New York state, Pennsylvania outdoors getting a facelift from Winter Storm Stella

A screenshot from the Pennsylvania Game Commission eagle cam Tuesday during the snowstorm that is hitting the Northeast.

For sportsmen and women, if it’s going to storm, it may as well come now, during the height of the shoulder season.

Winter Storm Stella is hammering the Northeast, including the eastern Great Lakes region of New York state and Pennsylvania. Fortunately for hunters and anglers, this is mostly the off-season across that region. It is, however, a somewhat busy time for natural resources agencies there, and the storm has resulted in postponements and cancellations as well as general no-travel warnings from state agencies.

As of 1 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, New York state had reports of 23 inches of snow in Endwell down to 4 inches in New York City’s Central Park. As a result, on Monday, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation cancelled its usually well-attended annual public hearing on the waterfowl hunting seasons. It was scheduled for Tuesday in Whitehall, N.Y. — according to reports, between Monday night and Tuesday afternoon, Whitehall was expected to see about a foot of snow.

A related Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department hearing, scheduled for Tuesday in Newport, Vt., also was postponed. Each year, the NYSDEC and Vermont Fish and Wildlife hold hearings on the status of waterfowl populations and proposed waterfowl hunting seasons for the neighboring state of Vermont and Lake Champlain zone in New York. According to the NYSDEC, an announcement will be made when the meetings have been rescheduled.

In Pennsylvania, a number of trout stocking runs were rescheduled (click here for more information), and a live appearance and call-in opportunity with Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director John Arway on the Pennsylvania Cable Network was moved from Tuesday to Wednesday night (7-8 p.m. local time). Anglers, boaters and others interested in conservation and outdoor recreational issues are invited to tune/call in.

So, in Pennsylvania, the biggest concern might be for the state Game Commission’s eagle cam residents. Like other states, Pennsylvania features an eagle cam this time year. According to Pennsylvania Game Commission reports, two eggs were laid this year, with the first one expected to hatch any day now. The nest viewed via the eagle cam is located in the Hanover, Pa., area, which also was expected to get up to a foot of snow by this afternoon. As of 2 p.m. CDT Tuesday, only one adult eagle could be seen, burrowed into the snow-filled nest, likely on top of and incubating the eggs.

Elsewhere in Pennsylvania as of 1 p.m. CDT Tuesday, Dingmans Ferry and Mount Pocono each had received 24 inches of snow and Scranton 21 inches, according to reports, with the Philadelphia International Airport recording 3.9 inches.

The storm is expected to continue in those eastern Great Lakes states through Tuesday night. On Wednesday, lighter snowfall and gusty winds will continue, but the worst of the storm is expected to be over, with cold temperatures continuing through Thursday after Stella departs.

So, maybe something good comes out of this weather in Pennsylvania and New York state.

Ice fishing, anyone?

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