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Registration Opening Soon for BHS Camp Humane

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. —  Do you know a kid who loves animals? You might want to register them for the 2010 Camp Humane Summer Program, which introduces children to the principles of kind and humane care of animals and what it means to be a responsible pet owner.

Animal professionals visit the camp, located at 214 Barker Road, to teach kids about nontraditional pets and other wildlife in Berkshire County. The children will be able to interact with various animals in a safe classroom environment, but not as volunteers in the kennels. A different curriculum is planned for each week and grade level, including arts and crafts projects with animal themes, demonstrations of dog agility training courses, and other outdoor activities.

Registration opens on Monday, April 5. To be eligible, children must be going into the third through the eighth grades this coming September. Class size is limited to 20 students most weeks, 10 for weeks D & T (see below).

The Summer Program schedule is as follows:
Week A:  July 5-9, for Grade 3;
Week B: July 12-16, for Grade 4;
Week C: July 19-23, for Grade 5;
Week D, July 26-30, for Grade 6;
Week E, August 2-6, for Grade 7;
Week T, August 9-13, for Grade 8 (new this year)

Camp tuition is $200 per child for the full-week program, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Parents provide lunch, snacks and beverages. There are a limited number of full and reduced tuition scholarships available, along with a payment plan for families in need. The scholarship form is available at the shelter.

Registration forms are available in the lobby of the shelter during their business hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 10 to 4, Thursday evenings from 5 to 8, and Sunday from 1 to 4; or visit www.berkshirehumane.org.

Tuition payment and a completed application form are needed to secure a child’s place in the desired session. A physician signed heath form is due by the first day of camp. Confirmation of a place at camp will be emailed to the parents. For current availability or any other questions, contact Karen Karlberg at 413-447-7878, ext 29 at kkarlberg@berkshirehumane.org.

Tags: Berkshire Humane Society, camp      

It's Spring When: They Start Stocking Trout

Staff Reports

Something fishy is about to happen. The state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife is dumping 540,000 "feisty" brook, brown, rainbow and tiger trout in pounds and streams statewide.

"We'll be putting out 320,000 rainbow trout that will average 12 inches or longer, and about 78 percent of these rainbows will be 14 inches or larger," Chief Fish Culturist Ken Simmons wrote in the latest MassWildlife reprot. "They'll be distributed statewide throughout the stocking season by our five regional Wildlife District offices."

Stocking will begin as soon as ice, snow and mud conditions allow the trucks access to the waterways. Anglers are advised to contact their district office for updates on when stocking will begin in the area.

What's going into the water? About 47,000 brown trout averaging more a foot long will be stocked along with another 115,000 browns in the 9-to-11-inch range. Not surprisingly, the bigger fish will land in the larger water bodies, while most of the smaller fish will be releaseed in the streams and brooks.

Brook trout will be stocked in a similar fashion with approximately 11,500 fish measuring a foot or better, and more than 66,000 in the 6-to-11-inch class.

Simmons said he is particular excited about the quality of this year's crop of 2-year-old brook trout, which he puts down to a "combination of hard work by hatchery staff and good growing conditions at the hatcheries where they are produced." 

Some 6,000 tiger trout are set to be released as well, all topping the 14-inch mark. These handsome fish, a cross between a female brown trout and a male brook trout, have become popular with folks lucky enough to hook and land one, say Wildlife officials. 

To find out the status of trout stocking here or call the Western District office at 413-684-1646.

Tags: fishing, trout, Mass Wildlife      

Bruins' Beauty Sleep Ending

Staff Reports

Mass Wildlife says it's time to take down those bird feeders in Western Mass. With the snow melting and longer day length, bears will soon be leaving their winter dens and feeders should be removed by mid-March at the latest.

"There is little in the way of natural foods and bears learn to seek out high-energy human foods such as bird seed," says Laura Hajduk, DFW Bear Project Leader. "This may lead to conflicts that pose hazards to both bears and people."

According to Mass Wildlife:

Massachusetts is home to approximately 3,000 resident bears, with the majority living west of the Connecticut River. Although many bears keep to their dens during the winter, some can be sporadically active and can seek out human related food sources. If you notice bear activity in the area earlier than mid-March, be proactive and remove bird feeders and other potential food sources promptly.

Bears have excellent long-term memories and remember which foods are available at different seasons, as well as where these foods can be found. Even if a feeder is inaccessible to bears, they will be attracted by the scent of seed and suet. Once they learn the location of these foods, bears will return. Bears are typically shy and fearful of people, but deliberate feeding or indirect availability of human food, coupled with a lack of harassment can cause bears to become accustomed to people. If bears lose their fear of people and develop a taste for human foodstuffs, bears can become bolder and may cause damage that ultimately results in harm to people or to the demise of the animal.

Don't leave out trash or pet foods either and keep sheds and barns locked. During the summer, don't put meat or sweet items in the compost piles — bears can sniff them out.

Hajduk said taking these actions also reduces problems with other common wildlife species such as coyotes, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. More black bear information can be found at www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/wildlife/living/living_with_bears.htm.
 

 

Tags: bears, birds      
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