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What about contributing back to our fisheries?

Kevin J Legg

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  With the exceptional fishing bringing unprecedented fishing pressure to the St Lawrence River and Eastern Lake Ontario wouldn’t it make sense to start stocking bass, walleye and pike. Perhaps revitalize the old hatchery at Cape Vincent. 
  There is a tournament every weekend and bass boats from throughout the country continually buzzing around. Yes, we have a great fishery with big fish as seen by the last two Elite series. That said, the media exposure has brought tremendous fishing pressure.

  I realize most bass fisherman are catch and release but there is certainly some mortality, particularly when they transport fish to a weigh in.
  This publicity is a double edge sword. It’s great for local economy and business but what about our fishery. Those fish are not an endless resource and supplementing the population only makes sense. 

  With the amount of money being spent by sponsorship wouldn’t it be reasonable to have them contribute to a hatchery and stocking program? Seems like a win win as it would benefit the resource and put tournament fishermen and sponsors in a more environmental friendly light. 
  Any thoughts on this idea?

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This has been brought up to DEC many times. Especially at meetings and in passing. Especially for walleye and bass/pike. Now more than ever seeing a rapid decline probably due to social media exposure and limited catch and release practices.  ST Lawrence has a walleye stocking program I believe its more towards lisbon/ogdensburg area. Maybe could get some ideas from them as something for our region   As far as bass fishing I spoke to a tournament bass fisherman fella recently. He said one problem they are coming across is fisherman improperly “fizzing” fish. Causing some unnecessary mortality 

Edited by Josh A
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I have contacted several politicians, Save the River, TILT, 1000 Islands International Tourism, Bass Masters, DEC, the professor in charge of fish research on Governor Island, Chamber of Commerces, and several other websites. I plan to attend the upcoming St Lawrence River Fish Advisory meeting. I’ve already received much positive feed back.

I think following Canada’s lead and delaying smallmouth season till July, opening a cormorant season, and initiating slot limits on walleyes would be a good cost free starting point.I really wouldn’t anticipate much opposition to those suggestions by locals.

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