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Tall Tails

State of Lake Meetings Scheduled!

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HOT of the press!

 

The annual "State of Lake Ontario" meeting dates are as follows; please note all meetings will start at 6:30PM this year:

 

Monday, March 2, 2015: 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the Carlson Auditorium, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus, Rochester, Monroe County.  The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board.

 

             Tuesday, March 10, 2015: 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the DEC Training Academy, 24 County Route 2A, Pulaski (the former Portly Angler Motel), Oswego County.  The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association.

 

Monday, March 16, 2015: 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension   Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, Niagara County.  The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board.

 

 

Brian

Edited by Tall Tails

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This years should be interesting. 

No kidding!

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Hope that they will have expanded their trawls with the new research boat, & have more relevant information that we can use.

Edited by Iceman

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No worries, everything is fine, nothing to see here, fishing was the best ever.

 

EXACTLY!

 

Oh, and our baitfish level isn't great, but we're gonna dump an extra 300,000 Lake Trout into Lake Ontario that: 1) live 10+yrs and eat Alewife like popcorn 2) No one really wants to target 3) They are only doing because the fed are giving them the money 4) No one really wants to target

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I'd like to see what they have to say about the baitfish level... I marked more bait last year then the previous three years combined

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Sorry to break this to you Matt, but their preliminary findings fly directly in the face of what most ardent anglers observed last season. Last September they said there was still additional data to compile but they did not see excessive numbers using their collection methods. Lakewide, anglers shared that adult alewives spent more time high in the water column and perhaps the bottom trawls missed alot of whats out there. My concern all along has been if the alewife population is left excessively large in relation to the number of pelagic predators, that they could be in dire straits with another winter like what we are experiencing. I thought the plan was to control alewife with Chinook Salmon(last season there wasn't a whole lot of controlling going on) which helps the system in many ways, and of course brings a great economic shot in the arm to both NY and Ontario province. Instead, it appears the lakes Alewives will be dedicated to more and more Lake trout, a noble fish but not Chinook Salmon in any way, shape, or form. 

I'd like to see what they have to say about the baitfish level... I marked more bait last year then the previous three years combined


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Edited by Capt Vince Pierleoni

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Well, hopefully these meetings will see the best turn out ever, which will bring more input than ever, lots of armchair QB's (did I say that right?) The poke n hope method of hoping LO's biology will be where we all want it cant last forever. I for one feel fortunate that it has so far,or at minimum has has a sustaining impact. Either way these meetings should be mobbed with interest, overwhelm them with the fact we care. Instead of allowing a decline to progress in interest due to a general feeling of our presents doesn't help. See you there !!!

 

Tom

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The Rochester meeting was full last year. I hope we can repeat that.

Sent from my XT1080 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Unfortunately, the Lockport meeting is never as well attended as we would like to see.  We really need to fill the room this year.

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It would be real nice if once in a while they could do this on a Saturday afternoon / evening for us out of staters and others who use the resource and care to contribute but live hours away.  Nope.....Tuesday @ 6:30 for Oswego.  

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Well, hopefully these meetings will see the best turn out ever, which will bring more input than ever, lots of armchair QB's (did I say that right?) The poke n hope method of hoping LO's biology will be where we all want it cant last forever. I for one feel fortunate that it has so far,or at minimum has has a sustaining impact. Either way these meetings should be mobbed with interest, overwhelm them with the fact we care. Instead of allowing a decline to progress in interest due to a general feeling of our presents doesn't help. See you there !!!

 

Tom

Just came back from the meeting. I was disappointed at the turnout. Around 2/3 full and last year was standing room only. I'll let someone else chime in on the meeting details.

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Here is my understanding, feel free to correct any inaccuracies as I may of interpreted something wrong or have a bad memory.

 

Short story is catch rates were above long term average. Rates for Kings were overall above average but depending on were and when you were fishing you could have poor rates, with middle of summer being on the low side.   I believe in all cases of salmon and trout species while the catch rate was above long term averages the body condition of all species was below those of the last few years.  In other words if 4 years ago a 25 inch king had a weight of 8lbs this year a it was 7lbs (Not exact numbers just number to give you an idea of what they mean).  They also estimated wild production of Kings to be in the high 40% range and that certain areas of the lake having higher and lower wild reproduction than other, with highest being around Salmon River.  I also believe they said surprisingly that few wild salmon make it into the hatchery ponds.

 

Stocking numbers in general where at targets with the exception of Coho's and Steelhead/rainbow trout.  I believe for steelhead they mentioned that three incubators (250,000 steelhead) had water issues that caused no flow to the incubators and the steelhead in them were lost.  The DEC was able to get some fish from PA and Vermont that were/would be stocked towards the Lake Erie supply.   Once that was done the NY State Surviving Steelhead would be divided by some method between Lake Ontario and Erie.  Gist I got was numbers would not meet target but would not catastrophically low.  They brought up that between browns, steelhead and Kings that last few years there have been surpluss put into the system so long term averages they are still "hitting their goals."  Cohoes eye up this year was around 25% up from 17 year before.  This means better numbers than last year to stock but still lower than target.  They discussed several things they did to increase the 17% to 25% such as less Thiamine in bath but higher grade, less density of eggs in trays.  They also did one to one male to female fertization vs pooling of eggs and milt and collection of eggs closer to ideal water temperature in the river.

 

 

Lamprey Control has been positive and they went over methods and streams/rivers they plan on treating this year.

 

Baitfish (Alewives)  numbers of 1 year old are lower with body condition poorer.  They see this as a result of weather and higher number of older alewives making food competition higher.  This according to them is consistent with the cycle alewife numbers seem to follow since water became cleaner and less nutrient rich.  For those wondering they define the Great Lakes being more nutrient rich around the time of the Cleveland river fires and not the pre/post zebra/quagga mussels.   They believe the clean water act to be a bigger factor on nutrients than the mussels.  Overall they see the alewives as being in a normal cycle but with poorer body condition.  That body conditioning being important for the steelhead issues this winter.

 

In regards to the steelhead die off and acting weird.  All tests have come back and they blame these issues with Thiamine issue.  Tissue tests confirm this as well as the recovery of fish treated with Thiamine at the hatchery and there recover.  Because the test that actually confirming the deficiency taking so long they used this event to see some other tests they did themselves that are much quicker had results that could correlate to Thiamine deficiency.  This means in the future they will still have to wait for actual test result for deficiency, they have tests they believe will strongly be able to indicate deficiency is a problem thus being able to more quickly react to the situation.  The reaction being to give adult fish a manual a shot of Thiamine.  They believe that because of the alewife population and condition that Steelhead were having to eat more alewives to get the food they needed.  These smaller alewives not only made the steelhead eat more but had a higher concentration of Thiamanese causing the deficiency issue.  Because of this winter being similar or worse than last year they see alewife body condition being similar to last year so this problem has the potential to happen again.

 

They talked again about hopeful improvements to the Salmon river hatchery to improve water quality and flow to the hatchery.   This includes rehabbing the wells as well as a recirculating system that would reuse water and require less flow of new water from wells.  Potential fromm 1000+ gallons a minute to under 300 I believe.

 

They talked about the pen rearing ongoing study.  Early studies point to the fish in pens being twice the contribution to the fishery as lake released fish.  These fish also are at about a eighty percent higher  or more to returning to the pens rivers and stream as opposed to straying to the Salmon River.  There are still a few more years of the study before they make a full conclusion.  When asked what would happen if the study finished similar to the result so far, they said they would most likely increase the pen rearing stocking percentage but still maintain a direct lake stocking so that not all the eggs were in one basket.

 

Cisco stocking study was still continuing but as of right now nothing notable to finding or that they in anyways had a significance to the fishery from being a contribution to the bait fish forage base for salmoniods.   Basically the numbers being stocked were to small in the big scheme of this to be significant forage.

 

Sure there is more but that is what comes to mind immediately.

Edited by pvelyk

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I loved the "all the eggs in one basket" quote about adding more pen fish. Don't they have all their "eggs in one basket" with only having the one hatchery for lake ontario.?

Sent from my XT1080 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I am with you on that.  Especially when they open up and tell you all their water issues and the real world impact it has on stocking numbers because of it.  Mortality issues of fry because of silt/sand blocking reservoir pipes or even worse entering incubators.  Seems to me multiple locations would mean more sources of water, a smaller requirement of water per hatchery and having less impact of water issues and diseases.  I get the manpower issues involved in more hatchery but the money involved in this fishery more than justifies it.   The guys in the hatchery are doing great with what they have but the one basket thing kind of doesn't hold up on their side, not that I have a problem stocking a smaller percentage straight to lake.  It never hurts to have multiple sources.

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Agreed

Sent from my XT1080 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Here is my understanding, feel free to correct any inaccuracies as I may of interpreted something wrong or have a bad memory.

 

Short story is catch rates were above long term average. Rates for Kings were overall above average but depending on were and when you were fishing you could have poor rates, with middle of summer being on the low side.   I believe in all cases of salmon and trout species while the catch rate was above long term averages

Really!!

There must have been some mighty big freezers at some ports, because the one on the oak that generally would need emptying twice a week was pretty much empty most of the season. Not to mention that the NWS / DEC field samplers consistently reported low numbers at other ports. Catch rates are numbers provided by us......how can this be the conclusion when the consensus is the opposite??

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Really!!

There must have been some mighty big freezers at some ports, because the one on the oak that generally would need emptying twice a week was pretty much empty most of the season. Not to mention that the NWS / DEC field samplers consistently reported low numbers at other ports. Catch rates are numbers provided by us......how can this be the conclusion when the consensus is the opposite??

Because we get the same carbon copy every year Carl.  They do not want to admit low numbers of kings and high numbers of alewives.  The state does not want to spend the $ to put more kings in.  The get the feds to stock more lake trout to knock the alewive numbers down. 

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Because we get the same carbon copy every year Carl. They do not want to admit low numbers of kings and high numbers of alewives. The state does not want to spend the $ to put more kings in. The get the feds to stock more lake trout to knock the alewive numbers down.

This record is broken can we play a new one? In the end a lot of it comes down to money unfortunity. Always has and always will. Even back when it was shown to the Dec their return on the dollar ( some of you may remember the stakeholders and that financial report presented to DEC) always something, egg collection, hiring freeze, man power, hatcery, hang nail, whatever the reasoning is that year. Granted the DEC wants and has to be cautious and look at long term effects they still should atleast try increased chinook stocking for 3 years and retook at the impact.

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Added note.....

Let millions of dead rotting stinking alewives wash up on the beaches and shores like years ago.letters will be flying to the politicians from water front homeowners about the disgusting smell.... Taxpayers would push the politicans which would push the dec to increase chinooks to rid the problem. I bet you then the DEC Would be stocking Kings like big-screen TVs at Walmart

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