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reelxite

Regulation change to steelhead limit on Lake Ontario

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Gentlemen if you did not know there is a proposed reg change to the steelhead limit on LO to lower it to 2 in the open waters. The DEC currently has a comment period on this change for a 45 day period which already commenced last week.

If you would like to read it the info is at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/115977.html  and http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html

 

If you would like to comment the email address is: [email protected]ov

In the comment line you mus put: 6 NYCRR Part 10 Section 11-0317-Amendents to Great Lakes sportfishery regulation in 6NYCRR Part 10

 

This is my input, feel free to use any our all of my comments

I am opposed the changes in this regulation in regards to limiting the possession limit of steelhead and rainbow trout to just 2 on the open waters of Lake Ontario. I believe that this change will do more harm to the populations survival of this species than good. Most steelhead are caught during the warmer months of the summer by the process of trolling baits, when the surface waters reach their highest temperatures and lowest oxygen content. The stress these fish endure during  the process of hooking (in colder deeper water) and landing in these conditions, plus the fact the netting and removing of the hook is a process that must be completed out of the water (unlike the streams where the water temperature is lower and oxygen higher when these fish are available, along with the fish never having to be lifted from the water to be released), puts undo stress on this species especially when handling larger fish. Having an overall limit of 3 fish of any species with only 2 being steelhead, even makes the situation more intolerable since at this time of the year Salmon can/may be harvested in the same open lake waters. Anglers will continue to fish in the same area hoping to catch salmon and may/will continue to catch steelhead and have to release them after the exhausting event of landing them, most likely causing a higher mortality rate. The fact that there are multiple derby’s at this time of the year with the lower, limit it may cause anglers to cull already dead smaller fish if they land a large one that may be eligible for prize money, this will be virtually un-enforceable by the econ-officers since when checked the anglers will only have the 2 fish limit per person on board. With the recent cuts in salmon stocking the past few years, their availability could be drastically reduced forcing more anglers to target steelhead in the coming years putting more pressure on the steelhead population. By lowering it to 2 while still having a 3 overall for the combination limit could/will keep anglers catching steelhead and releasing mortally wounded fish, while if it remains at three most anglers will stop fishing when they reach their combination limit. This will be especially true for professional (Charter Captains) fishermen. So in conclusion this regulation change will cause more mortality in the open lake steelhead population than its intended purpose of trying to increase survival.

Bob Songin

 

Forgot to add that anyone can comment on this issue even out of state license holders

Edited by reelxite
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At the DEC state of the lake meeting last year I listened to on line the DEC stated in an attempt to increase the Steelhead average size that this Reg change would be a good option . 

 

We have a world class fishery  . And the DEC are the ones mostly responsible for it  . So if they feel this will help , I say go for it . 

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2 hours ago, HB2 said:

At the DEC state of the lake meeting last year I listened to on line the DEC stated in an attempt to increase the Steelhead average size that this Reg change would be a good option . 

 

We have a world class fishery  . And the DEC are the ones mostly responsible for it  . So if they feel this will help , I say go for it . 

 

So, becasue they say it will help we should trust them? Do you know about the special interest group called in to help grease the DEC's palms on this?

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2 does not seem much, but most open water fishing is done with 2 or 3 fishermen per boat and charter fishing is often 6. We really are talking about 6 steelhead instead of 9 we should approach it as such.


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1 hour ago, rolmops said:

2 does not seem much, but most open water fishing is done with 2 or 3 fishermen per boat and charter fishing is often 6. We really are talking about 6 steelhead instead of 9 we should approach it as such.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

 

I agree with you about the impact. However, your perception of charter guys is off. 95% of my charters and most I see are 4 clients. We're only allowed to carry a max of 6.

 

1 hour ago, HB2 said:

Was there a pay  off on this ? 

 

Do tell . 

 

Trout unlimited has been seen with the leaders of the trib movement in closed door meetings with DEC officials. We'll never know what was discussed in those closed door meetings. We have some of the largest Trout in the country in our backyard with a very lucrative special interest group in their back pocket. I love how for many years the charter guys ran the pen projects with donated and personal time and money. However, in the last year 100,000 was found to help the trib guys get started on pen projects.

 

I also read where the DSR on the Salmon river is making changes by only allowing fly fishing on certain days, and making people move drifts after a certain amount of time. I know the guy who runs the place. He's told me numerous times he has enough guys who would pay $20,000ea to hang out, smoke cigars, catch one or two fish and be content. They wouldn't have to allow the masses in who buy daily and yearly passes. With more land going from public to private up there I can see where this whole trib thing is going.

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For What it’s Worth and for those who are not aware, The Lake Ontario regs and revised management plan is included in the overall fish management plans for the entire state. DEC Bureau Chief of Fisheries Steve Hurst is working with all regions of New York State to revise and update their fish management plans where many haven’t been reviewed and updated for 30 years or more. A huge task in it’s own right. Included in this project is the Lake Ontario Watershed, both in conjunction with Canada for the overall open waters of the Lake Program, as well as specific plans for our New York open waters and tributaries. I can also tell you as management plans have been updated, many of them include regulation changes to align with DEC’s going forward strategies. So this is a state wide initiative.

 

However lets boil down the Regulation proposals for LO and it’s tribs. To start lets remember the going forward management strategy. And BTW the Steelhead part of this was originally put in place by Bill Pearce, then Fisheries manager back in the late 60’s. The Lake was to be managed for Chinook Salmon as the marquee species in the lake, and Steelhead were to be managed as the marquee species in the tribs. That Coho Salmon, and brown trout along with Lake trout would be a staple to the open water fishery, and icing on the cake in the tribs, and Steelhead would be icing on the cake in the open waters of the Lake. Anyone who has been to the state of the lake meetings or on the DEC site should have already heard or read this.  

Simply…The Goal is managing the LO watershed for the 12 month a year fishery that it actually is. Which includes a huge stakeholder usage on the tribs.

 

1)      Extending the season on Lake Trout fishing on the Niagara river on the NYS side to align with the Canadian regs. Doesn’t seem to be little if any push back to this.

2)      Reduce Brown Trout harvest in the tribs from 3 to 1. NYS DEC from creel census on the tribs that includes harvest and C&R percentages have come to realize that LO and its tribs is now a world class brown trout destination fishery. We grow the biggest brown trout in the US on average. And we have a unique trib fishery that now entertains anglers from as far west as Oregon, and includes outfitters from Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming putting together excursions to come to our rivers and streams. Then add in the out of state anglers from states within a day’s drive of here, and we have a horde of anglers here from Oct. thru Dec when these fish are in the system. This reg could provide maximum opportunity for anglers targeting them. Also recent trib creel surveys suggest more and more anglers are releasing a higher percentage of brown trout. BTW this is a reg that has been proposed several times since 2003. It’s never made it to the docket until now, but in DEC management strategy knowing the high use of our tribs and the very long September to end of April trib season has included it this year.

3)      Increase harvest size limit of Steelhead on the tribs from 21 to 25 inches: Also a regulation that was proposed back in 2003 when the tribs went from 3 to 1 fish per day. The rational back then as it is today comes from 1983 thru 2018 data where DEC sizes every fish they handle for spawning at Altmar. The data shows that 98.2 percent of spawning Steelhead are 25 inches or greater. Or true three year olds. The rational today as it was back in 2003, Steelhead anglers would like to see a fish survive the system as at least a 1 salt fish. The term used for migrating steelhead out west. In other words a fish is in the system for at least one spawning cycle. Then open for harvest by anyone anywhere (Lake or Tribs) after that.  This was proposed at the Stakeholders meeting for both lake and tribs. Through conversation by the panel it was turned down for the lake and would remain 21 inches as it is today in the lake and only be changed in the tribs. The interest from trib anglers especially after the massive adult die off of our Steelhead in 2014-2015 is to get back to the Trophy fishery we enjoyed back in the 90’s and early 2000’s of having a chance to catch a fish in the 15 to 20 pound range. When steelhead get past that three year 1 salt stage they can grow big and fast.

4)      Reduce the lake creel for Steelhead from 3 to 2: This was the result from DEC after turning down the overall 25 inch size limit. Again the rational is managing in this case Steelhead for the long trib fishery in which for close to four months or more, they are the only species in our rivers in any numbers to fish for.

OK this is my personal rational for this 2020 management plan and why I’m in favor of it. Steelhead can be and are fished for 12 months a year. They can be accessed by anglers every month and day of the year. Many who aren’t died in the wool trib anglers might say nobody is fishing in Dec through Feb. And that would be a huge misconception. While many smaller water ways may be inaccessible, any tail water fishery is alive an active all winter long with tons of anglers…seven days a week. We have the finest foul weather gear you can imagine to stand in and fish rivers all winter long.  WE don’t take that time off….and so either are the fish left alone. Meanwhile Salmon who are not spawning age enjoy nearly six months of solitude, and brown trout who are heavily fished for at least get a short reprieve from angling pressure normally Jan through mid March before the boats start getting dunked again. But not Steelhead they are available year round to either a troller or a trib angler.

 

High dead loss of lake caught steelhead. 2019 was my 48th year fishing the open waters of LO. 22 of those years as a licensed Charter Capt. It simply was never my experience of huge dead loss of any species caught on my boat if the fish wasn’t mortally wounded from fishing hooks. Even in the more dangerous months of July and August. I employed handling techniques to successfully release a fish either rec fishing or guiding if not intending to keep a fish. It is the responsibility of every angler to learn how to and execute proper fish handling techniques. I did everything from releasing fish alongside the boat which many can do with a low profile freeboard boat. To having a 110 qt cooler as a resuscitation chamber in which to carefully place the fish with lake water, and adding ice to keep the temps in the mid 50’s range. That was me….can’t dictate what anyone else does, but I’ve been doing those things since the early 80’s after a few years of guiding when it was evident my clients wanted to pick and choose the fish they wanted to harvest. From my boat to being on others, more harm was done to fish who were kept out of the water too long, allowed to bang around the deck of a boat…or the ever popular hero shot with an anglers fingers through a fishes gills. If that’s going on….yeah box em up.

There must be a large population of anglers who know how to properly C&R fish on their boat since on these web boards many share their score card for the day….posts like we were 18 for 24, 25, for 31 etc.

I’ll end with this: To Be Fair to all…. I would recommend you don’t simply copy and paste anyone’s personal comment. I know that DEC is looking for YOUR comment. I can tell you if somebody writes in and says I agree, or disagree (a one line yes or no) with any of these regs it will not get counted. If they get dozens of responses with the exact same wording that were obviously copied….they likely won’t count them. They want to hear from you. What your thoughts and experiences are.  These regs will be approved or not from you the stakeholder who has his or her own thoughts on what you experience out on the lake or in the tribs or both. This truly isn’t a ballot race. It’s rational thoughts on your experiences and what you’d like to see as management of the LO watershed for April of 2020.

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4 hours ago, Yankee Troller said:

I also read where the DSR on the Salmon river is making changes by only allowing fly fishing on certain days, and making people move drifts after a certain amount of time. I know the guy who runs the place. He's told me numerous times he has enough guys who would pay $20,000ea to hang out, smoke cigars, catch one or two fish and be content. They wouldn't have to allow the masses in who buy daily and yearly passes. With more land going from public to private up there I can see where this whole trib thing is going.

I think this is a key part of this. Catch and release is fine but the more the rules go toward catch and release only the more this fishery will become an elitist fishery only just like how the Atlantic Salmon fishery is.  So i see this as them starting down the road of a fishery that's for everyone to a fishery for only those with extremely deep pockets.

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On 10/24/2019 at 8:05 AM, Yankee Troller said:

 

So, becasue they say it will help we should trust them? Do you know about the special interest group called in to help grease the DEC's palms on this?

 

Considering the fact that we have had spectacular fishing the past few years , and many more under less than ideal circumstances,  I do trust them . Especially when many on here were  MFing them for amounts of stocks etc. 

 

And it seems to me from my personal experience , steelhead numbers are down on amounts and size .and have been for years .  So let them try and fix that . 1 less fish to take seems like a small price to pay for bigger  and more fish later on.

 

It's not like the Steelhead or any of these fish other than Lakers , are exclusive to lake or trib . Everyone has a chance at them sometime during the year . 

 

And  if the Senator , if that's who still owns,it can get guys to pay 20 k to have brandy ,( I personally like bourbon ) and cigars a catch a fish or two , God bless him . 

 

 

 

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On 10/24/2019 at 8:25 AM, rolmops said:

2 does not seem much, but most open water fishing is done with 2 or 3 fishermen per boat and charter fishing is often 6. We really are talking about 6 steelhead instead of 9 we should approach it as such.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

 

 

exactly

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56 minutes ago, HB2 said:

And it seems to me from my personal experience , steelhead numbers are down on amounts and size .and have been for years .  So let them try and fix that . 1 less fish to take seems like a small price to pay for bigger  and more fish later on.

 

You're right, but there are a few reasons for this. First reason being the DEC stocked above target levels for a few years, and secondly a huge die off die to Vitamin B deficiency. Nothing either group caused. 

 

I'm sorry, but when you can hook 15-40 trout a day on a trib how many more do you need? At least with the lake guys, especially charters, we kill the first legal limit and we're off the water.

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As I said , great fishing under less than ideal circumstances . Courtesy of the DEC. 

 

But I must say I have landed 2 nicesteelhead this past week  . On hen maybe 11# . 

One nice buck maybe 13#  about 15 minutes ago . 

Edited by HB2

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33 minutes ago, Yankee Troller said:

 

 

I'm sorry, but when you can hook 15-40 trout a day on a trib how many more do you need? At least with the lake guys, especially charters, we kill the first legal limit and we're off the water.

 

So I may not be the greatest fisherman out there, but I have not seen a 10 fish day in over 20 years on the tribs.  The days of the huge numbers went with the arrival of the remainder of the country's anglers, and are long gone, except in go pro vids, or as reported for large parties, or if you happen to be in a spot where there is a big bunch moving through, once in a great while.  Or you happen to have off the one day the Genesee goes down in two months of winter. 

 

12 Silvers a day for parties of four 7 days a week (and not counting double trip days when you got the first group off the boat early and were able to get a second one out) is 84 silvers a week, plus however many were "rejected" because they were not desirable for the " legal limit" is still a lot of fish, if you are full time.  And reading Bob's rant, he's implying at least some of you are not all that sporting, honest, and efficient, at least if there is money involved.  Maybe its time to reconsider derbies and their impact on the fishery!

 

And I read the same "16 for 35" reports that KD reports all the time, rec anglers who pay the big bux for the gas and boat and plan a full day on the lake are generally out there playing for as long as they have time and weather, not boxing and heading home after an hour because they caught the limit.  

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Yankee and I have talked about the new sensation on the tribs which is float fishing with pin outfits. Most perfect presentation and one can catch a lot of fish in a day.

We all at one time in our life as fisherman wanted to catch as many fish as we could in a day. Eventually you evolve into trying to catch that fish of a life time.... and ultimately I just want to catch fish the way I want to catch them.

So I’ve had dozens of discussions with anglers on tribs who are hammering fish. I leave them with the thought that if I can’t remember something unique about fish # 2, 8, 14, 26.... just maybe I’ve over stayed my welcome. Eventually they”ll come around.

Lake trollers especially rec anglers who are dialed in on the fish and hooking and landing way more fish then they could legally keep know they have to successfully release fish and I’ll assume most make an honest effort to do so successfully. It’s simply not impossible. And I can’t have hard feelings for a group of folks who put a hard 40 50 hours in at work and now have a Saturday off to go fishing with their boat and have one of those days to remember.

I talked to many rec guys who don’t keep any fish so they obviously figure out how to release them.

Again the focus of the 2020 management plan is to have a fishery both open water and tribs that last 12 full months provide ample opportunity to catch fish.

In the case of Steelhead for four or five of the up to 8 months they are in our rivers are the only species to reliably fish for. So managing to provide the best opportunity for all is the goal. DEC thinks these regs would improve that opportunity from where we are today. If you agree tell them why, if you disagree tell them why.


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On 10/24/2019 at 2:11 PM, King Davy said:

’ll end with this: To Be Fair to all…. I would recommend you don’t simply copy and paste anyone’s personal comment. I know that DEC is looking for YOUR comment. I can tell you if somebody writes in and says I agree, or disagree (a one line yes or no) with any of these regs it will not get counted. If they get dozens of responses with the exact same wording that were obviously copied….they likely won’t count them. They want to hear from you. What your thoughts and experiences are.  These regs will be approved or not from you the stakeholder who has his or her own thoughts on what you experience out on the lake or in the tribs or both. This truly isn’t a ballot race. It’s rational thoughts on your experiences and what you’d like to see as management of the LO watershed for April of 2020.

 

Last time I checked this is a democracy and every comment (Vote) should be counted (we do not want voter suppression here) weather it is a simple one word "I agree/disagree", it is a paragraph, an essay, or a book stating their posistion. Every stakeholder has a right to comment on this issue in the way they see fit no matter how simple or extravagant and if they choose to quote someone's words they have the right to do so, it is done all the time on fake news. I guess we will need to verify that all votes are being counted at the meeting on Nov. 6th.

Edited by reelxite

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5 silvers went to 3 silvers that now wants to be 3 with only 2 Bows, Lake trout down to 2 and oh yeah, cutting Salmon stocking 20% each year all adds up to me selling my boat in the near future. Great plan! Right up their with plan2014.......

Silverfoxcharters.net

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We have a different perspective on commenting. I guess you see this as a ballot vote. “Comment” for me is to describe why or why not you agree or disagree with something. Each time you comment it arrives to DEC with what ever your email addy is. I believe they are looking for an individuals personal take on the regs not just a canned response. But if folks want to do that... have at it.


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Regarding lake trout, I'd like to see the season open year round. Very few people eat them and it allows guides in Nov/Dec to catch, photo and release them while targeting browns & steel without conflict.

Sent from my SM-A520W using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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50 minutes ago, fishdawg said:

Regarding lake trout, I'd like to see the season open year round. Very few people eat them and it allows guides in Nov/Dec to catch, photo and release them while targeting browns & steel without conflict.

Sent from my SM-A520W using Lake Ontario United mobile app
 

This will not happen anytime soon.  If you read the lake trout restoration program, you will see why.

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Why does the DEC have to keep screwing with our fishery leave the dam thing alone mother nature will take care of things do not need hand in everything on this planet

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2 hours ago, Trouthunter said:

Why does the DEC have to keep screwing with our fishery leave the dam thing alone mother nature will take care of things do not need hand in everything on this planet

 

If not for the DEC , we would not have this amazing fishery we now have .we would be fishing for bass and pike .  It's their job to manage it . So I say let them do it . They have maybe made some not so good decisions in the past but this fishery is less than 50 years old . So there is learning curve  for them . And the lakes ecosystem has changed dramatically in that time . 

 

They don't a great job . And I appreciate their efforts. 

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4 hours ago, Trouthunter said:

Why does the DEC have to keep screwing with our fishery leave the dam thing alone mother nature will take care of things do not need hand in everything on this planet

If it were not for DEC, you would not have " your" fishery.  Left alone, Mother Natrure would still be providing a big pond full of alewife that ended up on the beaches every summer, maybe a few of the " native" lake trout would have come back, but all the rest of what you enjoy out there is there due to the efforts of DEC.

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On 10/24/2019 at 2:11 PM, King Davy said:

There must be a large population of anglers who know how to properly C&R fish on their boat since on these web boards many share their score card for the day….posts like we were 18 for 24, 25, for 31 etc.

 You and I both know when these number occur the fish they are catching are Salmon and it is the easiest/safest time of the the year to release them and have them survive, Spring and early Summer. Not MID July, August and Early September. The Salmon we catch during these months also have just as high of a mortality rate as steelhead. Having observed over 40 years of properly releasing fish and the time of the year released.

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