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Just got done fishing the trout derby could not help to notice the amount of dead bullheads and the ones swimming on the surface look like they have something growing on their skin. Anybody else notice?  Congratulations to all the people who placed with their fish. 

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there were a lot of them on the north end even foul hook a half dead one . i don't know about seneca lake seems to me its in rough shape . i know the guys on the lake trying make a buck would say different . 

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Didn’t see as many today but several dozen yesterday and Saturday, also saw some pretty sick ones near the surface


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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I think we are all trying to make a buck when we fish a derby. I saw many people endure bad weather and tough fishing but they were still smiling. Lots of good stories between campers. I always have a good time in a derby even when the fish are making it tough. Seneca will come back. It was not that many years ago on Cayuga  when the lampreys almost wiped out the lake I thought the lake was done, but the lake came back. Hope to see everyone next year!  Wes

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I think bait availability might be at least one factor in the fishing results this year:lol:

bait1.jpg

bait2.jpg

bait3.jpg

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I agree.  Saw at least 3x the amount of bait on Seneca this weekend than what I've been seeing on Cayuga.  Tremendous amount of bait, I guess no need bother with our lures.

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Wow that is a crazy amount of bait. I thought Seneca was loaded last year but it looks like this year there may be even more bait. I never thought I could go an entire morning and not catch at least one laker pulling copper but Seneca proved me wrong this year. I think this is a good problem. When things start to even out we could have fantastic fishing. 

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It's pretty simple... No lamprey treatment for couple years... Lampreys took over killing predator fish... Bait and sawbellies out numbering the perch by billions... Sawbellies eat perch eggs... Obviously the perch will also suffer... This year was no flooding so hopefully they get the treatment but still... It will be years before the ones that are in there... Die...

 

And yes anyone saying the lake is doing good is out to make the mighty $$$.

 

Sent from my Moto E (4) using Lake Ontario United mobile app

 

 

 

 

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I have no theory as to what is going on on Seneca.Everything goes in cycles.We fished hard three days with one 3.5 lb lake trout to show for it.I look at it as I did not do my homework. There were some decent fish caught just not by me.Someone knew where the big fish were and what to use for them.

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Posted (edited)

Some of the best fishermen in the Finger Lakes were out there that know Seneca like the back of their hands spending 12 or more hours per day and they did not do well. The natural thing to do is to question your own competence and strategies but given the fact that so few large fish were caught by just a few folks strongly suggests it is not the fishermen or lack of knowledge, experience, or lack of equipment employed, or employed wrong or in the wrong spots etc. it is the conditions of the lake itself, the proliferation of bait (another indicator of predator to prey being out of whack). I have fished Seneca my entire life with every fishing method, and during the most trying of times (e.g. late 70's) and this is the most out of whack I have ever seen my favorite lake. It is not just one thing responsible; it is a multitude of factors coming together to highly stress the lake environment and the total fishery. Some of the things wrong may be cyclical in nature but I'm pretty sure not all of them, and it is questionable whether even the most important factors may be remediable with just time. Seneca is truly a jewel of the Finger Lakes but its luster has suffered lately and hopefully its true beauty can be renewed somehow.

Edited by Sk8man
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It was tough for sure.  I stayed from Long point south for the most part.  Thursday we struck out, Friday we had one brown on a 9 color core that was maybe 4lbs, Saturday we had 2 small lakers and another brown that was smaller than the one we caught , and Monday we struck out.  I dont get to fish the lake often and generally struggle but was ok with the fact that I didnt knock them dead because of that.  Hopefully one day I will have as much knowledge as Les and Nick and have more fun.  There was a ton of bait down south also.

 

Jim

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We only got a small bow and Laker on Saturday on Sunday two bass one small brown and maybe 6 small LL and Monday one Laker mostly around Lodi and show boat definitely tuff out there

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Posted (edited)

Fished around 36 hours and ended with 21 lake trout and one brown.  Biggest around 6 pounds 75 percent of the time pulling copper and 25 percent casting along the shore.                                           

Its definitely a struggle compared to what it use to be. Use to always near or break the 100 fish mark.  There does seem to be quite a few lake trout in 80 ft plus on the bottom.  Problem though is the fish deep seem to be all small so didn't spend much time out there.  The good news is that all the 12 to 13 inchers we caught last year seem to have made it to 15 inches.                                                                 

There definitely seems to be an imbalance between predator and prey.  Likely cause to me seems like lamprey killed many of the predator fish and the sawbellies took off with has implications throughout the food chain. 

Edited by shaneo19

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Regarding the bullhead...If you seen them alive they were covered in this white colored stuff. I asked a DEC rep at Sampsom about it..he stated it is a bacteria they get from wounds. Stated that they will be spawning soon and they get wounds from fighting? Does that make sense? Maybe I missed what he was saying? and catch the bacteria. I know I counted 30 dead many times just south of Sampson to Lodi on Friday. It was called Aeromonas I believe... I suggested he walk around the marina and take a look at how many were around and dead....his comment was I will send a few guys down and take a look in the coming weeks. Also stated that some will occur death from it...seemed I seen more than some dead.

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The lake is definitely full of bullheads to the point of potentially being overpopulated.  I said in another thread awhile ago that despite the issues on Seneca, there seem to be at least two species thriving.  Sawbellies and Bullheads.  Last spring we had the sawbelly kill and this year the bullheads.  It is always concerning to see dead fish but it could just be nature trying to balance itself out.  I wasn't aware that bullheads fought each other before spawning but that is interesting if true.

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