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Sandy Creek Fall Runs In 2-3 Years


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So with the pen project taken away from Sandy (Hamlin, NY), I keep hearing guys saying that fish won't be coming back to Sandy in 2-3 years. 

 

Now I am not a biologist and certainly not a rocket scientist but I kind of have a hard time believe that. Seems to me that fish raised in a hatchery and then pen reared for a very small amount of time wouldn't have a ROCK solid return rate to that particular tributary. Does pen rearing help returns? Sure, I bet it does to some degree, but I cannot believe that every fish in the pen "smells" that water again and hones in on it in 3-4 years based on a 3-4 week experience. 

 

I personally have seen salmon in every ditch and trickle across NY. Some of them never stocked but regardless they get a bunch of fish every year. Wouldn't it make more sense that fish feeding in a certain area would simply hone in on the nearest outflow based of off urge to spawn? Hence brown trout to a high degree based off of primary feeding grounds outside the creek.

 

I just find it hard to believe that a reasonable outflow like sandy would have a salmon return crash due to lack of pen rearing. AGAIN, I want to acknowledge that I believe the pen program could make a difference to some degree, but just not necessarily one that would affect fall fishing in a way that is disastrous. Certainly open to data and any opinions you might have!

 

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Well if that is the case , and I'm not saying it is not , then consider this . 

 

Year after year ,the Sandy pen reared fish were the strongest vitality wise of all pen reared fish lake wide . And also the Sandy project had support from an enthusiastic volunteer base and  Brockport state student  help  . And I'm sure  their data had some benefits . 

 

Add in the fact that pen reared fish still home in on the Salmon river or so we are told . 

 

 

With all those factors , if you truly want the best for the lake managed King salmon , why would you not pen rear all the kings at Sandy ? 

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Oh trust me, I wish they didn’t stop the sandy pen rearing. I guess I am trying to make a case that our excellent summer and fall fishery won’t go kaput just based on the pen rearing.

It was been suggested to me on a number of occasions as if they will suddenly just stop showing in sandy creek 3-4 years from now. Just find that hard to believe especially if as you say almost all of our south shore salmon are salmon river imprinted anyway.


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Not saying there will be no return , I'm worried there will be a weak return . And suppose it is ? It will take years to get it back to where it was . Why take the chance? 

Not just for me but for a lot of out of state angles that put a lot of money in NYS economy . It's risky . 

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Oh I agree, it's my home creek and I have grown up fishing it. I would hate to see the fishing diminish in any way. Kind of just hoping against hope that the pen rearing did not have much in the way of effect on the actual return to Sandy creek. 

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Pen projects have more to do with survival after release than imprinting. Imprinting is a secondary benefit. That being said, I think it will have a lower return in years to come. A lot of fish lost by taking away those pens. 

 

Who knows though...the trade off to cutting Sandy kings and a few other smaller tribs around the lake was so more fish could be put into the pens of the larger ports in response to the overall stocking cut. Genny and Oak pen fish don't have a far ways to go to stray into Sandy. But I wouldn't necessarily bank on it being like it's always been...definitely make sure to appreciate the next few seasons...

 

I'd be more concerned about the loss of domestic bows since that has always been a significant part of the "steelhead" catch at sandy from my experience.

Edited by Corey
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