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Tall Tails

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Here's the issue with the multiple hatchery concept....there aren't any really good locations for raising salmon around Lake O aside from the Salmon River.  

 

The main limiting factors are going to be water quality and water temps (determines the amount of dissolved oxygen).  The salmon river is fed from the bottom of a deep reservoir, and the water quality works.  It is a unique situation and obviously it's being capitalized on by having the hatchery there.    

 

Last year everyone kept bringing up the Caledonia hatchery as a historic place that raised salmon, and the DEC responded with very valid reasons for not using it now but people didn't want to listen to the reasoning.  As you can see from their reports, raising fish is a very delicate process.  None of the other areas are stable enough or meet the criteria needed to make it logical to direct the money and manpower towards opening a new facility.  The DEC has the same goals as everyone else, to have an amazing fishery in Lake Ontario but they have to make their decisions based on science and logic, not opinion and emotion.  If they could decrease the chance of loosing an entire year class to disease or disaster in one hatchery, they would do it.   It only benefits them to do that, but they need real viable opportunity to do so.

 

I agree the "all the eggs in one basket" situation is scary, but I think they are doing the best they can with what they have.       

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I am by no means slamming the DEC or any of their efforts. If it was not for them we all would be somewhere else spending time and our money. ALSO if it was not for them LAKE ONTARIO would not have the BIGGEST BADDEST KING SALMON FISHERY of all the Great Lakes!!! Yes there are issues, yes changes could be made, yes we fisherman want more and they want less. We will push them till end of time and try to meet some objectives but LAKE ONTARIO is STILL A WORLD CLASS FISHERY

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I respectfully disagree Steve. The DEC's focus has to be on one thing and one thing only....a healthy fishery. If that means less fish it's only because the science says so. DEC has loaded in almost 3 Million surplus fish the past several years. They upgraded the King Stocking numbers from 1 million when the forage base was low, back to 2 Million, Even WITH what they now know is a large wild population to boot.

The Avg Charter boat caught 8 fish per trip? Where have we ever seen long term Avg numbers like this? I realize you all want those 8 fish to be salmon....but if they didn't have the other fish in the lineup when the salmon fishing is off....Then what?

They can't knee jerk the science. As far as a broken record....how about the continued whining from anglers saying they don't believe any of their scientific data, when we've had a "very" healthy fishery for FORTY YEARS!!!...and have never lost the fishery. If I was a Lake angler...I'd be holding my breath right about now....cause loads of salmon or not...LO is nearly or at the 1979 apocalypse core temp. If the predator to prey balance is flipped this year because of this winter, you'll happy DEC didn't knee jerk a ton of more fish into the system.

As far as Dollars...DEC is a Science Functional arm of the State of New York. They aren't in business. Where were all the assemblymen and women at the SOTL the other night? Those are the folks WHO have clout to work with DEC to bring the value of the tourism to the table. Chamber of Commerce where were they? You guys are focused on the wrong targets fishing in dead water. You're banging on scientists.....to put money in your pockets.

Finally....like it or not...DEC and rightfully so manages this fishery as it should be....a 12 month a year entity. And in less than a month these pages are going to be full (in the reports section)..of 50 fish days trolling the shore line.....every day there will be a dozen new reports, video's...etc. And the question I would have????...are you guys still having fun out there? I watch the video's of some of you guys pulling in big lakers...and to me...it looks like a lot of fun....yeah LOVE King Salmon.....but I simply love to fish!

OK off the soap box...thanks....and I'll be happy to take my beating...now...but look in the mirror...how spoiled ARE WE?

Edited by King Davy
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Here's the issue with the multiple hatchery concept....there aren't any really good locations for raising salmon around Lake O aside from the Salmon River.  

 

The main limiting factors are going to be water quality and water temps (determines the amount of dissolved oxygen).  The salmon river is fed from the bottom of a deep reservoir, and the water quality works.  It is a unique situation and obviously it's being capitalized on by having the hatchery there.    

 

Last year everyone kept bringing up the Caledonia hatchery as a historic place that raised salmon, and the DEC responded with very valid reasons for not using it now but people didn't want to listen to the reasoning.  As you can see from their reports, raising fish is a very delicate process.  None of the other areas are stable enough or meet the criteria needed to make it logical to direct the money and manpower towards opening a new facility.  The DEC has the same goals as everyone else, to have an amazing fishery in Lake Ontario but they have to make their decisions based on science and logic, not opinion and emotion.  If they could decrease the chance of loosing an entire year class to disease or disaster in one hatchery, they would do it.   It only benefits them to do that, but they need real viable opportunity to do so.

 

I agree the "all the eggs in one basket" situation is scary, but I think they are doing the best they can with what they have.       

The is tons of $ in the conservation fund, or the lawsuit that they used money from to buy the marking trailer that could be put towards building a hatchery on the West end.  There is also Powder Mill.  Powder Mill is privately owned but the could make a deal to subcontract the job of raising the salmon. 

 

King Davy,

 

The DEC is all about a Healthy fishery IF the budget allows.  If a healthy fishery is what they are all about, they would not have all their eggs in one basket!  The DEC did add a ton of fish to the lake by adding 300,000 lake trout that live WAY LONGER than a king.  This could be detrimental to the fishery if there is a bait collapse.  Kings would be out of the system in 3 years.  Lakers can be in the system OVER 20 years.  It could be a reciepe for disaster if something were to happen. 

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No beating, I know you fly guys know if theres more Kings then less Steel get harvested--PERIOD. You can spin it any way you want. The bottom line is, the reason the large adult Alewife are over abundant and in poor condition is they are under predated. This knocks everything out of whack and of course puts the Young of the year alewife in peril. The only way to take the yo yoing out of the equation is to put more pelagic pressure on the 'wives and then there is more food for the young alewives and the entire population of bait is healthier.

I feel the health of the river run Iron would improve if they had a more balanced population of Alewife year classes to dine on. If they were controlled the caloric content of each Alewife would improve. I would bet the health of the fall run Steel in 2012 was top notch, as there were plenty of Kings in the lake that year.

If the numbers of Kings planted can't be increased for whatever reason, money, political agreements, or because they just give some managers hives, then certainly spreading more of them out in localized pens is one good answer and another would be to protect some of the wild stock while spawning.

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 Hey Dave,

I will reply to your post in sections

 The DEC's focus has to be on one thing and one thing only....a healthy fishery. If that means less fish it's only because the science says so. DEC has loaded in almost 3 Million surplus fish the past several years. They upgraded the King Stocking numbers from 1 million when the forage base was low, back to 2 Million, Even WITH what they now know is a large wild population to boot.

 

I do not disagree with the DEC wanting a healthy and stable long term fishery. You know me and we have had discussions i the past I am all about the long term heath and keeping this Lake a world class fishery. 

 

The Avg Charter boat caught 8 fish per trip? Where have we ever seen long term Avg numbers like this? I realize you all want those 8 fish to be salmon....but if they didn't have the other fish in the lineup when the salmon fishing is off....Then what?

 

i have mentioned this a hundred times. The Numbers are so "lop sided". I fully understand that the DEC conducts studys and data using Scientific methods, controls, and equations/ratios. Here is my problem with the numbers.... must are self inflicted by us fisherman. #1 the DEC creel boats are seldom around when the vast majority of trout and salmon anglers return to a port. #2 the fisherman report to the DEC dont give the most accurate information...... example they provide misinformation, they are in a hurry so just say" we only caught one and let it go". As for not having other fish in the line up..... that would chrush the fishery. Every trout and salmon swimming in the lake has a purpose within the ecosystem. And we both know that every species is targeted at different points of time throe out the year both on the lake and within the tribs. 

 

They can't knee jerk the science. As far as a broken record....how about the continued whining from anglers saying they don't believe any of their scientific data, when we've had a "very" healthy fishery for FORTY YEARS!!!...and have never lost the fishery. If I was a Lake angler...I'd be holding my breath right about now....cause loads of salmon or not...LO is nearly or at the 1979 apocalypse core temp. If the predator to prey balance is flipped this year because of this winter, you'll happy DEC didn't knee jerk a ton of more fish into the system.

 

I agree also that they can't knee jerk science BUT the trawls roaming the bottom in "dead" water looking for forage base is frustrating to say the lease. Again I understand the science and collection of data but the DEC needs to change the trawling methods/locations OR add to what they currently do in location where we fisherman see never ending bait pods, Then the DEC can compare there normal (control) trawl data with what we are seeing.

 

Finally....like it or not...DEC and rightfully so manages this fishery as it should be....a 12 month a year entity. And in less than a month these pages are going to be full (in the reports section)..of 50 fish days trolling the shore line.....every day there will be a dozen new reports, video's...etc. And the question I would have????...are you guys still having fun out there? I watch the video's of some of you guys pulling in big lakers...and to me...it looks like a lot of fun....yeah LOVE King Salmon.....but I simply love to fish! 

 

Yes i am a king fisherman and will chase them all over. I always have and always will spend the gas, bypass brown fishing in the shallow/mid waters in summer to run to the King Salmon. But as long as my clients are happy with the day on the water and the experience of our fishery thats all that matters to me at the end of the day. 

Edited by KING ME
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Steve I asked a "leading Question" of USGS at the meeting....meaning I already knew the answer, but many in the audience didn't. USGS trawls for Alewife from April 5th to May 5th give or take a day here or there. I asked if they think they are missing fish when and where they trawl. Understand they start there trawls sector from shallower (50 foot) on each shore all the way across the lake. And yes they are leaning on Good Ol' Bob O'Gorman's long term knowledge that in this time frame Y Over Y ....In early April to early May when the inshore and off shore waters are very cold Alewife are located at or nearer the bottom sections of the depts. of water they trawl. With a lake the size of LO....can they be 30 yards away from a huge school of bait fish and miss them ....ahh...can trollers be 30 yards away trolling from a huge school of Salmon and not bounce a rod only to proclaim the fish aren't here in this spot?

Let me ask....when USGS found the highest concentration of YOY alewife's EVER in the fall off 2013...how come nobody questioned THAT data? No matter the results of the spring trawls...they already knew there was a huge load of new forage running around out there....and everybody must have believed this to be true...cause many were yelling TOO many bait fish not enough predators. So do you really doubt that after the coldest winter in 150 years last year...that resulted in lowest body weight of moon eyes in a decade, AND a very poor YOY trawl last Sept....trawling the same location that yielded the record numbers the year before that they got it all screwed up? Doesn't make sense. If we don't like a data point, we don't believe the numbers? That's convenient.

On to creel census.....So they have a budget that allows for one to two boats for a few months. How come nobody ...none of the Charter Boat groups, or rec anglers groups...haven't stepped up and said HEY, we'll also collect data, put it in a spread sheet and send it in? We could scape off a couple scales when we are cleaning fish...put them in an envelope and write on it...from an 8 pound king salmon, caught July 4. "partnerships" are a two way street. We've kept logs on the finger lakes, and inland tribs for DEC that helped them determine health of those tribs. Is it an effort? Hell yeah. You want better data...PROVIDE it yourself.

The DEC didn't hold a gun to anybody's head and say...go be a Charter Boat fisherman and try and make a living at it...and we promise to keep you whole the entire length of your career, and don't worry about Mom nature, we'll handle her...

Another hatchery??? Whose paying for it...whose giving the state the money to manage it and pay 10 people to work there? How about everybody who fishes this fishery (me included) donate I don't know $20K of your paychecks to fund it. Did anybody remember Andy G talking about the roof leaking at Altmar? It's been leaking since 1985. Gonna get that fixed this year 30 years later. Who doesn't think the same problems and challenges don't crop up in another hatchery. The 1980's Version was $10M to build....what would it be in today's market...and where are we getting the deep water wells dug?

We have some special folks that I fish with, and many others that I don't know but have contributed time and effort to this fishery, without working to simply put money in their pockets. . Yeah we love our trib fish....and we saw the potential to create better habitat in a river that does promote wild fish, mostly King Salmon. the Salmon river has a huge flux season to season with the run off from the Tug Hill...causing tons of erosion problems, silting spawning gravel. So since 2008, we've planted 60,000 trees along the areas that are impacted, You can't truly measure our efforts as of yet, but the river produces millions of wild fish including for the first time in 150 years wild Atlantic Salmon.

Not saying this looking for a pat on the back....but stating a fact that if you want better data or conditions...then get involved MORE then just sitting in a meeting and complaining about what you are listening to.

Edited by King Davy
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I don't think anyone likes to have their voice discounted.  It makes you feel less of a person.  We as fishermen have had VALID concerns about the apparent out-of-balance Alewife population we have seen since 2012.  Many have told DEC officials at the state of the lake meetings of our observations......and they were discounted.  We have told DEC officials about the dangers of having only one primary fish hatchery.......and we were discounted.  Now we have seen and will see some of our worst fears realized.  Problems at the hatchery .......happening.  Problems with too many alewives..........see also dead Steelhead in the Salmon River........happening.  We would like the DEC to be proactive instead of reactive.  The purpose of the state of the lake meetings is a coming together of the two sides and maybe sharing ideas........so listen to us as we have no reason to make false statements.  Lets hope the out-of-balance bait levels due to less then adequate King stocking levels does not result in a crash due to a lack of plankton to support the high numbers.  It would take years to recover.  I can hear it now...."we are lessening King stocking now that the bait has crashed".........ugh!!!  :puke:

Edited by Gill-T
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brian - this was mentioned briefly a few years back and was opposed. Why... simply put fisherman didnt want to invest the effort, some didn't want true number of outings shared, some didn't want to get involved

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Dave,

  yes i run charters on the lake but it is more for the "thrill" than financial gain. My other business is where i make a living. The Lake and the fishery "well being" are not influenced by a wallet for me personally. 

Respectably asking .....

 the two comments below that you posted, comes down to money does it not? like i mentioned a few post ago. 

On to creel census.....So they have a budget that allows for one to two boats for a few months

Another hatchery??? Whose paying for it...whose giving the state the money to manage it and pay 10 people to work there?

 Lake trout are eating pooping long living species.   How are they going to impact the ecosystem, the balance,??? Lake trout are federally funded and "native" species so the DEC looks their safe and cautious stand point to the side?  It seems contradicting in the eyes of alot of people

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In addition to creel surveys how about angler diaries like the finger lakes? 

:yes:  I think that's a great idea.  Even if they don't provide the little journals, why can't we just keep them ourselves and volunteer that information?  I observed for a canadian captain in a pro-am that kept the most detailed journal I've ever seen (right down to actually putting serial numbers on each of his lures for recording purposes).  I was impressed with that and it inspired me to want to keep a journal.  I haven't been diligent about that at all due mainly to my sporadic trips on the lake.  I don't own a boat so I'm at the mercy of a few friends and when they can/want to fish.

 

In response to your response above....I wasn't implying there isn't money to improve the hatcheries.  Actually, If you get the NY Outdoor News, there is a big article in the latest issue about a ton of money being funneled into the state hatcheries right now.  I didn't have a chance to read through it yet but I think it actually pointed out where all the money was going.  I was simply stating that they aren't going to put money into something that doesn't have a solid foundation (i.e., starting a salmon hatchery in less than ideal conditions).

 

It's just a guess, but I would think that the Powder Mill hatchery is either lacking in capacity and/or sustained water quality to raise salmon.   

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It's just a guess, but I would think that the Powder Mill hatchery is either lacking in capacity and/or sustained water quality to raise salmon.   

I asked about Powder Mill last year at the state of the lake meeting and they said it was due to the fact that it was privatly owned. 

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I really don't think most people understand the "power" that the Great lakes Fishery Commission wields. The DEC and the DNR in the other lakes don't have 100% the last say on these decisions. Everybody should go to their website and get educated. Native species are going to be chips on the table forever. These guys have been in business and in charge since the 50's. They have an agenda, and it's going to get carried out. And none of these states in the GL get to say....Ahh...nah....this isn't for us.  

 

That's a game we can't win. So instead we have to find a way to play within the boundaries of the playing field...and honestly...haven't we? Doesn't matter if you are a part timer or full timer...if you choose to invest in this game of running a business...(not just charter guys), bait and tackle, marina's etc.....it's a roll of the dice all the way. Your success out on the big pond as well as in the tribs simply can't be debated. We are catching lots of fish.....and we have been for a very long time whether you believe the data or not. Let's just go look at the page after page of reports from the fishermen. Maybe we are all just a tad antsy cause of the winter. I haven't been on a trib since Jan 18....and I'm angry and nasty as Hell.

 

Best of luck this year Steve....I know you'll do well .

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Dave,

 The continued reintroduction of native species is huge and always will be an increasing factor in the playing field. Like i said in the eyes of many their increase is a contradiction.

side note... thanks and when was the last time you where out on the big pond?

Edited by KING ME
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I usally get out for the Spring Derby with a buddy down out of Wilson. Last year a fly fishing lady friend of mine and my wife Lindsay has a little 14 footer. I told Lisa I'd teach her how to troll the shoreline if she was interested. She was all in...as she loves to both trib and lake fish. We went out of Sandy on a Monday morning from 7 to Noon we put 40 fish over the side, I asked her what she thought of this.....her response....."I think I need Cigarette"

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drop me a line this summer take ya out offshore .....bring the family also. we can talk and they can fish. just no "side pressure" on the fish offshore last time you trib guys where on the boat lost more than landed LOL

 

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Side pressure no good unless you pull that throttle back into neutral and we aren't kite-ing the fish. I figured out how to catch these fish on a fly rod out in open water. Did it years ago, but perfected it the past 10 years in the Salt.

off shore.. proper sink tip, water load that cast, fling it 100 feet, count to 25 ... strip....and hang on. Fun to watch those rods trip off a release...whole nother game when a player in open water comes to eat those feathers, and rips your arm out of the socket cause you are holding the rod on the take....jus sayin' ....

BUT fishing that game...that 8 fish avg a trip is going to take a hit.

Steve....I know many have said it before, but it always need saying, you run a wonderful site, very fair, lots of great info, and lots of great anglers come visit here.

Thanks for the invite...and thanks much for the voice. you're first class Steve.

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Idea.......how about a LOU log app where each signed in member can post an entry into a log, yet that log would be private (to protect our secrets) and individual data would only be available to the member but each field could then be combined to provide statistical data on a lake wide level. This disaggregated data could then be analyzed and distributed.

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carl,

  in theory it could possibly be beneficial. Here is some of the reasons i stated in theory....1. LOU has enough going on and that added task is kinda on far for all Mods and admins to take on.... should be taken on by other means. 2. Input  would have to be same line as that conducted by creel census personnel -  data like number anglers, hours angling, charter or rec., resident or non, species caught, # caught, length weight ETC. ...this would have to be logged to serve the purpose, 3. multiple ports would have to provided data 4. data provided would have to be provided consistently and accurately for a few entire seasons.

these points alone make the task and the idea pretty tough to accomplished on a voluntary basis. Follow what i'm getting? 

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Have a DEC Angler's Log Book in each of the boat launch buildings found on the South shore.  When anglers come in they record what was caught and approximate weight.  Don't need anything more specific.

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I agree with Gill on this....in the end DEC isn't telling us the results of the specific science they may have recorded on scale samples and fun loving orientation etc. They want to know how many fish caught what species, and they would want your scaled weight of the fish probably to determine the health by weight. But since that could be less  accurate, they might just settle for how many anglers, how long you fished, where people were from, and what you caught.

 

I would think if Lake Angler clubs, and Charter Boat Assoc. contacted Jana, and discussed this opportunity, if they buy in, they'd help design the data sheet needed. Maybe somebody could even volunteer to design (cause we know they probably can't afford it) a virtual data collection portal to the DEC ...and you could upload this data to it from your phone from the boat buy having the electronic form on your phone.

 

We got more innovators around here then you can shake a stick at.....get with the DEC and pitch some ideas.

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Gill-T and Dave,

 Same thing could be done at LOC weight in locations when you weigh in a fish. Also the DEC could go to the numerous tournaments held along the south shore - after each team weights in for the tourney the DEC  can then do whatever needs to be done with the fish. Alot of possiblities.

creel census information is NOT the answer to all the lakes issues,mysteries, or what have ya but the more accurate data they have about fishing pressure and what is harvested can only help as a piece of the puzzle to see bigger picture.

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Gill-T and Dave,

 Same thing could be done at LOC weight in locations when you weigh in a fish. Also the DEC could go to the numerous tournaments held along the south shore - after each team weights in for the tourney the DEC  can then do whatever needs to be done with the fish. Alot of possiblities.

creel census information is NOT the answer to all the lakes issues,mysteries, or what have ya but the more accurate data they have about fishing pressure and what is harvested can only help as a piece of the puzzle to see bigger picture.

Steve,

 

It's smaller scale, but the DEC has done this the past couple years for our LOTSA Club Tournament in July

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