Sunday, April 23, 2017

St. Lawrence River Thousand Islands

The report states, “In the St. Lawrence River Thousand Islands area abundance of legal size smallmouth increased from record lows in 1996-2004 and varies at moderate levels after 2006. This increase was due to a faster growth and earlier recruitment of young fish (largely because of availability of round goby forage) rather than improved recruitment or increases in the total number of individuals in the population.
“After 2013 smallmouth bass abundance in standard sampling nets declined rapidly and was at near record low levels in 2014 and 2015.”
Also, river anglers have seen a decline in the northern pike population. Whereas pike were once fairly easy to catch, now most anglers struggle to catch even a few pike on a given outing. The Annual Report notes, “Northern pike abundance in the Thousand Islands remains depressed largely due to habitat changes resulting from water level regulation.” Hopefully, the new water-regulation plan for the river will create improved spawning conditions for pike.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

cleared the Canadian Senate

Legislation that would ease boating restrictions for U.S. recreational boaters and anglers on all waters shared by the two countries has cleared the Canadian Senate.
The bill would eliminate the need for American boaters to report to Canadian customs when passing through Canadian waters unless they anchor or set foot on Canadian soil. In New York, this bill would significantly change things on the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Champlain and the Niagara River.The bill must still pass the Canadian House of Commons and be signed by the Canadian governor general to become law.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The daily limit for northern pike on the St. Lawrence River

The daily limit for northern pike on the St. Lawrence River has been reduced from 5 to 3 fish.
An 18-inch minimum size limit and daily creel limit of 3 has been established for walleye in Titicus Reservoir (Westchester County; Sacandaga Lake and tributaries and outlet, and Lake Pleasant and tributaries (Hamilton County); Kiwassa Lake, St. Regis Falls Impoundment, and Little Wolf Pond (Franklin County); Putnam Pond (Essex County); Cazenovia and DeRuyter lakes (Madison County); Waterport Reservoir (Orleans County); Rio Reservoir (Orange and Sullivan counties); East Sidney Reservoir (Delaware County): Taghkanic Lake (Columbia County); Canadarago Lake (Otsego County), and additional portions of the Seneca River (Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca and Wayne counties).(The statewide rule for walleye, with the exception of the above waterways and others where special restrictions exist (such as Oneida Lake) are a 15-inch size limit and daily creek limit of five fish.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Loons and the St. Lawrence River

Loons normally arrive back at the river in April or May. While loons generally mate with the same partner for life, they do not travel together. The male and female will arrive at the river separately but shortly after arriving, they will start to build their nest together. Because of their ineptness on land, they will nest as close to the water as possible often close to a bank with a drop off which allows them to get to the nest from underwater. Needless to say, islands make the perfect location for loons to nest. Nests are made of twigs, marsh grasses, reeds, other dead plants, and mud so they can slip on and off the nest easily and quietly without being seen by predators. They will form the bulky nest into a mound, usually less than two feet in width, and shape the interior to fit its body. Like many of our river aquatic bird species, loons will often reuse the same nest over the next several years just fixing it up each spring rather than building a new one.
The female loon lays anywhere from one to three olive colored eggs with dark spots. Both parents will incubate the eggs over the next month (28-30 days). Once they hatch, the chicks will leave the nest within 24 hours. Though they are already able to swim, they will often be seen riding on their parents’ backs for the first few weeks. The parents will continue to feed them for the first eight weeks or so as they learn to dive and fish for themselves. By about 12 weeks they are able to fly and be independent of their parents.
In the fall, the parents will head south first, leaving the young loons to gather into flocks and make their own journey south a few weeks later. Hence, it is not usual to see multiple loons on the river in late September. The young loons will remain down south for several years. They will start to migrate in their third year but it is not until they are about six years old before they start breeding. The oldest-known loon lived for over 24 years.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Canadian fishing license and Canadian outdoors card

A big problem, Hilts said, is that there are no clear guidelines about when the call has to be made. "Should it be before you cross, when you're on the border or when you're actually in Canadian waters. We haven't been able to get a definitive answer on that," he said.
Anglers must have in their possession a Canadian fishing license and Canadian outdoors card. They cannot have in their possession any live bait bought on the American side, with the exception of worms - and the worms must be in newspaper or worm bedding. Plain dirt is not allowed. Possession of American-bought crayfish or minnows can result in a $250 fine. In addition, fines can be handed out if there are any alcoholic beverages on the boat.
The Canadians require that tickets be paid on the same day they're written. Canadian customs officials have the power to seize one's boat if the person is unable to pay. Fines can be as much as $25,000. Once again, Canadian anglers who fish the American side face no similar restrictions.
Two Canadian lawmakers, Sen. Bob Runciman (Ontario-Thousand-Islands and Rideau Lakes) and Member of Parliament Gordon Brown (Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes) have introduced a bill in the Canadian Parliament that would eliminate the need for American recreational boaters, anglers and fishing guides to report to Canadian customs when passing through Canadian waters. Exceptions would be if one sets foot on Canadian side or anchors their boat in Canadian waters.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Thousand Islands

The Thousand Islands first came to public attention in 1872 when President Grant visited George Pullman on Castle Rest. Within years the Thousand Islands was the playground of the rich and famous as well as those who of more modest incomes looking to escape the summer heat of the big cities. Railroad service to Clayton, NY started in 1873. During the summer months, trains transported vacationers from New York, Boston and Philadelphia to Clayton, NY. At one point, as many as 12 trains a day pulled up to the dock to disgorge passengers, trunks and luggage for transfer to steamers. These were vacationers who were not here for the day, but for at least a week, maybe a month, perhaps the entire season.