A good reason to keep a DEC Diary for Region 7 on Cayuga Lake


A lot of anglers, including myself, have been disappointed with the landlocked salmon fishing over the past few years on Cayuga Lake, especially after they did so well there after NY State changed back over to the Sebago strain of salmon around ten years ago.  It’s easy to complain about it, but survival of landlocked salmon throughout the decades has always been variable.  We’d see a good year or two and then some poor years.  The quality of stocked fish, water temperature, forage availability, number of predators – both fish and birds along with countless other factors all can help to make or break a year-class of fish.

DEC has been experimenting with stocking salmon in the tributaries of Cayuga Lake and directly into the lake itself.  THEY ARE CLIPPING SALMON.  Fin-Clipped fish were direct stocked whereas the tributary-stocked fish were not clipped.  DEC can check fins at the fish ladder in the fall, but this would only offer a small sample size of salmon.

If you keep a DEC Diary on Cayuga Lake, make sure you check your landlocked salmon for fin-clips.  Mark “no clips” if they are unclipped (do not leave the “fish icon” blank – that would indicate that you did not check it!)   If they’re clipped, you know what to do – circle the fin that was clipped in your fish drawing in the diary.

If you care about salmon fishing on Cayuga Lake, you should seriously think about keeping a diary – at least while this assessment on stocking locations/strategies is being made.  You do not need to reveal your fishing location in the diary book.  You can just write in “east or west shore” or your launching area (e.g., “Taughannock”) so there’s nothing to worry about in that respect.

Best way to get into the program is to call the Region 7 office and speak to a fisheries technician or biologist.  I have heard of quite a few people emailing the region and not receiving a response over the years.