April 2016 Outdoor Discovery

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Spring Means Trout Fishing in New York State

A man trout fishing.

Thanks to open water and a lack of snow, anglers can do lots of early fishing this year. Now is the time to get tackle ready for the opening day of trout season on April 1. Normally, southeastern New York warms up earlier than the rest of the state.

DEC's trout hatchery program will stock catchable-size trout in early April. Our website offers a list of stocked waters and the anticipated number of fish to be stocked in 2016. For more information, please contact your local fisheries office.

Purchase your fishing license in time for the start of fishing season. The license is valid for one year from the date you purchase it.

Read more about trout in Conservationist:

Mentor a Young Turkey Hunter

Youth hunter with his turkey.

Youth Wild Turkey Hunt Weekend, April 23-24, is the perfect time to take out young hunters (ages 12-15) and pass your love of hunting on to the next generation. Hunting wild turkey develops many valuable hunting skills and nothing beats learning them from an experienced adult mentor. Sharing time in the field has its own rewards, but bringing home a big bearded tom turkey is an exciting experience your youngster will never forget. The woods and fields of upstate New York and Long Island provide perfect habitat for thousands of wild turkeys. So get out there with your youngsters and help them enjoy the thrill of their first turkey hunt. Find out all you need to know on DEC's Youth Hunt for Wild Turkey webpage.

Safe and Sound: Don't stalk turkeys! It is extremely difficult to approach a turkey undetected. You will be much more successful calling the bird to you.

Hike of the Month: Mendon Ponds Park

A fox.

Monroe County
Mendon Ponds Park, named to the National Registry of Natural Landmarks, has 30 miles of self-guided trails and abundant wildlife. A kettle pond known as the Devil's Bathtub can be accessed via an easy .67-mile walk and is one of the unique glacial features from 11,000 years ago. The challenging East Esker Trail is a 4.7-mile hilly hike and travels through woods and fields of wildflowers. Most of the ten trail loops in the 2,500-acre park are between one and three-miles long. Six lodges and seven shelters are available for rental, and the park offers a sensory garden as well.

Watchable Wildlife at Mills Norrie State Park

A river otter.

Staatsburgh, Dutchess County
Among the wildlife that can be enjoyed at Mills Norrie State Park are: wood ducks, common mergansers, great blue herons, bluebirds, muskrats, white-tailed deer, red foxes and river otters.

River otters, members of the weasel family, are particularly popular with the public. Cute and clownish, they are natural if inadvertent entertainers. For example, when otters slide downhill through snow, they appear to be having fun as they form troughs reminiscent of the pattern left by children using saucers. Although river otters are active year-round, they spend most of their time in the water. Look for them there or along the shores of various water bodies.

Nature Notes: River otters are primarily visual predators; their eyes are shaped in a way that helps them see under water. When the water is murky, their whiskers help them locate the movement of prey. Read more about river otters in Conservationist, The River Otter: Surprising Little Clown (December 2013).

DEC's Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife App

dec app promo

Looking for an outdoor adventure close to home this spring? Download DEC's Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife App. Using the app's advanced GPS features, you will be able to identify and locate New York State's many hunting, fishing and wildlife watching sites.

Upcoming DEC Events



Conservationist Magazine

April 2016 Conservationist cover

Don't miss the newest issue of Conservationist magazine! In it, we'll take you in the field with DEC biologists to return native brook trout to a remote Adirondack pond, and give you a glimpse into NY's striped bass fishery. Readers will discover how some dedicated anglers are helping biologists track fish populations in the Finger Lakes, read how students are raising trout in the classroom, and tag along with forest rangers as they battle a huge fire in Ulster County. There are also beautiful photos of spring violets, and tips for stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species and preventing birds from flying into windows.

There's all this and much more in the April Conservationist. Subscribe online or call 1-800-678-6399.

April 2016 DEC Outdoor Discovery Newsletter © New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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