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HB2

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So I went out in my row boat last evening for some bass action  about 6  at Sandy . 

 

The creek survey boat was sitting there  . I joking said to the guys that there aren't any boats out there so what are you guys doing ? He replied , " we go where they send us " . 

I then ask him why we don't get any pen kings anymore . He gives me a long winded answer that they look at the science , baitfish , etc to determine the amount of kings stocked so as not to crash the baitfish . And that stakeholders determine it was,best for the fishery to concentrate the pen efforts to the ports that now get them.  

 

I then asked who are the stakeholders . He replied all of us . 

 

This went on for about 20 min mind you and this is the readers digest version . 

 

I then said well I guess its " F" us . And because we don't have the business on this creek to make a stink . He said oh no that not how it is.  We want the returning fish to go to the creeks with the most pressure . I strongly asked him if he came down here under the bridge salmon time  . And if he ever checked all the bridges for the out of state plates all the way up to Holley ? 

 

 I then said , I'm all good with the stocking numbers if thats what you guys determine it needs to be for the bait biomass but that has nothing to do with Sandy being cut out of the pen efforts. And that it  was purely for economic reasons . He strongly defined that .

 

I think he got sick of me questioning his reasoning so he,gave me his bosses number and said to call him . 

To which I replied I expect more of the same 

 

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The kings are managed for the lake not the tribs.  That is one reason why Sandy doesn't have kings.  We have lost a marina and the majority of the boats that used to fish out of Sandy.  As for stakeholders, there is a board set up of Captains, and guides that have input on the decisions / issues.   As far as I know, there isn't any representation from any recreational anglers trib or boat on the board which IMO is a problem.  They decided to put more kings in certain pen projects for survival in numbers.  The sandy project was one of the most successful projects year after year.  We worked with SUNY Brockport and they gave us and the DEC valuable information they compiled from the research they did on our project.  

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The best thing to do if you are looking for an answer to your question is to call their boss. As great as DEC creel clerks are at recording valuable information, they are typically recent college graduates and  not the biologist managing the resource. They might point you in the right direction but their boss will be able to give you the best information. Its not us vs. them, we are on the same team. I'm sure they want a kickass fishery just as much as we do.

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The decision to manage the kings for the lake and steelhead for the tribs , while controversial , was probably the best approach . 

 

But the reality of the situation is both are available to both fisheries and stakeholder to use his term depend on that both for fun and more importantly economics,. 

 

I have heard from those who worked on the Sandy pens that the Sandy fish exceeded in vitality  all the south shore pen projects every year . 

 

So if that in fact is the case and the kings are managed for the lake , ALL the penned reared fish should be raised at Sandy . If you want the best results. But that ain't gunna happen . 

 

This guy was just regurgitating what the higher ups are saying . 

 

And believe me  I applaud the results of how,good this fishery is . But sometimes , I wonder . 

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The Sandy fish were taken away to stock in numbers at the bigger ports yet, they are starting a pen project in Black River bay of only 50,000 kings.  They took a sucessful project away from Sandy and put it in a site that hasn't had a pen project before. They also took more stocking away from the West end fishermen.  

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I sat on the Stakeholder panel along with both charter boat captains, rec lake anglers and other trib stakeholders.

Others may chime in. After several years of study on survival of stocked fish either in pens or direct stocked is that the highest survival rates was when larger groups of fish were stocked together in a particular location.

Thus a survival management decision was made by the department to cutout smaller ports push the fish to larger rivers and stock a larger population of fish together.

We did have a vote. One of the options was to keep stocking as it had been, and then two other options that grouped larger pods of fish at the larger ports.

I spent my whole life from the 60’s fishing on or out of Sandy and truly hated to see it cut. But with the data provided by DEC on overall best survival the majority of stakeholders voted to the new plan hoping with such a heavy reduction in king salmon stocking we’d retain the highest survivor rates of kings.



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58 minutes ago, King Davy said:

I sat on the Stakeholder panel along with both charter boat captains, rec lake anglers and other trib stakeholders.

Others may chime in. After several years of study on survival of stocked fish either in pens or direct stocked is that the highest survival rates was when larger groups of fish were stocked together in a particular location.

Thus a survival management decision was made by the department to cutout smaller ports push the fish to larger rivers and stock a larger population of fish together.

We did have a vote. One of the options was to keep stocking as it had been, and then two other options that grouped larger pods of fish at the larger ports.

I spent my whole life from the 60’s fishing on or out of Sandy and truly hated to see it cut. But with the data provided by DEC on overall best survival the majority of stakeholders voted to the new plan hoping with such a heavy reduction in king salmon stocking we’d retain the highest survivor rates of kings.



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Then why the small project on Black River?  Only 50,000 kings.  It doesn't align with their stocking in numbers for better survival theory.   They could have kept Sandy (one of the most successful pen projects on the entire lake) and left out Black River.  It doesn't make sense to cut a successful project with a TON of volunteers to start in an unproven project.  If it was truly about survival rates, Sandy would still be in the program.  Year after year we had the best survival rate and growth rates of all the projects.  

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Obviously smarter folks than me are making these decisions . 

 

But how do they know where the fish were penned to determine survival rates ? 

 

Many factors could influence that . 

 

Clear calm water for days and a huge flock of cormerants at the release site to name one . 

 

 

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I am an out of state recreational angler 

that fished spring in west (Olcott) 

Fall in Braddock Bay , Genesee or port Ontario from 1987-2003 

Where would you rate current fishery now compared to then ?

I went up to Salmon river steelhead fishing 5 or so years ago on guided drift boat and Wirrling disease was killing a lot of steelhead .Guide was bringing some of effected fish to DEC .

What is the state of steelhead fishery ? Seems like majority or reports I read they seem small is this due to large numbers of matures lost to disease ?

Not sure if these things go away or continue until all are lost .Thank you for any info

 

 

 

 

 

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For Gambler, when they talked survival rates they are speaking about a larger pod of fish living through the smolt stage on their way to being true yearlings. So not looking at pen rearing success. In fact as you know they are releasing 100 percent of the kings in pens.

Now I don’t disagree with you that Sandy was always a huge success and the fact that they have great stream access as these decisions also included as it should the entire depth and breath of the fishery meaning the fall trib fishery as well
For salmon.

With the stocking numbers down nearly 60 percent the strategy was to look at management plans to ensure the greatest survival.

All should stay turned for the bait fish assessment which should be out shortly. If the bait rebounded then there will be considerations on increasing stocking and could put places like Sandy back on line.


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9 hours ago, GAMBLER said:

Then why the small project on Black River?  Only 50,000 kings.  It doesn't align with their stocking in numbers for better survival theory.   They could have kept Sandy (one of the most successful pen projects on the entire lake) and left out Black River.  It doesn't make sense to cut a successful project with a TON of volunteers to start in an unproven project.  If it was truly about survival rates, Sandy would still be in the program.  Year after year we had the best survival rate and growth rates of all the projects.  

I can answer the Black River question.  There is a fish weir at Black River that the DEC can use on low return years at the Salmon River to get enough fish for eggs.  It is a back up plan so to speak.  Granted 50k in Kings is not many but could provide enough eggs in a pinch.  There have been years in the past where the DEC needed to do this in order to have enough eggs for the quota.

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As far as the fishery being compared to the early 2000’s. It’s had its ups and downs for sure. Steelhead in 2014 died off in maybe 70 percent of the adult population not from whirling, but rather a vitamin B deficiency from eating emaciated alewives that’s were in poor health out on the lake. So it was easily four years before we had any rebound of decent trib steelhead fishing. And truthfully as one who spends over 100 days a season fishing for them can I say that the 20/21 season looked to be the first more normal fishery.

In 2017 to 2019 the lake fishery for K ing salmon on the lake in my opinion was nothing short of spectacular because we were not feeling the cuts until last year and much heavier this year. We have what I’ve experienced as bigger fish on average but not as successful numbers wise.

This fishery as all do go through cycles. So the only thing to do……. Just keep fishing.


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Thank you for the info , I knew you would have the answers, I appreciate you taking the time to tell me .At 59 I am just getting back into it and my plan is to fish as much as possible in coming years .Getting out next week hoping to hear drag singing again ! 
Don’t get that in Ct 

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One last comment. I know one of the creel agents you spoke to. Known him since he was born. His dad and I taught him to fly fish and work the back of a trolling rig since he was seven. There isn’t a program that kid hasn’t mastered from fly and float fishing to rigger and junk rods.

I also know how hard he’s worked to get his Fisheries Batchelor of Science degree. He’s worked as a steward for DEC USGS, and others the last four years. So while as a young Jedi he may not be as articulate as an older DEC tech he eats and sleeps this fishery. So let’s all hoist these kids up who paid some huge dues to get where they are.

Finally they are there to collect data. The data that drives the decisions made by your regional managers. Charter and rec anglers need to spend the time providing the data. Especially our Capt’s. They realize most of you guys clean fish on the lake, but you can still (and I know many do) provide info on where your clients are from how many and what species were caught. While cleaning fish if you note a size length/ weight of the fish and maybe scrape a couple scales and put them in a plastic bag even more help.


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For Gambler, when they talked survival rates they are speaking about a larger pod of fish living through the smolt stage on their way to being true yearlings. So not looking at pen rearing success. In fact as you know they are releasing 100 percent of the kings in pens.

Now I don’t disagree with you that Sandy was always a huge success and the fact that they have great stream access as these decisions also included as it should the entire depth and breath of the fishery meaning the fall trib fishery as well
For salmon.

With the stocking numbers down nearly 60 percent the strategy was to look at management plans to ensure the greatest survival.

All should stay turned for the bait fish assessment which should be out shortly. If the bait rebounded then there will be considerations on increasing stocking and could put places like Sandy back on line.


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I get that Dave. They told Rob and I they it’s survival in numbers. More stocked at one site means more survival. So they take our program out of the equation (for better survival) and put our fish in Black River bay to run the gauntlet of some of the biggest populations of smallmouth, perch, lake trout and walleye. It’s complete BS. If it was truly about survival, the kings wouldn’t be put in a project with only 50,000 stocked. Yes the Black River more than likely has more fishing pressure than Sandy but they don’t have much of a long fishery until mid August.


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Brian Sandy got the triple slam this year. No more kings, steelhead, and the exit of the domestic rainbow as a LO fish. They got an increase in Browns. I fought like crazy to not end the rainbows to no avail.

My personal opinion and we’ll see, if bait fish have rebounded and from my time on the lake this year it seems so, like they did after the 1993 cut and build back up in early 2000 they’ll have an opportunity to increase stocking and hopefully put Sandy back on the schedule.

Those of us that fish the tribs know Sandy has a huge following from all over the country and is a very busy port to fish the lake. It deserves to be considered a major asset port to the entire year round fishery


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A lot I see and hear about this flies in the face of what we are taught about diversification or more  simply put , what grandma told me about putting all my eggs in one basket . 

 

How is survival rate determined ? We can't tell what port penned what returning fish  came from and if it's wild or not because they stopped marking the fish for some reason or another . 

 

I was told by a business owner that the reason  for this is they are concentrating the penned fish at the stream sites that have the most pressure and the guys have fish to catch when they get here , plain and simple . Weather that's completely true or not ....... But I think it partly is . And I think there is some politics and arm bending . There is , and it all comes down to this , a lot of money to consider . 

 

I was told I'm a" stakeholder " as we all are . 

 

But it seams the Sandy folks stake ain't as big as some . 

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The science of survival was a culmination of stocked fisheries in general not just LO. And HB2 while it wasn’t admitted to us on the panel, I’m sure decisions are focused on greatest bang for your buck. Although Sandy during the trib season sees anglers from as far away as Oregon, Montana, and Colorado, and a flush of folks from PA, Ohio, and Jersey, there isn’t the infrastructure on and around Sandy to support a large group of anglers that are towing boats and needing lodging close buy or spots for bigger boats with water and power etc.

It’s the biggest little port on the lake success fishing wise but it can’t handle large groups of people who want to stay by their boats.

Trib wise these guys already drove many hours to get here. So the 15 minute ride from Hamlin to Greece where there are 100’s of rooms, and places to eat is no big deal. They aren’t lugging boats and trailers
Around.

We should all know by now that these management programs are never going to make 100 percent happy. Hang in there folks. I’m sure things will change again. Hopefully to get Dandy back on board.


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A lot I see and hear about this flies in the face of what we are taught about diversification or more  simply put , what grandma told me about putting all my eggs in one basket . 
 
How is survival rate determined ? We can't tell what port penned what returning fish  came from and if it's wild or not because they stopped marking the fish for some reason or another . 
 
I was told by a business owner that the reason  for this is they are concentrating the penned fish at the stream sites that have the most pressure and the guys have fish to catch when they get here , plain and simple . Weather that's completely true or not ....... But I think it partly is . And I think there is some politics and arm bending . There is , and it all comes down to this , a lot of money to consider . 
 
I was told I'm a" stakeholder " as we all are . 
 
But it seams the Sandy folks stake ain't as big as some . 

They have no clue about which ports have better survival to adult hood. Most don’t imprint no matter where they are reared and end up back at the salmon river. The sandy pen project had the best survival (least mortality rate) and best weight even though most years our fish were held the shortest duration due to water temps.


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3 hours ago, King Davy said:

The science of survival was a culmination of stocked fisheries in general not just LO. And HB2 while it wasn’t admitted to us on the panel, I’m sure decisions are focused on greatest bang for your buck. Although Sandy during the trib season sees anglers from as far away as Oregon, Montana, and Colorado, and a flush of folks from PA, Ohio, and Jersey, there isn’t the infrastructure on and around Sandy to support a large group of anglers that are towing boats and needing lodging close buy or spots for bigger boats with water and power etc.

It’s the biggest little port on the lake success fishing wise but it can’t handle large groups of people who want to stay by their boats.

Trib wise these guys already drove many hours to get here. So the 15 minute ride from Hamlin to Greece where there are 100’s of rooms, and places to eat is no big deal. They aren’t lugging boats and trailers
Around.

We should all know by now that these management programs are never going to make 100 percent happy. Hang in there folks. I’m sure things will change again. Hopefully to get Dandy back on board.


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Well there you have it .

 

We had a good thing going that benefited  both lake and stream anglers and because we don't have a tackle shop or lodge we get thrown under the bus . 

 

I knew this and the creek survey guy adamantly denied it . Which is why I kept prodding him . Maybe he knew and wouldn't say or maybe this is what he has been told . He seemed like a good person . So I assume the best . 

 

 

If it's about economics , how can we be live anything we hear  from these guys in the future after the reasons they gave ? 

 

I'm disappointed . 

 

But not surprised . 

 

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The browns are going to get beat up more than ever. Running the creeks is always running the gauntlet.


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HB2 your a business man , I was for 43 years it’s always going to come down to $$$ as part of the decision. My post was what I figured played in, not what was told to us.

The fishing on the lake reminds me of that 97/99 fishing. Running all over the place to put a good day together. Back then we turned to steelhead, browns and lakers to get rods moving because with stocking reductions salmon fishing was tough.

But we caught them as well .


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Really tough from Rochester to Sodus to put a good day together right now no matter how far out you go. Skippies are absent as well. Wondering whether our northern brothers are doing anything over there?

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6 hours ago, King Davy said:

The science of survival was a culmination of stocked fisheries in general not just LO. And HB2 while it wasn’t admitted to us on the panel, I’m sure decisions are focused on greatest bang for your buck. Although Sandy during the trib season sees anglers from as far away as Oregon, Montana, and Colorado, and a flush of folks from PA, Ohio, and Jersey, there isn’t the infrastructure on and around Sandy to support a large group of anglers that are towing boats and needing lodging close buy or spots for bigger boats with water and power etc.

It’s the biggest little port on the lake success fishing wise but it can’t handle large groups of people who want to stay by their boats.

Trib wise these guys already drove many hours to get here. So the 15 minute ride from Hamlin to Greece where there are 100’s of rooms, and places to eat is no big deal. They aren’t lugging boats and trailers
Around.

We should all know by now that these management programs are never going to make 100 percent happy. Hang in there folks. I’m sure things will change again. Hopefully to get Dandy back on board.


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Well there you have it .

 

We had a good thing going that benefited  both lake and stream anglers and because we don't have a tackle shop or lodge we get thrown under the bus . 

 

I knew this and the creek survey guy adamantly denied it . Which is why I kept prodding him . Maybe he knew and wouldn't say or maybe this is what he has been told . He seemed like a good person . So I assume the best . 

 

 

If it's about economics , how can we be live anything we hear  from these guys in the future after the reasons they gave ? 

 

I'm disappointed . 

 

But not surprised . 

 

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Nothin but love for you King Davy and the creel guy . 

 

But anybody with an IQ  higher than a canary know its mostly about economics . 

So  why don't these guys just come out and say it . I'm sick of the song and BS dance from these gov types. A lot of the  reasoning I hear from these guys is contradictory . Which make them lose their credibility . 

 

Hey Whaler , what Brown's ? 

 

I guess I will see soon enough about the King return to Sandy . Last year I landed 72 after Labor day and the year before 73 . And lost a,whole bunch more . Both stagers and in the creek on plugs and eggs . 

 

But I did not get the domestics I have in the past . Which disappointed me . And not a lot of Brown's in  the fall , but not bad after ice out . 

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