Monday, July 11, 2016
spawning lake sturgeons
Environmental Conservation is encouraging anglers to be aware of spawning lake sturgeons in New York’s Great Lakes waters, Great Lakes connecting channels and in tributaries of the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River, Finger Lakes and Oneida Lake.DEC staff received numerous reports of lake sturgeon caught by anglers targeting walleye at this time of year.“Due to ongoing restoration efforts by DEC and our partners, encounters between anglers and lake sturgeon are becoming increasingly common,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos. “We ask for anglers to help protect these impressive fish during this critical period in their long recovery.”Lake sturgeons are listed as a threatened species in New York, therefore, there is no open season for the fish and possession is prohibited. Anglers should not intentionally target the fish. If an angler catches a sturgeon, they should move to another area or change fishing gear to avoid catching another. Anglers who do unintentionally hook one should follow practices to ensure that the fish are returned to the water unharmed. These include: avoiding bringing the fish into the boat if possible; using pliers to remove the hook; always support the fish horizontally — do not hold a sturgeon in a vertical position by their head, gills or tails; never touch the eyes or gills; and minimize the time out of the water and return them to the water immediately once they are freed from fishing gear.