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King Davy

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  1. King Davy

    Another 20% CUT in Chinook Stocking for 2019

    I won't dive into the decision any further. many have chimed in. There is nothing I can add that is meaningful. But I will address Brian's comments on helping with the pen's. You are 100% correct. We've been away from this too long. We did help at the Oak, Sandy, and Genny back when LOSA was active. They've been gone for 10 years, and candidly we tried to partner unsuccessfully with TU back then to help with some stream rehab projects and the Pens we got involved with. I wouldn't join TU back then, because they didn't have an interest in Great Lakes fisheries anywhere in the Great Lakes. Now TU has an active group that is focused on the Great Lakes fisheries...and we have an active group at one of the oldest chapters in the US in Seth Green here in Rochester that has new blood and are all in to re-engage. Shame it took this long, but beside manpower TU is also an opportunity to find funding for the projects. So yes the Lake guys have been carrying the load, and I can say from Fishing experience especially the Genny group you've done a great job. I see several year classes of Steelhead in the fall and winter while fishing the Genny and I have no doubt those returning fish are a result of a solid Pen program. We look forward to working with Sam on the Genny, Bob, and Rob at Sandy and the Oak...and we have the Buffalo, TU and FFF groups looking to work with Joe Y in Niagara Country and help bolster their man power and funding. I know I've been beating the drum for focus on a 12 month a year fishery and all of us coming together lake and trib stakeholders to partner in doing these kind of projects. It's way past time we put our efforts and hopefully money where our mouth is. Looking forward to getting to know the guys and gals who've been holding do the fort for a long time.
  2. King Davy

    Where are all the 20lb Steelhead we used to see

    However, those that drive up and snag fish, are staying in their cars, eating PB&J or putting seven guys in a room, for sure drinking a lot of booze and maybe eating at gin joints, But they are also keeping away the anglers who would rent many rooms, eat in all the restaurants buy much more expensive tackle than surf snagging rods and black sponge. I could give you hundreds of names of people who have serious cash to spend that go to expensive places , who would easily spend it here, for the chance to "Fish" to our salmon in our rivers. The chances to get a fish to bite that truly isn't taking nourishment anymore yet still has the instinct to strike...but won't with cannon balls of lead crashing down around them is slimmer than none.
  3. King Davy

    Where are all the 20lb Steelhead we used to see

    Yankee, Gambler and Lucky all make valid points. Yes we have to get away from this Them against us attitude. We have a 12 month world class fishery. And it needs to be managed that way. When we had the die off of Steelhead in 2014 there was no hiding dead steelhead in our rivers, even in the Genny. So while I don't think there is anywhere near the mortality that some may think from C&R, (because there isn't really a way for these dead fish to hide)....I'm one that believes that trib anglers have to take a look in the mirror and decide when they've over stayed their welcome. I say that for lake anglers as well. My rule of thumb is if I can't tell you something unique about fish number 1, number 8, number 16, and number 24, just maybe I've over stayed my welcome and am putting way more pressure on the fish then is necessary. And these days I'm done way before 10. The Salmon season brings a different type of angler to our rivers. They are a group that intends to harvest any fish . And to Rick's point "by any means". And many of these folks aren't true dedicated trib anglers who chase fish throughout the fall winter and spring on our rivers. many are hunters biding their time till hunting season get started. They have every right to fish our rivers legally and harvest their legal limit, and many do. While serious steelheaders would never kill one of these fish. One of the main reasons is after about December in many of the LO tribs, they are the only species left. We are starting to see more brown trout being released (over 70%) likely for the same reason. So we can catch them at another time, or somebody else can enjoy them. But back to Rick's point. We need to all be on the same team. look out for each other. If you really don't need to eat that fish, then put it back. No matter what species. I've caught five 20 pound plus steelhead in my 47 years of lake fishing, charter fishing and trib fishing. 1 in Little Shelter Valley on the North shore, One with a Charter off the Genny River in August. 3 in the Genny swinging flies in the early 2000's. And the latest one in the Sandy River out in the Aleutians in Alaska. They are pretty rare indeed.
  4. King Davy

    2018 Stocking levels

    It was a focus group of folks who spent all or at least half their time in the case of the Charter boat /River Drift boat guides that were invited.. on a river. For the record, the message I sent out to folks invited came from references I received from the DEC and local stakeholders. Some took offense of me....when in actuality I didn't personally invite anybody except a couple folks from our region 8 TU group. Some who were also guides. The target was to have an informational talk with people who were very close to the day to day fishing on the rivers. There were several business owners there who had collected comments thoughts and observations from the 1000's of customers they had through their shops and businesses the past three years. You'd have to ask the DEC for sure, but I believe they came away happy with the participation, professionalism and candor of the participants. Of course with all the mistrust swirling around ...this was labeled a Secrete Meeting ...A request was made by DEC to speak to highly knowledgeable tributary stakeholders...and that's what they got.
  5. King Davy

    2018 Stocking levels

    Gill- T …I know as long as there is a FERC license with the power company on the Salmon River, we will have Chinook Salmon forever. Sure there are people who would like the King Salmon program to end, they are trout fishermen, walleye fishermen, bass fishermen, on and on. How about fresh water Striped Bass. Honestly I don’t care to address any more the nonsense of somebody wanting to do away with Kings, just as I’m tired of all the absolutely ridiculous statements from those who think the DEC and the Feds have some clandestine plan to replace Pacific Salmon with Atlantic Salmon. There is so much shooting from the hip on these web boards, and the knowledge is a phone call away to your regional managers. Of course they read this board EVERY day, and know how much some of you distrust them even after managing this fishery for a half century to be what it is today…a world class fishery both in the Lake and the tribs. So maybe they won’t take your calls. What a shame after all these years, we are so divided and profiled that Lake guys think trib guys and Vice Versa are not after the same thing. All we all want to do…is “FISH to FISH”…and if the fish I favor to fish to is different than yours….why is that a problem? And or especially the method….and more important as long as my method is ethical, and legal….has nothing to do with being an elitist. We have wasted so much opportunity, burned so many bridges being divided, when we have so much talent in stakeholders, and some of the top Scientific professionals from both the State DEC, MNR, and USGS, to where we could be leveraging all of our experiences and their knowledge to sustain this great resource. The target has to be universal, and for the life of me I can not fathom why instead is controversial. The target should be for every man women and child that wants to fish for trout and salmon is a healthy 12 month a year fishery that undoubtedly is used heavily by stakeholders interested in both the open waters of the lake, as well as it’s many breathtaking rivers and streams. As far as meeting with DEC…THEY ASKED US TO MEET last Feb!!!! THEY INVITED US…..oh was I yelling? They knew that last winter was year three of a devastating low success rate of Steelhead fishing, and for what ever reason poor brown trout returns. There were businesses closing their doors, and some barely hanging on with up to 50% loss of revenue. It GOT their attention. So they wanted to talk to trib concerned stakeholders. They also know that a Public meeting was not going to be as focused as having a invited group that could substantiate …or Not…what they were hearing, and what their creel census was showing them. Much like the focused BiNational group. Were there people in the room that may have favored one species over another…sure….But this wasn’t a meeting to make policy and regs, or shut down anything. It was an information collection opportunity. We truly have to stop all this nonsense of mistrust. The avg trib angler is not unhappy or offended that the lake fishing is good. It’s actually the opposite, we know if there is good fishing in the lake ….hopefully it will translate to great returns to our rivers. In the case of Steelhead since the die off in 2014, what ever the fishing was on the lake ….DID NOT translate to the tribs. I’m sure the average lake concerned angler can understand that when we are standing in 34 degree water trying to catch a fish…we are truly interested in actually fishing to fish. That’s our only requirement. But how is that any different than a person out in a boat. When the Steelhead fishing crashed we didn’t demand more fish…because we KNOW that isn’t possible. There is no space, and adding more pressure to the forage base that is in question on how steady it is….isn’t the right answer either. This would be an opportunity if we were truly a brother and sisterhood of concerned anglers for all (trib and lake) to say….you know steelhead numbers are down. Let’s maybe not take as many and more important let’s handle these fish with the upmost care to get them back….and hopefully in a year or so things will trun around. And maybe that did happen, but we are so divided we don’t even discuss these kinds of courtesies . Gill T you can drink all the beer you want, but I drink 12 year old single malt (yeah it’s a Fly Fishing Elitist Thing) the most expensive you can afford…and I know Dr…you can afford it.. Bring your credit card maybe two or three….…you’ll need it.
  6. King Davy

    2018 Stocking levels

    It’s too bad these conversations on a web board get personal. Gill-T you don’t know me, or anything about me, and my 45 years of experience of the 49 years this fishery has been in existence. I’ve spent a life time on the open waters of Lake Ontario, was a staff writer for the original Great Lakes Fisherman, and for 7 Years the Lake Ontario Editor for New York Sportsman magazine. I wrote more articles about King Salmon and how to catch them than any other writer of that time for Lake Ontario. Was President of the Western Lake Ontario Charter Boat association, and on the NYS Sport Fishing council. Spent countless hours working WITH the DEC to fully understand their science, methods, forecasts, and operations. Much like the owner of this web site Jerry has. Had the second boat out of Braddocks Bay with Downriggers on it back in 1972, built a Heahkit depth finder and temp gauge to try and chase these fish…and having to teach ourselves back in those days how to locate and catch these marvelous fish. Unlike the resources everyone has today. I’ve caught King Salmon in all the Great Lakes except Erie, and as far as Alaska and British Columbia. I am NOT one of the trib anglers who wants King Salmon fishing to end in Lake Ontario. How dare you spew your unintelligent nonsense. In fact I just finished a trip where I enjoyed immensely catching big Kings and Coho’s on the Salmon river…and YES on a fly,..some that I designed …and one that my NYS Fishing Guide wife Lindsay has designed that has gone viral all the way to New Zeeland to catch big rainbows in their magnificent rivers. Do I chose to spend my days with a fly rod in my hand. Yes I do, a skill I learned as a 15 year old kid and have been enjoying from Here to Alaska and BC to Labrador, Fla, Bahamas, Mexico, Belize, Alphonse Island in the Seychelles and LI Sound. After doing this for over 50 years…I just like to catch them the way I like to catch them. I enjoy having the rod in my hand to feel the “TAKE” once you’ve unlocked the primal instinct of a sport fish to swim at top speed to kill it’s prey. That doesn’t make me an elitist, it makes me a “Tug Addict” Do I choose to fish for Steelhead , and Atlantic Salmon over King Salmon, sure because they are more fly friendly then Kings. And King Salmon in a river is not the same fish it is in the open waters of LO. Especially losing weight from not eating anymore , and full of hormones as they prepare to spawn. . And for MY Money…and I think we are still free thinkers and speakers here in the good old USA, there is no greater fresh water sport fish on a fly…than an Atlantic Salmon. My choice… my business. You don't understand the Atlantic Salmon program here in Lake Ontario. This is strictly in the experimental stage, and has been since they started and stopped the last 30 years. Mainly because they (The Fed’s) who are managing this program at the highest level have been looking for a strain of Salmon that survives and returns. They now have one….AND in talking to Andy Todd Monday…the Canadians are now focused on Sebago’s a native Maine strain of fish that thrives in the inland lakes. Could have easily been one of the strains that LO had back in the 16,17, and early 1800’s. And they are doing fantastic. BTW they are doing very well in the early returns in Canada if the pictures that Andy showed me Monday night are any indicator. BUT the Atlantic Salmon program is not now, or has ever been an effort to replace King Salmon or any other species of fish swimming in the lake. On the South shore we will never have rivers with habitat that sustains these fish, except one, the Salmon river. However the wild cold rivers of the North Shore certainly will. Atlantic salmon have the highest tolerance to low 70’s water than any other Salmonid… Further more, there’s no hatchery space or budget with the DEC …OR the Feds, to raise millions of Atlantic Salmon to dump into the lake. You are not going to create a major sports fishery with 60K fish, and the experimental fish from the Febs. BUT you can create a niche fishery for some rivers….Salmon River here…and at least three in Canada for the summer fishery. We’ve been catching beautiful Atlantic Salmon in the Salmon river ALL SUMMER long, without the crazy crowds and nonsense that goes on once the Kings return. And the group of knowledgeable anglers who are enjoying this, aren’t bashing Lake Fishing, nor do we think or feel like elitists ….WE just want to fish. Understand the DEC is also stocking these same Atlantic Salmon in the Finger lakes, and I don’t hear those anglers complaining about catching them in the open waters and rivers. Just because an angler chooses the tool he or she fishes with as a fly rod….how does that make me/them an elitist…? Your statement at the top of your post shows your ignorance. Lake Ontario is not just a King Salmon fishery. I’m extremely happy fishermen enjoy King Salmon fishing, I do as well, but I enjoy other species more. My preference, and my business and truly none of your business. Finally….for all others please accept my apology for being a tad irritated. Gill-T…get off your keyboard, come to Rochester, and buy me a Scotch, and I’ll teach you all the things you THINK you know about me, but you obviously don’t
  7. King Davy

    2018 Stocking levels

    AMEN Abe...I thought it was a great question and answer discussion with intelligent thoughtful questions and honest answers. We saw the result of the last three years of wild fish hatching success, that has to be factored into the equation. I think the important thing I get out of these talks is it's evident the DEC and MNR are always striving for better ways to study the science and improve their process. It's never going to be a 1+1 = 2 in dealing with all the possible variables to the equation...especially dealing with mother nature.
  8. King Davy

    2018 Stocking levels

    After all that is said and done…..I trust the DEC, MNR, and USGS scientists. And here’s why. 2017 marks the 49th year DEC has been managing this Trout and Salmon Fishery. Fast Forward to Mid 70’s, five years before the Salmon River Hatchery came on line, and the health dept in NYS urged the DEC to stop stocking King Salmon due to contamination issues with Mirex and Dioxin. Still the DEC maintains a brood stock, and a year later when the decision after testing what P/P/M…and P/P/B mean to the human body of these chemicals stocking started up again…slowly, and then Mother nature as she always does tossed in a curve ball notably the winter of 1977. Back then said to be the harshest in 100 years, (But didn’t come close to (2014.15) for cold. And we had a massive die off of Alewife. The shore lines looked like the Pre salmon days. But back then DEC wasn’t stocking millions of these fish, they didn’t have the capacity yet. And they were 10 years into the game and hadn’t had this type of hard down crush on the forage base to deal with….Then the 80’s, the Golden age of this fishery that some of us remember. Bait rebounded probably somewhat because the Predator numbers hadn’t been brought up to it’s peek. In 1993 I am many of my colleagues sat in the Cornell Cooperative Extension building, I was representing the Western Lake Ontario Charter Boat Assoc. and at the time had a seat on the NYS Sport Fishing Council and we listened to Bob Lange tell us DEC was reducing stocking to 1 million salmon from what was at the time about 2.1 M. They determined the forage base was impacted hard again, and the results of their trawls (with much less sophisticated tools then they have today) mandated their management plan to make this move. Maybe/probably they were a bit over compensating as at the very same moment Lake Michigan was suffering through their second crash of salmon … The mid to late 90’s was a struggle, we fished hard, we caught salmon, we caught some very big salmon into the early 2000’s…we POUNDED the steelhead because they were there and easily caught to satisfy our customers, but come the millennium the bait studies showed a resurgence of alewife, and the DEC certain of their data restored the stocking back to capacity, and many years even tossed in supplemental stockings of kings. 2016, now the most modern techniques and technology in use by USGS, DEC, and MNR they see a warning sign again. But IMHO don’t jump into a drastic cut in half decision, but a more calculated one. 2017 data by the same teams and technologies confirms the warning they started to discover last spring, yet these same tools techniques and scientists see a light in the tunnel. Yet they continue to make a calculated management decision, because that’s what men and women of science MUST do. For the most part the past 17 years has been highly successful on the lake and the tribs. We certainly had another nasty curve in 2014 with significant die off of adult Steelhead. Reports on them in the lake seem much better this year let’s hope that’s true. This essay is a chronology of the past 49 years. Again only speaking for myself, but the men and women of these three agencies have more than earned my respect. Have they made some errors or mistakes…for sure. Who of us hasn’t in our work. Are they going to error on the conservative side because they are managing for five years down the road not just next year….yes thank God for that.
  9. Hey Vince really love your event for the ladies. Would like to donate cash or if that's only done through a raffle tickets..I'd buy $100 worth, but would like my tickets to go to the lady participants. Also not sure what you are raffling off.. I'll have to check the FB page...but my wife Lindsay who is a NYS Licensed Fly Fishing guide might give away a free trip to a couple ladies...if you need more prizes. Let me know.

    1. Capt Vince Pierleoni

      Capt Vince Pierleoni

      Awesome Dave. She is overwhelmed right now not only with the work it takes, but support like yours.  Your donation can be earmarked to the ladies prize structure. Send to reelin for a cure, c/o Steph Pierleoni, PO Box 212 newfane, NY 14108.  Your wife's donation of a trip could be used as a raffle item if you wish. Thank you! Vince

  10. King Davy


    Banana's aren't just a boat thing. I'd never have bananas on my boat ever....and when I had a crew going out, I'd ask if they had any on them. If so, they had to stay onshore. BUT the Banana thing is simply bad for fishing. One time headed up to the Salmon river. I was going to be gone for several days on a combo Trout Salmon and Albie fishing trip to LI sound. We had two or three bananas laying around...figured they'd go to waste...I take them for a snack while fishing the river. Got there at 0-Dark-30. Rigged up and hit the water.. Left the bananas in the truck. For six solid hours I had Trout and Salmon all around me, and couldn't get a single fish to take. I trudged back to the truck in the pouring rain beaten. Opened the door and saw the bananas. Could it be? I ate them all right there. Next morning before leaving for the Sound, I hit the Upper Fly area. Figured it would be crowded. It was Oct on the Salmon River after all. NOT a soul there. Hmmm. Went up to a favorite swinging spot. Stepping down and casting, hooked a 10 pound brown trout. Next time through the run a 15 pound Steelhead dime bright that ran me down river for a 100 yards. Decided to try another spot and landed two more chrome fish. IT HAD TO BE THE BANANAS!!!! I was with a guide friend on the Delaware, floating the main stem. All day long no shots at fish looking up. Couldn't believe it. We parked on an island and he offered me a banana...!!! HUH? We've had this evil fruit onboard all day???? I tossed it in the weeds and crushed it. Next run, Fish raising everywhere....20 + inch Wild Browns and rainbows.....NUFF SAID
  11. King Davy


    YAY!!!! This will save on my Dentist Bills...to have loose fillings replaced.
  12. King Davy

    Pulaski State of the lake

    Vince....not sure what the "I found a home in the fly fishing community" has to do with a Focus discussion on the health of the trout fishing in the LO tribs. The only mention of a fishing technique in this meeting was that bait is more effective than artificial lures, or flies. I don't think anybody would challenge that. I learned to fly fish at age 14 on rivers in the state of GA. no less. And I did use fly fishing in my charter business when we caught steelhead on dry flies in 400-600 feet of water late spring early summers. But the attendees back trolled plugs, float fished, spin fished and fly fished. So this wasn't a fly fishing meeting. Late 2016 DEC commissioner received from what I've heard over a 1000 emails and hand written letters from disgruntled Trib anglers who had visited NYS to trib fish over the last couple years ...and decided to hold a trib focused discussion with DEC USGS/Sea Grant. These letters were from several states as far away as Colorado and Montana of anglers who annually come to our tribs. And I assume since the Commissioner asked Steve to put this focus discussion together may have been worried about lost revenue as well as news getting around that NYS wasn't a key destination for Steelhead and brown trout anymore. . And what they heard was in the last three years some business admitted to having revenue down as high as 25%. One river guide stated that where his customers used to book multiple days, recently they haven't and have canceled the following days trips due to poor fishing, Vince you and I are on the same page when it comes to the heartbreaking treatment that our fish get in a river by a band of folks who intend to use any means to harvest fish. This behavior ruins the experience for people trying to have a quality day fishing on one of our beautiful rivers. And you and I have both listened to the frustration of CO's who write 100's of tickets only to have most of them thrown out of court. And it is stealing. Heck this band of bad guys caught at 18 Mile were selling salmon on Facebook. So after three very poor years of fishing the trrib focused anglers became the squeaky wheel,
  13. King Davy

    Pulaski State of the lake

    Yeah I started this????
  14. King Davy

    Pulaski State of the lake

    Well Gill interesting enough we did ask if there had been any stomach studies of steelhead to where something that was in their diet previously (before 2013) that was now missing that may have contributed to faster breakdown of thiaminase that was no longer in their diets....and no those types of studies have not been done. Often it isn't one thing that topples something.
  15. King Davy

    Pulaski State of the lake

    Well Brian...I received a note from Lapan on 1/18 asking me to help put this together for a trib conversation. I just went through every email I received from 1/18 to 2/11...and I don't have any from a person asking to attend that as a Charter boat Capt. and not a trib angler....or even a trib angler that got turned away. So I'd be happy to talk to those folks that got turned away...and you have my contact info...so feel free to pass them along. This wasn't a conversation about the entire lake...it was focused on the tribs as requested by DEC. Maybe you should call Steve and complain to him as well. Don't know what else to tell ya sport.