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New Steelhead Open Lake Fishing Reg Update

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Not national organizations.... Such as the NRA, Ducks Unlimited.. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation... And yes Trout Unlimited.
I personally have nothing against any of them... However I take exception to Lake Regulations being brought up and pushed by anglers who are predominantly tributary anglers.... Want to police yourselves and make all Tribs catch and release? Cool...I Trib fish maybe 2x a year... Hardly classifies me as a tributary guy. So in my mind, I wouldn't begin to but my nose in those guys business... However in light of recent events, that may change...
Regarding the Charter Association and Lotsa... These are grass root organizations. organizations that have been doing ALL the pen rearing in the past( This only changed because the DEC told those guys to get involved... Not on their own accord). These are not National chapters..
So there has been some information circulating around alluding to TU being involved in this regulation proposal.
Since Mr Agness is such an outspoken proponent of these regulations and there is proof that he has approached TU for assistance in helping get these regulations passed... I guess what I'm saying is worry about all the snaggers, poachers, litter bugs, and stream erosion from the plan 2014.. and leave us alone on the Lake side...


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Yup was asked to present the regs proposals and how to respond. Was also asked to walk through the information that USGS presented at the STATE OF THE LAKE meetings ... what were there three at different sites with also a call in and the BI National meeting.

Many of the folks in the room fish LO and the tribs but don’t live near enough to go to a meeting at the locations they were held at. Or were able to call in.

It was an information presentation. Passing along information to those asking for it is a problem?

So if people responded before or after this meeting or encouraged other members to do so, seems no different then putting threads on this board, for lake anglers to vote this down, or videos telling people to respond from lake anglers.

Bob I think it was you that said this is still a democracy ... and you couldn’t be more right. Everyone has a right to know what’s going on and if they choose to get involved they will.

However Trout Unlimited did not send a formal statement to DEC on the regs. It’s up to individual stakeholders who decide they want to because it’s important to them to get involved.


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This thread is in the “General Discussion “ section. So we have folks who are interested in the entire fishery reading and responding. This isn’t a lake fishing only message board.

Two of the three regs we’ve been discussing are trib only related yet we have threads in here to kill the 1 brown trout limit in the tribs from lake anglers because your afraid it will affect the lake fishery. Seems Misdemeanor that lake folks are doing exactly what you are accusing trib stakeholders of doing.

What’s it going to take for everyone to understand this fishery isn’t for lake... or Trib ONLY interests. And more importantly that DEC intends to manage for all stakeholders. They are listening to anyone who takes the time to explain their own personal rational on why or why not these regs are good for overall management of the entire watershed.

And when we gathered some volunteers to help with pens we had several people, TU members imagine that ... that have been helping at both Sandy and the Genny for years. They just didn’t have to wear a sign “I trib fish” when helping.

Members of LOTAC, TU, and LOSA since 2007 have planted over 60,000 trees and stream bank erosion barrier willows around King Salmon spawning gravel on the Salmon River to keep those rich spawning grounds viable that for sure has been a boom for lake fishing the last 10 years. We did have a few river guides help out. Rest were rec trib anglers.


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I can't answer for Sandy... Not involved with their pen rearing... However I've been involved in putting the pens ( and taking them out) EVERY year for the past 8 seasons... I don't remember there being anyone I didn't know ...so I don't believe you on that....
I know that when you guys approached with these regulations, the DEC told you guys to get more involved with pen rearing... That's when the spark was lit on these pen projects...
You just didn't give the specifics...
"Dave presenting to the Trout Unlimited New York State council on the DEC Lake Ontario Tributary Regulation changes in NY that need your support & comments. Comment period ends Dec 14th!"
I'm sure you were objective..
Lol..





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I was involved with Pen rearing at Sandy (as my Charter Boat) was parked there. Helped on work days at both the Oak and Genny. Helped for many years since Bob got started in 1998. Way before you were. Ask Sam. Then moved an hour away in 2008.

I can get the names of the guys for you. But yes we should have always been involved. Not disagreeing with you on that. I didn’t know that the Oak program had stopped penning steelhead a few years ago. I asked why and was told they weren’t as an important part of their fishing. I guess they are now since there is a lot of angst over this one reg.

Sandy always had steelhead but didn’t last year. Heard the pens they used for bows weren’t available anymore. Don’t know why.

And then there is the Genny. You have my phone number and email address. I made sure of it at the Sandy Creek meeting, I asked you to contact me on your work day and I’d get some folks to help. You never called. Simply guessing you didn’t need or want our help.

Well you weren’t in the room so what ever I tell you, you aren’t going to buy anyway. But I provided the regs as they are presented on the DEC web site to include the rational on why DEC is considering them. Did I add some of my experience and history around this back in the 90’s and early 2000’s? Sure.

I am on the Bi- National panel and was given the presentation to share
With others. So I did at the TU meeting. We are first and foremost a conservation organization working on several projects around the state. We are also involved as stakeholders to any and all fisheries in the state where there are conservation, and especially environmental concerns like this predator prey issue, and public involvement of fishery management. Maybe you are unaware, but DEC is revamping every fishery management plan in the State. From inland waters to lake Ontario, and we are in attendance and involved in them all.

TU is NOT a C&R only organization. Rather, responsible rational management strategies to a unique watershed to provide “opportunity” as in the opportunity to fish to fish.

My opinion we are about to live through the repeat of history. You can’t cut salmon stocking for three consecutive years and soon or later not have it affect angler opportunity and success. When it happened last time we toppled the Steelhead fishery. Hell I was part of knocking it over.

With the current data from USGS again in my opinion we’ll continue to see stocking cuts. Maybe even deeper. Lake fishers are not going to search for 8 eight hours for a salmon only bite. We are going to want some action and most will target other species much harder then we have in quite some time.

It will have an impact and negative domino effect fish returning to rivers like it did in the 90’s and early 2000’s until trib anglers took action.

The lake Reg is purely a DEC decision. They remember the history as well and are trying to avoid history repeating itself on a very important long fishery that gets a huge following of anglers to our LO rivers both in state and especially out of state.


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7 hours ago, Missdemeanor said:

I'd say trout unlimited is heavily involved... Isn't that a picture of you giving a presentation to trout unlimited rochester pushing for the backing of these new regulations.... I can tell you we have not approached a special interest group in order to get regulations passed. .... Unethical in my eyes... But who am I?
FB_IMG_1574899653644.jpeg

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Interesting.

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My apologies to Rob Westcott , Chad Lappa, and Hank Searles.... This topic will only get ugly... So I'm going to gracefully bow out... I posted what needed to be posted

 

And for the record , you never gave me your contact information at the Sandy meeting. I wouldn't have used it anyway... Adios

 

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Never heard of you either. Could care less what you think of me or what caliber of fisherman you are. That’s your business or your problem one or he other.

 

Yes we had great fishing but we weren’t getting an additional shot of 5 to as many as 10 million wild fry to add to the stocked fishery as we have now. It was good but it wasn’t this easy. Ask Vince, Bob and Tom about back then on how we had to chase several species to have a successful day for our clients.

 

And we don’t have 40 pounders any more because IMHO we have more salmon than food in the cupboard and there isn’t enough chow to go around to grow them that big. Last two years salmon avg weight lowest and near lowest avg ever?

 

Not thinking they are on a diet.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dave, I would be interested to know what data was used to determine the need for the regulation change?  Is there yearly stream data on steelhead size and numbers?  Will the DEC be monitoring returning steelhead numbers and size data to compare results before vs after the regulation change to see if it has the desired effect?  

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Yes Gill, they take the same data for Steelhead upon return in the spring as they do salmon in the fall.

 

Again, during this over a year long discussion in the LO stakeholders panel we started with dozens of issues collectively that both lake and trib participants wanted DEC to try and address.

 

We had three major subjects from the tribs. Still wanted the brown trout limit reduced due to the extreme high use of that fishery in the fall only on our rivers and streams. Gill we’ve talked to DEC about this since 2003. And we have no interest nor would we be successful in asking for a trib and lake reduction. We have the browns for a short time and they get hammered. We wanted to try to keep a few more around for all of us.

 

Second was the 25 inch limit in both the lake and tribs. Another subject we have broached with them since 2003. Why? we simply wanted to keep non spawning steelhead in the system. I’ve recited DEC’s data since 1983 till now over 98% of the steelhead they handle to spawn are 25 inches or greater. (One of the data points collected on Steelhead) Lake anglers made a good argument on why it would be difficult to sort fish on the lake. So that ask was refused to be addressed

 

Third was to address the rampant law breaking issues on the tribs. Internally DEC is working with law enforcement.

 

When DEC moved steelhead size limits to 21 inches, Jana and regional managers through her lake creel data came up with some percentage of less harvest on the lake that put more steelhead through our rivers that must have been impactful enough to make the change. They told us that in the meetings.

 

Gill, DEC took all of these subjects back to their lake wide managers in each region and along with their staffs and internal discussions came out with the regulation positions that are out on their web. We did not seek a creel reduction on the lake.

 

I’m assuming ( so I have no official reason, maybe others from the panel do) because what we face today with our predator prey issue on what happened in the 90’s when salmon fishing went south and the pressure on steelhead resulted in knocking that fishery over on the tribs as well...they went back to Jana’s data did some math on what % of fish might not be harvested in the lake with the 3 to 2 change and was it significant enough to warrant the change to try and keep all stakeholders in the game both lake and tribs. I’m truly guessing on this.

 

They listened to lake trollers on the panel on the difficulty of releasing steelhead on the lake. Remember this is the second phase of the comment period. There was one in Jan and Feb this year. Maybe they heard from enough stakeholders on the lake that stated releasing steelhead on the lake wasn’t as big a problem that they heard on the panel.

 

DEC isn’t going to share until likely a final decision is made on why they did or did not proceed with these regs.

 

We all know DEC is data driven on management decisions. They don’t shoot from the hip on regulation changes stocking decisions etc.

 

 

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A Rochester Charter Captain very involved in the Pen Rearing told me that the pen used on Sandy for Steelhead had been loaned to them, and Bob Songin took it back last year, and left it idle on the banks of the Oak.

 

Although I have not spent a lot of time out in the " big boats" and spend most of my current angling hours on the tribs, I participated in the Rochester Project for a year about 15 years ago,. There were a number of times that I drove with my daughter to Shumway to do our scheduled feeding, then  got there to find someone else had already done the feeding.  Once my daughter actually got to feed the fish, but most of the times she was very disappointed, eventually losing interest completely.  I received no call about the project the next year.  I have always been impressed by folks who P+M about a job, and then fail to share information on participation except with some hand picked clique.

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Let’s be fair. The lake anglers have done most of the heavy lifting on the pen projects.

Let’s get over who talked to who and who didn’t talk to who. Bottom line fish have been raised for over 20 years thanks to Bob’s foresight in starting the pen projects. If we all want to catch these fish then we all including trib guys should help raise them.

Can we ever get past lake VS tribs and understand that we are all fisherman who love the LO entire watershed. And that all hands on deck are welcome no matter how or where you fish?


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Dave, if it is not already in the works, the Niagara Fishing Expo might be a good forum to present the research supporting the changes. Thanks for considering. 

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Gill usually the expo is the same weekend we are in NJ for a show. And I would imagine what ever happens with the final decision on the regs it will be decided way before the expo because if they are changing anything it would have to be in process to get the new license books with any reg changes in 2020 available by 4/1. So pretty anti climatic by then.


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Understood but the DEC still could present to those of us interested. Roll it into the Lake Erie steelhead discussion. 

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Yes I agree Gill. If the regs have been decided, the show could invite DEC to speak on the regs and tie in what ever the 2020 stocking decision ends up being.

My experience they go hand in hand. But maybe not. Be nice to understand for all.


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Just my two cents but if we charter captains do not like what is going on we must unite & follow through we spend large amounts of money in this state & that is what drives this whole thing.

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39 minutes ago, Trouthunter said:

Just my two cents but if we charter captains do not like what is going on we must unite & follow through we spend large amounts of money in this state & that is what drives this whole thing.

Getting TU involved is bad for the charter captains and lake guys.  They may do a lot of good for the stream rehab but TU is a huge organization and has power in numbers.  As seen here, Dave has rallied the troops at TU to send their comments into the DEC to help get these regs passed.  This is just the beginning IMO.  LOSTA, ELOSTA, Genesee River Charter association, ect. are tiny compared to TU. Even if the TU members do not fish steelhead, they will support their clubs decision and send in comments to support the changes. 

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13 minutes ago, GAMBLER said:

 

Getting TU involved is bad for the charter captains and lake guys.  They may do a lot of good for the stream rehab but TU is a huge organization and has power in numbers.  As seen here, Dave has rallied the troops at TU to send their comments into the DEC to help get these regs passed.  This is just the beginning IMO.  LOSTA, ELOSTA, Genesee River Charter association, ect. are tiny compared to TU. Even if the TU members do not fish steelhead, they will support their clubs decision and send in comments to support the changes. 

 

Exactly, If you are against this regulation change it's extremely important to send your comments to the address Bob Songin opened the thread with. It only takes a few minutes.

Send your comments to:

 

[email protected]: with this in the subject line:

6 NYCRR Part 10 Section 11-0317-Amendents to Great Lakes sportfishery regulation in 6NYCRR Part 10

 

Take a page out of the King Davy play book and recruit as many friends as you can to do the same.

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We don't spend $1000's a year on our boats to have some national organization come in and try to regulate our fishery. This will be just the beginning of it. everyone needs to comment to the dec. This would  be equivalent to gun hunters having a problem with bow hunting and using the n.r.a. to lobby to regulate bow hunting

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For what it's worth, DEC received a few more than 20 comments in the first round of comments, according to a friend at the hatchery.  The response was similar to the Salmon River Unit Management Plan response.  Hardly the result of a well organized national conspiracy. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Lucky13 said:

For what it's worth, DEC received a few more than 20 comments in the first round of comments, according to a friend at the hatchery.  The response was similar to the Salmon River Unit Management Plan response.  Hardly the result of a well organized national conspiracy. 

 

 

For what it's worth, this is irrelevant.

They are accepting comments until Dec. 14th

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45 minutes ago, spoonfed-1 said:

For what it's worth, this is irrelevant.

They are accepting comments until Dec. 14th

Well put Glen, and thanks for your post above making it easy to weigh in on this- it takes 2 minutes to do this guys so let's get lake fishery commentary in!

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On 11/28/2019 at 9:37 PM, King Davy said:

I can get the names of the guys for you. But yes we should have always been involved. Not disagreeing with you on that. I didn’t know that the Oak program had stopped penning steelhead a few years ago. I asked why and was told they weren’t as an important part of their fishing. I guess they are now since there is a lot of angst over this one reg.

 

Sorry to say Dave this was not the reason we stopped raising steelhead in the Oak, I was still the coordinator when this happen, it happen for only one reason absolutely "NO" help from the trib anglers!!!!!

From the beginning we always knew that penning steelhead would have little effect on our open water steehead fishery. We raised them for only the benefit of the tribs. I still have the original justification documents I gave to Bill Abraham for the projects. I will say at times we did get help from the trib anglers but it was always minimal, maybe they would show up one time and feel they did their due diligence for the project. It was always lake anglers supporting the tribs from that perspective. In past conversations with Ron B. he even stated that he did not believe that the pen project helped the steelhead stream fishery, and if denied I call "BS" right now. Remember with the help of Bill Abraham we together started the pen program and I have always been involved with the decision process of the program and will till I retire or die.

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