In an email correspondence with the Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club,
We’re off to a good start this year. We got 47,500 eggs and losses have been minimal. The eggs are starting to hatch so we expect to be moving from the incubator building to the hatchery within a few months, depending on the weather.
That sounds great and can’t wait to see them in the river this June.
Check out the video I made while spending the day with the club stocking the Atlantic Salmon that were partially paid for and supported by our raffles at Spey Nation Events. See you all this June 24th at the Pineville Lot for our 10th Spey Nation Celebration!
The next meeting of the Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club is Thursday Jan. 28 @ 7:00 at the Camden Rod & Gun Club.
We will have two guest speakers – ESF Grad students Justin DiRado and Chris Powers – who will give a presentation of their two year NY Sea Grant project to study Atlantic Salmon Restoration in Great Lakes Tributaries. The objectives of the study included: Evaluate strain growth, survival and movement in Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake tributaries, determine if adults are returning to Fish Creek, and analyze otolith microchemistry.
Their presentation will include an overview of the project, fieldwork and lab experiments conducted, a review of their findings, and preliminary recommendations for rearing Atlantic salmon.
Club members helped with the stocking and electrofishing, had a great time, and learned a lot in the process. This will be very informative and should help us do a better job raising and stocking our fish.
Over the years, we have been asked about the contributions made by Spey Nation to the Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club or have fielded suggestions about what we should be doing with the money collected for the raffles. In the spring of 2012, I spent a day stocking the fruits of our efforts into the headwaters of Fish Creek. The following is the outcome of that day and below that is the history of the club. We are proud to continue this partnership and are excited to continue to support those interested in returning native fish to historical watersheds.
The club has been involved with restoring Atlantic salmon since 1997. It all started in the spring of 1997 when Ed Crosby believed that Atlantic salmon belonged to Fish Creek and should be brought back to their home waters. The club was formed and bought the initial Atlantic Salmon fry that went into Fish Creek. Later that year Margaret Murphy joined the club as she was doing her field work in preparation for a Ph.D. From 1998 to 2000 the club helped stock the fish obtained by Margaret for her work. She was conducting research as to the growth rate of different species of Atlantic Salmon.
In late 1999 the club decided to obtain its own supply of Atlantic salmon as Margaret’s field work was nearly done. Allen made contact with the Beaverkill Trout Hatchery in early 2000 who volunteered to hatch eggs for us. Later in the year we obtained a surplus stainless steel tank used for photographic development from Griffis Air Force Base in Rome. We took possession of the tank in late 2000 after modifications were made. It was installed at the hatchery on December 16, 2000. Allen made the trays in which to hold the eggs while they hatched.
By this time we had learned about upstream spawners and downstream spawners. It was agreed that we needed upstream spawners. Species of land locked salmon evolved in different areas of the Northeast. Those fish that had no suitable spawning areas in tributaries flowing into a lake became outlet or downstream spawners. They hatched in the outlet and then moved upstream to a lake to mature. Upstream spawners hatched in streams, matured in a lake down stream and then moved upstream to spawn, exactly the situation we have. A source of Sebago strain was found and we got the necessary permissions from the state agencies to continue.
Success for the club in the beginning was thought to be a population of adult Atlantic salmon trying to jump over the Varick street dam in Oswego. That was the goal. We had been led to believe that Atlantic salmon would transit Oneida lake and would not stay long enough to mature. In early 2000 we heard reports of large salmon being caught in the lower part of Fish Creek. The first one occurring on March 14. Was it a salmon? No one really knew. We had put up posters, identifying Atlantic salmon in various places. Some one called in May, 2000 that he had caught a large Atlantic below Taberg. How did he know? He was an experienced Atlantic salmon fisherman and fished often for them in Maine.
In July 2001 two Atlantic salmon were caught below the Caughenoy dam. One was recovered by the club and was determined to be 3 years old. Were they on the way to Fish Creek or were they on their way to Lake Ontario? No one knew. We had not found out about otolith analysis yet. In August 2002 a 303 mm long Atlantic was netted by the Cornell Field Station at Shackleton Point on Oneida lake. Another was netted in 2003. Were fish maturing in Oneida lake we wondered? The club visited various bait shops around Oneida lake, handing out identification posters and asking to be informed if anybody caught Atlantic salmon in Oneida lake. During the winter of 2003-04 the club got many reports of Atlantic salmon being caught through the ice on Oneida Lake.
Thinking we needed another source of fry the club installed a tank at the Carpenters Brook Hatchery in late 2001. We tried hatching eggs there in 2002 and 2003 without much success. Water quality was thought to be the reason. We removed our tank in 2003 and tried an experimental hatching at Tkachuks in 2004 with mixed results. We thought we knew how to remedy the situation and we tried again in 2005 and it has worked out well.
In the fall of 2005 and early winter of 2006, the club built a hatchery on Tom Tkachuk’s property. A spring on the property was tapped to provide the water flow using gravity feed. About 50,000 salmon eggs were hatched in the tanks and released in the Spring of 2006. Later in the year, the hatchery was improved and another 50,000 eggs were hatched and released into the East Branch of Fish Creek.
The hatchery in Ava was a long way from where the active members of the club lived. Because of the difficulty of members traveling to the site during the winter to take care of the fish, the club started looking for other alternatives. Harden furniture was contacted in 2009 to see if they were interested in helping the club. Permission was granted to test the water of the West Branch by placing a tank in the sluice way of the dam near the factory. The club populated the tank with a few hundred eggs. The eggs hatched and the fish grew faster than the fish we were raising in the hatchery in Ava.
Further discussions with Harden management resulted in their decision to build a facility for the club within certain restraints. The land below the dam was in the flood plain and we could not build there. Then the idea occurred that the sluiceway might serve if there was a cover for it. A set of plans were drawn up and agreed to by Harden. and during the fall of 2010 a roof for the sluiceway was built. Harden owned the dam so there was no issue with permits. Of course the club had to accept the possibilities of flood conditions but the hatchery used no electrical power so there was no issue there.
In January 2011 the club moved its equipment into the new site, installed pipes and got water flowing through the tanks. The salmon eggs arrived shortly after and the McConnellsville Hatchery was in business. Club members took turns attending to the fish every day. The hatchery and the fish survived a flood and plans were made to better secure the tanks. At one point we had a problem with a fungal infection. We expected problems but also expected to surmount them and on July 2, the Atlantic salmon fry were stocked in the East Branch of Fish Creek.
Each year since the club has raised Atlantic salmon at the McConnellsville Hatchery. In late 2013 the club got permission to install an incubator in a building owned by Harden. It worked out great and eliminated some of the problems with the hatchery.
Aug 28, 2014
- Jim opened the meeting and the minutes were read
- Paul talked about Justin and Chris electro-shocking Point Rock Creek. One Atlantic was found that was 8 inches long. They kept the fish for testing.
- Paul also mentioned that Gary Bartell reported catching a 6 inch Atlantic in Point Rock Creek.
- Discussion then centered on stocking the remaining fish left at Morrisville. There are about 5,000 salmon which Justin and Chris are going to stock in Nine Mile creek if they get permission from DEC. Half to the remaining 2000 fish will be stocked on September 20 according to the bio mass in Roaring Brook. The rest can be stocked by the club.
- Jim then talked about the Sportsmen Days at Carpenters Brook Fish Hatchery. Jim and Gene will attend on Saturday, Sept 27 and Paul and Paul will attend on Sunday September 28.
- Jim talked about the OLA picnic. It was not heavily attended.
- Tom contacted Carpenters Brook and they will take the large pipe and made plans to take it to the hatchery on Thursday, Sept 4.
Note: Next meeting is Thursday, September 25.
For More Information click to the Club’s Website.
- Jim Lawler brought the club to order.
- There was no secretary’s report as the Secretary was absent.
- There was no treasurer’s report as the Treasurer was absent.
- The club had some new members at the meeting, welcome aboard! It is great to see new faces.
- Jim brought news of Arlie’s broken hip. Everyone in the club hopes for a speedy and complete recovery.
- Gary Bartell reported catching Atlantic salmon in Point Rock. They were about 6 inches. The club placed no salmon in the East branch system last year so they are likely from a stocking made two years ago.
- Students, Jason and Christ from ESF, talked about their plans for electro-shocking. If any one is interested to watch or participate, they plan to meet club members on Friday, May 30 in Taberg at 8:30 AM in the parking lot near the ball field.
- Tom fixed the feeder and put it in place on tank #2. It was suggested that it might need to be moved on account of the way the water swills in an eddy making it difficult for the fish in the lower part of the tank feed. Tom will remove the barrier in the lower part of the old tank. The barrier was intended to control the flow of water when trays were being used but the fish congregate between it and the screen for some reason.
- Tom said that all of the feed at the hatchery was used up. Chris said he could bring some fish feed.
- Ted will be out of town starting June 5 and needs some one to take his place tending to the fish.
- Jim then talked about the Hall of Fame Dinner. Paul Miller, Tom Lenweaver and Fran Verdoliva were inducted.
- Jim then talked about the Oneida Lake Association meeting. The club sold a number of raffle tickets there like we do every year we go.
- The actual number of fish we stocked from Vermont on May 10 numbered 24,000 rather than what was estimated (16,000). We had 20 people helping stock the fish in 4 different sites in and around the hamlets of Taberg and Blossvale. Gene has updated the website with the latest. To see photos of the stocking see http://fishcreeksalmon.org/
- Jim mentioned Spey Nation seminar on June 21 and asked who would be attending. Jim’s canopy was a big hit last year during the afternoon when it rained. We need to contact Jim.
- The raffle tickets were drawn and the winners recorded. Winners will be contacted by telephone.
- Next meeting is June 26, 2014.
The Vermont Hatchery gave us 15,000 Atlantic fry, which we stocked into the East Branch of Fish Creek in April;
We raised and stocked about 30,000 more Atlantic fry into the East Branch of Fish Creek in June;
We participated in Spey Nation and received a substantial amount of money for continuing efforts to improve our capabilities;
We have requested assistance from Syracuse University ESF to initiate a study of survival success of our stocked fish;
We are continuing contact with Oneida Lake Association and Cornel Research facilities on Oneida Lake; and,
We continue efforts to get our message out by setting up our display at several sport shows.
Beaver Lake Open House, First Saturday in September;
Fall Migration (Great Swamp), October.
The picture shows what a healthy fish this is.
About a mile from the Pineville Bridge sits the Mid-River Motel & Campground. It has 16 rooms that sleep 3, 4 and 6 people and five park models that will sleep up to 6.
For Spey Nation 2013, they have offered up $20.00 per person based on double occupancy. Park models at $30.00 per person based on 3. They also have five campsites available.
The Mid-River Motel and Campground is also donating
A room for two nights that sleeps 4
during Salmon Season to Spey Nation to Raffle Off.
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