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Tug Hill 04-23-2021 06:00 AM

Stocking Atlantic Salmon 4/24
The Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club will be stocking 70,000 Atlantic Salmon in the East Branch of Fish Creek watershed this Saturday. If anyone wishes to volunteer , meet at the Taberg, NY public parking lot across from the Catholic Church, 4/24 at 1 PM. Use covid protocols.

St.Regis 04-23-2021 07:38 AM

Are they seeing any positive results from past stockings? Have any of these stocked fish survived long enough to reproduce?

Tug Hill 04-23-2021 08:45 PM

We have stocked close to 1 million fry since 1997 . We have not documented any natural reproduction, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. People are catching them up to 28” in length in the East Branch and its tributaries as well as Oneida Lake, where they were once a flourishing indigenous species. One of the problems is, that when they are small many people mistake them for brown trout and keep them. Remember Atlantic/landlocked Salmon need to be 15” to keep.

Buckladd 04-24-2021 10:44 AM

Hey Tug: When are they letting the pen-reared fish loose? I may be going to Plattsburgh this week for that.

Tug Hill 04-25-2021 03:38 PM

Buckladd, don’t know anything about that. We are a private group trying to restore the Atlantic Salmon in the East and West Branch of the Fish Creek , and Oswego River watershed that feeds and drains Oneida Lake. We stocked 64,000 fry yesterday. Go to our website for more info. , and history of the this once great Atlantic Salmon fishery.
Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club.

Buckladd 04-25-2021 09:31 PM

I will check that out for sure. Glad to see grass roots stuff happening.

Here's the pen-rearing info, also good stuff:

EagleCrag 04-26-2021 08:25 AM

I was under the impression that Atlantic Salmon remained in the river for a year before migrating to the lake/sea. Steelhead migrate sooner. In the Salmon River system off Lake Ontario it was believed that this limited the salmon returns as much of the habitat gets too warm in the summer to support them. Can anyone confirm this?
I realize that salmon are the native species in Lake Champlain but I think considerable success could be had with steelhead as well. I know there are a few steelhead out there but there doesn't seem to be much emphasis put on them. Is this because the DEC thinks they will compete with the salmon? Just wondering.

Tug Hill 04-26-2021 06:25 PM

Yes Atlantic fry remain in the river for a year or more before returning to in this case Oneida Lake. They are called smolts when they head downstream. The great thing about Atlantic’s, is they do not die after spawning. So a adult fish could spawn several times during its life.

gmorin71 04-27-2021 01:31 PM

do you get spawning and feeding runs in spring and fall? one of the two? both? neither?

Tug Hill 04-27-2021 04:41 PM

There are adult fish being caught in the Fish Creek watershed system, ( up to 30”) but we have yet to document natural reproduction. Fishery Biologists have told us if we had 250 adult breeding pairs the fishery would be self sustaining.

salar4me 04-28-2021 05:59 PM

Tug Hill Salar Project
Not to hijack this thread... Pen were assembled yesterday 04/27 and nets installed at the Salmon River Estuary/Lighthouse Marina - will be placed in the water this weekend - smolts delivered soon. Plenty of people/organizations involved from Trout Unlimited chapters, the DEC, Marina owner, to local students who welded together the pens. Just a volunteer so in no way know all the details nor the hours of background work getting the project this far. Will be happy to update progress over the next month if there is any interest...

St.Regis 04-28-2021 07:04 PM

I talked to a guy that fishes Oneida a lot and he landed a 2 foot Atlantic when he was trolling for walleyes

St.Regis 04-28-2021 08:33 PM

salar4me thats awesome..yes, please keep sending updates. I've been hearing reports of some very nice salmon being caught on Lake Ontario this year

salar4me 05-02-2021 07:52 PM

Update - Atlantic Salmon pen rearing
Installed the pens today in the rain - a slight mishap when the water level spiked - fish arrive from the Adirondack Hatchery Tuesday.

geogymn 05-03-2021 07:18 AM

Thanks for the update!

vtflyfish 05-03-2021 07:34 PM

Very cool! Hope it makes a difference!

salar4me 05-04-2021 09:25 PM

Assembled the feeders today, cleaned the nets, and the fish arrived from the Adirondack hatchery right on schedule

wildbrookies 05-05-2021 03:39 PM

Cool operations.

adkfishing 05-05-2021 07:53 PM

Would be nice if we were actually able to recreate populations that use to be native species.

Glad that people are trying and thanks for sharing.

salar4me 05-14-2021 05:57 AM

Sad to report we had to release the fish Weds. night after only eight days in the pens. We were concerned with the condition of the fish when they arrived last week. Some dead fish with gaping mouths and visible gills ... noticed that others could barely swim and stayed near the surface. These fish were totally missing their tail fins, not from nips from their brethren, but appeared to be rot/decay. Others with blotchy coloration.

We experienced exponential mortality each day, and with advice from DEC biologists, cut the zip ties holding the nets. Concerned with spreading problem to the other species in the estuary, but were informed it wouldnÂ’t be an issue.

Some reflections...biologist chalked it up to initial condition of the fish from the hatchery. This was compounded by overcrowding in the pens. We planned on having four pens - but were only able to secure three. Anticipated for 15,000 Salar - received 17,500.

Had really nice water flow through the nets, which were scrubbed daily. Noticed tons of minnows around the docks. Netted a few and discovered they were actually king salmon smolts - estimated that the return is now 70% wild fish. Known issues with thiamine deficiencies in the Atlantics. With the shift in the baitfish population from alewife to gobies... maybe there is hope in reestablishing wild fish...

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