New York Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – October 29, 2021

Women’s Fishing Expo
(Suffolk County)

 On Sept. 25, DEC’s I FISH NY Program held its second annual Women’s Fishing Expo at Connetquot River State Park. The event, run primarily by female anglers and fisheries professionals, included demonstrations by women-owned businesses and fishing clubs. Participants learned basic and intermediate fishing skills such as knot-tying and fly-fishing. Trout hatchery tours were also available. ECOs Small and Grady were on hand to help with the fishing demonstrations and answer questions from the public about what ECOs do and why their work is important in the preservation and protection of our natural resources. 

Repeat Offender
(Suffolk County)

 On the Oct. 1, opening day of archery season for deer in Brookhaven, Suffolk County, ECO Grady checked a wooded area known for baiting. Officer Grady located a hunter with some minor license violations, issued tickets for these violations, and sent the hunter on his way. One week later, ECO Grady returned to the area and found a different hunter in a tree stand, hunting 10 yards from a pile of bait. The hunter, ticketed by Officer Grady in the past for baiting and hunting with a crossbow, received more tickets for hunting with the aid of bait and failure to wear a back tag. Officer Grady seized the hunter’s trail camera and compound bow while charges are pending. 

Honoring Our Roots
(Suffolk County) 

On Sept. 29, ECO DeRose and K9 Cramer visited Pine Lawn National Cemetery to pay their respects to Game Protector (GP) William Cramer. K9 Cramer was named in honor of GP Cramer, who was murdered on Sept. 29, 1929, while he and GP Joseph Allen investigated illegal hunting in the Idlewild Woods, an area near present-day JFK Airport. The two GPs discovered a poacher in possession of protected songbirds, and while arresting the poacher, they heard a gunshot and went to investigate. The poacher in custody shouted a warning to a second poacher, resulting in an exchange of gunfire. Cramer was killed instantly by a shotgun blast. A lifelong resident of Queens, he was 38 years old when he died. His devotion as a Game Protector made him an Officer of the highest caliber. William Cramer is still recognized as one of the most courageous and fearless men ever to wear the Game Protector badge. 

Black Sea Bass Sunday
(Suffolk County)

On the last Sunday in September, ECOs Perkins and DeRose worked a long day to prevent the unlawful taking of black sea bass on the South Shore of Suffolk County. Black sea bass have a minimum size limit of 15 inches and a maximum daily possession limit of seven fish from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31. After receiving a complaint from a local fisherman that anglers were taking undersized black sea bass on the rocks at Democrat Point, ECO Perkins responded to the area and located the individuals. Upon inspection, Officer Perkins discovered two undersized black sea bass in a cooler. He issued a ticket for possession of undersized fish. As the day progressed, ECOs Perkins and DeRose patrolled Captree State Park to perform recreational saltwater fishing compliance checks on the main pier. ECO DeRose performed a compliance check on a fisherman with an out-of-season tautog, while ECO Perkins located a fisherman further down the dock with five undersized black sea bass, three of which were hidden on a stringer in the water. The Officers issued tickets to both anglers for their violations. The ECOs also patrolled Ocean Parkway, conducting compliance checks on anglers located on the bay side at Oak Beach. The ECOs encountered two fishermen in possession of undersized black sea bass measuring nine inches each. Both anglers received tickets for their violations. It was a similar scene at Robert Moses State Park where both officers spotted three fishermen on the rocks. ECO DeRose watched the pair and observed one angler catch an undersized black sea bass and quickly place it in a plastic bag he then stuffed in the rocks approximately 15 feet away. Upon inspection, the Officers located another plastic bag nearby. Both bags contained 28 undersized black sea bass, all less than seven inches. Two of the three fishermen admitted to possessing the black sea bass. All three fishermen were ticketed for possession of undersized black sea bass, over limit, and failure to carry a marine registry. Twelve tickets were issued and a total of 37 undersized black sea bass and one tautog seized. 

Flood Response Strike Team Training (Oneida County)

 During the last week of September, DEC Division of Law Enforcement members participated in a four-day training for students and instructors at the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany as part of New York’s interagency flood response strike team. The strike team is led by the State Office of Fire Prevention and Control (OFPC) and brings together a wide range of State public safety groups including ECOs and Forest Rangers to provide a more coordinated and efficient public safety response to flooding. The strike team has responded to floods generated by tropical storms Fred, Ida, and Henri in recent weeks. The training involved classroom and live training at the Training Center in controlled environments, including mock scenarios, land-based search techniques, building entry, second floor and rooftop evacuations, pet rescues, and integrating UAS (drones) into flood response. The training culminated with a full-day exercise with the Barneveld Volunteer Fire Company on West Canada Creek. The exercise combined teams from all involved agencies to effectuate a multi-victim rescue that tested skills practiced earlier in the week. This type of training is critical to ensure the effective multi-agency responses to flooding events that continue to increase across the state. 

Night Clamming
(Suffolk County)

On Oct. 8, ECO Grady received a call from Town of Brookhaven Public Safety Officers who intercepted two male subjects with shellfish near Mount Sinai Harbor. The subjects snuck out of the woods with buckets at about 8:30 p.m., and were waiting to be picked up when spotted by the Officers. As ECO Grady approached, one of the subjects fled. She found clam rakes and several buckets of hard clams in a wooded area near the harbor, which is seasonably uncertified for shellfish because the shellfish are unsafe for human consumption. It is also unlawful to take shellfish at night, after sunset. The subject in custody received tickets for taking shellfish from an uncertified area, possessing a commercial quantity of shellfish at night, and not having a shellfish digger permit. All charges are misdemeanors pending in Suffolk County First District Court.

Violations at Fire Island Inlet
(Suffolk County)

ECOs Dickson and Perkins continue to find anglers keeping tautog before the season and black sea bass of less than legal size. On Oct. 8, while patrolling Captree and Robert Moses State Parks, the Officers issued tickets to multiple fishermen for taking out-of-season tautog, undersized and over-limit sea bass, and winter flounder out of season. On the night of Oct. 9, ECOs Perkins and Anderson found people illegally taking fish with a net in the dark at Jones Beach State Park. They ticketed two separate groups of four anglers for taking a total of 89 undersized sea bass, which put them more than 30 fish over the limit. The second group had an undersized striped bass, as well.

Want to be a Forest Ranger?
(Albany County) 

On Oct. 8, Forest Ranger Mitchell participated in an annual open house hosted by Shaker Road-Loudonville Fire Department. Representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, New York State Fire, New York State Police, LifeNet, Albany International Airport Fire Department, Albany County Sheriff’s Office, Colonie Police, and Colonie EMS were also present. Ranger Mitchell provided information on how to become a Forest Ranger, a Ranger’s duties and responsibilities, equipment and gear, and hiking and recreation safety. 

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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