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few questions about what has happened to keuka Lake


Lip Rippers

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im curious to know the input of other anglers that fish the keuka lake and the one good trib that runs into it

what do you think has happened to the lake fishing in the past years i have noticed myself as born and raised local it has just gone down hill year after year

do you think it is a bait fish issue.... the smelt are all just about gone maybe the other fish have resorted to eating there young and stock fish

do you think the stocking program works and the size of the stocked fish is ok

or maybe over harvesting of rainbow and landlocks ....cause anyone that fishes it knows about all you do catch anymore is pure lakers

what about the adult fish size when i was young i remember catching lots of fish in the 10lbs range now if i get one and it is 4-7lbs seem to be that a real good fish for the lake

how about the tribs only one good one on the lake and it is slammed every year

i know i seen a post a while back about keuka and the trout catch limits what about size limits 15 inches i think is small but seem to be the main size limit i see caught

everyones input and opinion would be great to see i just see the lake heading in a bad direction fast and being local and fishing it a lot this summer worries me about what my sons will have in the future

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As far as the size of the trout go, Keuka has never been noted for big fish.

I have fished it since the mid 1960s and have caught exactly one lake trout in the double digits. That was a 16 3/4 pounder I caught in 1975. I also know several other young fellows like myself that have fished the lake for 50 years or so and have never caught more than 1 or 2 fish over 10 pounds.

NUMBERS, yes.. One day a couple of years ago two friends and myself landed 52 lakers in 4 hours vertical jigging. Keuka is a good place to catch LOTS of fish, rather than BIG fish.

In my memory, 18-22 inch lakers have always been the norm in Keuka. with a 5 or 6 pound fish being a nice fish, and anything over 8 or 9 pounds being exceptional.

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how much of a impact do you think the zebra muscles have had on the lake ?

have you noticed the huge decline in bait fish ?

are they related

do you think a bait fish stocking program would help the lake ?

The article submitted above covers that - the DEC thinks Zebra muscles had a significant effect on the lake.

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Ive played on coldbrook from the good ole days before the flood it was nuttin to see hundreds of big rainbows (5to 8 lb) jumping the falls..after the flood the creek was unattended for close to 20 years spillin over banks,beaver dams ,log jams,lifters rippers .booters pretty much finihed off the remaining fish.....89 or 90a beaver dam had itflowing in a field My friend and I found hundreds of rainbows,went to a payphone and tried to get some help for the fish, Dec said we would be arrested if we touched one fish to move to what was left of main creek. (2 weeks before season) !st day of season we found someone had broke dam dried up field and their was 100,s of dead fish..It was normal to see 12 to 20 lb browns in the fall also .. but further deteroation and lifters pretty much wiped them out/.....Tried my best with Avon but them boys said i didnt understand water hydrolics and their was no fix to the creek.....hmm kinda like :headbang:

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Couple of state record browns came from Keuka prior to the Lake Ontario blitzkrieg. It was never fantastic for rainbows, though, except for the brief spring run in Cold Brook. Lots of landlocks in the late '90s though.

I also agree on size being small, but in terms of #s, the lake is polluted with fish. Good read on the DEC site.

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I don't agree with the guys saying its always been a small lake trout lake. Thats nonsense, Its way way way (did I say way?) over populated with lakers.

Catch and release gone totally wrong IMHO.....and all these C&R freeks pushing the one fish, and catch and release only regs should be forced to fish this lake to get a taste of what to much C&R brings. Its like a farm pond with to many bluegills, tons of them, nothing else, and small sizes. I remember the days Ray talked about, went this spring and never saw one fish, nothing last fall ether, its a shame.

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Sorry but my vote is for zebra mussel. I was fishing before Zebra mussels, Lakes were murky, fertile, full of life, Zebra mussels show up and the smelt are all but gone , rainbows take a huge dump in all the finger lakes and they are clear as gin. Those little buggers filter all the food for the lower food chain. Everybody blames different things for the declines but when you look at the time table when things went bad in all the finger lakes it was when the population of zebra mussels were at their peak. You could kill every lake trout in the lake and if you have no baitfish you are not going to grow big trout period. Red cross derby winner lake trout was 30 some years old at 16.5 pounds. To get to this size it might have been caught and released several times. I eat fish but also believe in catch and release. A 10 lb released fish is not going to turn into a 3 lb fish but a released 10 lber might some day be a 16 lber. If the lake is over run with lakers you should be enjoying catching hundrads a day. Invasive species have a huge impact and change everything. Do not blame the lake trout that has been in these lakes since the last ice age. I also note that many people eat no lake trout but eat every legal salmon, brown, rainbow they catch. I also hate to see the decline of silver fish in the lake thats why I eat lakers and release the fish that are in trouble like the rainbows. I'm not saying that others have to do the same but that is how I feel. 4lb lakers taste great! Wes

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actually if ya do some home work on the zebras they help the food source clearer water=larger weed beds for bait to live......lake erie had some concerns many years back with mussels the water is better as with the fishing and a few billion smelt still call it home as do ontario waters.......cornell did some major research,as did the DEC and all are pointing to the lamphry killer as far as seneca and cayuga are concerened..

I dont know if they use it on any keukas creeks. also the prime spawning areas and creeks are all but dry in the summer now..

About 3 years back i saw schools of tens of tousands of smelt in keyuka so their still their and have adapted their spawning habbits to meet the changing conditions...and I ant tellin where I saw them ,but be at ease as a trip to wegmans will satisfy my taste for smelt with out all the work.

I spent every summer from mid 60S toearly 70 s in hammondsport with my cousins and glenn creek was never dry and cold brook was full of coffers, fish and water in august..

I used to know every cut,rock,and tree along coldbrook but i havent seen it for 5 or 6 years to see if the DEC followed through on last plans to rebuild creek 8 years ago when i walked the creek with the engineers from Avon. the methoud they chose was stupid due to the regelations of all gravel removed from creekbed needed to be handled as contaminated waste and removed from creek area.....HMMMMMM maybe something happened upstream that contaminated the stream and their is a big hush hush...just a thought.

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@quality time, when I can go out on Kueka and average 10+ fish an hour on a two rod spread EVERY time I go out on this lake, and every laker is in a 20" to 25" slot size, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to see the over populated species. I challenge you to go out on Kueka and catch a rainbow, or a salmon, or brown........goood luck with that. The lake has been mis-handled and is way out of balance, those of us that fish it already know this tho.

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like Ray said the spawning areas for bows have gone to crap, just like Seneca. The fish that do hang out in the creek come April 1st take a boot to the head. Dec wants to reduce the limit of Bows to one as well as start a stocking program for them. They also plan to have a five Lake trout limit. How would you handel the Lake? The Lakers in Keuka are Native they are not over stocked by DEC. You could poison them all and start over or try to do what DEC proposed and raise the limit and hope some one takes some fish. You could have a 100 fish a day limit on Keuka it wont help, guys wont fish on a lake for two pound fish when they can fish the other Finger Lakes. Eventuly they will eat the bait off and you will have a crash in the population. All the salmon fry put in the lake don't have a chance with all of the Lakers eating them up.

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Sounds like spawning grounds could be a big problem. I'm not sure how many of each species are stocked but if you say lakers are eating all the silver fish you don't think they are eating fry lakers as well. As far as weed beds that helps warm water fish like pike,bass, perch? Do think any of these fish could eat fry. Man brought invasives, stocked non native fish, destoyed streams and spawning area's. Inbalance in ecosystems are complex ,sometimes natural most of the time caused by man. I'm just saying don't blame or hate the lake trout. They was here first. Sounds like I need to make the trip over. Micro light jigging for lots of 2lb fish sounds fun to me!

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Come on and take all you like man! We always do, 2 lbrs are great for the table, people just don't realize this. We also can them and make pattys out of them. I love this lake and wish it was more like Canandagua TBH. Hopefully some day it will be again if the joke of a DEC ever gets there head out of there you know what. :@

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We do them on the grill. Lemon garlic marinade. I do not understand why they get such a bad rap. They are great. We also make chowder that is real good. Under 6lbs work good. I might be more inclined to come over in the winter if you get enough ice over deep water to fish for lakers. We did that on Owasco a few years ago and that was fun. 165 ' deep. It takes about 5 minutes to get your line down. Tough to drive past Cayuga if get my drift :lol:

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i love to fish myself and am for the most part happy with any fish in the boat i release almost all my fish from the finger lakes but a few would just like to get into a few decent fish that have some fight to them i am glad to see other have the same feeling i do about keuka and i really wish dec would step up a lil more maybe if the new 5 laker limit takes effect it might help a little bit the stocking they do might be helping as well but with the bait almost gone i think there is a bigger concern for the future of the lake

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keuka lake is me like fishing for senecas fry we need to get some lakers out how about if everyone just started being decent and keeping them or giving them away i know that everyone knows somebody who would like to eat some lakers and two pound fish are great for the table every time me and lip ripper go out we keep every laker we catch and give them away why cANT EVERYONE DO THIS atleast till we get it under controland dec hasnt stocked any ny lake since 2003

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Yes they have stocked sense 2003, they dump thousands of LL salmon finger lenghts in Keuka every year, awesome food for all the lakers there! That would be funny if it wasn't true, and all 5 lake trout limit is going to do is maintain the over population, they need to make it unlimited lakers for a good five years or more, then start all over with the management.

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Brendan_Rainbow.jpg

Fished Keuka on Saturday with my Grandson. We normally limit out on lakers every trip but we decided to try different tactics just for something different. The first downrigger to go had something I haven't caught in over 10 years on Keuka, a Rainbow! The sad look on his face was because we released it unharmed. We keep every laker we catch and I agree the limit should be changed. In the spring and fall we easily catch over 20 lakers in just a morning outing. The bow hit a cheater with a 25 year old single hook Acme Looter. Rigger was down 45 so he was in the 20 foot range.

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  • 2 years later...

I have fished Keuka lake for 3 years . The first two years the lakers were everywhere. This year is different. I marked many lakers in early march. The last 3 times out I have marked very few. I was fishing the south end and some friends were fishing the bluff. None of us marked many fish. Any input?

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This thread is from 2011 , sounds like DEC increase in creel limit has helped decrease the # of lakers which has increased the average size of the fish and the bait fish population...... but I think as Bigfoot  posted all the lakes are a few weeks behind and with the crazy storms messes up the temps in the water column.... may need to go into search mode more to find the fish.....

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I have fished Keuka lake for about 15 years now, and have noticed a few things about the lake:

 

1. As everyone has stated already, if you catch a bow or brown on the lake now it's a real treasure because it doesn't happen very often like it used to.

 

2. Although the laker population is still way too high, over the last 2-3 years the average size of the lakers i have caught has increased IMO.

 

This spring was probably my best year ever on Keuka (for size), landing two lakers in the double digits (11lbs & 10lbs) and a few others in the 5-7lb range in just three trips out.

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The lakers still may be there just not where expected.  In both Seneca and Canandaigua there is still very significant bait and fish too in shallower than we are used to fishing right now....things have seemed to be behind schedule all along this season (trees and flowers etc.) and most jiggers and trollers are used to fishing out deeper than the fish may be right now and Keuka may be similar.

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