The latest from ADKHunter…

Summer Report: Well, we’re about a month into summer which means we’re two months officially away from autumn. I hope you’re enjoying the warm weather and perhaps getting outside for some hiking, camping, fishing and boating. Meanwhile, there’s a lot going and in some ways there’s not. Sorting through some backed up emails I found a few turkey photos that I failed to post earlier, including a few nice ones. My apologies for that.

As you’ll see from the news items below there’s a lot of UMP activity, new fish stocking info and a drought warning. What’s not happening is legislation so we’re not sure if we’ll get a vote later this summer on bills like lowing the legal big game hunting age to 12, a new crossbow bill and others. We’ll just have to wait and see.

I’ve spent some time recently in the Adirondacks where, of course, I talk with deer hunters. Some are reporting deer sighting, including fawns, while others haven’t seen much. There’s plenty of food in the woods for deer but what there is not is water. So, where there’s water there’s deer. What many are reporting is bear activity. If there’s a year to consider going after a bear when the Adirondack season opens on Sept. 17, this might be the year.

Meanwhile, continue to enjoy your summer.


Latest  news links
OL: Maine, New Hampsire and Vermont to offer more deer permits
U-Washington Study: Bring on the Mounain Lions
Adirondack Almanac: Interesting Land Swap
On the Newstand: Summer issue of ADK Outdoors Mag


Latest Adirondack Hunting Photos

Click/tap photo to see details, then scroll through. Enjoy

Please visit our photos page for more

Informal Comment Period Open for Proposed Changes to Free Fishing Days

DEC is considering expanding the number of free fishing days that are offered and wants to set those days in regulation so they are consistent from year to year. This initial public review process will assist DEC in determining if it will move forward with this proposal to formally establish these additional free fishing days.

In addition to Free Fishing Weekend (last full weekend of June), the proposed rulemaking will specifically designate six additional Free Fishing Days that will occur throughout the year.

The proposed dates are as follows:
•Presidents Day Weekend (February) – Saturday and Sunday before Presidents Day
3rd Weekend in May
National Hunting and Fishing Day (4th Saturday in September)
Veteran’s Day

How to submit comments
To submit comments regarding the proposal, send an email to regulations.fish@dec.ny.gov with the following subject line: “Possible Amendment to Free Sport Fishing Days.” To ensure we receive and can properly review your suggestions, you must leave the subject line as it appears on the email. Input will be collected through August 31, 2016

Note: Due to the expected high volume of e-mails received, DEC will be unable to reply to individual submissions, but all input will be reviewed and considered towards developing a proposed rule-making that, if accepted, would become effective in 2017.

UMP’s in the Works

A draft Amendment to the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest Unit Management Plan and a draft Unit Management Plan for the Horicon Boat Launch are available for public review and comment, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today.

Both the draft UMP for the Horicon Boat Launch and the draft UMP amendment for the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest contain proposed management actions that are located within the Schroon Recreational River Area. Pursuant to Part 666 of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York—also known as the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers regulations a public hearing is required.

The public hearing will be held at 1:00 p.m. on July 27 at the DEC Region 5 Warrensburg Office at 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg. The hearing will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more on the proposed management actions and to provide comment on the proposals. The meeting facility is wheelchair accessible. Please provide any requests for specific accommodations to 518-897-1361 at least one week in advance. Continue reading →

DEC ANNOUNCES TWO NEW TOOLS TO HELP FRESHWATER ANGLERS

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has unveiled two new tools that will help rookie and veteran freshwater anglers alike improve their skills. DEC has developed a new instructional manual entitled “The I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing.” The new manual is part of a series of publications DEC has produced recently designed to get more people involved in the sport of fishing in New York State.

DEC also stocks more than 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in over 309 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,900 miles of streams across the state each spring. To offer a better angling experience, DEC recently collaborated with the Office of Information Technology Services to provide the trout stocking data on the Open NY (http://Data.NY.GOV) website.

The I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing manual can be downloaded at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/98506.html. The guide is composed of nine modules:

  • The Fishes of New York
  • Basic Fishing Tackle and Techniques
  • Care of Your Catch
  • Safe and Responsible Angling
  • Intermediate Fishing Tackle and Techniques
  • The Waters of New York
  • Fisheries Management
  • Aquatic Life
  • Ice Fishing

Continue reading →

Campgrounds, Boat Launches see improvements

Outdoor recreation facilities across the state to provide higher quality experiences for New Yorkers and visitors. Many of the enhancements are to facilities in the Adirondacks and Catskill Regions and serve to facilitate easier access, including the additions of new roadways and parking areas.

Improvements in the Adirondacks


Essex County

  • Lincoln Pond Campground: Construction of a new picnic pavilion in the day use area.
  • Putnam Pond Campground: Paved the entrance roadway and the roadway to boat launch.

Franklin County

  • Meacham Lake Campground: Construction of a new playground and picnic pavilion in the day use area.
  • Fish Creek Campground: Return of the children’s Nature Recreation Program.

Hamilton County

  • County Line Flow Hand Launch: Construction of a new roadway, parking area and access trail to provide paddlers and anglers access to County Line Flow and Fishing Brook.
  • Fishing Brook Hand Launch: A new parking area on Pickwacket Pond Road provides access to Fishing Brook approximately 0.75 miles upstream of County Line Flow. Located on the northern side of State Route 28, between the communities of Long Lake and Newcomb.
  • Lewey Lake Campground: Construction of two new eight-unit shower buildings with bathroom facilities and renovation of a comfort station, which now includes running water and flush toilets.

Warren County

  • Hearthstone Point Campground: Renovations made to the interior and exterior of the Upper Shower Building.
  • Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway Day Use Area: Construction of an accessible pathway on the summit allowing visitors of all abilities to access the picnic pavilion and Bull Wheel observation point.
Posted in DEC

DROUGHT WATCH ISSUED FOR NEW YORK

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos  issued a drought watch for the entire state of New York following consultation with the State Drought Management Task Force and Federal partner agencies.

“While most public water supplies are still generally normal throughout the state, below normal precipitation over the last 9 months, low stream flows, and reduced groundwater levels have prompted the need for this action,” Commissioner Seggos said. “We are encouraging residents throughout the state to conserve water whenever possible during the coming months.”

A watch is the first of four levels of state drought advisories (“watch,” “warning,” “emergency” and “disaster”).  There are no statewide mandatory water use restrictions in place under a drought watch.  However, local public water suppliers may require such measures depending upon local needs and conditions.  The last drought watch in New York State was issued in 2002.

The drought watch is triggered by the State Drought Index, which reflects precipitation levels, reservoir/lake levels, and stream flow and groundwater levels in nine designated drought regions throughout New York.  Each of these indicators is assigned a weighted value based on its significance to various uses in a region.

Observed precipitation has been less than normal with shortfalls of 4 to 8 inches common over the last 90 days.  The dry weather dates back to the October 1st start of the “water year” and is beginning to significantly affect other water metrics.  Stream flows and groundwater levels are well below normal throughout much of the state.  Groundwater levels were seasonally worse in June compared to May and they are not expected to improve in the immediate future due to the existing precipitation deficit.  For more detailed drought information, please visit DEC’s webpage athttp://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5011.html.

The following are some conservation tips that homeowners can take to voluntarily reduce their water usage:

  • Fix dripping and leaking faucets and toilets.
    A faucet leaking 30 drops per minute wastes 54 gallons a month.
  • Raise your lawn mower cutting height.  Longer grass needs less water.
  • If your community allows watering, water lawns and gardens on alternate mornings instead of every day.  Less frequent watering will develop grass with deeper roots, and early morning watering minimizes evaporation.
  • When using automatic lawn watering systems, override the system in wet weather or use a rain gauge to control when and how much water to use.  A fixed watering schedule wastes water.  Irrigate only when needed.
  • Sweep sidewalks and steps rather than hosing them.  Eliminating a weekly 5-minute pavement hose-down could save between 625 and 2500 gallons of water per year depending on the flow rate.


For more water saving tips, visit DEC’s webpage at http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5009.html.

“Conserving water is important all year long, but particularly during extended dry periods,” Commissioner Seggos said.  “By voluntarily reducing water usage, and being extra careful with fire and outdoor flames, New Yorkers can help conserve our natural resources during these dry days of summer.”

NEW YORK STATE BALD EAGLE CONSERVATION PLAN COMPLETED

A new, comprehensive conservation plan to manage New York’s population of the bald eagle. The Conservation Plan for Bald Eagles in New York State describes the historic status, restoration efforts and current status of the bald eagle in the state and provides guidelines for future management actions.

A draft of the plan was released in February 2015, inviting the public to comment. More than 120 comments were received, and the final plan addresses the comments and input received.

Key actions to meet these objectives include:

  • Consult with landowners, developers, business and industry to ensure that proposed projects occurring near eagle nesting and wintering locations avoid or minimize impacts to bald eagles that may result from the potential impacts of:
  • Land clearing;
  • Increased human disturbance;
  • Collisions with cars, trains, electric lines, wind turbines and other structures; and,
  • Environmental contaminants including lead and PCBs.
  • Work collaboratively with landowners to limit human disturbance, address the risk of predation and gather information on the status of nests by building partnerships between landowners, DEC, local land trusts, environmental groups, and volunteers.
  • Discourage the intentional feeding of bald eagles to avoid potential exposure to contamination and disease.
  • Collect dead eagles for necropsy to determine cause of death and assessment of exposure to heavy metals, toxins, and disease before sending along all eagle carcasses to the National Eagle Repository.
  • Monitoring the distribution and abundance of breeding and wintering bald eagles in New York State at a level suitable to ensure objectives are met, incorporating volunteers where possible.


The Final Plan and additional information on bald eagles can be found on DEC’s web-site at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/74052.html.
Continue reading →

Hunter/Trapper Ed in NY requires home study

Beginning in 2016, all Sportsman Education courses will require students to review course materials and complete a homework sheet prior to attending the classroom and field sessions, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced.

To become a licensed hunter, bowhunter, or trapper in New York, a person is first required to attend and pass a free training course offered by DEC. Trained Volunteer Instructors, certified by the DEC Sportsman Education Program, teach courses throughout the state on safe and responsible hunting and trapping and the important role of hunters and trappers in conservation.  Continue reading →

Cuomo touts purchase of former Finch lands

Two weeks after the story leaked to the public Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has officially announced  on May 10 the completion of the state’s largest Adirondack land acquisition in more than 100 years, with the purchase of the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract. This is the final acquisition in a series of land purchases the state has completed under a 2012 agreement with The Nature Conservancy to conserve 69,000 acres of land previously owned primarily by the former Finch, Pruyn & Company paper company. The Tract is located primarily in the town of North Hudson in Essex County, south of the High Peaks Wilderness Area.

Governor Cuomo also sent a letter to the Adirondack Park Agency requesting the agency begin the classification process for the Boreas Ponds Tract. Since 2010, through the Governor’s efforts to promote recreation in the Adirondacks, tourism-related employment is up nearly eight percent, tourism spending is up 10 percent and visitation is up 15 percent in the Adirondack Park.

The High Peaks from Upper Boreas Ponds. Dan Ladd photo

The High Peaks from Upper Boreas Ponds.
Dan Ladd photo

Continue reading →

Tentative Waterfowl Season Dates for 2016

Tentative season dates for 2016-17 waterfowl seasons are now available on the DEC website http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28503.html. New York’s unique configuration of waterfowl management zones provides hunters with open seasons in various parts of the state from September to April.

Waterfowl season dates are determined by a team of statewide DEC biologists, with recommendations from waterfowl hunters at annual citizen task force meetings.  DEC has collaborated with citizen task forces to help select waterfowl hunting season dates for more than a decade and appreciates all the help they have offered to help make these selections.

The final season dates will be announced by mid-June and will be posted in the annual hunting regulations guide.  Please be sure to check the final regulations before going afield.

Continue reading →