NY Department of Conservation reports 2018 was record-setting when it came to catching trout and salmon in Lake Ontario. On the heels of those figures, comes the news fewer of them will be stocked in 2019. Read more to find out why they're reducing the numbers.

Measured by "catch-rate" which is the number of fish caught per boat trip, 2018's figures were the highest in decades. The catch rate for Chinook salmon between April to June set a record that was 227 percent above the previous five-year average. But don't think a reduction in stocking means fewer catches in 2019.

The DEC has reduced the stocking numbers by 20% each year for the past two years. And the reduction will again be 20% in 2019. The reason is available food for the trout and salmon when they stock. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos says the decline in Alewife, a herring that fish feed on, continues to decline. The drop in Alewife first started in 2013 and 2014.

The DEC will hold 3 public meetings to explain the science behind their plan and take public input on it. The meetings are:

  • Thursday, Oct. 4: 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport, Niagara County.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 9: 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Donald Schleiter Lodge and Pavillion, 199 East Manitou Rd. in Braddock Bay Park, Rochester, Monroe County.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 10: 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Pulaski High School auditorium, 4624 Salina St., Pulaski, Oswego County.

If you are unable to attend any of the meetings, you can email comments to fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov. Or call Steve LaPan at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station 315-654-2147. You can also read more on the plans at the DEC's website.

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