Taking the Pledge

  On April 1, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department put out a press release announcing that their Commissioner, Patrick Berry, was preparing for the opening of fishing season by taking the Clean Angling Pledge. Berry strongly endorsed the pledge and urged every Vermont angler to log on to www.cleanangling.org and take the pledge.

    “Vermont Fish & Wildlife takes this issue very seriously,” Berry said. “We have a strict cleaning protocol in place for our employees that mandates a very through and complete cleaning of their gear after each use. This pledge helps remind anglers to develop their own cleaning routine for all of their gear, too.”

    Berry’s pledge came the same week that Vermont became the second U.S. state to ban the use of felt-soled wading boots. Vermont’s ban, enacted in 2010 by the Vermont Legislature, began April 1, 2011.  Berry made note of the ban while stressing the importance of cleaning. “It’s important to note that simply making the switch from felt to a rubber-soled boots does not absolve an angler, hunter or trapper from still having to clean their gear,” Berry said. “Rubber-soled boots are easier to clean than felt, but we have to remain vigilant to protect our resources.”   Read More

     It’s great to have the commissioner join the ranks of anglers who have committed to taking personal responsibility by taking the Pledge. The simple actions of Inspect, Clean and Dry are the best defense against moving invasives.

Invasive Mussels Are Altering Entire Great Lakes Ecosystem

    The invasion of the Great Lakes by Zebra and Quagga mussels has dramatically altered the ecology of these unimaginably large waters. New research is emerging that shows just how dramatic the changes are. Incidental Oligotrophication of North American Great Lakes is the title of a recently published article that discusses the food web impacts on the Great Lakes.

   “These are astounding changes, a tremendous shifting of the very base of the food web in those lakes into a state that has not been seen in the recorded history of the lakes,” said Mary Anne Evans, lead author of a paper scheduled for publication in the April 15 edition of the journal Environmental Science & Technology. “We’re talking about massive, ecosystem-wide changes.”  Read More
    For an excellent overview of just how the ecology of the Great Lakes is being impacted check out this overview prepared for the Inland Seas Education Association by Dr. David Jude.  Read More

Felt Legislation Update

   The dust is settling on legislative season and all the felt legislation that we know about is now settled for this year. In Montana and Oregon proposed laws never made it out of committee. However a couple of states did pass new legislation relating to felt.

   A new Maine law requires “The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection shall examine issues related to the control of invasive aquatic species, including but not limited to the use of felt-soled waders and the spread of invasive aquatic species, and report to the Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife by January 15, 2012. The report may include any recommendations concerning legislation.” When this Maine report is released next year we will have full info for you.  Read More

   The Invasive Species Resolution from Idaho has been adopted as expected. This resolution is designed to raise awareness of the problem in Idaho. The Resolution specifically addresses the use of felt: “Idaho congratulates those fishing tackle manufacturers that offer alternatives to felt soles, for their foresight and efforts to offer products that reduce the threat and potential transfer of aquatic nuisance species. Other manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, are encouraged to engineer, develop, manufacture and sell similar products that reduce and/or help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species”.Read More

    New attention on the use of felt is sure to be raised with the publication of an article about felt sole bans in USA Today. They offer a brief review of the problem and the varied response.  Read More

    As always, you can find the status of every felt restriction in the US at   Status of US Felt Restrictions


2011 "Waters to Watch" List Announced


2011 “Waters to Watch” List Announced

Monday, 18 April 2011 14:56

(Washington, DC) – The National Fish Habitat Action Plan (www.fishhabitat.org) has unveiled the 2011 10 “Waters to Watch” list, a collection of rivers, streams, lakes and estuaries that will benefit from strategic conservation efforts to protect, restore or enhance their current condition over the next year. 
These waters represent a snapshot of this year’s voluntary habitat conservation efforts in progress.  These and other locally driven conservation projects are prioritized and implemented by regional Fish Habitat Partnerships that have formalized under the National Fish Habitat Action Plan.  The objective of the Action Plan is to conserve priority freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats essential to the many fish and wildlife species that depend on them. 

The fish habitat partnerships, under the Action Plan, cover all 50 states and are comprised of local and regional community groups, non-profit organizations, watershed groups, Native American tribes, local, state and federal agencies, and individuals. 
The 10 “Waters to Watch” are representative of freshwater to marine habitats across the country including rivers, lakes, reservoirs and estuaries that benefit through the conservation efforts of these Fish Habitat Partnerships formed under the  Action Plan—a bold initiative implemented in 2006 to avoid and reverse persistent declines in our nation’s aquatic habitats.
The initial Action Plan’s 10 “Waters to Watch” list was unveiled in 2007 and in 2011 will feature its 50th project.    Since 2006, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has provided $12 million to support 257 on-the-ground Action Plan projects in 43 states, leveraging $30 million in partner match, to address the priorities of Action Plan Fish Habitat Partnerships. Additional funds have been provided by several other State and Federal agencies and Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and industry partners.
“Our approach—teaming state, local, tribal, and federal agencies with private partners and stakeholders—is helping to dramatically improve the condition of these waters and in many cases bring these waters back to life in an extremely efficient way,” said Kelly Hepler, Chairman of the National Fish Habitat Board. “With the Waters to Watch initiative announcing its 50th project in 2011, we have seen a variety of these projects turn the corner since 2007, watching these conservation practices take effect in real time.   Through sound science and research and through the work of locally driven partnerships, these select Action Plan projects can be held high as a vision of what quality habitat should and can be, and how it benefits all people throughout the United States.”

The 10 Waters to Watch in 2011 include:

•    Alewife Brook/Scoy Pond, New York –

(National Fish Habitat Partnership – Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership)

•    Au Sable River, Michigan –

(National Fish Habitat Partnership – Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership)

•    Barataria Bay, Louisiana –

(National Fish Habitat Partnership – Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership)
•    Batten Kill River, New York –
(National Fish Habitat Partnership – Eastern Brook Trout Joint Venture)
•    Cottonwood Creek, Alaska –
(National Fish Habitat Partnership – Mat-Su Basin Salmon Habitat Partnership) 
•    Duchesne River, Utah –
(National Fish Habitat Partnership – Desert Fish Habitat Partnership)
•    Llano River, Texas –
(National Fish Habitat Partnership – Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership)

•    Manistee River, Michigan–

(National Fish Habitat Partnership – Great Lakes Basin Fish Habitat Partnership)

•    St. Charles Creek, Idaho –

(National Fish Habitat Partnership – Western Native Trout Initiative)

•    Waipa Stream, Hawaii –

(National Fish Habitat Partnership – Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership)
Since its launch six years ago, the National Fish Habitat Action Plan has received wide public support. To date nearly 1,700 partners have pledged their support including a range of organizations and individuals interested in the health of the nation’s fisheries such as fishing clubs, international conservation organizations, federal agencies, angling industries and academia.
These ten habitat conservation efforts highlighted in 2011 are a small sample of the many habitat conservation projects implemented under the Action Plan. The 2011, as well as past 10 “Waters to Watch” lists can be viewed at www.fishhabitat.org along with complete information on the scope of the Action Plan.

Rochester nears record for rainiest April

Rochester, NY is poised to have the rainiest April on record, if scattered showers continue as expected this week.

As of midnight, the rainfall total was a quarter-inch shy of the rainfall record for April of 5.41 inches, set in 1929, said meteorologist David Thomas of the National Weather Service in Buffalo.

With rain predicted this evening and tomorrow evening, “it’s likely we’ll break that record, or get pretty close,” Thomas said. Currently, this month is the second-rainiest April in Rochester, he said.

Scattered spotty showers and thunderstorms are expected, he said, so some parts of Rochester will be pummeled with rain and other parts of the county will receive very little rain in comparison.

Tonight’s showers could also bring strong winds and hail, Thomas said. Forecasters are tracking the storm and will issue weather alerts, if needed, later today.

Spring Clean-up Saturday, May 7, 2011

TGF Bulletin 

Spring Clean-up Saturday, May 7,

will have our annual Spring Clean-up in the Catskills on May 7.  This year
we will team up with the Long Island Flyrodders, the Catskill
Flyfishing Center and Museum, several Boy Scout troops, and volunteers from
the town of Roscoe to clean up sections of the Willowemoc and the

will meet at the CCFFC&M at 10 am on May 7.  Clean-up will be from
then until about 1 pm.  The Long Island Flyrodders are hosting a
barbeque at the Museum after the clean-up.   It goes without saying
that an afternoon of fishing will follow.

hope to have a great turn out of TGF members and friends.  This is a
good way to give back to the streams that bring us all so much pleasure through
the season.  Its also a good time to see old friends and make some new

bags will be provided.  Work gloves are suggested.

let us know if you are planning on coming so we can have an estimate for the
food order.  Please e-mail conservation@tgf.org if you can
make it.

Field Notes – Noteworthy News from NY Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources


Fishing (Freshwater and Saltwater)

— April 30, 2011 —

— May 7, 2011 —

Field Notes – Noteworthy News from NY Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources

Field Notes – Noteworthy News from NY Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources


  • Avoiding Conflicts with Bears.
    This month, a bear attacked a woman in Green County, NY as she tended to her garbage outdoors. DEC’s policy for responding to human-bear interactions that threaten human life is to capture, remove, and eradicate the bear to prevent similar future occurrences. Unfortunately, simply trapping and relocating a bear elsewhere is ineffective as they will travel over 100-300 miles back to the site of capture. DEC considers removal of any bear regrettable; however, the primary concern is for public safety. In this particular case, no bears were captured and the trap was removed from the site. DEC’s website has helpful advice and tips on discouraging bears from your home or camp (http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6995.html). Also available is DEC’s award winning “Living with New York Black Bears” DVD that can be picked up at your local public library or any DEC regional wildlife office (http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/50230.html). Please remember that the deliberate and intentional feeding of black bears is illegal, and the incidental, indirect feeding of black bears is also unlawful after a written warning has been issued by DEC.

wild hog

  • Feral Swine (Wild Hogs) in New York.
    DEC has confirmed that feral swine are breeding in Tioga, Cortland and Onondaga counties. Feral swine are an invasive species, capable of causing ecological harm to New York’s countryside. In states like Florida, Texas and Georgia where they are currently established, native plants, native wildlife, livestock and agriculture have been negatively impacted. They have high reproductive rates, can compete for food with native wildlife, and carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans. DEC is currently developing strategies for eradicating feral swine from New York’s landscape, but resources are not yet in place to implement all of the needed actions, including removal of animals. More importantly, DEC will work with other agencies to identify ways to preclude feral swine from being released to the wild. Visit DEC’s Feral Swine (http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/70843.html) webpage for more details about this invasive species.
  • Walleye Poachers Caught.
    Earlier this month, six individuals were caught illegally taking walleye during the closed fishing season. DEC closes walleye fishing from March 15 to the first Saturday in May in order to protect the fish as they congregate in shallow areas of water to spawn. The subjects were fishing along the Catskill Creek and were rounded up by ECO’s Glorioso and Lt. Beiter with assistance from NYS Police Officers Jon Quinn and Paul Rosenblatt. For snagging and taking 11 walleye out of season, the apprehended individuals may face fines totaling more than $4,000 and up to 15 days in jail. If you see any suspicious activity or someone violating an environmental law, you can report an environmental violation (http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/67751.html) to ECO’s.

Field Notes – Noteworthy News from NY Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources