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reelxite

New Steelhead Open Lake Fishing Reg Update

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1 hour ago, reelxite said:

So my one comment for today, I talked to a fisherman today who fishes both lake and tribs. I also talked to a friend at the Oak. The Oak is very slow could be because the canal is now empty. But the Genny and Sandy are on fire with steelhead, for the past 3 weeks. There have been many fisherman having double digit days catching fish and the guys that really know what they are doing are occasionally doing better than that. Remember this is second hand, I do not fish the tribs, this time of the the year my focus is on whitetail hunting.

So the question is how good does it have to be in the tribs? If the fishing is this good now why do we need the new reg? Is it because the DEC is worried that with all the salmon cuts the last few years, we will have to focus more on steelhead in the future to catch fish on the Lake?

I know they keep tabs on this site and hope they are reading and seeing how big of a divide they are further driving between the trib stakeholders and the lake stakeholders, and I consider many of the DEC guys friends.

 

 Thats pretty much it.

From the DEC website:

 

Description: Reduce the daily creel limit for rainbow trout/steelhead on Lake Ontario from 3 fish per day to 2 fish per day.
 

Rationale: Rainbow trout/steelhead provide the primary sportfishery in Lake Ontario's tributaries from November through the following spring. This potential change is designed to increase numbers and sustainability of rainbow trout/steelhead in the tributary fishery by reducing open lake harvest during periods when Chinook fishing success in the lake declines and more anglers specifically target rainbow trout/steelhead.

 

The lake guys will suffer with the Salmon reduction and they will be releasing a lot of Steelhead that will die trying to get the third fish rather than let them take a limit of three Steelhead when the opportunity presents itself and going home.

Look how many Lakers that were caught while Salmon fishing and were released to die when the limit was at one,

Edited by spoonfed-1
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Or the DEC could just increase Steelhead stocking. 

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Well if Bob doesn't want to loan his net for steelhead for Sandy why don't the folks that want to stock steelhead make their own or get TU to donate one? It's his net right? Is it his personal property or not? 

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15 minutes ago, Charlie P said:

Well if Bob doesn't want to loan his net for steelhead for Sandy why don't the folks that want to stock steelhead make their own or get TU to donate one? It's his net right? Is it his personal property or not?

 The pens are owned by the Oak Pen Rearing Group and all decisions as far as how they are used are made by consensus of the group, not me alone.

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Gill there is no capacity left to raise more steelhead. They live in a hatchery for over a year. Salmon has no more room. Caledonia is out from whirling disease, and the other hatcheries are at capacity.

Bob and Glen you raised the subject that I’ve mentioned several times in this thread. We know Salmon fishing should get tougher over the next couple years because of the stocking cuts.

You guys know that I fall on the side of believing the science and data collected by DEC, USGS, and MNR on the bait fish assessment. Having said that it would look like to me more cuts for 2020. Question is, will it be deeper, the same or say back to only 20%?

Either way five straight years of cuts will have an impact. You saw a post earlier from a drift boat And lake Capt. The impact on steelhead fishing in the tribs after the 93 salmon stocking cuts was monumental. I’m truly not sugar coating this.

Today we have a huge stakeholder crush on the tribs all fall winter and spring of anglers fishing for steelhead. So the reg is trying to curb the impact of what is going to have to be more pressure on steelhead, brown trout and lake trout, if and when the salmon fishing gets harder.

As far as fishing this year, I’m out an average of four out of seven days a week since Labor Day. Fishing hasn’t been nearly as good as last year. Now to level set I’m employing the least effect way to catch a fish by choosing to swing a streamer to bring the fish to the fly for that thunderous strike. It’s been way harder than last year.

But I’m fishing around bait and gear guys on the Salmon, Maxwell, Salmon creek, Mill, Irondequoit, Genny, Sandy, the Oak and Johnson. And Lindsey and I have out fished them which rarely happens bait VS swinging several times. Which means we may together catch three or four fish.

However there is a few reasons for the slower fishing. And don’t get me wrong you can find pockets of fish and have a good day. Number one other than the huge run of Salmon Labor Day on the Salmon we had a real drought from Labor Day until end of Oct. so we’ve had salmon and trout trickle in instead of being induced by higher flows.

The canal feed has helped some, but again not a massive move of fish. Linds and I hosted two excellent anglers from Virginia this same weekend last year. They are gear guys fishing hardware. We had them in the Irondequoit and Sandy. In three days last year they landed 20 to 25 browns and a few steelhead. They are back in town and after two days fishing Sandy, the Oak and Johnson... they’ve landed one brown trout.

On the Genny with the turbines down again now till spring there are some better numbers of fish near the falls and real spotty down where you can wade easier.

And then there is much colder water this year as you can imagine than normal with the early onset of winter in Nov.

Do I believe the fish are out there? I do, because we know the salmon fishing has been so good last year and much of 2019, that less pressure was put on our trout. But in years where we have poor flows, and less than stellar salmon runs the trout aren’t induced into rivers in hordes at one time. They’ll trickle in all winter long. As far as brown trout if the creeks and rivers aren’t flowing well enough they’ll spawn anywhere from estuaries to actually spawning at river mouths.

If there are continued stocking cuts it will be more difficult for lake anglers fishing salmon. Coupled with if this lake steelhead reg is enacted brings more difficulty.

At the same time as lake anglers May harvest more browns and steelhead it will have a direct downturn on trib fishing. And when after Oct in many of our tribs you only have one species to target all the way to the end of April. steelhead.

It’s not a situation any of us want to be in. It looks inevitable. And this has all happened before. One last important item. When the steelhead fishing hit the skids in the 90’s and early 2000’s, the Hatchery had some real dicy years trying to recruit enough fish to get their eggs to continue the program at or near its capacity.

We are all going to endure some tougher fishing conditions. Trib steelhead enthusiasts just went through this with the die offs in 14 and 15. I think we’ll have to because if the DEC is right we need to take pressure off the bait fish awhile longer. Meaning more challenges each time we hit the open water or a river.


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A big thing with the browns most don't realize is they will spawn in the lake and not run a trib.  Years of fall fishing northerns we used to see spawning browns all over in the shallows of the lake in early to late November spawning. 

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Dave, to your point on room at the hatchery.....the kings are gone from the hatchery before the steelhead eggs are collected correct?  We raise and stock millions more Kings than steelhead at Altmar so it seems counterintuitive that there is not enough hatchery space. Perhaps this is another example of why we could use another hatchery in NY. 

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1 hour ago, Gill-T said:

Dave, to your point on room at the hatchery.....the kings are gone from the hatchery before the steelhead eggs are collected correct?  We raise and stock millions more Kings than steelhead at Altmar so it seems counterintuitive that there is not enough hatchery space. Perhaps this is another example of why we could use another hatchery in NY. 

 

(psst...the hatchery does not run at full capacity)

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I fish off my seawall at Sandy quite  a,bit and can concur with the lack of fish . 

 

I use skein or mostly  small jigs under a float . 

 

In the last , let's say 8 times out I have had a total of 2 hits and had one on . 

 

Years past I have averaged 1 to 2 fish each time out . 

 

Maybe it's me not being able to get them to hit but it's been bad . 

 

Late October for about 2 weeks was good , the it died . 

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13 minutes ago, HB2 said:

I fish off my seawall at Sandy quite  a,bit and can concur with the lack of fish . 

 

I use skein or mostly  small jigs under a float . 

 

In the last , let's say 8 times out I have had a total of 2 hits and had one on . 

 

Years past I have averaged 1 to 2 fish each time out . 

 

Maybe it's me not being able to get them to hit but it's been bad . 

 

Late October for about 2 weeks was good , the it died . 

The perch runs are screwed up this fall all over too.  Could be weather related? 

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10 minutes ago, GAMBLER said:

The perch runs are screwed up this fall all over too.  Could be weather related? 

 

Sandy has been lights out since the end of the salmon run...

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Gill you should call the hatchery, ask for Fran or Tom the hatchery manager. They can explain how they house fish. You have two species that stay in the hatchery for over a year. You can imagine this question has been asked several times. Best to get the word from the guys that run the show.


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Once again regulation is not the answer. And this goes for changing the regs for Browns in the tribs also. If we are looking to increase steelhead populations then we should be looking at stocking practices. A few examples- increasing stocking numbers, provide more fish for pen rearing, premium food for hatchery and pen rearing (this has been addressed). By the sounds of it the quick answer is to regulate what we have when we should be looking into investing in a better product to begin with.

Fix the problem and not with a band aid.

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Yes there is a combination of pens owned by sites and pens owned by DEC. DEC has funds for pen materials and they got us materials to have two pens built last year for the Oak Steelhead. Seth Green TU did offer to pay for them but DEC had budgeted for them. So they incurred the cost.





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11 hours ago, reelxite said:

 The pens are owned by the Oak Pen Rearing Group and all decisions as far as how they are used are made by consensus of the group, not me alone.

Thanks for the clarification. Had a feeling that was what it was. King Davy made it sound like it was your decision.

Edited by Charlie P

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11 hours ago, Gill-T said:

Or the DEC could just increase Steelhead stocking. 

 

There were a few years when the DEC exceeded the stocking quota for Steelhead, which gave us some fantastic seasons on the Lake for Steelhead. Right when the average size was getting up into the low teens we had the big die off from vitamin B that Fall.  

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GIl, DEC is not raising "millions of Kings" at SRH, recent peak number targeted was 1.8 million, and they have been shooting for 500,000 Chambers Creek steelhead (the domestics come from the Randolph Hatchery).  When they are extremely successful, they have more so they go in also.  DEC used to use a ballpark figure of 1 steelhead equals 10 kings in cost to raise, so even if you eliminated 1.8 million kings, you would only gain 180,000 steelhead going into the pond.  I get accused of wanting the kings gone all the time, but if I really wanted the kings gone, I would be clamoring for them to raise king stocking to 3 million or so, crash the bait and start over.  The worst thing for the steelheads getting to the rivers is a shortage of kings out in the lake, as Dave has stated.  But the different indicators, which all appear to agree, says there is less food, so the pool of predators has to go down to reduce risk of a major collapse, and we all have to tighten out belts a little.  This is why I, and Charter operators like Frank Sanza before he retired, have suggested for years that the orientation taken by the industry should be toward a trophy fishery rather than a "fill the larder" fishery, but throughout these years we've heard from many operators who don't care how big the fish are, as long as they can deliver the "full box."   And as Dave has also stated, there is an awful lot of wailing going on about a fish that the Charter Operators on the Great Lakes Fishery Commission panel claim is only an incidental catch that they don't fish for. 

 

As to all this teeth gnashing about Trout Unlimited (I am not a member, although I was at one time), I checked the national Website, the NYS Council website, and the Seth Green (Rochester) Chapter website, and there is no mention of anything with these regulations anywhere on these sites.   The local chapter has not even updated their site in about a year, and when I was a member, meetings usually drew maybe 20 people.  Hardly a well organized conspiracy!

 

And thanks, Bob, for spot burning the Genesee run, but with all this snow (we got quite a bit here in Rochester, and there is even more south) it will likely blow out soon, and while you may be hearing great things from Sandy, I'm hearing it is more like an ember heap of a run, hardly on fire, from a couple of guys who live on the creek.  Also, considering the extremely limited access to Sandy considering its length, not a really good stream to be broadcasting all over the Interweb.

 

Another hatchery does sound like a great idea for raising more fish, but the problem is not with the predators, it is a lack of bait to feed the predators.  But if the bait bounces back, or Captain Vince is right and we see a massive alewife die off in late spring (I'm not counting winter kill),  it would be good to identify a viable water source and affordable land that would accommodate a facility, and then if there are budgetary constraints, maybe it is time to start discussing a Lake Ontario stamp as a revenue source.

Edited by Lucky13

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The state TU meeting was also attended by DEC. We are involved in several river and stream rehab projects with them across the state.

Get a hold of the bureau chief of fisheries and ask him how I handled my presentation. Completely on the up and up sticking to the facts. The general council made a motion to have TU officially support these regs. I rescinded the motion explaining that DEC was simply looking for individual stake holders to comment with their personal experiences and why they either supported or not any of the regs. Not just the lake Steelhead reg. Feel free to friend me on FB and you’ll read the comments from attendees that after my talk appreciated why this isn’t a TU state or National initiative.

This was about trib anglers and there are many that are TU members that fish the LO tribs. From all over NYS. This was simply an awareness presentation and truthfully many we’re already aware and had previously commented. Everyone who enjoys this fishery has a right to have knowledge of current events and can get involved if they choose to. Especially those that don’t live along the lake shore and can get to a meeting from the Catskills, Adirondacks, LI, NYC etc.

It was that simple.

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Weather this bill passes or not really doesn't matter to me. I'm still going to do the things I want and be happy doing them . There are always fish to catch somewhere. I fish for fun and relaxation . 

DEC says  it's a,good idea to pass.So I am behind them . 

 

I will take a wait and see approach on future fishing forecasts. Have seen it bad when condition say it supposed to be good and  vice versa. Mother nature is in charge of things . So anything could happen . 

 

I just wish guys would act honorably  . That's what grinds me the most . 

 

And I saw,this,coming a ways back.    Long line methods of Copers ,cores and dipsey , are not good for C&R. And the recent study on Laker release .  it sounds like Lakers may be a target to get fish in the boat .

 

 

But 

 

 

We may  have a,few things going for us and there is hope  . 

 

All the green water I saw this Spring.  

 

And Natural reproduction of Kings . 

 

Keep your fingers crossed . 

 

I have found with the perch , I catch none or a few , then the next time I go I get one every cast . 

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2 hours ago, Lucky13 said:

And thanks, Bob, for spot burning the Genesee run, but with all this snow (we got quite a bit here in Rochester, and there is even more south) it will likely blow out soon, and while you may be hearing great things from Sandy, I'm hearing it is more like an ember heap of a run, hardly on fire, from a couple of guys who live on the creek.

 

Is there a problem with sharing information about good fishing in the tribs, we do it ll the time on the lake, we like to have as many people as possible share in this great fishery.

 

 

Edited by reelxite
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The Lake is a big place, there is about 1/2 mile on each side of the Genesee.  It can get very crowded very quickly.  On smaller tributaries the overcrowding can lead to even more posting.

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 I agree with above posts that there should be a focus on increased steelhead stocking. It's not this regulation that even bothers me. What bothers me is the way it seems to have been brought about. Especially when I hear how long certain people have been seeking it. We all heard everyone complaining about the poor king runs this year. What is next? A proposed reduction of salmon limit? C&R only on the lake? I guess all of us lake guys should start buying the same scales because in a couple years we will be fishing our tournaments mlf style

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16 hours ago, King Davy said:



But I’m fishing around bait and gear guys on the Salmon, Maxwell, Salmon creek, Mill, Irondequoit, Genny, Sandy, the Oak and Johnson. And Lindsey and I have out fished them which rarely happens bait VS swinging several times. Which means we may together catch three or four fish.


 

This seems a lot more like trib spot burning than telling people the Genny gets a run.

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6 hours ago, Lucky13 said:

Sandy, I'm hearing it is more like an ember heap of a run, hardly on fire, from a couple of guys who live on the creek.

 

11 hours ago, Legacy said:

Sandy has been lights out since the end of the salmon run...

 

If anyone knows Sandy and what is happening there its Rob(Legacy) and I would definitely believe him if he says its lights out fishing there.

Edited by reelxite

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The stretch from Church Rd north to West Fork rd runs straight through the middle of one of my lease properties.

Loaded with fish and has been.

 

 

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IMG_0628.JPG

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