November 23, 2013 at 2:32 pm #1160MikeKeymaster
This AP release is a bit short of facts but here it is.
One would naturally ask “what disease is referred to at the
Allegheny Fish Hatchery?”
Well, it could be part of a natural cycle, or is it the continuing
algae plague that has been seen from coast to coast for the past 12
months. Most recently described as a “Jubilee”; which to my
knowledge is a first.
One important fact read here, is the natural balancing within
nature, without man-made manipulation.
Troubled waters for lake fish
Invaders thrive as trout stock plummets
(March 9, 2006) — HENRIETTA — The complex web of interrelationships
in Lake Ontario never fails to surprise, said state and federal
fisheries biologists who held an annual “State of the Lake” meeting
Wednesday night at Rochester Institute of Technology.
The declining population of native lake trout continues to be a
concern, with numbers down 50 percent since last year and 71 percent
since peak populations in the 1980s. And fishermen can expect
particularly challenging seasons for lake trout over the next few
years because the state’s stocking program, which supplements
naturally reproducing lake trout populations, suffered a blow this
A disease outbreak at the Allegheny Fish Hatchery in Pennsylvania
killed the 500,000 lake trout destined for Lake Ontario, so little
stocking will be available to help the natural population this year,
said Bill Culligan, Great Lakes section head for the Department of
To stop the spread of the infectious pancreatic necrosis, or IPN,
more than 700,000 fish at the Warren, Pa., hatchery were destroyed
Only about 110,000 fish could be diverted from the Finger Lakes for
stocking in Lake Ontario. The impact on lake trout populations could
linger for several years. But because the stocked fish will come
from a hatchery known for its quality, some of that effect will be
muted, Culligan said.
“We’re only going to have one-fifth as many fish, but we think
they’re going to survive twice as well,” Culligan said.
Meanwhile, fisheries surveys reported mixed news on invasive species
in the lake. The round goby, a small fish native to the Black and
Caspian seas, seems to be thriving. The fish has infiltrated all the
Great Lakes and was first discovered in Lake Ontario in 1998. Now it
has moved into the Erie Canal and is expected to colonize inland
“They’re reaching critical mass. They’re really going to start to
take off in New York,” said Robert O’Gorman, a U.S. Geological
Survey scientist based in Oswego.
Initially, biologists feared that the bottom-dwelling fish would
push out other, native minnows and wouldn’t be an attractive prey
for large game fish. But studies indicate that lake trout as well as
bass and cormorants are feeding on the goby.
And worries that gobies would feed so heavily upon smallmouth bass
eggs that populations would plunge haven’t been realized, even in
the most heavily infested areas, O’Gorman said.
“Our greatest fears are not going to come true, I think,” he said.
Meanwhile sea lampreys, leech-like fish native to the Atlantic
coast, may be causing more problems as Great Lakes invaders.
Lampreys have long been a success story of invasive species control,
but as more and more rivers are cleaned up, their available habitat
is expanding, O’Gorman said.
“The whole food web has changed,” O’Gorman said.
One holdout from the native Lake Ontario population mix, the
deepwater sculpin, seems to be making a comeback. This year’s trawl
surveys counted 17 of the small bottom-dwelling fish, when only five
were caught over the past seven surveys. It’s believed that the
sculpin, which was once an important food source for lake trout, all
but disappeared in the 1960s, before scientific fisheries surveys
“This year we literally hit the mother lode,” O’Gorman said. “I
think it says a lot about our ecosystem and its ability to recover
from past abuses.”
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