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justtracytrolling

otisco walleye stocking program info

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I just got off the phone with Dave Lemon region 7 fisheries manager and wanted to share a little of our conversation with his permission. I shared with him again our concerns with the stocking cuts and explained to him it seemed to many that as soon as we started sharing catch info via the angler diary program stocking was cut. He assured me that simply put the 50 day fingering stocking program was so successful that a decision was made to stock more water using half the fish we would get. On the face of it this sucks, but the fish are still being stocked and the net result should be more walleye fishing opportunities for everyone. The one new piece of info i got, at least new to me, was that the region 7 crew will be assessing yoy survival every stocking year. This way if there is a bad year Dave will be able to get us fish the next year instead of skipping a year. While there is no guarantees this plan is sounding better. Dave is also going to get us fish if there are surplus fry on the off years. Lastly, i discussed some undersize fish i recently caught and a few from last year and he believes, as do I, that i have actually caught walleyes that were NOT stocked as there shouldn't have been 7-8 inch fish last year with no stocking or any 12-13 inchers this year for the same reason....yet i caught them.... The DEC seems committed to walleye being a part of the fishery and hopefully that doesn't change.

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Thanks for the info Justin, as it is alet down to here they quit stocking otisco,  it is good to here they want many lakes with the success as otisco has had. I like the idea of fishing different lakes to sharpen our skills as walleye fishermen. Hope to see you on the water soon..

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Justin thank you for sharing and caring that is great information. Justin and I discussed this to great lengths the last time I was on his boat and we are on the same page in our concerns over the lack of stocking. We also discussed that we didn't believe every single fry is eaten by alewives so it's good to know that albeit a small percentage that in fact some natural reproduction exists. Thanks again for sharing this important information.

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I hope they can rethink their every other year decision when a public boat launch is put in place.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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The tough thing to realize is that there isnt necessarily a shortage of fish just because we struggle to catch the walleye.....the walleye are the best fed fish in the state and possibly the hardest to catch. I believe the walleye population is as big as ever. There are 6 stocking classes in the last 7 years and all but this years class are showing up in catches and we will know very soon how this years yoy are doing. I doubt the boat launch will change much as there won't be that much parking so most will still be paying a $9 launch.

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if there is parking for 10 trailers their will be 10 boats.20-20 boats.the lake will get hit hard from sunrise till sun set..then once the bass tourneys start!!!! ssbl on oneida is a cartoon after bass season opens..and so long 4 now;john

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Don't worry about the launch and the extra boats.  The 90/10 rule still applies.

 

To your point - Bassholes generate more money than walleye anglers and $$ is all Albany cares about.  I was fortunate to fish it this year and it is a really nice fishery so I get the concern that it may be ruined/altered but it makes sense that a state launch is put in.

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Any lake that has state stocked fish should have a public launch, and i dont think fishing pressure will change the walleye population much as the lake seldom yields limits for most anglers and even then its a night gig for the most part which obviously keeps most people away. I went out last night and got into em a bit and i didnt see a single boat or shore angler on the causeway. One boat came in before i went out...

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I see and hear hundreds of walleye taken every year. It definitely reduces the number of adult walleye in the lake, to think it doesn't make a difference in the population is definitely delusional. I was there when the walleye were being poured into the lake this spring. The DEC guy said "good fishing for three more years,after that I don't know". We all want to see sustainable stocking and should figure how to do it ourselves. I would love to take advantage of resources available through my college and would share the infrastructure struggles with all. If we can make this a project I will and let everyone know. Maybe we can help without the DEC who seem to have their hands tied.Although their efforts are appreciated they may not be what we need to keep Otisco lake what it should be. I will express ideas and take ideas so we can figure it out.

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We are talking thousands of fish surviving each year in addition to natural reproduction. Its not just 100's being taken either....im just the only one that was dumb enough to share...i know 4 individuals that catch 50-150 every year but they aren't doing diaries. Anyone interested should spend time with the region 7 people and you will see what we are up against....the state simply won't stock the lake full like oneida period....im constantly trying to figure out a way to get more fish, but they have a different excuse why every time. I know every angler out there wants better fishing with less anglers on the water and i get that but how is that ever gonna happen....our best chance is a bigger voice and that means more not less anglers and we would have to organize and work together to promote our lake...keeping it a secret isnt possible and still get state fish. The good news is there is some reproduction.....

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I think any natural reproduction is negligible. Try to raise some money amongst the anglers and buy fish to stock. Otisco is so small it can't handle pressure like Oneida anyways be glad it doesn't get the attention

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I respect you opinion.  I just don't agree with it.  The only fish in that lake that may suffer are the tigers.  Again the 90/10.  Throw 20 more boats out there - only 2 of them will be catching walleyes.  The rest will be wondering why there aren't any fish in the lake.

 

There is a big bit fest on Trib page about DSR having a section of stream that they control and can charge or deny to other fisherman and it is legal.  The logic is that our licenses pay for the hatchery so they shouldn't be allowed to benefit from it which is opposite of this issue.  I get it but the feeling I get from your concern is that Otisco is a hidden gem and that it should remain under the radar.  That is ok but, from what I have read in Justin's comments over the years is that he is trying to keep the lake visible so it gets more fish.  The state won't spend money so a few privileged people get to reap those benefits.   Can't have it both ways.  So to simplify, Otisco shouldn't get state dollars for put and take species if it isn't available for all license holders.  If it was a restoration project, I would be totally on your side.  It just isn't.  I don't think it is right to have state dollars used to stock a private lake.

 

Yes to stocking numbers being increased.  Definitely. 

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Ive heard a lot about the launch and dont feel sure about the info so I'd rather not pass it along. Region 7 field office gave me some info, but it isnt concrete.

Connor,

If you can catch natural reproduction fish 3 passes in a row thru a school that seems like something...im talking about fish that couldnt have been stocked...12 inch fish this year as of 2 weeks ago and no fish were stocked last year. Yoy walleye from Otisco this time of year are about 7 inches third year plants are say 17 inches...

The real advantage to more fish isnt just to have more to fish for it's really to keep the bait population in check or actually knock it back a bunch! This would help with natural reproduction and make the fish hungrier....

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You are right Justin it's not 100's of fish taken each year,its thousands and when they're not being replaced in a put and take fishery it's a problem. Other comments have reiterated the natural reproduction is limited as are the streams in Otisco. The response of the stocking program is also being limited by the lack of stocking and the DEC won't answer. No mention of more boats in this thread from me, we have been down that road before. We just the need to figure out how to stock it on our own. I would/wiil advocate anything to help the situation be it money or effort. To keep pressing on the DEC is not the answer,it's like asking for a favor from someone, fuk that. This is the only finger lake locally that has a good alwive reproduction because of the nutrients that come from the south pond. I grew up on these lakes,Owasco etc are much clearer and free of nutrients because of filtering by zebra mussels, that is why the smelt and alwives are almost gone, not so in Otisco, I love this lake and want to see it thrive, and the only thing we can be sure of from the state is that we will pay our taxes. Let's figure out how to stock it ourselves.

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I'll chip in. The more little walleyes in there the bigger the tigers will get. I don't know if a state launch will crowd the lake or not. The access at the campground is pretty darned good. Sure $9.00 is more than a state launch but they have good coffee there and that guy has to eat too. If i want to launch before the store opens i can call ahead and let them know i'll pay later. Nice people there.

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The topic is stocking. I wonder how the DEC approached it around 08 thru 12. With regard to numbers and size of stockers. It seems like many of the fish I caught in the last three years have been 22-28 inches,not so much this year a little smaller. I figure the fish that size are at least 4 thru 6 years old. Hard to tell with all the feed I could be wrong. I was a trout guy then.

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My comment about the natural reproduction was more agreeing with the fact that if there is natural reproduction occurring, it shouldn't impact stocking numbers because it is such a small occurrance.  And just because there are fish that don't fit the pattern, doesn't necessarily mean there is a wealth of reproduction.  I saw 4 goldfish in Otisco 2 years ago that were about a foot long and I'm pretty sure those weren't stocked by DEC or natural repro, everyone has heard stories about rogue fish in other lakes that dont belong (walleyes in Skaneateles for example) sometimes people do their own stocking.

I don't think Otisco is a hidden gem, it's definitely not, but IMO the reason people go there is because they are searching for an experience different than Oneida.  Everyone wants a limit, but you go to oneida for a meal you go to otisco for a monster.  That doesn't mean I don't think there should be a state launch, or I wouldn't want more walleyes.  It was more of a comment on just being appreciative for it the way it is.  

 

I don't even want a launch because of problems with the price, i jsut dont want to launch below causeway, or deal with that nightmare up at the other marina.  How about a launch at the park with a fee and the fee goes to paying for some more fish to stock.
 

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I have a very good friend who is a amateur pro bass fisherman his son is married to my cuisin, last Tuesday David Hall and his grandson fished Lake Otisco, before meeting up with us at camp. He said they did well with the smallies they fished the boat dock area and I think the causeway, he said it was muddy water on one side and clear on the other and people were standing on a stoney high road way that split the two bodies of water that is where they hit the smallies and some brutes to say the least. I told him to look for toon boat with a rocket launch with lights, that would be Justin's boat or a Otisco chaters servise of some sort as I couldn't remember the correct name. He also said it definitely smaller than our local Lake Beltzville. What I'm getting at is people come from all over to fish Otisco, how could you make that known to the dec or whoever, so you get your fish. Maybe the little bit of access to the lake may be in thought just the way David said he paid to launch, he did mention there is only 1 good launch area that he saw anyway David did say he will come back!!! I wish the best for Otisco as I would like to hit on our way back to camp next year. Anything where politics are involved it can be very touchy situation!!! I feel your pain as there is chit going on, on our local lake also, which some things need to be addressed also.

Edited by pap

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I do not trust the state when it comes to stocking efforts.  I know people in the field are doing good work but it is the decision makers that I do not trust.  They make policy decisions and then back fill it with justification to fit their agenda (I am guessing it is political).  In my opinion, it is necessary to keep the balance in the lake such that the alewives do not over populate.  This is done by adding predators.  If predators are harvested, they need to be replaced.  Simple fluid dynamics.  The in and out has to be in a steady state. 

 

I apologize if I offended anyone.  I think we all want the same end game.

 

Joe

 

PS.  I have only fished this lake once so I do not have the experience or time investment that a lot of you have.  BUT, I will also say that since my last time I have been thinking about making a summer trip in the near future where I spend the whole weekend fishing it.  Not just walleye, but bass and pan fish too.  It truly is a nice fishing lake and while I think it is too difficult for me to make a day of it, I would consider staying there for several days.  I was very much impressed with my experience there.  So much so that I thought about spending time on Owasco and Skaneatles too - 2 FLs I have yet to fish.  A perfect example of why I still heart NY - Opportunity.

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