Lake St. Lawrence Index Netting (2010)
Region 6 Fisheries staff participated in the annual Lake St. Lawrence index netting program the week of September 20th. This standardized sampling was initiated between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) in 1986. NYSDEC has been maintaining the program since 1996.
Thirty two gill nets are set in standard locations in both Canadian and US waters and stratified by water depth (15-25' or 30-50'). Information taken from specimens collected includes length, weight, sex, and maturity. Samples of scales are taken from game species to be used for age determination.
In 2010, a total 1,114 fish comprising 21 species were collected. This was a new record catch since NYSDEC has been maintaining this project. Game species included smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye and northern pike. Yellow perch and rock bass contributed 53% and 24% of the total catch respectively, both of which were new catch records. The walleye catch remained high (88 walleye collected) for the second year in a row with fish from multiple year classes present. Two lake sturgeon were captured and successfully released after tagging. Although data won't be analyzed until winter, it would appear that game fish populations remain stable.