St. Lawrence River/Thousand Islands Fisheries Work


My buddy Jarrod’s been telling me about handling some big bowfins and other cool fish up near Alexandria Bay and some of the river/bay tribs. I was glad to give him a helping hand and see firsthand some of the work fisheries people do. ESF is doing a bit of pike habitat enhancement – basically flooding marshes (that no longer get flooded naturally due to hydroelectric controls) in hopes of providing more northern pike spawning habititat. Jarrod’s been working some trap nets in hopes of getting some northerns to tag.

I don’t have time to get into all the details of the work, but it’s interesting stuff. We got to take a 10′ pram up and down some tributaries of the river/bays and work some nets. I saw plenty of young perch, some great crappies, carp, bass, small pike, grass pickerel, bullheads, golden shiners, white perch and one bowfin. In one trib we saw a few steelhead. It was fun, yet easy to see that it’s hard work setting fishing nets/traps and checking others. I took plenty of photos and will put up a photo essay sooner or later.

The fun part of the day was doing some fishing after we were done setting nets. We managed to catch around 8 beautiful keeper sized black crappies – all 10″ to 12″ fish on various jigs. Jarrod released acouple sublegal ones as well. We did alright given that we had zero boat control – no trolling motor and not much of an anchor – so we wound up bashing into many of the fallen trees we were fishing! I also landed a nice bonus largemouth bass. Water temps are all over the place in some of these small rivers/streams – you may have 35 degrees one day and 55 degrees two days later!