Wednesday, November 28, 2012


CONCORD, N.H. -- On November 21, 2012, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department purchased a private marina known as Downing’s Landing at the southern tip of Alton Bay. That means Fish and Game, after many years, has finally acquired a boat access facility on Lake Winnipesaukee, the state’s largest lake.

"This is exciting news for New Hampshire's outdoor enthusiasts because it creates the first state-owned and controlled public boat ramp with parking on Lake Winnipesaukee," said Fish and Game Executive Director Glenn Normandeau. "For years, we've wanted to provide the public with a boat access site on the big lake, and I am thrilled that we've been able to do it."

The Downing's Landing facility includes an existing boat launch with paved parking for vehicles with trailers, as well as a handful of cartop parking spaces. The site includes two buildings and several docks that will allow for excellent shorebank fishing opportunities, particularly during the spring salmon season. The facility will be open to the public for launching boats and shorebank fishing with no fee.

The site may be temporarily closed while Fish and Game transitions ownership and determines what maintenance and repairs are necessary. Since the general use of the property will not change, it seems to be for the most part a "turnkey" facility that can be opened to the public with minimal work. This is quite different from most acquisitions of undeveloped property, which can take months or even years of planning, permitting and construction before a boat access site can be opened to the public.

In the near term, parking configurations will be evaluated and maximized for the upcoming boating season. Future renovations will be planned as Fish and Game moves forward. Improvements may include dock repairs and installation of a newer concrete boat ramp. Fish and Game officials hope to have the site open this winter in time for the ice fishing season.

New Hampshire's Public Boat Access Program is funded through boat registration fees and federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration funds, a true user-pay, user-benefit program. Fish and Game's Facilities and Lands Division acquires land for public water access sites, refurbishes existing sites and builds new public boat access areas. Fish and Game maintains more than 140 public boat access sites throughout New Hampshire.

VT man claims to have proof of Bigfoot

(NECN: Jack Thurston, Hubbardton, Vt.) - Self-described sasquatch researcher Frank Siecienski insists he captured one of the legendary hairy beasts on a camera he set up outside his Hubbardton, Vt. home.

"This is where the creature was crouching down in this position right here," Siecienski said, demonstrating for New England Cable News how the purported giant creature was hunched over.

Siecienski told NECN he set up the camera because wanted to know who or what was taking all the apples from the tree in his front yard in September of 2010. His photographs produced shots of a coyote, then of a blurry figure near a hemlock tree. That figure has been nearly impossible for most people to identify.

"Both my wife and I, at the exact same time, said, 'My God, what in the world is that?'" Siecienski remembered.

He got some help answering that question this month, when the network Animal Planet aired an episode of "Finding Bigfoot" on TV and online. Folks from all over contacted Siecienski with ideas.

"I just got an email and a call from Australia," the retiree noted Wednesday.

Siecienski believes the figure is a long-haired female sasquatch, about 400 pounds, with a baby in tow.

"Evidently it was either protecting its young or picking it up," he claimed. “We just don’t know.”

One biologist NECN reached with Vermont's Fish & Wildlife Department in Rutland didn't even want to talk about this on-camera, hinting it was a waste of his time to even give it attention. Siecienski admitted he is used to skeptical responses.

"They're gonna call you a nut," he said. "They're gonna call you crazy."

Others have told him what he photographed is more likely an owl. But he said he's not budging, and even bought the vanity plate "BIG FT" for his car.

"I've gotten a good response from that," Siecienski said, claiming it has been a conversation starter that has led to other people reporting their Bigfoot sightings to him.

The homeowner even has decorated his lawn with Bigfoot statues.

"That's exactly what one would look like right there," he said, pointing to a muscular lawn ornament with a long head and broad face.

Until he gets a clearer view of the "real thing," Frank Siecienski said he will keep battling the non-believers and searching for more evidence that Bigfoot is roaming the Northeast.

"It can't be anything else but," he said of his photo.