Saturday, May 19, 2012

Add your voice to a growing number of people, businesses and organizations who support the restoration of one of the world’s largest freshwater ecosystems.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Handling Black Bears in Urban and Suburban Areas


Young black bears will climb trees if they feel threatened.
~Photo courtesy of USFWS


Bears turn up in urban and suburban areas throughout New York State every year. During spring and early summer, young males set out on their own and sometimes travel into cities and towns where bird feed, garbage and pet food are available. When this happens, DEC's first response is to monitor the bear's movements, collaborate with local police and ensure the bear can find its own way safely out of town. Yet, when a bear seeks refuge in a tree and crowds form, the situation becomes more difficult. If a safe escape route exists and the crowd leaves, the bear might wait until dark and then return to its natural habitat. If there is no escape route or curious onlookers remain, DEC may tranquilize and relocate the bear. However, the best scenario is for the bear to find its own way back out of town. Learn more about how to prevent conflicts with bears by visiting DEC's Nuisance Black Bears ( webpage.

Take action! Urge mid-Atlantic fishery managers to protect
threatened river herring and shad from Ocean bycatch

shad and herring graphic 450

Although river herring and shad are small fish, they play an immensely important role in the health of our coastal ecosystems. As food for larger fish, they help sustain commercial and recreational fisheries on the East Coast while contributing to the economies of many coastal river towns. They are in critical condition, however, because their populations have declined by more than 97 percent. In New York the Hudson River’s historic shad fishery was closed as populations reached critical levels. River herring populations in New York have also reached unsustainable levels and fisheries closures and restrictions will be implemented soon to protect dwindling populations.

The populations of shad and river herring that spawn in New York’s rivers spend much of their lives in the ocean. This spring, you can help secure the first meaningful protections for these fish in the ocean. Millions are caught each year, mostly by industrial trawlers targeting Atlantic mackerel. These massive boats tow football-field-size nets and indiscriminately kill millions of pounds of unintended catch annually, including river herring, shad, bluefin tuna, cod, haddock, and striped bass, as well as whales, dolphins, and seabirds. 

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet in June to decide how to protect river herring and American shad at sea. This is your opportunity to help save these treasured species. Send a letter to the council today.
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Lyme Disease is a real threat to those who go fishing

Wherein We Discuss a Fly Anglers Malady

Lyme Disease is a real threat to those who go fishing, unlike the recent hysteria over the rarely transmitted dog tapeworm larva (Echinococcus granulosus) to humans. In 2011 there were over 30,000 reported cases in the U.S. of  often debilitating Lyme disease. It is usually transmitted by the small, hard-to-see deer tick, which has as its primary host white-tailed deer.  Density of deer and density of ticks is closely related.  A new map has just been produced showing the actual density of deer ticks. Here in the Northern Tier of PA and Southern Tier of NY we have some real hot spots.  The infected area is spreading.  It also doesn’t help that we are having a mild winter.  This means the cold weather (or lack of) is NOT killing enough of the ticks.  Last year was a bad year for ticks…  unfortunately, I’m thinking this year will be even worse.

As you can see in my circle. Bradford/Sullivan Counties are considered a hotspot! As well as all of PA from Wayne County to Chester County.

Areas in the United States where people have the highest risk of contracting Lyme disease are pinpointed in a new map created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lyme disease is one of the most rapidly emerging infectious diseases in North America. It’s transferred by ticks and symptoms range from headaches, fever and a rash to arthritis and Bell’s palsy, or damage to a facial nerve that can lead to temporary paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face.

At least three closely related bacteria cause the disease. It is transmitted by the bite of deer tick and is usually easy to treat with antibiotics if discovered early, but as time goes by treatment gets harder as the organism settles in and begins to damage various organs.   Even us DFP’ers get ticks. I had one embed itself in my arm while fishing on the Oswayo Creek near Shinglehouse, PA.  I was sitting on a nice manicured lawn along the creek when I got the tick.  It wasn’t in a classic tall grassy area.  So be on the lookout!

Damn ticks!!

The incidence of the disease is reduced by careful examination of clothing and skin after (and while) outdoors, knowledge of the first symptoms, and reduction in deer ticks.  Outdoor activities such as flyfishing, hiking and of course, hunting will put more folks into areas that could lead to a tick bite.  The best way to combat getting a tick bite to to wear waders or long pants and to wear shirts with long sleeves.  Staying out of tall grassy areas with exposed skin helps.  But what’s a dirtbagger to do when we are fishing along weedy growth areas?  Wear some ”bug juice” that has Permethrin in it. 

Permethrin forms a bond with fabric and will last through several to many laundry cycles. It is a toxin but in this case it is bound to the fabric, and therefore cannot harm you. This is what all of our Armed Forces use on their uniforms. The warnings should not be dismissed but are there mainly to avoid lawsuits, e.g., kind of like warning labels on hammers.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fracking with Propane


The Gas Companies’ Latest Tactic to Bring Fracking to New York State

A group of landowners in Tioga County in Western New York State have reached an agreement with gas drillers’ eCorp and GasFrac Energy Services to open up 130,000 acres to gas drilling and to use liquid propane gas (LPG) as a fracking agent. The coalition’s strategy appears to be to bypass the current de facto moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracturing through the use of this alternative fracking agent.

Our lawyers have advised us that New York law does not permit fracking with LPG because given its significant risk of adverse environmental impacts any application to use it would first require its own supplemental-generic or site-specific environmental impact statement. It is unfathomable that the state would consider allowing a process that forces explosive liquid propane gas underground under high pressure without first doing the proper environmental review.

What we do know is that this dangerous new technology resulted in two explosions/fires in 2011 - one left 3 workers hospitalized and one worker with second degree burns and the second, a flash fire, injured about a dozen workers, two of whom had to be evacuated to the hospital by helicopter. In a third incident, GasFrac Energy Services of Alberta Canada, the company who pioneered this technology, had to shut down the company for 2 weeks in January 2012 while they investigated a fire at a well site.

GasFrac has touted fracking with liquid propane as a major breakthrough because it eliminates the need for the millions of gallons of water that are needed to frack each well, however, it is not at all clear that fracking with liquid propane gas is any less threatening to the environment or to people’s health than water based fracking. There has been no independent empirical analysis or scientific studies done of the complete life cycle of the process and the only information about it comes from the company’s marketing materials, which claim, for instance, that it is a “green” alternative to water based approaches.

Also, the elimination of water does not eliminate the need to truck this highly explosive gas to the well sites, the need for chemicals in the fracking solution or the threat of air pollution. It doesn’t solve the problem of methane leaks and its highly combustible composition brings with it new levels of danger for both workers and residents. For more on the dangers of propane fracking, please see our website.

The bottom line is that fracking with liquid propane gas should not be allowed in New York State.

Join us in writing to your legislators and Governor Cuomo demanding that this process be banned.

We often ask you to write to our government officials, and some of you may feel that you have already expressed your objections to fracking, however, it is critical in this fight that we keep up the pressure and that our elected officials hear from us again, and again about why fracking is too great a risk to our health and the well-being of our communities to be done in New York State.

And please mention that you don’t want propane fracking in New York when you call Governor Cuomo as part of our “DON’T FRACK FRIDAYS” call campaign. His office can be reached at (518) 474-8390.

Thank you for your past actions and thank you for staying in this fight.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Increase Your Fishing Skills with DEC's Freshwater Fishing Tips


Want to know all the nooks and crannies where a fish may be hiding? Visit DEC's new webpages,Where to Fish: Rivers and Streams and Where to Fish: Lakes and Ponds to find information on the best locations to drop your line and reel in a fish from a flowing stream or calm lake. You can learn other techniques and tips for a better fishing experience by visiting DEC's Fishing Skills webpage.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good afternoon Upstate Fly Fishers members and friends

April tyer: Our guest tyer this month will be John Dwyer. He will be tying a Dorato Caddis. He will begin at 7:00

Program: JP Ross of JP Ross Fly Rods in Utica will be doing a presentation on his Trout Power program. J.P. is promoting West Canada Creek, it's trout and the surrounding area and businesses.

NOTE:  JP will be starting his presentation at 7:30. BRING A FRIEND! Let's get a nice turnout for JP.

Where: We meet at the Pittsford Rec Center (Spiegel Community Center), 35 Lincoln Ave, Pittsford. Meeting starts at 7 PM with a fly tying demo.

Links for JPRoss, Trout Power and the tournament (PDF file attached):

J.P. Ross website:

What is Trout Power about: http://troutpower.blogs

Trout Power Tournament: