What are Fisheries?

What are fisheries? Fisheries are programs set up by the federal government to help maintain sustainable levels of certain fish populations to make up for human impacts such as over fishing, loss of habitat, damning of rivers and other harmful practices. The sustained amount of fish is important in maintaining a balanced ecosystem and the ability for people to practice activities such as fishing. Hatcheries are set up along a water way and hatch, raise, and release a certain number of fish according to what hatchery managers deem a sustainable number.    

Attached below is a PBS video that throughly explains what fisheries and hatcheries are and what their purpose is. 

Our Local Fishery

The Salmon river is located on the Tug HIll Plateau in central New York on the east side of Lake Ontario.  It is 44 miles long and flows directly into the Salmon River Reservoir. The Salmon River Fish Hatchery is a large fishery that supplies 3.5 million trout and salmon, and 9 million walleye fry each year. These fish then can travel in over 100 public waters including Lake Ontario. The Salmon River Fish Hatchery houses a high diversity of salmon and trout including Chinook, Coho, Stealhead, Atlantic and Brown trout. The introduction of the Pacific salmon started heavily in the 1960’s due to the near extinction of the Atlantic salmon population. This caused a dramatic spike in the alewife populations, a bait fish which is the prey of many freshwater systems. The Non-native Pacific salmon released from hatcheries was in response to this increase of alewifes to bring their populations back to a sustainable level.  Today these non-native salmon surrounding Lake Ontario contribute a major component of the lakes recreational fishery.

(A map of the hatchery)

The 1980’s supported the largest number of released fish into Lake Ontario with over 8 million fish.  That number has been reduced to around 4-5 million fish per year starting in 1992 when OMNR and the NYDEC did a managment review of the hatchery. The problem is that stocking levels are set by managers with little understanding of the relative impact that large number’s of released fish can have on an ecosystem. The reduction of introduced fish numbers was met with much public resistance as average annual angler expenditures exceed $170 million, making fishing a huge source of revenue for the surrounding area. The public was afraid the reduction would lower the quality of fishing of the surrounding rivers and lakes, but the surrounding area is a hot spot for trout and salmon anglers up to this very day.

Click Here for more information

Salmon River Documentary

For the 2nd element of our english class (EWP 290) we wanted to highlight the benefits of the Salmon River Fish Hatchery. To do this we interviewed Josh Berry, a local fly fisher and SUNY ESF student. Josh often fishes the Salmon River and it’s tributaries, and greatly benefits from the fish hatchery. We caught up with Josh while fly fishing on the Salmon River and asked him for his thoughts and opinions on the fish hatchery.

(Original Content)

A Journey Through a Fish Hatchery

Fish Hatcheries serve many purposes, not only do they support the surrounding area economically, they also provide a conservational purposes for many species.
The fishery starts with the harvesting of  fish in the river.  There are many techniques to capturing the fish, but once they are caught they are milked for both eggs and sperm.  Eggs are placed in special incubators that are supplied with constant flow of water.  The temperature of the water is closely regulated because it can determine how long it takes the eggs to develop. 
Once the eggs hatch the emerging fry are transported to rearing units where they are tended too until they are large enough for holding tanks.  There are multiple tanks and holding pens set up for different sizes/ages of the fish as they move through the hatchery. 
Throughout the rearing process they are feed and and kept in oxygen rich water. 
Once the fish have reached an optimum size, they are released from the hatchery back into the water way. This fish will then return during their spanning, therefor replenishing the stock of eggs and sperm for the hatchery.
These fish will have different fates, some being commercially caught and sold while others will be caught by anglers looking for a good fight.

Click Here for a video by Oden State Fish Hatchery that explains the journey the fish will endeavor from birth to release into the wild.

Share Your Fishing Story!

Here at Got Fisheries?, we know one of the benefits of fishing are the stories heard and told by all fisherman alike. We would like to give you guys, our readers, a chance to post your own fishing stories and read some of ours as well. 

Here is a story from fisherman Gerry McGorry.

There is nothing better than seeing my daughter Kiley catching a nice brown trout. I have never seen a smile so big on her face as she turned around to show me the fish that she caught all by herself. She was glowing with fisherman's pride as she tied on the lure. With deadly accuracy she casted out her line and within a few seconds of the line hitting the water she got a bite! She handled the excitement like a professional fisherman as she reeled her first fish to shore. Landing of her first fish with no help from me made me a very proud father and fisherman. Now I will often catch her surfing the web to look for new fishing spots to try out. 

Kiley McGorry

Getting out on the water is now in her blood. She wants to fish them all, and with all that New York State has to offer for fresh water fishing through their hatchery program, we have our work cut out for us. Looking forward to many exciting fishing trips.

Share you're story in the comment section!

Benefits of the Salmon River Fish Hatchery

Got Fisheries? presents our fourth element talking about what benefits hatcheries bring to the surrounding area. We aslo get a fisherman Josh Berry's perspective on what he would do differently with the hatchery.

(Original Content)

Take Our Poll!

Should fish hatcheries exist? Take our poll in the left side bar and make your opinion herd!

Don't let this guy's opinion be the only one!

Our Hatchery Experience

For the final video in our series, GotFisheries? took a trip down to the salmon river fish hatchery to check out the facility and ask the fish hatchery manager, Andy Greulich, as many questions as possible. He said some pretty interesting stuff and there is also some footage of salmon jumping up a fish ladder that we were able to capture.

(Original Content)
Youtube Link

For More Information

For more information about our blog, posts, or sources used in the creation of our posts please refer to this source document or contact us at directly at dgmilazz@syr.edu, cdtreyz@syr.edu, or cjmaheady@syr.edu.

About Us

This blog was started by David Milazzo, Carl Treyz, and Connor Maheady for a class project at SUNY ESF. We wanted to make a blog accompanied by a short video series to spread awareness about the New York State Fish Hatchery Program and it's state wide impacts as well as its impacts on our local Syracuse community.

(Left David Milazzo, Center Carl Treyz, Right Connor Maheady)