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Everything posted by shaneo19

  1. What is the story behind them not wanting the trout derby weigh in there? I was told they couldn't get anyone to volunteer to run a weigh in station. But I would be curious to know if they were actually denied access to have it there. That would be absolutely ridiculous and stupid on their part.
  2. Sawbellies in a lake have consequences. They have overrun Seneca. Skaneateles Lake does not have sawbellies and the fishing is fine there. The fish aren't as big but they are pretty abundant and taste better without the sawbellies. If a healthy population of sawbellies re-emerged in Keuka my prediction would be a decline in the perch and bass fishing with an increase in the trout sizes. So I guess it depends on what you value as a fisherman. The Fingerlakes as a whole seemed much healthier when smelt were the primary forage fish.
  3. I guess it might better to see big lampreys then smaller ones. Not sure what there lifespan is in the lake but hopefully these bigger ones are getting towards the end of life. Seeing a whole bunch of smaller ones would be more concerning.
  4. I'm all for anything to lower the sawbelly population. Increased lake trout stocking would definitely help. I just think the King Salmon idea is interesting because it could take care of the problem quicker and shouldn't have a long term impact on the ecosystem since they have short lives. Maybe there is something I am missing about it. Who knows for sure what would happen . No problems with anyone else's opinion. That's what these forums/discussions are about. And its not like I have any say in any of this. I have been meaning to contact the DEC in some form though to let them know my thoughts and observations since I am on the lake a lot.
  5. I may not I understand what you are saying there. But what I am suggesting is there are not enough predatory fish (lakers being the main) to keep the sawbelly population in check. Sawbellies do not mix well with other fish species. It seems that most people on this board are only concerned with the trout/salmon fishery on the lake. But there are many of us who like to catch other fish as well. You can look around the area and see where they have or have not caused damage. Conesus Lake for example use to be a great perch fishery. After sawbellies were introduced perch populations declined dramatically. Keuka Lake had a big die off of sawbellies but the bass and perch fishing has probably gotten better. Skaneateles Lake has no sawbellies and great perch and bass fishing. Also great trout fishing. The trout ( with a few freak exceptions) are just smaller then the would be with sawbellies. I have a neighbor who is in his late 80s and has fished the Lake his whole life. Including every National Lake trout derby ever held. I have heard all sorts of stories about how the lake has changed and how great it use to be. One interesting thing he said was how great the Rock Bass fishing use to be. He said they were the best eating fish in the lake and you could go out and catch them anytime. Now he hasn't seen any in years. The reason why that is interesting is that the best rock bass fishing lakes in the Finger Lakes are Keuka and Skaneateles. Probably not a coincidence that those lakes have little or no sawbellies as well. I know rock bass aren't exactly a sought after sport fish, but it is an example of one species that likely was severely impacted by sawbellies. Yet another issue with alewives as the main food source is thiamine deficiency. It is well known that fish that consume high levels of alewives don't reproduce as well. This is something anyone can look up. The other thing to point out is that sawbellies hurt the taste of fish. I will eat lake trout out of Seneca but the few I have caught and ate out of Keuka and Skaneateles were absolutely delicious. Some of the best fish I have ever eaten. I would be more then happy to trade bigger sized fish for better tasting fish. Or possibly lose a trout species or two in order to have better fishing overall.
  6. There are of course numerous issues that need to be addressed on all of the lakes. Limiting agriculture runoff and sewer discharges ect are all very important and it is ridiculous that it continues to be allowed. The funding for studies is also getting old. You can study and study but unless you take action it isn't going to help. I really don't think the immediate issue with fishing on Seneca is related to any of that however. If anything adding more nutrients to the lake would help much of the life on the lake. Bad for the overall water quality but lakes that have big nutrient loads tend to be good for fishing. Like I said in an earlier post, the most clear and present issue is the massive alewife/sawbelly population. A non-native species that is ravaging the lake. One of the reasons for the the alewife explosion is likely the lamprey explosion. Lamprey kill the predatory fish. Fewer predatory fish = more baitfish. Alewives are baitfish that happen to be big enough to eat fry from other fish. They also compete for food with fry from other fish. I have come to learn that the tiny shrimp or scud that young fish rely on for food are going down in numbers. I still see them in the weeds when I pull up my anchor, but not as many and not as often. Perch and sunfish especially rely on these for food. I have even caught brown trout up to 5 pounds that were full of them. Could it be that the alewives are eating off the scud population in the lake? I think it is likely. We are fortunate enough to have many amazing lakes in this region. Cayuga Lake is just a few miles away and shares most all of the natural characteristics of Seneca. The thing to do is figure out what is going on that is different between these two lakes. Cayuga shares all of the invasive species issues with Seneca plus a few. It has just as much if not more agricultural runoff then Seneca does. The biggest difference I can see is that they have done a better job of controlling the lamprey population. Solutions: Lamprey control. I know they treated a few of the bigger tributaries last year but that needs to continue on a more consistent basis. It will take time to know how much that one year may have helped. I am not too optimistic that alone will be any game changer. Reduce the alewife population: I really like the king salmon idea. It really should not be looked at as some radical idea that would be too unnatural. Lake trout are the only native trout or salmon in the lake now. King salmon only live a few years and would not likely have much natural reproduction. So they could be stocked in one time shots with no long term impact on the lake. I don't think any fisherman would complain if they were to hook into a King Salmon on occasion for a few years. Even if there did happen to be more natural reproduction then expected, I don't see anything too wrong with having a bonus fishery on Seneca. Perhaps stock a different species of fish that would feed on the alewives. I personally dream of having walleye in the lake but anything that would cut down the numbers of sawbellies without having too much impact on the native fish. I know the walleye vs trout in the same lake is a debate people have a lot on here. So I won't get into that. Dramatically increase the stocking of the current species in the lake. Perhaps there is a way to start a netting operation that could remove large quantities of the alewives. It seems like that would be difficult though with the size and depth of the lake. Also don't want to kill a bunch of fish in the process. Anyways that is how I see it. Have been saying the same things for years now. I fish and care about the lake as much as anyone so I just hope things get better and soon.
  7. I have been catching a lot of 12-15 inch lake trout just south of Long Point. 80 to 100 ft on copper. All stocked. That is about it. At least they should be keepers next year. I cannot drop a camera down anywhere in the lake over 20 ft and not see swarms of sawbellies. Anyone who doesn't think that is the main problem with the fishing on Seneca doesn't know what they are talking about.
  8. This is the cheapest place I have found. https://www.ebay.com/itm/20-Gauge-Soft-Annealed-Bare-Copper-Building-Ground-Wire-Made-In-USA-500-FT/302167346320?hash=item465a93cc90:g:t9gAAOSwImRYUcIW. The same seller has rolls much bigger for much lower prices. I just bought the 2000 ft roll here. https://www.ebay.com/itm/20-Gauge-Soft-Annealed-Bare-Copper-Building-Ground-Wire-Made-In-USA-500-FT/302167346320?hash=item465a93cc90:g:t9gAAOSwImRYUcIW. 2000 ft for $82 is a pretty amazing price. I even got $25 off that because there was a delay in shipping. Should be enough for many years.
  9. Nice. The Seneca River is the most underrated under fished fisheries around.
  10. It is not impossible. I have caught browns/rainbows and even a lake trout on the lower side of the Waterloo Locks before. In the past two weeks there have been 3 lake trout caught from my boat in the Seneca River below the dam at Mudlocks. Crazy. King Salmon making it through 3 locks (double lock in Seneca Falls) into Cayuga would certainly be rare though I would think.
  11. I was going to post the same exact thing. It is hard to ever pin point an exact problem with a fishery but I think the evidence is pretty clear what is going on here. Lamprey have/are killing a lot of the predatory fish. This in turn has caused the alewife population to explode. This explosion has consequences for many fish species. I think it is the number one issue with the downward trends in the perch population here as well. Sawbellies are just thought of as a bait fish but they also are predators and will eat whatever they can including fry from other fish. Especially at night this time of year I can go out on the lake and shine a light and just see never ending swarms of them. Reducing the lamprey and alewife populations should be the number one goal in trying to correct what is going on here on Seneca. Stocking King Salmon seems like a crazy and unnatural idea to many. But it makes all the sense in the world. Someone can correct me if I am wrong but I believe that was the initial reason why they were stocked in the Great Lakes in the first place. As a way to control the Sawbellies which are an invasive species. It would not have to be a permanent or long term change. Seneca may not be suitable for an actual King Salmon fishery but it has plenty of food for them right now and has plenty of water volume to support at least a small number of them to help control the alewife population.
  12. Very happy and appreciative that they are going forward with the derby. Wish we didn't have to deal with the restrictive parts of it but the derby is the derby. Last year is was Sampson being closed and this year the virus. Plus the poor fishing the last several years. I just hope that the tradition will always continue. Really encourage everyone to fish and support it if possible. The numbers of fish aren't what they use to be but there are still good fish to catch. I don't care if there was only 1 trout left in the lake, I would be out there fishing just as hard. I am 34 now and I think this will be my 24th derby in a row. Have had a second and third in the lake trout division plus several other places. Never first though. That must happen at some point in my life. I have a champagne bottle that won't be open until that happens.
  13. I heard they are still going to try having it. Not sure how reliable my source is though. I hope they do. As long as they will get a good turnout. If the numbers of people who have been out fishing lately is any indication then they should be able to.
  14. My message clearly did not try to talk people out of wearing PFDs. I was stating my opinion that people should be allowed to determine what is safe or not for themselves. The beginning of your last sentence seems to agree with that. There are conditions when wearing a PFD is appropriate and conditions when it is unnecessary. The conditions are not necessarily being in a boat under 21 ft between Nov 1st and April 30th. I am in a better position then you or NYS to determine if/when wearing a life jacket makes ME more clumsy on boat. That is great you tested yourself in cold water. It is a good experience I would recommend to anyone who doesn't have health conditions that would make it too dangerous. I intentionally swim in Seneca lake most of the year. Cold water exposure actually has extreme health benefits. Obviously in a controlled environment. Not from a boating incident.
  15. I respect your concerns about others safety. And your work in helping people. But I also respectfully disagree. It is in my DNA that people should have the right to decide what is safe or not for themselves. Even if their judgement is way off. As far as the life jacket rule. You mention that you were upset because the boats were under 21 ft that you saw. Falling off a 22 ft boat is no more safe then falling off a 20 foot boat. I fish Seneca all winter from a small boat. I know for me personally that having a life jacket on is MORE dangerous. With the possible exception of actually sitting in the drivers seat steering. It restricts my movements (especially with a lot of clothing on) and makes me more prone to accidentally slipping and not being able to grab something to catch myself. Not to mention making it harder to pull myself back into the boat if I did fall out. If the boat started leaking I would have plenty of time to grab a life jacket. If it is was rough enough to capsize the boat then I would put a life jacket on. Or better yet not be out in that situation to begin with. I know there are new inflatable life jackets out there that would be less restrictive but I don't need to spend hundreds of dollars (especially if I am taking other people out) just because someone wants to tell me what is safe for me. The incident last week is certainly tragic. Trying to canoe across Seneca Lake this time of year with or without a life jacket on is quite foolish. And it seems they were planning on doing it partially in the dark. I recently helped rescue two guys who tipped a canoe on Seneca. 49 degree water. Was calm when they went out and the wind waves picked quick like they often do on Seneca. They were renters from out of state who didn't realize how the lake can be. They were wearing life jackets which certainly helped in this situation. So I am certainly not anti life jacket. I would wear one too if I were to try canoeing in cold water conditions. I just don't need to be told when I need to wear one.
  16. The wind/waves do like to have a north south flow to them. Not always but more often then you would think. Could be because they are carved out which funnels the wind.
  17. I feel like these same topics have been beaten to death on here but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. As someone who lives on and fishes Seneca almost every day I can pretty clearly see what the main problems are here. Lack of Lamprey control for a long number of years caused a big decline of the trout population. This in turn caused a big spike in the alewife population. This imbalance reverberates throughout the ecosystem. Alewives can be predatory to small fry of many different fish species. The amounts I see on the depth finder and that come near shore in spring are just out of control. If Keuka needs baitfish then just come net them from Seneca. I personally wouldn't because I don't think they are a great forage fish to have. I think the most obvious solution here is to control the lampreys (treatments last year were hopefully successful but takes years to see results) and increase fish stocking to control the alewife population.
  18. Do you have any link to this information? I have heard from multiple people that younger walleye are being caught and seen spawning in tributaries. I personally haven't fished it in quite a few years.
  19. I am not even sure which lake this post is referring too. Seems like Keuka since I have never heard any mention of Ciscos being considered on Seneca. Either way I do agree that DEC hasn't been doing a great job with managing the Finger Lakes.
  20. Nice report. The alewives are all over next to shore right now. Especially at night. If you shine a light in the water after dark I bet you will see hundreds if not thousands of them. I am very confident the problem with fishing on Seneca the past few years is a big predator/baitfish imbalance. Way to many alewives and too few trout. Best explanation for the cause of this imbalance is lampreys. Unfortunately the alewives are predators to recently hatched fish as well. Hopefully the lamprey treatments last year will turn it around soon. They may need to increase trout stocking for a few years to balance things out as well.
  21. https://www.fltimes.com/sports/naples-angler-waits-out-storm-catches-trout-derby-grand-prize/article_52fc6a85-e9ea-5ad9-8e27-51109372ae0f.html
  22. Another disappointing derby. Day 1 fishing was ok minus the waves. Days 2 and 3 were the worst fishing I have had in my 21 years of fishing the derby. I think I have an explanation for it. I believe there was an algae bloom that started after the heavy rains we had Saturday night. This is probably an active time for farms spreading fertilizer sadly. I was looking at the Hobart water quality buoy data http://fli-data.hws.edu/clarkpt/seneca/ and there was a clear spike in chlorophyll levels. Especially in the 30-60 ft range which is where I do most of my lake trout fishing. I think this either made the fish here non- active, they could't see the bait as well, or they left those depth ranges entirely. Lake trout fishing had been decent in the couple weeks leading up the derby. The brown trout collapse is the most worrying. There were barely enough to fill the leaderboard this year. 2.86lbs made the board. I had caught upwards of 50 brown trout just off the docks around my house by this time last year. Biggest maybe only 5 pounds or so. So far this year I have not even seen a brown trout. I have read they are the most susceptible to lamprey predation so that would have to be the number one suspect. I also did not see any small recently stocked brown trout swimming around the shore last spring like years past so I think they either were not stocked in my area (mid lake west side) or they didn't survive long after stocking. Hopefully the lamprey treatments done last year were successful. Unfortunately it will take a few years to know.
  23. I know its not illegal to kill lamprey. Using some kind of trap likely marked with a buoy could raise some issues if the DEC thought you were poaching something else.
  24. I am not sure how effective it could be but I actually like the live trap idea. Lampreys could get through very small holes that other fish could not. Or could make something like the cylindrical minnow traps you see only much larger. Or you may not even need a trap since they are willing to hold onto their prey even when pulled out of the water sometimes. I will have to look into if they only feed on live prey or if you could use a carcass of something. I live on the lake and know i would be willing to tend to such a thing on a regular basis if given permission. Definitely something ill have to think about.
  25. Definitely not good to see. If my memory is correct the lamprey treatments only kill the eggs/larvae so it might take some time to see if it worked. Lampreys have been my number one suspect for the fishing issues on Seneca. The more we can provide evidence like this to the DEC the better.
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