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This is the most bait i have EVER seen in 40 yrs. I am curious as to what the findings will be.  What i have seen and i am sure most of you have as well, we are going to have a hard time trying to catch fish in the future with such a great breakfast and dinner plate available. We have to all ask for more fish.  Remember it will be 2 to 3yrs before we enjoy this upgrade.  The fishery has gone down hill big time in the last 10 plus years. Why??? Hmmmmm . D.E.C. They do not listen and care. They do what ever they want and this is so wrong. My Rant and it's true.

ement 

sement 

 

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12 hours ago, brucehookedup said:

This is the most bait i have EVER seen in 40 yrs. I am curious as to what the findings will be.  What i have seen and i am sure most of you have as well, we are going to have a hard time trying to catch fish in the future with such a great breakfast and dinner plate available. We have to all ask for more fish.  Remember it will be 2 to 3yrs before we enjoy this upgrade.  The fishery has gone down hill big time in the last 10 plus years. Why??? Hmmmmm . D.E.C. They do not listen and care. They do what ever they want and this is so wrong. My Rant and it's true.

ement 

sement 

 

It looks like the DEC policy that was initiated after the hard winters of a few years back allowed the bait fish population to recuperate. If this winter is benevolent it will be a great spring fishing season with all the bait and the salmon feeding well all winter instead of starving and dying. If we have another crazy cold winter most of that bait will die and the salmon along with it. It is true that the DEC has a different policy than what you would like, but they are doing a pretty good job in my book.

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This fishery has been going on long before the "cold winters" and everything worked out just fine. The D.E.C. is ruining our fishery, EXCEPT for the east end. Michigan survived and is doing quite well after their big crash, not that we are even close to have that happen here. Give the fisherman and fisherwomen more FISH.

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4 hours ago, Trouthunter said:

We do not need any Stripers this is a salmon & trout fishery

The big difference between salmon and stripers is the fact that striper season doesn’t stop in October. They just keep growing bigger and bigger. I  very fondly remember the 42 pound steam train striper I caught in Cape Cod Bay.

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The Striper topic has been beat to death more than the Caledonia Hatchery topic.  Let it go.  If you want stripers, go fish them somewhere else.  

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On 10/4/2022 at 1:09 PM, Trouthunter said:

Neither do the Atlantic Salmon they keep getting bigger & bigger need more of these & steelhead

 

Yankee Troller why do you laugh do you know nothing  about the species you fish for

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1 hour ago, Trouthunter said:

Yankee Troller why do you laugh do you know nothing  about the species you fish for

Atlantics have been a failure on Lake Ontario for decades.   We have been over this more than the striper topic here,  IF they survived well, they might actually get bigger and bigger.  

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I asked the DEC many many moons ago about putting striped hybrids in Conesus to help improve the panfish/walleye populations and the reasons not to were twofold.  Stripers migrate or wander and were likely to leave and the bigger reason was that the state would have to purchase from another state's hatchery and they prefer not to do that.

 

I think at some point forcing things is going to be too big of an uphill battle.  Bodies of water will have to be managed by what does well in them and not what people want to be in them.

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If there is SOOOOOOOO much bait out there then why our the fish so small? You would think the 20lb fish we caught in April/May would have surpassed 30lbs by August? I don't think we caught one over 25lbs this season. That's awful! 

 

Here's an observation. I'm pretty good with my electronics and I have all the various types on my boat. Traditional sonar tends to make things look grossly oversized. Watching bait on those lower frequencies it may seem like there is a lot of it. When I get offshore and utilize my side imaging/down imaging it gives me a much better idea of the size of the bait pods. The one thing I noticed this season was how small those bait pods were compared to previous years.

 

The other thing I've noticed the last 10-15 years is our fishery has changed. Back in the day July, August, and September were the months we made hay on salmon. West end fishing was good most of the season and the East end got hot in July and lasted the rest of the season. Check out the Spring Salmon fishery we've had over the last half a dozen seasons all over the lake. You can go out and target Salmon in April - May from Oswego to the Niagara Bar. It's almost looks like we've trading a Fall fishery for a Spring fishery.

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I was just telling someone this morning how things change.  In the 80s, 30#rs were average.  Now, that's a trophy.  Small to mid size streams were hot in the beginning of OCT and totally done by November.  Now, 20lbs is a good fish and it heats up later in OCT and fresh salmon are caught into the following year.  Water temps and precipitation.  I remember snow and having to wear a winter coat and water everywhere.  I have witnessed some people wading with cargo pants because its so warm and creeks are crystal clear.  I can't comment on the lake fishing but definitely the stream fishing is different.

 

I can go into how hunting has changed too... but I don't feel like typing that much. 

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I agree with Yankee 

 

Can't remember a year that the surface shimmered silver with dead alwives . 

 

And with our antiquated electronics , we would see schools of bait that seem to go in forever . 

 

Fish are smaller and seem to be less aggressive , at least this year . 

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We’ve heard that the past two years we had successful recruitment of alewives. We’ll find out in a bit with the fall assessment of how 0 age fish went. But I believe the major factor is the high majority of the forage base is 0 to 2 year olds meaning still small size snacks.

 

the 4 and 5 year olds and older are pretty much eaten out if the system. In raising fish in the pens in spring remember a released chinook is four to six inches long and in three years as an adult grows in average between 18 to 25 pounds. That is crazy growth in three years explaining just how much impact they have in the bait populations.  90% of it alewife.

 

So with growing to those sizes they are cropping off those healthy hatches of bait fish as fast as they are hatching simply because the older bigger more nutritious bait fish are in very small supply. And thus aren’t  growing to the 30 plus sizes cause they aren’t getting the fattiest nutritional value from the small bait.

 

Ok Atlantic Salmon. We get a total of 120k Atlantics a year. Swimming in 2 million acres of Lake Ontario. How many people think if we only got 120k kings they’d have great fishing? The Salar program is a native species restoration science project. And while DEC  and US F&W the major investor of the LO salmon program hopes for it to have a sport fishing impact it’s unlikely with so few fish in the system. But I’m personally ok with that as I’d rather they focus on the science around a heritage species to see if there is a strain that would end up being successful even in a limited role in sport fishing. Remember the very same fish are out into the finger lakes that also have alewives and they do very well as a lake caught fish and especially well returning to rivers they weren’t even stocked in.


Lastly fishery managers have no control over natural reproduction of chinook salmon to help them manage their stocking plans. The only measurement they have is the spring seining program on the salmon which yields anywhere from 5M to as many as 12M successful hatches of King salmon in the one river.

 

as a trib angler who fishes right into May almost every river, or stream I fish that time of year I encounter salmon par.

 

I think we have way more dinners at the table than enough food to go around to grow 30 plus pound fish on average.

 

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12 hours ago, BSmaster said:

I was just telling someone this morning how things change.  In the 80s, 30#rs were average.  Now, that's a trophy.  Small to mid size streams were hot in the beginning of OCT and totally done by November.  Now, 20lbs is a good fish and it heats up later in OCT and fresh salmon are caught into the following year.  Water temps and precipitation.  I remember snow and having to wear a winter coat and water everywhere.  I have witnessed some people wading with cargo pants because its so warm and creeks are crystal clear.  I can't comment on the lake fishing but definitely the stream fishing is different.

 

I can go into how hunting has changed too... but I don't feel like typing that much. 

 

I think the later runs has more to do with evolution and natural selection. All those salmon that ran in the warm water never passed on their genes because they all died before their eggs could be collected. Remember all the floaters in late August and September? The fish that ran later when conditions were better were the ones that made it to the hatchery. Over decades the population selected for fish that ran later and likely didn’t stage as long either. I’m with yankee in that average size is probably a good indication of the bait population. Also, all these 1 and 2 year olds we had this year are absolutely going to destroy what bait we have over the next couple years. The amount of 1 yr olds was insane this year. 

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6 hours ago, Trouthunter said:

I agree with alot of your points but nothing will change until us fishermen stand up & do something about it

 

What do you suggest we do about it? 

 

The lakes ecosystem will only support so much bait . 

 

 

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What we must do as fishermen is go to the meetings in numbers & voice what we want to see. We are the ones paying for this fishery so we are the ones that should be the ones who reap the rewards. We pay large amounts of money to this economy by taxes on all our gear from boats, gas & tackle so go out to these meetings & voice your opinion 

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This fishey isn’t and can’t be managed by fisherman’s opinions, yet in many cases you get to voice it through comment sections on the DEC sight.

 

DEC in partnership with Canada’s MNR, USGS and USF&W doing science is the decision making body after collecting data that tells them what the environment can support in predator prey balance.

 

There are wild cards out of their control especially in the case of Chinook Salmon on how successful is wild salmon production. And of course climate and what impact might that have on bait fish and young trout and salmon survival. I think if you spent anytime on the lake this past year you had to come to the conclusion that both stocked and wild salmon yearlings had tremendous survival with the loads of little fish everyone caught.

 

the little, mid size and adult salmon are all eating the hell out of what ever bait is available. If you don’t manage for your forage base you risk crashing the whole program. I’ll say it again. DEC has managed this multibillion $$ program for over 50 years. We are the only Great Lake that hasn’t suffered a major crash of salmon.

 

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5 hours ago, King Davy said:

This fishey isn’t and can’t be managed by fisherman’s opinions, yet in many cases you get to voice it through comment sections on the DEC sight.

 

DEC in partnership with Canada’s MNR, USGS and USF&W doing science is the decision making body after collecting data that tells them what the environment can support in predator prey balance.

 

There are wild cards out of their control especially in the case of Chinook Salmon on how successful is wild salmon production. And of course climate and what impact might that have on bait fish and young trout and salmon survival. I think if you spent anytime on the lake this past year you had to come to the conclusion that both stocked and wild salmon yearlings had tremendous survival with the loads of little fish everyone caught.

 

the little, mid size and adult salmon are all eating the hell out of what ever bait is available. If you don’t manage for your forage base you risk crashing the whole program. I’ll say it again. DEC has managed this multibillion $$ program for over 50 years. We are the only Great Lake that hasn’t suffered a major crash of salmon.

 

You spew the same thing every fall King Davy. Lets try being honest for once. 20 % reduction 3 years straight have reduced the # of salmon by. lets see......, 60 %. We need more fish not less. Every excuse the dec can come up with to reduce stocking numbers they use and you justify it every fall. Never mind the excuses, the fact is the salmon fishery is in decline. And no, I didn't forget how to catch salmon. Didn't you get TU involved in the steelhead limit reduction in the lake? Most of those people never fished LO.

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I really don't know what some of you guys expect from this fishery . I caught about a dozen kings yesterday . And one Atlantic about 7# . The run in the Salmon by the people up there is best it's been in a lot of years . So there are fish . Lake fishing for me this year after Aug 1 was not great . Some years are better than others ,that's just the way it is . Can't be lights out every year . 

 

The lakes ecosystem will only support so much bait with the clean water . Which dictates amount and size of kings. That's the long and short of it . 

 

The Atlantic's  program will do absolutely nothing to the overall of the Kings . 

 

What difference does it make to the DEC about  the amount of Kings stock ? Is there a conspiracy to make the fishing bad ? They are doing what they think is best for the overall fishery . I don't agree with them on some stuff but they do a great job . 

 

And 20 % each year over 3 years is probably more like a 50% total .

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