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Sk8man

Cayuga die off?

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My son just phoned and said he is working at a cottage on the west side about 10 miles out from Seneca Falls on Route 89 and there are dead sunfish and bluegills and other fish all over the lake as far as he can see. Anyone know whats happening out there?

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Fished out of Deans Cove this AM, same there, blue gills and sunfish all over-seems strange

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Seen similar before- was told it was pretty normal.  I can't really remember all that well but about 5 years back it was happening and there was some concern about VHS, but the DEC said it's not here in Cayuga and was a normal spring thing.  But my memory there is a bit foggy for details.  Missed a few years recently so don't know about the interval.  I sure hope it's not some disease making itself known.

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I seen the same thing on Seneca yesterday headed out of the State Park/Melons Cove area.  I seem to remember hearing the same info. as the above post.  Anyways, it's definitely not limited to Cayuga.

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Rapid temp change can do that. Last week one of the guys I work with put his dock in on the north end of Cayuga with no waders on. He said the water was near 60F in the shallows. Wind changes direction and cold water comes crashing in and you have a die off. I saw one at Oswego when the lake rolled over,dead fish every place you looked. When we got back in the harbour it was full of warm water fish getting out of the cold.  Wes 

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It does sound like water temp issues. Thanks.

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 Im parked at Fingerlakes Marina on meyers point. Ive found several dead fish including Bass, sunfish and a nice brown trout about 17"  within 10' of my dock. 

 

All fish had white fungus on them.  Ive also seen this fungus on fish that are still alive swimming around.  Bad picture but a dead brown none the less

http://i950.photobucket.com/albums/ad350/vogel451/0507131646_zps302afe85.jpg

Edited by vogel451

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Rapid temp changes kills small fish....not a biggie happens all the time. ...

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Ive lived on owasco and cayuga lakes for over 25 years and have never seen massive die offs like the ones we've had in the past five to ten years.  It's also happening on Skaneateles.  Temperatue related die-offs in early spring that happen due to a freak warm-up are understandable.  Especially to baitfish.  This has been anything but a rapid warming weather pattern. It's affecting warm and cold water species.  This does and has concerned me for years as well as fish with lesions on them.  It's also why I no longer keep a DEC diary as I was told every year as issues occurred that fishing was great and there was no concerns.  I'm not a biologist but I am on the lakes alot and notice the changes....let's leave the politics aside and address whats happening.  Water quality has to be a factor

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You do have to wonder ifsomething isbeing released....I just hope it isn't from natural gas drilling   way down into the ground water table. somewhere...

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 This happened on Cayuga about 5 years ago as well. The entire  lake was covered with bass, sunnies, rock bass by the millions, bullheads, suckers, Pike,Pickerel, Carp etc... Massive piles of fish washed up on  the south point of Taughannock Park,  stacked up  so deep they brought a bucket loader in to clear the piles of rotting stinking fish.. I called the DEC, and they said it was "temperature related spawning stress".. bullcrap... Since that  week years ago, I have yet to catch a good size  rock bass in cayuga.. They had just about disappeared... Same thing with Smallmouth in the very south end of the lake.. i would catch dozens in a few hours, BIG ones, standing on the same damn rock.. Now I catch one or two a year... I posted about it on  another forum, and was hammered for being an alarmist, being negative, there's nothing wrong with the lake etc.. I have been here for 22 years, and over the last 7 or so, have seen big die offs of Pike, Bass,  Rock Bass, Suckers etc... There IS a problem, and I think the DEC is aware of it, but won't discuss it... bob

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Bob,

 

The whole thing sounds weird to me.   Temperatures in large bodies of water usually take a long time to change.   If it's a turnover it would seem that the fish would move to their comfort zone.    Maybe if they are in the spawning mood is changes everything but isn't it a bit early for spawn of warm water species?  My last two experiences with calling DEC weren't productive on facts or service (lots of lip service though)  so I would look for answers elsewhere. 

 

The good fishing places I knew as a kid have been trashed or depeated so now I just look for any opertunity I can.  Fishing pressure, invasive species and polution may be bigger factors than we realize.  If fracking gets approved it may be the death blow to fishing.

 

Enjoy fishing while we can and put some back in the lakes and streams.

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It could be from the salt mines and brine wells that have been up there for many many years. Funny how people can be against one thing, and ignore other issues.

 

Most likely another outbreak of VHS, but could be upwelling and ick.

You do have to wonder ifsomething isbeing released....I just hope it isn't from natural gas drilling way down into the ground water table. somewhere...

 

 

 

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I agree. Invasive species like Rainbow trout and Brown trout need to go. Let the native fish have the lakes back. Lake Trout and Landlock Salmon.  Get the Pacific salmon out of the Great Lake while your at it.

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Bob,

 

The whole thing sounds weird to me.   Temperatures in large bodies of water usually take a long time to change.   If it's a turnover it would seem that the fish would move to their comfort zone.    Maybe if they are in the spawning mood is changes everything but isn't it a bit early for spawn of warm water species?  My last two experiences with calling DEC weren't productive on facts or service (lots of lip service though)  so I would look for answers elsewhere. 

 

The good fishing places I knew as a kid have been trashed or depeated so now I just look for any opertunity I can.  Fishing pressure, invasive species and polution may be bigger factors than we realize.  If fracking gets approved it may be the death blow to fishing.

 

Enjoy fishing while we can and put some back in the lakes and streams.

Last tuesday I noticed that the lake had indeed turned over (during the sunny/ calm spell).   This is mid lake Cayuga.  We went from zero panfish to catching panfish one after the other.  I'm not sure how much temp. change effects breeding fish, but I'm sure a blow on the lake will very the temp. greatly and these fish are seeing these swings daily.  Food for thought.

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My wife "has" a 75gal tetra aquarium that I do most of the maintainance on. The tetras are a variety of types including what is considered a very fragile family commonly known as hatchet fish that act like trout.    We have it set up with dirt on the bottom covered with gravel to support many plants.   Watching the fish is interesting and fun.   The hatchet fish act so much like trout and have adapted exclusively to top water feeding.

 

I do a 25% water change every month or two.    The water is not exactly the same temperature as what is added to the tank.  The fish tend to adapt to the temp change readily and if too far off will just move away from the usually cold new water compared to the tank water.   Sometimes the fish seem to actually like the colder water.  Mind you these are very fragile fish compared to the panfish we are thinking about.

 

I may be totaly wrong but I don't think that at this time of year the  fish in the finger lakes are going to see a rapid enough or drastic enough change to kill them.    

 

I sure would be interested to know just what happened but my guess is that we never will no matter what the cause be it natural or man made.

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Something we get here on Lake Erie is a botulism outbreak.  Plant matter pools in a low spot out of the current and decays to the point where Anaerobic respiration occurs.  Botulism bacteria need this condition. As the fish feed into this area they die off and sink into the area.  Repeating the process as other things feed into the area and also die until the area is flushed out by the current thus ending the cycle.  A large pool of "dead" water can move like a curtain and kill across a large area.  I remember seeing a few of the mass die offs on Cayuga as a kid in the 80's.  Remember the duck die off in Stewart Park.  Same concept. As the local business' use the lake as a big heat exchange for their air conditioners the lake has to absorb more heat energy and thus enabling  production of more plant matter.  More than the end of the lake can naturally flush out.  It would be interesting to see what is being flushed, run off, into the lake as the winery industry increases and the farms decrease.  Different fertilizers and nutrients being fed into the streams in the area that might enable a bloom in algae and bacteria in the lake to explode.  

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I fished the north end of Seneca this morning and saw the exact same blue gill die off and a bunch of floating catfish too. I couldn't find anyone who knew why. I guessed that maybe they put some kind of lampracide in the water and these guys were victims.  

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Viral hemorrhagic septicemia? Heard about it being commen in fish farms..could come from all the fish that they stock in the lakes..keep the fish that are not native out let the native fish have there house back!!!

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