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Erie Canal reopens to boaters on Friday

Photo by Tom Rivers: The tugboat Syracuse carries inspectors and officials from the State Canal Corp. on the Erie Canal in Albion on Sept. 14, 2016. The canal will reopen to boaters on Friday.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 June 2020 at 11:48 am

The State Canal Corporation has announced today that portions of the system will reopen to boaters on Friday. That includes the section in Orleans County and Western New York.

The sections reopening will begin on Friday at 7 a.m. That’s ahead of the July 4 date that was planned for the start of the navigational system during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The season was scheduled to open on May 15, but was pushed back due to Covid-19. The public health emergency delayed the Canal Corp’s maintenance work that is needed before the canal can reopen.

The Canal Corporation has been working to get the system ready since Phase 1 of the state’s reopening started in mid-May for most of the canal system.

“Construction and maintenance activities continue at several locks across the system,” the Canal Corp. announced today.

The canal system is scheduled to close to navigation on Oct. 14.

The lift bridges, including the seven in Orleans County, will be operational each day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. until Sept. 17. From that day until the season closes on Oct. 14, the bridges will be operational from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Orleans has seven of the 16 lift bridges on the canal system. The lift bridges in Orleans include Holley, Hulberton, two in Albion, Eagle Harbor, Knowlesville and Medina.

Click here to see the notices to mariners from the Canal Corporation for more information about other sections of the canal.

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Photos: Mother possum carries her babies in Ridgeway backyard

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 June 2020 at 4:57 pm

RIDGEWAY – Hannah Hill of Ridgeway sent in these photos taken this morning, when she saw a mother possum carrying a bunch of babies on her back on Oak Orchard River Road.

The Orleans Hub has been around for more than 7 years and many people have sent in wildlife photos. I believe this is the first time we’ve had possums featured.

“I know it’s not news, but local and adorable none the less 😊,” Hill said in an email to the Orleans Hub.

I didn’t know that the mother possums have a pouch in their abdomens for the babies when they are small. As they get bigger, the babies climb on the mother’s back while she is out scavenging.

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DEC announces June 27-28 as free fishing weekend in New York

Posted 18 June 2020 at 10:39 am

Press Release, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Photo by Tom Rivers – A fisherman is pictured at Point Breeze in this photo from May 3, 2015.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced a Free Fishing Weekend for June 27-28. The event is the second of six Free Fishing Days offered in New York State every year.

“This free fishing weekend could not have come at a better time,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Amid the uncertainty of these challenging times, being home together has allowed many families to get outdoors and experience new activities. Free fishing days provide the perfect opportunity for all New Yorkers – from Brooklyn to Buffalo and from Montauk to Mt. Marcy – to try fishing for the first time and encourage those who have fished before to dust off their fishing rods and get outside.”

DEC encourages all anglers, new and experienced, to recreate locally and seek out fishing opportunities close to home.

Additional Free Fishing Days in 2020/2021 include: National Hunting and Fishing Day (Sept. 26); Veterans Day (Nov. 11); and President’s Day Weekend (Feb. 13-14).

During these designated free fishing days, New York residents and non-residents are permitted to fish for free without a fishing license. Free fishing day participants are reminded that although the requirement for a fishing license is waived during free fishing days, all other fishing regulations remain in effect.

DEC reminds anglers to maintain safe social distancing while fishing this year to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Guidelines to protect yourself and others include:

  • Fish local: Stay close to home. Keep your fishing trip short. Avoid high-traffic destinations.
  • Be safe: Avoid crowds and groups. Keep a distance of six feet or more from others. When fishing from a boat, make sure it’s large enough so persons on board are at least six feet from one another.
  • Stay home: If you’re not feeling well, stay home. Anyone 70 and older or with a compromised immune system should postpone their trip.
  • Be adaptive: Move quickly through parking lots and paths. If crowded, choose a different fishing location, or time to visit.
  • Anglers fishing from boats should be able to maintain at least six feet of distance between one another.

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Wildlife is on the move in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 June 2020 at 11:29 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

MURRAY – This snapping turtle is shown last week after it managed to cross Route 31 in Fancher. Many snapping turtles have been seen crossing roads to find spots to lay their eggs.

This deer is in a field along West Bacon Road in Gaines on Monday evening.

The area will see a stretch of warm weather with the highs topping 80 degrees.

This highs for the next several days include 82 today, followed by 84 on Thursday, 84 on Friday, 86 on Saturday and 86 on Sunday.

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With Lake Ontario water levels declining, IJC reduces outflows

Photo by Tom Rivers: A boater is out on Lake Ontario near Point Breeze in this file photo from June 30, 2016.

Posted 2 June 2020 at 2:43 pm

Press Release, International Joint Commission

Lake Ontario levels peaked early this year at 247.38 feet on May 5, which was 4 inches below the general flood stage and 20 inches lower than the peak in 2019.

Lake levels are expected to continue their seasonal decline through summer, and have fallen 2 inches from the crest to date.

Lower Lake Ontario levels and the continuing high outflows are causing increased currents in the upper St. Lawrence River and also extremely low levels on Lake St. Lawrence, the forebay just upstream of the Moses-Saunders Power Dam. The International Lake Ontario – St. Lawrence River Board has assessed the situation carefully and, if necessary, will act to augment low levels at this location over the coming weeks.

The Board’s extended general deviation authority (as granted by the International Joint Commission on October 9, 2019) has ended. The Board is no longer deviating by releasing outflows above Plan 2014 prescribed flows, since Lake Ontario reached its peak and began its seasonal decline.

The peak level of Lake Ontario is still well above average, but was reduced by 7 inches owing to deviations from Plan 2014. These deviation totals accumulated over the past several months as the Board attempted to remove as much water as possible from Lake Ontario, prior to spring.

Drier conditions have prevailed in recent weeks, including around Lake Ontario and in the Ottawa and lower St. Lawrence River basins. These are the primary reasons for the recent decline in Lake Ontario levels, which has occurred despite very high inflows from the extremely high upper Great Lakes. These high inflows will continue for the foreseeable future and, in response, Plan 2014 will continue to prescribe very high outflows, which will enhance Lake Ontario’s seasonal decline.

However, the lower and declining levels on Lake Ontario combined with the high outflows through the Moses-Saunders Power Dam that will continue are resulting in very low levels on Lake St. Lawrence that are anticipated to persist for months to come.

This will be the fourth straight summer of well-below-average levels of Lake St. Lawrence, which responds much more rapidly and significantly to increases in outflows than the much larger Lake Ontario upstream. Had the Board not deviated and removed water from Lake Ontario since last spring, Lake St. Lawrence would currently be approximately 6 inches higher.

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New update has most of the Erie Canal opening by July 4 from WNY to Albany

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 May 2020 at 3:54 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The sign on the tugboat, Pittsford, is shown on Sunday evening in Albion, where the vessel is stationed.

With the Western New York and Capital Regions each given the green light for phase 1 reopenings, the State Canal Corp. has adjusted its plan for the opening of the Erie Canal.

Nearly the entire system is now planned to be ready by July 4 for the start of the navigational season.

The season was scheduled to open on May 15, but was pushed back. The Covid-19 pandemic and the limit on construction activities delayed some maintenance work needed before the canal can reopen.

Last Friday, the Canal Corp. announced most of the canal would open by July 4, but some sections might not open by July 4, including in the Albany region and the section from Lockport west through Tonawanda.

The rest of the canal was cleared for phase 1 of the reopening, including Orleans County which is in the Finger Lakes Region.

Western New York was cleared to reopen today and the Capital Region has met the state’s seven criterion to reopen, beginning on Wednesday.

The State Canal Corp. today said maintenance work needs to be completed at specific canal facilities varies by location and locks along the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals. They will open for passage in a staggered fashion.

Announcements regarding specific lock or regional openings will be communicated through the Canal Corporation’s “Notice to Mariners” notification program available at www.canals.ny.gov. The Canal Corporation said it appreciates the public’s patience during this time.

Here is the updated tentative schedule for the canal’s opening:

Capital Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th

• Erie Canal from Lock E-2 in Waterford to Lock E-9 in Rotterdam

• Except for Locks E-7 (Niskayuna), E-8 (Scotia), and E-9 (Rotterdam) – these locks are forecast to open between July 20th and August 10th

• Champlain Canal from Lock C-1 in Waterford to Lock C-12 in Whitehall

• Except for Lock C-12 (Whitehall), which is forecast to open on August 10th

Mohawk Valley Region – Locks opening in phases, targeted for between July 4th & August 10th

• Erie Canal Lock E-10 in Cranesville through Sylvan Beach at Oneida Lake

Central NY Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th

• Erie Canal from Oneida Lake to Lock E-25 in May’s Point

• Oswego Canal – except Lock O-7 in Oswego, which is forecast to open on August 10th

Finger Lakes Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th

• Erie Canal from Lock E-25 in May’s Point to Locks E-34/35 in Lockport – except Lock E-26 in Clyde, which is forecast to open on July 13th

• Cayuga – Seneca Canal – except Locks CS-2/3 in Seneca Falls, which are forecast to open on August 3rd

Western NY Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th

• Erie Canal Locks E-34/35 in Lockport through Tonawanda

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State eyes July 4 opening for most of Erie Canal

Photo by Tom Rivers: This canal boat passes through Albion in September 2018.

Staff Reports Posted 15 May 2020 at 5:18 pm

The Erie Canal will open by July 4 for its 196th navigational season, the State Canal Corp. announced today.

The season was supposed to kick off today. But the Covid-19 pandemic prevented canal workers from doing needed maintenance to have the system ready for a new boating season.

But the state has begun to unpause with construction work allowed in phase 1 of a four-phase reopening.

The Canal Corp. will work on maintenance and construction projects on a regional basis under the “NY Forward Reopening” plan. The Western New York region and the Capital region remain on pause and sections of the canal in those regions might not open by July 4. The Canal Corp. said the timeframe for those sections is to be determined.

Orleans County is in the Finger Lakes region and those sections should be open by July 4, the Canal Corporation said.

Canal Corporation crews and contractors will mobilize to work sites in the Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, Central NY, Finger Lakes, and Western NY regions as those areas reopen. Maintenance work that needs to be completed at specific canal facilities varies by location and locks along the Erie, Champlain, Oswego, and Cayuga-Seneca Canals will open for passage in a staggered fashion.

Here is the tentative schedule for canal reopenings by region:

Capital Region – “NY Forward Reopening” Date TBD

• Erie Canal from Lock E-2 in Waterford to Lock E-9 in Rotterdam

• Champlain Canal from Lock C-1 in Waterford to Lock C-12 in Whitehall

Mohawk Valley Region – Locks opening in phases, targeted for between July 4th & August 10th

• Erie Canal Lock E-10 in Cranesville through Sylvan Beach at Oneida Lake

Central NY Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th

• Erie Canal from Oneida Lake to Lock E-25 in May’s Point

• Oswego Canal – except Lock O-7 in Oswego

Finger Lakes Region – Locks targeted for opening by July 4th

• Erie Canal from Lock E-25 in May’s Point to Locks E-34/35 in Lockport – except Lock E-26 in Clyde

• Cayuga – Seneca Canal – except Locks CS-2/3 in Seneca Falls

Western NY Region – “NY Forward Reopening” Date TBD

• Erie Canal Locks E-34/35 in Lockport through Tonawanda

As maintenance and construction work commences, most boaters, paddlers, and anglers can access sections of the Canal system for recreational use today. Mariners are advised that some sections of the Canal system will have reduced water levels until such time as the Canal Corporation completes its projects. In addition, navigation aids are not currently in place, but will be installed on the Canal system as the regions open.

All users of the Canal system and adjacent Empire State Trail are encouraged to practice social distancing while using boat launches, trails and other public resources.

The Canal Corporation appreciates the public’s patience during this time and urges all users to register to receive updates through the “Notice to Mariners” notification program at www.canals.ny.gov.

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Neighborhood trees are in bloom throughout Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 May 2020 at 4:51 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – This is a nice time of year for a walk or a drive around the neighborhoods of Orleans County. Many of the trees are in bloom, including the cherry tree in the top photo. That tree is in a front yard on East Park Street in Albion.

This dogwood is in front of the rectory for the Holy Family Parish in Albion, at the corner of West Park Street and Main Street. The statutes of a family are in honor of the Rev. Richard Csizmar, the parish’s priest the past 26 years.

There is a freeze watch tonight and Tuesday morning in Orleans County with temperatures in the upper 20s to low 30s. Hopefully the cold weather won’t cause the petals to fall off the trees.

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Photo of sunrise at Point Breeze

Staff Reports Posted 28 April 2020 at 3:37 pm

POINT BREEZE – Bob Chaplin sent in this photo he took this morning at 6:15 of the sun coming up at Point Breeze with the Oak Orchard Lighthouse and the Oak Orchard Harbor.

The photo was taken at Oak Orchard on the Lake.

The forecast the next few days includes a high near 70 on Wednesday, with a chance of showers before 2 p.m.

Thursday will be cloudy with a high near 62, followed by a chance of showers on Friday with a high near 55.

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3 friends are walking the canal in stretches, from Brockport to Lockport

Photos by Tom Rivers: George Sokolsky, center, and his friends Jim Balmer, left, and Brad Alexander walk the Erie Canal in Albion while practicing social distancing.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 April 2020 at 9:01 am

‘You can still get outside and enjoy planet Earth.’ – George Sokolsky

ALBION – Three friends from Brockport are walking stretches of the Erie Canal almost every day, gradually working their way from Brockport to Lockport.

The trio heads west past the Main Street lift bridge in Albion.

That’s about 40 miles along the towpath. The three drive to near one spot, walk 2 or 3 miles, and then turn around and walk back to their vehicle. They do it again the next day, with a new starting about 2 to 3 miles west of where they previously started.

They decided to walk a long stretch of the canal when the pandemic hit which has slowed down commerce and kept many people inside.

“You can still get outside and enjoy planet Earth,” said George Sokolsky, owner of the Magic Works Vacuum Shop in Brockport.

Sokolsky, 76, has owned that business for 36 years. He has reduced his hours during the pandemic. That his given him more time for walks.

He is often joined by his friends, Jim Balmer, 66; and Brad Alexander, 68. Balmer works as a stack tester, measuring air pollutants from industry and other sources. Alexander has been self employed for 46 years.

The trio said there are some benefits of the pandemic. The pace of life has slowed down. That has offered a chance for friends and family to reconnect.

“All of a sudden I have more time,” Sokolsky said while walking the towpath in Albion.

The group has made it to Marshall Road in Medina, with Niagara County not too far away.

George Sokolsky, Brad Alexander and Jim Balmer are enjoying their walks along the canal, seeing the small towns and wildlife along the way. They are pictured on the Main Street lift bridge in Albion. These photos were taken before Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s directive to wear masks or face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible in public.

They have enjoyed the quiet stretches along the canal, seeing turkey vultures, blue herons, deer and other animals.

“It’s a lot more peaceful than I thought,” Balmer said. “My blood pressure has dropped.”

The three friends have also walked at Hamlin Beach State Park since the pandemic hit. They see many families out for walks.

“The people we see they are all outgoing and friendly,” Alexander said. “It’s quite a contrast from when you go into Walmart or Wegmans. You go in there and people are scared.”

Sokolsky urged more people to get out for walks on the towpath or the nearby state parks.

“The canal is a great resource and Hamlin Beach is just wonderful,” Sokolsky said. “I would encourage everyone to just get out and breathe.”

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Erie Canal season won’t open as planned on May 15

Photo by Tom Rivers: The Traveling Towpath Troubadours, right, play from a house boat on the Erie Canal in Albion on July 10, 2016, with a tugboat and boathouse close by. The Ingersoll Street lift bridge is also pictured.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 April 2020 at 9:44 pm

The State Canal Corporation won’t open the Erie Canal as planned on May 15 for its 196th navigational season.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Canal Corp. suspended all non-essential construction and maintenance activities, which are needed to have the  system in working order.

The Canal Corporation is evaluating options for opening the canal later this year, even if potentially on a regional basis, the Canal Corp. said in a notice to mariners on Thursday.

“We recognize that this is an extraordinarily difficult time and are sensitive to potential hardships Canal stakeholders, as well as many other New Yorkers, may experience,” the Canal Corp. said. “The situation with Covid-19 is ever-evolving and we are trying to adapt our plans accordingly.”

The canal has been operational every year since it opened in 1825.

The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor said a fully navigable canal system should be considered essential transportation infrastructure.

“Delays in opening the Canal System or opening the canals on a ‘regional basis’ will have significant negative impacts on the economy and social fabric of upstate communities and will impede a full New York State recovery,” the Erie Canalway stated in response to the Cana Corporation’s announcement.

“The NYS Canal System generates billions of dollars in economic impact each year for canal communities and businesses,” Erie Canalway stated. “Negative impacts will be keenly felt by boating-related businesses and service providers, commercial operators, communities that rely on canal tourism, and manufacturing.”

A delayed opening of the canal will further contribute to a climate of uncertainty across the entire state, the Erie Canalway said.

“More than 70 percent of upstate New Yorkers live within 20 miles of the canals. For 200 years, through wars and peacetime, prosperity and recession, the canals have remained navigable,” the organization stated. “Residents in canal communities celebrate the opening of the Canal System each year and embrace the beauty, history, and recreational opportunities that the canals provide. Opening the entire Canal System in a safe and timely fashion would provide a sense of normalcy and hope to millions.”

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NY announces marinas can reopen as long as social distancing followed

Posted 18 April 2020 at 7:29 pm

Chartered watercraft services or rentals will not be allowed, and restaurant activity at these sites limited to take-out or delivery

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Photo by Tom Rivers: A boater passes through the channel at Oak Orchard Harbor at Point Breeze in this photo from May 28, 2015.

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont today announced marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers will be allowed to open for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed.

Chartered watercraft services or rentals will not be allowed, and restaurant activity at these sites must be limited to take-out or delivery only, like anywhere else in the three states. This announcement aligns the policies of the three states on this particular service.

“Throughout this pandemic, we’ve worked closely with our friends in neighboring states to implement a uniform regional approach to reducing the spread of the virus,” Governor Cuomo said. “Aligning our polices in this area is another example of that strong partnership, and will help ensure there is no confusion or ‘state shopping’ when it comes to marinas and boatyards.”

“We’ve committed to working with our regional partners throughout this crisis to align our policies when and where appropriate,” said Governor Murphy. “A unified approach is the most effective way to alleviate confusion for the residents of our states during the ongoing public health emergency.”

“Our states share workforces, resources, public transit, and we all have share a connection on the water,” Governor Lamont said. “This is yet another example of how our states have shared interests, which is all the more reason to collaborate on these kinds of decisions. This decision provides uniformity across our marinas.”

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Wildlife Refuge accepting comments on hunting plan

Staff Reports Posted 18 March 2020 at 9:54 am

BASOM – The Iroquois National Wildlife is seeking public review of its draft Hunt Plan and compatibility determinations. These documents are proposing changes to better align with New York state hunt regulations including strategies from our approved Comprehensive Conservation Plan from 2011.

The wildlife refuge includes 10,828 acres in the towns of Alabama and Shelby.

Areas Open to Hunting

Big Game Hunting – Deer and turkey hunting are permitted throughout the refuge, except in areas that are closed to protect facilities and structures, or to create buffers around refuge trail systems. Additionally, areas adjacent to bald eagle nests are closed during the spring turkey season.

“No hunting” zones include the immediate areas around refuge headquarters, refuge residences, the vicinity of Iroquois Job Corps Center, Swallow Hollow Trail, Onondaga Trail, Kanyoo Trail, and areas around private residences, farm buildings and structures, per New York State regulations. Eagle nest closure areas are determined annually, based on nest locations and buffer zones.

Small Game/Upland Hunting – Small/upland game hunting is permitted throughout the entire refuge, except in areas closed to protect facilities and structures or to create buffers around refuge trail systems. “No hunting” zones include the immediate area around refuge headquarters, refuge residences, the vicinity of Iroquois Job Corps Center, Swallow Hollow Trail, Onondaga Trail, Kanyoo Trail, and areas around private residences, farm buildings and structures, per state regulations.

Waterfowl Hunting – Waterfowl hunting is permitted in Oneida, Cayuga, Mohawk West Pool, and Mohawk Northeast Pool from designated hunt markers, generally accessed on foot from associated parking areas. Mohawk South Pool is designated a free roam hunt area, with a limited number of permits distributed for that pool per day.

“No hunting” zones include all refuge areas not mentioned in the previous paragraph, as well as a buffer around Kanyoo and Headquarters Trail areas and the northern dike in Mohawk South Pool.

All Other Migratory Bird Hunting – The hunting of other migratory game birds is permitted east of Sour Springs Road. During periods when waterfowl hunting is taking place on the refuge, other migratory game bird hunting is closed in this area, but opens up in the waterfowl hunting area for permitted hunters.

“No hunting” zones include Swallow Hollow trail, Onondaga trail, the vicinity of Iroquois Job Corps Center, and areas around private residences, farm buildings and structures, per state law.

Comments will be accepted until close of business on April 17 and may be submitted via phone at 585-948-7030, email to tom_roster@fws.gov, or postal mail to Iroquois NWR, 1101 Casey Road, Basom, NY 14013.

Click here to see electronic and downloadable documents about the plan.

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DEC plans to reduce salmon stocking by 20% this year

Staff Reports Posted 9 March 2020 at 12:10 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers: A small steelhead is headed for one of the pens at Oak Orchard River in Carlton in this photo from April 8, 2019, when the DEC delivered 100,000 fish to the Oak Orchard, including 10,000 steelhead and 90,200 Chinook salmon. Charter boat captains and other volunteers have been raising fish in pens in the Oak Orchard River since 1998.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation said it will reduce salmon stocking by 20 percent this year to help protect the alewife population, which is a primary prey fish for salmon in Lake Ontario.

“In response to concerns over ongoing declines in Lake Ontario’s adult alewife population, DEC must reduce Chinook salmon and lake trout stocking further to provide adult alewife additional relief from predation,” the DEC states on its website.

Lake-wide salmon and trout stocking will still exceed 3.6 million fish by DEC and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

A fisherman walks on west side pier at the Oak Orchard Harbor in this photo from May 3, 2015.

“Given favorable wind and water temperature patterns, anglers should expect continued, excellent fishing in 2020,” the DEC said. “Failure to reduce stocking levels would serve to extend the severity and duration of low adult alewife abundance, with greater potential impacts to the sportfishery.”

DEC is planning to stock 1,161,568 chinook yearlings in 2020, 601,600 lake trout yearling equivalents, 755,700 rainbow trout spring yearlings, 556,755 brown trout spring yearlings and 240,000 Atlantic salmon spring yearlings.

Dec officials will discuss the stocking strategy during a March 18 online public meeting. That day the DEC will also release the stocking locations and fish for those sites.

“DEC continues to apply the best available science to maintain the world-class status of Lake Ontario’s fisheries, which attract anglers from around the globe,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “These changes to our Chinook salmon stocking strategy will enhance survival of stocked salmon and improve angling opportunities.”

DEC’s stocking site allocations of salmon and trout are decades old and largely proportioned by shoreline miles within DEC’s administrative regions bordering Lake Ontario. This proportional approach does not take into consideration fish movement studies, the benefits of pen rearing, and other factors that affect the success of the stocking program, including angler preferences, fishing effort, and geographic and seasonal differences in fish distribution.

DEC is currently working with the Lake Ontario Fisheries Management Focus Group, a panel of 16 anglers representing open lake and tributary fisheries, to modify trout and salmon stocking allocations to optimize the benefits of stocked fish to the overall sportfishery.

In 2020, DEC will concentrate Chinook salmon stocking at fewer sites to enhance post-stocking survival and improve open lake fisheries overall. This strategy will also enhance New York State’s late-summer staging fishery and existing tributary fisheries in key locations.

The online meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on March 18. Participants can use the following link to join the meeting: WebEx Meeting. Participants are directed to use the meeting number 647 538 274, password: Chinook2020.

Upon joining the meeting, participants will be prompted to connect to audio using their computer. To connect to audio via phone, use the following call-in information: toll free number 1-844-633-8697 and access code: 641 790 213.

Stocking information presented at the meeting will be posted on the DEC’s website the day of the meeting. Questions regarding this meeting can be directed to Steve LaPan, Great Lakes Fisheries Section Head, at 315-654-2147 or fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov.

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