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BP Swing

Head scratching Erie Canal question???

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So I have always wondered what happens to the fish in the Erie Canal once they let the water out for winter. For instance around Spencerport - Brockport they let out most of the water for winter and maybe there is 1-2 feet left in it before any ice. Do the fish travel towards Lake Erie to get out or do they live in 1-2 feet of water (unlikely) or is there more than 1-2 feet left in it? I have always wondered this question but have never heard a good answer. Can anyone chime in who may know?

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In my estimation a lot of fish live in the deeper pools in the remaining canal water. I catch tons and tons of smallies when they drain the canal so for sure a bunch of bass stick around. I am also sure that quite a few fish push out where they can to a more stable water source.

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I grew up with the canal in my back yard in Spencerport.  A lot of the fish stay and find deeper (not much more than 2-3') holes to live in over the winter.  We used to walk along looking for carp mudding up the bottom and throw handfuls of corn out on either side of them and fish them.  We also used to throw a lot of small cranks for smallmouth, walleye and the occasional northern.  If you can find structure, there will be fish.  It can as simple as a tree branch in the middle.  One year there was a picnic table in the canal and it held fish all winter.  

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I operated the Main Street and Park Ave lift bridges in Brockport for 2 years. They did a lot of maintenance on the canal during the winter months and sections were pretty dry but as mentioned there were intermittent pools and many of them froze over but areas such the Wide Waters between Palmyra and Newark and other areas of the canal (Adams Basin ?) has sufficient water to maintain many fish of different species.

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