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Seneca Fish Kill

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Seneca Fish Kill

My boss asked me this week about all the little shiny dead fish in the lake.  I told him the lake probably flipped fast.  I couldn't find any reports on line.  I noticed a lot of dead fish in the Geneva area a few weeks ago but didn't think too much about it until he asked me this week.  He is closer to Rock Stream area.  I know some of you guys are like the care takers of the lake and might know more details.  Just curious.

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I have seen them around Dresden, not too many though as of last weekend. I am almost certain they are alewives and the quantity I was seeing was not concerning but things may have changed or be different in other areas of the lake


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Large die off in Lodi week after the NLT derby... Probably VHS from Cayuga carried to Seneca... Report wasn't released until the Thursday before the derby... How many actually cleaned their live wells and boats out before swapping lakes?

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There was alot of dead bait before the derby. No way did vhs travel that fast bait is so thick on Seneca this year it's probably being stunted by predators such as fish and birds just going through schools. Probably nothing to be to concerned about 

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There was alot of dead bait before the derby. No way did vhs travel that fast bait is so thick on Seneca this year it's probably being stunted by predators such as fish and birds just going through schools. Probably nothing to be to concerned about 

You're exactly correct. Most of the bait floating to the surface is the result of being gorged on... Sawbellies are a very fragile fish.

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It's washing up in the hundreds per day alone just on sampson state parks swimming beach. The marina has hundred. I'm betting just a die off of adults after spawning.

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Sutton troller totally correct. Normal dieoff of sawbellies no VHS in this. The normal for the future.

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When  I was a kid alewwife die offs were very common and they covered whole beaches at the north end of the lake and smelled like H. It appears to be a natural part of their population cycle. We saw many floating during the derby including some that had been hit with slash marks and none had a red hemorrhage area on them that I believe is characteristic of the disease. The answer to the question about using the dead sawbellies as bait is "yes" but only to be used on the particular lake in which you took it from. They work best when frozen for meat rigs or behind Hemlock spinners or straight gang hooks, or on a jig for jigging (can use either just the head or the tail as well. and scrunched up so they spin if used behind any meat rig. One of the potential problems though is proving  the source of the bait if ever questioned by a DEC officer.....kinda tough to prove  but on the other hand I have never been asked for a receipt for any of the bait I buy (yet) either.

Edited by Sk8man

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Just outta curiosity could you use as cut bait? Say float by one grab it and throw on meat rig?

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Take my advice, and do not try this. (Sarcasm)

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Isn't this why chinook salmon were introduced to Ontario? To deal with the alewive population. How cool would it be to catch kings in Seneca?

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Fishful thinking....

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53 minutes ago, Zebedee said:

Isn't this why chinook salmon were introduced to Ontario? To deal with the alewive population. How cool would it be to catch kings in Seneca?

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I was thinking bout this a couple weeks ago would be a creative way to reduce bait a little and 1 stocking of a few thousand kings would be gone after a few years (if they were unsuccessful at spawning like most of lake Ontario's kings) but would keep you on your toes while fishing. The copper pulling guys would probably hate the idea after a couple shoulders being yanked out of socket

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I don't think our bait is that bad... although I like kings.. lol. I've talked with many local guys who said they have seen die offs like this over their lifetimes. It happens. It just so happens us younger guys have yet to see it in such numbers

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I think the alewive dieoff is good info for the main lake.  I am curious then as to why the main fish I saw floating dead or dieing in Geneva was a pumkinseed or bluegill.

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Take my advice, and do not try this. (Sarcasm)

Making your stories, Reel Stories, since 2011!!



Must be a bad idea

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5 hours ago, suttontroller94 said:

I was thinking bout this a couple weeks ago would be a creative way to reduce bait a little and 1 stocking of a few thousand kings would be gone after a few years (if they were unsuccessful at spawning like most of lake Ontario's kings) but would keep you on your toes while fishing. The copper pulling guys would probably hate the idea after a couple shoulders being yanked out of socket

for years now my dad has tried pulling wire on lake o to hook a king against my advise lmao. Drops the wire in for 15-20 mins here and there if in under 100 fow. Never hooked one (luckily)  but many big lakers .

 

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Had one bouncing between 20-22 lbs on dial scale . few in the 9-12 range . I hooked the 19-22 laker then at the same time a king started smoking the rigger right next to me . he took the wire, I took the rod  and he  was beat by the end lol

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Found this on

https://www.facebook.com/SenecaLakeGuardian

 

"We were on the phone this morning with Region 8 DEC Department of Fisheries. They have already been here taking samples of dead fish, once about 3 weeks ago and the second time on Wednesday the 5th. According to the gentleman we spoke to, the alewife die off on Seneca Lake is being caused by a protozoan (parasite) called Chilodonella. It affects the gills causing them to oversecrete mucous and essentially the fish suffocates.

A quick internet search shows that this species can be found in ponds and aquariums. Apparently it will spread more rapidly when there are dense concentrations of fish, as in the alewives congregating near shore to spawn. What concerns us is that this is an enormous lake and the die off is happening over the entire lake. The DEC biologist said that a larger than normal baitfish population will aggravate the problem and cause a die off and that may be the case this year. He said that would also explain the difficullty anglers are having lately.

The only instance he could point to that was similar to this was back in the '60's when there were larger than normal baitfish populations and die off's occurred on an annual basis.

We would welcome any feedback from any of you "old timers" that could shed some light on this."

 

This past week there were a number of fish washed up on my shore. We had many alewife ( more then i can count )  2 large carp,  one rainbow, one small perch, and a catfish.       

 

 

 

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