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Landlocked Atlantic salmon egg collections are conducted at Adirondack Hatchery, utilizing fish from Little Clear Pond and captive broodstock maintained inside the hatchery. Approximately 1 million eggs were obtained to meet DEC program needs, and additional eggs were provided to the U. S. Geological Survey’s Tunison Laboratory hatchery and to the Eisenhower National Fish Hatchery in Vermont. “New York’s fish hatchery system is a vital part of our effort to sustain our popular and economically important recreational fisheries, and foster restoration of rare

native fish,” Acting DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “I am pleased that we’re off to a good start, and through Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, we are able to provide ample fish to meet future stocking requirements. I encourage everyone to visit one of DEC’s hatcheries and learn about the world class efforts of our talented and dedicated fish hatchery staff.” Domestic brown, brook and rainbow trout eggs are taken each year at DEC’s Catskill and Randolph hatcheries; there were 5,993,000 brown trout eggs, 1,110,000 brook trout eggs and 1,558,000 rainbow trout eggs successfully collected this fall. Additional brook and brown trout eggs taken at the Rome Fish Disease Control Center (Rome Lab), home of the disease-resistant Rome Lab strains of these species, are retained to meet future DEC hatchery broodstock needs.

Preliminary numbers show New York hunters taking 14 percent more bears in the Northern Zone than in 2014 and 3 percent fewer bears in the Southern Zone. In both zones, reported bear harvest lagged during the early seasons, but hunters apparently had greater success during the bow, muzzleloader and regular seasons in 2015 than the year before. Description: The shooting matches at the WRPC’s indoor range is open to all shooters 12 and older. Fire 20 rounds of ammunition per target. Twenty-two-caliber rifles are allowed, as are pistols ranging from 22 to 45 caliber with muzzle velocities under 1,500 feet per second.

Eggs were collected from round whitefish, an endangered species in New York, in Lower Cascade Lake in late November and Little Green Pond in December. Lower Cascade Lake is a historically important broodstock water for round whitefish. Recently, fish have been stocked into Little Green Pond, near Adirondack Hatchery to supplement the eggs taken from Lower Cascade Lake fish. Although round whitefish spawn late in the season, generally around the time ice forms, due to mild weather experienced to date, the 2015 egg take was “ice free.” Nearly 175,000 eggs were obtained, and rearing will occur at Oneida Hatchery and Adirondack Hatchery as part of the ongoing effort to restore this rare, native species throughout its historic New York range. Chinook and coho salmon eggs are taken each year at the Salmon River Hatchery, a process that is viewed by thousands of visitors there. Despite concerns about the warm, dry fall impacting productivity, 3.74 million Chinook and 2.39 million coho salmon eggs were collected from more than 2,000 adult salmon.

Outdoor calendar To perpetuate selected native brook trout genetic resources, “heritage strain” brook trout eggs were collected from a number of wild brook trout ponds this fall. All egg collections were successful, and DEC will have enough fish to meet stocking quotas for Windfall, Horn Lake and Little Tupper strains of heritage brook trout, and be used to produce hybrid strains as part of an evaluation to improve brook trout survivability in Adirondack pond waters. For those of us who spend considerable time in the woods, the lack of whitetail deer was a common thread during the past hunting season. I saw some during the bow season, but they disappeared when it was time to wield a gun. My guess is they went nocturnal because of the warm weather; however, I’ll let the biologists determine the reason for a decline in deer harvest numbers.

Email calendar items to ckenyonrun@gmail. com or sports@fltimes.

com Final estimates of bear and deer harvests will be available after all seasons close and all data have been compiled. We’re going to talk fin, fur and feathers this week — sort of, anyway. There is good news about fins and some not-so-good news about fir. We’ll leave the feathers out of this particular report … except to note that the flying species are putting a dent in my birdfood budget. Additional eggs from Cayuga Lake were used to make splake — that’s a brook trout-lake trout hybrid utilized in some waters in northern New York. DEC also provided eggs to personnel from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Genoa (Wis.) National Fish Hatchery to assist with replenishment of broodstocks these partner agencies maintain as part of Great Lakes lake trout restoration efforts.

Chris Kenyon’s “Outdoors” column appears every other Sunday in the Finger Lakes Times. To reach him, call 879-1341 or email ckenyonrun@gmail. com. Where: Waterloo Rifle and Pistol Club, 1392 W. River Road, Fayette Lake trout eggs are obtained from two different sources: Cayuga Lake provides Finger Lakes strain lake trout, while Raquette Lake is the source of the Adirondack strain of lake trout currently used by DEC. The combined egg take from these waters exceeded 500,000. Given the severe winter we endured last year and associated reduction in permits for antlerless deer in most Wildlife Management Units, a minor decline in overall deer harvest was anticipated. Unseasonably warm conditions and lack of snow during much of November and December likely contributed to reduced hunter success in many areas too. DEC and its partner agencies successfully collected 16.8 million eggs for all species and strains of fish, setting the stage for another successful year at the state’s fish hatcheries. Each year, DEC staffers collect eggs from wild and captive adult fish to begin the rearing cycle for various species at their fish hatcheries.

After the eggs are taken, they are incubated until hatching at DEC’s state hatcheries. After hatching, they are fed and cared for by DEC hatchery staff until they reach target stocking sizes. Fish from New York hatcheries are stocked in lakes, ponds, streams and rivers throughout the state, supporting the state’s $1 billion recreational sport fishery.

Indoor Silhouette Matches State Department of Environmental Conservation biologists did report that deer and bear harvest numbers are lower than 2014. DEC staffers were afield throughout the fall, collecting biological data from harvested deer and bear, but hunters also contribute essential data by reporting their harvest successes via DEC’s phone and Internet reporting system. Reports of deer and bear harvests from prior years are available at www. dec. ny. gov/outdoor/42232.

html. While the fur numbers were off, the fin report is a positive one, especially for the salmon take from Lake Ontario waters. When: 4 to 8 p. m. on the third Saturday of the month, through April 16 As usual, deer harvest varies considerably statewide. At first glance, it looks like deer hunters in western New York generally saw less of a harvest decline than some portions of central and southeastern New York. More variation will be evident the harvest by WMU is released. Cost: $3 or less per target To date, reports of deer harvest declined by 13 percent in the Northern Zone and 11 percent in the Southern Zone. Overall, declines were more pronounced for reported takes of females vs. males — and more pronounced during the regular firearms seasons and late bow and muzzleloader seasons vs. the early bow or muzzleloader seasons. From fur to fins DEC operates 12 fish hatcheries and raises and stocks more than 15 species of fish into New York waters.

Visit http://www. dec. ny. gov/outdoor/7742.html for more information. Information: Charlie Ward at (315) 709-9914 or chuck45acp@hotmail. com