MassWildlife News












MassWildlife began stocking rivers, streams and ponds statewide on September 23. This fall we will be stocking 67,900 trout, comprised of 61,900 rainbows and 6,000 browns. The rainbow trout include 34,100 fish over 12 inches in length of which 27,800 fish are larger than 14 inches. The brown trout average 12 inches. The fish come from DFW’s McLaughlin, Montague, Sandwich, and Sunderland Hatcheries and are distributed in fairly equal quantities to each of the five Districts. A list of trout stocked waters is posted on the agency website. Water bodies typically stocked in the fall are underlined. Anglers are advised to contact the District Office in their area to confirm stocking schedules.


Back to top









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.


• Be Safe, Be Seen, Wear Blaze Orange! Whether you're hunting, hiking, or walking your dog in a rural area, it is best to wear a blaze orange cap or vest. Wearing blaze orange makes you highly visible. Take a moment to watch an eye-opening video about the effectiveness of blaze orange.


• Respect the water. Canoeists and kayakers are required to wear life jackets from September 15 to May 15, but all water enthusiasts, including anglers who wade in larger rivers, would be wise to wear floatation devices especially now that water and air temperatures are cool.


• Know your limits. Don't take off on a long hike, hunt, or bike ride if you're not physically ready. Tell someone where you're going and when you expect to return.


• Watch the weather. New England weather is notorious for changing quickly. Be prepared with an extra layer of clothing, warm hat, and gloves.


• Expect the unexpected. No one expects problems while spending a day outdoors, but having a fanny pack with a few first aid items, matches, water, extra food, pocket knife, map, compass, whistle, cell phone, and flashlight can help prevent small problems from becoming big ones.


• Respect other outdoor users. Mountain biking, horseback riding, wildlife watching, hunting, and hiking are not mutually exclusive activities. Know the hunting seasons and who is likely to be sharing the woods and waters with you. Keep dogs under control and respect other outdoor users’ right to enjoy our wild open spaces.


Remember basic hunter safety.  Licensed sportsmen and women are reminded to treat every firearm as it were loaded, keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times. Accurately identify your target and know what lies beyond it.


Outdoor activities are among the safest recreational pursuits available. With a little common sense, they’ll stay that way.







The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) was awarded a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) grant of $188,694 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that helps protect the piping plover, a shore bird listed on both state and federal endangered species lists. The HCP funding will help DFW continue its work with towns, conservation organizations, and other recreational user groups in developing a management plan for the beach-nesting birds. The Habitat Conservation Plan will allow beach managers more flexibility in allowing beach access to people while also protecting Plovers.


To date, efforts in Massachusetts to protect Piping Plovers have yielded a significant increase in their population. In 2013, 650 Plover pairs were documented – up from 140 pairs in 1986. “This competitive grant award recognizes the success of the Massachusetts’ Piping Plover management program and will allow us more flexibility as we work with local communities to manage Massachusetts plovers in perpetuity,” explains Dr. Tom French, DFW’s assistant director for the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. “The funding of this plan will benefit the birds, beach users, municipalities, and others who manage and enjoy the Commonwealth’s beaches.”


Massachusetts was one of four states in the northeastern part of the country with a successful grant award. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife awarded HCP grants of nearly $1.5 million for management activities protecting endangered and threatened species. The grants supported conservation planning in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and wildlife habitat acquisition in Maryland and Virginia.






October 7, 2014: Fisheries and Wildlife Board Meeting, Westborough. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, at 1:00 P.M., at DFW Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road (off North Drive) in Westborough. Call (508) 389-6342 for more information.

Two Public Hearings will be held at the same location beginning at 3:00 P.M.

1.   To establish and amend rules and regulations governing the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s designation of a Youth Deer Hunt. Click here for details and links to proposed regulations.

2.   To amend the list of species of animals and plants protected by the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. Click here for details and links to proposed regulations.


October 9, 2014: Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Advisory Committee Meeting, Westborough. The meeting will be held on Thursday, October 9, 2014, at DFW Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road (off North Drive) in Westborough from 1:30- 4:30 P.M. in the Southwest Meeting Room, Room #103.


Back to top





October 1 – October 29Junior Duck Stamp Traveling Art Exhibit, North Easton – The Traveling JDS Art Exhibit will be at Borderland State Park, 259 Massapoag Road, North Easton. Learn more at


October 1 – October 29Junior Duck Stamp Traveling Art Exhibit, Athol – The Traveling JDS Art Exhibit will be at the Millers River Environmental Center, 100 Main Street, Athol. Learn more at


October 2 – Snakes in Massachusetts, LancasterJoin the Friends of Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge for a special presentation by Peter Mirick, DFW Wildlife Biologist, at the Lancaster Community Center at 7:00 P.M.  Learn about snakes, take home a Reptile Guide to Massachusetts, and admire live snakes from our own area. Snakes are good neighbors of whom we don’t need to be afraid, at least not in our region. This free program is sponsored by the Friends of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge and the Lancaster Community Center and open to the public. For more information, call Rona Balco at (978)779-2259.


October 3 - 12 – Topsfield Fair, Topsfield – Take the family to the fair and stop by the MassWildlife booth to see furbearer pelts, pick up agency literature, or ask questions about local wildlife.


October 9 & 10 – NASP at Topsfield Fair, TopsfieldMassWildlife staff will talk about the National Archery in the Schools Program and students participating in NASP will demonstrate archery techniques from 9:00 - 10:30 A.M in the fair arena.


October 30 – Biodiversity and Land Conservation through Identification and Protection of Rare Species and Natural Communities at the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Medford – Patricia Swain, Natural Community Ecologist for DFW’s NHESP will present to the Tufts University Lunch and Learn Program.


Back to top