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Lake Ontario Black Bass Angler Diary Program

WANTED: Lake Ontario Bass Anglers

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is recruiting volunteer bass anglers to participate in a Lake Ontario Black Bass Angler Diary Program. This was initiated to help provide NYSDEC with valuable information on fishing quality experienced by anglers targeting smallmouth and largemouth bass in Lake Ontario, its embayments, and tributaries to the first impassable barrier, as well as obtain biological characteristic information of caught bass.

The intent of this program is to gain insight into the recent declining trend in fishing effort and fishing quality among Lake Ontario's bass anglers as determined from the 2008 NYSDEC Lake Ontario Fishing Boat Survey (PDF, 469 KB), which surveyed boaters fishing in all of the Lake Ontario waters outside of the eastern basin in New York.

Help NYSDEC Learn about Lake Ontario's Bass Populations

Information on the status of the lake's bass population is limited to the eastern basin waters (1976-2009 gillnetting assessments) and the Pultneyville area on the south shore (1976-1979, 2000-2001, 2007 gillnetting assessments). The cause(s) for recent declines in fishing quality are not fully understood, nor is the current status of the bass population. NYSDEC wants to learn more about bass in Lake Ontario and its embayments. In 2010, the NYSDEC conducted netting surveys along the south shore to determine the relative abundance of bass and population characteristics (e.g. age structure and growth). The angler diary program will help enhance our understanding of Lake Ontario's bass fishery.

When to Participate

The diary program is conducted annually, beginning at the start of the traditional open largemouth and smallmouth bass season on the third Saturday of June each year. The program continues to the last day of the open season.

How to Participate

Anglers interested in participating can send their name, address, and e-mail address to fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov.

Participants will receive instructions on how to collect needed information and a NYSDEC Angler Diary to use for recording fishing activity (e.g. date, time, location, fish length, and whether the fish was kept or released) for each trip. At the end of the fishing season, the diaries will be submitted to NYSDEC. After the data has been compiled, each participant will receive a complete report of the diary program results for the season.

Sample Angler Diary Log:

Sample angler diary cooperator page

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