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Rich s

Meeting at hatchery

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So I'm hearing the dec is holding a special meeting at the SR hatchery next weds to discuss 2017 salmon stocking . I also understand only guides and businesses are allowed to attend .

Hope to hear some feedback on this

Rich

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Well I guess the cat is out of the bag. Yes both the DEC and OMNR are advising cuts starting with next years spring stocking allocations lakewide. The cuts are designed to get ahead of the apparent two year hole where we lost our YOY alewife class due to back to back historically bad winters. There is nothing wrong with the food web so these cuts will be temporary. Discussions about cutting lake trout plants are being considered. Hopefully they wait to see if we have a run of fish with the drought as we may have our own cut on naturals via Mother Nature.

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Not surprising.   It worked for them in the 90's.   And currently there's a higher level of natural reproduction to contend with.

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Well I guess the cat is out of the bag. Yes both the DEC and OMNR are advising cuts starting with next years spring stocking allocations lakewide. The cuts are designed to get ahead of the apparent two year hole where we lost our YOY alewife class due to back to back historically bad winters. There is nothing wrong with the food web so these cuts will be temporary. Discussions about cutting lake trout plants are being considered. Hopefully they wait to see if we have a run of fish with the drought as we may have our own cut on naturals via Mother Nature.

If they go ahead with cuts,  we need a contract stating they will increase with KINGS not lakers if the bait levels increase.  I'm worried they will cut kings and not stock more if and when the bait rebounds.  They could take the cheaper route and let the Feds dump lakers in. 

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Brian, I told Steve LePan it has to go both ways. I warned if we didn't see increases in King stocking with better alewife numbers the public will fry him given the paranoia already out there. I think he understands this to be true. We ask our lake managers to manage the lake so I am willing to allow the cuts without too much yelling. With the hole in the alewife population I would be questioning their leadership if they didn't consider the cuts. I also realize my perspective as a West-end fisherman is slightly skewed because we never have a shortage of bait. With the warming trend starting anew and the plankton community healthy this is a temporary blip. I also think we are going to be king heavy from natural reproduction from 2013,'14 so if they are going to make cuts they have to do it this spring.

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I'm ok with cuts due to the current data as long as we have a guarantee that they will increase the stocking of kings once the bait rebounds.  I know Steve and Andy made it sounds like it was for sure thing at the meeting but I would feel better if we had something in writing.

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It may not matter a hill of beans, but I was pleased with this recent extended lake flip as my thinking is it will only help to further warm the overall bulk temp of Lake O's water.  In my thinking that could be the first step (along with a decent winter) that may help to put a good kick into next years Alewife numbers.

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i just don't believe the state of new york any more they tell you what you want to hear . governor cuomo is working on taking our guns next he will want our fishing poles . lest put a tax on them or the use of the lake . 

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i just don't believe the state of new york any more they tell you what you want to hear . governor cuomo is working on taking our guns next he will want our fishing poles . lest put a tax on them or the use of the lake .

Well you could very well be correct! No one ever said Cuomo was a fiscal genius... if the state doesn't stop to think about where their bread is buttered already by the feds.

Sporting goods excise tax that is allocated to all 50 states for freshwater fishing. I think we may have a very large portion of that tax allocation when you look at the large amount of fresh water fishing there is here. However, the state has already screwed themselves on the salt water federal tax grants they could have had. 1,500,000 dollars was left on the table just because the state never had a salt water fishing license last year. Shows how stupid Albany beaurocrats really can be!. .

So if they choose not to stock salmon in favor of fed money for lake trout, they will once again, shoot themselves in the foot.

Not many fishermen gonna buy fishing equipment just for the lake trout. Without the salmon, the equipment sales go down, so does their allocated fisheries funding from the feds...

Dominos!...

Sent from my SM-N900P using Lake Ontario United mobile app

Edited by skipper19

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I don't have an exact number as of yet but it is going to be very small.  Maybe 200 to 300k.  Doesn't amount to much.  The negative impact with publicity will hurt more then that amount of kings.....  The Lake Ontario management plans require them to manage the Lake for kings.  This is more then likely a temporary measure.  A big year with Natural spawn and it easily makes up for that number.  You want to be pro active stay out of the upper fly zone of the salmon river and let those kings do there thing!

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I don't have an exact number as of yet but it is going to be very small.  Maybe 200 to 300k.  Doesn't amount to much.  The negative impact with publicity will hurt more then that amount of kings.....  The Lake Ontario management plans require them to manage the Lake for kings.  This is more then likely a temporary measure.  A big year with Natural spawn and it easily makes up for that number.  You want to be pro active stay out of the upper fly zone of the salmon river and let those kings do there thing!

If we are going to depend on more natural reproduction, maybe it is time to close down some sections of the river that produce high amounts of natural reproduction.  I know the trib guys will go off the deep end over this comment but we need to protect the naturals if we are going to depend on them more.  It is in everyones best interest. 

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If we are going to depend on more natural reproduction, maybe it is time to close down some sections of the river that produce high amounts of natural reproduction. I know the trib guys will go off the deep end over this comment but we need to protect the naturals if we are going to depend on them more. It is in everyones best interest.

I mainly fish river and I agree the fish up top spawning should be protected instead of being ripped off the redds

Sent from my LGL33L using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I have a feeling they will be stripping fish in the lower reaches this year

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I have a feeling they will be stripping fish in the lower reaches this year

I hope they are planning ahead.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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I don't have an exact number as of yet but it is going to be very small. Maybe 200 to 300k. Doesn't amount to much. The negative impact with publicity will hurt more then that amount of kings..... The Lake Ontario management plans require them to manage the Lake for kings. This is more then likely a temporary measure. A big year with Natural spawn and it easily makes up for that number. You want to be pro active stay out of the upper fly zone of the salmon river and let those kings do there thing!

Brian do you really believe "200-300 thousand" kings won't make a difference? Do you really believe NY will increase stocking when, according to them, the bait rebounds??

I'm seeing more bait than ever this year and on both sides of the lake. The young 2" alewives are loaded up in the deep water. The kings we are catching this year are the fattest, roundest kings I've ever seen. Body profiles don't even look like salmon!

My opinion----there is no bait shortage. This is a manufactured crisis to replace kings with federally funded lake trout.

Once those king stocks are gone you will never get them back.

If the DEC really wanted to manage the bait in the lake they wouldn't be stocking so many lakers which continue to eat alewives for years. A salmon lives three or four years at most. A laker can live 20 or more.

Do the math!

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Brian do you really believe "200-300 thousand" kings won't make a difference? Do you really believe NY will increase stocking when, according to them, the bait rebounds??

I'm seeing more bait than ever this year and on both sides of the lake. The young 2" alewives are loaded up in the deep water. The kings we are catching this year are the fattest, roundest kings I've ever seen. Body profiles don't even look like salmon!

My opinion----there is no bait shortage. This is a manufactured crisis to replace kings with federally funded lake trout.

Once those king stocks are gone you will never get them back.

If the DEC really wanted to manage the bait in the lake they wouldn't be stocking so many lakers which continue to eat alewives for years. A salmon lives three or four years at most. A laker can live 20 or more.

Do the math!

 

Paul,

 

Have you read the Lake Ontario Management Plan?  They are required to manage the lake for King Salmon.  Do you REALLY think anybody wants to cut salmon stocking??  Nobody said we were looking at this years fish.  They are trying to think ahead to 2019.  Whether you want to believe it or not there are 2 year classes of bait missing.  No one is going to argue with you about the amount of bait were seeing.  The 3 to 7yr old alewives look great.  But as you know an Alewife does not contribute that much to the spawn after they are 5yrs of age.  So what s the plan in 2yrs??  If we do nothing we are looking at a scenario like Huron and now Michigan.  How about being a little pro active.  Don't get me wrong I still have not decided if I personally agree with all the data yet or not however having a scientific back round and being in the professional world were we use this kind of data sets everyday with our Clients it is hard to argue.  To me we need closer monitoring of the DEC activities and FOR SURE HOLD THEM ACOUNTABLE!  If we get this TEMPORARY CUT they cant miss on the BT or Steelhead stocking targets and we should be asking for more.  Although there have been papers written on how destructive Steelhead are on young of the year Alewives...   From what we are told another part of plan is to decrease laker stocking as well.  But since the entire plan has not been made public lets all do our part to not spread rumors especially on public forums were we spout off without having all the pieces of the puzzle. 

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The laker stocking should be cut by a higher percentage.  That percentage needs to be higher since they added 300,000 to the mix a couple years ago (500,000 up to 800,000.  They would not stock more kings because of the bait numbers but they felt it was OK to stock more lakers.

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Brian I've read the management plan and I know a little something about wildlife management.

The two year old alewives you speak of are not "missing". They may not be as prevalent as other year classes but the steelhead we are catching high in the water column are full of them. Advocating MORE steelhead to replace decreased king stocks will do more to hurt young alewives than anything.

For what it's worth---Lake Ontario will NEVER go the way of Huron or Michigan because of Lake Erie. Erie makes Lake Ontario totally unique from the other Great Lakes because of the constant influx of nutrients down the Niagara.

Finally---I'm not starting rumors. I merely stated my opinion based on 35 years of salmon fishing the Great Lakes and two decades of dealing with state politics.

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At the last meeting LePan stated Lake Trout cuts are on the table but will have little effect as they are slow growers. Lake Trout plants next year won't start eating Alewives until four years down the road.

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I agree with Paul on this, once they cut the stocking, don't believe for one minute that they'll bring it back. They will tell you what you want to hear now, but when it comes time to bring the stocking numbers back up, they'll have some reason why it's not feasible to increase. Believe what you want, everybody is entitled to their opinion and discussing both sides helps to make everybody aware of what's at stake.

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I agree with Paul on this, once they cut the stocking, don't believe for one minute that they'll bring it back. They will tell you what you want to hear now, but when it comes time to bring the stocking numbers back up, they'll have some reason why it's not feasible to increase. Believe what you want, everybody is entitled to their opinion and discussing both sides helps to make everybody aware of what's at stake.

I too believe we will never see an increase again.  The feds foot the bill for lakers. 

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Forget the science, logic would tell me if catch rates are increasing and size is decreasing that the bait population is not what it used to be. Although nice, regularly going out and catching 10-20 silvers in a morning is not indicative of a healthy system. Natural reproduction is a wild card in LO, but in reality is probably the only sure fire way to keep a healthy predator/prey balance in a perfect world. Stocking the same number of predators year after year regardless of conditions and prey abundance is anything but natural. Lower stocking numbers does not necessarily equate to lower catch rates if the predator prey relationship is in balance. Honestly, I like the approach the DEC is taking in trying maintain a trophy fishery. Following the prey hatch makes perfect sense to me…as long as they actually increase when the hatch is good.

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