Lake Ontario Tributary Anglers Council
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LOTAC was created in the fall of 2007 when the entire Lake Ontario basin was struck with a severe drought causing record low water levels especially in the Salmon River Basin affecting all the Lake Ontario New York tributaries. These severe conditions resulted in a significantly reduced hatchery return of migrating salmon. This diminished return did not allow the state hatchery to collect enough eggs to maintain its stocking numbers in several of the Lake Ontario Tributaries the following year.

LOTAC also recognizes that besides natural cyclical threats such as a drought that there were other very real and issues that needed to be addressed regarding the fishery. These include Invasive Species concerns with Asian Carp entering the great lakes, Lamprey eels, and Didymo (Rock Snot). The Nestle Co. bottled water plant proposing to use the Salmon River Aquifer as a source for water production, and recent Wind Mill Proposal’s close to on Lake Ontario Shorelines possibly damaging bait / forage fish habitat.

We have also learned that the hatchery is not immune to disease or issues as well as there was a recent loss of 200,000 Salmon River Hatchery Chinook Salmon this past winter due to “mortality thiamine syndrome” which is caused by another invasive species of bait / forage fish called the Alewife. The Alewife is a bait fish whose oil causes a thiamine deficiency in the eggs of the adult fish causing very early death in fish fry. Some believe that the Alewife is the leading cause of the extinction of Atlantic Salmon in many of the Lakes in northern NY.

These conditions prove the need to try to improve the the Lake Ontario Tributaries that have historically been proven to maintain natural populations of migratory sport fish species such as Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead Trout and to increase their rearing capacities and develop a natural strain of wild fish supplementing the hatchery population.

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LOTAC Council

However, the principle of moving away from state regulations and angler ethics to achieve the egg quota when other more pro-active approaches should have been implemented, continues to be a sore subject amongst many Lake Ontario Tributary Anglers and hopefully the DEC / State will never have to resort to this type of ease of regulations in the future.

This situation along with other recent threats such as Invasive Species concerns with Asian Carp entering the great lakes, Lamprey eels, and Didymo (Rock Snot), to the Nestle Co. bottled water plant proposing to use the Salmon River Aquifer as a source for water production, and recent Wind Mill Proposal’s close to on Lake Ontario Shorelines possibly damaging bait / forage fish habitat.

There was also a recent loss of 200,000 Salmon River Hatchery Chinook Salmon this past winter due to “mortality thiamine syndrome” which is caused by another invasive species of bait / forage fish called the Alewife, made many concerned Lake Ontario Tributary Anglers feel the need to create a non-profit entity with the purpose of forever protecting and supporting the fishery they have grown to know and love.

LOTAC also recognizes that Lake Ontario tributaries are an integral part of the Lake Ontario ecosystem, supporting a viable and varied fishery capable of delivering maximum recreational value within a sustainable ecological framework. We recognize the importance of Lake Ontario tributaries to the ecology of Lake Ontario and the tributary sport fisheries as a vibrant part of local and state economies. We believe that tributary interests are essential components of the fisheries management decision-making process and should therefore be better accommodated into the development of management policy that is fair and equitable to both tributary and lake interests. LOTAC members also believe that expanded efforts should be made to further conserve and manage tributary fisheries for optimal sustainable use.

LOTAC founders are also deeply concerned with the current fiscal crisis facing New York State and the closure of several State Parks. We feel the general pool of State funds and its allocation does not adequately guarantee the future of the Lake Ontario Tributary Fishery. We feel an effort is needed to assure a sustainable Lake Ontario Tributary Fishery for generations to come.

LOTAC intends to take a politically active stance, lobbying for better protection of tributary fisheries, promotion of ethical angling, and an educational role, with the intent of positioning itself as a political action group with strong political ties and effective lobbying abilities. LOTAC firmly believes that the people who fish the Lake Ontario Tributaries actually have a say in what happens to them.

LOTAC
LOTAC Salmon River Clean Up
Our Goals:
1. Increased enforcement of existing rules and regulations across the Lake Ontario Tributary basin.
2. Continuous education of tributary anglers through seminars, mailings, emails, phone calls, Guide Associations and pamphlets in tackle shops.
3. Everlasting easements on Trout Brook and Orwell and any other stream, river or creek deemed by the NYDEC and Sea Grant to be able to sustain a natural spawning Salmonid population.
4. The eventual creation and documentation of a sustainable natural reproductive fish run from all streams, rivers or creeks deemed able to sustain a natural spawning population.
5. The creation of dedicated funds through fishing license sales (Tributary Stamp) or other financial sources written through state law allocated to the Lake Ontario Tributary fishery (SR Hatchery, Native Atlantic Salmon re-introduction, increased DEC presence on tributaries, habitat improvements etc.)
6. Lobby Legislatures to increase fines for illegal fishing activity and set standards.
7. Lobby Legislatures for regulations aimed at reducing the additional threat of new invasive species and doing something to eliminate the ones that already exist and cause damage to the fishery.
8. Obtain the support of local business and residents that depend on these fisheries for economic support.
9. By doing this, creating a better experience for all who fish the Lake Ontario tributaries.
10. To also push for better economic information to better market and promote tributary fishing opportunities, using DEC licensing information and should also stimulate the development of more-in depth economic studies of tributary fishing and its value to state and local economies. Use groups such as the DEC and SEA GRANT to aid in research and development.
11. Support efforts to increase funding for additional fisheries assessments, research and law enforcement on Lake Ontario Tributaries.
12. Support efforts of resource managers such as NYSDEC, OMNR, USFWS, and USGS to develop appropriate measures for monitoring and improving tributary fisheries.
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