JJBat150

Skaneateles
DEC says Walleyes confirmed in Skaneateles

40 posts in this topic

Lets not panic, but certainly a change for the lake.  Quite surprised by the numbers of small walleye netted.  I suspect walleye have inhabited the lake in very small numbers for a long time and were possibly native as the watershed is part of the Great Lakes System.  I highly doubt an illegal casual dumping of fish created a viable spawning population.  DEC has tried to re-establish walleye populations in many lakes throughout the state with very limited success and has abandoned many lakes that previously supported walleye populations.  As a long time walleye fingerling stocking cooperator, I have a pretty good handle on the walleye program in NYS.  Establishing a self-sustaining walleye population is not an easy task.

 

Based upon recent DEC Skaneateles diary cooperator summaries, the warmwater fishery has boomed.  Also, the average numbers of rainbows harvested has decreased, but the average size increased substantially.  Fishing the lake forty years ago, I do not recall catching a sunfish, largemouth or pickerel.  Skaneateles is not the same as it was in the 70's and 80's. 

 

Weed growth is a major factor for warmwater species to thrive and it looks to have increased this summer based upon my observations.  The link below regarding milfoil removal was laughable at the time but is now sad.  Really $ 2 million and a patch sits right at the end of the State launch dock.  It was such a waste of time and money by ideological bureaucrats and do-gooders.  Ultimately, I think the walleye will have little impact upon the Skaneateles coldwater fishery, as it has already changed.  I really enjoy the rainbow fishing in Skaneateles.  Its still a great fishery and a beautiful lake. 

 

Walleye or Trout?  I'll take either as long as they're biting and tasty.

 

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/09/a_skaneateles_lake_success_story_the_milfoil_removal_project.html

Edited by walnut109

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 Skinny is  fast becoming a Eutrophic lake as are the other Finger Lakes.. Thats a natural course for small lakes, but should never have happened with huge deep lakes like the fingers.. That is the price that has been paid for choking these lakes with mcMansions, "getaways", Farms and vineyards.. All that stuff has to go somewhere, and in the fingers, it goes directly into the lake..  Until this year it had been many years since i fished Skinny, and I was shocked.. Character of the lake has changed immensely... Clarity not even close to what I remember, weeds everywhere... its a shame, but in reality we all did it..
 Now that my  "the sky is falling" rant is over , let me add, i think the Walleyes were always in skaneateles in small numbers.. i have heard about them for many years. I don't think its a bad thing.. i just think the lake is changing and becoming more hospitable to Walleye reproduction... Same thing with sunfish.. They are everywhere in skaneatles these days, and sadly a lot of them are on the smaller side[some big ones too]  Something has made the lake more hospitable to them, as years ago they were not there in the numbers we see today.. The Finger Lakes are changing, like it or not.. There will always be fish, but who knows what the balance of species will be??? bob

Edited by bulletbob

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I think they will do very well there and I'm gonna be chasing them!  I've heard they were in there for years but confirmation is excellent news!!!  Walleye reproduce well in owasco and otisco so it doesn't surprise me at all.  

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They do well in all the finger lakes, the more lakes that have them the better!


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Hell yea!! I have to agree, if the fish make a good strong hold in the lake, I'd be giving LakeO' a second guess. Especially if their a day bite fish. I don't think the eyes would upset the balance of the eco, being its known for its superb trout fishing, and if they reproduce on their own that would keep things in line. Mother Nature has her way of balancing things out.

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Walleye we can actually catch on perch patterns.......love it.......by the way cam I have some more for owasco please! !!!!!

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Just tracy trolling: I know you know your walleyes, but I'm wondering what you base your statement that walleyes successfully reproduce in Owasco ?  DEC and Fisheries Institute test nettings failed to produce any walleyes in Owasco less than 14 years old. DEC concludes there is little or no walleye reproduction in Owasco. Details are available on the DEC website (Eastern Finger Lakes Diary Reports).

Edited by Bigfoot

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It's a given that the 'eyes will try to reproduce. But, in a "small" lake with a large alewife population, there will be little or no recruitment. Alewives simply eat the fry. Historically, Owasco had a healthy population of walleyes prior to the introduction of the alewife. After the introduction, the walleye population plummeted.

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Yes, Otisco actually has many different age classes of walleyes. Most of them are the result of the DEC stockings, though the 2007 age class was the result of natural reproduction. DEC found one eye there that was 22 years old!

 

What I'm really wondering is if anyone is catching small walleye in Owasco that wouldn't be the result of stocking.

 

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" but the population must be sustained by annual hatchery supplementation despite the presence of appropriate habitat." That may be the most significant statement in the article. 

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Ahhhhhh the good old Alewife,  a great prey species but a vicious predator,  however recruiting yoy walleye due to alwife predation doesn't mean that walleyes aren't successful in their spawn process.......it just means the only way will get a year class is if we have a down year on alwife population.  Amazing that walleye existed in good population prior to Alewife being introduced into owasco, but yet the state treated a species that existed like a problem because people stopped catching trout.........let's just put more lakers in there and then make the smallmouth or northern pike the next scapegoat when people can't catch rainbows and browns. I caught 2 walleyes that were 18 inches out of there this spring, with that forage base and the last stocking in 2007.......I would think those fish would have been bigger at age 10.....there is hope for us walleye guys......maybe.

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Net them and restock Oneida, save the trout.

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1 hour ago, Landshark said:

emoji121.pngwhen trout start tasting as good as walleye I'll agree lol

Sent from my XT1565 using Lake Ontario United mobile app
 

 

LOL X2. 

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I base my statements based on actual fish caught.  When you catch yoy walleye in a year none were stocked you know they reproduce.  I personally proved the DEC wrong on Otisco and they now agree there is natural reproduction.  There testing is limited and flawed.  Alewife predation doesn't come close to wiping out all the fry.  I have shone a light in owasco and I promise you there were tons of eyes and none were any 14 years old.  You can't believe everything they tell you.  I'm not saying they are lying I'm saying they theorize much more than they know.  I know for a fact how they proved otisco had no natural reproduction and they were sure they were right.  Now we KNOW they were wrong.  When you don't look in the right place you don't find em...and that's what happens when guys who don't KNOW walleye look for them.  

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I'm not blaming the DEC.   There are only a couple techs and 1 biologist for region 7.  I know exactly how little time they spend on Otisco and the lake is just 1 tiny body of water.  The last full lake study on Otisco took place with 2 guys over 2 nights with a total of about 8 hours of electro shocking.  You can't make major decisions based on an 8 hour study.  I was on the water the entire time both nights and we caught 27 walleye all bigger than what they got and most of our time was sitting waiting for the fish to come in and that happened pretty much after they were done shocking.  Plus if you turn tons of work lights on, run a huge generator, a loud 2 stroke, can only fish 8 fow or less, go out on a flat night in fall when the water is gin clear how many walleye will sit there and let you drive up on them and shock them....not many.  DEC conclusion...most of the walleye are in the stained shallow "pond" where they happen to stock them and they have success shocking.  My boat caught more with 5 of us on a 3 fish limit than they got when they moved away from the causeway on night 2.  They skip huge portions of shoreline like the entire area I was both nights.  Point is they don't have the resources or the time to have a clear picture.  Many nights walleye don't even go in shallow and midnight isn't when you stop when you are looking for shallow eyes it's when you start.  And of course they never found natural walleye in the muddy pond because any eyes spawning in Spafford creek aren't successful with all of the silt.   

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Agreed.  The walleye electroshocking sampling program is flawed.  Too loud, too bright and too shallow of a sampling zone.  It is a miracle they harvest any, but they do.

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It's a given that the 'eyes will try to reproduce. But, in a "small" lake with a large alewife population, there will be little or no recruitment. Alewives simply eat the fry. Historically, Owasco had a healthy population of walleyes prior to the introduction of the alewife. After the introduction, the walleye population plummeted.


Conesus has a massive alewife population caused by the DEC's failed trout experiment many years ago. Yet there is a very healthy population of walleyes in there that reproduce every year. You can see the walleyes every year swim up the inlet to spawn every spring. The alewifes might have a small affect but the eyes will keep themselves going.


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