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County Council

Saratoga County Council Meeting Minutes (March 2024):

Clubs in attendance: Galway, Kayaderosseras, 4H, White Tails, Fish House and Foothills

Trappers, and Clifton Park.

1. Safe Boating Certificate: Much Discussion here. A member read the law and found that

everyone (no age exempt) must take the course by 2025 if they will be touching the controls of a

boat with a motor on it. Can take course on-line at Take notes during

the course as there is a test at the end. The course takes about 4 hours.

2. Conservation Fund Advisory Board (CFAB): Fisheries, Cornell and HDR Inc. (consulting

engineering firm) assessing the modernization of the hatcheries and will work with the DEC on

this. $75 million from the state being used to accomplish this.

3. Crossbow: Reasonable accommodation for use of an unmodified crossbow application online

now for permanently disabled hunters will be for the life of the permit.

4. Outdoor News: Licenses changing to paper this year starting in August 2024. Special paper

used previously got expensive. You will be able to print your license from home. Also, you will

have an option to have an electronic license. Lifetime licenses will come to home on paper. You

must still fill out a carcass tag at the kill and attach it to the animal for transportation at the

vehicle. DEC recommends putting it in a waterproof bag because it has to be able to be read by

ECO’s. There is a bill out (S8644) that would eliminate the back tag wearing requirement and

carrying a paper license. You can also use your smart phone if in cell coverage to show an ECO

that you have a license.

5. Law Enforcement: 2629 tickets issued in 2023. Of those, 49 were for back tag violations where

they are required. 378 tickets were issued and 128 warnings for Salmon River violations of

which 46 were for fishing other than legal hours (night fishing).

83,000 free licenses were given out last year. Mostly to disabled military and >70-year-olds.

Money for fee licenses comes from the Conservation Fund. Sporting license sales down 1.5% in


6. Adirondack trout ponds oxygen levels dropping called “lake browning” caused by decaying

plants/vegetation along the shores and off the bottom of the lakes themselves. Deep lakes over

100 feet are not as susceptible, but most ponds and lakes are not this deep, and the water is

also warming resulting in fewer lakes that can support trout. They need cool oxygenated water.

7. New trout regulations are planned in the Adirondacks. DEC is having meetings to discuss. No

bait fishing for trout and other fish. See latest article in the Outdoor News.

8. Moose permits (180) available in northeastern Vermont this year due to ticks killing the calves.

9. DEC: 2023 elevated (tree stand) hunting accidents. Nonfatal, but 8 accidents were confirmed.

Either not using a body harness or falling while climbing up or down. 2023 Hunting Accidents:

12 confirmed with 2 fatal. 6 were self-inflicted (gun blowing up, and loaded gun falling over, for

example). Several were two-party (hunter shooting hunter). The two fatal involved dragging a

deer with a loaded gun and pulling a loaded gun up into a tree stand.

10. New Legislation: Senate Bill S8461 would require Gun Clubs to meet property set back specs

and reclaim spent shot. This came after a property owner sued a club for spent shot dropping

on his property. The set-back specs and backstop requirements are large.

11. Summer camps: Have funding for 6 kids. 3 applying so far. Can apply on 3/24 @ 1:00pm.

Next Meeting on April 16, 2024.

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