The Department of Environmental Conservation has established boating rules designed to curb if not stop the transporting of aquatic plant and animal life from one lake to another.
After each day on the water, boaters should take the following steps to ensure that their boat, trailer and equipment are free of aquatic invasive species:
Visually inspect the boat, trailer and other fishing and boating equipment and remove all mud, plants and other organisms that might be clinging to it. Materials should be disposed of in one of the Nuisance Invasive Species Disposal Stations installed at most DEC boat launches, in the trash or at an upland location away from the launch ramp.
The boat’s bilge and any other water holding compartments such as live wells, bait wells and bilge tanks should be drained of all water; this rule does not apply to water associated with sanitary systems or drinking water supplies.
Enforcement is in place and boaters are reminded to make these checks regularly. Boaters headed to the Adirondack Region onto waters supervised by the Lake George Park Commission have to comply with more strict regulations. Starting this season, boaters are required to have their vessels inspected for aquatic invasive species prior to use.
For details on cleaning, draining and other maintenance steps for boaters, go to dec.ny.gov/animals/48221.
Boat harbor rates
Starting this month, seniors 62 and older can launch for free during weekdays at Buffalo Small Boat Harbor ramps. Boaters must announce and show proof of age or clerks will charge the $7 daily fee.
Saturday will be set aside for outdoors observations during the Great American Backyard Campout, a National Wildlife Federation effort to have kids devote more time to outdoors involvement.
The program’s Web site provides parents and mentors with gear lists, recipes, nocturnal wildlife guides, exploration activities, nature games and many more activities. To check out these campout options, visit backyardcampout.org.
Turkey fan cautions
Fans of wild turkey hunting are now getting sales pitches on techniques and gear items that could result in an increase of hunting-related shooting incidents.
National Wild Turkey Federation officials caution hunters about the use of decoys to attract birds into the open. Hunters are advised to first check and make sure the state allows decoys and then cautions “Never carry an uncovered decoy any distance.”
One commercial product (Turkey Reaper) now on the market is being sold as a turkey body mount designed to be worn while stalking open fields.
The company warns buyers: “Do NOT use on public land, leases or anywhere other hunters might be present and could mistake you for a real turkey! Use only in very controlled hunting areas.”
Fatal incidents have occurred when hunters have either waved or worn turkey fans and feathered bodies to attract or stalk wild turkeys. Hunters must seriously consider the use of these turkey-hunting devices.