The State of Lake Ontario Fisheries

The Department of Environmental Conservation announced earlier this week that they would be holding meetings throughout Central New York to address the state of Lake Ontario Fisheries.  The meetings will occur throughout the month of March in Monroe, Niagara and Oswego Counties.

FisheriesAccording to the DEC website, Lake Ontario and its embayments and tributaries support a variety of trout and salmon, bass, walleye, yellow perch and panfish. Lake Ontario accounts for 2.7 million acres and in a 2007 statewide angler survey more than 2.6 million angler days were spent on Lake Ontario and it’s major tributaries. The estimated value of these fisheries exceeded $112 million annually to the local New York economy.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens says, “[The] DEC’s goal is to support the Governor’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative by growing Lake Ontario’s high-quality angling opportunities and associated economic benefits. The State of Lake Ontario meetings provide an excellent opportunity for individuals interested in the lake to interact with the scientists who study its fisheries.”

Governor Cuomo’s Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is in an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and will hopefully boost tourism opportunities throughout the state.

As a part of this initiative, Governor Cuomo has proposed the creation of 50 new land access projects. These projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. His goal is to help connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors. In addition, a $4 million portion of this year’s Executive Budget will account for hatchery upgrades for New York State Fisheries.

The DEC will be holding its meetings at the following locations:

Monday, March 3, 2014: 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the Carlson Auditorium, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus, Rochester, Monroe County. The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board.

Thursday, March 13, 2014: 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension
Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, Niagara County. The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014: 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the DEC Training Academy, 24 County Route 2A, Pulaski (the former Portly Angler Motel), Oswego County. The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association.

Following the public meetings, those in attendance will receive time to meet and interact with presenters.