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.

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