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Old 01-18-2013, 03:52 PM   #1
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Good News for Adirondack Lakes

"Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the creation of a $400,000 grant program to fund projects aimed at restoring hundreds of lakes and streams in the Adirondacks still suffering the damages of acid rain pollution."

About time! Most of these lakes were damaged quite awhile ago by Mid-West coal plants.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:23 AM   #2
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We're back to the Rotenone plan? Interesting.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:41 AM   #3
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What would be the detriments of mixing some lime into the sand/ salt mixture that is spread on the winter roads?
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:45 AM   #4
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We're back to the Rotenone plan? Interesting.

I believe rotenone is illegal in NYS for private consumers, causes brain/nerve damage. I guess they can get special permits tho to kill those poor trash fish.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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What would be the detriments of mixing some lime into the sand/ salt mixture that is spread on the winter roads?
I think it would be slippery...and you need to use a lot.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:56 PM   #6
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We're back to the Rotenone plan? Interesting.
I'm not sure I get it. Looks like the commissioner was aiming at liming ponds.

That said, the issue of re-introduction of non-native species is a big one. Several of my favorite ponds have invasive species in them now, surely the result of people fishing with minnows. It's often the death spiral for a brookie pond.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:00 PM   #7
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I'm glad there looking again at liming some lakes. I think that will be effective, as long as we continue to control the acid coming from the midwest. The invasive species may be an even more diffficult problem.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:37 PM   #8
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surely the result of people fishing with minnows. It's often the death spiral for a brookie pond.
Just a quick question- If you fish with minnows, how does something that small destroy the brookie pond? Is it because they out compete the brookie for limited food?

I think the initial thought would be that any fish used as bait would not survive the outing. Put a hook through it, and a big fish eats it. Even if it survives being impaled by a #8 Eagle Claw, wouldn't the survuival chances be low, as it is now an injured baitfish in a small pond of hungry big fish??

I'm not trying to challenge the rules against live bait in some areas (and I never use live bait where prohibited) but just wondering about the science behind it.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:51 PM   #9
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Yes... they out compete the trout...I need help to explain this...
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:58 PM   #10
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I think the initial thought would be that any fish used as bait would not survive the outing. Put a hook through it, and a big fish eats it. Even if it survives being impaled by a #8 Eagle Claw, wouldn't the survuival chances be low, as it is now an injured baitfish in a small pond of hungry big fish??
I believe the bigger problem is when the angler dumps whatever bait is left in the bait pail at the end of the day.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:49 PM   #11
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So this is a subject I'm more than a little bit passionate about. There is a long history of introducing invasive species into Adirondack ponds and lakes. All of the Adirondacks were once a brook trout monoculture, the few exceptions being where lake trout and whitefish existed. This was the case from the last ice age until the Adirondacks became a sportsmans paradise in the mid to late 1800's. In that era it was common for one guide to poison another guides ponds with Perch. The perch would rapidly out-compete the brookies and eat their eggs and young. Perch are the death knell for a brookie pond.

As a result of invasive species introductions 95% of the Adirondack water that was once exclusive brook trout habitat has been lost FOREVER. Recent intentional introductions of Bass cost us Little Tupper, Lila and Lows, lakes that can never be reclaimed. Ironically, Little Tupper was the ancestral home of one of my favorite heritage strains of brookie. There's better fishing for them now in ponds the DEC has reclaimed.

Baitfish also play havoc with a trout pond. Studies have proven (and been repeated across Eastern Canada and New England) that brookies do best in a monoculture and that baitfish disrupt the food chain. I have personally watched several productive ponds decline once minnows were introduced. That, in a nutshell, is the reason for the no baitfish regulation. Once they're established in a pond the brookie fishing WILL decline. The only way to recover from this situation is to reclaim that waterbody with Rotenone and re-stock the brookies. Not all waterbodies can be reclaimed.

The good news is that the DEC has done an exceptional job of reclaiming hundreds of ponds that were destroyed by invasive species. The first experiment was the St. Regis area, which was rid of Perch and other invasives in the 1950's. This was / is pioneering work and should be recognized as such.

Don't believe me? Read Nick Karas' book, Brook Trout. Then start reading the Unit Management Plans for all the wild forests. By then you'll be ready for some of the more technical papers, most of them out of Cornell.

If you ever catch someone fishing with minnows in a brookie pond it's not enough to politely suggest that they stop. Make sure all that bait is exterminated. I've confiscated minnows from people 2 times now. It resulted in a couple of ugly situations but it probably saved a couple of good ponds.

Rant over...
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:34 PM   #12
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Great rant! I appreciate the information, and certainly have a better understanding of the rule.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:34 AM   #13
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Yeah, great rant. I didn't fully understand the implications of live bait until now. Any issues with using worms?
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:06 AM   #14
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Yeah, great rant. I didn't fully understand the implications of live bait until now. Any issues with using worms?
Isn't it true (maybe not, but I seem to recall reading it) that there are no native species of worms in the Adirondacks?
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:12 AM   #15
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Yeah, great rant. I didn't fully understand the implications of live bait until now. Any issues with using worms?
Worms are fine. Many a good brookie has succumbed to a Lake Clear Wabbler with a worm 18" behind.

While this topic is still warm, I'd like to make a couple of suggestions to brookie anglers:
  • Fish with a single, barbless hook. It reduces mortality in the fish you release.
  • If you find a pond that turns out really nice fish, release them. Think about it: Which fish would you rather have in the gene pool? Which would you rather catch the next time you go there? There are lots of ponds where there are tons of smaller brookies. Go there when you want a few for the frying pan and don't feel an ounce of guilt over it.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:47 AM   #16
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The article I read was in the Albany Times Union and only addressed acid rain. It never mentioned Rotonone. Hopefully the quote below would also be applied in finding alternative solutions.

"By investing in scientific solutions, the Adirondack Acid Rain Recovery Program will help identify the most efficient and effective approaches to reversing acid rain’s continuing harms to the Adirondack environment."

I would find it ironic that the money from one enviromental issue would be used to support a completely different issue.

"Funding for the environmental benefit program was obtained by the Attorney General’s office in a multi-state settlement with Cinergy Corp., now Duke Energy Corp., over violations of the federal Clean Air Act. "
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:11 AM   #17
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This is good news. There are so many formerly productive brook trout waters in the Adirondacks that are fishless due to acidity. I remember when the controversy first started and am glad to see that science has prevailed over the utility industries denials. As far as rotenone, while that is a management tool used to reclaim ponds, in the case of these acidified ponds they are already fishless, so getting the chemistry right is the sole obstacle to restoring heritage fisheries.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:44 PM   #18
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As far as rotenone, while that is a management tool used to reclaim ponds, in the case of these acidified ponds they are already fishless, so getting the chemistry right is the sole obstacle to restoring heritage fisheries.
This is good news indeed. Liming ponds is, however, an expensive and periodic investment that can only be applied to relatively few waters. Current DEC guidelines limit liming to ponds having a flushing rate of less than 2X per year. That eliminates most ponds.

Probably more important than a pon's pH is its ANC - acid neutralizing capability. That's a measure of local soil and pond bottom chemistry. This metric determines how long a pond is likely to have an improved pH after liming.

So, my take is that $400K is a good start. I do feel that the polluters got off mighty easy. What's the value of a couple hundred acidified ponds that used to support brook trout?
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:13 PM   #19
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http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/a...damaged-waters

This does not say anything about liming lakes (and I agree, liming isn't restoration, just a temporary fix). But I think liming lakes is a better use of the $400K than studying the same things again for the umpteenth time.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:37 PM   #20
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http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/a...damaged-waters

This does not say anything about liming lakes (and I agree, liming isn't restoration, just a temporary fix). But I think liming lakes is a better use of the $400K than studying the same things again for the umpteenth time.
Thanks for posting this. It looks like this is the first of several steps, all trending positive!
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