Thursday, July 11, 2019

Santuit Pond Suffering from Bacterial Pollution July 11, 2019

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

MASHPEE – The water in Santuit Pond looks green rather than clear and a mat of greenish algae recently became evident.  

The Mashpee Health Department has installed signs around public access and swimming areas warning that people should minimize exposure to the water and keep animals from drinking it.

The first order of business, selectmen said, is to notify the public before coming up with a more long-term solution.

“We need to do something about it, but the first and most important thing is to get the public notice out so people know,” said Andrew Gottlieb, bhairman of the board of selectmen, during a meeting last month.
“This is more than an aesthetics issue.”
 According to my brother Joe  Barber, who knows the Cape small ponds like the back of his hand from years of fishing, the Santuit has the biggest Pickerel around !

The bacteria is cyanobacteria, a natural occurring part of a pond’s food system.

It has a potential to be toxic and creates a toxin similar to one thought to have led to the death of a dog who drank water out of a pond in Brewster in the 1990’s.

Given the right conditions, it can lead to an overabundance of the bacteria and to algae blooms.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports that these toxins can produce adverse health effects.

Toxins are released from intact cyanobacteria cells when they die in the water body or when they are ingested by animals or humans.
Once ingested, the digestive juices destroy their cell wall and the toxin is released into the gastrointestinal tract.

Federal researchers are still unsure how this bacteria turns into a more toxic, dangerous bacteria.

The Association to Preserve Cape Cod, a local environmental organization, recently launched a project to monitor the bacteria found in freshwater ponds across the Cape.

Part of the project is to keep municipalities and the public informed when the bacteria blooms before the threat of exposure.

High levels of the bacteria were found in ponds including Lovell’s, Hinckley, Wequaquet, and Bearse’s pond in Barnstable.

Outside of the APCC’s reporting, Shawme Pond in downtown Sandwich recently had a fresh batch of the bacteria as well, with scientists in that town indicating that it likely came from the recent heavy rains washing fertilizers into the pond.

“The reality is that Santuit pond, like our estuaries is heavily nutrient impacted from fertilizers and human waste,” said Gottlieb.   

Santuit is an example of a success for this model, given that conditions for the pond have been tracked for the last few years.

APCC informed the town late last week that the association suspected an algae bloom was coming.

Gottlieb said that the way forward to protecting ponds on the Cape is to control the source of the contamination, or essentially catching the abundance of nutrients before they get into the ponds.
Source: About Luke Leitner
Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife Events Calendar

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

July 11: Family Fishing Clinic, Stoughton
July 12: Family Fishing Clinic, Boston
July 13: Family Fishing Clinic, Sunderland
July 15: Turtles and Turkeys and Bears, Oh My, Sutton
July 17: Family Fishing Clinic, Billerica
July 20: Family Fishing Clinic, Dorchester
July 20: Houghtons Pond Family Fishing Festival, Milton
July 21: Taunton River Watershed Association Family Fishing Festival, Somerset
July 23: Family Fishing Clinic, Stoneham
July 24: Family Fishing Clinic, Westborough
July 26: Family Fishing Clinic, Worcester
July 31: Family Fishing Clinic, Mashpee

Friday, June 21, 2019

Fish and Wildlife Board declines petition to limit coyote hunting

Posted by Wayne G. Barber Photo by Vt.Digger

Devon Craig, of Plainfield, argued against a petition to close the coyote hunting season, saying that coyote populations self-regulate. Photo by Mike Dougherty/VTDigger

ONTPELIER — The state’s Fish and Wildlife Board voted against a petition Wednesday night to end the open season on coyotes.
In Vermont and many other states, there’s an open season on coyotes, meaning anyone with a hunting license can kill them at any time of the year.
A group of Vermont Law School students submitted the petition to the Fish and Wildlife Board to close the hunting season from March to October.
Closing the season during spring and summer, when coyote pelts are not valuable, would cut back on “wanton killing” of coyotes, they say.
Cydnee Pence, a Vermont Law School student who co-chairs the Animal Legal Defense Fund, said that the open season impacts coyote family dynamics. Disruption of the social hierarchy of the pack can lead to behavioral problems, such as overagression of younger coyotes, according to the petition.
The state enacted a ban on coyote contests last year, after the bill passed the Legislature and Gov. Phil Scott let it become law without his signature.
“But so long as you don’t call (coyote killing) a contest, it’s OK,” she said.
Some members of the public who spoke in support of the petition during the meeting referred to it as a “compromise” between coyote hunters and animal advocates who oppose coyote hunting entirely.
The department estimates that there are around 7,500 coyotes in Vermont, though that number fluctuates seasonally, with fewer in the winter.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

2020 USA Ice Team Selected Today...

Posted by Wayne G. Barber

ANNOUNCEMENT! The anglers and the coaching staff have been confirmed for the 2020 World Ice Fishing Championship in Lithuania.
Keith Kniffen
Chad Schaub
Thomas Jessup
Ben Blegen
Jacob Meek
Zach George (Alternate)
Myron Gilbert
Nick Schertz
Kevin Kowalski
Kelly Gotch (Media)
Congratulations to the 2020 #USAIceTeam! Enjoy your summer and get those palm rods in use on open water for some hot fun and good practice!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Rhode Island acquires open space.

Posted by Wayne G. Barber  Photo Wayne G. Barber Library

With funding provided through state Open Space Bonds, the $256,500 acquisition will enhance recreational opportunities in southern Rhode Island.
PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces the permanent protection of 43 acres of forested land in Charlestown for public recreational access. The property consists of a mix of pine and deciduous upland forest with some small wetland areas including two small streams. The parcel abuts DEM’s Burlingame Management Area, which, together with the adjoining Burlingame State Park, encompasses more than 4,000 contiguous acres of protected land that is managed for public recreational use including fishing, hunting, and camping.
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure this valuable parcel of land in the southern region of the state. We encourage folks to get outdoors and explore it because it’s a magnificent property,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. "This acquisition adds land to the Burlingame Management Area and will enhance recreational opportunities for the public. Rhode Islanders truly enjoy these natural assets and special places and the positive benefits they provide to our quality of life.”
Located within the Tomaquag Brook-Pawcatuck River watershed, the property contains forested wetlands and some vernal pools. Along with tall white pines, the forest overstory is dominated by three species of oak: northern red oak, white oak, and scarlet oak; as well as American beech with some ash, red maple, black birch, tupelo, and big-toothed aspen. Also present are shrubs including witch hazel, sassafras, and a smattering of American hollies. The understory includes mountain laurel, highbush blueberry, lowbush blueberry, winterberry, and sweet pepperbush. The property also includes an old, small stone foundation and stone walls from the late 1800s when it was farmed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Historic stone walls dot this newly-preserved property in Charlestown.
DEM purchased the property for $256,500 from Gabriel Warren and Ana Flores, with funding provided through state Open Space Bonds.  At the request of the landowners, DEM granted a conservation easement to the Charlestown Land Trust to increase the level of protection on the property.
“It is our great honor, pleasure, and privilege to have been able to contribute to the preservation of a small piece of the habitat of Rhode Island,” said Mr. Warren and Ms. Flores. “We believe that we are all a part of a great web of life. If our non-human neighbors aren’t healthy, how can we be?”
“This newly preserved 43 acres in Charleston is a wonderful example of the dedication to conservation, foresight, and willingness to work together to preserve this parcel of pristine forest that will benefit our watershed, environment, and health in perpetuity,” said Karen Jarret, president of the Charlestown Land Trust. “Thank you and kudos to Gabriel Warren, Ana Flores, the Charlestown Land Trust, and the DEM.”
Rhode Island's wealth of historic parks, bikeways, and green spaces provide for public enjoyment – along with improving the health of the environment, strengthening the state's climate resilience, and supporting the economy. Since 1985, over 10,000 acres of land have been protected. Source: RI DEM Media Press Release.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Vermont, Warden of the Year, Timothy Carey

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Senior Warden Timothy Carey of Mount Holly is Vermont's State Game Warden of the Year.  A game warden since 2013, Carey received the award in recognition of his excellent service from Governor Phil Scott on June 4 in Montpelier.


"I want to thank Timothy for his outstanding performance in protecting Vermont's fish and wildlife resources and serving the people of Vermont," said Governor Scott.  He added that “Warden Carey was chosen for his integrity, professionalism and high motivation in all of his work duties, and that he has earned respect from other wardens and the public.”


“Senior Warden Carey is a consummate professional who effectively enforces hunting, fishing and trapping laws,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter, “and in 2018 he responded to more than 217 incidents and made 21 arrests.  He displays a keen sense of judgment, treating all people fairly and with dignity, regardless of the situation.”


Warden Carey also is a field training officer and an emergency medical technician as well as serving on the Vermont State Game Wardens’ Honor Guard.


In 2018, he found an injured elderly hunter who had fallen and had been on the cold, wet ground with a broken leg for 12 hours.  Using his EMT skills, Carey provided emergency treatment until a rescue crew arrived to transport the hunter out of the woods.  He also administered CPR to a mountain biker who had experienced cardiac arrest.  And, he has been on many search and rescue operations, including a successful search for a downed airplane.   


Warden Timothy Carey’s district includes the towns of Clarendon, Shrewsbury, Plymouth, Wallingford, Mount Holly, Ludlow, Mount Tabor, Weston, Andover, Peru, Londonderry, Winhall, and Windham.


Shikar-Safari Club International, a private wildlife conservation group, sponsors a warden of the year award in each state and Canadian province to help promote and encourage the enforcement of wildlife conservation laws.  Carey received a colorful framed certificate honoring his selection as Vermont’s State Game Warden of the Year, provided by Shikar-Safari Club International.