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Missdemeanor

Pulaski State of the lake

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Well Gill interesting enough we did ask if there had been any stomach studies of steelhead to where something that was in their diet previously (before 2013) that was now missing that may have contributed to faster breakdown of thiaminase that was no longer in their diets....and no those types of studies have not been done. Often it isn't one thing that topples something.

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Hey fellas. You know a lot of folks from all over the place  look at this website and and I'm sure that the emotion is running high here but this kind of thing could be better dealt with in PM's between the two of you despite some of the general issues being of interest to all of us. We should ALL be interested in securing a viable and diverse fishery for ALL of us fishermen that is fair to each parties (trib and lake folks) interests as well as maintaining a multiple species fishery. Lets keep trying to figure things out and disccussing for the mutual benefit of all not creating an atmosphere of "infighting" among us. We're all in this together despite our different interests.:)

Edited by Sk8man

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Davy, I'm glad you found a home in the fly fishing community. Being condescending to a very hard working volunteer will get us nowhere. He is well liked and respected by many members of the DEC just as you are. You cannot deny that many of your trib exclusive fly fishing peers have disdain for Chinooks just because of the dregs of society they attract. I fish river Kings but from a boat I realize it isnt as awful as watching some of the circus that you do. From my vantage point our biggest problem is when the laws are enforced the local judges do not treat it as real crime. I'm sure if we could attach the true dollar value of each fish--even a spawned out Chinook, the crimes could be considered felonies because they are stealing from us all. To top it off, new generations of anglers learn to disrespect trib trout and salmon from these criminals. Most of the worst ones are not anglers or hunters in any way, in fact they now stake out tiny trout tribs and pillage them in the middle of a winter night. These violations have more to do with the state of our country than the Chinook Salmon running a river. I would support a ban on egg sacs even though we sometimes use them on the Niagara but I believe Sk8 man is correct, the big market is in human consumption of the eggs, and some of the criminals are not even legally in this country. The fastest way to save thousands of trout in the tribs would be for us all to find a way that the violations and downright felonious activities are truly punished and enforced. We ALL want that.

As for the Steelhead issue regarding their diet, perhaps some Lake fishermen should have been included in the meeting you hosted. I saw the notes and yes, it does seem that a whole lot of blame was sent towards lake fishermen. Remember, it can work both ways. There's lots of blame that could sent towards trib anglers but lets be productive for a few minutes. I know that they are not as desired to fly fishermen as the Washington Strain Steelhead, but it appears domestic Rainbows are much less affected by the issue. I can tell you they will hang out where the gobies are, and that is very rarely the case with Washington Strain Steelhead. I feel that the intense winters that caused havoc in the system created some extremely unusual scenarios in the lake. Never have I seen young Cohos behave the way they did--not only the size of the baits they were attacking but WHERE they were found in early Spring. We did not have anywhere near the aquatic insects available and almost no emerald shiners. The good news is the emeralds began to bounce back and I would expect that this storm is just a blip in a very warm winter and emeralds and insects should be back in normal numbers. Both of these are critical and highly sought after to young Steelhead and Coho. Lets hope that the Steelhead situation was an anomaly and the system stops losing fish.

 

Edited by Capt Vince Pierleoni

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Poaching and the presence of tribute "fishermen" is much worse now due to the internet. Guys gotta brag and then​ the s$/t show happens.

Lake Ontario salmon fishing charters

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Everyone voicing their concerns and compassion to our great fishery is very refreshing. Nothing is ever perfect, but the intelligent discussion and relentless visions going forward is all part of the solution. My hats off to all you for your never ending support and enthusiasm to the Great Lake Ontario!!!:yes:

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I would like to see a fish study take place in the spring as fish are coming out of the stresses of winter. Jim Johnson + collaborate with West Coast Biologists that deal with more disease issues. Asking the public what they think is causing the shortfalls is good ......to a point..........then you have to dig in and do the dirty work. 

Edited by Gill-T

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I would like to see a fish study take place in the spring as fish are coming out of the stresses of winter. Jim Johnson + collaborate with West Coast Biologists that deal with more disease issues. Asking the public what they think is causing the shortfalls is good ......to a point..........then you have to dig in and do the dirty work. 

I would also like them to check fish for botulism after eating gobies. Last summer, there were fish washing up on shore in decent numbers. There were Browns, pike, sheepshead, bass, and rock bass at the same time the seagulls and cormorants were walking up. The DEC said the dead birds were from botulism.


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Good read on the issues at hand guys.  We are in uncharted territory with two brutal back to back winters, we haven't seen that amount of ice cover on the lake since the introduction of the pacifics, so it makes sense there would be some weird repercussions.  I believe these will be temporary changes, hopefully just a blip in the long run.  We haven't been stocking the same levels of lake trout as Michigan and I think that's something to be thankful for. I'd argue that we've reduced the phosphorus levels in Lake Ontario too much as a result of the phosphorus controls put in place to bring the lake to a pre-industrialized level, combine that with the zebras and its reducing the lakes carrying capacity too much.

 

I look to you guys from NY with a lot of respect in what's been done for the lake fishery, you have the stocking priorities on the right species and we've benefited from that in Canada.  The politics in Ontario have warped things in the wrong direction in my opinion, we've devoted way too much of our resources to Lake Trout, Atlantic Salmon and now Deep Water Cisco restoration.  I'd be fine with supporting a background level of these species but in Ontario we have 65% of our L.O. hatchery capacity devoted to those three species, again it’s way out of wack. To give you an idea, here is a statement taken from the Stocking Strategy for the Canadian Waters of Lake Ontario - https://www.ofah.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Lake-Ontario-stocking-plan-2016.pdf

Native Species Restoration is the first priority of this Strategy. OMNRF will continue stocking native species to support fish community restoration under the direction of specific plans for species such as Atlantic Salmon, Lake Trout, Deepwater Cisco and Walleye, American eel and Lake Sturgeon.”

 

As we all share the lake it’s important to know this is the guiding priority for at least the Canadian side of the lake.  They also state that the sport fishery will be maintained but it’s not the primary concern of the stocking program, this seems backwards to me.  Not be completely negative as there have been some positive changes in the last few years but there’s still a long way to go.  I believe the fishery should be managed to provide the biggest return to the most amount of people, not just one or two special interest groups.

 

But back to the rainbow situation, the numbers are down big time on the north shore as well, I did a couple trips to the blue zone last year and numbers were way down compared to 2-3 years ago.  As King Davy mentioned the spring run on the ganaraska was down from an observed 8700 fish in 2013 to only 4000 last year. Very few fish around in the rivers this fall but that could be due to the lower water levels.  The other great lakes don't seem to be having the same die off of rainbow that Lake Ontario is having.

 

Here is an older report on lake Superior alewife growth rates but it has lake Ontario average growth rates as well (http://www.reabic.net/publ/Bronte_et al_1991.pdf)  I was surprised to see how fast an alewife can grow, after hatching they grow to an average size of 3.5" by the fall and a 1 year old fish is on average 5.5".  Two "missing" or low year classes would mean that the vast majority of alewife in the lake were 6-7", difficult for a smaller rainbow to eat and digest, higher thiaminase levels? did eating larger sized alewife contribute to the higher mortality rate of the last few years?  There was also a surplus of an extra 360,000 steelhead stocked in 2010 & 2012 which seems to track the high returns to the ganaraska river, something to think about anyway.

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The slow winter growth rate of stream hatched salmon and rainbow trout contributes to their becoming forage for the adults in the lake. The survival of the pen raised stockings is a higher contributor to the fishery.

Alaska regulations require a salmon stamp and a one fish limit for King Salmon.If you remove the fish from the water, fill out your ticket and put your rod aside, you are done fishing for the day. We have the best salmon fishing in the world here on Lake Ontario, we just do not know it.

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Vince....not sure what the "I found a home in the fly fishing community" has to do with a Focus discussion on the health of the trout fishing in the LO tribs. The only mention of a fishing technique in this meeting was that bait is more effective than artificial lures, or flies. I don't think anybody would challenge that. I learned to fly fish at age 14 on rivers in the state of GA. no less. And I did use fly fishing in my charter business when we caught steelhead on dry flies in 400-600 feet of water late spring early summers.  But the attendees back trolled plugs, float fished, spin fished and fly fished. So this wasn't a fly fishing meeting.

 

Late 2016 DEC commissioner received from what I've heard over a 1000 emails and hand written letters from disgruntled Trib anglers who had visited NYS to trib fish over the last couple years ...and decided to hold a trib focused discussion with DEC USGS/Sea Grant. These letters were from several states as far away as Colorado and Montana of anglers who annually come to our tribs. And I assume since the Commissioner asked Steve to put this focus discussion together may have been worried about lost revenue as well as news getting around that NYS wasn't a key destination for Steelhead and brown trout anymore. . And what they heard was in the last three years some business admitted to having revenue down as high as 25%. One river guide stated that where his customers used to book multiple days, recently they haven't and have canceled the following days trips due to poor fishing,

 

Vince you and I are on the same page when it comes to the heartbreaking treatment that our fish get in a river by a band of folks who intend to use any means to harvest fish.  This behavior ruins the experience for people trying to have a quality day fishing on one of our beautiful rivers. And you and I have both listened to the frustration of CO's who write 100's of tickets only to have most of them thrown out of court. And it is stealing. Heck this band of bad guys caught at 18 Mile were selling salmon on Facebook.

 

So after three very poor years of fishing the trrib focused anglers became the squeaky wheel,

 

 

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8 hours ago, ut_falcon said:

Good read on the issues at hand guys.  We are in uncharted territory with two brutal back to back winters, we haven't seen that amount of ice cover on the lake since the introduction of the pacifics, so it makes sense there would be some weird repercussions.  I believe these will be temporary changes, hopefully just a blip in the long run.  We haven't been stocking the same levels of lake trout as Michigan and I think that's something to be thankful for. I'd argue that we've reduced the phosphorus levels in Lake Ontario too much as a result of the phosphorus controls put in place to bring the lake to a pre-industrialized level, combine that with the zebras and its reducing the lakes carrying capacity too much.

 

 

I look to you guys from NY with a lot of respect in what's been done for the lake fishery, you have the stocking priorities on the right species and we've benefited from that in Canada.  The politics in Ontario have warped things in the wrong direction in my opinion, we've devoted way too much of our resources to Lake Trout, Atlantic Salmon and now Deep Water Cisco restoration.  I'd be fine with supporting a background level of these species but in Ontario we have 65% of our L.O. hatchery capacity devoted to those three species, again it’s way out of wack. To give you an idea, here is a statement taken from the Stocking Strategy for the Canadian Waters of Lake Ontario - https://www.ofah.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Lake-Ontario-stocking-plan-2016.pdf

 

 

 

Native Species Restoration is the first priority of this Strategy. OMNRF will continue stocking native species to support fish community restoration under the direction of specific plans for species such as Atlantic Salmon, Lake Trout, Deepwater Cisco and Walleye, American eel and Lake Sturgeon.”

 

 

 

As we all share the lake it’s important to know this is the guiding priority for at least the Canadian side of the lake.  They also state that the sport fishery will be maintained but it’s not the primary concern of the stocking program, this seems backwards to me.  Not be completely negative as there have been some positive changes in the last few years but there’s still a long way to go.  I believe the fishery should be managed to provide the biggest return to the most amount of people, not just one or two special interest groups.

 

 

 

But back to the rainbow situation, the numbers are down big time on the north shore as well, I did a couple trips to the blue zone last year and numbers were way down compared to 2-3 years ago.  As King Davy mentioned the spring run on the ganaraska was down from an observed 8700 fish in 2013 to only 4000 last year. Very few fish around in the rivers this fall but that could be due to the lower water levels.  The other great lakes don't seem to be having the same die off of rainbow that Lake Ontario is having.

 

 

 

Here is an older report on lake Superior alewife growth rates but it has lake Ontario average growth rates as well (http://www.reabic.net/publ/Bronte_et al_1991.pdf)  I was surprised to see how fast an alewife can grow, after hatching they grow to an average size of 3.5" by the fall and a 1 year old fish is on average 5.5".  Two "missing" or low year classes would mean that the vast majority of alewife in the lake were 6-7", difficult for a smaller rainbow to eat and digest, higher thiaminase levels? did eating larger sized alewife contribute to the higher mortality rate of the last few years?  There was also a surplus of an extra 360,000 steelhead stocked in 2010 & 2012 which seems to track the high returns to the ganaraska river, something to think about anyway.

 

We always enjoy your contributions UT. We are well aware of the priorities flying in the face of the angling public here in the States as well. Same type of initiatives. I know Ontario province has a history of financial stakes in commercial netting so the Sport fishery that I know so many over there covet should never be taken for granted.

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ut_falcon, how was the king run this year on the North shore?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gill-T

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11 hours ago, Gill-T said:

ut_falcon, how was the king run this year on the North shore?

 

 

 

 

I fish the mid to eastern end of the lake, most of these tribs are not stocked and have wild runs of salmon. The ganaraska run seemed good / normal but some of the smaller tribs that normally get thousands of salmon had almost nothing due to low water at the river mouth. Other then last fall the last few years were excellent in the smaller tribs. 

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Listen I said this at the meeting we stock over 600,000 steel head every year 

the 10,000 steel head caught in the lake every year is not the problem.

yes there are days we have to target a few steel head off shore. The problem is survival rate not what the lake guys are taking. River fisherman but a lot more stress on steelhead than lake fisherman . They catch and release after taken many pics in freezing weather . This isn't meant to piss off trib guys . They have a right to fish also. But most of the trib guys think we don't have a right to steelhead because we fish in the lake. We should be working together to see what can be done as between the 2 we catch around 30,000 steelhead a year. Out of 600,000 . Do you see the problem! On top of that I'm a lake guy and I'm the only one that asked about net pens. I have not seen any action taken by a group of river anglers other than saying we catch to many. Get more involved with your stocking. Find out what Canada does different? 

I heard at the meeting one guide from river we get people from out of town! Really 90% of my trips are from out of town I run around 140 trips a year and I do get a few that what steel head .

Stop pointing fingers at lake guys look into what's really going on and survival rates.

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You just "dropped the mic".
We have a meeting next weekend planned for our Sandy Creek pen rearing and I'll make a mental note on the river/creek fisherman participation. Off the top of my head I can't remember what it was, if their was any in years past.

Lake Ontario salmon fishing charters

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   I dropped Steelhead in 2011 from pens in Oswego due to a total lack of interest in helping what it takes to stock them. I can rattle of dozens of names who have helped me the last 10 years run the Oswego project, I would only need a couple fingers to list river guys who help. 5 years during my current term and another 8 or so prior to me river guys have shown a very minimal and I mean minimal effort, this all while 20k Steelhead were planted annually with highly ranked proven success rates. I mentioned to Scott a few months back when I heard of these private meetings why the proven success rates of penned steelhead wasn't parlayed on the SR, word for word Scott noted "Just no interest". Again, I brought it up at the Pulaski meeting and was finally given what seemed like a "good excuse" as to why not (I say this with full respect towards Scott)

River guys are no where near as interested in helping on any level, crying behind the scenes is what it seems to me "Woe is me" Now, I have nothing against Steelhead, and I would of put some in pens this year in Oswego, again with a show of hands (after a notice of a meeting concerning pens in Oswego) there wasn't a single river volunteer who even stood in on the meeting, yet I have increased interest each year now for the last 4 concerning lake guys. This entire response was given due to the fact I witness the help first hand, outside of excuses from river guys I hardly ever hear a peep from them. However they sure do love catching Kings in the rivers early season for a solid month each year, they book trips from it and enjoy it very much, but when its time to help they are a NO SHOW

I also agree with everything you said Eddie

Cormorants are going to be a huge issue, I've witnessed more in the fall of 2016 in Jefff. Cty from early Oct till the end of Nov. than I have ever seen in my life, maybe more migratory birds but still there are tons and trust me when I say tons

Tom

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Good points Tom. I have felt for a long time that the "sharpshooter" cormorants are a huge factor in predation of the young Steelhead. There is no species in our system that feeds higher in the column early in life than the Steelhead and Rainbows. They are easy pickings for the death birds. Special consideration as to where and when the Salmon and Steelhead are released is necessary--whether direct stocked or released from a pen. Often Salmonoids will remain huddled up in, or near the harbor and be decimated by birds.

Another factor is the timing of plants/releases. Yearling Steelhead are voracious. If they are planted the same day or the day after the fingerling Chinook are released you will lose a considerable amount to the Steelhead. Also opportunistic anglers(bucket sitters) will often purposely fish for the 8"-10" trout because its an every cast proposition. Our marina does an excellent job shooing them out of stocking site and informing them that they were just stocked and not legal.

All in all it takes lots of extra effort to insure better survival of all the species, both fingerliing and yearling. Last Spring we purposely released the Steelhead pen when there were few Cormorants around the harbor and the water was a bit stained. All of the little thing s can add up big and I certainly appreciate everyone who helps out with the pens and deliveries up and down the lakeshore. 

Edited by Capt Vince Pierleoni

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You know I am always encouraged and enlightened by Vince's posts whichcontain very little if any "finger pointing" and always useful information for further thought or discussion. This whole comorant thing in my view is even much more important than many of us may have been thinking or discussing. The total Federal protection approach seems to be another short -sighted knee-jerk reaction to the perhaps well-meaning motives of the "birders" or perhaps their lobbyists influencing governmental officials to implement a "blanket" regulation that fails to either understand or take proper notice of the need for balance. These birds when overpopulated or in excessive densities in localized areas create a myriad of problems some of which can even become public health issues (fecal droppings in ponds and smaller bodies of water especially.. becoming bacterial spawning sites witness those in Cape Cod for example) and like other potential pests such as crows they need to be "controlled". It seems hard to undertand the "logic" behind the complete protection approach to this issue. At least at the state level some authority and discretion should be given regarding the issues and control measures pursued relative to localized problems when the populations get out of whack.

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1 hour ago, Silver Fox said:

We have a meeting next weekend planned for our Sandy Creek pen rearing and I'll make a mental note on the river/creek fisherman participation.

Looking forward to meeting you there. You bring the doughnuts.

 

I fish both and I cant remember the last time I released a trout that I didnt want to eat that did not make it. 

 

I do know I have release lake caught steelhead  that came from down deep  that probably did not. Just saying. 

Edited by HB2

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I couldn't agree more with Tom, Vince and the others regarding the cormorant issue we have ahead of us. We need to do everything we can to get this changed!!!

Capt Rich


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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On ‎3‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 9:13 AM, Legacy said:

 

 But yet Canada was not affected the way we were.

The Canadians I have spoken with along the SR and the Genny the last couple of years indicate poor steelhead returns up there, as well.

 

As to the meeting at the hatchery, suggestions about regulations changes originated with a small number of the attendees, and there was no drill down to consensus.  So those are ideas that were floated, but it should not be read that all attendees saw them as necessary, or doable.

 

I am 90% a tributary angler, and helped out with the pens at Shumway.  But no one contacted me in subsequent years, and I see very little in advance of the pens getting filled, and sometimes only see any news after the release. 

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7 hours ago, Lucky13 said:

 

I am 90% a tributary angler, and helped out with the pens at Shumway.  But no one contacted me in subsequent years, and I see very little in advance of the pens getting filled, and sometimes only see any news after the release. 

 

The Genesee Charter Boat Assoc takes care of the pens for the Genesee River. They would welcome the help. If you join the GCBA you will be added to the mailing list and notified of pen project work parties, feeding schedules, etc.

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