New York Field Office
Northeast Region

News Archive 2007

11/13/07 Eel Ladder Results, St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project (Federal Projects):

The eel ladder at the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project closed for the season on October 31.  Nearly 12,000 eels passed this year, a significant improvement over the first year’s run in 2006.  We have not received the totals for the Saunders ladder on the Canadian side of the dam. 

11/9/07 Increase in Salmon Spawning in Salmon River, Oswego County (Federal Projects):

Salmon RiverDue to increased rainfall in the last three weeks, normal flow releases for spawning salmon have been released to the Salmon River in Oswego County from the Bennett’s Bridge reservoir.  Low water levels in the reservoir kept releases below normal throughout most of the fall.  The Service works closely with Brookfield Power and the NYSDEC to determine the actual releases. 

 

 

 

11/2/07 Canasawacta Creek Restoration (Partners for Fish & Wildlife):

Part of a 13‑mile project, this stream restoration project continued all week to build bankfull benches, log vanes, and rock vanes.  Funding is partly from fish passage provided through the LGLFWMO and partly from a NYSDEC clean water grant.  The project was designed and constructed with oversight by NYFO staff and assistance provided by Iroquois NWR equipment operator, Jeff Graves, and an excavator loaned from Montezuma NWR.  NYSDEC and Chenango County also hauled rocks while a local landowner ran a dump truck.  Canasawacta Creek photo

10/29/07 Private Lands Restoration Completed (Partners for Fish & Wildlife):

Brick Pond photo A 30‑acre Partners for Fish and Wildlife wetland restoration project adjacent to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge was completed.  The restored emergent wetland habitat will benefit fish and wildlife including habitat for Federally‑ and State‑listed threatened and endangered species and migratory birds.  The project site had been adversely impacted through past farming activities which have involved ditching in an attempt to drain tillable lands. 

 


10/22/07 Brick Pond Restoration Begins (Partners for Fish & Wildlife) :

Brick Pond photoImplementation of a Partners for Fish and Wildlife restoration project in the Upper Susquehanna Watershed began last week.  The site, owned by Waterman Conservation Center, is used for teaching thousands of kids each year about the value of wetlands.  Prior to 1930, it was drained by ditches for agriculture; on part of the site, clay was excavated to make bricks.  The 70‑acre site is adjacent to the Susquehanna River and was a small part of the large floodplain in last year’s flood. 

 

10/15/07 NiSource Habitat Conservation Plan EIS Public Comment Period (Endangered Species):

Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to Evaluate Proposed Multi-state Endangered Species Habitat Conservation Plan - Public comment period open through November 30, 2007

For more information please visit http://www.fws.gov/midwest/Endangered/permits/hcp/hcp_nisource.html

10/11/07 Draft Karner Blue Butterfly Safe harbor Agreement and Draft Environmental Assessment (Endangered Species):

Now available for public comment: Federal Register Notice, Draft Environmental Assessment, Safe Harbor Agreement, Appendices A, B& C. Comments accepted until November 9, 2007

10/10/07 Newtown Creek Remedial Investigation Underway (Environmental Contaminants):

USFWS is working with the State of New York to ensure that the remedial investigation of Newtown Creek effectively evaluates the exposure of fish and wildlife resources to environmental contaminants. Newtown Creek, located in Brooklyn and Queens, New York is highly contaminated with metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and polychlorinated biphenyls as a result of historic industrial (smelters, refineries) use. A 17 million gallon oil spill exists in groundwater associated with this creek. The New York Field Office is also evaluating natural resource injury, in conjunction with the other natural resource Trustees.

10/09/07 LIFO Designated as Lead Office for Sandplain Gerardia Recovery (Endangered Species):

Sandplain gerardia photoThe LIFO has been designated as the lead office for the recovery of sandplain gerardia (Agalinis acuta).  Personnel have been coordinating with recovery biologists in the Service’s Regional Office and multiple State agencies in reporting end-of-fiscal year population trends.  Staff are also in the process of coordinating with Federal, State, and non-government organization biologists to address gerardia recovery on Long Island.  Contact:;Steve Sinkevich

9/27/07 Niagara River Restoration (Environmental Contaminants):

The New York Field Office, along with other members of the Cayuga Creek Steering Committee, reviewed restoration projects which are planned for Cayuga Creek, a tributary to the Niagara River. Funds from the Love Canal natural resource damage assessment settlement have been dedicated for Cayuga Creek in the restoration plan. Cayuga Creek was directly impacted by releases from the Love Canal Superfund Site, as well as the subsequent remedial activities. The NYFO is working with the Town of Niagara Falls and other stakeholders to leverage additional restoration funds for Cayuga Creek.

9/25/07 Cayuga Creek (Niagara River) Restoration Update (Environmental Contaminants):

Niagara River Restoration The NYFO, along with other members of the Cayuga Creek Steering Committee, reviewed restoration projects that are planned for Cayuga Creek, a tributary to the Niagara River. Funds from the Love Canal natural resource damage assessment settlement have been dedicated for Cayuga Creek in the restoration plan. Cayuga Creek was directly impacted by releases from the Love Canal Superfund Site, as well as the subsequent remedial activities. The NYFO is working with the Town of Niagara Falls and other stakeholders to leverage additional restoration funds for Cayuga Creek.

9/10/07 Seabeach Amaranth Surveys (Long Island Field Office Endangered Species):

LIFO staff have partnered with the New York State Natural Heritage Program in conducting seabeach amaranth surveys along the south shore of Long Island in late August and early September 2007. These surveys are essential in determining the status of this annual coastal plant and its recovery. The LIFO is also coordinating with landowners on management for this species.

LIFOI biologist stakes seabeach closeup of seabeach amaranth

9/3/07 Allen Falls Hydroelectric Development Visit (Fish & Wildlife Conservation):

The New York Field Office (NYFO) participated in a follow-up site visit to the Allens Falls Hydroelectric development on the West Branch of the St. Regis River. In 2005, Brookfield Power failed to provide the appropriate bypassed reach flows (approximately 12 cfs rather than the required 50 cfs). The NYFO negotiated a settlement, which included stocking trout, temperature monitoring, streamflow gaging, and new gate controls. Water temperatures have been running at the upper range of trout survival. Stocking of rainbows and browns is continuing, and the appropriate flows have been in place. Pins have been installed on rocks to allow the operators to verify they are in compliance with flow requirements.

12 cfs flow

12 cfs

50 cfs flow

50 cfs

 

8/15/07 Hudson River NRDA Final Study Plan for 2007 Avian Egg Injection Study (Environmental Contaminants):

The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees have released the Final Study Plan for an avian egg injection study for year 2007. The Final Study Plan was prepared as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment for the Hudson River being carried out jointly by New York State, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The work for 2007 includes: (1) evaluation of the effects of a PCB mixture relevant to tree swallows from the Upper Hudson River in a controlled egg injection study; (2) evaluation of the effects of in situ PCB exposure in Upper Hudson River hatchling tree swallows; and (3) a pilot study of injection of a PCB mixture into eggs of Eastern bluebirds. Please visit the following website for a copy of the Final Study Plan: http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/HudsonRiver.cfm.

7/25/07 Kingston Newspaper article on Indiana bat (Endangered Species):

See the article here.

7/11/07 Normanskill Hydropower Project Proposed Amendment (Fish & Wildlife Conservation):

Normanskill dam photo The NYFO participated in a site visit to the Normanskill Hydro Project, located on a water supply reservoir. A proposed amendment to license will raise the height of the dam to increase the available water supply. An electrofishing survey conducted by the licensee found 55% of the fish to be American eel, most in the 6” to 12” range. We will be examining upstream and downstream passage alternatives. The licensee has agreed to install eel passage as part of the dam renovation. The passage flows will also improve the downstream habitat.

6/28/07 10am EST: The Bald Eagle will be Officially Delisted as of August 9, 2007! (Endangered Species):

Please see our National USFWS website for more information.

6/27/07 New NRDA Fact Sheets Posted (Environmental Contaminants):

Please see our NRDA page for the fact sheets.

6/22/07 Hudson River Trustees Article Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal (Environmental Contaminants):

The Poughkeepsie Journal has published an article written by the Hudson River Natural Resource Trustee agencies regarding the ongoing natural resource damage assessment for the Hudson River. The article, entitled “PCB pollution: River trustees assess damage," can be found at:
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007706170323. The poster that ran with the article can be found here: http://www.stenmiller.com/pcb.jpg.

6/6/07 Hudson River Trustees Release Draft Study Plan for Injury Study of Hudson River Resident Waterfowl (Environmental Contaminants):

The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees have released for public review and comment a Draft Study Plan for an injury study of Hudson River resident waterfowl. This Draft Study Plan was prepared as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) for the Hudson River being carried out jointly by New York State , the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The public and the party or parties responsible for the contamination are requested to review the Draft Study Plan and provide feedback on the proposed approach. Written comments can be sent by June 25, 2007, to: Steven Jay Sanford, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4756, or by e-mail to: sxsanfor@gw.dec.state.ny.us. Please visit the following website for a copy of the draft Study Plan: http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/HudsonRiver.cfm. Other documents for the Hudson River NRDA are also available at that web site.

6/1/07 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Announces Three Management Actions for Bald Eagles (Endangered Species):

http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/baldeagle.htm

5/29/07 Roosevelt Island Tidal Power (Fish & Wildlife Conservation):


Roosevelt Island Aerial photo

During the week of May 7, 2007, additional turbines were installed at the Roosevelt Island Tidal Power Plant, bringing the total to six operating units. The Service has reviewed a proposal to incorporate limited fish netting as a way to ground-truth the fixed hydroacoustic monitoring. We have also recently prepared comments on the March 2007 “Interim Monitoring Report” and the April 2007 FERC Scoping Document. We will be attending a hydroacoustics “workshop” at the site in June.

5/21/07 Oswegatchie Revisited (Fish & Wildlife Conservation):

Biologist Steve Patch has begun Project Reviews on relicensing Brookfield Power’s 6-development Oswegatchie River Hydroelectric Project. The license expires in December 2012. Patch worked on the original licensing in the mid-80s when the FERC biologist was Dave Bryson. Most flow issues were resolved 20 years ago, and the fisheries have greatly improved (according to NYSDEC studies in the 1990s). Key issues for relicensing will be fish protection and downstream passage especially for lake sturgeon and American eel, and impoundment fluctuations.

Oswegatchie dam photo

5/14/07 Delaney Bay Ladder Enhances Pike Spawning (Fish & Wildlife Conservation):

During the past two weeks, the Thousand Islands Biological Station (TIBS) conducted their annual spawning surveys for northern pike and muskellunge in the St. Lawrence River and found the highest number of fish behind the new fish ladder in Delaney Bay. The water control structure and fish ladder were funded by the Fish Enhancement, Mitigation and Research Fund and installed by Partners for Fish and Wildlife and Ducks Unlimited staff during October 2006. Dr. John Farrell, Director of TIBS, stated that generally esocid populations in the St. Lawrence River are down this year and was very pleased to find high numbers spawning in the enhanced marsh habitat at Delaney Bay.

Eel netting at Delaney Ladder

5/9/07 Hudson River Trustees Release Revised Avian Egg Injection Study Plan (Environmental Contaminants)

American kestral
American kestral, photo Dave Menke, USFWS

The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees released a revised Avian Egg Injection Study Plan for work initiated in 2006. The revised study plan incorporates changes to the original document, dated May 12, 2006, including revisions to the work plan for tree swallow, American kestrel and chicken egg injection studies, and additional information regarding the design and preparation of the 58-congener PCB mixture dosing solution used in the avian egg injection work in 2006. The revised Study Plan is available at the Hudson River NRDA web site

5/7/07 Indiana bat Spring Emergence Study (Endangered Species):

The Endangered Species Program has been assisting the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation with their 7th, and likely final, spring emergence study of Indiana bats in New York. Twenty females were successfully marked with bands and radio transmitters on Sunday, April 22nd and released to fly to their spring/summer roosting areas. We will have an update on the success of our tracking efforts soon.

bats in temporary containers before release

Adding transmitter to bat

5/4/07 Rachel Carson's Centennial Celebration Begins:

On April 25, NYFO kicked off its celebration of Rachel Carson’s life and work at the 13th Annual New York Wetlands Forum. Intern Carrie Asher presented her paper “Rachel Carson’s Contributions to Conservation” In addition, Carrie and other NYFO staff assembled the Rachel Carson Centennial Celebration display Carrie has been working on for several months. The large display is comprised of a series of photographs and images from important events and accomplishments in her life as well as copies of 1950s-era pesticide use information and advertisements. Finally, Carrie completed work on a 38-page Carson Centennial coloring and activity book for children; copies will be available for distribution soon. Rachel Carson display

4/26/07 Klydel Wetland Acquisition ( Fish & Wildlife Conservation ):

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service provided $53,000 to the Audubon Society for purchase of the Brauer property in the Klydel wetland near Buffalo, New York. Funds came from the Love Canal natural resource damage assessment settlement and were dedicated in a settlement consent decree and the restoration plan. The Klydel wetland is a threatened wetland with unique wetland values, including habitat for the rare Shumard Oak. This is the second project implemented with Love Canal settlement funds.

Klydel wetland photo

4/18/07 The Indiana bat recovery plan draft is here! (Endangered Species):

The Indiana bat recovery plan has now been released to the public.

More information is available at: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/Endangered/mammals/index.html#indiana

Please provide any public comments by July 16th. Our section 7 page has additional information on indiana bat recovery.

4/2/07 CSX Train Derailment/Spill Injury Investigation: (Environmental Contaminants)

The New York Field Office continues to
work with the New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation, and representatives
of CSX to evaluate potential impacts due to
release of ferric chloride into the Cowaselon
Creek Watershed. NYFO's Ken Karwowski and
student intern Carrie Asher conducted a field
investigation on March 22 to determine the nature
and extent of biotic sampling needed to assess
injury to the creek, tributaries, and associated
wetlands. Additional information will be posted in the future.

CSX spill area

3/26/07 Stocking American Eels in Lake Champlain and Lake Ontario (Fish & Wildlife Conservation):

The Canadian hydropower companies and resource agencies sponsored a workshop in Montreal to address issues related to stocking American eels in Lake Champlain and Lake Ontario. Due to the sharp decline in recruitment to Lake Ontario and the virtual absence of American eel in Lake Champlain, the Canadians are exploring options to transplant elvers captured in the Bay of Fundy off Nova Scotia to the two lakes where they can grow and presumably return to the Sargasso Sea for spawning. Quebec began transplanting elvers to Lake Champlain (upper Richelieu River) in 2005; Ontario conducted the first transplant to Lake Ontario (upper St. Lawrence River) in 2006. The Europeans have stocked European eels for many years. Experts from around the world (U.S., Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Belgium, and Sweden) attended. Key issues that need to be addressed include whether stocked eels will become male or female, whether the eels will properly imprint for their return to the Sargasso Sea, contaminant and disease issues, and whether these efforts will ultimately contribute to recruitment in Lake Ontario or elsewhere. Workshop documentation should be available soon.

3/19/07 Our Senate/Congressional Communications page has been overhauled:

New 2007 documents for Senate & Congress.

3/19/07 Hudson River Trustees Respond to Public Comments on Mink Injury Study (Environmental Contaminants):

The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees have released a Responsiveness Summary for the Mink Injury Study. The Responsiveness Summary provides Trustee agency responses to public comments on and questions about the Trustees' Study Plan for Mink Injury Investigations for the Hudson River, Draft for Public Review and Comment, dated June 13, 2006. This Responsiveness Summary has been prepared pursuant to the Hudson River NRDA Plan. All comments received on the Draft Mink Injury Study Plan, as part of the peer and public review process, were considered by the Trustees in development of the Final Study Plan, which was released by the Trustees in October 2006. Please visit the following website for a copy of the Responsiveness Summary: http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/HudsonRiver.cfm.

The Final Study Plan and other documents for the Hudson River NRDA are also available at the same address.

3/13/07 Karner Blue Butterfly Reintroduction Program Highlights (Endangered Species):

Please see the article and photo essay here.

3/9/07 DEC Wildlife Arm to Track Bobcat Populations in Area:
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Bureau of Wildlife (NYSDEC BOW) wants to learn more about the occurrence and distribution of bobcats in New York.

Anyone who observes a bobcat in Region 7 (Broome, Cayuga, Cortland, Chenango, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, Tioga, and Tompkins counties) is encouraged to report to their Region 7 NYSDEC BOW office at (800) 388-8244 ext. 247.

Bobcat diagram

3/2/07 Eastern Cougar 5-year review (Endangered species):

Announcement of review of status of Federally-listed species (pdf)

2/28/07 Hudson River Trustees Release Draft Study Plan for 2007 Avian Injury Study (Environmental Contaminants):

The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees have released a Draft Study Plan for an Avian Injury Study - Amendment for Year 2 (2007) for public review and comment. The work proposed for 2007 entails evaluating the effects of a PCB mixture relevant to tree swallows from the Upper Hudson River in a controlled egg injection study and evaluating the effects of in situ PCB exposure in the Upper Hudson River tree swallows post-hatch by studying the physiology of nestlings, adults and additional hatchlings by comparing measures across a spectrum of PCB exposed birds and between the Upper Hudson River site and reference sites. As this study entails injury endpoints, the Trustees will perform a peer review of the proposed work and are also issuing this Draft Study Plan Amendment for public review and comment, in accordance with the Hudson River NRDA Plan. Comments should be submitted to the Trustees by March 30, 2007. Please visit the following website for a copy of the Draft Study Plan and contact information for submitting comments: http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/restorationplans/HudsonRiver/HudsonRiver.cfm.

2/23/07 Amy Roe of NYFO Hazwoper-certified (Fish & Wildlife Conservation):

Amy Roe completed the U.S. EPA Hazardous Materials Incident Response Operations training course in Edison, New Jersey. The course covered the methods and procedures necessary to recognize, evaluate, and control hazardous substances as well as protect site and response personnel. Amy is pictured in “Level A” personal protective equipment which includes a fully encapsulated suit with an atmosphere-supplying respirator.

NYFO staff member in protective suit

2/16/07 Concurrence Reached on Herring (Fish & Wildlife Conservation):

The FERC concurred with the NYFO’s recommendations regarding the downstream fish passage facility for adult blueback herring at the New York State Dam Project on the Mohawk River. Boralex Corp.’s radiotagging study revealed that approximately half the herring used the passage facility and half went through the turbines. The NYFO recommended higher attraction flows (5% of project capacity). Boralex will also be given the option to develop hydroacoustic monitoring to predict when the fish are passing. Bar racks in front of the fish passage sluice must also be removed and the sluice must be kept clean.

NYS Dam Project on Mohawk River

2/9/07 Crescent Project Agreement Reached: (Fish & Wildlife Conservation):

The New York Field Office reached agreement with the Power Authority on modifications to the downstream passage facilities at the Crescent Project on the Mohawk River. Modifications will be completed this year and radiotracking of adult blueback herring will be undertaken in 2008.

Mohawk River panoramic


1/30/07 Owasco Flats Wetland Restoration Begins

Work began this week to plug a ditch that drains a 30-acre wetland adjacent to Owasco Inlet to improve habitat for waterfowl and migratory birds. A water control structure will be installed to manage water levels and allow pike access to the wetland to spawn. The property is currently owned by Cayuga County and has been developed into a nature preserve. There are many nature trails that local citizens use for hiking and wildlife viewing.

USFWS employee  operating heavy equipment

1/22/07 Transportation Project Endangered Species Act Project Reviews (Long Island Field Office):

The Long Island Field Office has teamed with the New Jersey Field Office in providing Federally-listed species (piping plover, roseate tern, and Bald eagle) nesting locations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as part of the ongoing Section 7 Project Reviews for the proposed New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia Metropolitan Area Airspace Redesign. The FAA has requested this information to assist in developing alternate flying routes and Service-recommended flight restrictions to avoid adverse affects to these bird species.

1/11/07 Eel Passage Facilities initiated for James Thompson Project on Hoosic River (Fish & Wildlife Conservation):

The NYFO initiated efforts to have upstream and downstream passage facilities for American eel installed at the James Thompson Project on the Hoosic River. An eel ladder and downstream passage exist at the downstream Schaghticoke development, while a ladder will be constructed in early 2007 at the upstream Johnsonville development (downstream passage already exists). The James Thompson Project is an exemption and the Service had a placeholder to require future passage facilities. This will be the 15th eel ladder constructed or proposed through NYFO’s hydro program.

12/28/06 Onondaga Lake Pre-Assessment Screen available:

Please see it here!

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Last updated: November 1, 2011
All images by FWS unless otherwise noted.