The Fishing Line - September 15th Issue

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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The Fishing Line - September 15th Issue

Freshwater Fishing, Fisheries Management, and Fishing Access News

In This Issue:

  • Pilot Creel Survey on Saranac and Boquet Rivers
  • Fall Fishing Tips
  • DEC Fisheries Staff Spotlight - Ed Rolle, Region 3 Inland Fisheries Unit

Pilot Creel Survey on Saranac and Boquet Rivers

Angler holding an Atlantic Salmon against their arm.

A creel survey that focuses on the Atlantic salmon spawning runs in the Saranac and Boquet Rivers is currently underway and will extend through December 31st.

During this survey anglers will have the opportunity to voluntarily share information about their day of fishing. This includes catch information such as fish caught, length, presence of fin clips, and presence/absence of sea lamprey wounds, as well as overall satisfaction of the fishery. Obtaining this data will be helpful to inform future management actions on these waters.

Saranac River Survey Locations

  • Green Street angler access site 
  • Pool below the Imperial Mills Dam in the City of Plattsburgh

Boquet River Survey Locations

  • Stretch of river from the Town of Willsboro boat launch at Gilliland Park, upstream to the fishing pool just below the cascades 
  • Angler parking areas along this stretch of the river

Fall Fishing Tips

Canoe sitting on the lake shore.

The weather may cool off in the fall, but that doesn't necessarily mean the fishing does too. Gamefish often become more active as they feed in preparation for winter. Forage is plentiful for gamefish in the fall as young-of-the-year yellow perch, sunfish, gizzard shad and alewives reach desirable sizes. Gamefish will often follow these species around, so it can sometimes be challenging to locate fish.

Below are some tips that will hopefully help you land a few more fish this time of year:

  • Start shallow and then work deeper until you start catching fish. Fish will often be in very shallow water in the early fall so it’s a good starting point.
  • Use moving lures like crankbaits, stickbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits, etc. to cover water looking for active fish.
  • Keep an eye out for feeding activity. If you notice fish jumping on the surface, or birds diving, get to that area quickly and cast into it.
  • With the cooler water temperatures, fall can be a good time to visit your favorite trout stream. Most streams would have seen little fishing activity during the warm summer months.
  • Follow trends. If you catch fish in an area one fall, try that spot again next fall.
    • A good example is the shore walleye bite on Oneida Lake. Gizzard shad move near shore in the fall and anglers casting stickbaits from shore just before and after dark often do well. This happens almost every fall on the lake.
  • Gamefish often use transitional areas between deep and shallow water for staging and foraging in the fall. Target areas such as tributary mouths, drop-offs, weed edges, and underwater structure.

DEC Fisheries Staff Spotlight - Ed Rolle, Region 3 Inland Fisheries Unit

Ed Rolle holding a trout in a stream.

I’m a Fish and Wildlife Technician 1 working with the DEC Region 3 Inland Fisheries Unit based out of New Paltz. I grew up in a small town called Fort Plain in upstate NY. Knowing I wanted to work in the conservation field, I went to SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse where I received my bachelor’s degree in Aquatics and Fisheries Science in May of 2020. Graduating during the pandemic, I ended up moving to live and work in Prince William Sound, Alaska at a remote sockeye salmon hatchery. After almost a year, pretty much removed from the rest of the world, I ended up moving back to NY in the spring of 2021 where I accepted a position with DEC in the Lake Ontario Fisheries Unit as a creel technician. Based out of Oswego, I helped assess trout and salmon populations of eastern Lake Ontario and its tributaries. To get closer to the trout fishing I’m fond of, I then moved to the DEC Region 3 New Paltz office in February of 2022 and have been here since.

As a DEC Fish and Wildlife Technician, I have a wide variety of responsibilities. I help conduct our fisheries surveys using a variety of gear types including trap nets, gill nets, boat and backpack electrofishing. Many of our surveys are on the multitude of trout streams in the area or monitoring populations of invasive species. One of the most challenging, yet rewarding aspects of my job, is our I FISH NY educational outreach programs when I take children and new anglers fishing, teach a bit of aquatic ecology, as well as other skills like fly casting.

When I’m not at work, you can hopefully find me in the Catskills in a trout stream. I’ve been mapping populations of native brook trout with my fly rod and have caught wild trout out of 28 different streams so far this year. Hope to see you on the water!