OUTSIDE: Anglers’ effort, catch rates fluctuate in 2021 | Sports


The state Department of Environmental Protection’s Lake Ontario Fishing Vessel Survey has tracked angler effort and catch rates from April to September each year since 1985. L The investigation was not conducted in 2020 due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19, but it is ongoing again. in 2021.

The effort of the fishing boats was mixed for the months of April, May and June. The effort in April (2,303 boat trips) among vessels targeting trout and salmon was 4% above the 10-year average. Fishing effort in May (5,379 trips) decreased by 29% from the previous 10 years, partly due to bad weather and possibly due to reports of low brown trout catch rates, the main target for anglers in April and May. In June, fishing vessel effort for trout and salmon rebounded, rising 13.4% above the recent 10-year average.

The quality of the Chinook salmon fishery from April to June was uneven, with relatively good short fishing periods but lower overall catch rates. The spring fishery in 2018 and 2019 produced record chinook catch rates (3.3 chinook per boat trip), but the quality of the fishery declined in 2021 with lower catch rates in the spring. Chinook catch rates among vessels fishing for trout and salmon averaged 0.7 per boat trip from April to June, 58% below the recent 10-year average (1.5 per boat trip ).

The quality of the coho salmon fishing from April to June was exceptional. Coho salmon catch rates in May (0.4 per boat trip) were 30% higher than the previous 10 years average, and in June, coho salmon fishing success was the highest on record for the month, with catch rates (0.7 per boat trip) 373% above average.

The quality of brown trout fishing from April to June was below average. Brown trout catch rates were down about 55% in April (1.6 per boat trip) from the recent 10-year average (3.5 per trip), and catch rates in May and June were the lowest in the 35-year time series. Typical 2-year-old brown trout (4-6 pounds) were very difficult to find, which reduced overall catch rates. Most of the brown trout harvested were older and weighed 8 to 13 pounds.

The quality of the rainbow trout fishery started slowly in 2021, with near-record catch rates in April and May. Catch rates improved significantly in June, however, with average catch rates (1.7 per boat trip) ranking the fourth highest on record and 47% above the 10-year average.

Lake trout fishing was excellent in April, with catch rates (1.9 per boat trip) ranking third in the 35-year survey. The catch rates for May and June were 20% and 22% below average, respectively.

Atlantic salmon have always been a minor component of the fishery, but recent years have shown an increase in catch rates in the spring. This spring, however, the average catch rate of 0.01 per boat trip was lower, 82% lower than the 10-year average (0.04 per trip).

In 2021, despite low catch rates for some species, total catch rates for trout and salmon from April to June averaged 3.0 fish per trip, compared to the long-term average of 3.4 fish per trip and the 10-year average of 4.7 per trip.

Hunting changes

Here is a brief summary of the new deer and bear hunting requirements for the 2021 season:

• Daily deer and bear hunting hours have been extended from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.

• When hunting deer or bear with a firearm, hunters should wear a fluorescent orange or pink hat or vest.

• Hunters aged 12 or 13 can hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow in counties that have passed local law allowing it. See the Junior Big Game regulations at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/46245.html for a map of participating counties.

• The holiday deer hunt in our southern zone is an extension of the late season of the bow and muzzle loader, from December 26th to January 1st.

Holiday deer hunt

The DEC proposed a bylaw that, if passed, would allow counties to opt out of the recently established year-end deer hunt, which is expected to take place from December 26 to January 1 each year. archery and muzzle-loading deer season in the southern New York area.

The DEC adopted the holiday deer hunt earlier this year, giving hunters new opportunities to venture out into the field when families and friends are gathered for the holidays and the students are at home during the holidays. school. The new proposed regulation was designed to address concerns raised by some communities and stakeholders that landowners could prevent snowmobile access to trail systems that cross private land during deer hunting, limiting opportunities for deer hunting. snowmobilers during the last week of December. Historically, snow cover deep enough to support the snowmobile is only present occasionally, and in some places, in the southern zone during the vacation period.

If the proposed regulation is passed, counties in the southern zone that choose to prohibit hunters from participating in holiday deer hunting in their county must pass a local law specifying the exclusion each year.

For this year, counties that pass such a local law will have to send a copy of their passed law to the DEC by December 25. In future years, counties that withdraw are required to send a copy of their enacted law to the DEC by May 1 of each year to allow publication in the DEC’s annual hunting and trapping regulations booklet.

Counties that do not wish to opt out do not need to take action.

Public comments on the proposal are accepted until November 14. Email your comments to [email protected] or write to Wildlife Regulations, NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

Chris Kenyon’s “Outdoors” appears in all other weekend editions. Contact Chris at (315) 879-1341 or [email protected]


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