “catch and release” only. He showed them how to tie a fly, how to hold the hook to avoid being punctured, and how to read the river for the best places to fish.
One boy got in the waders, took Dan’s favorite rod, and immersed himself in the life of the West Branch. Completely absorbed, he moved upriver to an unoccupied pool, casting by himself. About 2 pm, we heard him. He had a trout on his line! His friends joined him as he unhooked a nice brown trout, proudly held it for the cameras, and released it. This was one of many special moments where these young men exchanged self-consciousness for independence as they explored a completely new and challenging outdoor world.
As other fishers left a pool unoccupied, Dan moved the group to that very spot and found that within minutes the trout were rising to a hatch, perhaps the black flies which were beginning to harass us on the bank. Dan positioned the young men for success, but their casts were just falling short of the constantly rising fish. Finally, Dan took his rod and practice-cast upstream, and then dropped the fly perfectly. After several attempts, he had a trout on the line. He called for one the boys to bring it in slowly and very soon in their hands was a handsome, small brook trout which tolerated a photo-shoot, and then shot from their hands back into the river: a magical conclusion to the afternoon’s “edventure,” a term Yusuf uses frequently.
Back at their camp in Dan’s oak grove, the boys settled in to tend and watch their camp fire, joke and laugh, and also to think on the day and what they had accomplished. “I am thinking about how far I am from home right now,” said one young man very quietly as he stared into the fire’s light. I knew he was not merely referring to road miles, but to inner miles. Next morning, Dan asked another about his overnight experience. “It was my first time camping, and it was extremely fun!”
It is remarkable to see how Yusuf works with these young men who, without the guidance and opportunities for growth he provides, might easily fall under many negative influences close to their homes. Yusuf participates in their camaraderie, knows these young men, and knows how to bring out their best qualities, put them to work, and to earn their respect. I am pleased we are playing a small role in Yusuf’s determined campaign to transform the lives of several generations of urban youth through exposure to nature in the wild Adirondacks.
Photos: Brother Yusuf Burgess with the young men he brought with him to the Ausable; Brother Yusuf; Dan Plumley coaches from mid-stream; Trout in the hand.
What follows is a guest essay by Mike Petroni, a member of the Croghan Dam Restoration Initiative. Concern over the stability of the 93-year-old dam (on the Beaver River in Lewis County) has led DEC to lower the water level of the impoundment by removing stop logs to reduce water pressure on the dam structure. The DEC is planning to remove the remaining logs from the two-section dam in the coming week and eventually breach the concrete structure. The Almanack asked Mike Petroni to provide some background on why local leaders, historic preservationists, and renewable energy advocates hope to keep DEC from breaching the dam. Straddling the western edge of the Blue Line, Croghan, New York, known for its exceptional bologna, is home to one of New York’s last remaining water powered saw-mills. Over the past few years, the Croghan Island Mill has been the center of a dramatic debate. The question: how will New York manage its aging small dam infrastructure? » Continue Reading.
In Adirondack history, like in most other parts of America, war heroes abound. Traditionally, they are men who have lost limbs, men who risked their lives to save others, and men who fought valiantly against incredible odds. Some died, while others survived, but for the most part, they shared one common thread: they were all men. But in my own humble estimation, one of the North Country’s greatest of all war heroes was a woman.
Florence Church Bullard, the female in question, was “from” two places. Known for most of her life as a Glens Falls girl, she was born in January 1880 in New Sweden, a small settlement in the Town of Ausable. By the time she was 20, Florence had become a schoolteacher in Glens Falls, where she boarded with several other teachers. Seeking something more from life, she enrolled in St. Mary’s Hospital, a training facility of the Mayo Brothers in Rochester, Minnesota. After graduating, she worked as a private nurse for several years.
In December 1916, four months before the United States entered World War I, Florence left for the battlefields of Europe. As a Red Cross nurse, she served with the American Ambulance Corps at the hospital in Neuilly, France, caring for injured French soldiers. They often numbered in the thousands after major battles.
On April 6, 1917, the United States officially entered the war, but the first American troops didn’t arrive in Europe until the end of June. Florence had considered the possibility of returning home by fall of that year because of potential attacks on the home front by Germany or Mexico (yes, the threat was real).
But with the US joining the fray in Europe, Florence decided she could best serve the cause by tending to American foot soldiers, just as she had cared for French troops since her arrival.
Until the Americans landed, she continued serving in the French hospital and began writing a series of letters to family and friends in Glens Falls and Ausable. Those missives provide a first-hand look at the war that took place a century ago.
The US had strongly resisted involvement in the conflict, but when Congress voted to declare war, Florence described the immediate reaction in Europe. Her comments offer insight on America’s role as an emerging world power and how we were viewed by others back then.
“I have never known anything so inspiring as Paris has been since the news came that America had joined the Allies. Almost every building in Paris is flying the American flag. Never shall I forget last Saturday evening. I was invited to go to the opera … that great opera house had not an empty seat. It was filled with Russians, Belgians, British, and French, with a few Americans scattered here and there. Three-quarters of the huge audience was in uniform.
“Just before the curtain went up for the second act, the wonderful orchestra burst out into the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’ In a flash, those thousands were on their feet as if they were one person. One could have heard a pin drop except for the music. The music was played perfectly and with such feeling. Afterwards, the applause was so tremendous that our national anthem was repeated.
“The tears sprang to my eyes and my heart seemed to be right in my throat. It seemed as if I must call right out to everyone, ‘I’m an American and that was my national anthem!’ I have never witnessed such a demonstration of patriotism in my life. The officers of every allied nation clad in their brilliant uniforms stood in deference to our country.”
The work she had done thus far received strong support from the folks back home. In a letter to her sister in Ausable, Florence wrote, “Try to know how much gratitude and appreciation I feel to you and all the people of Glens Falls who have given so generously of their time and money. It was such fun to help the committee open the boxes and to realize that the contents had all been arranged and made by people that I know personally.
“The committee remarked upon the splendid boxes with hinged covers and the manner in which they were packed. When the covers were lifted, the things looked as if they might have been packed in the next room and the last article just fitted into the box. I was just a little proud to have them see how things are done in Glens Falls. Again, my gratitude, which is so hard to express.”
Florence’s credentials as a Mayo nurse, her outstanding work ethic, and connections to some important doctors helped ease her transition into the American war machine. The French, understandably, were loathe to see her go, so highly valued was her service.
In a letter to Maude, her older sister, Florence expressed excitement at establishing the first triage unit for American troops at the front. They were expected to treat 5,000 to 10,000 soldiers every 24 hours. Upon evaluation, some would be patched up and moved on; some would be operated on immediately; and others would be cared for until they were well enough to be moved to safer surroundings.
Florence’s sensitive, caring nature was evident when she told of the very first young American to die in her care. “He was such a boy, and he told me much about himself. He said that when the war broke out, he wanted to enlist. But he was young, and his mother begged him not to, so he ran away. And here he was, wounded and suffering, and he knew he must die.
“All the time, that boy was crying for his mother … he was grieving over her. And so I did what I could to take her place. And during the hours of his delirium, he sometimes thought I was his mother, and for the moment, he was content.
“Every morning, that lad had to be taken to the operating room to have the fluid drawn from off his lungs because of the hemorrhage. When finally that last day the doctor came, he knew the boy’s time was short and he could not live, so he said he would not operate. But the boy begged so hard, he said it relieved him so, that we took him in.
“And then those great, confident eyes looked into mine and he said, ‘You won’t leave me mother, will you?’ And I said, ‘No, my son.’ But before that simple operation could be completed, that young life had passed out. And I am not ashamed to tell you that as I cut a curl of hair to send to his mother, my tears fell on that young boy’s face-—not for him, but for his mother.”
Working tirelessly dressing wounds and assisting the surgeons, Bullard displayed great capability and leadership. She was offered the position of hospital superintendent if she chose to leave the front. It was a tremendous opportunity, but one that Florence Bullard turned down. Rather than supervise and oversee, she preferred to provide care directly to those in need.
Photos:Above, Florence Church Bullard, nurse, hero; Middle, WW I Red Cross poster; Below, WW I soldier wounded in France.
Lawrence Gooley has authored nine books and many articles on the North Country’s past. He and his partner, Jill McKee, founded Bloated Toe Enterprises in 2004. He took over in 2010 and began expanding the company’s publishing services. For information on book publishing, visit Bloated Toe Publishing.
online, but note this is a physically demanding activity. Caleb Davis, proprietor of Tremolo, creates handcrafted canoe paddles. He is a former shop teacher and a member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. Tremolo is both a vocation and a passion for Caleb, whose enthusiasm towards the art of both canoeing and paddle making is contagious; all it takes is five minutes with Caleb to make you want to pick up a blank and craft that perfect paddle, then to jump into your solo or tandem canoe and master traditional flatwater paddling techniques.
Davis is a skilled instructor and continues to enhance his skills with course work and certifications. His past and current certifications include: Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association Instructor, Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association Instructor, Eastern Professional Ski Touring (XC) Instructor, United States Rowing Association Coach, League of New Hampshire Craftsman – Canoe Paddles, American Canoeing Association Flat Water Tandem Instructor, American Canoeing Association Flat Water Solo Instructor, Traditional Flatwater Canoeing Association.
What follows is the March-June Forest Ranger Activity Report for DEC Region 5, which includes most of the Adirondack region. Although not a comprehensive detailing of all backcountry incidents, these reports are issued periodically by the DEC and printed here at the Almanack in their entirety. They are organized by county, and date. You can read previous Forest Ranger Reports here.
These incident reports are a stern reminder that wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Hikers and campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the backcountry and always carry a flashlight, first aid kit, map and compass, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods and always inform others of your itinerary.
At this time of year the orbital dust from the comet 7P/Pons-Winnecke, which orbits our sun once about every six years, is the cause of the Bootid meteor shower. In 1998 and 2004 this shower had outbursts that produced up to 50-100 meteors per hour at its peak, but the surrounding years produced very few meteors.
Over the years Pons-Winnecke’s orbit has been disturbed by Jupiter and has moved the comet and the meteor stream into a slightly different orbit which has resulted in the June Boötids being hardly noticeable in recent years. One advantage we’ll have this year is the moon will be a small waning crescent, which is good for spotting some of the dimmest meteors. Meteor showers are always a great show as long as clouds and the Moon, cooperate. They also don’t require any type of optics to get the full satisfaction. It’s actually recommended that you don’t try to view them with binoculars or a telescope because of the randomness. They radiate from a certain area in the night sky, but that doesn’t mean that they will all be visible in that one specific area, so it’s best to use your naked eye and scan the entire area of the sky.
Where to Look? The Boötid meteor shower is in the constellation Boötes (hence the name), The Herdsman, which is quite an easy constellation to find in the night sky because of the brilliant orange star Arcturus marks the base. To find Arcturus, find the Big Dipper and follow the curve of the handle to the orange star which is the forth-brightest of all nighttime stars. If you get your skymap for the June sky it should help you find your way to Boötes which passes nearly overhead in the late evenings.
When Is The Meteor Shower? The peak for the Boötids this year is the 27th and the 28th, but observers have reported seeing members of the shower starting several days earlier, and lasting into the beginning of July.
The History The Boötids was first noticed by astronomers soon after sunset on June 28, 1916 in England. William Frederick Denning, an experienced observer, noted that a meteor shower was in progress when he stepped outside at 10:25pm. Denning described the meteors radiating from between Boötes and Draco as “moderately slow, white with yellowish trains, and paths rather short in the majority of cases. Several of the meteors burst or acquired a great intensification of light near the termination of their flights, and gave flashes like distant lightning.”
On the night of the June 29th Denning was unable to observe due to clouds, and on the 30th when he was able to get out for only about an hour he saw only one meteor. Denning started to wonder if its sudden appearance might be attributed to a comet. After searching through lists of cometary orbits, Denning concluded that the periodic comet Pons-Winnecke was most likely the cause.
Following 1916, two notable though weaker appearances of the meteor shower occurred during the next two perihelion dates of Pons-Winnecke. In 1921 Kaname Nakamura from Kyoto, Japan, saw 153 meteors in 35 minutes. During the period between June 26 to July 11, Nakamura was able to plot 9 points of radiant which slowly made their way southeast each night.
Recent activity indicates that the showers have weakened considerably since the 1920s. In 1968 Edward F. Turco had said that observations had revealed recent rates of only 3 to 5 meteors per hour, “with meteors being on the fairly dim side.” In 1981 David Swann from Dallas Texas wrote that on six occasions during 1964 to 1971 he only observed 1 to 2 meteors per hour. Swann noted that he had “never noticed any trains, even though I have seen several bright shower members.”
The June Boötids is not the only astronomical feature William Frederick Denning is noted for, he studied meteors and novas and he won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1898. Many craters on the far side of the moon were named after Denning as was a crater on Mars.
Photo: William Denning celebrated in Punch magazine in 1892, after his discovery of a small faint comet; below, screen capture from the astronomy freeware Stellarium showing where the radiant for the June Boötids is located.
Yellow-Yellow, a shy black bear with a yellow tag on each ear, became famous in 2009 as the one bear in North America who could open a food canister specifically designed to baffle her kind. She’s still at large, still popping the occasional can, but a truce seems to have settled over the Adirondack High Peaks.
The 18-to-20-year-old bear came out of hibernation this spring and continues to roam near South Meadow, Klondike Notch and thereabouts, reports Ben Tabor, a Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wildlife biologist. Tabor will discuss black bears in a free lecture at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s High Peaks Information Center in Lake Placid. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Almanack provides this weekly Hunting and Fishing Report each Thursday afternoon, year round. The Almanack also provides weekly backcountry recreation conditions reports for those headed into the woods or onto the waters.
Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio.
SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND ** indicates new or revised items.
** FREE FISHING WEEKEND The annual free fishing weekend held in the last weekend of June provides a great opportunity to fish in New York without the requirement to purchase a fishing license. Remember to review sportfish limits. New York also offers free fishing clinics throughout the year. At these clinics you can fish with no license, learn about the variety of fish in New York, the types of fishing equipment and best fishing techniques to use, and more.
** HIGH WATERS Some waters have returned to normal levels, but Lake Champlain is still above flood stage (see below) and the Hudson and Raquette Rivers remain very high, and the Indian, Sacandaga, Bouquet, Ausable, Salmon, Saranac, Independence, and Oswegatchie Rivers remain above normal. Water temperatures is still low throughout much of the park. Cold waters increase the risk of hypothermia and drowning if you should fall into the water. Caution should be used when crossing streams without foot bridges. Trails and campsites adjacent to river than continue to be high may still be flooded. Boaters and paddlers should be aware that high waters may contain logs, limbs and other debris and conceal navigation hazards such as boulders, rock shelves, docks and other structures that normally are easily seen and avoided. Consult the latest streamgage data and use extreme caution.
** LAKE CHAMPLAIN FLOODING During the recent flooding Lake Champlain reached the highest level ever recorded, but the lake has begun returning to near normal levels. The Ausable Point Campground remains closed, as is the campground access road. Conditions are improving at Valcour Island as water levels in Lake Champlain recede, however some campsites, access points and portions of trails may be flooded or at the least very wet. The Plattsburgh Docks, Port Douglas and Peru Docks Boat Launch Sites are now operational. Tomorrow the center floating docks will be installed at Willsboro Bay. Other Lake Champlain campgrounds, marinas, and boat launches have reopened or are expected to reopen this weekend, including Monitor Bay Town Campground and boat launch, Van Slooten Harbour Marina in Port Henry, and Bulwagga Bay Town Campground. The Port Henry Village Campground is expected to open July 1st. The cumulative impacts of the Lake Champlain flooding on the watershed’s ecosystems can be found online.
** ROAD CLOSURES Many secondary roads and backcountry roads remain closed due to spring flooding and/or mud season including some in the Lake George and Moose River Plains Wild Forests. Rock Dam Road, the Cedar River Gate and the Wakely Dam camping area at the eastern end of the main road of the Moose River Plains Road remain closed at this time. Other closed roads include Haskell-West River Road along the West Canada Creek from Route 8 into the Black River Wild Forest; Old Farm Road near Thirteenth Lake, preventing motor vehicle access to the trailhead; Lily Pond Road near Brant Lake; Gay Pond Road in the Hudson River Recreation Area. Gates on roads designated for motor vehicle traffic will be reopened when conditions warrant. There is no time table for the needed bridge and road repair work on Haskell-West River Road; DEC Region 6 is currently awaiting construction funds.
** DEC BOAT LAUNCH ON UPPER CHATEAGUY LAKE The floating dock have now been installed at the Upper Chateaugay Boat Launch.
** MOOSE RESPONSE MANUAL ISSUED A new “Moose Response Manual” provides local law enforcement authorities with information on appropriate actions to take if a moose is reported in their community. It contains information to help DEC staff and other interested parties address various situations involving moose, including: Moose Observations and Sightings, Moose in or near High Traffic Areas, Moose in an Urban Area, Moose in an Enclosed Structure, Aggressive Moose, Moose Calf Appears Orphaned or Separated from Cow, Sick or Injured Moose, and Moose – Agriculture Conflicts. Each situation included contains background information and a list of recommended actions. The complete Moose Response Manual is available on DEC’s website.
LEAVE YOUNG WILDLIFE ALONE Spring is the best time to remember that wild animals belong in the wild. All too often, well-meaning people pick up animals, particularly white-tailed deer fawns and young birds, mistakenly believing that these animals have been orphaned or abandoned. This is almost never the case. The parent animals are nearby, waiting for the human threat to leave, so that they may resume caring for their offspring. The best advice is: “If you care, leave them there.”
INCREASED INVASIVE SPECIES BOAT INSPECTIONS Boaters on Adirondack waterways will be a lot more likely to be questioned about whether they are transporting invasive species at local boat launches this year. Watershed stewards will stationed at Long Lake, Raquette Lake, Fulton Chain of Lakes, Cranberry Lake, Meacham Lake, St. Regis Canoe Area, Lake Flower, Upper St. Regis Lake, Lake Placid, Rainbow Lake, Osgood Pond, Second Pond, Tupper Lake, Lake George, and Saratoga Lake. Stewards inspect boats, canoes, kayaks and other craft entering and exiting the water for invasive species, remove suspicious specimens, and educate boaters about the threats of invasive species and how to prevent their spread. Aquatic invasive species are a growing threat in the Adirondacks, making such inspections increasingly important to combating their spread. At least 80 waters in the Adirondack Park have one or more aquatic invasive species, but more than 220 waters recently surveyed remain free of invasives. The inspections are currently voluntary. More than a half dozen local municipalities have passed or are considering aquatic invasive species transport laws.
BITING INSECTS It is “Bug Season” in the Adirondacks so Black Flies, Mosquitos, Deer Flies and/or Midges will be present. To minimize the nuisance wear light colored clothing, pack a head net and use an insect repellent.
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 will ticket violators of this firewood ban. More details and frequently asked questions at the DEC website.
EXPECT BLOWDOWN A number of high wind events have occurred this spring and combined with saturated soils have resulted in considerable blowdown in some areas, particularly the Western High Peaks Wilderness and in the Sentinel and Seward Ranges. Trees may be toppled on and over tails and campsites, especially in lesser used areas and side trails. A hiker had to be rescued by helicopter last week from Mount Emmons in the Seward Range after losing his way while negotiating blowdown [LINK].
Know The Latest Weather Check the weather before entering the woods and be aware of weather conditions at all times — if weather worsens, head out of the woods.
Fire Danger: LOW
** Central Adirondacks LOWER Elevation Weather
Friday: Showers, possibly a thunderstorm; high near 69. Friday Night: Showers, patchy fog; low around 53. Saturday: Showers likely; cloudy, high near 66. Saturday Night: Chance of showers, cloudy, low around 52. Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 66.
ADIRONDACK FISHING REPORTS
** Free Fishing Weekend The annual free fishing weekend held in the last weekend of June provides a great opportunity to fish in New York without the requirement to purchase a fishing license. Remember to review sportfish limits. New York also offers free fishing clinics throughout the year. At these clinics you can fish with no license, learn about the variety of fish in New York, the types of fishing equipment and best fishing techniques to use, and more.
** Current Seasons Open seasons include Trout, Landlock Salmon, Pike, Pickerel, Tiger Muskie, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Crappie and Sunfish. Muskellenge and Black Bass (largemouth and smallmouth bass) seasons reopened June 18. For catch and size limits view the freshwater fishing regulations online.
Trout Season Report Trout (brook, rainbow, brown and hybrids, and splake) and landlocked Salmon season opened April 1st, but the season suffered from high and cold waters which delayed stocking and high heat last year could be contributing to the reported lower trout numbers in the Southeast part of the Adirondacks. With the exception of the Hudson, the level in streams in southern Warren, Washington, and Saratoga county has fallen to low levels for this time of year (fish the shade, and deep holes). A better bet for trout will be in Northern Warren, Essex, and Franklin counties where waters are approaching normal and about 60 degrees. Papa Bear’s Outdoors provides regular trout conditions for the AuSable here.
Annual 2011 Coldwater Season Forecast Stocking was late with high cold waters into early June. The prospects for catching holdover trout are low due to drought and high temperature episodes last summer. In particular, trout kills or stressed trout were reported in the main stem of the Ausable River near Ausable Forks, the Saranac River, the St. Regis River, and in the Batten Kill. Trout anglers should look to small streams and upland headwaters for wild brook or brown trout. Use drifting worms or salted minnows when streams are high and cold and focus on eddies or back waters where fish congregate to escape fast water. Brook trout pond fishing may still be viable as waters are still cold. Unlike the rivers, most area lakes and ponds provided good fishing last year with no reports of trout die offs.
Annual 2011 Warmwater Season Forecast Adirondack waters include some of the most productive walleye fisheries in the state, including Tupper Lake, Union Falls Flow on the Saranac River, Saratoga Lake, Great Sacandaga Lake, and the Oswegatchie River. High quality pike waters include Tupper Lake, Schroon Lake, Lake George, the Saranac Lakes, Cranberry Lake, First through Fourth Lakes in the Fulton Chain, Long Lake, Upper Chateaugay and the St. Regis Chain of Lakes. A number of 20 lb+ pike have been caught on Great Sacandaga Lake in recent years. Look for tiger muskie in First through Fourth Lakes in the Fulton Chain, Horseshoe Lake and Hyde Lake. Pickerel hot spots include Lake George, Brant Lake, Saratoga Lake, Lake Champlain and the Black River. Look to Lake Champlain for Black Bass and Lake Champlain, Great Sacandaga Lake, and Brant Lake for crappie. Surface trolling for salmon and lake trout is a good bet on the larger lakes as the water warms up. A complete listing of 2011 warmwater fishing hotspots recommended by DEC biologists can be found online.
Thirteenth Lake Proposed Regulation A proposed regulation that would limit motorized boating on Thirteenth Lake to electric motors only has been released for public comment by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Interested parties have until July 2 to provide comments. read more about the proposal here.
Lake Clear The gate for the road to Lake Clear Girl Scout Camp is open, but due to the condition of the road until further notice it should only be used by pickup trucks, SUVs and other vehicles with high clearance. This road is used to access Meadow and St. Germain Ponds.
Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area The gate to access Catfish Bay has been closed. Road improvement work and logging to improve habitat are underway.
Freshwater Fish Regulation Changes DEC is considering changes to current freshwater fishing regulations. The proposed changes are available for public review and feedback. Changes being considered include modifications to the current seasons, size limits, and creel limits on certain waters for popular game fish species such as trout, salmon, walleye, black bass, pickerel, muskellunge, and tiger muskellunge. Additional suggested changes pertain to ice fishing on certain waters, as well as for establishing specific gear requirements for certain angling practices. The proposed changes are on the DEC website which provides instructions on how to submit input and quick email links to easily submit comments online. Comments will be accepted through June 24, 2011, regulation changes would become effective on October 1, 2012.
2011 Local Stocking Lists The list of 2011 Spring Stocking Targets are now available online. Some recent stockings were in the North Branch of the Saranac River, Saranac River, Moose Pond (Town of St. Armand), Salmon River (Franklin County), Canada Lake, Lake Eaton, East and West Branch of the Ausable River, 13th Lake, and the Batten Kill.
2010 Fish Stocking Numbers Available The 2010 Fish Stocking List which provide the numbers of freshwater fish stocked by county for last year’s fishing season is now available online. The fish are stocked to enhance recreational fishing and to restore native species to waters they formerly occupied. Each year, DEC releases over one million pounds of fish into more than 1,200 public streams, rivers, lakes and ponds across the state.
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.
Lake Champlain Anglers Warmwater anglers on Lake Champlain are requested to report any catches of sauger to Emily Zollweg at the DEC Region 5 office in Warrensburg at (518) 623-1264. The status of sauger, a close relative of the walleye, has been unknown in the lake for a quite some time, until a single sauger was caught in a DEC survey last spring. Sauger can be distinguished from walleye by the three to four saddle-shaped dark brown blotches on their sides, the distinct black spots on the first dorsal (back) fin and the lack of a white tip on the lower lobe of the tail fin.
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
Current Seasons All waterfowl, turkey, big and small game seasons are closed. All trapping seasons are closed.
** Annual St. Lawrence County Goose Drive. The Annual goose drive will be held at the Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area in St. Lawrence County this Wednesday, June 29th. DEC staff and volunteers use canoes and walk along the shore to “herd” an average of one thousand geese into holding pens. In late June and early July, geese lose (molt) their feathers and cannot fly, which provides a great opportunity to round up these birds for banding and to obtain biological data on resident Canada geese. Everyone that assists is treated to a lunch by the local Rod and Gun Club. If interested in participating, contact Blanche Town at 315-265-3090 or [email protected] by June 23. For more information, visit the Wilson Hill Goose Drive webpage.
Draft Deer Management Plan Released DEC’s proposed five-year deer management plan is now available for public review and comment. The plan is available online and DEC will be accepting public comment on the draft through Thursday, July 28. The plan includes a number of specific management proposals that have been under discussion with the public for several years. Among the recommendations included in the plan, and related to the Adirondack region are: Include an index of deer impact on forests when setting deer population objectives; Establish deer management focus areas with liberalized antlerless harvest rules in areas with overabundant deer; Establish a special youth deer hunting weekend in early October for junior hunters to aid in the recruitment of new deer hunters; Comments may be submitted in writing through July 28 to DEC Deer Management Plan, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754 or by email to [email protected] using “Deer plan” in the subject line.
Tentative 2011-12 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons DEC has announced the tentative schedule for many of New York’s 2011-2012 migratory game bird seasons, allowing sportsmen and sportswomen to plan outdoor activities well in advance. Tentative season dates for ducks, geese, woodcock, snipe and rails can now be found on the DEC website. Tentative dates for the Lake Champlain Zone will be determined by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board following public meetings likely to be held in August in Whitehall, NY and Burlington, Vermont. 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 [email protected]
Waterfowl Hunting Zone Boundary Changes DEC has announced a minor change to the boundaries of two of New York’s five waterfowl hunting zones. A portion of the boundary line between the Northeastern Zone and Southeastern Zone will be modified from Saratoga Springs through Washington County to the Vermont State Line to allow season dates to better reflect hunting conditions typically found in that area. Descriptions of New York’s waterfowl hunting zones can be found on the DEC website.
** DEC to Prepare Tug Hill North UMP DEC will begin developing a unit management plan (UMP) for the 42,408-acre unit called Tug Hill North. The Unit is located in the Lewis County towns of Harrisburg, Martinsburg, Montague and Pinckney and the Jefferson County towns of Lorraine, Rodman, Rutland and Worth. Opportunities for public review and comments will be available after a draft is prepared. The Tug Hill North Management Area is comprised of 8 state forests (SF) and one wildlife management area. The unit is a patchwork of state owned parcels located west of Lowville, South of Copenhagen and east of Adams and includes Sears Pond, Grant Powell Memorial State Forest, Cobb Creek SF, Lookout SF, Granger SF, Pinckney SF, Tug Hill SF, Gould’s Corners SF, and the Tug Hill Wildlife Management Area. Any individual or organization interested in providing comments or receiving additional information about the development of the management plan can contact Andrea Mercurio at NYSDEC 7327 State Hwy 812, Lowville, New York 13367or call (315) 376-3521 or e-mail [email protected] Comments received by August 31 can assist in the preparation of the draft UMP.
DEC Proposes Opening New Areas for Bear Hunters The New York State Department has announced proposed changes that would open new areas east of the Hudson River to black bear hunting and establish uniform bear hunting season dates across the Southern Zone beginning in the 2011 hunting season. If the changes are approved, Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 5S and 5T in Washington and Saratoga counties would be open to black bear hunting for the archery, regular and muzzleloading seasons (in addition to others outside the Adirondack Region). Black bears have been thriving in New York and have expanded their range considerably in recent years. A detailed description of the proposal, including instructions for providing comments, is on the DEC website. DEC will be accepting public comments on the proposal through July 5, 2011.
DEC Proposes Allowing Crossbows For Big Game The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced proposed regulation changes that will allow the use of crossbows for big game hunting and eliminate a permit requirement for certain physically disabled hunters to use special archery equipment during any big game or small game hunting season. The proposed regulations implement new legislation authorizing DEC to allow hunters to take big game (deer and bear) with the use of a crossbow during regular big game hunting seasons in areas where a shotgun or muzzleloader is permitted, and during all late muzzleloader seasons. In accordance with the new legislation, crossbows cannot be used during the early bear or archery seasons or in any of the “archery only” wildlife management units. Furthermore, hunters may use a crossbow only after they have completed required training in the safe use of hunting with a crossbow and responsible crossbow hunting practices. DEC has proposed implementing the training requirement via on-line education tools, and in the upcoming 2011-2012 New York State Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide. Hunters would be required to carry afield a certificate verifying that they have completed this training. Details of the proposal and instructions for providing comments are available online. DEC will be accepting public comments on the proposal through July 11, 2011.
——————– 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.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.