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King Davy

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  1. Once again, for USGS to run around in the lake and do trawls and study bait fish populations, and lake trout studies.....and bio mass .....to have those funds to do that...comes with a term and condition. Studies, and programs to work with restoration of Native species has to be included. You take that away....the Feds don't have the backing of the funds to do all the other stuff. I don't think anybody wants that. The North shore has 10 rivers with smolt raising qualities...and why they put in fry, the program is to try and establish self sustaining stocks...not stock them for ever like the other species. This isn't a put and take program Gambler like the rest of this fishery. This is restoration science....it isn't just about creating a fishing situation...just like originally the Pacific stockings were NOT done to create a Sport fishery. Some fishing opportunities arise out of this....and they have....I've yet to see anybody on the lake complain about some silver rocket jumping behind their boat...nor will you ever hear a trib guy complain about catching those same fish in a river.... Actually in 2010....we had some creel work going on the Oak...in conjunction with Ron at Orleans Outdoors ....and we tried to keep track of the AS caught and reported...and in the end the number reported was in that range I talked about. Many reported and confirmed with photo's. Are they targeted in the fall ...No...they are happenstance....are they targeted by a growing number of us in the early summer.....you bet. LFZ is closed in the summer for these fish to pair up to spawn....and with the use of underwater cameras and a diver from time to time, USGS and DEC have found a couple hundred fish pairing up. Again not so concerned about being able to fish to them at the moment.....but more the proof that we have large spawning adults back to a natel trib. Mine and others who are interested in this...isn't just about how many fish we can catch. We are way behind the CRAA...but LOTAC has now planted over 20,000 tress in the upper river that someday will contribbute to better habitat. And last year we started at the Oak with 3000 trees...and will continue there. Lots of things going on...that I don't think a whole lot of people are aware of. However I would agree unless there is habitat changes in some places South shore recruitment will be tough. But as in Huron they have found a strain that recruits well and is suited to the elements. The St. Mary's program is spectacular....they are getting a returns of 5 to 7000 fish a year to that river. The st Mary's is bolsterd by cool water coming out of Superior...however Altantic Salmon are very capable of doing well in high 60 degree water...and last Aug when I fished it the water was 72 degrees...and I can tell you those LLocks were as bad a$$ as they were when it was 55 60 degrees. I took a 15 pound dime bright adult that jumped 7 times(5 feet in the air)....and into my backing three times on the SR.....On June 23....at 10:30 AM in 67 degree water. These fish are very hearty....the key is to find a strain like they have in Huron that do well in our conditions. The Huron program is proof that it's posisble to create a full fledged sport fishery in the GL.
  2. Yeah Tom....Johnson is raising a few different strains at Tunison, truly not sure which one they've been favoring lately and will find out...I'll ask Fran today....but they've had better results of fish returning to the SR and sucessfully spawning....and like I said earlier unless those fish everybody was catching in 2010 when the AS catch kind of exploaded from what it had been the Canada fish couldn't have been that size....so they are either US stocked fish...or Wild Atlantic salmon. Everybody who sees the numbers realizes they aren't going to be a big player in this environment...but they have filled a gap some what for some Spring Summer trib fishing. Couple years ago (same 2010) ...there were actually a few hundred caught in Oct/Nov. at Pt Breeze up river. They were stocking I think about 5000 at the Harbor every year. Not sure if they still are or not. I've caught them trolling fun...but not nearly the same fish as in a river on the swing...or even a skated fly. Much like many people that trib and lake fish would prefer to catch a King in open water rather then in a river....
  3. Hey Chris.....I think I could guess which county might be lacking on promoting the fishery. I remember back in the 80's ...I'd have anglers coming in from out of town...as I set up their hotels for them...they'd say...hey we want to stay on the water. I'd be embarrased to tell them,. that there isn't a single room on the water in this county....closest they could get was Ridge Road. Here we are 30 years later.....and there still isn't (to my knowlege...possibly some B&B's) a hotel in this town on the water. At work I have fish pictures around...and people will say where the heck did you catch that big Steelhead (that is after I tell them what kind of fish it is)...and I point out the window at the Genny....and they think I'm full of @#*& The whole world is trying to bring back Atlantic Salmon fishing...any success has been in tiny little baby steps...but for some of us who cherish these fish simply for the sport that they are.....will continue to be OK with those tiny little steps...and keep pluggng away. After so many years of this....IMHO...the last thing anyone would ever have to worry about is a push to put Atlantic Salmon ahead of our Kings. Be good folks...have a safe start to the Lake fishing season.
  4. Gill....and others...NYS....and the Feds...were in this program WAY before the North Shore. We have always been messing around with Atlantic Salmon...the Canadaians just jumped in in earnest five years ago. If Canada said tomorrow....we are all done with AS...that isn't going to change what Jim Johnson and DEC are doing in NY. And anybody that thinks those adult Atlantics you've been catching the past couple years out there are Canadian fish....you are wrong...and in fact it was confirmed by Janet at the SOL in Rochester this past Tuesday night for those that were in attendance. Those fish you've caught are OUR fish...not Canada's. 2010 the numbers of lake caught fish started to be noticable...and into 2011. Those Tiny minnow Canada fish put in ..in 2007 and 8....couldn't be 7,8 10 pound fish two years later. Those are NYS fish. Atlantic salmon don't have nearly the faster growth rates that Chinook do. Guys...everybody is so leary of DEC and USGS having an Agenda to repalce or get rid of something else....and you all are afraid its King Salmon. All they are doing is running the program that started all this in 1968...which included work on native species. Go read the Mission Statement of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.....it's clearly including Lake Trout and Atlantic Salmon. I realize we always have things to worry about with the health of the fishery especially around the Bio mass...which is the life blood of this thing. And becasue we are human...and truly are a "Special Interest" group no matter if you fish the tribs the lake or both...we have strong opinions of how to run this thing. Yet we have a fishery that at least for me was producing fish since 1972...and today is better then it's ever been before...and yet we are still nailing the very people who provide the opportunity. Just once I'd like to go to the SOL meeting...and at the end...have everybody in the audience....and I was one of them...so I feel I can say this....Charter Capt's stand up....and applaud the Scientists that are before you...clap shake their hand...and say Thank you for your hard work.
  5. Well...there are anywhere from 7 to 10 million wild King salmon fry that hatch just in the salmon river....and only a fraction of them survive to become adult returning fish. If DEC put in 2.7 million Salmon king Fry....you wouldn't have the salmon fishing you have out there either. The Canadian's are putting 600,000 fish the size of your big toe nail. Big difference between a tiny minnow ...and a six seven inch fish that is about a month from ever being bait again...as opposed to a fry that is a target for over a year. Why Fry????...because to be successful in recreating native species...is to have them lock into being wild again... Gambler this is a different story then the Stock Restock game we play with the put and take fishery. In Canada ....the MNR's program is bolsted by a Whisky Comapany as well as Private groups like CRAA and in the US....federal Grants account for most of the investment, that are slated for just this program...and have been since about 1984. And believe it or not...there is a growing number of dedicated and very interested group of us that support this and volunteer to work on it...and truly enjoy a dime bright 15 pound muscle bound salmon that has just yanked your arm out of place is into your backing almost as fast as a False Albie.....and you find yourself looking up in the trees at a fish that has Tarpon air capabilities....and can get to eight feet above the water line doing a double twist two somersault with a half gainer back to the H2o.... That's Why. Not all the great fishing is only happening on LO in June....shhhhh....please don't tell anybody.
  6. Well it all depends on what you call significant. From no fish...to a few years of 2 to 3000 fish.....some might consider significant. Atlantic salmon returns are in flux all the time due to temps and weather. I think we all can agree we experienced some of the poorest water conditions for tributaries last summer and fall since the 1930's. And again one of the main reasons nobody should get all worried about Atlantic Salmon replacing any other fish.
  7. Gill-T.... DEC has been stocking Atlantic Salmon in Beaver Dam Brook, and Orwell Brook since the 80's. Atlantic salmon will always be part of the Greatlakes initiatives as part of restoring natural species...as is Lake Trout. The Canadians are putting tiny fry in the tribs on the north shore, not smolts. They have been studying the results of those natel streams to support the fry through to smolt stage. Understand Atlantic Salmon are unlike King Salmon they spend much longer in a trib to get to the same stage a king fry does from fry to smolt stage. I've been involved with this program a very long time with DEC and USGS...and they are in no way trying to replace Chinook Salmon. Much like the very popular and succesdsful Huron program Landlocks have created an Early summer, through fall tributary niche. In some years they have been very successful as a May June returner to the Salmon River. On the North shore, many of those tribs promote natural reproduction since they have base flows induced by many natural springs keeping those tribs cool enough to house wild steelehad and atlantic salmon. The Credit River is starting to see some significant returns through the very hard work of the Credit River Anglers Assoc. that by the way have planted over 500,000 tress since 1992 and reduced summer time water temps by 7 degrees in the upper river natel areas where these fish must summer over as fry to smolt stage. Right now they've been a by-catch for lake trollers....many have enjoyed them, but they are not a threat to Pacific Salmon stockings. The biggest reason you don't have to worry...is that the State nor the feds could afford to raise 2.7 million of them in captivity. They are THE hardest most expensive fish to raise successfully in a hatchery. It took the folks at Lake Superior State in Michigan 15 years to finally find a starin that was hearty enough to return in numbers as adults. So Why do this???? One it's a Great lakes mandates to try to restore native specieas...and we have this little thing called the trbutary fishery that has the largest angler effort for Lake Ontario. Not a threat at all...just another large group of anglers enjoying the resource. Will it be as big and successful as the St Mary's fishery.....I don't think so....as we'll never have the water quality as far as required water temps throughout the summer especially in our South Shore tribs. But it has been moderately successful. USGS handles this situation as the lead agency and works off some grants it has received from the Febs at Cornell. Tunison Labs will at max capacity be able to raise around 250K to smolt stage, and DEC is maxing out at about 120K? DEC is a suppliment partner in this...but I don't see this as any threat to the Pacific species. One or the main reasons to increase production is that for the first time in 150 years, DEC and USGS in the spring seining project that they talked about at SOL is they've recovered a significant number of WILD Atlantic Salmon Fry. So the one river that used to have the greatest landlock salmon returns on the planet is starting to breathe life to these magnificant fish again. Over all that is a pretty spectacular thing. It's no secrete that DEC and both our Lake and Trib anglers place the highest value on King Salmon in the systems...hence the high effort for them on the lake and in Sept. early Oct on the tribs. The majority of all anglers appear to be in the King Camp. Don't worry folks....your Kings are not going tobe de-throned.
  8. I've witnessed Chinook fry in Oak Oarchard in significant numbers in the Spring as well as nearby $andy. Not sure polution is as big a factor as decent spawning gravel and cool enough temps. The Genny is producing a significant number of sturgen since the DEC planted a few mature pairs. Unless the falls pool has spawning gravel, I don't think there is much opportunity for natural repo. But in the case of king salmon any trib to Lake Ontario is probably producing some if there is decent gravel, becaue normally water temps will be in the fry's safety range up until they are ready to migrate to open water. Spent the last three weeks on the Salmon. I've caught a significant number of Chinooks and 99% have been wild fish. This appears to be a very successful year class of wild adults. Not only are there a lot of them, they are huge. We just have to keep an eye on their body make up to see any teltale signs of forage troubles. I've read many threads on this board of Capt's and rec anglers alike stating the abundance of forage fish. I had the pleasure to tour and hang out with the USGS crew of the KAHO II a few weeks ago. Their finding plenty of forage, and more and more legacy critters who seem to be showing up that they haven't seen in abundance in quite some time. They were doing their Lake Trout adult study around Rochester and found a ton of fish and big ones. So many species appear to be doing well. Word out on the Canada tribs on the North shore...lots ...and lots of wild fish Salmon are showing up in the Genny and out west now, we'll see what transpires, but I would assume less wild fish by percentage then up east. We shall see.
  9. A very simple system of reviving fish that I used starting back in 1983...was to simply have a cooler filled with water....a second cooler with ice, and a simple stream thermometer. Especially in the Late June through Mid August time frame catching fish deep....we'd NOT let them bounce around on the floor of the boat....but if having to net the fish ...they went right into the water chamber. Tried to keep that water between 50 and 60 degrees ...not hard at all do do. Just add some ice as needed Never had a problem releasing any fish especially steelhead. They are much tougher then you think These are the same fish that get caught dozens of times between Oct. and the following May in rivers and streams. Fish would stablize in the chamber...usually with in 5 min, and back into the lake. No problem There are also great fish grabbing gloves out there....we use them in the rivers and streams so we can control thhe fish without hurting them. No reason not to have that glove one whne removing any fish form a net so it doesn't slip out of your hands and bounce all over the deck. Never hold a fish up vertically, the position moves their vital organs around plus they have a greater chance to squim out of your grasp. There truly isn't very many situations that responsible anglers can't sucessfully catch and release fish. These simple techniques work in the high 90 percent of the time.
  10. Back in the Mid 80's I started running the smallest Tuna spreaders I could get (From Offshore Angler). I'd wire a small dodger in the middle of the spreader, and then run hook-less flies or squids on the spreaders, and run a hooked fly or squid off the small dodger about 30 inches back of the dodger. Did well on Lake trout ....and in the fall just clobbered the kings on them on some days. You had to experiment...because some days as you all know...this put too much comotion in the spread. But it was cool to see this thing catch fish...and some days it really paid off. I still have a few of those spreaders left laying around. Might try them again soon.
  11. Was fishing the Charlotte pier last Sunday...for perch.....bright sunny day...and kings everywhere along the pier and off the beach chasing Niagara shinners...not a single boat trying that inshore water....water was still cool in there...some steelhead in there as well... This time of year the first few hours in the morning...I'd never drive past this inshore water without ripping some big j Plugs around the piers and along the beach....plus casting spoons from the desks of the piers. Just don't stand in one place...move up and down the piers.
  12. Yeah Tim...it truly is about survival....earlier in this thread I mentioned the St Mary's river Atlantic salmon program where they only put in 25K fish a year...and get returns in the 4 to 7K range....which is a fantastic return for so little stocked. Looks like maybe some of the exotics...like the spiney water flea...the Goobies....and this red mysis shrimp...could be contributing to bolstering the food web.....helping fish survival....who knows.....you guys may have to stop cursing the fleas on fishing rigs and rigger cables....
  13. Yup thanks Tim.....and what is the two year old catch look like....good numbers? Hear about shakers...and big boys....but have seen quite a few pics of 8 to 12...14 pound fish...maybe between the wild population and the stockers....the 2011 run won't be as bad as some think.
  14. YT....I understand your concern on the wild kings. I know a lot of Capt's...and Rec anglers alike assume that if we have 6 or 7 million fry that have hatched ....the king stocking will be lowered. I do not work for the DEC...but I'm working with them on many programs ...and while I won't even approach speaking for them....I think nothing is further from the truth....i.e. reducing stocking. if the size of the fish don't drop drastically......there is no reason to change anything. Just because we have a great hatch of wild fish doesn't mean they have a high survival rate. That's what the marking trailor will show us beginning in the fall of 2011. Take this year for instance....this group of adult kings are from the reduced stocking due to poor recruitment levels in 2007. The wild recruitment was terrible as well...because fish that did spawn naturally had little sucess along with the struggles getting fish to the hatchery. It's logical that this year class of adult most likely 2010 spawners are going to be bigger on avg. because there are less of them. While we have lots of shakers in the system...they don't on a daily basis eat as much forage as the big boys. What will be interesting to find out at some point...is if the wild fish are more diverse in their pray diets then stocked fish. These little wild fish have a smorgesboard of big giant stone flies to eat as juvies. This trend may carry over to the lake. I know of fly anglers in Huron...that catch wild kings on dry flies in the harbors in early fall. So it's possible wild fish may be more diverse then stocked fish in eating to grow. I've seen in the past few years on river returning fish....in my best guess to a wild fish VS a stocked one...the wild fish are a tad longer but leaner. fully filled out......while stockers seem to be stubby and bigger shoulders....but that's pure guess work...and looking at the condition of their fins. I wouldn't jump the gun that if we have say 30% of the returning adults confirmed wild fish....that there is going to be any changes....heck if 80% are wild....as long as over all the avg size doesn't change much....their is no reason to change stocking numbers. I'm around these guys....they are weary of fish health......winner winner chicken dinner...if we have millions of adult fish...and the food web can sustain them.....and if it starts to show wear and tear....they'll make adjustments..but believe me you'll want them to..... LO is the only Salmon fishery in the great lakes that hasn't suffered a total crash.....and it's largely due to the top notch fishery managers and biologists we have in the regions across the lake.
  15. YT....the last native fishable populations of Atlantic Salmon went away in the mid to later 1800's. The biggest culprite was the loss of habitat. Many of our rivers were used for Grist and flower mills along with the true start of the industrial reveloution. There was also evidence of over harvest by commercial and native fishhermen. I've never read any research that suggested a lack of forage was also at play. Atlantic Salmon are very susceptible to pollution and habitat changes.....which has been the biggest issue along with over harvest for the Ocean running fish. Once habitat has been compromised in a negative way....it's been very difficult to reverse the environment to where Salmon can flurish again. It's way to early to tell what increased populations of A salmon will do to the food web.....but we've had since the late 90's when the summer flows treaty was enacted on the Salmon River.....millions of wild kings inroducted through successful hatching from the base flows. Yet the food web continues in it's ebbs and flows....that seems to sustain an extra loading of fish to the system. Each step I take in the Salmon river in May and June....riles dozens of baby king salmon they are every where. We'll know soon enough what the mix is of wild and stocked fish.....this will be some of the most valuable research data collected in some time. Everybody has their own thoughts on the species of fish we have. IMHO....I hope we can start to retain fishable populations of a legacy species....this effort needs cooporation ...from Sport fishing anglers.....giving them a chance...and the essence of John's Note to start this thread. There are groups of anglers...that have done some unbelieveable things to support wild Atlantic and Steelhead programs. CRAA....has planted close to 500,000 trees on the credit river in the western basin....and led a movement with 50,000 home owners whose property borders the river to divert their rain water to their lawns...instead of storm sewers that empty into the river causing silt formations that plug up spawning gravel.... On the Salmon River we've begun to plant 1000's of trees the last several years ourselves to promote habitat improvements to erroding stream banks...and hopefully someday create shading that will lower water temps...that will promote wild repo. This will help not only steelhead and A Salmon...but King salmon...and there has even been success found of Coho salmon in this environment. Only Man can turn things around for all these fish. It's truly not as simple as put and take. Budgets are slim and getting slimmer....we better look for ways to not only have to rely on Gov't funded fish. Not trying to sound corny ....but this is a 12 month a year fishery....and hands down again IMHO.....the best fresh water year round fishery on the planet.....all anglers both lake and trib fishermen need to work together to maintain that year round world class environment. Take care of the fish.....and they will take care of you.
  16. Thanks YT...Ray.....I love King Salmon.....and have fished for them from here to Alaska.....but for me...there is no fish that fights like an Atlantic salmon. Now having said that....I've caught plenty of them on the lake up to about 18 pounds...way back in the late 80's early 90's...and they were explosive.....up in the air...and reel screaming runs...but if you ever get a mid teens of bigger fish to grab a fly or a lure with the rod in your hand......I dare say you will never forget it. Two years ago...on the St Mary's river.....at 7 PM in the evening ...on what was a hot July Day...in the mid 80's.....now cooling as the SUN got lower in the sky...the neat thing about that place is the water from Superior is dumping down past you...which never warms up ...past the high 50's.......I walked down to this pool...nobody around...just me and this piece of water....that was about 150 foot wide....it cascaded over a boulder field....with frothy energy....and widened into a pool that was like a plate of maple syrup. Ray I know you do some trib fishing...it's one of those places...that you know as you walk up holds a fish...or two. This water required me to work my way across it...because there were a couple nice holding seams close to me....before this pool ran mid river. I'm using a 14 foot English style two handed fly rod (Spey Rod) ....and a fly I designed to look like a smelt...which is the chief forage prey in Huron...as far as bait fish go......I made three or four casts covering the near shore water.....and then it was time to cover the pool's far side..... I uncorked a 120 foot cast to catch the frothy water just outside the smooth seam...and on this cast the hair raised on the back of my neck...as I truly envisioned that when my fly reached the Apex of this swing...it was going to happen.....envision the last ditch throw at the end of the football game...the wide reciever comes open deep...the QB has time to uncork the throw,.....the crowd raises to their feet with the ball in the air as they anticipate the TD...and KAAAAABOOOM !!!!! this beast of a fish in the 20 pound range grabs the fly so hard that even though I anticipated the take.....he jerked me forward.....I quick set up on him...and he came out 8 FEET in the air....way over my head...he screams out of the pool and deep into my backing..... Now Atlantic salmon don't really like to leave the pool....so i took some tension off him...and he turned around and ran right back at me.....we slugged it out for a few more minutes...with him going airborn twice more........but I stay connected.....now I have him like a puppy dog on a leash...leading him to the shallows....I'm by myself...but this is a pure silver mint dime fresh 20 pound fish from the lake...and I need to get a pic...against my rod for scale...to show my buddies...who are a mile down stream....... I pick this little channel to lead him into...this fish is mine...the guys are going to be silly with envy when they see this fish pic......Ahhh...but Mr. Atlantic Salmon had other idea's...like Rocky....turning to Mick...."I ain't go'in down no more Mick" ....this fish decides to run UP river...burying my shooting head on the Scandi line I was throwing into that frothy water that is running at about 7 MPH....and up he comes...Not once....but four times ....8 feet over my head......he was out of the water the milisecond he'd finished each jump......on the fourth jump with me still struggling to get the head out of the current he snapped 20 pound test like silly string...and was GONE! My fly line is flapping in the cool evening breeze....down stream....I'm in shock....as to the power of this fish.....I sat on a rock for about 30 minutes.....and just started smiling and laughing like a fool all by myself...talking to nobody. As I walked back to the truck...my buddies were back as well...they took one look at me...and from 100 feet away...they knew something special had happened to me...as I was babbling like an idiot.....and white as a ghost....... That's what these fish are.....and I hope we can all work together to help them have our place in this fishery... Thanks for the opportunity to tell my story....
  17. YT....Atlantic Salmon...like steelhead are way more diverse in their forage habbits. There are many study results...that show adult Atlantic Salmon still target on a daily basis aquatic insects. The fish we see in the rivers right now...have plenty of prey fish to eat...yet they are locked in to insects....and on a daily basis are eating Duns.....probably spinners when they fall after dark...and emergers all day long. The big lake is a huge food source for acquatic prey....and remember Atlantic salmon are also able to handle a wider band of temps in the lake...and will forage on not only smelt and Aliwife, but other forage prey fish in warmer temp zones. In both Huron and Michigan where forage crashes greatly affected the Pacific salmon ....Steelhead still survived and even flurished because they will eat a bug as easily as eating a prey fish. Atlantic salmon are a very similar animal.
  18. John....thanks for all the work the CRAA is doing....and associated groups in Canada....and I enjoyed fishing with you last week on the SR. One thing everybody should realize...that the high teens ...and 20+ pound fish you are seeing...are most likely NY stocked fish from the salmon river do to the timing of the Canada program....their fish ....are more then likely the low teens...and cookie cutter fish. We have seen significant arrivals of big Atlantic Salmon in NY waters this season..... Jim Johnson of the USGS is the program leader for the NY side and works in conjunction with DEC on our program. Jim has been awarded some pretty lucreative grant money to expand his reserach facilities...These fish are doing very well in river elements right to the low 70's in water temps.....and while not advised to fish to them when the water is that warm.....they can survive. We've enjoyed fishing for them from May through this time frame...with decent success...in river systems. An example of a fishery that has made it is the Hurion program where only 25K Salmon are stocked by lake Superior State University...and they have now since about 2004...enjoyed a return of adult fish in several year classes...in the range of 5K to 7000 fish to the St Mary's river. So in some systems....it isn't necessary to stock a huge amount of fish to get a very fishable return. In Huron...they now have both a lake trolling fishery and river fishery where anglers can actually target these fish. This program took nearly 20 years to finally get running....with how difficult it is to raise a strain in captivity that will respond to the present Great lakes systems. Finally.....last year...for the first time in over 100 years DEC in their spring netting of wild kings in the Salmon River...found several dozen WILD Atlantic salmon. With the base flow treaty ....not only is there tons of success with king salmon...but it seems the Atlantic Salmon returning to spawn through the summer and fall...are having some limited success. I'm not a total C&R angler....but rather a selected harvest angler. As a lake fisher for over 40 years....I'm well aware of fish being mortally wounded in catching...and also believe that part of the herritage of fishing is to choose to harvest some of your catch. In the case of Steelhead and Atlantic salmon...and brown trout.,..these are fish that support the fishery 12 months a year.....with Sept. through April...having many of those fish located in river systems....and in the case of Atlantic salmon they can be found in river systems 12 months a year. Steelhead were brought to the Great lakes in the late 1880's...and actually were still flurishing in some systems on LO before the stocking programs started. A very good friend of mine ...who is now with the DEC...was cathcing steelhead in the salmon river in the early 60's as a nine year old. Atlantic salmon are our herritage....and while all the fish we fish for have their place....I hope we can all get behind supporting the return of these great fish. Personally...catching them on a fly in a river....has been my greatest thrill in fresh water.....they fight like no other fish ....and they are THE most challenging....and why people pay a kings ransom to fish for them in Iceland and Russia...let alone the Maritimes and Europe. And we have them here....for pennies on the dollar. As John has asked.....let's get behind our herritage....where LO had the greatest Atlantic salmon fresh water fishery on the planet at one time. I along with John....would like to thank all of you who have posted with support of this effort. Tight Lines.
  19. It is now 10 years since I ran my last trip. Capt'ed my own boat from 1980 until 1999. Only left the business because as CBish pointed out as the most important factor in your choices ...that family comes first. I have a daughter who is/was a marvolous athlete...and I chased her around from Virgina to Maine watching her play soccer and basketball.....and I don't regret selling the boat and my service for 1 second. I too started charter fishing at a pretty young age.....wrote for several magazines...including the Original Great Lakes Fisherman..that is now Great lakes Angler. As a kid...my dad and I fished the 1000 Island for bass and Musky's...and we used real classic fishing guides....and I always looked up to those guys. The fishing was always wonderful, but is was the fabric of the guides that made the experience some of the best memories of my life. The stories...and their attention to not only fishing detail but they understaood the legacy and history of the environment they worked in. When i started guiding...I didn't have a lot of great stories yet...but I put the time in to understand the still very young trout and Salmon fishery of the Great lakes...by also understanding the trials and tribualtions of trout and salmon of the west coast...and I got very involved with DEC on the management of the fishery. Having knowledge about methods of fishing is highly important as a guide...but also having knowledge of the environment you work in is monumental...and I was determined to be able to speak intellengently about fishing and the fish and where they lived. Because half of the metal one should have as a guide is the ability to teach. If you have spent time teaching somebody to fish...and how to do it right...and respect the environment in which these fish swim....THEY WILL REMEMBER YOU...for the rest of their lives. Stories.....many of you Like Larry and Jerry (Rebel) have now been at it pushing 30 years....in my 19 years I had everybody from just over the poverty line folks who scrapped up enough money to take the kids fishing...to Multi millionaires who came aboard with Cavier and the best champaine. Mine and My Dad's worsty nightmare - My dad was a soldier for 20 years of his life...and his Sgt Major in his company was also his best boyhood friend. One day the Sgt major's daughter called me up and wanted me to take her dad and her husband fishing for Father's day. Father's day!!!! What does that mean folks....mid June...transition time on the lake. Late transition...and we might still have the thermal bar...and be able to find bows and kings. Early transition...we might have a thermalcline established and be on fish...or we might be in Transition the worst thing that could happen and have a mix of temps and fish scattered all over the place. Of course we were in full blown transition...surface temps in the high 50's and 50 degree's 100 foot down. One huge blanket of stale water trying to stabilize from 10 foot of water to 600 foot. And I fished it ALL....i was everywhere looking for fish. To date...i had never been out and NOT had at least a few fish bite. I had failed to get a fish over the gunnels less then a handful of times probably 10 years into my fishing carrer...but never a 0-0. But this was the day. Five hours into it we are keeping ourselves amused by killing the dam dear flies that come out that time of year and bite you in the ankles. Five hours in...I called it...DEATH was something like 13:00 hours.....told the Sgt I'd bring him back on me another day. Imagine my total deflation when I talked to my dad that night...because he was eger to hear how we did. I told him the story...he staretd laughing...he said that @#$% Sgt @#$%^ is still a jinx. They were stationed in Alaska for two years...and every weekend he and my dad would go fishing for salmon, trout ...char....only my dad caught all the fish....the Sgt Major stationed in Alaska for two solid years had never caught a fish there. I was RELIEVED.....took the Sgt out a couple weeks later once the lake was set up...and five minutes in broke the Jix with a 25 pound salmon. Story #2 - Can't you catch any SMALL FISH - I had this guy call me mid July....wanted to take his son and grandson out fishing half day...just wanted to see the 7 year old little guy catch a trout or salmon. I said great let's go. They show up...Grandad was a big guy about 6'6'....his son wasn't into fishing at all and had no intention of fighting a fish...and then the grandson...typical seven year old kid. July Sandy was great salmon fishing in the 80's....and I had been hitting the kings on a regular basis off the drop at Braddocks lighthouse point....But this kid was pretty little so I figured we'd go out off the Green Can at the shaols...and hook up an LT or brown trout and have some fun. I roll into the slot...and get set up. have a diver out...and it takes off while I'm setting the second line...right away i know it's a nice king....I had a harness on board for kids and ladies who were not used to fighting big powerful fish....strapped the kid in...but with a 10 foot dipsey road...the diver and a 20 pound + king...it was just a matter of minutes Gramps and I knew...this first fish was too much for him...so Gramps took the rod...while his son and grandson watched. I continued to set some rigs and gramps winched and groaned and got this silver beast to the net....they didn't want the fish...so I left her in thhe water...twisted the spoon free and off she went...I no sooner put the net down when the starboard outdown....started screaming...I looked at Gramps...who looked at his son.....we both already looked past his grandson....his son...said no thanks dad...sso gramps still out of breath from the 20 pounder started in on the next fish. Few minutes later he lands a 25 pounder.....click a picture...release the fish.....start to set the rod and the port stern rigger is nose down tip in the water SCREAMING with a third salmon..and I haven't even had a chance to turn around and go back through my LORAN coordinates...(that's right...no GPS yet).....this is a HEAVY fish....gramps is sweating...and I'm worried Gramps might keel over on me...so he grabs the rod...but turns to me and SNEARS....CAN"T YOU CATCH A SMALL FISH FOR MY GRANDSON??????? A little while later he lands a 32 pound silver hen....just full of it....slumps down in the boat....and says No MASS. I do miss the people....but I've always said the only people that work harder then fishing guides are farmers. I'm very happy to fish for fun and not for pay anymore....
  20. I think we have to take into account the fact that for the past 8 years the DEC has been doing a yearly seining study on the salmon river in May and June. capturing wild king salmon smolts working their way to lake Ontario. I've participated in this study. Other then the spring of I think 2003...where the fall of 2002 was very dry and poor natural reproduction...Cape Vincent Biologist Dr Mike......(can't think of his last name at the moment...get over 50...and the memory starts to leave you) has detailed results that says between 3 and 6 million smolts successfully hatch out of the Salmon river. This is due to since 1998 the base flow agreements with the power companies that have run the powerstation up in Altmar. Doesn't make sense to me that all of this great fishing is only due to the 1.6 million fish that are planted. I truly believe Pen rearing has been succeessful...but combine that with a shot in the arm of another (on Avg. 3.5 million salmon smolts.....you are going to have even with a 2 or 4% survival rate three and four year classes of fish that raise the total in the lake by several thousands. The alewife population fluxuations are legendary on our lake...they get real low...but they bouince back. Wild fish in any species...and I've had the pleasure of fishing for many wild species in Canada and Alaska....are historicaly much better at survying poor food web situations then stocked fish. Funny that with only 100 CFS of water running out of the salmon river they are getting solid pushes of fish daily right now into 70 degree water...while the rest of the warm water rivers are not. I believe these are wild salmon...that are much more tolerent of the natural conditions then the stocked fish....and they run regardless of the river temp. We won't know for sure until we get into the new tagging routine that DEC is lobbying to employ if they get to spend some of the Hooker Chem money....where they can tag all the stocked fish without handling them...and use the same scanner whne the fish come back as adults to see if they are wild or stocked. My theory is that we probably have more adult wild fish then stocked fish now. Wild fish in this kind of stressed system will survive to adulthood better then stocked fish...they will be smaller...but their numbers will be decent. There is a Salmon River lake ontario strain of king salmon...and they will survive food web fluxuations....and in doing so will fluxuate in their size as well. On a wet fall...and wet spring many streams on the south shore have produced wild fish...including our Sandy Creek. DEC the past two years have also netted a significant number of now wild COHO salmon....hows the Coho fishing been ????????? Soooo...what I'm saying...we have many more salmon then we plant...a higher % wild then one would guess...that naturally won't grow on Avg. per year class as big...but survive better in stressful conditions....and create a sound fishery.
  21. Fireplug...FWIW.....with the cold water up-welling....we have right now...the Summerville pier would be good. Today...At The Oak reported kings rolling all over the inshore waters at oak orchard....so you can fish those piers...but it's 40 minutes west down the parkway.
  22. Hi lavar....looks like you have some updated info. It's been a long time since i was jigging up trout on LO...but we used Salt water style jigs and Back in the day the Catalog for Offshore Angler (part of the Bass Pro corp)....had plenty of jigs from 1/2 ounce to the stuff we used. I would think they have a catalog on line. We used 12 pound test...back in those days i used 12 pound test for everything...but no fleas in those days....I liked Ande' line because it has very little stretch...but you want a little give. We jigged with the boat rods which were 9' ugly sticks...but again...if you are working under 100 foot of water...a nice 7 or 8' rod ...with a fast action butt...power flex mid section...and a soft or slow tip would be ideal. You have to set it hard when down deep...and those hard mouths. I've caught 1000's of fish trolling...and I enjoy it...but there is no more fun way to catch fish...then to get them to take a bait...while the rod is in your hand...Night and day. if i get back into boating on the lake again some day...I will absolutely perfect chasing trout and salmon with mooching...or jigging gear....if you can perfect that style...you won't be dragging lures around. We used to fish the canyons of LO during the thermo bars...locate schools of steelhead...then break out the fly tackle and catch them near the surface stripping a streamer...in 600 foot of water....man that was off the hook... I actually hat steelies raise to a Bumble Bee dry fly i tied....out deep. Crazy fun....just have to be willing to learn and try other tactics.
  23. Yes it can be done...and has been done...and your finger lakes training will help you out. I have a friend...who used ot post on this board in the fingerakes section..."BigGuy'....he's jigged up some kings this time of year in open water. Most good jig fishermen are using "Flasher" units ...so they can locate fish...and on the flasher you can see the fish and your jig...and actually watch the fish move to the jig. A couple years ago Toby hung three or four kings in ther high teens to low 20's...using this method. Simply located some big hooks in open water...Off Sandy BTW out about 150 foot of water and had at em. Using flukes, or soft plastics. Back in the 80's we've jigged for lakers off sandy...caught one down about 250 foot once....4 ounce jig used in Flaming Gorge Utah. I tell ya...if the fishermen ever gave jigging a chance...and worked at it...and you felt those fish grab a bait...trolling would not be the method of choice to catch these fish. Now you are 1v1 with the fish start to finish.
  24. Nice going Joe....looks like my old stomping grounds is holding a lot of leader board fish. I was out there a couple weeks ago...on a shake down cruise in a little 14 foot LOWE.....no gear on it yet...(not my boat either)..and running out of Sandy brought back a rush a great memories.... Have to get back into it some day...right now...running all over North America with a fly rod in my hand fishing from Mexico to Alaska...great fun...but I do miss the lake fishery and especially Sandy Creek. Good luck in the LOC...probaby see you this fall some time.
  25. BP...you should get a lot of feed back here from folks who've spent a lot of time on the water. I did some exhaustive studies on this subject over the last 35 years on LO.....Cold fronts essentially means Barometric changes...and in the case of an approaching cold front a steep drop depending how fast it's moving. My experience is easily put this way. T&S are affrected by an approaching front....and in the case of T&S...I can say as many times as they've negatively been affected...I've had them turn on. I have documented days...when the front gets in over us...and I've litterly had five rods bounce free all at once... If they are on the bite and the front comes in....I've had them shut down... Fish will move on the front as well...so they are "Active'...but the activity might be simply they are repositioning in the water column....and many times I've had them move a little further off shore...so if you can fish through the front...and you've lost the bite...i start to work north and run North and South ovals...to locate them again. So my answer...is they are affected...can be a positive or Neg affect...but they will be doing something for sure...not just siting there so to speak...but running for cover or repositioning...from the affect of the pressure drop. As you know bass...go deeper....but they can be caught on the cold front...just follow them out...many times the same thing for me on the T7S.
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