Region 8 Cold Water Diary Reports are in! Silver Lake Marine Open House!
Silver Lake Marine will be having an open house on Friday March 31st from 3 pm to 8 pm and then on Saturday April 1st from 10 am until 8 pm as well. There will be new boats on display/for sale, local vendors, a food truck, craft beer and other refreshments available. Door prizes will also be awarded. This is being done in part to celebrate the opening of the new service center. I’ll be hanging out there with the SLM crew on Saturday. Feel free to swing by, check out some boats if you’d like and talk fishing. There’s plenty of room inside the service center in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. Come see for yourselves why I’ve trusted Silver Lake Marine going on close to two decades for now. They are worth the drive!
REGION 8 COLD WATER DIARY REPORTS are in! First of all, I must say that cooperator numbers are still way too low! I’ve been harping on this for years now, but if just 5 to 10% of the people that frequent my website would sign up and help with data collection, DEC would be much better off. Whether you jig, troll, still-fish – whatever, your data really helps! At its peak in 1994, the Seneca program had 152 participants – now there’s 22! That doesn’t provide a good picture of what’s happening on the lake. Obviously the fishing overall for salmonids was better back then, but even if you just fish the lake a few times a year, every bit of data helps. Three cooperators this year logged just one trip! But it’s data and the more, the better.
Catch rates improved during 2022 on Seneca Lake. It took an average of 3.1 hours of fishing to land a legal salmonid, compared to 4 hours the year before and 5 hours in 2020, so things are on the upswing for sure. Lakers were 77% of the total catch. 36% of the lake trout were wild fish, so as I’ve mentioned before, wild production declined over the past three decades but is still holding at about a third of the catch. Some browns and rainbows showed up, but the catch was still dominated by lake trout and landlocked salmon. Focusing a lot of stocking on brown trout here has not proven productive – at least not in recent years. No word on the biggest of each species but the average weights of fish weighed was encouraging. DEC will be doing a lot of field work on Seneca Lake this year, including surveying black bass and yellow perch. Hard to believe that NY State never spent anytime monitoring the perch population on what was arguably the best perch lake in the United States for decades for monster ringbacks. Better late than never!
Keuka Lake’s fishery for lake trout has been holding steady for a long time. Interestingly, the diary program here just marked its 55th year in existence! It’s still only about 1.3 hours of fishing time on average to land a legal salmonid – which in this case is a lake trout 99+ percent of the time! Twenty-three cooperators participated in the program in 2022. The peak number of cooperators was back in 1995 with 81. Four cooperators over here only logged one trip for the year, so like I said, even if you don’t fish much, every bit helps! (FWIW – I ice-fished over here three times last year – had a great first trip, an “ok” second trip and a fruitless third trip.) I will be fishing this lake a bit more this year. I liked what I encountered two weeks ago. Only 2 rainbows were landed by diary keepers. No browns or salmon have been reported by diary keepers since 2020. 40 walleyes were netted during the perch netting that took place here last year. Walleyes were present from various classes and ranged up to 23 inches long. One was caught by a diary keeper. Cisco stocking hasn’t been much of a success thus far, but numbers stocked have been below targets and DEC is working with Cornell to try and figure out some ways to increase survivability after they are stocked. Smallmouth bass and yellow perch numbers here are excellent. The size of the perch is impressive too. It’s a great lake.
Canandaigua Lake: I fished this lake once last fall with John Sander and we caught a couple lakers. Eighteen cooperators contributed information to DEC this year. The number of cooperators has ranged from the upper teens to twenties over the past 20 years. In 1976 they had 63 cooperators. Anglers averaged 1.2 hours to catch a legal lake trout. Seventeen percent of the lake trout taken were wild fish. Average amount of time to catch a legal rainbow trout was only 1.5 hours! This lake remains a terrific rainbow trout fishery and all the rainbows are wild fish spawned mostly in Naples Creek and its tributaries. They averaged 18″ long. Some browns were taken here – also running 18″ on average, but numbers still remain poor given the stocking numbers. DEC is hoping that the switch to a new strain of brown trout will help them prosper in this lake.
My guess is that we’ll see our Region 7 Summaries show up in mid-April. Once I get mine, I’ll put up any findings I find interesting along with my take on what’s going on.