Missdemeanor

Pulaski State of the lake

89 posts in this topic

Braved the storm last night and went to the State of the Lake in Pulaski..Much of the data was carbon copy of the Rochester meeting. There was a little more discussion on warm water species ( bass and walleye for example).

The DEC has some plans to aquire properties along the salmon river which will be used for angler access and new parking areas.

During the question and answer, a group of obvious tributary anglers were asking why are there any kings being stocked in the lake because of natural reproduction... Answer from the DEC was because the natural reproduction numbers fluctuate from year to year and are not reliable. The same group stated that more people want steelhead than kings. At this point they brought up the angler hours....the angler hours on the tribs were more than the lake....

According to the DEC, the angler hours on the tribs was more than the lake. When pressed about the number of hours during prime Salmon time Vs the rest of the season, the DEC stated that data was un available. The DEC stated that they would do a more comprehensive creel survey in the future to include times of the year. The question came up about the number of steelhead taken ( harvested) on the tribs vs the lake. The DEC stated that the number taken on the tribs far exceeded the number taken on the lake. The topic of stress placed on spawning fish being caught and released numerous times also came up again.

There is obviously a group of trib anglers who wish the Salmon stocking stopped all together. I'm not sure why since this is a King Salmon driven fishery ( the hours on the tribs will show that. And everyone knows how busy tribs are during the King run). The same group wants the limit of Steelhead decreased and the size limit increased on the lake and tribs. More regulations when the trib anglers have been documented as bigger harvesters of steelhead than the Lake anglers. I would also bet that out of this same group, not one is involved in helping with pen rearing programs. I know for a fact that in Rochester, it is run by Lake guys. The kicker is we ( and many other ports) raise steelhead. The same steelhead everyone gets to enjoy every late fall and winter)

Is there an easy answer? Nope..... but a small group of people pushing their agenda on to everyone is definetly not. A collaberative effort of trib guys and Lake guys is an excellent start in my opinion. Mr. Lapan made an excellent comment at the end of the meeting... somthing to the effect that the fishery is not just for one group of anglers or another. Its for everyone to enjoy. I couldnt agree more. Working together and working smarter is the best plan to ensure our fishery remains the world class fishery it is today.....

 

 

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You make some great points Mr. French! 

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16 minutes ago, Missdemeanor said:

 

The question came up about the number of steelhead taken ( harvested) on the tribs vs the lake. The DEC stated that the number taken on the tribs far exceeded the number taken on the lake. The topic of stress placed on spawning fish being caught and released numerous times also came up again.

 

 

This is important info that everyone needs to know! 

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This is important info that everyone needs to know! 

And I guarantee most tribs anglers will say it is false news!


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Brian.... Lets be fair.... Its not all trib guys who are hating on King stocking.... Most tributary guys I know like catching all kinds of fish, including Kings. Its just selfish of a certain group of anglers to want it all one way....

 

 

 

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I can't believe you didn't pick me up on the way. Your killing me smalls!

Lake Ontario salmon fishing charters

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Brian.... Lets be fair.... Its not all trib guys who are hating on King stocking.... Most tributary guys I know like catching all kinds of fish, including Kings. Its just selfish of a certain group of anglers to want it all one way....
 
 
 
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Those are the guys I'm talking about.


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Matt, you've offended me with your crass innuendos...now my butt hurts  :rofl:.. :And I'm turning into a snowflake. Two feet of them, tho be specific. Actually, my back hurts from shoveling and it's only getting worse.

 

All fun aside, you've got the right attitude, my friend. We need to get together and stop sabotaging each other. What's good for the lakes is good for the tribs and vice versa. The vocal minority may or may not be the guys who are the problem that Brian alludes to, but they sure have an agenda.

 

 

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Well.... Here's the thing... All these pen rearing programs ( of which have been documented to improve survival rates) are predominately managed by Lake Anglers.... Its always been that way. We hold charity events, go to meetings, put nets in, feed the fish x amount of times a day, release the fish, pull the nets, clean em off, put them away.... Its a ton of work..
Now anyone who knows anything about fishing the lake knows Steelhead are rarely targeted.... I'd say 95% of my steelhead catches are by products of my King program. So, If I were a die hard Steelhead guy, I would want more kings in the lake to take the pressure off the steelhead.
As fun as they are to catch, most people leave the dock looking for a trophy king...
Same goes for browns, however I will admit I love to fish them.... Probably my favorite.
I have fished tribs before. Just not my bag fishing for fish that are confined... Now don't get me wrong, I don't knock people who trib fish and its only a small group of anglers lobbying against Kings.
I commend the DEC for relative transparency relating to this issue... Again, I was very happy I could attend and support our comrades on the east end of our lake.

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Looking at my fishing log from last season, we boated 29 steelhead and only box five of those. Most of the steelhead we boated last season were caught fishing Browns in the later part of the season. They were domestics.


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Without Kings, steelhead would die en masse due to thiamine deficiency as alewife numbers would explode.

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It would certainly exacerbate the problem Gill-T. Good point. Top end pelagic predator Chinook Salmon are programmed to take out the large alewives. These large, older alewives carry the most thiaminase. Putting adequate heat on those older, fatter alewives would decrease that temptation for the mature Steelhead.    

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All good points. The lake cleared up, the thermal breaks got funny, and I haven't run a surface program in many years. I know that the guys out toward Vince still target steelhead in August out deep deep, but it seems less common as you move East.

 

Interesting that research shows increased levels of thiaminase in well-fed alewives. Maybe there's a link between our arguably missing year-classes of fish and the recent steelhead issues? Does anyone have the past two years data on the "plumpness" of the alewives. I know that they collect it.

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1 hour ago, Gator said:

 

Interesting that research shows increased levels of thiaminase in well-fed alewives. Maybe there's a link between our arguably missing year-classes of fish and the recent steelhead issues? Does anyone have the past two years data on the "plumpness" of the alewives. I know that they collect it.

 

The missing year classes of steelhead were gorging themselves on alewives which led to thiamine deficiency and ultimately death was one theory that was kicked around. The question is why? After 2 cold winters, it seems Steelhead relied heavily on a diet of matures alewives and that was the cause? The theory still has some unanswered questions but I can I can go with it. But yet Canada was not affected the way we were.

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I am an outsider on this conversation, don't fish the big lake much.  But my take is that more money is taken in by the king salmon that the other species because of their size for the charter guys that only come(or go) up once or twice a year just for the photo. Saying that the king is the big money drawing fish for the outside.....jk

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What we need now is more fish of different genes from the northwest to strengthen our fish here. We have been using the same  gene pool for to long now need new  genes to kick start this great fishery. Not a expert but this fishery could use some help what do you guys think

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2 hours ago, Gator said:

All good points. The lake cleared up, the thermal breaks got funny, and I haven't run a surface program in many years. I know that the guys out toward Vince still target steelhead in August out deep deep, but it seems less common as you move East.

 

Interesting that research shows increased levels of thiaminase in well-fed alewives. Maybe there's a link between our arguably missing year-classes of fish and the recent steelhead issues? Does anyone have the past two years data on the "plumpness" of the alewives. I know that they collect it.

The breaks are definitely more in play after a cold winter. With yo yo weather the lake warms up faster and more uniformly--great for the food chain but tougher to find fish corralled.

I'm in my 33 year as a Professional and quite frankly I get zero requests to target Steelhead in the lake from Charter parties. They are a welcome treat, and are in their top physical condition in the open water. Any trib angler that hasn't experienced them in the lake in 60 degree water needs to. The simple fact is Steelhead are available to anglers throughout our marketplace PA/OH. It is the Pacific Salmon and Brown trout that are the novelty, and drive our tourism dollars in this area. Any Captain who lives in the area and is an ambassador to this fishery enjoys and respects all the species but this is simply the case.   

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3 minutes ago, Trouthunter said:

What we need now is more fish of different genes from the northwest to strengthen our fish here. We have been using the same  gene pool for to long now need new  genes to kick start this great fishery. Not a expert but this fishery could use some help what do you guys think

There may be some validity to this but there are very real concerns about disease being transferred and the agencies pride themselves in having "clean" eggs. I personally think the Lake Ontario strain Chinooks are well adapted to our system/habitat. They seem less prone to ailments and in my opinion less likely to mature earlier. They come from the wild where the fittest/strongest survive and reproduce. The Canadians have broken the ice on the great idea of using eggs/sperm from this strain to create fingerlings and stock in poor return areas. With todays pressure on the highly sought after Chinook, NYS/Ontario needs contributions from both natural and stocked sources.

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1 hour ago, Legacy said:

 

The missing year classes of steelhead were gorging themselves on alewives which led to thiamine deficiency and ultimately death was one theory that was kicked around. The question is why? After 2 cold winters, it seems Steelhead relied heavily on a diet of matures alewives and that was the cause? The theory still has some unanswered questions but I can I can go with it. But yet Canada was not affected the way we were.

X2. I haven't heard a good theory yet that explains the discrepancy between US and Canadian waters. Is the structure over there more conducive to a diversified baitfish population so that alewives comprise less of the diet?  Got to be a thing.

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I used to target steelies cause I love fishing top water and I love their acrobatics, but last year the fishing was just awful for them in May/June...


The Fishin' Physician Assistant
Fishsodusbay.com

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On Feb 11 a group of 20 Trib Stakeholders were invited to meet with DEC at Altmar to discus now three years of poor Steelhead, and in some cases Brown trout fishing on the LO trib waterfront. Fishery Managers from all Lake Shore regions attended as well as the Bureau Chief of Fisheries for NYS Steve Hurst. The 20 Stakeholders consisted  Rec anglers, Professional Guides, and a diverse group of business owners, from Tackle Shops to Lodges. This meeting was also attended by members of Trout Unlimited Seth Green Chapter, and Tug Hill, and LOTAC. Each Stakeholder was given an opportunity to  provide their input on the state of the trib fishery. We covered a host of subjects, from angler success, angler access, law enforcement, and some provided thoughts around future management initiatives.

 

We collected everyone's thoughts and published (Seth Green TU) the notes that were on hand at each State Of the Lake Meeting. Hopefully people picked them up. And then DEC made two presentations, Scott Prindel's trib Creel Census lake wide survey done 2015-2016, and the Boat census survey.

 

What appears to be Key in the results is both in the tribs's and the lake steelhead catches were way down. Some may say they don't fish for them, but we all know they are normally available while fishing for Silvers in the mid to deep lake regions. I think if we look at past boat creels we've never seen Steelhead come in 4th place as a species caught on the Lake as they did in 2016. And for those that fish the tribs on a regular basis to where the fish are either there or they are not, it's evident a class of fish are missing. Most likely due to the die off in 2014, and further pressure from the very cold winter of 2015.

 

What is interesting is the dwindling numbers of brown trout trib anglers have encountered the last couple years especially in the Western tribs where they are more prevalent. Trib angler hours for the past several years have exceeded the open water effort, but for most of us, this can't be an us VS them. Those that have been on panels with me and many of my colleagues we are looking for a year long managed fishery where both Trib and Lake Anglers have decent opportunity.

 

What the trib angler faces for a full four months of their season is only targeting one species. Migratory Rainbows. When they aren't there it's now affecting many businesses that rely on angler success to be profitable, and why after three tough years this situation is being brought to the forefront.

 

On King Salmon. Unfortunately they aren't a great sport fish for true trib anglers. Unless they are contacted within the first few days of their migratory runs they are difficult to catch with "Legal" methods. And there in lies the biggest problem. Most are aware of the Skullduggery that goes on in pursuit of Kings in tribs. So many breaking the law ...too few CO's and worse, penalties for law breakers are a slap on the wrist at best. However these visitors to our tribs are not true trib anglers. It's evident viewing them they don't possess legal angling presentation skills and are looking to get a bend in a rod anyway they can. And many don't want to learn. They are biding their time before hunting seasons begin.

 

Despite the many DEC regulations to curb these activities, they still exist in mass and cause all kinds of social problems for these trib environments. Serious trib anglers show up in mass as soon as these folks leave due to the Salmon  finally expiring. I'm making general statements here but not as to include everybody, but for most trib anglers we don't have the same expectations on the number of fish we catch a day for the time we put in. Our only goal is to fish to fish, which is the same goal of all anglers tribs and open water.

 

The last three years we've fished to fewer fish then ever before.  We are looking at many management studies as the Steelhead is a top end trophy fish from Here to Alaska. For instance we are asking that tagging is done on Steelhead after the Coho program in combination with hatchery direct stock and pen reared fish. We should understand with much better data how effective pen reared steelhead is on returns to pen sites.

 

While there are some who don't like King Salmon, we've explained that while Kings are the targeted species on the lake. The Steelhead is the trophy species for the trib fishery. And I'm sure management of the entire fishery and both these species will continue. To be a true world  fishery we need to maintain the angler efforts year round.

 

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