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adknomad 04-04-2019 12:41 PM

West canada lakes fishing question
1.As of the 2019 stocking data on the dec site they do not list cedar lake, west lake, brook trout lake, etc as being stocked. Are they self sustaining now ( since they used to stock it) or has something happened?
2. The usgs maps show trails from Pillsbury to cedar and to Whitney. Do these trails exist still in some form? Best I could find was a youtube video around 2017 ( and I didnít know if they are maintained by the dec or some industrious folks.

I've seen Conk's posts but was just wondering the above questions as well as if the fishing is doable ( not asking for any secret spots)

thanks for any info :)

malexander 04-04-2019 01:22 PM

I can't speak to the fishing but I can speak to the "trails" as I explored most of them last year. The "trails" are better described as paths and vary in condition. Short answer is if you are looking to portage you'll probably be fine.

The trail to Whitney is in good shape and easily to follow. It seems to get a fair amount of use for what it is.

Whitney to west end of Pillsbury was easy to follow with a little blow down here and there.

The East-West trail south of Pillsbury is terrible and difficult to follow (although well marked in many places :confused:).

From the west end of Pillsbury to Cedar it is in good shape although I only followed it to a beaver damn. I ran into Conk on my way out the next day and he said the rest of the trail was similar after paddling across the beaver pond.

Hope this helps.


JohnnyVirgil 04-04-2019 02:10 PM


Originally Posted by malexander (Post 273969)
I only followed it to a beaver damn.

I think they should be called this from now on.

malexander 04-04-2019 02:48 PM


Originally Posted by JohnnyVirgil (Post 273971)
I think they should be called this from now on.

Haha. Looks like I said what I was thinking at the time.

adknomad 04-04-2019 05:46 PM

awesome! I was indeed looking for a portage route. thanks for the info :thumbs:

Lucky13 04-05-2019 08:36 AM

There are two different stocking lists, one is spring stocking, likely what you looked at, and the other shows everything stocked, and usually contains the airstocked brook trout ponds. Cedar got 7,500 fingerlings, South got 1000, West got 3,500, Whitney got 3,500, and Falls Pond, which had been dead for as long as Brook Trout, got 1000, Indian got 2000, Mud got 2000, Pillsbury got 1250. Brook Trout was not listed but from what a recent edition of the Discover guides says, DEC planted fish experimentally, for a couple of years and then found naturally reproduced trout later. If the fish can establish themselves, why stock them? Scuttelbutt says that a lot of small ponds west of Northrup Lake (400 fish stocked) in WCLW have native populations, so not everything back there gets fish.

I suspect that the NYS State record brookie that preceded the Silver Lake fish came from Brook Trout Lake, as DEC would not reveal the name of the waterbody, only that the fish was caught in the West Canada Wilderness. They had no problem, revealing an earlier one came from South Lake in Black River Wild Forest, and I can drive right up to South Lake!

DuctTape 04-05-2019 08:43 AM

The record trout that preceded Silver Lake was NOT Brooktrout lake. I had the opportunity to meet someone at the waterbody where it was caught. That person was with the person who caught the previous record. I do not recalll the rationale for not identifying the water body by the DEC.

Conk 04-05-2019 08:58 AM

As shown on the USGS map the carry trail from Pillsbury Bay is on the top of a small ridge due south of the bay. When traveling north from Pillsbury Lake, it is not clear where to pick up the trail after crossing Whitney Creek. There is a somewhat open pathway to the top of the ridge about 400 ft. upstream from the beaver dam. When you reach the top of the ridge, you are in the dense shade of older spruce, here, the lack of sunlight has not encouraged new growth and the old trail is again obvious. Key to this carry is finding the pathway to the top of the ridge, without it you are in for a miserable, although short bushwhack.

The first few times I made this portage, the trail was through a dry beaver meadow. Last year was the first I've seen it under water.

adknomad 04-05-2019 09:36 AM

I looked at the spring stocking list yes but i also looked at this list

My confusion ( or stupidity possibly) came from the fact that the data ends in 2017 so i wasnt sure if something occurred or the data just ended.

Also, thank you Conk for that info. That section was what I had little to no info about and what you said will be a great help. :thumbs:

Lucky13 04-05-2019 01:56 PM

I find that database nearly impossible to navigate. The list I looked at is also 2017, but I doubt the numbers changed much in fall 2018 unless there were shortfalls at a hatchery. The DEC website is always behind this time of year.

The rationale was to not concentrate angling pressure on an area that was frag8ile and recovering. This was not applied to Silver Lake, however, although I think the 7 mile hike in may limit the pressure. Not that it's a short scoot to anywhere in West Canada!

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