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Tall Tails

Another 20% CUT in Chinook Stocking for 2019

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As per the Press release yesterday the south shore of Lake Ontario is going to receive another 20% reduction in Chinook salmon for 2019...  The reasoning behind this is certainly debatable.  The DEC says there is still a lack of bait in the lake.  I think those of us who spend large amounts of time on the lake can look at this reason and disagree.  Look in the stomachs of these kings and you see large bait for the most part.  They certainly are having no trouble seeking out the larger bait class.  The fantastic fishing we had this year is directly related to a very large class of natural 2 yr olds.  The 3yr old class is weak.  This is showing in the tribs as I type.  I thought it would be just an ok trib run and it is looking that way.  Next year however it will be off the chart.  After next years mature class I am not sure what the expectation will be.  Other reasons they are giving that is total B.S. is the fishing was fantastic because the fish are starving...yea ok... It was fantastic because for a change we had competition.  Kings are competitive.  They want to eat the bait so there buddies cant.  FACT   As was stated by a senior Capt in our meeting last night the Steelhead is our number one predator on young of the year Alewife.  DEC is considering more regs to protect the steelhead at the request of our Trib anglers.  These regs will effect lake harvest.  It is imperative you attend these meetings!!!!  I can not stress it enough. 

 

It is time we tell the DEC enough is enough.  Here are a list of public meetings that are mandatory if you own a boat on the south shore.

Thursday, Oct. 4: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport, Niagara County. 

Tuesday, Oct. 9: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Donald Schleiter Lodge and Pavillion, 199 East Manitou Rd. in Braddock Bay Park, Rochester, Monroe County.   

Wednesday, Oct. 10: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski, Oswego County.

 

Please feel free to read what I wrote and if you have other opinions please feel free to discuss and keep it professional.

Thank you for listening and I hope to see you at the upcoming meetings.

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DEC  Press Release:

 

DEC Experts to Discuss Changes to Chinook Salmon Stocking For 2019

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced public meetings on the status of Lake Ontario's alewife population and changes to 2019 trout and salmon stocking The meetings will be held in Niagara, Oswego, and Monroe counties in October.

"Lake Ontario and its tributaries provide world-class salmon and trout angling opportunities," Commissioner Seggos said. "Salmon and trout fishing in Lake Ontario has been outstanding this season and DEC remains committed to ensuring that the ecological, recreational, and economic benefits of this sport fishery are sustained through science-based management practices."

Lake Ontario's world-class Chinook salmon fishery is dependent on a healthy alewife population as prey. Due to forecasted declines in the adult alewife population, DEC is acting to reduce predatory demands on alewife to promote the long-term sustainability of the trophy Chinook salmon fishery. Poor survival rates in 2013 and 2014 resulted in negative impacts on the adult alewife population. Survey results from 2018 confirmed that these impacts are ongoing and indicated that the large numbers of alewife produced in 2016 experienced lower than expected survival. In addition, below average alewife production in 2017 exacerbated forecasted declines.

In an ongoing effort to effectively manage Lake Ontario fisheries, DEC reduced the number of Chinook salmon and lake trout stocked in Lake Ontario by 20 percent in 2017 and 2018. Based on this new information, DEC will reduce Chinook salmon stocking by an additional 20 percent in 2019. Combined salmon and trout stocking by DEC in Lake Ontario in 2019 will still exceed 2.7 million fish, and DEC biologists and fisheries managers are optimistic that excellent fishing will continue.

During the meetings, DEC will present the latest science guiding the state's efforts, and provide the opportunity for interested participants to ask questions. More information on the 2019 Salmon and Trout Stocking Levels in Lake Ontario is available on DEC's website.

Meeting dates and locations are:

Thursday, Oct. 4: 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport, Niagara County.

Tuesday, Oct. 9: 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Donald Schleiter Lodge and Pavillion, 199 East Manitou Rd. in Braddock Bay Park, Rochester, Monroe County.

Wednesday, Oct. 10: 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski, Oswego County.

Members of the public that cannot attend a meeting can provide comments via email to: [email protected]. For further information, please contact Steve LaPan, New York Great Lakes Fisheries Section Head, at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station, (315) 654-2147.

Lake Ontario waters comprise more than 2.7 million acres and support thriving populations of fish, including a variety of trout and salmon, bass, walleye, yellow perch, and panfish. A recent statewide angler survey estimated that more than 2.6 million angler days were spent on Lake Ontario and its major tributaries, with the estimated value of the fisheries exceeding $112 million annually for local economies.

DEC recently announced that the 2018 fishing season yielded outstanding results, with catch rates on Lake Ontario for Chinook salmon 227 percent above the previous five-year average. The catch rate for all trout and salmon species combined also surpassed the previous record high, more than 37 percent above the previous five-year average.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/press.html

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With the cuts they put in place a couple years ago, the DEC pen project blunders in 2017, cormorants, and the die offs in the pen project pens this spring, we should be fine.  I saw big alewife in kings all summer not many medium or small ones.  The browns we kept were full of gobies, smelt and medium to large alewife.  I did not catch many steelhead this year but the ones I did filet had medium to large alewife in them. 

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20% sounds like a lot, but natural reproduction will probably be up this season, because the spawning salmon are well fed this year. The controlled stockings are less significant every year.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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If they are worried about the bait population taking a hit from the huge number of three year olds we will have next year, why not bump the king creel limit up?  If these cuts go through, It might be time to start selling my stuff and buying that cottage in the 1000 islands.......

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Natural reproduction is a function of amount of returning adults, trib fishing pressure, and trib water conditions. Decisions on stocking numbers as it relates to the effect of naturals, should occur AFTER the success of the spawn is completed and analyzed. Water temps are warm right now and the three year old class is weak. Unless the Canadian runs show different, we should not have much natural reproduction this year IMO. The Niagara is 69 degrees. 

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If the steelhead have been eating all the YOY alewife, where have all the huge clouds of bait being reported come from?   And when did the steelhead get taught this behavior, as it was never mentioned as a problem until recently.   Some of you guys really need to get your stories straight!

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So I think it is safe to assume that with 20% cuts to kings AND the total number of salmon/trout being the same at 2.7 million, that they are making room for more Atlantics or more Lake Trout or both.   Shameful if true. 

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2 minutes ago, Gill-T said:

So I think it is safe to assume that with 20% cuts to kings AND the total number of salmon/trout being the same at 2.7 million, that they are making room for more Atlantics or more Lake Trout or both.   Shameful if true. 

Which in turn will destroy the fishery......  They cant get the lake trout stocking on target most years with out some kind of hatchery mishap.  Very few people will come here for lake trout.  I will not continue to troll trout and salmon if the Kings are gone.  I do enjoy fishing lakers and browns but it will not be worth the cost to fish without kings.

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It is my understanding that Lake trout will remain at a 20% cut.  Atlantic salmon numbers are really insignificant in this analysis, less than 5% of what kings go in between stocked and natural reproduction. More cohos are stocked than Atlantics.

 

If the bait numbers and the growth and conditions of predators analyses are correct, and nothing is done to curtail predation and insure an ample population of alewife to reproduce, you could have Lake Huron to troll on down the road. 

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11 minutes ago, Lucky13 said:

It is my understanding that Lake trout will remain at a 20% cut.  Atlantic salmon numbers are really insignificant in this analysis, less than 5% of what kings go in between stocked and natural reproduction. More cohos are stocked than Atlantics.

 

 

The significance of Atlantics is they need hatchery space and kings look like are getting the short straw. 

 

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11 minutes ago, Lucky13 said:

It is my understanding that Lake trout will remain at a 20% cut.  Atlantic salmon numbers are really insignificant in this analysis, less than 5% of what kings go in between stocked and natural reproduction. More cohos are stocked than Atlantics.

 

If the bait numbers and the growth and conditions of predators analyses are correct, and nothing is done to curtail predation and insure an ample population of alewife to reproduce, you could have Lake Huron to troll on down the road. 

And if they are wrong, the population will explode and they will up Atlantic and Lake trout stocking not kings.  I said it before the last cut that we will never see king stocking numbers go back up if the bait rebounds and I will say it again.  Atlantics and Lake Trout are federal fish and do not cost the state the money Kings, Coho, brown and rainbows do. 

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7 minutes ago, Gill-T said:

 

The significance of Atlantics is they need hatchery space and kings look like are getting the short straw. 

 

This already happened in canada, browns were moved to a less suitable hatchery as well to make way for more atlantics.

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The Huron/Ontario comparison is not valid, just look at the whitening event and algea blooms on Lake Ontario this year there's a massive amount of food for the baitfish this year.

 

It doesnt sound like they are doing another 20% cut to lake trout. Chinook and lake trout cuts need to be done equally if only to show they are not favoring lakers. Does anyone know if that's the case?

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The fishery has been tremendous under current management. I don’t understand why they are so consistently doubted by so many here.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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7 minutes ago, weave said:

The fishery has been tremendous under current management. I don’t understand why they are so consistently doubted by so many here.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

I'd like to see both the NYDEC and OMNR publicly release the forcast algorithm so we can see what factors go into their decisions. This information should be available to the public if they want our trust.

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My numbers are based on the 2017 stocking table in the SOL report, and I suggest that better numbers will be available at the public meetings.  If King stocking is reduced 40% from the 1.7 million fish target, NYS is still stocking 1,020,000 kings with a naturally reproduced compliment of 1.7 million kings.  With the cuts Lake trout were supposed to be stocked at 400,000, but due to hatchery problems they have not hit those numbers the last two years, but I have not seen actual numbers, only heard that Lake Trout numbers will be maintained at the 20% reduction level. 

 

Based on what I've heard and the 2017 tables, stocking mix looks something like this.  I am sure we will see more accurate numbers at the public meetings and please do not view these as official, they are just an estimate.

King Salmon                           1,020,000

Coho Salmon                            232,000

Lake Trout                                400,000

Brown Trout                            412,000

Rainbow Trout                          656,000

Atlantic Salmon                        127,000

Total stocking                        2,847,000

 

Still looks like a lot of predators to offer your potential clients.  And don't forget the additional Natural Reproduction

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If they are worried about the bait population taking a hit from the huge number of three year olds we will have next year, why not bump the king creel limit up?  If these cuts go through, It might be time to start selling my stuff and buying that cottage in the 1000 islands.......
Don't forget to give me a heads up, I'm in on that move too!

Silverfoxcharters.net

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2 minutes ago, Silver Fox said:

Don't forget to give me a heads up, I'm in on that move too!

Silverfoxcharters.net
 

 

Im thinking more like Belize...

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My numbers are based on the 2017 stocking table in the SOL report, and I suggest that better numbers will be available at the public meetings.  If King stocking is reduced 40% from the 1.7 million fish target, NYS is still stocking 1,020,000 kings with a naturally reproduced compliment of 1.7 million kings.  With the cuts Lake trout were supposed to be stocked at 400,000, but due to hatchery problems they have not hit those numbers the last two years, but I have not seen actual numbers, only heard that Lake Trout numbers will be maintained at the 20% reduction level. 

 

Based on what I've heard and the 2017 tables, stocking mix looks something like this.  I am sure we will see more accurate numbers at the public meetings and please do not view these as official, they are just an estimate.

King Salmon                           1,020,000

Coho Salmon                            232,000

Lake Trout                                400,000

Brown Trout                            412,000

Rainbow Trout                          656,000

Atlantic Salmon                        127,000

Total stocking                        2,847,000

 

Still looks like a lot of predators to offer your potential clients.  And don't forget the additional Natural Reproduction

Natural production is too unpredictable and unstable. If the lake fishery diminishes, businesses will close and people will not come. People do not come to Lake Ontario for Atlantic’s and Lake Trout.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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9 hours ago, Tall Tails said:

As per the Press release yesterday the south shore of Lake Ontario is going to receive another 20% reduction in Chinook salmon for 2019...  The reasoning behind this is certainly debatable.  The DEC says there is still a lack of bait in the lake.  I think those of us who spend large amounts of time on the lake can look at this reason and disagree.  Look in the stomachs of these kings and you see large bait for the most part.  They certainly are having no trouble seeking out the larger bait class.  The fantastic fishing we had this year is directly related to a very large class of natural 2 yr olds.  The 3yr old class is weak.  This is showing in the tribs as I type.  I thought it would be just an ok trib run and it is looking that way.  Next year however it will be off the chart.  After next years mature class I am not sure what the expectation will be.  Other reasons they are giving that is total B.S. is the fishing was fantastic because the fish are starving...yea ok... It was fantastic because for a change we had competition.  Kings are competitive.  They want to eat the bait so there buddies cant.  FACT   As was stated by a senior Capt in our meeting last night the Steelhead is our number one predator on young of the year Alewife.  DEC is considering more regs to protect the steelhead at the request of our Trib anglers.  These regs will effect lake harvest.  It is imperative you attend these meetings!!!!  I can not stress it enough. 

 

It is time we tell the DEC enough is enough.  Here are a list of public meetings that are mandatory if you own a boat on the south shore.

Thursday, Oct. 4: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport, Niagara County. 

Tuesday, Oct. 9: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Donald Schleiter Lodge and Pavillion, 199 East Manitou Rd. in Braddock Bay Park, Rochester, Monroe County.   

Wednesday, Oct. 10: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski, Oswego County.

 

Please feel free to read what I wrote and if you have other opinions please feel free to discuss and keep it professional.

Thank you for listening and I hope to see you at the upcoming meetings.

Well written Brian. The bump from the big wild class of 2 yr olds has the anti King crowd squirming. The anti-King agenda has been in place for any years. It is now that they see opportunity--based on very weak census effort due to weather and mechanical breakdown. They are trying to wean anglers off the Chinook. Keep your heads in the sand and get ready for piles of dead alewife in the future once again as inadequately controlled populations are at greater risk of total collapse.  

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The science is that alewife are literally toxic to Atlantic’s- as in if they eat too many, healthy Atlantics will die. They become infertile too. If the idea is to increase Atlantic stocking, this is the exact wrong way to do it. Just sayin...

I don’t like it, but I trust steve and Andy. I’d rather err on the side of caution than crash the fishery...


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Man, it’s time to get the popcorn. What a long winter it’s going to be. Once the last salmon is caught on the lake, it’s time to unleash the “whoas me “ the fisheries is doomed. Or am I saying uncle too soon?


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