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Entries Tagged as 'lake champlain'

Lake Sturgeon Restoration Continues in North Country

October 18th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

NYSDEC LogoLake sturgeon will again be stocked in North Country waters as part of a restoration program for this threatened fish species, according to Judy Drabicki, Region 6 Director for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). This restoration effort is made possible in collaboration with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT), the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).


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On October 22, more than 10,000 fingerlings (four month old, 5- to 8-inch long fish) will be released into the St. Lawrence River and its tributaries. Approximately 7,000 lake sturgeon will be stocked in the St. Lawrence River in Ogdensburg at the Greenbelt boat launch off Riverside Ave. The Salmon River, St. Regis River, and Raquette River will receive a portion of the remaining fingerlings, continuing the St. Lawrence River tributary stocking program, which has been ongoing for several years.

The lake sturgeon is one of New York’s largest freshwater fish.

Under the restoration program, eggs were collected from mature fish at the New York Power Authority St Lawrence River Power Dam in Massena this spring. After fertilizing, the eggs were transported to the USFWS fish hatchery in Genoa, Wisconsin, and the hatched fish were nourished until they were large enough to be stocked back into the wild. Some of the fertilized eggs were taken to the DEC Oneida Hatchery for hatching, raising and release into other NY waters.

‘This magnificent fish species was classified as threatened in New York State nearly 40 years ago, but stocking continues to help reverse population declines that occurred earlier this century,” Drabicki said. “Previous stocking efforts in tributaries like these in St. Lawrence County have demonstrated success, with dozens of sturgeon ranging up to 48 inches being observed and some having reached maturity, when they are ready to spawn.”

Lake SturgeonDavid Stilwell of the USFWS said “One of the Service’s goals is to work towards fully functional and sustainable landscapes. This multi-agency effort to reintroduce lake sturgeon to New York rivers brings us one step closer to restoring the natural heritage of New York waterways. We look forward to working together in partnership on future projects in the St. Lawrence River tributaries.”

Lake sturgeon once flourished in waters along New York’s northern border and provided large commercial harvests near Buffalo. In 1885, harvests totaled 1,800 tons. Prior to the decline in the sturgeon populating, these large fish inhabited all areas of New York’s border waters on the west, north and northeast regions of the state, including Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain and in several St. Lawrence River tributaries up to 60 miles upstream.

Activities to increase lake sturgeon populations include: protection from harvest, hatchery rearing, planning, habitat improvement, stocking of fingerlings, and outreach and education. In order to cover all these activities, DEC is cooperating with our federal partners and the SRMT and NYPA. USFWS and USGS focus on raising the small fish in hatcheries and evaluating their survival and growth toward maturity then everyone is involved in communicating to the public about our efforts and how to protect the fish. The USFWS – New York Field Office helps support the lake sturgeon restoration program through funding provided from the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation, and Research Fund, a settlement reached with the New York Power Authority for the relicensing of the St. Lawrence Power Project.

The additional sturgeon reared at the DEC hatchery at Oneida Lake were stocked in the Genesee River downstream of Rochester and into Cayuga Lake in early October.

Hatchery fingerlings are produced for bodies of water chosen as having the best prospects for restoration. One of the signs of program success has been experienced with mature fish being seen in spawning locations in Oneida Lake and the Oswegatchie River, when they are ready to spawn. In addition, small fish have been collected from Oneida Lake that were naturally spawned.

Inquiries about this threatened fish restoration program and other similar projects can be directed to DEC, Bureau of Fisheries in Watertown, at (315) 785-2263. Additional information on lake sturgeon can be found on DEC’s website at: Lake Sturgeon Fact Sheet.

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Rare French & Indian War Musket Donated to Fort Ticonderoga

April 8th, 2013 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Ticonderoga, NY – Through the keen eye of a museum supporter and generosity of an important donor, a rare British musket that may have seen use at Fort Ticonderoga has recently joined the museum’s collection enabling Fort Ticonderoga to more completely interpret the site’s remarkable history.
Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections, Christopher Fox said “The donation of this Wilson musket fills an important and long-standing gap in the collection. It is a type we know was used by troops who served at the Fort. It is also an important reminder of the struggles armies sometimes faced in arming their troops in wartime and the great diversity of arms that found their way into military service as a result.”
Wilson Musket, Fort Ticonderoga Museum Collection.

The Wilson musket will be placed on exhibit this season in the museum’s highly acclaimed exhibit Bullets & Blades: The Weapons of America’s Colonial Wars and Revolution. The exhibit, featuring over 150 weapons, tells the story of the use of military and civilian weapons in America during the 17th and 18th centuries. Fort Ticonderoga’s collection of 18th-century military objects is celebrated as one of the best of its type in the world.

During the French & Indian War, the London gun maker Richard Wilson produced muskets to arm the militias of several American colonies including New York, New Jersey, probably Massachusetts. Though they bear similarities to muskets produced for the British army, the weapons produced by Richard Wilson are not “army” muskets, they are “commercial” or “contract” muskets.” Their brass parts, stocks, and barrels resemble British army guns, but are simpler and lighter overall. Of the estimated 4,000 contract weapons that may have been produced by Wilson, only a handful has survived through today.

The potential connection with Fort Ticonderoga’s history stretches back to the British army’s planned invasion of Canada and the disastrous attack on the French lines on July 8, 1758. As British General James Abercromby was preparing his 17,000-man army, he had considerable difficulty obtaining enough weapons to arm his troops. Among the weapons he was eventually able to acquire were 1,000 muskets owned by the City of New York. These weapons had originally been purchased by the city from Richard Wilson in 1755. While it is not known with absolute certainty, it is thought that at least some of those weapons were issued to New York Provincial troops. Many of those troops took part in the battle before the French lines on July 8. It is known, however, that many of Wilson’s muskets were used at Ticonderoga as numerous brass pieces of these guns have been recovered on the site during various periods of reconstruction.

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Valcour Island Camp

December 8th, 2012 · No Comments · Miscellania

Valcour Island Camp

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Fort Ticonderoga Presents “Chocolate Covered History” Symposium

September 14th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Enjoy a Spirited Weekend of Chocolate and History Oct. 12-13!

Experience the irresistible aroma and flavor of the past in a weekend-long celebration of chocolate, wine, and spirits, October 12-13 at Fort Ticonderoga’s “Chocolate Covered History” Symposium. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the origins of chocolate and its role in the 18th century military history of Fort Ticonderoga. The weekend event combines wines, spirits, chocolate, and history and includes a Veuve Clicquot Champagne and dessert reception, full day symposium, and gala dinner. “Chocolate Covered History” is designed for lovers of food, wine and spirits, chocolate and history! To learn more about this must-experience (and must-taste!) event visit Chocolate Covered History Symposium or call 518-585-2821.

Chocolate and SpiritsThe day-long symposium includes presentations on the role chocolate played throughout history, including its 18th century use at outposts like Fort Ticonderoga. Breakout sessions will provide opportunities to taste various foods prepared using American Heritage Chocolate, an authentic colonial chocolate recipe made only from ingredients available in the 18th century, made by Mars Chocolate.

“We are excited about this symposium,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga’s President. “Simple pleasures such as the taste of chocolate or wine is not a new-found enjoyment. For centuries people have enjoyed chocolate and various pairings to create drinks, ice cream, and an assortment of other recipes. The goal of ‘Chocolate Covered History’ is to connect our guests with our story through the tastes and aromas of chocolate and find new audiences who learn about their connection to the past.”

Following a Friday evening champagne-dessert reception at The Sagamore Resort, October 12, the symposium will begin on Saturday, October 13, at Fort Ticonderoga with Chocolate in the Americas: Connecting History from the Amazon to New England presented by Rodney Snyder, Chocolate History Research, Director for Mars Chocolate, NA, Mars Incorporated. Christopher Fox, Curator of Collections at Fort Ticonderoga, will present the second session entitled Breakfasting on Chocolate: Chocolate in the Military During the French & Indian War and American Revolution. Afternoon breakout sessions include Wine and Chocolate: Perfect Pairing led by Janine Stowell of Banfi Vintners; Baking with American Heritage Chocolate with Chef Gail Sokol; Tuthilltown Spirits Whiskey Seminar with Ralph Erenzo, Co-Founder of Tuthilltown Spirits; and A Revolution in Chocolate: 18th-Century Energy Drink, led by Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Interpretation, Stuart Lilie.

“Chocolate Covered History” will be topped off with a Saturday evening gala at The Sagamore Resort and will include a cocktail reception and four course meal integrating chocolate into every recipe. Guests will have a once in a life-time opportunity to enjoy dishes such as Native Corn Stew paired with Chocolate Dusted Pine Island Oysters; Preserved Ducking, Pickled Fall Vegetables, Dandelion Greens with Chocolate Huckleberry Conserve; and Lavender and Knotweed Honey Marinated Lamb Chops with Roasted Rutabaga Mash and Chocolate Sassafras Sauce. Rum Spiked Chocolate Cake with Bergamot Tea Infused Pumpkin Custard and Mulled Cider Glaze will complete the meal. Each dish will be paired with appropriate wines to create an unforgettable evening.

Monies raised through the “Chocolate Covered History” symposium and gala will support Fort Ticonderoga’s educational and interpretive programs. Fort Ticonderoga is a not-for-profit historic site and museum whose mission is to ensure that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices, and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history.

“Chocolate Covered History” is presented in partnership with The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, NY and American Heritage Chocolate, and Fort Ticonderoga. A variety of symposium event pricing is available including symposium only options as well as package pricing. Guests attending “Chocolate Covered History” will enjoy special hotel rates at The Sagamore. The historic resort commands a stunning view of Lake George, and will be location for the Friday night reception and Saturday evening gala. The Sagamore will provide transportation to the symposium at Fort Ticonderoga on Saturday. For room reservations call The Sagamore at 1-866-385-6221 or 518-644-9400 and ask for the Chocolate Covered History Rates-Fort Ticonderoga (reference code 51U4PO). A limited number of rooms are reserved. Early registration is suggested.

Additional “Chocolate Covered History” sponsors include Amtrak, William Grant & Sons, Banfi Vintners, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, and Tuthilltown Spirits.

FORT TICONDEROGA
America’s Fort
Located on Lake Champlain in the beautiful 6 million acre Adirondack Park, Fort Ticonderoga is a not-for-profit historic site and museum that ensures that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices, and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history. Serving the public since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 70,000 visitors annually and is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Fort Ticonderoga’s history. Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Fort Ticonderoga offers programs, historic interpretation, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year and is open for daily visitation May 18 through October 18. The 2012 season features the Fort’s newest exhibit Bullets & Blades: The Weapons of America’s Colonial Wars and Revolution which highlights over 150 of the museum’s most important weapons and is a comprehensive and expanded reinterpretation of its world renowned historic arms collection! Visit www.FortTiconderoga.org for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821. Funding for the 2012 season is provided in part by Amtrak. Visit Fort Ticonderoga Directions for a special 2 for 1 Amtrak offer! Fort Ticonderoga is located at 100 Fort Ti Road, Ticonderoga, New York.

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Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Cooperative Will Treat Five Rivers and Two Deltas to Control Sea Lamprey Populations

August 23rd, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative
The Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative (Cooperative) will be applying lampricides to portions of five tributaries to Lake Champlain and two deltas during the months of September and October.

Lake Champlain Sea Lamprey Control - 2012 Lampricide TreatmentsThe U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will be treating the Saranac River delta, Mill Brook delta, Mill Brook, Great Chazy River, and Mount Hope Brook in New York and the Winooski and Missisquoi rivers in Vermont as part of the Cooperative’s long-term sea lamprey control program for Lake Champlain. Treatments are scheduled to begin with the Saranac River delta on September 10th, but weather conditions may affect planned treatment dates. While trout and salmon populations of the lake are the primary beneficiaries of these efforts, lake sturgeon, walleye, and many other species also benefit from sea lamprey control. Sea lamprey control also generates economic activity by increasing angling opportunities and the time that boaters, anglers, and their families spend in the Lake Champlain area.

Annual sea lamprey assessments continue to show the success of the program where we recorded an average of 30 sea lamprey wounds per 100 lake trout and 19 per 100 Atlantic salmon in 2011. This is down from a high of 99 for lake trout in 2007 and 79 for Atlantic salmon in 2003. Several control initiatives are underway that will further reduce the sea lamprey population and reduce their impacts on Lake Champlain’s fish populations.

Larval sea lamprey live in rivers and on deltas for about four years before transforming to their parasitic phase and emigrating to Lake Champlain where their effect on the fishery becomes apparent. One of the Cooperative’s Integrated Pest Management approaches is to apply selective pesticides (lampricides) to rivers and deltas in prescribed and precise concentrations. The concentrations used are carefully chosen and monitored to ensure effective elimination of sea lamprey larvae and protection of non-target species. TFM (3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol) will be applied in the rivers for 12-14 hours depending on conditions.

A second lampricide, Bayluscide 20% Emulsifiable Concentrate, is being included in the application on the Winooski River. The use of 1% Bayluscide with TFM reduces the amount of TFM needed by about 40%, resulting in a reduction of total lampricide applied and substantial cost savings. The Saranac River and Mill Brook deltas will be treated with Granular Bayluscide: lampricide-coated sand grains that release pesticide after sinking to the bottom where they effectively kill sea lamprey larvae.

Our toll-free number (1-888-596-0611) provides information on the treatment schedule for each of the treatments, progress reports, updates on treatments, and water use advisories.

Temporary water use advisories will be in effect for each of the treatments to minimize human exposure to affected waters. Each state’s Department of Health recommends that the treated river and lake water not be used for drinking, swimming, fishing, irrigation, or livestock watering while the advisories are in effect.

The treatments and water use advisories will have no effect on most residents in the Champlain Basin and no municipal water supply systems will be affected. Cooperative staff have identified all landowners with property in the affected areas. A letter was sent to residents informing them of the planned treatment and asking them if they or their livestock use water from a surface supply that will be affected by the treatment. Days before the treatments begin, another letter will be sent to inform residents of the impending treatment and to arrange any water usage accommodations.

Local television and radio stations will broadcast the dates when advisories begin and expire. The treatment schedule is subject to change as weather conditions, stream flows, or logistical issues may arise during the treatments. Residents will be kept apprised of any such changes through these media. Communities and residents that utilize the following bodies of water should consult the advisory table:
Water Use Advisory Areas

More info: Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office

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2012 State of the Lake Report Released for Lake Champlain

August 2nd, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Lake Champlain Basin ProgramGrand Isle, Vt – The Lake Champlain Basin Program’s 2012 State of the Lake and Ecosystem Indicators Report was released today. The report, produced every 3-4 years, informs citizens and resource managers about Lake Champlain’s condition and provides a better understanding of threats to its health and opportunities to meet the challenges ahead.

“We use scientific data to determine what kind of progress is being made on the management of Lake Champlain water quality and habitat health,” said Bill Howland, LCBP Program Manager. “Again, in 2012, we share both good and not so good news, depending on which issue and which lake segment is being discussed. Certainly the Lake is not meeting phosphorus concentratios targets, but each jurisdiction remains diligent and active in their efforts to decrease loads.”

The public is encouraged to request a copy of the report to learn more about Lake Champlain’s health. Highlights include:

Water Quality

  • Lake Champlain’s nonpoint source phosphorus target loads and in-lake concentratios are still too high.
  • Phosphorus trends in some tributaries are improving, such as the Pike River which flows through Quebec and Otter Creek in Vermont.
  • Some of the Lake Champlain embayments are generally meeting their phosphorus targets including Cumberland Bay, Burlington Bay, Shelburne Bay, South Lake B.
  • 2011 spring and fall floods boosted nutrient levels in most sections of the Lake to the highest annual average since the initiation of the Lake Champlain monitoring program in 1992.

Fish and Wildlife

  • Data collected in 2011 for sportfish in Lake Champlain reveal substantial declines in mercury levels in the tissue of walleye, lake trout and yellow perch. Fish mercury levels should continue to improve with newly issued US EPA regulations on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.
  • New York State has lifted most special fish consumption advisories for Cumberland Bay (near Plattsburgh) due to reduced PCB concentrations. By monitoring fish tissue samples, NYSDEC has been able to track progress over time on the decreasing PCB levels.
  • Sea lamprey wounding on lake trout and Atlantic salmon has dropped to the lowest rates since monitoring began in 1985.
  • Nesting populations of double-crested cormorants have dropped 50%.
  • Scientists have documented recent changes in the biological communities of the Lake’s food web, such as declines in zooplankton populations. These can cause a ripple effect all the way up to the top predators. State and Federal partners conduct annual surveys of the open water fish communities. Data suggest that native rainbow smelt numbers are declining while alewife are becoming more abundant.
  • More than 1900 acres of wetland habitat has been restored or enhanced through the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program since 2009. This success was due to willing landowners working with federal and state partners and nongovernmental conservation groups including local watershed groups and Ducks Unlimited.

Invasive Species

  • In the southern portion of Lake Champlain, water chestnut populations have been reduced to their southernmost point since 1999, about 6.5 miles south of Benson, Vt. More than 200 acres were mechanically harvested in 2011.
  • Round goby, Asian clam, and spiny waterflea are three aquatic invasive species on the doorsteps to Lake Champlain. Anglers, boaters and other recreational users must all remain diligent in preventing the spread of invasive species.

Human Health

  • Cyanobacteria blooms remain a concern especially in Missisquoi Bay. Similar to other lakes around the world, cyanobacteria blooms continue to be a nuisance with human health implications.
  • While most days it is safe to swim in Lake Champlain, beach closures remain a concern in the Lake, particularly in the northeast arm.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy said, “Lake Champlain, the jewel of New England, is one of Vermont’s most valuable assets and defining features. Vermonters depend on the lake, and the future of the lake depends on us. This report makes it clear that the lake has never been more important to us — as a world class fishery, as a boating and recreational resource, as our primary water source. But these findings also make clear that all of us in Quebec, New York and Vermont need to work harder toward better stewardship. We need prompt progress in cleaning up nutrient pollution, we need effective steps to thwart the new invasive species now on the lake’s threshold, and we must begin planning for and adapting to a changing climate, if we are going to conserve this cherished resource for today and tomorrow. The lake’s future is our legacy, and our responsibility.”

The 2012 State of the Lake and Ecosystem Indicators report is now posted on-line: www.lcbp.org/PDFs/SOL2012-web.pdf.

For further information, contact, the Lake Champlain Basin Program at (802) 372-3213.

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Spiny Water Flea

August 1st, 2012 · No Comments · News

Spiny Water Flea (Bythotrephes longimanus)

Lake Champlain Basin Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force Releases Water Flea Spread Prevention Recommendations

Spiny Water Flea Confirmed in Lake George

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