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Kevin J Legg

Protecting SLR walleyes

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The guy(or gal) who has invested time and resources to master any fishery shouldn't be held accountable regardless of whether he is a guide or not for anyone's misfortunes.  It seems like every year someone is bashing charter captains because they aren't catching them like they did 20 years ago.  Are there bad apples? Everywhere & in every faction of our daily lives but don't convict someone you you don't know because you can't catch em like you use to.  And if you can't help it Blame the Amish.  They won't fight back.

 

There are a lot of people that CnR fish in the pre season and think that it doesn't hurt any but I tend to disagree and I do move on if I am crappie fishing and I start catching a lot of Bass instead.  There is plenty of season for bass fishing and I see no reason to beat on them in the spring time.  The other down side with CnR season is that guys use it as an excuse to target toothy critters.

 

Sustainability is what i think we are talking about.  Are we (collectively) doing what we love in a fishery that can recover?  If the Answer is "NO" then how do we need to modify our behaviour (collectively) to get back on track?  If the Answer is "YES" then why is this thread getting so long?

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A few gobies can decimate a smallmouths nest in the 2 mins. it's gone. Multiply that by a few anglers over the days and that's more damage than you fit in a live well down the line. Inside the bays doesn't bother me as much but on the river there are gobies. Fact.

That's why the SLR is closed season until 3rd. Saturday in june for bass and musky.

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I run the ogdensburg walleye hatchery. We usually release between 500,000 and one million fry into the river each year. We also provide the fry for the st Lawrence river walleye association ponds that they raise to fingerlings. We could probably raise double that but the dec limit our fish take claiming that the stocking program really doesn't help that it is more of a feel good project to use their term. So we would like to do more but we are held back. Judging from the walleye fishing 15 years ago to now I feel the stocking is working.

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I run the ogdensburg walleye hatchery. We usually release between 500,000 and one million fry into the river each year. We also provide the fry for the st Lawrence river walleye association ponds that they raise to fingerlings. We could probably raise double that but the dec limit our fish take claiming that the stocking program really doesn't help that it is more of a feel good project to use their term. So we would like to do more but we are held back. Judging from the walleye fishing 15 years ago to now I feel the stocking is working.

Is there a way of marking your stocked fish so we could tell if they are stocked (fin clips)?

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Probably not because we release them as fry. Dec doesn't do any trawl netting in this part of the river so they don't have any real information. From what I can tell this area of the river isn't really important to them.

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With all the undersized walleyes in the Ogdensburg area I believe the stocking has been beneficial. That or there is a great deal of natural reproduction occurring. I seldom catch undersized walleyes in the Alex Bay section.

Edited by Kevin J Legg

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Hat's off to all the SLR walleye stocking pioneers and volunteers. Unless some other data is shared it appears that the primary cause for the walleye population growth is this "feel good" stocking program.

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Its interesting...... I have never caught a walleye under 21" in clayton area..... It sounds like there may be a pronounced size density curve in the population as u move from the lake down river.... Wonder why that might be?? Some of the earlier posts here indicate walleyes to be roamers.... You might think different sized fish would disperse more evenly throughout the river?

Edited by EsoxAC3

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I run the ogdensburg walleye hatchery. We usually release between 500,000 and one million fry into the river each year. We also provide the fry for the st Lawrence river walleye association ponds that they raise to fingerlings. We could probably raise double that but the dec limit our fish take claiming that the stocking program really doesn't help that it is more of a feel good project to use their term. So we would like to do more but we are held back. Judging from the walleye fishing 15 years ago to now I feel the stocking is working.

 

3/4 million fry stocked annually and no impact ??????? Keep up the thankless effort. How are you funded and how can we help?

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3/4 million fry stocked annually and no impact ??????? Keep up the thankless effort. How are you funded and how can we help?

X2!!!

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I wish we had a feel good stocking program! Those stocked fish are making a huge difference. Are the fry exposed to oxytetracycline so the fish could be studied later as to whether they were stocked or natural? We get 50,000 every other year and have poor natural reproduction. I have worked for years trying to muster support for more fish here and instead they cut our fish stocking in half...what id like to know is how come Oneida needs so many stocked...it's over populated already...We need a statewide walleye association to really pressure the DEC to spread the wealth and take walleye more seriously!

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I wonder why its regarded by DEC biologists as 'feel good'? Is it Due to the number number of fish stocked to the relatively large overall size of the fishery? It seems any and all support is helpful.

Edited by EsoxAC3

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I interpreted their reference of it to a "feel good" stocking program to be sort of a high brow put down of the great work being done by concerned sportsmen. From some of the background history I have read about Captain Bob Flavia and Mr. Bouchard the DEC resisted them since the beginning in 1989. Not surprising they are not praising it now. Reluctant participation is better than none... I guess.

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We don't treat the fry with anything to track them. We're worried it could cause a problem.We are funded through donations and our fishing derby we run in the spring. DEC feels there are enough walleye in the river and stocking has no impact.The DEC shocks the river so we can collect eggs so we have to obey by their decisions. We will continue stocking so long as they supply us with fish. By the way we know stocking works no matter what they think !

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SLR Walleye Association stocked 30-35,000 fingerlings this year! Sure would be interesting to know if our fish were coming up river from Ogdensburg area, down river from BRB, Chaumont, Quinte or are breeding somewhere locally.

I think a lot of eyes from Chaumont, brb, and quinte head into the river for the summer months and back into the bays and rivers in the cooler winter months to transition into the spawn for spring. I have chased eyes from all around and have followed them into the slr almost every year.

Sent from my thinking chair...

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Its interesting...... I have never caught a walleye under 21" in clayton area..... It sounds like there may be a pronounced size density curve in the population as u move from the lake down river.... Wonder why that might be?? Some of the earlier posts here indicate walleyes to be roamers.... You might think different sized fish would disperse more evenly throughout the river?

I fish in the Cape Vincent, Chaumont bay BRB and I too haven't caught many eyes under 24". This year on Chaumont bay was a first for me with an 18" skippy that went back.

Sent from my thinking chair...

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One of the first years I started targeting them in the river we caught many 16-17 1/2" fish. In fact we threw back more than we kept that summer. Seem to remember only one in three fish were keeper size. That was perhaps 8 years ago. I have only caught two shorts this summer.

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How has the fishing been in August so far? Thinking about trying again sometime between now and mid September. Thanks in advance for any reports.

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3/4 of a million fry is nothing.  Honeoye Lake in Ontario County has more walleye stocked and the fishery does not have great numbers.  This is the reason the DEC says it has no impact. 

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