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Friday, August 10, 2012

DEC regulations affect Oneida Lake bass

The DEC is adopting new fishing regulations for 2012-2014 that will become effective Oct. 1, 2012. These are the proposed regulations that were based on professional recommendations and public input.

Local people will be directly effected by controversial regulation changes that pertain to black bass. he special bass closed season for Oneida Lake will be eliminated and statewide regulations allowing catch and release from November through the third Saturday in June, when regular bass season opens, will be implemented.

Among those opposing the change is the Oneida Lake Association. OLA President Ed Mills believes the impact on the lake’s bass population will be minimal. However, they are concerned about anglers being out on the lake during walleye spawning season, possibly leading to increased poaching.

The NY BASS Chapter Federation downplays the poaching problem and says more bass anglers will help keep a lookout for poachers. However, not all bass anglers are convinced that this is a good thing and are worried that this will lead to predation on bass nests as happens elsewhere.
Regulation changes that pertain to walleye include:

• Increasing the creel limit on Lake Erie and Niagara River to six.

• Prohibit fishing in the following stream sections from March 16 until the first Saturday in May to protect spawning walleye: Lake Pleasant outlet to the mouth of the Kunjamuk River and Little Sandy Creek (Oswego County) downstream of the State Route 3 bridge.

Regulations that pertain to trout and salmon include:

• Opening Blue Mountain Lake, Eagle Lake, Forked Lake, Gilman Lake, South Pond and Utowana Lake (Hamilton County) to ice fishing for landlocked salmon and reduce the daily limit for lake trout in these waters from three per day to two per day.

• Reduce the limit of rainbow trout from five to one in the western Finger Lakes and remove the restriction of no more than three lake trout as part of the five trout limit in the western Finger Lakes. Western Finger Lakes include Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Canadice and Hemlock lakes.
• Add the tributaries of Beaverdam Brook (Oswego County) from their mouths to the upstream boundary of the Salmon River Hatchery property to the current Beaverdam Brook fishing restrictions.

New regulations put a 40-inch size limit for muskellunge and tiger muskellunge in the Chenango, Tioughnioga, Tioga and Susquehanna rivers

Salmon River (Oswego County) gear regulations will allow a bead chain to be attached to floating lures. The distance between a floating lure and hook point may not exceed three-and-a-half inches when a bead chain configuration is used. For the Salmon River there will be a “no weight” restriction (i.e., only floating line and unweighted leaders and flies allowed) from May 1-15 for the Lower Fly Area and from May 1 through Aug. 31 for the Upper Fly Area.

The complete list of regulation changes can be viewed under 'Recently Adopted Regulations on DEC’s website at:

Short Casts

TOURS OF SENECA ARMY DEPOT IN OCTOBER: Seneca White Deer, Inc. (SWD) and Finger Lakes Technologies Group, Inc. (FLTG) will offer public military history tours of the most secure portion of the former Seneca Army Depot during the first three weekends in October.

These tours will visit only the area known as the “Q,” which is located at the northern end of the former Depot. The “Q” was the most secure area of the Depot and reputedly stored nuclear weapons. The “Q” at the Seneca Army Depot has always intrigued the general public and was one of less than two dozen ever built around the world by the US government.

The tours will last more than one hour and provide plenty of opportunities to photograph formerly secret buildings, the military police compound and the ammo igloos. Actors will portray military police of past decades and explain their duties to protect the secret weapons housed inside the igloos found in the Q area.

Another highlight of the tour will be the opportunity to enter one of the now abandoned storage igloos and see artifacts associated with the Depot. “The 2012 tours are a continuation of the tremendously successful tours conducted in 2006 and 2009. While the main theme of these tours will be the military history of the Depot and the “Q,” visitors should expect to see deer, mostly brown, but maybe a few white deer, hawks, pheasants and possibly coyotes” states Dennis Money, SWD President.
The tours will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, Oc. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-21. Buses will depart each hour from the Varick Volunteer Fire Department, located on NYS Rt. 96A from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The facility is easy to find, and signs will also be strategically located to help people find their way. Directions can be found on the back of the registration form.

Adult tickets are $15, seniors (61 and over) $12, and children 12 and younger are $8. Registration information is available by calling Young’s Travel Service at 315-568-4112 or on the SWD web site:

WOOLER MEMORIAL FISHING TOURNAMENT: The Bill Wooler Fish-On Memorial Tournament will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25 on Oneida Lake. The adult division will be for walleye based on length and pay cash awards while the kids division will have entries for all species of fish. All youngsters will receive a prize and refreshments. This is a family event designed to showcase the Oneida Lake fishery and get youngsters involved.

Weigh-ins will be at Marion Manor from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. Awards and chicken barbecue will follow. Proceeds will benefit the Wooler Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Sponsors include Lake Ontario Outdoors,, Pirate Charters, Hanifin Tires, Marion Manor Marina, All Seasons Sports and The Oneida Daily Dispatch. Contact Matt White at 315-762-8148 for details.

This is a well-run tournament and a great chance to get the whole family involved. Make plans now and get your entries at Marion Manor or Hanifin Tires.

S.H.O.T.S.: Save the date of Sept. 8, 2012 for the SHOTS Banquet. This organization which does so much good through programs for youths, helping handicapped sportsmen and more will hold its annual banquet. Everyone is encouraged to attend. Details will be in next week’s column.

GOLDEN PARK PROGRAM: If you are a NYS resident 62 or older on any weekday (except holidays) you can obtain free vehicle access to state parks and arboretums. Simply present your current valid NYS Driver’s License. This policy applies both to Office of Parks and Recreation and DEC facilities.

ADIRONDACK FISHING TOUGH: We just returned from a camping trip at Rollins Pond near Upper Saranac Lake earlier this week. The weather was generally great but the fishing was tough. My friend, Joe Hackett, who runs Tahawus Guide Service said that trout and salmon fishing have been poor due to the warm, sunny weather, and warm, low water conditions.
Trout have been at the bottom of the ponds and lakes and have been taking Wooly Buggers or worms moved slowly along bottom structure. Even bass fishing has been tough and Dan Ladd found largemouth on Upper Saranac at depths where he normally fishes for smallmouth bass. Chris Williamson of Jones Outfitters in Lake Placid said that fishing for rainbows or lake trout on Lake Placid was OK if you fished deep about 5:30–8 a.m., but after that it was over.


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