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Legacy

Preliminary status of Lake Ontario Alewife based on the 2019 spring trawl survey

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Just me or does this sound pretty bleak? Cold spring this year already a bad sign for yoy alewife survival in to 2020 unless winter is abnormally warm. Thinking we take a page from Lake Michigan’s book. Those guys seem pretty happy this year with 30 plus lb fish common once again. 

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It looks to me as though its down as was kind of expected given the loss of the 2 year classes and the inevitable age out loss of the prior big year classes we had been living off of to a larger extent. We have also had 2 bumper crops in a row of kings.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Posted (edited)

Today I saw the most bait I have seen in 35 years of fishing Lake O.  Non stop all day.  There have been some lean days this season but I was blown away today.  100' Bait, 120' bait, 150' bait.  It was everywhere.  I'm not saying the bait population is great but it makes you wonder how the trawls show so little.

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Edited by GAMBLER

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Posted (edited)

I found the report very interesting but still wonder about the issue of bait dispersal and distribution both throughout the lake and within the water column as far as estimates of the numbers, and whether there are differences in the locations of the bait according to size/age for instance. I'm not sure of the exact depths of the trawls but since the alewives are schooling fish and may be schooling up by size is it possible that they are inhabiting different depths and may be missed by the sampling methods using standard depths? For example, I have seen numerous instances of bait hugging bottom in very deep water while discrete pods of bait are being observed suspended at various depths within the water column (e.g. up much higher). If the trawls  throughout the lake are using standard depths couldn't they be missing significant amounts (and perhaps year classes) of bait perhaps say "hugging" bottom that may be younger or older than the ones being caught in the trawls at a given time of the season?

Edited by Sk8man

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Posted (edited)

The bait ball we ran through this year in the NE was insane I've never saw in my life so big of bait balls varing from 30ft to 130ft with absolutely not a predator fish to be seen. Of course this was when the ice water from the north blow was in from 20ft -150ft was 42* This was a 9 day trip in June. July fish were in the bays by thousands of course with lock jaw super size to them what they were??  We threw everything at them finally foul hook a atlantic was that what was there??? Some eyes and lakers and browns were what we could dredge up from predawn to daylight that was it. After that it was pike and smallies.

Edited by Xxx

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Posted (edited)

You can only count what you catch. Yes there are suspended alewives off the bottom during winter that will never be caught. The methodology of coming up with a “perfect” bait population number is impossible. Here is a screen shot aboard the Kaho during trawling. They have their fishfinder set in meters not feet for depth reference. 

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Edited by Gill-T

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Legacy thanks for posting the report link.

 

The 2019 report is meant to be ‘just the facts’. If anyone is interested in More details on how survey are conducted check out the annual reports that can be found here:

https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html

 

and here:

 

http://www.glfc.org/loc_mgmt_unit/

 

The scientists learn a lot by reading the different observations posted on these forums. Questions posted here help everyone to learn more!

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