There have been a lot of changes in both fishing and hunting regulations, so thoroughly read your copy of the new Hunting and Fishing Regulations Guide you received with your new licenses as soon as you get it and digest those changes.
For hunters, there have been changes in opening dates, season lengths, Deer Management permits and much more so a careful review of the book is a wise idea.
Also, there has been an expansion in the mandatory antler restriction program so it now also includes Wildlife Management Units 3A, 4G, 4O, 4P, 4R, 4S and 4W. If you prefer, you can go to DEC’s website at: www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor for additional information on upcoming seasons, regulations and changes.
We still have a popular fishing contest on Great Sacandaga to look forward to — the annual fall event conducted by the Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation, this year on Sept. 8 — and some of the very best fishing of the year is just around the corner but have you given any thought to the fact that our first small game seasons open in about 16 days?
The statewide crow and squirrel seasons open on Sept. 1, though you can only hunt crows Fridays through Mondays. The early goose season in the southeastern zone also opens on Sept. 1.You’ll have to make do with that until Oct. 1 when many other seasons open, including coyotes, fall turkey (in some areas), cottontail rabbits, and others. The ruffed grouse (partridge) season opens in the northern zone on Sept. 20 and in the rest of the state on Oct. 1.
FISHING REGULATION CHANGES
There have also been a number of changes in fishing rules and regs starting Oct. 1 of this year. The entire list is too lengthy to enumerate here but few of them apply to local or area waters anyway. However, some of those changes that apply to waters in the north country include:
• prohibit fishing from March 16 until the opening day of the walleye season in Lake Pleasant outlet to the mouth of the Kunjamuk;
• open Lake Kushaqua and Rollins Pond to ice fishing for lake trout;
• open Blue Mountain Lake, Eagle Lake, Forked Lake, Gilman Lake, South Pond and Utowana Lake to ice fishing for landlocked salmon and reduce the daily limit for lake trout in those waters from three per day to two per day;
• delete special ice fishing regulations for Square Pond in Franklin County;
• delete special trout regulations for Palmer Lake in Saratoga County;
• allow ice fishing on specific waters currently deemed as trout waters in the counties of Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida and St. Lawrence Counties;
• provide for ice fishing at privately managed Salmon Pond in Hamilton County.
There are others so for a complete list and explanation of these various changes go to DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations.
These new regulations are a result of a two-year process which included DEC assessment and evaluation of biological and ecological data, discussions with anglers, and a formal public review and comment period.
YOUTH PHEASANT HUNT
On Sunday, Sept. 30, the Canajoharie Forest, Fish & Game Club will conduct its first annual Youth Pheasant Hunt at their facility on Fish & Game Road in Canajoharie. This hunt is open to all young hunters 12 through 15 years of age who have successfully completed their hunter safety course and have a current small game license.
A parent or guardian must accompany each youngster during the hunt. The program will commence at 8:30 am with a welcoming ceremony by DEC Conservation Officers and club officials who will explain the hunt logistics. Hunters will also have an opportunity to try sporting clays before the actual pheasant hunt commences. In addition, dog handlers will be on hand to assist in locating the birds. A free lunch will also be provided to all the hunt participants at the conclusion of the day’s activities.
For additional information you can contact Pam Hayes at 922-5055 but remember that pre-enrollment in this special hunt is required and is being offered on a first come-first served basis.
It’s way too early to put sway your fishing tackle but you should begin at least giving some thought to the upcoming hunting seasons.