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DEC Announces Lake Ontario Fisheries Public Meetings

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DEC Announces Lake Ontario Fisheries Public Meetings

Biologists Will Discuss Status of Lake Ontario's Alewife Population

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced upcoming public meetings on the status of Lake Ontario's alewife population and the salmon and trout fisheries it supports. Public meetings will be held during November in Oswego, Niagara, and Monroe counties. An online meeting will also be held to provide additional opportunity for public participation.

"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."

Alewife are small forage fish that make up a significant portion of salmon and trout diets in Lake Ontario, especially Chinook salmon. During the meetings, biologists from DEC and the United States Geologic Survey will present the latest science that will help guide DEC and the Province of Ontario determine trout and salmon stocking levels for 2020. The public will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

Meeting dates and locations are as follows:

Wednesday, Nov. 6: 6:30 - 9 p.m., Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, Rochester, Monroe County.

Thursday, Nov. 7: 6:30 - 9 p.m., Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina Street, Pulaski, Oswego County.

Wednesday, Nov. 13: 6:30 - 9 p.m., Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, Niagara County.

Thursday, Nov. 14: 6:30 - 9 p.m.: This meeting will be conducted online. To join the meeting, click here. If asked for a meeting number or a password use the following: Meeting number: 641 790 213, Password: PCVMcPX3

Upon joining the meeting, the caller will be prompted to connect to audio using their computer. Those who prefer to connect to audio via phone may do so by calling this toll free number: 1-844-633-8697, access code: 641 790 213.

Those who cannot attend a meeting can still provide comments via email at [email protected]. For further information contact Chris Legard by calling (315) 654-2147 or by mail to: DEC Lake Ontario Unit Leader at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Station.

 

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/NYSDEC/bulletins/266a0ae

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16 minutes ago, GAMBLER said:

Did anyone attend? I was unable to go due to work.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

 

4 captains, 1 professor, 15 students, 1 DEC officer, 1 news person, and 1 stream guy. VERY poor turnout, but there is a WebEx next week people can attend.

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I sure wanted to go but just starting antibiotic for sinus infection and bronchitis so didn't want to expose anyone to that.

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A few of us from the Rochester area that sit on the BiNational Stakeholders panel heard the presentation on Monday night with MNR, DEC, and the GLFC. Also had another obligation out of town last night.

 

All who missed it and are interested in “What’s Next” should try to attend or log into the Webex with the call in numbers in the announcement above.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

 

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Thanks Hank

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29 minutes ago, Missdemeanor said:

1600 hrs to 0000 HR shifts suck

Sent from my VS996 using Lake Ontario United mobile app
 

1500 - 0300 for me for three of the five days this week.  1500 - 2300 for the other two. 

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While I am almost always at the RIT meetings, it is fishing season for some of us, so I attended in Pulaski, where there was a pretty good turnout, although the room would have certainly held more.  I spoke with Dr. Weidel before the meeting, and he kind of summed things up by pointing out that we are using possibly the most finely tuned measurement system going for this kind of work, and then we all have to deal  (over and over) with the disappointment of what it tells us. If these guys were just scientists, they would not care, as it is just the job of science to observe and measure change , regardless of its direction, but they appear to be as frustrated by what is coming back in the data as everyone else.  If you missed the meeting, and have any interest at all in the fishery, lake or tributary (and a lot of guys at the motel had no interest in going because "the bait doesn't affect me, I only fish in the river") take the time to view the webinar, or watch the DEC website, as the power point slides might show up there, and give some careful thought to what all this data adds up to, both if the managers ignore it, as some are urging, and what they might have to do to restore balance to the system (to the minimal extent that the managers have control.)

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Don’t want to seem all doom and gloom but with the late Spring that we had and now early Winter it is highly likely the 2019 alewife hatch is going to be dismal as well. Was hoping for a warm Fall to allow a little more growth opportunity for them but that didn’t happen. A late Spring followed by a early Winter is worst case scenario for YOY alewife survival.

 

Why even put a limit on Salmon in the lake? If people want to keep salmon, let them. Favorable environmental natural hatch or stocking conditions in any given year will outweigh any reduction in stocking anyway. 

 

Also, with alewife populations down, native bait populations will see a rebound. Maybe stock a few more Browns, steelhead, coho, that will feed on other sources of bait. Kings will die before they change their eating habits while other species will adapt. 

 

My two cents

Edited by A-Lure-A

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On ‎11‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 3:09 PM, A-Lure-A said:

Don’t want to seem all doom and gloom but with the late Spring that we had and now early Winter it is highly likely the 2019 alewife hatch is going to be dismal as well. Was hoping for a warm Fall to allow a little more growth opportunity for them but that didn’t happen. A late Spring followed by a early Winter is worst case scenario for YOY alewife survival.

 

Why even put a limit on Salmon in the lake? If people want to keep salmon, let them. Favorable environmental natural hatch or stocking conditions in any given year will outweigh any reduction in stocking anyway. 

 

Also, with alewife populations down, native bait populations will see a rebound. Maybe stock a few more Browns, steelhead, coho, that will feed on other sources of bait. Kings will die before they change their eating habits while other species will adapt. 

 

My two cents

The good thing about this fall is the lake is warmer today than it was this year at this time.  That's about to take an ugly turn. 

 

 

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On 11/9/2019 at 3:09 PM, A-Lure-A said:

Why even put a limit on Salmon in the lake? If people want to keep salmon, let them. Favorable environmental natural hatch or stocking conditions in any given year will outweigh any reduction in stocking anyway.

 

I agree, or at least increase it for a few years. They keep trying to manage the alewife with cuts, but what's going in now isn't affecting the adult alewife for a couple of years. We need to take more of the big ones out now. The problem is the charter fleet doesn't want that for a few reasons. I feel they think when they knock it back down to the limit we have now it would be bad PR for the lake. Also, guys run multiple trips a day and when they get done with a limit of 3 silvers they can go in early. To each their own, but some communication with your clients and this can all be hashed out.

 

We should also look into increasing Lake Trout limits.

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55 minutes ago, Yankee Troller said:

 

I agree, or at least increase it for a few years. They keep trying to manage the alewife with cuts, but what's going in now isn't affecting the adult alewife for a couple of years. We need to take more of the big ones out now. The problem is the charter fleet doesn't want that for a few reasons. I feel they think when they knock it back down to the limit we have now it would be bad PR for the lake. Also, guys run multiple trips a day and when they get done with a limit of 3 silvers they can go in early. To each their own, but some communication with your clients and this can all be hashed out.

 

We should also look into increasing Lake Trout limits.

I brought it up at the one meeting and Lapan said it wouldn't make a difference.  He said most people wouldn't take more than the current creel limit. 

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1 hour ago, GAMBLER said:

I brought it up at the one meeting and Lapan said it wouldn't make a difference.  He said most people wouldn't take more than the current creel limit. 

 

I guarantee those PA/OH folks would take all they can! :rofl:

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I guarantee those PA/OH folks would take all they can! :rofl:

So true!!!!

Man I hate to say it, but the data i see just doesn't look great. I won't be surprised by more cuts. As Brian Wiedel says, the bait isn't GONE, there are billions of them still, but the overall abundance is down. Caution is wise, and Michigan is seeing a rebound and a ton of HUGE kings the last few years...


The Fishin’ Physician Assistant

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I wonder if it might help to step up efforts to restore native baitfish populations.


We've already seen that, to some extent, with bloaters and Whitefish here.... and with other native species in Lake Huron. Problem is, that will do nothing for our Kings (they will eat herring or die), and along with lakers they are the only apex predators that can survive in our system at present.

https://buffalonews.com/2018/10/12/why-scientists-want-to-bring-back-the-bloater-chub-to-lake-ontario/


The Fishin’ Physician Assistant

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This lake has always had ups and downs but the only way I'm going to stop trolling is if they drain the damn thing or flood it to the point of complete inaccessibility. Unfortunately those things are not a complete impossibility with  plan 2014.  

Edited by Fat Trout

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17 hours ago, rdebadts said:


So true!!!!

Man I hate to say it, but the data i see just doesn't look great. I won't be surprised by more cuts. As Brian Wiedel says, the bait isn't GONE, there are billions of them still, but the overall abundance is down. Caution is wise, and Michigan is seeing a rebound and a ton of HUGE kings the last few years...


The Fishin’ Physician Assistant

Talking to my customers that fish Lake Michigan, the Big kings are back but they are not catching many kings at all.  A couple a trip was the norm and they filled in the holes with Steelhead, Browns and lakers. 

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When this king-fest we've been experiencing over the past three years started, my spidey-sense started tingling. Particularly given the harsh winters and lack of alewife production we'd seen in the recent past. There's no way you go out and pound thirty or forty kings in a day and call it normal. Guys were saying how healthy the fish were and that they were seeing lots of bait, which seemed counterintuitive, but who am I to argue with folks who have way more experience than me?

 

Fast forward three years. It seems like there's now sufficient buy-in to form a consensus that something is screwed up, and it likely starts with the alewife population. I'm glad that DEC made prophylactic cuts in stocking, and I hope that it's enough to prevent a total collapse of the fishery. I am perfectly content to return to the days of a couple kings per trip being considered good.

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On 10/22/2019 at 4:03 PM, L&M said:

Thursday, Nov. 14: 6:30 - 9 p.m.: This meeting will be conducted online. To join the meeting, click here. If asked for a meeting number or a password use the following: Meeting number: 641 790 213, Password: PCVMcPX3

Upon joining the meeting, the caller will be prompted to connect to audio using their computer. Those who prefer to connect to audio via phone may do so by calling this toll free number: 1-844-633-8697, access code: 641 790 213.

Those who cannot attend a meeting can still provide comments via email at [email protected].

 

Online tonight 

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Updated webinar link for the online meeting tonight. This just went out due to an issue with the original link.

 

Thursday, Nov. 14: 6:30 - 9 p.m.: This meeting will be conducted online. To join the meeting, click here. If asked for a meeting number or a password use the following: Meeting number: 641 790 213, Password: PCVMcPX3

Upon joining the meeting, the caller will be prompted to connect to audio using their computer. Those who prefer to connect to audio via phone may do so by calling this toll free number: 1-844-633-8697, access code: 641 790 213.

Those who cannot attend a meeting can still provide comments via email at [email protected]

 

If you have trouble you can also go to and search for the meeting using the meeting number.

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