Seneca Diaries, Boat launches and other info


The recent Governor’s orders narrowed down (or I should say “expanded”) the list of what are considered “essential businesses” in New York State.  I don’t believe the list was written very clearly.  According to the governor:

13. Recreation

  • Parks and other open public spaces, except playgrounds and other areas of congregation where social distancing cannot be abided
  • However, golf courses are not essential
  • However, use of boat launches and marinas for recreational vessels is not considered essential

This sounds pretty bad.  But the headline that #13 Recreation is under, is this:



So my interpretation would be that private marinas and their boat launches would be considered “non-essential” businesses.   Had the Governor wanted to close State Park Marinas, he would have declared an executive order “closing all State Park Marinas.” 

State Park Marinas are not business enterprises as I see it.  They are state run park facilities.

That’s my interpretation of it.  Now some of you may say, “well, I see at (insert State Park here) that the ramps are closed.”  Some of the park managers may not be properly interpreting this order.  Hopefully the Governor can clarify it, but it does seem to me that he is referring to private marinas.   That makes the most sense to me.

Seneca Lake Diary Reports:  Well it looks like Region 8 Biologist Brad Hammers is considering some interesting management decisions.  Lake trout stocking will be increased to pre-2012 levels of 40,000 fingerlings and 20,000 yearlings per year.

That to me is the right decision.  Wild fish numbers by diary keepers were down to 37%, quite a change from the 75% we saw around 15 years ago.  Increasing lake trout numbers will help to provide an additional buffer to the lamprey predation on salmonids.

Landlocked salmon do well in Seneca and Brad is talking about stocking additional numbers of salmon.  They are my favorite fish and he is right – they thrive in Seneca Lake and provide a fun winter/spring fishery.

We may see brown trout stocked terminated in the near future on Seneca Lake.  This seems unimaginable given that three massive browns were weighed in at the Memorial Week Derby around 5 or 6 years ago if my memory serves me.  But only a few browns were caught over the past year.  DEC stocks 43,000 fingerling browns and 21,600 yearlings – that a heck of a lot of browns for not much in return!   If anybody reading this fishes the lake on a regular basis and catches good numbers of brown trout and does not keep a DEC diary, you are not helping your cause.  But I doubt many browns are out there.  They are the most susceptible to lamprey induced mortality, so if we see browns bounce back with lamprey control, we may see the stocking continue.  We should see some good browns on Seneca Lake this year.  Please get on the DEC Diary Program if you troll the lake for salmon/browns.

Rainbows are not contributing to the lake fishery on any meaningful basis, so they are being managed for the spring stream fishery primarily on Catherines Creek.  Yearling stockings will continue.

Given how tough it is to control lampreys on Seneca Lake, it may not make sense to stock browns much longer.  Lampreys spawn in Keuka Outlet and Catherines Creek, plus both of those lake’s deltas.  It just isn’t feasible to treat every year and the treatments aren’t particularly effective during a lot of years.  Those browns may do better somewhere else – like in Owasco Lake or even Lake Ontario.