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April News

2014 Spring Trout Stocking has begun
Freshwater anglers can look forward to the nearly 500,000 brook, brown, rainbow, and tiger trout from the Division’s five hatcheries that will be stocked this spring.

Help with eagle count in early April
Eagle and other wildlife enthusiasts are reminded that the statewide Spring Bald Eagle Survey will take place on April 4, 2014 (inclement weather date is April 11). This effort will include a survey of the major rivers, lakes, and reservoirs across Massachusetts.

Please don't feed the bears
Black bears are emerging from their winter dens and seeking food. If you feed birds and live in northern Middlesex County, Worcester County, western Massachusetts, or other areas where bears have been spotted, it’s time to take down bird feeders.

Turkey hunting reminders and safety tips
The spring turkey hunting season opens in Massachusetts on April 28, 2014. MassWildlife offers the following information for turkey hunters regarding online game checking procedures, regulation reminders, and safe turkey hunting methods to follow when hunting.

All information for April

March News

Hunters give us your feedback!
Hunting and sporting license holders – is your email listed in the MassFishHunt electronic license system? If not, go online now and enter it if you want to participate in future hunter surveys from MassWildlife

Help with spring eagle count in early April
Eagle and other wildlife enthusiasts are asked to save April 4, 2014 to participate in the statewide Spring Bald Eagle Survey. This effort will include a concentrated survey of the major rivers, lakes, and reservoirs across the Commonwealth. Organized by MassWildlife, the survey will be conducted by agency staff and volunteers.

Winter Broodstock Salmon stocking
Hard-water anglers across the state can take advantage of a February stocking of broodstock Atlantic Salmon. Each district received a limited number of broodstock salmon ranging in size from 3-11 pounds from the National Fish Hatchery in Nashua, NH. Historically, Massachusetts’ broodstock were supplied by retired fish from Atlantic salmon restoration projects on the Connecticut and Merrimack Rivers

Get involved in the young adult turkey hunt program
Young adults ages12-17 who have successfully completed Hunter Education are invited to participate in this annual program, which provides young hunters with an opportunity

All information for March

February News

2013 Preliminary Deer Harvest Summary
The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) reports that the preliminary deer harvest for 2013 (excluding Quabbin and any data not yet received) is 11,413. Although preliminary, this figure is up 4% from last year’s total harvest

Freshwater Sport Fishing Award Winners
Winners of the 2013 Freshwater Sportfishing Awards have been announced! Mark Mohan Jr. of Pembroke is the Angler of the Year; Jake Souza of Berkley is the Youth Angler of the Year. The list of 2013 Adult and Youth Gold Pin Award winners will be posted to the MassWildlife website during the week of February 3

Masswildlife at Sportsmen's Shows
In February MassWildlife is hitting the road to set up at outdoor and sportsmen’s shows around the state. Stop by the MassWildlife booth at one of these shows and chat with staff, pick up information about hunting and fishing regulations, spring trout stocking, or general wildlife information

All Information for February

January News

Invasion of the Snowy Owls
An invasion (called an irruption by biologists) of Snowy Owls is occurring in the eastern United States and Massachusetts is at the center of it all! An irruption occurs when birds appear in greater-than-usual numbers and observed in unusual locations. Most of the Snowy Owls in Massachusetts have been reported in coastal areas, where the dunes and large grasslands mimic the tundra-like habitats the birds usually live.

Play it safe on the ice
Attention ice anglers, skaters, and other winter adventurers: check ice carefully before venturing out on ice-covered waters. In general, a clear layer of ice 4 inches thick is safe for foot traffic, but there are no guarantees. The following tips and resources will help you stay safe and enjoy the coming winter months.

2013 Black bear harvest report
One hundred forty-seven black bears were harvested during the 2013 September and November black bear seasons. Licensed hunters in western and central Massachusetts took 120 animals in the early season, and 27 in the late season. Successful hunters took advantage of the online harvest reporting system which was available for the first time during the 2013 season.


November News

New online gamecheck tutorials posted online

New tutorials providing step-by-step instructions on how to check turkey, bear, deer and most furbearers have recently been posted on the MassWildlife Game Check Information webpage at:

Avoid decorating with invasive plants
During the holiday season, many people use plant material gathered from their yard to decorate their houses or businesses. The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) and the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) encourage people to avoid using exotic, invasive plants such as Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) and Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) in holiday decorations

Preliminary 2013 September bear season numbers
Licensed black bear hunters took to the woods of western and central Massachusetts during the September season and emerged with 120 bruins. The new online reporting system was used for first time for the black bear season. Hunters checked 82 bears using the online system and 38 bears were checked at check stations

Connect youth to nature through duck stamp art
The Massachusetts Junior Duck Stamp (JDS) Program is looking for youth artists to submit duck stamp art entries in a statewide competition. Any student, from kindergarten through grade 12, regardless of whether they attend public school, private school, or home school, can create artwork for this fun and educational competition

October News

Autumn outdoor safety tip
Fall is a great time to be outdoors enjoying the dazzling colors, crisp air and wildlife activity. Whether your passion is hiking, hunting, fishing, birding, or just taking in the scenery, a few common sense safety reminders will add to your enjoyment during a day in the field.

Fall trout stocking
Autumn anglers will be pleased to learn that fall trout stocking is now underway. 64,500 rainbow trout have been allocated among the five wildlife management districts across the state. The rainbow trout slated for stocking average a whopping 14 inches long and weigh one pound

Surplus anterless deer permit sales reminder
The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife reminds deer hunters about the following changes to the sale of Surplus Antlerless Deer Permits for 2013

Check your game online this fall
New this fall, hunters and trappers have two options for checking in deer, turkey, bear, and most furbearers. As in the past, animals may be brought to a game
check station, or hunters and trappers can use the online MassFishHunt system to report or check their game via computer

September News

Drivers, brake for moose and deer this fall
Because fall is the breeding season for both moose and white-tailed deer, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) reminds motorists to be mindful of increased deer and moose activity, especially during early morning and evening hours. September and October is the breeding season for Massachusetts' moose population found primarily in central and western Massachusetts

Paddling kayak or canoe? Wear your lifejacket
People in kayaks and canoes are reminded that from September 15, 2013 to May 15, 2014 and every year, paddlers must wear their life jackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs) while boating.

Migratory game bird seasons set
Migratory game bird seasons, bag limits, and methods of take for the 2013-14 seasons are posted on theagency website

Surplus anterless deer permit sales changes
 Over the past year, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has worked with its licensing vendor, Active Outdoors, to address the problems experienced in 2012 by hunters purchasing surplus Antlerless Deer Permits.

September Stories

August News

Anterless deer permit instant award procedure
With the MassFishHunt electronic licensing system, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) reminds deer hunters that there is no public drawing, and postal notifications will not be mailed to anterless deer permit applicants.

Boaters! Report entangled marine animals at sea
Massachusetts coastal waters are home to endangered marine animals including sea turtles and whales.

Migratory game bird hunters must get HIP
As in the past, hunters who hunt woodcock, snipe, ducks and geese must register with the Harvest Information Program (HIP) by taking a HIP survey.

Last month to count turkeys
Turkey observers are reminded to report any sightings of turkey broods (families) for the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife's annual turkey brood survey.

June News

New website look

In early June, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) website will have a new look; part of an ongoing statewide effort that results in a standard “look and feel” among all state government agency websites.  You’ll also see this new look on the websites for the Department of Fish and Game, Division of Marine Fisheries, Office of Boating and Fishing Access and the Division of Ecological Restoration

Turtle crossings
June is a month when normally aquatic female snapping, painted, spotted, red-bellied, Blanding's, and other turtles leave the safety of their water world and venture overland in search of nesting sites. The major threats to turtles are human-caused, which also means that people can work together on turtle conservation issues and help ensure the continued survival of these ancient creatures

Help count turkey families
Got turkey families in your neighborhood? Sportsmen and -women, birders, landowners and other wildlife enthusiasts are encouraged to assist the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) count turkey flocks only containing hens and their young poults (broods) this summer. DFW conducts an annual wild turkey brood survey from June through August. "The brood survey serves as a long term index on reproduction," explains Dave Scarpitti, Turkey Project Leader. "It helps us determine productivity and allows us to compare long-term reproductive success

Reporting summer fish kills
With the warm weather here, lakes and ponds are warming up and fish kills may be discovered in some bodies of water. The sight of dead and dying fish along the shores of a favorite lake, pond or river can be distressing and can trigger concerns about pollution. Fish do act as the "canary in the coal mine," so it's natural to think a fish kill is an indicator of a problem with human caused pollution

May News

Come fish with us (for free)
Fishing is a great way to spend some quality time with family or friends outdoors. If you are a beginner who wants to try this wonderful past time, bring family and friends to a free Family Fishing Festival near you! The Division of Fisheries & Wildlife's (DFW) Angler Education Program has teamed up with a variety of groups and organizationsto provide free fishing opportunities and loaner equipment for beginning anglers of all ages

Keep wildlife wild, leave young wildlife alone
The arrival of spring means the arrival of newborn and just-hatched wildlife. These youngsters soon venture into the world on shaky legs or fragile wings and are discovered by people living, playing or working nearby. Every year, the lives of many young wild creatures are disturbed by people who take young wildlife from the wild in a well-intentioned attempt to "save" them

Nesting eagle survey results
On April 5, 2013, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) conducted its first Spring Eagle Survey. Agency staff, volunteers and interested citizens checked known eagle territories and explored areas with potential eagle habitat to verify continued use of "old" and try to locate "new" eagle nests. The preliminary results of these efforts yielded a total of 30 active eagle nests throughout the Commonwealth with the highest concentrations of birds along the Connecticut River (8 nests) and Quabbin Reservoir (6 nests

Winter waterfowl survey results
This past winter the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife conducted a "Park Waterfowl" survey. The survey, which ran between January 6 and 26, 2013, has been conducted every 5 years since 1973. Park waterfowl are wild ducks and geese that spend part of the day during a given time of year, at sites where they have access to human provided food

March News

New spring eagle count in early April
Eagle and other wildlife enthusiasts are asked to save April 5, 2013 to participate in a new statewide spring eagle count. This effort will include a concentrated survey of the major rivers, lakes, and reservoirs across the Commonwealth. Organized by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) the survey will be conducted by agency staff and volunteers. Teams will be checking known eagle territories and exploring areas with potential eagle habitat to try to locate "new" eagle nests.

Fill out the electronic hunter survey
Beginning in mid-February, the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, through Novi Systems, a third party online survey company, has been sending out an electronic hunter survey to approximately 32,000 licensed hunters. The survey is designed to understand hunter effort and preferences and to collect important local "on-the-ground" information for managing game in the Commonwealth. The survey takes approximately 5-15 minutes to complete and all responses will remain anonymous. Identifying information such as email and IP address will not be recorded.

Fly tying and turkey hunt workshops for women
Adult women with an interest in learning how to tie a fly for fly fishing or pursue turkeys with a shotgun, camera or binoculars should sign up for workshops scheduled in March. On March 23, the first session of a two-part Turkey Hunting Workshop will be held in Shirley. Designed for the beginning adult hunter, the March 23 Seminar will focus on turkey behavior, turkey hunting tips, firearms handling and preparation for the second part of the workshop, a guided turkey hunt in nearby Devens on May 6. Wildlife photographers and birders will gain useful tips for finding turkeys at the March 23 seminar.

Turkey bag limit clarification
The 2013 MA Guide to Hunting, Fishing and Trapping omitted information regarding bag restrictions in the spring turkey season. The printed version did not include a reference to the bearded bird requirement in the spring season. The correct bag limit is: (a) 2 bearded birds in spring season (1 per day) with NO fall bird allowed, or (b) 1 bearded bird in spring season, and 1 bird of either sex in fall season. No hunter may take 2 birds in the fall season. The bag limit information has been corrected in the online 2013 Guide to Hunting, Fishing and Trapping at

February News

Play it safe on the ice

Due to the recent fluctuating freeze and thaw cycles, the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (DFW) urges ice anglers, skaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts to play it safe and check ice carefully before venturing onto ice-covered waters. A clear layer of 4-inch ice is a good, safe thickness for foot traffic. An ice strength table, ice safety tips for outdoor enthusiasts and a link to an ice safety video can be found on the DFW website

Freshwater Sport fishing awards winners
Freshwater anglers from Cape Cod to the Berkshires who reeled in the biggest freshwater fish from Massachusetts lakes, ponds, and streams will be honored by the state fish and wildlife officials at the New England Fishing and Outdoor Expo in Worcester on Saturday, February 9, 2013. Among the dozens of fish enthusiasts to be honored is a new state record holder, Shane Felch of Shrewsbury, who successfully landed a 46 pound, 5 ounce carp using a crossbow in Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury. The Freshwater Sporting Fishing Awards 2012 Angler of the Year is a teenager, Jake Souza of Berkley. The Angler of the Year Award is given to the angler who weighs in the largest number of species that qualify under the Freshwater Sport Fishing Awards Program. Souza landed 11 different species in bodies of water in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod. The 2012 adult and youth award winners are posted on line

Broodstock salmon on ice
Hard water anglers across the state will be able to take advantage of a late January stocking of broodstock Atlantic Salmon. The Division received 350 retired broodstock salmon ranging in size from 3-11 pounds from the Nashua National Fish Hatchery in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Updated deer season results
Updated unofficial reports on the 2012 paraplegic, archery, shotgun, and primitive deer season results have been compiled. During the special three-day deer hunting season for paraplegic hunters, 4 deer were taken.

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