|The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that beginning Oct.1, trapping permits will be issued for the Oak Orchard, Tonawanda, and John White Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) for the 2021-2022 license year.
Trappers are advised to take note of season dates. Statewide trapping season dates for several species are more restrictive on the Oak Orchard, Tonawanda, and John White WMAs than overall seasons for Western New York. The start of muskrat and mink trapping at these three WMAs runs from Dec. 4 to Feb. 15, 2022. Beaver trapping dates are the same as the applicable statewide season. The start of upland trapping is delayed until Nov. 1, at the John White Wildlife Management Area. Upland trapping at Oak Orchard and Tonawanda WMAs follows applicable statewide seasons.
The maximum number of traps a trapper can set for muskrat and mink in water on the three areas is 25, and DEC will issue 25 numbered tags to each trapper who obtains a permit. A tag must be attached to each trap used on these WMAs. Any trap without an issued tag attached is considered illegal. In addition, individual trappers can only operate traps with tags with their assigned numbers. Traps set for upland trapping and beaver do not require numbered tags and will not be considered in the trap limit. The trap limit provides a more equitable distribution of the harvest and prevents trappers from monopolizing the better trapping areas.
Management of the muskrat population promotes prime emergent marsh habitats used by waterfowl and uncommon marsh birds such as the black tern and least bittern. The trap limit also allows DEC to better regulate the muskrat harvest according to water availability, habitat needs, and population. Trappers who obtain a permit are required to report harvest and trapping efforts on each area, for all species.
Permit applications can be obtained weekdays from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge office on Casey Road between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. A trapping permit application box will be available in the front foyer of the refuge building, although the remainder of the building is currently closed to the public. In addition, trappers can apply by writing to: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Bureau of Wildlife, 1101 Casey Road, Box B, Basom, NY 14013, or by calling (585) 948-5182.
Hunters and trappers are reminded that gas and electric motor boats are not allowed on Oak Orchard or Tonawanda WMAs. Visit DEC's website for more information on Oak Orchard and Tonawanda WMAs and John White WMA.