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  1. Actually, virtually all the tribs have the 1/2 inch rule from September 1 to March 31. A few ponds and the lower Niagara are statewide regulations.
  3. Here, here, and you certainly covered the first three extremely well on Monday night!
  4. Here we go again. Get up here soon Lake Trout closes on September 30 and does not reopen until January 1.
  5. This coming from a guy who calls his boat Gill-T Hooker? I think we have been doing this quite well for a number of years. I hope you understand that without the alewife, there is nothing for kings to eat, and the LO Committee efforts and restraint are geared toward prevention of that. And tributary anglers were certainly not the first to engage in "behind closed door meetings!"
  6. Honing in a bit more on the opening of the FCO's, which I posted before. The Binational Stakeholder's group was told in May that there are no plans for the foreseeable future to modify the FCO's. The King is the top dog in that statement, and for the pelagic niche in the detail of the document. That is the policy guidance document for USA and Canada.
  7. I know this came up at the Pulaski meeting the other night, too, a friend up there questioned why he was hearing so much distrust on the part of so many lake anglers. So please educate me. What possible motive could these guys have for reducing stocking (an extremely conservative reduction to many scientists)? There has been no discussion to my knowledge of implementing the proposal one Pulaski area businessman has put forth to reduce king stocking and increase steelhead stocking, as the hatchery is not capable of handling more long holding time fish. Ditto increase in brown trout, unless they take them from the rest of the state (and there are a lot of non LO license buyers in the state). Lake trout are heavily limited now in terms of Federal hatchery capacity, and while they will not abandon them because they are a federal priority (that's right it is a federal waterway, international border and all that) and they occupy a different niche in the ecosystem than the kings. And Landlocked Salmon are also being raised and stocked at capacity, mostly in other waterbodies like Cayuga and Seneca. The FCO's are very explicit in their support for the King as the top pelagic predator, and both Countries have signed on to that. So what is their motive, other than prudent stewardship?
  8. Honestly, guys, if I wanted to see the king gone, I would be out there with the rest of you calling for major increases in stocking of them. I believe it is the charter industry that years ago started "whispering in DEC's ears" in a concerted attempt to turn it from the Department of Environmental Conservation to the Department of Environmental Commerce. As to the title stakeholder, I pay the same license fee as you do, I just don't maintain a commercial livery license. There are also many non angler stakeholders along Lake Ontario (and Canadians, a LOT of whom see things differently than the charter industry on this side), the fishery is just one part of the bigger picture. I am just supporting the biologists in their contention that under current regimes, continuing to stock the number of kings they were stocking in 2016 carries a very high risk of starting the downward spiral (or complete collapse) that pretty much insures that Lake Huron will remain kingless, and has been plaguing Lake Michigan for a long time. But really, if you want to shoot yourselves in the foot, go ahead convince these guys to ignore the Science (which Andy Todd has said could lead to a "why bother with the science anyway, just dump in the fish" policy) and let the chips fall where they will, because if the alewife crashes, native species rehabilitation becomes very possible, and king reestablishment unlikely, unless you have a plan for teaching the salmon to eat gobies and gizzard shad all summer.
  9. We get too soon old and too late smart. Ballast water regulations actually exacerbated the problems ( Dr. Edward Mills data), and at any rate, the cows are already out, so closing the barn door now is kind of late. But what I am hearing from many of you is "abandon the native species and dump more kings". Kings will collapse their food source (the alewife, why all this started to begin with) more quickly than any of the other species currently in the mix, and if the alewife goes, so do the kings, and likely all the other intentionally introduced non native species ( much easier to type "exotics" but Capt. Vince objects to that). And there are a number of tributary anglers, and residents of lakeshore communities, that would like to see the King gone, because the crowd attracted to the tributaries currently is less than "tisirable." Then there are cultural aspects of native species, historically important to our indigenous populations, and as I said before, important as indicators of successful ecological recovery.
  10. Most folks you know. Can't, Never.... really positive thought processes, too. People said that about cleaning up contamination, too, 40 years ago. Re-establishment of native species is one benchmark for ecological recovery. The Objective that I quoted said nothing about former state or elimination of introduced species, it calls for a mix of both.
  11. Now there is a strong, intelligent rebuttal!
  12. From The FCO's for Lake Ontario: "The goal of fisheries management is to provide sustainable benefits to humans through the use of fish for food, recreation, culture, ecological function, and aesthetics by sustaining or increasing the abundance of desirable fish. Public consultation clearly indicates support for both a diversity of salmon and trout, dominated by trophy-sized Chinook Salmon, and protection and restoration of native species. The LOC acknowledges that managing for Alewife numbers to sufficiently support Chinook Salmon may limit restoration of some native species to their full potential. The Lake Ontario ecosystem is a mix of native and non-native species and has remained very resilient during the last 25 years. Despite an onslaught of invasions and rapid ecosystem change, Lake Ontario has provided a diversity of fish-related benefits. The LOC believes that maintaining a modest approach to stocking a diversity of trout and salmon species, the implementation of regulations to sustain a diverse mix of fisheries, continued efforts to protect and restore native species, and investing in monitoring and science-based assessment to understand ecosystem change are the best management strategies to ensure continuation of current and future benefits. The fish community objectives outlined here are, however, implicitly adaptive and will be subject to frequent review and change as the ecosystem evolves and our understanding of it improves." Atlantic Salmon and Lake Trout are the native species in the lake. And Lake Trout stocking had been seriously curtailed due to the failure of the federal hatchery, so the rise you indicate only brought the numbers back to FCO levels. Lake trout are also the top benthic predator, a niche the king is not thought to occupy (maybe some of the recent Canadian data on the depths they plumb will modify this, but in general King salmon are pelagic and are following the pelagic prey.) Steve was very clear in answering Matt's question that increases in the number of Salmon stocked would not necessarily correlate with increase in harvestable salmon on a linear basis, and risk of over pressuring the food base would rise as well, maybe to an unacceptable level of uncertainty from a management perspective. The best way for fisheries managers to go to a totally native species program would be to stock beaucoup more King salmon, which carries a high risk (and some of us would say probability) of alewife collapse, both through overpredation, and loss of sufficient residual adults to spawn at prior levels. Once the alewife is gone, there is no bait for the west coast species, so natives would be the logical and environmentally sound response. From my perspective, this "modest approach" is working, we are not seeing beaches littered with dead alewife, but we have also not seen deterioration of condition of the predators, so current management is keeping the alewife controlled but not over-controlled. With luck and good weather, we should see a hike in a couple of years, but please remember that 4.1 million fish is still a LOT of fish going into the pond, the glass is still 80% (hatchery) full, with the wild card of natural reproduction adding to that!
  13. No argument from me about their intentions, but I tend to think of science as NOT Kool Aid.
  14. Let's see now, they are still stocking 4.3 million fish, plus what is going in from natural reproduction, I would think that would be a positive message to communicate, thjs is not a draconian 46% like back in the Lange days. This in spite of recommendations from many scientists on both sides of the border, and many on the Binational stakeholder's group from the other side of the border, that the cuts were not deep enough to minimize the risk. And what motive other than improvement of the fishery would there be for putting less fish in? The best way to crash the king totally if they just wanted to go with native species would be to stock more and more, let them remove the alewife, and they would crash not long after. Any food pyramid that becomes top heavy with predators will collapse, or the health and condition of the predators will decline significantly. So, yes, I think the message was that these cuts will need to be maintained for at least 2019, too, perhaps 2020, but then upward adjustment becomes possible, although Steve did say he could make no promises because they need to factor in variables that can't be forecast. The paper is good, ( but it was augmented with scenario slides that show the probable effects of good and poor YOY hatches, and the discussion. Another 2 bad winters in a row situation might be disastrous, even if there was enough big chow, spawning for future year classes could be severely curtailed. I didn't hear anyone bashing anyone for not attending, just bemoaning that more folks did not avail themselves of the opportunity to hear the data and arguments first hand. Personally, I'm very glad we have scientists of this caliber making the decisions, my kids and grandkids may be also be able to enjoy the best fishing in the USA after I'm gone. It would probably help from a business standpoint if people focused on the glass being 90 % full ( or even 80% if you are a natural reproduction denier) rather than it being 10% empty!
  15. Yes, it was a lot of the choir, but a much better turnout than last year when much of last night's information was first presented. You know they are not pulling punches, didn't sugarocoat the answer to Matt about the next couple of years being very possibly the same scenario, and spoke directly to a lot of what has been posted here and on other websites. Now it becomes necessary to figure out how to convince the naysayers that these guys are ONLY interested in maintaining the Number one fishery in the Lower 48!