Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ice Season Safety Equipment

Living here in New England this winter season we have had a very unusual fall/winter transition especially for anglers that like to get onto the ice in search of their quarry. We have had cold weather that would skim over the lakes and ponds and as the ice is firming up we would get a spell of warm weather that either would soften things or take away anything that was formed.

When the cold had finally settled in for a fair amount of time the ice was getting to be a couple inches of solid good ice. Then what happens is we get into our snow storm phase and that dumps up to 2 feet of the white stuff onto this good ice. In turn what this did was weigh down the minimal ice that was there and water comes on top to form slush and an insulating layer that is not what the ice angler wanted to see.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Hampshire NOAA to Create Saltwater Angler Registry in 2010

On December 31, 2008, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s Fisheries Service will release the final rule creating a national saltwater angler registry of all marine recreational fishermen to help the nation better protect its shared marine resources. The rule requires anglers and spearfishers who fish recreationally in federal ocean waters or who fish anywhere in tidal waters for anadromous fish, including striped bass, smelt, shad, or salmon, to register with the national saltwater angler registry beginning January 1, 2010. NOAA had originally proposed that registration be required beginning in January 2009, but, based on public input, decided to give states another year to put in place their own data collection systems. The requirement to establish a registry was part of a law approved by Congress in 2007.

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Help MassWildlife Count Eagles!

Anyone spotting an eagle from December 3, 2008 through January 14, 2009is encouraged to report the sighting by email at or by postal service to "Eagle Survey," Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581. Please provide date, time, location, and town of eagle sightings, number of birds, whether juvenile or adult, and, observer's contact information. More information on the Midwinter Eagle Survey.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Be Safe on the Ice -- N.H. Ice Conditions Unpredictable

Officials at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department are reminding those getting outdoors this winter to stay safe on the ice.

"This year, we've already seen wide-ranging temperatures, deep snow and high winds that can shift ice on waterbodies," said Major Tim Acerno of Fish and Game Law Enforcement. "Outdoor enthusiasts should always test the ice before venturing out onto ice-covered waters."

Assess ice safety by using an ice chisel or axe to chop a hole in the ice to determine its thickness and condition. Continue to do this as you get further out on to the ice, because the thickness of the ice will not be uniform all over the waterbody.

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Connecticut School Vacation Children's Programs

Gillette Castle State ParkOpen for School Vacation Children's Programs Monday, December 29th and Tuesday, December 30th

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be offering two days of special children’s programs at Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam on Monday, December 29th and Tuesday, December 30 from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. In addition to castle tours, there will be a variety of activities including: tracking, wildlife program, scavenger hunt, arts & crafts, birding, and a bonfire.

For the holiday season each room of the castle has been decorated with holiday ornaments as part of the William Gillette Holiday Celebration.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

No ice is safe ice

With the way the weather has been in New England the last week or two, this is making ice conditions very unsafe. There was little ice to start with before the 2 storm weekend dumped many inches of snow on whatever little ice there was. Now we have had warm temps, wind and rain as well and this has really softened the ice that is there. The weather forecast is predicting 60 plus degrees this weekend and that may open lakes and ponds up once again. By keeping a close eye on our children at this critical state we are in right now, this will allow them to have a fun day tomorrow. There have been a few folks that have had to be rescued already this season and luckily they were rescued and not seriously injured. No ice is ever safe but right now especially it is not safe.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vermont STAY SAFE – Follow These Ice Fishing Safety Tips

STAY SAFE – Follow These Ice Fishing Safety Tips

Ice fishing is popular and a lot of fun in Vermont. Each winter thousands of anglers venture out onto frozen lakes to fish through the ice. And, each winter there are ice-related accidents often caused by poor judgement or decisions based on inadequate information.

Here are some safety tips every person venturing out onto frozen lakes should observe according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rhode Island Announces Plans to Stock Atlantic Salmon


The Department of Environmental Management announces that staff from its Division of Fish and Wildlife will stock about 500 surplus domestic Atlantic salmon broodstock in five ponds statewide at the beginning of January in anticipation of the winter ice-fishing season. Winter trout stocking will take place during the same time period.

Salmon stocking locations will include Olney Pond in Lincoln, Stafford Pond in Tiverton, Barber Pond in South Kingstown, Meadowbrook Pond in Richmond, and Carbuncle Pond in Coventry. The salmon, mostly between five and 12 pounds each, are from the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Nashua National Fish Hatchery. Additional salmon may also become available from the National Fish Hatchery in Vermont.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

New Hampshire Wildlife Action Grants Available for Teachers

Grant Application Deadline: February 15, 2009

Teachers interested in starting wildlife habitat projects can apply to the Homes for Wildlife Action Grant Program at New Hampshire Fish and Game for start-up funds. The program provides mini-grants of up to $300 - or $600 with matching funds -- for projects allowing students and educators to enhance habitat for people and wildlife.

The deadline for submitting proposals is February 15, 2009. For a proposal packet, write to Marilyn Wyzga, Public Affairs Division, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H. 03301; email; or call (603) 271-3211.

The Homes for Wildlife Action Grant Program is designed to support student environmental action that can be measured in acres improved or protected for wildlife. Activities can include hands-on schoolyard or community habitat improvement or projects influencing community attitudes about maintaining or protecting wildlife habitat.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Vermont Youth Hunting Memories Contest Extended

The Vermont Big Game Trophy Club and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department have extended the deadline for the Youth Hunting Memories Contest to December 31, 2008.

Vermont is encouraging young hunters to submit a short essay and photo, if available, that describes their experience this year. Criteria to be judged include: ethics, landowner relations, appreciation of wildlife, respect for our hunting heritage, and family values. The top entry from each county will win a special prize from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

Winners will be announced at the Yankee Sportsman Classic on January 17, 2009 in Essex.

Rest of the story:

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fishing Report December 15 2008

We are now through half of December and our lakes and ponds are still not frozen over. On this day the air temps actually were near 60 degrees and figured that I might as well take advantage of this and get the kayak out for one last run. Unfortunately when you get nice temps like this in December you will pay with the winds that come along and I definitely did just that. Went out first thing in the morning as I knew that the winds would get stronger once it got a little later in the day. It didn’t matter as the wind was blowing straight down the pond and was going to make it tough for me to fish.

Rest of the report:

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NH 2009 Fishing and Hunting Licenses Now Available

New Hampshire fishing and hunting licenses for 2009 are here. Get yours today and be ready to enjoy a full year of outdoor adventure, from winter ice fishing to hunting next fall. Licenses are good for the calendar year, from January 1 through December 31, 2009, so the sooner you get yours, the more days of outdoor recreation you'll be able to enjoy. Licenses can be purchased online at or from Fish and Game license agents statewide.

Your hunting or fishing license - or, best of all, your "combo" license -- is your year-round ticket to the Granite State's great outdoors. For New Hampshire residents, an annual fishing license costs $35; a basic hunting license is $24.50; and a combination (hunting and fishing) license is $48.50. Nonresidents can buy an annual fishing license for $53; a hunting license for $105.50; or a combination license for $143.50. Residents can buy a one-day fishing license for just $10. Nonresidents have the option of buying one-, three- or seven-day fishing licenses.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

NH Hunters and Anglers: Thank a Landowner Today

The holiday season is an important time to extend thanks to landowners who maintain access for outdoor recreation on their properties, reminds Charles Miner Jr., Landowner Relations Program Administrator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

"As another year comes to a close and our hunting and fishing adventures become memories, it's time for us to remember the landowners who through their generosity helped to make these experiences possible," said Miner. "Access to hunt and fish is a privilege provided by landowners. Let them know you appreciate it."

Miner suggests the following points for hunters and anglers to keep in mind when thanking those who allow access their property for outdoor recreation:

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Fishing and Yakking

There is a period here in New England, and across the northern United States for that matter, that the boats are put away but there isn’t any ice yet. We sit and look at our favorite bodies of waters and wish for the days that we can wet a line once again. For those that continue their fishing throughout the winter months and not hang it up as some anglers do, don’t fret as there are still ways to enjoy catching a fish.

We winterize out bigger boats as the cold nights wreak havoc on our inboard and outboard motors especially with the lower units. Then there are the anglers that take to the ice once that is safe enough for one to walk on in search of the swimming quarry that lies below. This transition period can be short lived but it could also go on for a couple of months.

Here in New England early season ice can happen in the beginning of December, but that seems to be a rarity. It will take until almost February in certain years and this does get very frustrating to the ones that want to drill a hole and sit on the ice. But normally around Christmas time we are usually finally on the ice and this couldn’t be a happier day.

Rest of the article:

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Friday, December 12, 2008

No Ice is Safe

With the cold weather that we had not long ago, there was a skim coat of ice that had formed over the local ponds and lakes. Throw a little dusting of snow on top of it and this looks inviting to our kids. This time of year is when we really need to keep an eye on our children if you are near any type of water. The skim coat is a thin layer of ice that will not support any type of weight and caution needs to be taken if you are around the lake or pond. Talking with our kids and explaining to them that the ice out there is never safe, and they should never walk out there without a parent being with them. The weather has gotten warmer now and the rain has pretty much taken care of any ice that was out there and it will be sometime before the ice forms once again but explaining these things now prepares them for the winter season ahead.

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NH Become an Outdoors-Woman this Winter!

Women who want to explore active outdoor interests like ice-fishing or snowshoeing can attend a one-day Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (B.O.W.) winter workshop on Saturday, February 21, 2009 (snow date Sunday, February 22), at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness, N.H. The workshop costs $55, which includes a box lunch. Participants must be at least 18 years old. Winter B.O.W. is sponsored jointly by N.H. Fish and Game and the New Hampshire Wildlife Federation.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Connecticut DEP Offers Outdoor Safety Tips

The Department of Environmental Protection today reminded outdoor enthusiasts - including hunters and non-hunters alike – to be safe in the woods.

"We are still in the midst of hunting season in Connecticut," said Dale May, Director of the DEP Wildlife Division. "This is also a popular time for others to enjoy the many outdoor opportunities that our state has to offer, including hiking and biking.

It is especially important for all outdoor users to respect the rights of others and be aware of all activities that may be occurring outdoors. Connecticut hunters have an excellent safety record and awareness on the part of non-hunters can help in our efforts to keep hunting safe for everyone."

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fishing Report December 3 2008

Where or where is my ice this year? Here in New England we are teetering on those temps that it cools down enough to skim the ponds over but by late afternoon, the sun and wind takes all that was created away again to start over the process. Since this is the case I still need to resort to my kayak fishing and went back to the same pond that I was on a few days ago. Still looking for the nice sized crappies and they are still making me work to find the active fish. The air temps were in the upper 40’s and did have to paddle through a little ice but the winds of course were blowing once again as this pond never seems to be calm.

Rest of the report:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fishing Report November 29 2008

After eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day and then a day of rain following to keep you in the house, decided that I needed some time out on the water again. Driving to the pond there were numerous other ponds that had ice on them and got me a little nervous as to what I was going to see. Arrived at my ice fishing pond and found a few kayakers out there and no ice to be seen made my day and got ready to fish. Of course the wind was blowing as usual on this pond and not sure that I have ever been there when it doesn’t blow.

Rest of the report:

Video of the day: