Minutes from Schoharie County Conservation Association

Meeting held at the Conesville Firehouse

On June 26, 2003

*Ray Zeh called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm with a salute to the American flag. Present were representatives from: Conesville, Middleburgh, and West Fulton Rod & Gun Clubs; Central Bridge and Richmondville Fish and Game Clubs, Trout Unlimited, SUNY Fish & Wildlife Club, and Whitetails Unlimited.

Treasure’s Report – The monthly budget was discussed, reviewing the expenses and receipts. A motion to accept was made and then passed.

Secretary’s Minutes – Inquires or questions concerning the minutes were asked for, with none being made. A motion was made to accept and was then passed.

Guest Speaker : Jeff Peil – Jeff Peil works for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and has recently been put in charge of managing the deer herd in Region 4, with the retirement of Jack Mosier. Mr. Peil is currently stationed at the Schenectady office, Region 4 headquarters, and pointed out that this year they have lost two (2) biologists and one (1) technician, which drops them to eight (8) field staff, down from thirteen (13) 2 years ago. Mr. Peil is responsible for managing the deer within Region 4, but is relying heavily on the experienced field staff to assist him in this. He will be responsible for coordinating everyone and everything involved in managing the herd. He will be having the biologists and technicians due much of the fieldwork and he will gather and analyze the data and information to help better manage the deer.
Mr. Peil brought out the information he currently had on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Last year the state sample approximately 1000 deer, with all tests returning negative for CWD. This year similar numbers will be tested, with deer being taken from other areas of the state. The new regulations have been adopted regarding CWD. One such regulation includes the import of carcasses from out-of-state. This regulation limits the import of meat or carcasses from states east of the Mississippi basically, with no western states allowed. The USDA has limited the import of all meat from ungulates (hoofed animals – cows, deer, moose, elk, etc.) from Canada. This is not in response to CWD, but the recent discovery of mad-cow disease.
Jeff then addressed the license sales system and decals. He acknowledged there were some major problems with the system last year. However, this year major improvements have been made. He stated they have increased the size of tags and are working on improving them in other ways as well. The syllabus has been improved as well. He feels it answers many of the questions raised last year and explains how to do many things that were stated quite vague last year, like signing over DMAP tags. Within the syllabus there is a discussion on moving the opening day of gun season up in the southern zone. There is information printed there, as well as an address for you to send your opinion into, which is what they are asking for. Please take the time to do this, because there are really interested in what the public opinion on this is.
Finally Mr. Peil spoke about managing the deer within Region 4 a little more. He pointed out that one of the problems with last years new system was that if there were any unassigned DMAP tags there were suppose to be sent directly to those who got denied when they first applied. As we all know, this did not happen. He assured us that would not happen again and the problem was fixed. Any unfilled tags would be automatically sent out to individuals who applied, but got denied. He also mentioned that Licenses would go on sale August 18.

Gust Speaker: Mark Cornwall – Mark Cornwall spoke about the meeting with the DEC he and Ed Zamjohn attended. They met with the new Fisheries Manager at the Stamford office, Steve Lawrence. Mark main interest was the stocking program in Otsego Lake. Many of us know the time and effort Mark has put into revitalizing the stocking of walleye into the lake. He feels it is an excellent program and didn’t want to see it end. The old stocking program, which has lost its funding, provided 80,000 for the lake. However, the states policy on water, which has limited public access, is to stock half of the amount the water could take. Knowing this, Mark asked Mr. Lawrence if the state could stock 40,000, not the original 80,000. Mr. Lawrence agreed to put forward the request to Albany for just that, for five (5) years. He did voice his concern about whether or not the fish are being fished in Otsego Lake. However he did agree that the walleye-stocking program, which Mark helped bring back three (3) years ago, hasn’t had enough time to establish itself.
Mark and Ed then asked Mr. Lawrence about the possibility of stocking walleye in Schoharie County, with a program similar to Rensselaer County’s. In Rensselaer, the state provides the county fry to raise and then stock. The state agreed to do this with Schoharie County, providing 30,000 fry for each 1-acre pond used to raise then. Mark pointed out that he has one pond on the campus, which could be used but needs more, or needs help in building more on the campus. The college has no money available to build these ponds for Mark. If ponds are provided for the raising of fry off-campus, that is all they will ever be used for. The current pond would have to be killed off, with manure, algae, and the plankton being added next, prior to the fry. He is currently looking for the availability of local ponds in the area for this walleye fry to be raised in. If any clubs have anything available please contact Dave Wood.

New York State Conservation Council : Currently we have a 2003 membership drive push. If you are not a member please visit our website at: http: www.nyscc.com to join. If you are a member please encourage others to sign up. These memberships would also make excellent gifts for friends and relatives – boys & girls. The cost is $25 for Guardian, $60 for Defender and $250 for Life Membership. This includes a monthly newsletter with your membership. Any Clubs that are interested in getting permits to hunt watershed lands should contact Jennifer A. Cairo, NYCDEP at (845-340-7517) or e-mail jcairo@dep.nyc.gov.

Representative Ed Zamjohn (234-2098) – Ed reported on the Trailblazer Adventure Program coming to New York for the first time. The U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance Foundation invites Boy Scouts and their families to join the fun at Thompson Lake State Park, on October 18. Families will be involved in a range of outdoors activities and can sign up to participate in the Trail Master mentoring program. Through Trail Master, they will work one-on-one with a local sportsman who can teach them the ropes of outdoor sports. Upon completion of the Trail Master Program, Scouts will be honored with a Trail Master Patch at next year’s Trailblazer Adventure Day. The point of contact for the event is Frank Price at (614) 888-4868 ext: 202 and web site address is http://www.trailblazeradventure.org

Fish & Wildlife Management Board – The next meeting will be held August 27th at the Middleburgh Diner. Representatives Dave Wood (landowner) & Mike Zeh (Sportsmen) for Schoharie Co. will be there.
TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS ---- YOU AND OTHERS MUST CONTACT THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE TODAY!!!!!!!!! Not Monday or Tuesday but as soon as possible.
S2725a called the "canned shoots" bill has been delivered to the Governor's Office on August 14, 2003.It is imperative that everyone contacts the Governor's Office to request that this bill be vetoed. Governor George Pataki-Phone 518-474-8390 FAX 518-474-1513
Address State Capital Albany, NY 12224. (At: Carl Patka)
If you email him on this point, YOU MUST follow through with a phone call, fax, or hard copy letter ASAP. NYSCC Legislative Vice President Wally John has issued a memo in opposition to the Governor's office on this bill, BUT THAT IS NOT enough. There needs to be calls and faxes from as many sportsmen and women as possible. Those that support the passage of this bill will be making their calls.

Middleburgh Rod & Gun Club – Youth archery is in it’s last week with the summer league; the banquet will be next Wednesday Night 8/27/03 where Trophy/awards will be handed out. They had 30 to 40 children of all ages participating. John Osinski reports: Each of the two bow classes had about 20 students .... The Gun class last week had about 35. Ray Zeh completed his apprenticeship last week, and should be certified as an instructor soon. John Bloomer and Linda Rivenburg are running Trap Shooting on Friday nights. December 2003 Raffle tickets are available and you can call Bob Britton at 827-7024 for tickets or more information. The Rod & Gun Club has a new Internet website: http://www.middleburghrg.com and we need help with information to update this website. Call John Osisinki 827-5429 or Pete Lucas 827-7620.

Central Bridge Fish and Game Club – Skeet shoots every Sunday morning, starting around 10:00 am. There is also shooting on Monday nights and Wednesday nights. They will be having a club get together on September 21 at the clubhouse. All club members are invited. Meetings are held the 1st Friday of each month.

West Fulton Rod & Gun Club –
Meetings are held every month on the 1st Tuesday at 7:00 P.M. There will be a club picnic held on September 20. All members are requested to bring a dish to pass. The Tim Murphy Run is schedule for the Columbus Day weekend October 11. The Big Buck Contest will be on again this year.

SUNY Cobleskill Fish and Wildlife Club –The fall semester will begin at the end of this month and the college plans on continuing there close relationship with the Association and looks forward to continuing their current surveys and studies throughout the county. The Wildlife Society’s Annual Meeting is being held in Burlington, Vermont this September which will allow many more students to attend the meeting, with it being a little closer then last years meeting in North Dakota.

Trout Unlimited – Reported that students from SUNY Cobleskill would continue looking at the Upper Catskill Creek. Various things were being examined, with possible improvement projects to follow.

Whitetails Unlimited – The annual banquet and Live/Silent auctions will be held at the Best Western in Cobleskill on September 21. There are things for everyone, both the sportsman and sportswomen; and tickets for the banquet are $15, which pays for your meal. Diner is serving around 1:00 PM. For tickets and reservations please contact John Bloomer at 875-6288.

Fair Report – We would like to thank all the different Club members who helped setup, sell tickets/man and tear down the Fair Booth displays. We would also like to thank our New York State DEC Representatives who helped answer questions and handed out literature at our fair booth. The winners of Canoe Raffle were: 1st prize winner ($500) was Melissa Skinner from Delanson, 2nd prize (Black Powder Gun) went to Tom Robert from Schoharie, 3rd prize (Whitetails Blanket & Pillow) went to Henry Wrubel from Howe Cave and the last prize $100 Wal-mart Gift Certificate went to Don Abbatiello from Canajoharie. We will be raffling off the canoe again this fall because the fist prizewinner elected to take the $500. We did pick up some new association members at the fair booth. Dale Lewis, Jim Proper, Mike Karker, Jerry Matenazzo, Richard Norton and Alan Griffith paid their $10 Dues.

NRA BANQUET Foothills Friends of the NRA are having a banquet on October 1st 6:00 to 10:30 PM at the Johnstown Holiday Inn. For $25 tickets & information please call Dick Bumpus 518-725-1927 (address) 257 Co. HWY #154 Gloversville, N.Y. 12078 or Fred Maderic 518-762-4483.

Trapper Hunters Safety There will be a Trappers Training Course offer during the month of September at the Central Bridge Fish & Game Club. Point of Contact will be Earl Van Wormer 518-868-9304 or call the Schoharie County Cooperative Extension 518-234-4303.

Land is needed between Esperence and Sloansville for a boat launch. If you know of some land or have some land contact Ray Zeh. Land is also needed for pheasant stocking, especially in the Central Bridge area. If you have any locations in that area in mind please contact

For questions or comments concerning this website:
Contact Ethan Duke dukee902@cobleskill.edu