DEC announces 10 percent increase in salmon stocking for 2023

Photo by Tom Rivers: Dave Agness of Honeoye Falls helps a team of volunteers and the state Department of Environmental Conservation release 10,000 steelhead into pens tin this photo from April 8, 2019. The DEC that day also brought along 90,200 Chinook salmon. Charter boat captains and other volunteers have been raising fish in pens in the Oak Orchard River since 1998. This was the first pen-rearing project on the south shore of the lake. Now there are many.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 January 2023 at 8:28 am

There will be a 10 percent increase in Chinook salmon stocking in lake Ontario this year, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced along with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

The DEC said it will stock 985,180 Chinook salmon this year, up about 90,000 from the 2022 number.

The DEC said is adapts the stocking levels based on alewife biomass and Chinook salmon growth and condition. The alewife biomass increased in 2022 and the weight of age-3 salmon increased to 20.7 pounds in 2022, staying above the lower threshold of 18.4 pounds, the DEC said..

The stocking levels for the Chinook salmon in 2023 include:

  • Oak Orchard Creek – 126,330
  • Niagara River – 89,930
  • Eighteenmile Creek (Olcott) – 126,330
  • Genesee River – 126,330
  • Oswego River – 126,330
  • Salmon River – 300,000
  • Sackets Harbor (Black River) – 89,930

The DEC said it will continue to adaptively manage the salmon and trout stocking levels to ensure a predator-prey balance in Lake Ontario while continuing “to provide world-class fishing opportunities for years to come.”

Fishing is Orleans County’s top tourism industry with a $28 million annual impact, according to a DEC study and survey from 2017.

Out-of-state anglers account for 70 percent of the fishing economic output in Orleans County, $19,620,488 of the $27,989,393. County residents who fish accounted for $1,767,334 in economic activity while other New York state residents outside Orleans represented another $6,601,571, according to that report.