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Find fish and wildlife related workshops, talks, walks, board meetings, hunting/fishing seasons, and more here.

May 2021

Read the May Newsletter

2021 fishing & hunting season dates 

May 5: The Biology of Fly Fishing In fly fishing, anglers use small lures called flies to imitate insects and other aquatic organisms to catch fish. Knowing about those food sources can greatly increase your success on the water. Aside from helping us catch fish, the organisms that live in lakes and streams can also tell us a lot about the health of water bodies. As part of the 2021 Blue Space Angler Event Series, join the City of Worcester and MassWildlife at 6 p.m. for a virtual event where you will learn about the aquatic organisms that fish eat. Discover what clues those organisms reveal about your waterbody and what fly patterns you can use to imitate them. If you are interested in fly fishing or just what lives in local waterbodies, this event is for you! Event contact: burmeisterj@worcesterma.gov.

May 6:  Freshwater Mussel Restoration: Five Years After Millie Turner Dam Removal As part of a webinar series entitled Dam Removals, River Herring, Mussels, and Climate Impacts, the Nashua River Watershed Association is offering a program on freshwater mussel restoration after a dam removal. Dam removals provide extraordinary benefits to riverine systems including the restoration of natural flow and connectivity for fish and wildlife migration. However, immediate habitat changes following dam removals have usually been associated with declines in freshwater mussel populations. In 2015, the Millie Turner Dam was removed from the Nissitissit River in Pepperell. MassWildlife relocated freshwater mussels of conservation concern from the area of impact and has monitored the mussels and the habitat change since.  Now, five years after dam removal, there are some initial positive trends that may support the long-term restoration of rare mussel habitat in the Nissitissit River. Join Dr. Peter Hazelton, MassWildlife’s former Chief of Conservation Science of MassWildlife's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP), and Dr. Jason Carmignani, NHESP Aquatic Ecologist, as they discuss this interesting project and their findings. The program will begin at 7 p.m. on Zoom. To register and receive the link for Zoom, please visit www.NashuaRiverWatershed.org, Programs and Events.  

May 13: Some Like It Hot, Trout Do Not; A Coldwater Monitoring Project Partnership  Imagine you're a fish that requires cold water temperatures even during the hot summer months; where do you go when seasonal drought conditions or longer term climate factors warm up your chilly stream habitat, lower water levels, and decrease flow rates? In this free webinar beginning at 7 p.m. and hosted by the Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA), learn how MassWildlife fisheries biologists partnering with NRWA and Trout Unlimited are monitoring stream temperatures to identify important coldwater patches (refugia) where fish and other aquatic life can retreat during warmer months. This information will help inform fish conservation efforts. The presentation “Climate change refugia and the protection of rivers and streams“ will be given on the Zoom platform by Rebecca Quiñones  Ph. D., MassWildlife's Rivers and Streams Project Leader. This is part of a webinar series offered by NRWA on Dam Removals, RIver Herring, Mussels, and Climate Impacts. Program is free, but registration is required.

May 15 & 16 – Flyfishing Series with Mt. Grace Land Trust, Templeton On May 15 and 16, attend one or both free in-person Flyfishing Series events offered by the Mt. Grace Land Trust at the Otter River Sportsmens Club (250 Lord Road, Baldwinville). Though the program is free, you must register to attend as there are limited slots available. Dress appropriately for the weather as this is a rain or shine event. COVID-19 guidelines require wearing masks and maintaining social distancing of at least 6 feet. Questions? Contact MGLT Communications and Engagement Coordinator Marielena Lima.

  • The May 15 session runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn about flyfishing from master casters, and cold water fisheries and climate change from MassWildlife's Dr. Rebecca Quiñones. Munch on a free lunch!
  • The May 16 session runs from 9 a.m. to Noon. Sign up to learn how to cast your fly on small streams and find out about watershed conservation efforts on the Miller's River from the Mt. Grace Land Trust. 

May 17: Fisheries and Wildlife Board Meeting – At 1 p.m., the Fisheries and Wildlife Board May business meeting will be held virtually via a Zoom video meeting. The public may join the Board members and MassWildlife staff via computer or phone line. Find the agenda and instructions on joining the Zoom meeting at this link.​

May 19: Learn To Fish!  Are you interested in giving fishing a try, but maybe don't know where to start? As part of the 2021 Blue Space Angler Event Series, join the MassWildlife Angler Education Program, Lake Quinsigamond Watershed Association, and Shrewsbury Parks and Rec to learn the basics of fishing in a virtual session at 6:30 p.m. In this family friendly event, participants will be provided an overview of rod and reel fishing equipment, techniques, rules, and the safety elements required to enjoy a day of fishing. Following this virtual event, participants will get the opportunity to give fishing a try and borrow equipment for the weekend. They are also welcome to participate in the "Fishapalooza - Caught on Camera" Virtual Fishing Event the following weekend. While no fishing license is required, online registration is, as space is limited. Event contact: info@libconcut.com.

May 21: Endangered Species Day  More than 425 plants and animals are considered rare in Massachusetts. MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program helps conserve and protect these species through research, education, regulations, land protection, and more. Want to learn how you can support these species? Visit mass.gov/supportnhesp.

May 21: FalConference  FalConference is a free, one-day virtual event where the public is invited to join the UMass Amherst Du Bois Library Falcon team and their collaborators as they discuss all things peregrine. MassWildlife’s Dave Paulson and Dr. Tom French, former Assistant Director of MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage program, will be participating in two sessions: History of Peregrine Restoration and the Art and Science of Banding Wild Falcons. Tune in to learn more! Registration is required, please register here.​

June 2021

2021 fishing & hunting season dates 

June 5–6: Free Freshwater Fishing Weekend  No license is required to fish any public lake, pond, reservoir, stream, or river in Massachusetts from 12 a.m. Saturday, June 5, 2021 until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 6, 2021. Please note: All other fishing regulations, including catch limits, apply during Free Fishing Weekend. Other than Free Fishing Weekend, you need a license to fish in fresh water if you are 15 or older. If you're 15–17 or 70 and older, your license is free. Funds from fishing license sales support MassWildlife’s fisheries research, fish stocking programs, and angler education programs. Buy your fishing license here. For saltwater anglers, Free Saltwater Fishing Weekend is June 19–20. 

July 2021

2021 fishing & hunting season dates 

July 8: Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Advisory Committee Meeting – The Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Advisory Committee will hold its quarterly meeting at 1:30 p.m. Details to join the meeting will be posted closer to the meeting date. 

July 19: Fish in Cold Waters – In this online event hosted by MassWildlife and the City of Worcester, participants will learn what defines coldwater fish resources, where are they located in Worcester, and how water quality impacts fishing opportunities in the region. This session begins at 6:30 p.m. and is part of the 2021 Blue Space Angler Event Series. Event contact: burmeisterj@worcesterma.gov.

August 2021

September 2021

2021 fishing & hunting season dates 

September 18: Family Learn to Fish Event – Are you interested in giving fishing a try, but maybe don't know where to start? As part of the 2021 Blue Space Angler Event Series join the MassWildlife Angler Education Program and the Tatnuck Brook Watershed Association to learn the basics of fishing at 9 a.m. Participants will be provided an overview of rod and reel fishing equipment, techniques, rules, and the safety elements required to enjoy a day of fishing. Following this virtual event, participants will get the opportunity to give fishing a try at Coes Reservoir beach. All fishing equipment and materials will be provided at this event for people of all ages. While no fishing license is required, online registration is, as space is limited. Event contact: dangiza@hotmail.com

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