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  1. tmag

    Dead Fish-Seneca

    VHS was detected / confirmed in the Canal back around the time we reference but never "confirmed" in the lake proper, so to speak. The unfortunate thing was that there were so many sick pike caught but none gotten to the DEC. Historically, as a community of fishermen, I think we tend(ed) to assume the DEC was aware or knows about whatever may be happening on the water. The reality is that they are spread thin and they do need & want our feedback & participation. Presently, it would appear that, at minimum, Seneca Lake suffers from the following: -- Lamprey infestation which has significantly affected the trout fishery and could include the largest of pike which become coldwater dwellers after reaching a certain size -- Most likely, VHS has knocked out a significant portion of the esocid fishery (i.e. pike & pickerel) -- There has been an explosion of bait especially alewife. This, too, is a problem because alewife predate heavily upon perch fry and also contain the thiaminase enzyme which negatively affects trout growth. However, that is not to say that there isn't something else going on. From just about every angler I speak to, the story seems to be the same: "the fishing is not good on Seneca" And this is across the board from bass fishermen, to trout fishermen, to perch fishermen, to the pike / pickerel fishermen.
  2. tmag

    Dead Fish-Seneca

    And 'Never Ends' description of the red splotches on pike sounds exactly like what we saw 8-10 years ago just prior to the pike die off which sounds like VHS.
  3. tmag

    Dead Fish-Seneca

    Actually, if you catch a fish that is sick, Cornell & the DEC need them. Keep the fish alive, if possible, until they are taken away.
  4. tmag

    Seneca dead fish

    Hey Guys, I received the following from Brad Hammers earlier today: "I also believe lamprey may be having an impact on fish in Seneca Lake. We were delayed treating Catharine Creek by a year and a half due to weather issues and subsequent high flows. And then when we did treat we may not have been as successful as we hoped because of really low flows…couldn’t catch a break during that time span. We are scheduled to treat this coming June and hopefully that will have a major impact on the population. Lampreys seem to target browns and Atlantics first and then lake and rainbow trout. So, to answer your questions regarding when northern population declined, they had plenty of other things to eat. I don’t really thing of lamprey having a huge effect on northerns as they typically attack other species, but I’m sure they can have a minor role in there mortality. " As for the panfish, bullhead, etc. which have been mentioned, it would not appear their mortality would be attributed to lamprey attacks. To second the others on this thread: if you can obtain a sick fish, get them to the DEC, Cornell or a conservation officer speaking of which, below are contact for two: Joshua Crain - 315-775-7168 RJ Gross - 315-408-6086 The are both with Region 8
  5. tmag

    Seneca dead fish

    Hey All, For what it's worth, I'm a member of the Keuka Lake Assocation and the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Assocation along with a couple of other things. Not that any of that matters much to you but I have been at some of the meetings over the past year where both Keuka College and the DEC gave presentations. That being said, I'll throw in my 2 cents coupled up with some personal experience over past decade or so. Forgive me for the long response but I suppose the more information shared is better than less. Tried to keep it relatively organized. First, nice video on pg. 3 of this thread where the scientist from Hobart College speaks. Similarly, on pg. 5, shaneo19 has some nice posts along with jerktroller who also mentions Keuka College & the DEC. Anybody else notice an issue with the pike & pickerel? Those of you who have fished the lake over the past 10-15 years probably noted that the pike population really exploded 10-12 years ago. Then, almost in one year, it plummeted. In the late winter prior to their decline, almost every pike I caught had red splotches on them. Not holes from lamprey. We saw some of that too. What I'm referring to are areas of their skin where the color had all washed out leaving only what looked like the fish equivalent to a brush burn. If you've ever seen photos of fish with VHS, it appears eerily similar. Some historical considerations: Sk8man, on pg. 5, mentioned how the waters on Seneca had become more turbid as we moved from the 50s & 60s into more recent decades. Weed growth declines as water clarity decreases. Less light penetration = less photosynthesis = less plant growth. Pike fishing declined as we moved from the 70s into the 80s. Why is this? Ahh... pike eggs have an adhesive. They stick to the weeds. No weeds means the eggs go into the mud and considerably fewer survive. Zebra mussels arrive and the waters clear. Light penetration increased significantly. Lo and behold, there is an explosion of weed growth. With the weeds so, too, come an increase of warm water fishes. The weedy environment is more hospitable to them. Weeds provide hiding places for juvenile fish. However, with the zebra mussels also came less productive water. They are filter feeders. Notice how your smelt are gone? Yeah, those zebra mussels outcompeted them. Also consider that the lake, just like a piece of land, can only produce so much. You can't plant 10 acres worth of corn on one acre of land. In other words, however ever many tons of invasive mussel species there are in the lake would probably be about how many more tons of smelt and alewife, etc. existed prior to their introduction. Thiaminase: Don't believe this enzyme and the associated disruption of the vitamin B process in salmonoids matters? Here's a scientific paper that discusses the topic in great detail: https://www.fws.gov/midwest/Fisheries/scientific-pubs/p-2005-3.pdf Of course, you can just skip most of it and scroll down to the "Conclusions" section at the end Agriculture: While there has been an explosion of agriculture, which can include vineyards, along the lake(s) over the past 20-30 years, I tend to agree with some of the other posters here that it would not seem to align with the recent, abrupt decline. Of course, there is the possibility that the majority of farms, etc. switched to some new product but there is no evidence of such. Similarly, the presentations which I saw earlier this year discussed that the the water quality in the lakes was generally very good. However, they also stated that the lakes would not be as historically productive due to the impact these invasive species have had. The ecosystem has changed. Now, back to that pike problem The DEC did confirm VHS in the canal as well as Conesus Lake but not in Seneca Lake proper. It's a pity none of us got any of those sick pike over to the DEC / Cornell. Let's, for a moment, consider that VHS or whatever it was, caused the abrupt decline of esocids in the lake. Let's also consider the explosion of alewife that folks on here have mentioned. Did you know that alewife predate heavily on perch fry? I didn't... until recently. So now you'd have a lake with few esocids (i.e. few predators keeping those hordes of alewife out of the shallows) but also loaded with minnow-based forage that predate heavily on panfish fry. Sound like this could be our lake? From time-to-time over the past 8-10 years, there have been days where maybe I've caught 5-7 pike & pickerel in combination. As I'm generally a catch-n-release angler, I couldn't tell you what was in their stomachs but what I can tell you is that they were absolutely gorged. These fish tended to be visibly fatter than those that I had caught, say, 10+ years ago. Not that those that I had caught in the past were not well-fed fish. The pike & pickerel in Seneca have, generally, always been fast growing, thick fish. The few that I encounter in recent years are just stuffed. It is ironic that so many fishermen complained about the pike and pickerel not understanding that, similar to lions on the Serengeti, they help to weed out the sick, weak and injured. Predators usually improve the genetic quality of this fish population. Predators, Perch, etc.: In my opinion, this points to an over-abundance of bait and a scarcity of predators. Some have also mentioned that, in the past, when bait increased, the bite decreased. This would make sense as the fish would be less active / hungry. The DEC has mentioned this too. As for Keuka, the DEC said there was a recent decline in the alewife population. Not surprisingly, the perch seem to be doing well in Keuka. Both Keuka and Cayuga (especially the north end), are loaded with pickerel but they tend to be much thinner than those I've encountered in Seneca. During the presentation at Keuka College, the DEC expressed concern over the rainbow population. They believe that the young rainbow trout entering the lakes from the streams as juveniles are being predated upon more heavily than in the past. Salinity: Here's a .pdf of a slideshow that details a variety of nutrient-related topics on Seneca Lake: http://senecalake.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Halfman-SLPWA-Annual-Mtg-9-14-16.pdf Similar to the charts in the above document, this paper also mentions that the salinity has actually decreased: https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2007AM/finalprogram/abstract_131360.htm While salinity has apparently decreased over the decades since their peak, some have expressed concern over the lack of testing: http://senecalake.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/2015-11-23-Letter-to-DOH-on-Sodium.pdf Keep sharing information: In any event, I hope that the above information is helpful to our discussion both on here and externally. Meanwhile, I guess we can continue to hope for tighter lines in the future
  6. tmag

    35lb musky

    Have to agree with muskiedreams here. I see some of the responses claim the fish wasn't handled / measured... then how do they know it was 35lb? When I see all the snow on that fish, it is also concerning. Why? Because if temps below freezing, the fish's gills can freeze which kills them. They can't breath. The gills tend to be very delicate on ALL fish and pulled out into sub-freezing temps can cause a lot of damage, believe it or not. Why not just pop it up off in the hole with a hookout or a pair of pliers? Probably because they wanted the pic (LOL)
  7. Much love Ronix http://www.thenextbite.tv/articles/catch-release-compilation-information
  8. It is a shame that the state doesn't have some form of slot limit on these large fish. The bigs are the oldest and most successful fish in the system. They lay many times the number of eggs of smaller fish; great breeders. The recent pike die-off on Seneca certainly has not helped. One can only hope that such adventures return.
  9. tmag

    Largest Pike this winter?

    When the air temperature is below freezing, it can freeze the delicate tissues in the gills of fish. They may swim off but will later die because their mechanism for breathing has been damaged.
  10. http://www.thenextbite.tv/articles/catch-release-compilation-information
  11. tmag

    Prayers Needed!

    Sorry to see that this thread had such a tough ending. My thoughts are with you.
  12. tmag

    Waneta Muskies

    MadPerry, I used to have the same issue with pics. Get a tripod for your digital camera along with a remote that will allow you to hit the shutter electronically / wirelessly from a distance. This way, you can already have a nice gill hold in the fish, click the remote with your other and then hoist her at the last second for the pic. Thanks for letting that fish go, though. Very nice and a great pic. Pretty fish.
  13. tmag

    Canandaigua Lunker

    What a horse
  14. tmag

    Best fishing sunglasses

    For the high-end stuff, I started out with some Orvis Tri-Spectrum's and they were good. Similar to the above, I found the Wave 580 lens from Costa to be superior. However, at the time that I got them, they only offered that technology in a glass and they were heavy plus were a bit too dark for very low light or heavy overcast conditions. I then purchased some Spotters in both the Copper / Amber lens and the Yellow. They fit better for me and better in very low light conditions. As I'm always looking at new technology, you may also wish to look at Haber: http://www.habervision.com/content/about.html Personally, I would recommend trying to grab a pair of the latest from Maui Jim, Costa and Haber. Take them out to the water on a sunny day and a cloudy day just to test the optics. You could go to the harbor or such and just try them on. Return those that you did not like. Of course, a place like Bass Pro will have a variety of sunglasses to choose from. It may be helpful to get an idea regarding the frames in advance. Many sunglasses in the more popular brands are also offered on eBay at deep discounts that are also new (i.e. you could figure out what you want and if it happens to be one of the more popular brands, frames & lens, you may be able to score them there for less).
  15. What a nice variety of fish. Gotta love the carp on a cleo