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Thursday, August 29, 2013

New York's Lake Sturgeon Restoration Efforts Achieving Success

Lake Sturgeon image 

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced another milestone in the state's Lake Sturgeon restoration efforts. Researchers from Cornell University and the U.S. Geological Survey have captured two wild juvenile sturgeon in two different locations.

"This is a truly significant event," said Commissioner Martens. "DEC staff and partners in this effort have been eagerly awaiting this news ever since egg-bearing female sturgeon were first detected in stocked locations one year ago. It is a great example of how, with good science and great partnerships, we can restore a species that nearly disappeared from our state."

On June 12, a researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey's Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Sciences captured a young sturgeon in the Oswegatchie River near the outlet of Black Lake. The 2 ½-pound, 25-inch fish was determined to be five years old. This fish is the only small wild sturgeon caught here for over 30 years and it may have originated from remnant wild fish in the system or from adult fish stocked into the Oswegatchie system over 20 years ago.

Jim Johnson, director of the Tunison Laboratory of Aquatic Sciences, said, "U.S. Geological Survey staff fulfills its scientific mission by partnering with states in restoration work like this. We are thrilled to be reporting this milestone."

On July 30, a second young sturgeon was captured in Oneida Lake by researchers at Cornell University's Shackleton Point Biological Field Station. That sturgeon, determined to be two years old was just over 19 inches long and weighed one pound. The capture of this fish indicates successful reproduction by fish stocked as six to ten-inch fingerlings. More than 8,000 Lake Sturgeon were stocked into Oneida Lake between 1995 and 2004. Biologists at the field station predicted that Lake Sturgeon would begin to appear in their walleye sampling nets once the sturgeon were about two years old.

Lars Rudstam, Director of Cornell University's Shackleton Point Biological Field Station, said "Our staff has worked closely with DEC to monitor the health and growth of the sturgeon population in Oneida Lake. We are proud to be able to move into this new phase of study with DEC."

Lake Sturgeon are the largest fish native to the Great Lakes and can grow up to seven feet in length and may weigh more than 300 pounds. Once abundant throughout the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain, overfishing and the impacts of dams and dredging nearly drove them to local extinction by the turn of the 20th century. Sturgeon harvesting, primarily for caviar, peaked in 1885 when tens of thousands of sturgeon were taken from Lake Erie. The commercial fishery for Lake Sturgeon was closed in 1976 and it was listed as a New York State threatened species in 1983.

Scientists estimate that Lake Sturgeon populations in the Great Lakes area are at about one percent of their pre-1850 numbers. DEC has been actively working with federal, tribal and university partners to protect and restore Lake Sturgeon throughout New York. DEC has raised and released more than 65,000 juvenile Lake Sturgeon since 1995. In 2012 and 2013, DEC received assistance from the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Genoa National Fish Hatchery in raising sturgeon for release in tributaries to the St. Lawrence River.

In addition to stocked fish, some natural recovery has been observed across the Great Lakes, the Niagara River and the St. Lawrence River. In 2009, Lake Sturgeon began using spawning beds created by the New York Power Authority near Iroquois Dam in St. Lawrence County.

"While we are pleased with the increasing numbers of Lake Sturgeon reported by scientist and anglers across New York, I want to remind everyone that these fish are listed as a threatened species in New York and fishing for them is prohibited," said Commissioner Martens. "Lake Sturgeon take a very long time to mature and reproduce. We ask our anglers to continue their role as environmental stewards and avoid targeting these fish."

There are simple steps anglers can take to prevent harm to Lake Sturgeon. First, avoid catching a Lake Sturgeon by staying away from locations where they gather for late spring spawning. Avoid bottom fishing with worms in areas where sturgeon are found. If one does hook a Lake Sturgeon, it must be released unharmed immediately. Avoid bringing it into a boat or out of water if possible and minimize its time out of water. If it must be removed from the water, support its body horizontally; never hold it vertically or by head, gills or tail. The hook may be removed with pliers.

If a sturgeon is tagged, it is important to note the tag number and call the contact number on the tag or call DEC at 518-402-8924 . For more information on Lake Sturgeon, visit DEC's website.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Is Your Upper Delaware River Fishing Guide Legit?

When you hire a guide on the Upper Delaware or anywhere else, don't make assumptions, check to see if your guide is licensed.

On the Upper Delaware guides are required to be licensed by up to three entities. 

On water that is 100% in NY, a NY guide license. 

On the border water of the West Branch and the Main Stem, a NY guide license is needed, and a PA license is needed to launch or take out on the PA side. 

On the main river a National Park Service license is also required.
National Park Service/Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River: http://www.nps.gov/upde/planyourvisit/fishingguides.htm

PA Licensed Guides List: http://fishandboat.com/chboat.htm

NY State Guide Licenses can be checked here:  http://www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/DECLicensedGuide/index.cfm

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Newcomers to Fishing Hits All-Time High

Women and Youth Leading Growth for one of America's Favorite Pastimes

ALEXANDRIA, VA. (August 15, 2013) - Showing a resurgence in one of America’s favorite pastimes, the number of Americans who go fishing is up, with more than 47 million people participating in 2012. Adding to the 42.5 million who are current or occasional anglers, more than 4.5 million first-timers tried fishing last year, a significant increase from 2011 and the highest number of new participants ever recorded. The 2013 Special Report on Fishing and Boating just released by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and The Outdoor Foundation also shows significant increases in fishing participation among women and children.

”We’re extremely pleased to see the number of first-time anglers and overall anglers, continue to rise,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “Working closely with our industry and state agency partners, our collective effort is yielding well deserved results. Increased participation, in both fishing and boating, leads to increased license sales, and boat registrations, key sources for funding state fish and wildlife conservation programs.”

“Fishing and boating are among the most important ‘gateway’ activities that often lead people, especially youth, to pursue other recreation experiences,” said Christine Fanning, Executive Director of the Outdoor Foundation. “We’re thrilled to partner, once again, with the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation on this important research project.”

The fifth annual report details fishing participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geography. 


Fishing Participation

  • In 2012, 47 million Americans went fishing (an increase from 46.2 million in 2011).
  • While 9.4 million people stopped fishing, 10.2 million new or returning anglers participated in the sport, netting a gain of more than 870,000.
  • Americans made one billion fishing outings in 2012, averaging 21.3 fishing days per person.
  • Forty-one percent of first-time fishing participants were female, bringing the total of female anglers to 34.4 percent.
  • Adults 18 and older with children in their households participate in fishing at higher levels than adults without children.
  • Fly fishing had the highest rate of first-time participants with 20.5 percent.

Hispanic American Fishing Participation

  • In 2012, 2.8 million Hispanic Americans went fishing – a slight decrease from 3.1 million in 2011.
  • Freshwater fishing is the most popular type of fishing among Hispanic Americans.
  • Hispanic Americans fish the most often of all ethnicities, averaging 21.6 fishing days per year.

Youth Fishing Participation

  • Fishing participation for children peaked between the ages of six and 12, then decreased during the adolescent years of 13 to 17.
  • In 2012, 81.8 percent of youth anglers ages six to 12 were introduced to outdoor activities by their parents.
  • Participation declined among females ages 13 to 17 more sharply than among males of the same age.
  • More than 45 percent of youth fishing participants ages six to 17 also participated in boating.

The full study is available online at TakeMeFishing.org/Corporate
About The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)
Celebrating 15 years in 2013, RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources. RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ campaign to create awareness around boating, fishing and conservation, and educate people about the benefits of participation. Take Me Fishing helps boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign website, TakeMeFishing.org, features tips and how-to’s that can be used all over the country, tools to compare different styles of boats, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Teen Business Finds the Perfect Partner for Cause

db Paracord Launches Camo for a CauseSurvival Bracelet

CROSSLAKE, MINNESOTA – db Paracord launches new product; Camo For A CauseTM survival bracelet.  Starting in September, the db Paracord Camo For CauseTM survival bracelet will be sold in 13 Cabela’s stores Nationwide.  The connection between Cabela’s and db Paracord was made by Damon’s father Bruce through social media and they continue to rely on social media every day.

“We are very excited to be working with a great outfitter like Cabela’s and expect that our companies will continue to work together and this will help db Paracord grow and support our cause,” said Damon.

Camo For A CauseTM survival bracelets will be distributed at these Cabela’s locations:  Boise, Idaho; Hammond, Indiana; Scarborough, Maine; Dundee, Michigan; Owatonna, Minnesota; Rogers, Minnesota; Sidney, Nebraska; Hamburg, Pennsylvania; Buda, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas;  Lacey, Washington; Wheeling ,West Virginia; and Richmond, Wisconsin. 

Db Paracord’s mission is for you to show your passion for the outdoors and supporting your cause with the db Paracord’s Camo For A CauseTM survival bracelet.  The camouflage paracord allows people to see that you love the outdoors and with the pink running through the core of the bracelet represents core belief; the fight against breast cancer.  db Paracord is  donating $.50 from every bracelet sold to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 

db Paracord was founded by 16 year old Damon Billington in 2012.  Damon originally made camo and orange bracelets and gave them to friends.  After enough people began asking for bracelets Damon decided to launch db Paracord with the help of his four closest friends.  db Paracord builds custom bracelets, bow slings, fishing lanyards, and turkey totes.  The money raised from the team’s hard work will go towards their cancer charity and their college funds.