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  1. From Webster's History (link provided above): No mention of overharvest or "poaching", but lots of observations of habitat loss due to damming of the rivers. "DeWitt Clinton (1815a:152) enumberated early signs of loss of habitat for salmon and other fishes. "The cultivation of the country has had a prodigious effect in producing this diminution... The cutting down of trees, the drying up of swamps, marshes, the ploughing of land, and the exposure of the soil to the influence of the sun, have lessened these sources of subsistence. The streams and rivers have also been diminished in size, some of them have been entirely dried up. The fountains and springs which furnished cool retreats for the deposite of their spawn, are destroyed. The alluvial deposites have also choked up their ancient places of resort, have discoloured the waters, and rendered them disagreeable and unhealthy; and they have thus been expelled from their former domains, and have been obliged to look out for other haunts, in wild and uncultivated countries." A writer for the "New Topographical Atlas of Tompkins County, New York" had this to say of Cayuga Lake in 1956. "many of our citizens can well remember the time, when from the waters of this lake [Cayuga], their tables were annually served that prince of fish, ... the Salmon, with flesh as red and luscious as any taken nearer tide water; but to the great disgust of many, and regret of all, these excellent fish have been shut out from this lake by the reckless manner in which its outlet has been damed [sic], and it water polluted with the vile offal from Starch, Gas and other Factories located near the stream" (Anonymous, 1866). Salmon were essentially extirpated in Lake Champlain by the early 1800's and in Lake Ontario shortly after mid-century. The Province of Ontario attempted to reestablish runs in the 1860's, but success was limited and short lived (Parsons, 1973:18-19). By the time Edmunds 1974:628) made his survey for the U.S. Fish Commissioner in 1872, he found only a single stream in both the Ontario and Champlain watersheds that still had a salmon to report - the Salmon River below the first dam at Pulaski. In 1891, the U.S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, Marshall McDonald, reported to the Senate (Smith, 1892:200). "The cause of the disappearance, practically, of salmon from the streams of the St. Lawrence Basion has been chiefly and primarily the erection of obstructions in all of the rivers, which have prevented the salmon from reaching their spawning grounds, and so natural reproduction has been absolutely inhibited." The extent of this kind of development on tributaries of Lake Ontario may be judged from an account by Horatio Seymour (1869:27-28) in the first Report of the New York Commission of Fisheries in which he noted: eight dams across the Salmon River below the falls, the lowermost 8 1/2 feet in height; 27 dams on Big Sandy Creek, including both branches; seven dams on Little Sandy Creek; and 10 dams on the Oswego River, the first one 10 feet in height. " From the NYSDEC website: "Many New York State anglers are surprised to learn that Atlantic salmon were not only native to some of our waters, but they were extremely abundant. Atlantics were historically found in Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain, and in many of their tributaries. They were so abundant that spearing them was easy and netting could result in catches of more than 100 fish per boat on a good night. Unfortunately, the rapid settlement and development of the state occurring during the mid to late 1800s spelled doom for this species. Dams blocked spawning streams, pollution choked waters, and widespread deforestation filled headwater nursery streams with sediment. By 1900, Atlantic salmon were all but extinct from New York State waters." Certainly. the fish were overharvested, but the historical record lays blame for the extinction on habitat loss, especially isolation by dams of the spawning grounds necessary for repopulation. Other inaccuracies: Turkeys were extinct in NYS for quite some time: From the NYSDEC website: "History The wild turkey is native to North America. Turkeys were widespread when the Europeans arrived and may have predated the earliest human inhabitants. At the time of European colonization, wild turkeys occupied all of what is currently New York State south of the Adirondacks. Turkey habitat was lost when forests were cut for timber and turned into small farms. The early settlers and farmers also killed wild turkeys for food all year round, since there were no regulated hunting seasons at that time. The last of the original wild turkeys disappeared from New York in the mid-1840's. By 1850, about 63 percent of the land in New York was being farmed. This trend continued until the late 1800s when about 75 percent of New York State was cleared land. In the early 1900s farming began to decline. Old farm fields, beginning with those on the infertile hilltops, gradually reverted to brush land and then grew into woodland. By the late 1940s, much of the southern tier of New York was again capable of supporting turkeys. Around 1948, wild turkeys from a small remnant population in northern Pennsylvania crossed the border into western New York. These were the first birds in the state after an absence of 100 years. Restoration The return of these first wild turkeys sparked an interest in restoring them to all of New York. In 1952, a pheasant game farm in Chenango County was converted to raise turkeys; over the next 8 years 3,100 game farm turkeys were released throughout the state. These stockings failed because the game farm birds were not wild enough to avoid predation. Survival of released birds was low, as was natural reproduction. As a result, the populations failed to expand. In southwestern New York, the wild turkeys from Pennsylvania had established healthy breeding populations and were expanding rapidly. In 1959, a program was begun by the State Conservation Department to live trap wild turkeys in areas where they were becoming abundant for release elsewhere in New York. Most of the trapping was done in the winter when natural foods are not abundant. A flock of turkeys was lured with piles of corn or other grain. When most of the birds were concentrated on the food pile, the turkeys were captured by shooting a large net over them. Wildlife biologists and technicians put the birds into crates, loaded the crates onto trucks, and drove the birds to new territories that did not have wild turkeys. A typical release consisted of eight to ten females and four to five males. These birds would form the nucleus of a new flock and generally were all that was necessary to establish a population. Since the first turkeys were trapped in Allegany State Park in 1959, approximately 1,400 birds have been moved within New York. These 1,400 birds have successfully reestablished wild populations statewide. Around 2001, their populations peaked at an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 birds. Currently, there are approximately 180,000 turkeys. In addition, New York has sent almost 700 wild turkeys to the states of Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, and the Province of Ontario, helping to reestablish populations throughout the Northeast"
  2. When the farmers were using pitchforks in NYS we didn't have fish and game laws yet, so it was not poaching. Most discussions of the LO AS indicate habitat loss as the major cause of their disappearance. summarizes some of what is thought to be limiting the recovery.
  3. The Maplewood side of the river is the west bank. I know there are disposal signs on the Seth Green side, but I have not been on the other side in years. I know there were signs warning people that access as not allowed on the West side, but they were pretty much ignored in the past. But maybe the City is going to get serious considering the possible liabilities if someone falls off the path, and the bad eye the city gets from the broad daylight poaching going on on that side.
  5. Wouldn't they also be difficult to see, too, then? 10 lbs of chrome is going to show up on the bottom of most of the holes on IC, now that the flows are down.
  6. I walked a fair piece of the lower creek yesterday and saw no deads. The creek has been at flood stage lately, but I've never seen a lot of deads associated with that in the past. Where are these fish collecting? It would be good to report it to NYSDEC.
  7. This is only one incident reported in the weekly Encon Reports from the DEC website. The Monroe County Fisheries Advisory Board was updated last spring on planned enforcement activities, and has heard that significant efforts have been undertaken on the Genesee, but these tickets had not reached the docket as of last month. I would anticipate that we should hear a report on this at the SOL meeting next year. If these efforts are to be successful, the District Attorney needs to also be involved in insuring that the violations are viewed as serious. One thing we could all do toward that happening is to communicate with our representatives about the need to update the fine structures for these offenses. There is little incentive for someone coming from out of state to purchase a license if the fine for fishing without one is $25.00, and the cost of the NR license is $50.00, or 28.00 for a 7 day. Littering fines should also go up, these schedules were often set back when you could buy a new car for under 2K. The City of Rochester also commented that it is a violation of City code to be on the Maplewood side of the river, that area is posted as off limits from the top, and we may see more City of Rochester Police Department enforcement of the trespass regulation, which would alleviate a lot of the commercial "fishing" up under the falls.
  8. I'm am all for the recovery, but I doubt seriously if a fishery is either desirable or possible in the near future. Put-grow- take is not likely to be possible for a fish that takes 15 years (males) to 30 years (females) to reach spawning age. Numbers stocked in any given year are small due to the difficulties in obtaining eggs. Only 1000 went into the Genesee this past year, and they are not introduced every year. And do we really want crews of poachers out on the tributaries with snatching rigs taking the fish for eggs and meat for sale in the spring as well as the fall? We have enough problems in the tributaries with the salmon run as it is. Maybe they will be viable for our grand kids, but....
  9. From New Paltz, I didn't think you would be driving to the Niagara! Use what you have, if you can find other colors, a lot of guys swear by Red, Orange, Chartreuse, and in the Salmon, Blue.
  10. A range is a good idea, if you hit high flows like the east end tribs are currently experiencing, a bigger "gob" of eggs can be more effective. Some of the Genny fishers tie them as big as golf balls. For more regular flows from dime to nickel size works good. A lot of egg fishers also tie them in different colors of mesh as well, and some add various scenting agents like garlic or anise. And many swear by Brown Trout eggs as being superior to anything else, but if all you have are salmon eggs, they work, too, and we certainly don't need anymore yahoos snagging brown trout just to get some eggs.
  11. They are different genus. I don't find anything in the literature about hybridization between the two species, But if the Salmo Salar become established as " wild stock" they could compete with the native Onchorynchus for food and habitat, in the same way that the non native Onchorynchus could compete with the native slamo salar in the Gaspe streams. From the State of Washington website: Fish management issues of escaped Atlantic salmon Existing biological data strongly suggests that escaped Atlantic salmon do not pose significant risk to native fish populations, based on research outlined in a 1999 report. Among the concerns addressed in that report: Competition: Evidence indicates non-native salmon species do not compete well against native species. Only a small percentage of Atlantic salmon recovered from marine waters have preyed on fish; there have been no observations of Atlantic salmon eating fish or fish eggs in fresh water. Predation: There is no evidence of predation by Atlantic salmon in fresh water, and only limited evidence in salt water. Most recovered Atlantic salmon have had empty stomachs. Disease transfer: Consideration was given to the transfer of fish pathogens from captive and escaped Atlantic salmon to native salmon stocks. There is no evidence indicating disease transfer from Atlantic salmon to native Pacific salmon. Fish pathogens infecting Atlantic salmon are endemic to Washington and appear to come from native fish stocks. Hybridization: The risk of escaped Atlantic salmon hybridizing with Pacific salmon is low. Research has demonstrated it is very difficult, even under optimal laboratory conditions, to cross-breed Pacific and Atlantic salmon and produce viable offspring. Should this rare event occur in the wild, the offspring would be functionally sterile and incapable of reproducing. Colonization: Evidence suggests this is unlikely. Attempts to establish Atlantic salmon outside the Atlantic Ocean have failed, and accidental releases of juvenile Atlantic salmon have not produced adults. Evidence on Vancouver Island indicates escaped Atlantic salmon have been able to produce juvenile Atlantic salmon, but there is no evidence that these "wild" Atlantic salmon have returned to their natal stream and successfully spawned.
  12. I don't belei9ve I read anything about "advocating for removing Pacific Salmon from the Great Lakes" here, this post was about escape of Atlantic Salmon from fish farms on the west coast. I know they are a little worried about similar impacts down on the Gaspe Peninsula from Cohos that leave LO and then run up Atlantic Salmon streams, but other than that, I have heard nothing about actually stopping the Pacific Salmon program, although there are biologists and others who feel the negatives of the introduction should be considered, and think Native species restoration is the ultimate end of all this.
  13. The maybe the "hatch" is even larger in the river, because the 50% figure is based on what returned to the hatchery during the years of study. 50% had the adipose fin,(wild, no clip) 50% didn't (approximately). From the 2015 summary: "In 2008, NYSDEC purchased an automated fish marking trailer (AutoFish) which is capable of adipose clipping and/or applying coded wire tags (CWTs) to salmon and trout at high speed and accuracy. To determine the proportions of wild and hatchery Chinook salmon in Lake Ontario, all Chinook salmon stocked by New York and Ontario from 2008-2011 were marked with an adipose fin clip. Percentages of wild Chinook salmon in Lake Ontario varied by year class and age and among regions from 2009-2015. The wild study was completed in 2015 and overall, wild Chinook were an important component of the Lake Ontario fishery averaging 47% of the age 2 & 3 Chinooks harvested in the lake."
  14. The West Coast is British Columbia, a very different province than Ontario.