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mako20

Skaneateles walleye

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Hey y’all

Today my dad was in town, we call him slappy or ol’ man Gep. At breakfast we joked about a trophy fish n reminisced previous trips with our annual trip to Ontario coming up in 3 weeks. With the showers forecasted we weren’t in a rush to do much this morning. Then we finally got motivated to go out.

Me n slappy n the boys finally went out around 1130 for a mid day troll. My five year old started out landing a 16 in salmon in the first five minutes.

Then the lead core fired and I was gonna give it to one of the kids, butttt.....

it was heavy and I knew it was big.

I was expecting a salmon or a bow as I had a deep diver n 3.5 colors of lead core out.

As slap reeled it to the boat I thought maybe it’s a gigantic large mouth then at about 50 feet away I could see it was a walleye.

Biggest one I’ve ever seen with my own eyes. We fished for another 45 minutes and had some riggers fire but no more fish.

I love fishing. I went to DEC meeting in homer this spring and am an advocate for skn remaining a cold water fishery. How the walleye were introduced into this lake I don’t know. This year, I have boated a 25 inch walleye last month and today was 27.5 inches and 7.6lbs. But this trophy will be delightful in my frying pan this evening and making a memory with my father and the kids for generations.

Fishing with family and friends is the greatest!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

IMG_1251.JPGIMG_1270.JPG

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Awesome!!!!!  I hope the walleye  continue to flourish!  I'm itching to get over there to target them.  Maybe you weren't targeting them or perhaps wish they weren't there, but sounds like the walleye made the trip!  Out of curiosity why do you feel you can't have both warm and cold water species.  You already have better perch and bass than trout.  They haven't stocked owasco in over a decade and walleye continue on and the trout fishing is good as well.  Don't drink all the Kool aid that is served in finger lakes...the evil walleye isn't all that scary...just delicious!!!!

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That walleye looks like its thicker than the Lakers.  The big Lakers look like they have an oversized head they are so skinny.

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Congrats on the great fish.  I am sure it will be delicious. 

 

The Skan fishery has changed a lot since the '70's.  Species that were once scarce or non-existent are now appearing in numbers.  I do not recall ever catching sunfish, largemouth, crappie, walleye or pickerel as a kid.  Not saying that they did not inhabit the lake, we just we never caught them. Lakers, rainbows, smallmouth, perch, bullhead, sucker and rock bass were the only fish we ever boated.  We did see large schools of carp back then cruising the middle trolling for trout.  Not sure how they got in the lake, but they did.  Back in the day, a 14-inch smallmouth or a 20-inch rainbow was something to be proud of.  Now they are common place.  Fish are bigger and the fishery is more diverse.  Yes, harvested rainbow numbers are down, but the average size is up.  

 

Not sure DEC has a good handle on the actual targeted species on the lake.  The diary reports are a great source of information but participation numbers have significantly decreased and they have always been focused more on the coldwater fishery.   Based upon my observations, fisherman are targeting warmwater species much more than coldwater species.  Most days trolling for rainbows, I may see one or two others out at best. 

 

Walleye will have little impact upon the rainbows or lakers.  99 percent of the walleye diet will consist of young of year perch, same as all the other species in the lake.  I do not expect walleye to ever be the dominant species in the lake.  It will remain lakers and smallmouth for a long time.  That being said, I love fishing Skan rainbows.  Great fighters, beautiful colors and good table fare.  That being said, walleye are great too.  I am sure both will co-exist just fine.

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Awesome!!!!!  I hope the walleye  continue to flourish!  I'm itching to get over there to target them.  Maybe you weren't targeting them or perhaps wish they weren't there, but sounds like the walleye made the trip!  Out of curiosity why do you feel you can't have both warm and cold water species.  You already have better perch and bass than trout.  They haven't stocked owasco in over a decade and walleye continue on and the trout fishing is good as well.  Don't drink all the Kool aid that is served in finger lakes...the evil walleye isn't all that scary...just delicious!!!!


I’m not anti warm water fish or warm water fishing. I target walleye and bass often. And do feel that both types of fish can flourish and coexist. Getting to eat walleye is always a treat. And catching these monsters is pretty fun. I just feel that the walleye in large numbers may alter the state of the lake, but time will be the telling factor. I love fishing for and catching the cold water fish. The DEC seems to feel the numbers are down because of the walleye. Is that true? I don’t know. But either way based on the walleye I’ve landed this year they are here to stay and we outta get used to it and target them for for eating.




Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Great report, and great fish, Gep!  Save me a spot at your dock come October :)

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The reason trout numbers cycle up and down is because the trout aren't native and aren't self sustaining.  Furthermore, exactly what flawed method did the DEC use to come to the conclusion that trout numbers are actually down?  Down from what?  Pretty easy fix either way...stock some trout!

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Lots of opinions here. Serious lack of knowledge.

 

The catch rate for rainbow trout on Skaneateles Lake is at its lowest point since the early 1970's. It's not a flawed method, it's a commonly used metric by fisheries professionals.

 

Skan is currently stocked with about 20,000 rainbows per year. To say that stocking more rainbows is a "pretty easy fix" is a statement that very few if any pros would agree with. Fisheries management is far from being that simple.

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Lack of knowledge?  So the rainbows are native to this area?  The trout are self sustaining?  No they aren't!  Furthermore if stocking more fish doesn't improve the fishing then simply the fishery isn't viable for rainbows.  Catch rates don't mean that much as fisheries change wildly and the anglers and the DEC  typically use the exact same methods year after year.  Not every lake has to be a trout lake and furthermore the trout DON'T flourish in every lake.  The walleye, bass, and perch are actually flourishing and for every trout troller there are 10 warm water guys.  The DEC is not serving the majority of anglers by pushing a trout only agenda on skaneateles.  

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11 minutes ago, justtracytrolling said:

Lack of knowledge?  So the rainbows are native to this area?  The trout are self sustaining?  No they aren't!  Furthermore if stocking more fish doesn't improve the fishing then simply the fishery isn't viable for rainbows.  Catch rates don't mean that much as fisheries change wildly and the anglers and the DEC  typically use the exact same methods year after year.  Not every lake has to be a trout lake and furthermore the trout DON'T flourish in every lake.  The walleye, bass, and perch are actually flourishing and for every trout troller there are 10 warm water guys.  The DEC is not serving the majority of anglers by pushing a trout only agenda on skaneateles.  

Xs 2.

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Posted (edited)

Got to agree with Bigfoot on this one. Not that I favor an exclusively trout-centric philosophy, but that management decisions are complicated. Short term catch rate #s don't always predict long term trends, and so while it is a common metric used to assess the fishery's health, it is is also always a few years behind in terms of being predictive. It seems simple, right? You want more fish, you stock more fish. Unfortunately, if you have an imbalance in predator:prey ratio, then you may exacerbate the problem. And so on...

 

Carpe Diem! (doesn't that mean "fish for carp"?).

Edited by Gator

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I used to invite the DEC to the little derby I used to host and the techs in region 7 are great guys.  I'm not saying they aren't working hard or trying hard.  I'm just saying the DEC is a political machine that has a very difficult job and they are so understaffed that the studies they do don't always tell the story as they just don't have the money to put much time into any one lake.  They have just as many questions as we do and very few answers...

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I get the predator prey relationship, but who picks the predator!  Why pick a predator you have to stock every year when there has to be a species we could enjoy that would reproduce on its own saving the taxpayers and raising the catch rates.  In this case the lake has tons of warm water forage for walleye to do well, and I'm fairly certain the same can't be said for the trout.

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Justin you are a walleye guy always will be people come to the Finger Lakes for Trout & salmon not walleye they are a bonus so leave our salmon & trout fisheries alone just saying ok

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The Spring rainbow runs sell tons of fishing licenses. Many fishermen (myself included) started out as stream fishermen and didn't even own a boat for many years. To ignore this segment of the fishery is a failure to see the big picture.

 

Yes, it's mostly a put and take situation, but most fish stocking is.

 

The fact that there aren't that many trollers out this time of year doesn't mean much. Many are up on the big lake and others are on Cayuga where the fishing is excellent these days

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5 hours ago, Trouthunter said:

Justin you are a walleye guy always will be people come to the Finger Lakes for Trout & salmon not walleye they are a bonus so leave our salmon & trout fisheries alone just saying ok

 

i've been fishing the finger lakes for 40 years, i'd trade every trout in there for walleye

 

truth is everyone loves lakers, it boost there ego catching boxes of fish they refuse to eat

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Posted (edited)

I have been fishing these lakes for over 42 years the bonus walleye are nice but the finger lakes are trout & salmon fisheries & should stay that way just saying thank you

 

Edited by Trouthunter
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The worst kind of fisheries management is some KIA with a bucket full of fry who feels entitled to modify the management plan for a lake by himself based on his perceptions of what everyone else wants.  Some miscreant absolutely ruined the rainbow fishery in the Fulton Chain with a bucket of small northerns.  I didn't even get to go to a public meeting like the ones Pete Osterman has been holding in Region 8 to weigh in on my desires for the lake. And there are former brook trout ponds all around Old Forge full of stunted largemouth stocked by Junior Jimmy Houstons.  Almost makes me want to see it made a capital offense! :-(

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I'm not advocating changing a thing.  I didn't put the walleye in either!  I'm just saying that once they are there and doing so well, better than the rainbows, PERHAPS they are better suited to the lake than the rainbows.  I didn't create the walleye/trout debate on owasco, but I'm sure the walleye are sustaining themselves to some degree.   Keep stocking rainbows all you want, but those walleye are going to flourish.  Lastly, the walleye aren't to blame it's survival of the fittest in the lakes and the waleye simply are better suited than rainbows and other trout in some situations.  I've never once said trout aren't awesome to have in the fingers...I target them myself some every year from shore as well as boat, just don't blame the walleye for poor trout fishing.  For starters, it's a horrible idea fishing for trout while they spawn and trampling every single possible stream when we struggle to keep a fishable population.  Trout lovers?  

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OK, I'll bite.

 

Walleye receive much better protection while spawning than rainbows. The April 1st opener for trout across the Finger Lakes provides hit or miss protection depending on if we have an early or late Spring. The uniform opener has the advantages of keeping the regulations simple and spreading out the fishing pressure. However, the trout runs on Canandaigua and Seneca are about several weeks earlier than those on Owasco and Skaneateles. During cold Springs many rainbows don't have the chance to complete spawning and are taken before returning to the lake. A rainbow taken as a 3lber doesn't live to return as a 5 or 6, and they don't return as 8's or 10"s! I have seen 'bows slaughtered by the hundreds on the opener during a late Spring.

 

I am a proponent of delaying the season until April 15th or making portions of the tribs catch and release.

 

Many rainbows are taken by lifting, thumping and I remember one case in Montour Falls where idiots used chlorox to basically wipe out an entire run in a small creek. Walleyes don't face similar pressures.

 

I used to live within 500 feet of an Owasco tributary. Rainbow reproduction was excellent. I was fortunate to legally take a few over 10 pounds, but an unsettling amount of the  harvest was illegal  -neighbors with smelt nets during March.

 

Once small rainbows leave the streams of their birth and enter the lakes they are essentially bait fish. I have been told by friends who were experienced sawbelly netters (for sale as bait, back in the day) that it was quite common to net juvenile rainbows along with the sawbellies. At that time they are highly susceptible to walleye predation. In lakes like Owasco where walleyes suspend over deep water they are usually found right near the bait.

 

Skaneateles doesn't have much of a baitfish population, unlike the rest of the larger Fingers. Like it or not, the walleyes are going to put a serious dent in the rainbow population.

 

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See we can agree on many things!  I don't have an argument for anything you said.  Keep in mind the rainbows eat walleye fry and sawbellies hammer walleye fry.  Everything definitely eats everything.  I'd love to see walleye and trout seasons both get moved back at LEAST 2 weeks.  My point is that if there is enough food we can have both trout and walleye.  Sure I'll lose lots of walleye and you will lots lots of rainbows, but if stocking is good and reproduction is allowed what's the problem?  If a species can't reproduce then it gets more expensive but still possible.  Skaneatles is way different because of a lack of bait.  The walleye probably will overrun the trout without a steady stocking commitment.  No I don't have a single study to prove any of this but the DEC doesn't have the proof either, in many cases they have been 180 degrees wrong before as it simply isn't possible to put the money into these lakes the way they have Ontario and other lakes where fishing EQUALS dollars...and even then they aren't always right because it's nature and we aren't in control.

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The reason walleye get protection is walleye anglers don't have any interest in making things easy at the cost of our precious, beloved walleye.  We don't even wanna fish then.  I know plenty of lifters and the ones that walleye fish enough to learn how to catch a walleye wouldn't consider lifting a walleye....weird how social paradigm dictates it's ok to slaughter spawning trout, spawning perch, but we leave walleye alone and have to fish artificials for bass and put them back...or is it that we think trout are only put and take anyway, but whats the excuse for perch?  

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Walleyes don't tend to do well in lakes with alewifes- as you mentioned. I think they will prosper in Skan where alewives are absent.

 

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Bingo!!!  Ding ding ding we have a winner!!!  Otisco has what I believe to be the highest alewife density per gallon of water of any NY lake, and the walleye still manage to reproduce at a fishable level though....so without the tiger muskies and the alewives Skaneatles will be a free for all for walleye.  Not to mention if 1 person can throw a bucket or 2 of walleye in and they become a fishable population on their own it says a lot about the future....

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