On a ride up north last Friday I noted that the water level in Indian Lake was right up there.
According to the Hudson River-Black River Regulating District website, the lake level in that impoundment has actually dropped a bit from its high a few weeks ago but the drop has been minimal and it’s not anything you’d readily notice.
Great Sacandaga’s water level is right up there where it’s supposed to be and the biggest factors impacting fishing on the lake now are the erratic weather patterns we’ve had.
A bit of rain never discouraged all that many inveterate anglers from visiting their favorite waters, Great Sacandaga included, but when coupled with thunder, lightning and even strong winds it does tend to keep anglers, boaters and swimmers at home.
As this column was being prepared, the forecast for this Saturday was very good, predicting partly cloudy weather temps in the low 80’s and little chance of rain. If that prediction holds true, participants in this Saturday’s Great Sacandaga Lake Summer Fishing Contest, headquartered at Sport Island Pub in Sacandaga Park, should experience great fishing weather. I’ll have the results of that event for you in next week’s column.
A reminder that the Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation is also conducting its 2012 Annual Summer Raffle which is offering over $10,000 in prizes, probably more by now since additional prize items are still being added. The list of prizes is already much too extensive to print here but a representative sample of some of the prize donors includes Dick’s Sporting Goods, Orvis, Mercury Pro-Team, Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap Lures, Drift Master Rod Holders, Thermacell, Kabar Filet Knives, the Raindancer Restaurant, Maxima Fishing Lines, Stewart Shops and Big Bear Fishing Rods, to name just a few of the many prizes being offered. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and you can purchase them at all GSLFF events as well as many local bait shops. You can also request tickets by going to the GSLFF’s website at www.gslff.org.
The drawings for these various prizes will take place at the aforementioned Summer Fishing Contest this Saturday and you need not be present to win but please fill out the ticket stubs completely so you can be reached after the drawing if you’re a winner but unable to be there in person for the drawing.
FERAL SWINE PROBLEM
As part of its spring meeting on June 12 in Cortland, the American Wildlife Conservation Foundation is sponsoring a presentation on the current status and control of feral swine here in New York State.
States like Florida and Texas get most of the press when it comes to feral swine populations but these animals are also becoming more numerous here in New York State as well and are causing damage that affects many state residents.
So far, feral swine have established populations in five NYS counties including Tioga, Cortland, Onondaga, Clinton and Allegany Counties, but they’ve also been spotted in Washington and Montgomery Counties, as well as others. It’s not a problem in Fulton or Saratoga Counties yet but neighboring counties have reported sightings so who knows what’s next?
DEC has trapped and otherwise disposed of several hundred of these critters in the past four or five years and have continued these eradication programs, including allowing licensed hunters carte blanche in taking feral swine whenever and wherever they’re seen.
The AWCF feels we should learn more about these invaders. According to our NYSDEC, feral swine can have substantial negative impacts on native plants, wildlife, livestock, agriculture and humans.
They’re known to eat acorns and nuts and can compete directly with deer, bear, turkeys and other native animals; consume the nests and eggs of ground nesting birds; kill and eat fawns and young domestic livestock; eat almost any agricultural crop; can be aggressive toward humans and their pets; carry and can transmit several serious diseases including swine brucellosis, E coli, trichinosis and pseudorabies to humans and livestock, to name just a few of their more unpleasant aspects.
One of the serious problems is that it’s feared these feral swine will - or at least could - spread these diseases to domestic swine and could wreak havoc with the pork industry here in New York State. Michigan has taken steps to prevent the raising of feral hogs for hunting and Wisconsin and Oregon have also take similar steps.
I doubt anything new will come out of that June 12 meeting but it may help shed more light on the feral swine problem and publicize it more widely. I think the Department of Environmental Conservation is currently right on track with their studies and eradication programs but is hampered a bit by budgetary concerns within the agency.
For your information, the Tuesday, June 12 meeting in Cortland will be held in the New York State Grange Headquarters. For more information you’re invited to go to: www.awcf1911.org on the web.