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  1. Harbor free of ice everywhere I could see
  2. You know if it was up to me I’d tow every day we could in the winter. Shakedown is scheduled for mid March, still a bunch of maintenance to finish. I’m getting anxious to get out there! If that warm, early spring indeed happens we will be set up for good/great Alewife reproduction this year.
  3. Tom, I am glad you asked and you are absolutely correct that many of the initial predictions for the impacts of eating fleas were negative. And yes, you did see pictures of preyfish stomachs with LOTS of spines in them (that still happens) . But since those predictions in early/mid 2000s we have had over 10yrs and have observed increased Alewife growth and then more variable growth. See Fig 8 in that report, the changes in weight at age are striking. When we line up the timing pattern of those ups (and downs) in growth they match up incredibly well to the annual patterns in flea abundance. Preyfish diets also suggest when fleas are abundant the fish are eating fleas late into the fall, likely extending their growing season relative to what was available when the fleas were not present. And while fleas are not the most energetically nutritious zooplankton, they are many times bigger then the zooplankton alewife were previously eating. One way I think of it is they are compressing the energy from small zooplankton into a larger, more efficient to eat, package. This idea that size of prey Alewife eat influencing growth has been observed and suggested in L. Mich. I need to qualify that this work is still ongoing. We are double checking these patterns are consistent make sense, but the current thinking is fleas have a positive effect on LO preyfish growth. In studying and discussing Alewife I try not to talk in absolutes, but rather have multiple possible explanations for the observed patterns. As we get more observations and data, those data support some of those explanations more than others. This increases our confidence in out conceptual understanding how the system works, but almost never conclusively proves one idea over another. Critical to this process is to constantly reevaluate our ‘conceptual model’ for how the system is working with different sources of data. This is one of the reasons the preyfish group has engaged anglers who are on the water a lot,to understand where their observations matches or sometimes don’t fit our conceptual understanding. Where they don’t fit is where we often learn new things. Tom thanks for asking, my previous reply should not have been so short and definitely should have acknowledged how our thinking on fleas has changed. Time For me to stop with my science blather and go watch some internet deer hunting videos. bw
  4. Alewives do eat fleas but unfortunately do not grow big & healthy eating them as they have very low nutritional value. The idea that LO Alewife growth is diminished by 'fleas' is not well supported by the results illustrated in Figure 8 of this report: http://www.glfc.org/pubs/lake_committees/ontario/2019_preliminary_status_of_Lake_Ontario_Alewife.pdf
  5. Awesome video as always. A great way to promote the fishery! I was most interested in you screens! In your experience is that typical to seethe Alewife on the bottom this time of year off Toronto ? I’m always curious about the timing of when Alewife head to bottom in fall/winter and if they stay on bottom once they are there or if they are just finding the warmer water as the lake flips. What was the final tally of Meat vs Rocket? bw
  6. The Fish Community Objectives document Lucky linked to is a great source for Understanding Lake Ontario fisheries. Another easy place to find information is this page: http://www.glfc.org/lake-ontario-committee.php. Besides having the documents Lucky posted it has links to other reports and recorded presentations. Each Great Lake has a page like this, they are great sources of info about fisheries & mgmt. rdebadts- I definitely hear u about the spatial “holes” in the trawl survey, we are trying to fill it all in. If you look at old reports you’ll see the survey historically only sampled to Olcott. We added the Bar transect and extended it deeper when the survey went whole lake. North shore still has the biggest unsampled areas & we have a trawl site recon mission for the Brighton area planned. That said, the survey indicies are lakewide averages, weighted by lake area, so even if a relatively small unsampled area has a higher Alewife abundance it , it doesn’t change the average lakewide abundance as much a you might think. I learn a ton out of the questions and comments posted on this site (thank you hosts & mods). I try to think about all our survey work like this Edmund Burke quote: “He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper”. Don’t stop the thoughtful critiques!
  7. Sorry, there were some details missing from my previous question. Lake Ontario scientists are discussing ways we might index juvenile (age0) salmon. This is all just in the discussion phase. We have some field obervations but few of the historic surveys sample in ways we would expect to catch them. We're reading literature from the west coast surveys and Lake Michigan. We realize anglers try NOT to catch them, but we figured someone might have some opinions or ideas where they commonly encounter these small kings (12 inches or so) in late August, September, November. We are wondering what depths and what lake regions you have observed these small Kings. Feel free to PM me if you don't feel like posting. Thanks to Capt V, GillT for some great ideas. Thanks in advance, bw
  8. Ah, ok wrong use of shaker. We are wondering where, if ever, folksget those smaller ones? Do those have a name? We are reviewing habitat and methods other people use to catch that size in the fall. In the pacific they mostly mega trawls that Can sweep surface down to 60’ with one trawl.
  9. Let’s hypothetically say you were trying to catch shaker kings in Lake Ontario in September, where would you troll? What depth or temperature? Offshore or nearshore? West, east? What baits would you use? By shaker, I mean the 6” - 12” fish that were either stocked or came out of the streams this spring. I realize no one targets them, but has anyone witnessed a pattern where they frequently run into these sized King’s in fall? Thanks in advance for any ideas, bw
  10. Legacy thanks for posting the report link. The 2019 report is meant to be ‘just the facts’. If anyone is interested in More details on how survey are conducted check out the annual reports that can be found here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html and here: http://www.glfc.org/loc_mgmt_unit/ The scientists learn a lot by reading the different observations posted on these forums. Questions posted here help everyone to learn more!
  11. Got out with family and friends fishing with father in-law (Mike’s Vice) on Thursday am. Fished west of harbor, 24 line to 27 line, best was 25 to 26. Fish came anywhere from 35’ down to 75’ down, most were on the deeper end . 2face SD on dipsey with meat took the most , but riggers with spoons took a few as well. I think we were 8 for 10by the time we ran from the storm, mostly matures, ~20 lb. Highlight was watching my buddies 6 yr old land his first LO Kings. He reeled in almost all of them. Keep an eye out for him, he lives and breathes all things fishing! Good times hanging with the folks from North of the Ridge Campground & the Black North. Fleas were tolerable, bw
  12. The meeting’s webpage: http://iaglr.org/iaglr2019/ yes, anyone can go to the meeting
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