OUTDOOR JOURNAL – The Capital District Bassmasters held a tournament on Sept. 18 Saratoga Lake.
Tim Brown of Berne took first place with 10.14 pounds. He also won the lunker with 4.62 pounds.
Second place went to Bill Davis of Loudonville with 8.22 pounds. Shawn Lipscomb of Gansevoort finished third with 7.36 pounds.
The CD Basmasters; last tournament will be Sunday at Mohawk River State Launch.
WOLF OR NOT?
On Sept. 22, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation confirmed an animal taken by a hunter in Cherry Valley, Otsego County, during the 2021 coyote hunting season was actually a wolf. As part of DEC’s methodical, scientific assessment to ensure the accuracy of the species identification of the animal taken by the licensed hunter, the DEC’s review of DNA test results returned last week allowed for a final determination that this animal was a wolf.
After initial DNA analysis completed this summer determined the wild canid to be most closely identified as an Eastern coyote, DNA submitted voluntarily by the hunter was sent for further analysis to Dr. Bridget VonHoldt, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, as part of a joint research effort by multiple parties. DEC experts reviewed the professor’s DNA results on Sept. 21 and determined the species is likely a male wolf.
This is the third confirmed wolf identified in the wild in New York in the past 25 years. Wolves are, and continue to be, protected in New York State as an endangered species.
At this time, the origin of this Otsego animal is unknown. DNA tests indicate the animal is most likely from the Great Lakes population of wolves, which currently have no established populations in any adjacent state and no known wolves closer than Michigan. It is unknown if this animal was a wild animal that moved into New York or if this was a captive-bred animal that was released or escaped. Captive wolves released into the wild in NYS have been documented in the past.
New York is home to a well-established, self-sustaining population of Eastern coyotes. Eastern coyotes are distinguished from coyotes west of the Mississippi by being slightly larger in size (about 40 pounds, on average) and having a mix of coyote, wolf, and dog ancestry. Wolves are larger than both. Eastern coyotes are found thought-out NYS and populations are stable in most regions. At present, the natural recolonization of wolves in NY is unlikely. For a pack of wolves to be established in the state, breeding populations of female wolves would need to return to the state and breed with male wolves which typically roam farther from their packs. The DEC will monitor for additional signs of wolf presence. You may see the DEC at https://www.dec.ny.gov/fs/programs/press/Fish&Wildlife/.
Contact Ed Noonan at [email protected]