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Lake Ontario Fisheries Management and Research

Lake Ontario Fisheries Research Unit

Based at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Station, the DEC Lake Ontario Fisheries Unit manages the fish resources within Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River (DEC Region 6 Fisheries Unit) by monitoring the status of fish populations and evaluating the need for specific management actions. On Lake Ontario, we assess the balance between numbers of trout and salmon and the amount of available preyfish, and evaluate success of fish stocking programs dedicated to restoring native species and enhancing sport fisheries.

Research Vessel Seth Green

The R/V Seth Green (PDF) is used to conduct annual assessments and surveys of Lake Ontario's fish stocks. Most sampling programs are carried out in conjunction with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources or the USGS's Biological Resource Division's office in Oswego, NY. Vessel time is also available to other researchers with compatible interests.

Interagency Management Coordination

New York cooperates with other jurisdictions on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to manage fish populations that roam widely as a shared resource throughout these water systems. Coordination between jurisdictions is done by the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission's (GLFC) Lake Ontario Committee (LOC) (leaves DEC site). Joint decisions are made annually concerning management and harvest policies that affect all jurisdictions.

Fisheries Dictionary

Download the Fisheries Management Dictionary (PDF) for definitions of commonly used technical terms in DEC Bureau of Fisheries reports.

Management Plans

Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Fisheries Management Plan, 2023-2026 (PDF)
Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Stocking Strategy, 2022-2026 (PDF)
Sportfishing Restoration & Spending Plan (2007) (PDF)

Survey/Research Reports

DEC Surveys

2021 Lake Ontario Unit Annual Report (PDF)

Interagency Surveys

New York's Lake Ontario Unit contributes to management plans and annual inter-agency reports describing the status of fish stocks in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. These documents can be found on the GLFC website (leaves DEC site).

More about Lake Ontario Fisheries Management and Research:

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  • Contact for this Page
    Lake Ontario Fisheries Unit
    Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station
    541 East Broadway
    P.O. Box 292
    Cape Vincent, NY 13618
    Send us an email
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