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- LEAVE YOUNG WILDLIFE ALONE!
- FREE FISHING OPPORTUNITIES
- SALTWATER FISHING REGISTRATION REMINDER
- YOUTH ARTIST FROM METHUEN WINS JUNIOR DUCK STAMP CONTEST
- LOOK OUT FOR LOONS!
- REGISTER FOR THE OUTDOORSWOMAN WEEKEND IN JUNE
- UPCOMING MEETINGS
- CALENDAR OF EVENTS
LEAVE YOUNG WILDLIFE ALONE!
The arrival of spring means the arrival of newborn and just-hatched wildlife. These youngsters soon venture into the world on shaky legs or fragile wings and are discovered by people living and working nearby. Every year, the lives of many young wild creatures are disturbed by people who take young wildlife from the wild in a well-intentioned attempt to "save" them. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) offices are already receiving calls about young wildlife picked up by people.
These well-meant acts of kindness tend to have the opposite result. Instead of being left to learn their place in the world, young wildlife removed from the wild are denied important natural learning experiences that help them survive on their own. Most people quickly find that they can't really care for young wildlife, and many of the animals soon die in the hands of well-meaning people. Young wildlife that does survive human "assistance" miss experiences that teach them to fend for themselves. If these animals are released back into the wild, their chances of survival are reduced. Often, the care given to young wildlife results in some attachment to humans and the animals may return to places where people live, only to be attacked by domestic animals or hit by cars. Some animals become nuisances and people have even been injured by once-tamed wildlife.
Avoid these problems by following one simple rule when coming upon young wildlife: If You Care, Leave Them There! It may be difficult to do, but this is a real act of compassion. The young are quite safe when left alone because their color patterns and lack of scent help them remain undetected. Generally the parent will visit their young only a few times a day to avoid leaving traces that attract predators. Wildlife parents are not disturbed by human scent. Baby birds found on the ground may be safely picked up and placed in a nearby bush or tree. Avoid nest and den areas of young wildlife and restrain all pets.
Leave fawns (young deer) where they are found. Fawns are safest when left alone because their camouflaging color helps them remain undetected until the doe returns. Unlike deer, newborn moose calves remain in close proximity to their mothers who, in contrast to a white-tailed doe, will actively defend calves against danger. An adult cow moose weighing over 600 pounds will chase, kick and stomp a potential predator, people included.
Only when young wildlife are found injured or with their dead mother
may the young be assisted, but must then be delivered immediately to
a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Due to the difficulty in properly
caring for them there are no rehabilitators licensed to care of fawns.
It is illegal to possess most wildlife in Massachusetts. More
information on young wildlife and list
of licensed wildlife rehabilitators.
FREE FISHING OPPORTUNITIES
Looking for a way to spend some quality time with family or friends in the great outdoors and learn a new skill or brush up on your technique? Try a free fishing clinic or fishing festival near you! MassWildlife's Angler Education Program has teamed up with groups to provide free fishing opportunities and loaner equipment for beginning anglers of all ages. Fishing events for the month of May are below. No license is needed by participants. Go to www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/education/aep/aep_calendar.htm for continuously updated listing of fishing events.
- May 1 - Westborough Spring Fishing Festival at Sandra Pond in Westborough --10:00am - 2:00pm. If you have fishing equipment, bring it along. Contact Jim Lagacy at (508) 389-6309 or email@example.com
- May 1 - Needham Recreation Family Fishing Derby at Needham Reservoir in Needham -- 9:00am - Noon. If you have fishing equipment, bring it along. This event is co-sponsored by the Needham Park and Recreation Commission. Contact Karen Peirce at (781) 455-7521.
- May 2 - Brookline Reservoir Family Fishing Festival in Brookline -- 9:00am - Noon. If you have fishing equipment, bring it along. This event is co-sponsored by the Brookline Recreation Department. Contact Jim Lagacy at (508) 389-6309 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- May 8 - Coes Pond Fishing Derby at Coes Pond in Worcester -- 8:00am - 11:00am. If you have fishing equipment, bring it along. This event is sponsored by the Worcester Fish and Game Association. Contact Jim Lagacy at (508) 389-6309 or email@example.com
- May 9 - Pillings Pond Family Fishing Festival at Pillings Pond in Lynnfield -- 10:00am - 1:00pm . If you have fishing equipment, bring it along. This event is sponsored by the the Pillings Pond Association. Contact Gene Ellison at firstname.lastname@example.org
- May 15 - Disabled American Veterans Fishing Festival at the Marlborough Fish & Game Club in Marlborough --10:00am - 2:00pm. If you have fishing equipment, bring it along. This event is open only to disabled veterans. This event is co-sponsored by the Marlborough Fish and Game Club. Contact Jim Lagacy at (508) 389-6309 or email@example.com.
- May 22 -- Watson Pond Family Fishing Festival at Watson Pond State Park in Taunton -- 10:00 am - 2:00pm. If you have fishing equipment, bring it along. This event is co-sponsored by the Taunton Mayor's Office & the Taunton Fish Wardens. Contact Lynn at (508) 821-1015 or Jim Lagacy at (508) 389-6309 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- May 22 - Nahorniak Family Fishing Festival at Five Mile Pond in Springfield -- 9:00 am - 1:00pm. You will need to bring your own rod and reel. Bait and terminal tackle will be provided. This event is co-sponsored by the Pine Point Community Council and the Springfield Parks and Recreation Department. Contact Jim Lagacy at (508) 389-6309 or email@example.com.
- May 22 - Dean
Park Pond Fishing Clinic at Dean Pond in Shrewsbury. 9:00am -
Noon. If you have fishing equipment bring it along. This event is
co-sponsored with the Shrewsbury Park and Recreation Department. Pre-registration
is required. Contact Gary Grindle at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at (508) 841-8339.
SALTWATER FISHING REGISTRATION REMINDERS
Speaking of fishing, the Division of Marine Fisheries reminds saltwater anglers that this year saltwater anglers must register with the federal government to fish. A new federal law that took effect January 1, 2010 requires most Massachusetts recreational saltwater fishermen 16 years old and older to register with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) either online via www.countmyfish.noaa.gov or by calling (888) MRIP-411 [(888) 674-7411]. There is no fee for federal registration in 2010. People fishing on saltwater charter or head-boats will not be required to register. Private boat or family registrations are not available. This year, non-residents planning saltwater fishing trips in Massachusetts must possess a saltwater fishing permit from any state or from the federal saltwater registration system.
Beginning in 2011, saltwater anglers will be required to purchase a state recreational saltwater fishing permit. The fee for this permit is estimated to be $10 and will be the same cost for all anglers, including non-residents. Anyone 16 or older will be required to purchase a saltwater fishing permit. Saltwater fishermen 60 or older will be required obtain a permit, but the permit will be free. Saltwater anglers in the state will not register with the federal registration system in 2011.
The new permit system will allow federal and state marine fisheries
to collect better data on saltwater recreational fishing. The current
data collection system is inefficient and imprecise. Marine fisheries
managers need quality data to make the best decisions possible on saltwater
creel limits, seasons and sizes.
YOUTH ARTIST FROM METHUEN WINS JUNIOR DUCK STAMP CONTEST
Jenna Richards of Methuen, a 16-year old high school student who studies art with Golden Hill Studio in Haverhill, won top honors among youth artists in the 2010 Massachusetts Junior Duck Stamp Contest. Her watercolor of a Trumpeter Swan was selected from 413 entries as Massachusetts' Best of Show in the Junior Duck Stamp (JDS) Contest. Richards' award winning work also represented Massachusetts' entry in the national Junior Duck Stamp Contest held on April 23, 2010 at Science Museum of Minnesota. Across the state, students from kindergarten through 12th grade submitted original works of art depicting waterfowl in the appropriate wetland habitat, sharing both their talents as young artists and their knowledge of the importance of wetlands for wildlife. The awards ceremony for the top 100 winning artists was held by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) at The Trustees of Reservations Doyle Center for Conservation in Leominster. A complete list of all winners from each age group category from Amherst to Amesbury is posted on the Junior Duck Stamp webpage. The top 100 artists received medals, ribbons, certificates, and a Massachusetts Junior Duck Stamp canvas art supply tote bag
A collection of the top 100 pieces of art will be on exhibit throughout Massachusetts during 2010-2011. Borderland State Park in North Easton will host the first JDS exhibit during the month of August. Call (508) 238-6566 for more details. Check the JDS webpage schedule of the Junior Duck Stamp Traveling Art Exhibit.
The Massachusetts Junior Duck Stamp Program is sponsored by the Division
of Fisheries and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Massachusetts
Wildlife Federation and Massachusetts Waterfowler's, Inc. The U.
S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated the Federal Junior Duck Stamp
program in 1994 to showcase the talents of the nation's young artists
while teaching youngsters about the value of wetlands and waterfowl
conservation. To purchase Junior Duck Stamps from the U. S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, call 1-800-STAMP24 or visit http://www.fws.gov/duckstamps/junior/junior.htm
for purchase information. Proceeds from the sale of Junior Duck Stamps
support conservation education and provide awards and scholarship for
the students, teachers and schools which participate in the program.
LOOK OUT FOR LOONS!
The haunting wail of the Common Loon (Gavia immer) evokes a sense of wild and remote areas which may be why some people are surprised to learn Massachusetts is home to a small, but growing number of nesting loons. MassWildlife Biologist Bridgett McAlice compiled common loon nesting activity for 2009 and will be working with other cooperators this spring to document loon nesting sites across the state.
In 2009, 30 territorial pairs on 11waterbodies were documented. A total of 14 chicks were produced and presumed fledged. In 2008, 8 loon chicks were produced by 32 territorial pairs loons on 13 waterbodies. "The Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs are home to the majority of Massachusetts' nesting loons," said McAlice. "Other nests have been documented in relatively quiet water supplies and private ponds in Worcester County and it's entirely possible there are nests in other parts of the state which haven't been reported to us." McAlice noted that cooperators and volunteers play a vital role in gathering field data for MassWildlife.
Loons in their striking black and white breeding plumage have returned
to their territorial waters and are actively courting. Egg-laying begins
at the end of May. Boaters are reminded to keep a respectful distance
from loons and nesting areas. Anglers are reminded that the use
of lead fishing equipment is prohibited on the Wachusett and Quabbin
Reservoirs, where the core populations of loons are located. Anglers
should also be aware that as a further protection for the state's loon
population, a new regulation prohibiting the use of lead sinkers, lead
weights, and lead fishing jigs with a mass of less than 1 ounce in the
inland waters of Massachusetts will take effect on January 1, 2012.
McAlice encourages anyone to report sightings of loons, specifically
pairs of birds. Be sure to include the name of the town, location and
name of waterbody by email to Mass.email@example.com
or call Bridgett McAlice at the Central District Wildlife Office in
West Boylston at (508) 835-3607.
REGISTER FOR THE OUTDOORSWOMAN WEEKEND IN JUNE
Looking for a great Mother's Day, birthday gift for the special woman in your life? Maybe you and some women friends or family members want to try a womens' weekend get-away. If so, consider the 14th Annual Massachusetts Becoming an Outdoorswoman Program (BOW) at the Chimney Corners YMCA Camp in Becket on June 4 - 6, 2010. This exciting weekend workshop is designed for women 18 and older who want to try new outdoor skills in a supportive environment. Engage in activities such as archery, kayaking, wild edible plants, nature photography, fly fishing, or shooting. New offerings this year include wildlife wood carving, insect tracks and signs, forest land management, and tree stand safety. Partial scholarships are available. This beautiful facility is situated on the banks of two lakes which offer wonderful fishing, boating and other outdoor activities. Registration materials are now posted.
The Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Advisory Committee will meet at the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife's Field Headquarters located off North Drive in Westborough on Thursday, May 13, 2010 from 1:30- 4:30 PM. The Fisheries and Wildlife Board will meet on May 27, 2010 at 1pm at the Division's Western District Office, 88 Old Windsor Rd in Dalton. Both meetings are open to the public.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
- May 2 -- Project WILD Workshop for Educators, Boston -- - The Franklin Park Zoo (FPZ) invites all K-12 educators to participate in an exciting six-hour workshop focusing on terrestrial wildlife and ecosystems from 10-4 pm. Participants will actively engage in activities, evaluate materials for unique needs & settings, share experiences with other educators, take home ideas & resources to integrate into their teaching, and make correlations to national & state content standards. Cost is only $15. Pre-registration is required by calling the Zoo's Education Department at (617) 989-3742. Free parking is available and the FPZ is accessible by MBTA.
- May 8 - Streams and Rivers Conference, Wareham - The Wareham Land Trust is hosting a conference entitled "Restoring The Earth - One Stream At A Time." This free event to which the public is invited will be held at the Wareham Middle School on 4 Viking Drive from 9:00 AM to 12 noon. There is also an optional afternoon stream tour scheduled. Steve Hurley, Southeast District Fisheries Manager has been invited as one of several experts to talk about brook trout and other stream dependent aquatic wildlife. Other talks, exhibits, activities for kids and a guided tour of the Red Brook restoration project are part of the day's agenda. For more information call Mack Phinney at (508) 295-4225 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- May 12 -- Bobcats in Massachusetts, Athol -- The Athol
Bird and Nature Club has invited MassWildlife biologist Laura
Hajduk to talk about Massachusetts only wild cat, the bobcat. She
will cover the the biology, ecology, and habits of this secretive
and elusive predator. Laura is the Furbearer and Black Bear Project
Leader for the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. This free, public
program will begin at 7 PM at the Millers
River Environmental Center located on 100 Main Street, Athol.
For more event information click on the Calendar
of Events. This calendar is continually updated with events for
people and natural history tidbits.
Last Updated: 05/04/2010