New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 1, 2021
On Sept. 12, ECOs Boyes, Clark, and McCabe split up to patrol popular fishing areas in the town of Southampton during the late night and predawn hours. During their patrols the Officers encountered a few violators. In one case, the ECOs approached two individuals transporting three undersized fluke and five undersized striped bass to a vehicle from the top of a bridge. Later, three other individuals were found in possession of 53 shad despite the daily limit of five. The patrol next found four anglers with undersized crabs and an additional group of three subjects with 24 undersized black sea bass. ECOs issued a total of 13 tickets for possession of undersized fluke, possession of undersized striped bass, over-limit striped bass possession, over-limit shad possession, possession of undersized black sea bass, over-limit black sea bass possession, and possession of undersized blue crabs.
September 11 Anniversary Ceremony
On Sept. 11, first responders and community members from Columbia County gathered to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, and remember those tragically lost during the terrorist attacks. The memorial event, organized by leaders in the town of Kinderhook, was held in Volunteers Park. ECO Cox, currently assigned to Columbia County, served several years in New York City at the beginning of his career. In 2001, the ECO was on patrol in Manhattan when the first plane struck the north tower. ECO Cox did not hesitate to respond, quickly mobilizing with other first responders to evacuate people from lower Manhattan. The Officer recalled the emotions of that day as he spoke to the crowd of more than 500 Kinderhook community members. ECO Cox was joined by another speaker who survived working on the 72nd floor of the north tower that morning, and a retired Port Authority of NY/NJ Police Chief. Their stories truly brought home the message “All Gave Some, Some Gave All – Never Forget.”
In Niagara County, ECOs Holzle and Koepf joined approximately 250 other first responders in a step challenge to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks. Responders walked down the Whirlpool State Park steps along the Niagara River Gorge and then up the Devil’s Hole State Park steps. These steps are equivalent to the 110 stories heroic first responders climbed on that fateful day.
On Sept. 11, ECOs participated in a joint agency marine detail to provide security to the waters around New York City during the 20th anniversary ceremonies remembering the September 11, 2021, terrorist attacks.
Unhappy and Illegal Campers
On Sept. 4 at approximately 8:33 p.m., DEC’s Raybrook Dispatch received a call from Herkimer County 911 advising of an unattended campfire near the summit of Bald Mountain in the Fulton Chain Wild Forest. Forest Ranger McCartney responded and located a father and son illegally camped in the vicinity of the fire tower. Ranger McCartney observed their campfire burning into a nearby stump and roots, contributing to a small ground fire. Discarded beer cans were observed in and around the campfire. Ranger McCartney extinguished the fire with water and hand tools. Tickets were issued for camping within 150 feet of a trail and for depositing waste on State Land. Ranger McCartney returned the following morning and declared the fire out by 11:30 a.m.
Lightning Strike, Wildland Fire
On Sept. 9 at 2:50 p.m., Hamilton County 911 received a report of a wildland fire in a tree at the end of Northpoint Road in Raquette Lake. Forest Ranger Sabo responded and located a large, white pine snag (any dead or dying standing tree) with approximately 30 feet burned around the base. Ranger Milano responded to assist with fire suppression. Rangers extinguished the fire, likely caused by a lightning strike, by 5:50 p.m. Ranger Milano checked the fire the next day and found some warmth around the roots, but no active smoke or fire. Using hand tools, the Ranger dug out the roots and put more water on the hot spots.
Juvenile Alligator at Middle School (Dutchess County)
On Sept. 14, at approximately 1:19 am, ECO Eyler received a call from the East Fishkill Police Department reporting a four- to five-foot alligator roaming around the Van Wyck Junior High School. A next door neighbor, who just happened to look out her living room window, saw the 50-pound animal scurrying from a culvert and into the parking lot of the nearby school and immediately called 911. ECO Eyler arrived on scene and safely subdued the animal to transport it to an area animal rehabilitation specialist for evaluation.
Rain-Soaked Owl Rescue
On Aug. 23, ECO Wamsley received a call about an owl in distress in the town of Dover. Upon arrival, the ECO found the great horned owl stranded in a field and getting drenched by rain from Tropical Depression Ida. ECO Wamsley grabbed his net and approached the bird. The owl could not fly due to an injured wing and had recently been sprayed by a skunk. It was quickly captured and transported to a local rehabilitation facility for treatment.
On Sept. 5, ECO Chomicki received a call from the Ulster County Sheriff for a report of an injured bald eagle in the town of Marbletown. The ECO spoke to the caller who decided to stay with the bird, covering the animal to keep it safe from predators until help arrived. ECO Chomicki did a quick check of the bird and identified it as a hawk. Seeing no obvious injury, the ECO collected the hawk and transported it to a volunteer with Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center for proper evaluation and rehabilitation.
Saved by an Owl
On Sept. 6, National Park Service Ranger Babus contacted ECO Parker to collect an injured great horned owl rescued from the Delaware River. ECO Parker met NPS Ranger Babus and NPS Ranger Bunn at a halfway point at the Ten Mile River Delaware access point. After collecting the owl, ECO Parker and Ranger Babus heard an individual screaming for help in the middle of the Delaware River at the Ten Mile River junction. Officers noted that a kayaker had flipped their kayak and was struggling in the current. Ranger Bunn responded with a canoe to rescue the boater while Ranger Babus and ECO Parker stood ready with a throw rope. Ranger Bunn escorted the boater back to shore where the subject was assisted by Ranger Babus and ECO Parker. The subject did not require medical attention. After assisting the boater, ECO Parker brought the owl to Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center for further care.