Camillus: Fish hatchery poised for stocking

The days are getting longer and the April 1 trout opener is getting closer. The Friends of Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery Stocking Hot Line will begin operating Thursday, March 20. The Hatchery will begin its annual stocking runs throughout Onondaga County in late March and will continue until all the fish are released. The hot line will be updated every Thursday and provide information from the proceeding week. Anglers can call 689-0003 to find out how many fish are stocked in their favorite streams.

Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. during the summer and is located on Route 321, 2.3 miles south of Route 5 intersection in the Town of Elbridge. For more information on the Hatchery, call 689-9367.

DEC submits fish and wildlife bills to legislature

State department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis announced Monday that three new bills concerning fish and wildlife programs have been submitted for introduction for the 2008 legislative session.

The first bill, titled the Junior Hunter/Trapper Mentoring Bill, would establish a junior big-game hunting license and a junior trapper mentoring program. The junior hunting license would allow 14 and 15 year-olds (who can already hunt small game with a firearm) to obtain a license to hunt big game with a firearm. The junior hunter would have to be accompanied by an adult who a) is 21 or older and has at least three years of big-game hunting experience, and b) exercises control over the junior hunter at all times during hunting. The trapper mentoring program would allow licensed trappers to serve as "mentors" and allow someone younger than 12 (who doesn't have a trapping license) to assist with trapping.

Second, The Modernize Fish and Wildlife Law would:

Give DEC authority to regulate ring-necked pheasant and quail statewide.

Enable the final federal regulations to set migratory game-bird hunting seasons in NYS, except where more restrictive regulations have been adopted by DEC.

Permit the use of longbows beyond 250 feet of structures.

Allow the taking of snapping turtles by hand, net or turtle trap.

Allow the use of crossbows by seniors/persons with disabilities.

Allow the use of live-restraint cable devices for trapping furbearing animals.

The final bill would increase civil and criminal penalties for certain violations of the Environmental Conservation Law, including illegal taking of deer (deer-jacking).

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