Ron Kolodziej - John Zeis of Wells displays his first place walleye, taken during last Saturday’s annual GSLFF Summer Fishing Contest.
The Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation conducted its 21st Annual Summer Fishing Contest last Saturday, June 16, the opening day of the statewide bass season. I can’t imagine a more perfect event - the temperature was great, scarcely a cloud in the sky, a relatively flat lake surface, cooperative fish, an excellent headquarters location at Sport Island Pub, and over $11,000 in great door prizes in addition to the regular fish prizes.
John Zeis of Wells took the top spot in the walleye segment of the event with a 22 incher, followed by Nick Georgelas of Scotia with a 20 5/8 incher and Paul Spranger of Canajoharie with a 20 1/8 incher. Anthony Ondriska of Gloversville took first place honors in the bass category with a 19 incher. Joshua Rumrill of Gloversville took second place with an 18 1/2 incher and Bob Mazur of Scotia took third with a 17 3/4 incher.
George Alber of Scotia took first place honors in the trout division with a 19 7/8 incher. In addition to his prize money, George also received a suitably engraved plaque in recognition of his top fish in that division. Rich Wozniak of Amsterdam was a close second in that division with a 19 1/4 incher, followed by Mark Small of Amsterdam with an 18 3/4 incher.
A total of 176 adults and 29 youngsters participated in this event.
GSLFF members assisting with the contest included: Randy Gardinier, Bob Nielsen, Jack Smith,Rich Miczek, John Fura, Gus Miller, John Wszolek, Andrew Kedik, Rich Kedik, Tom Coughin and Frank Maguire.
The next GSLFF event will be the Fall Fishing Contest which will be held on Saturday, September 8. I’ll have additional information on that event in a few weeks.
Incidentally, in the event you weren’t aware of it, after many years of effort the GSLFF has finally secured a permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation to stock walleyes in the lake. There are still a few hoops to jump through but the initial stocking will take place sometime this fall. This walleye stocking will be in addition to the regular trout stocking the group conducts annually.
About a month ago the GSLFF released over 2,000 trout at several locations on the lake, bringing the total trout released so far to well over 100,000. Not that many years ago catching a good-size trout in the lake was a fortuitous occasion but now anglers can actually target that species during their fishing excursions - all thanks to the efforts of the GSLFF.
I’ll also have additional information on the walleye stocking in a future column, as details are firmed up.
RECORD BROOK TROUT
DEC has announced the first state record fish of 2012. On May 5, an angler caught a 21 inch long, five pound 14 ounce brook trout on a Lake Clear Wabbler while fishing in Hamilton County’s West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area, establishing a new state record for that species. That fish bested the previous state record brook trout by about six ounces.
It turns out the new record brookie was raised in the Rome Fish Hatchery, then stocked as a fingerling and is considered a Temiscamie hybrid - a cross between a domestic brookie and a wild Canadian-strain Temiscamie trout. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, this strain of hybrid trout is stocked because is has a better survival rate than other strains, especially in some of the more acidic waters of the Adirondacks.
This represents the seventh time in eight years that the state record for brook trout has been broken. In order for a brook trout to be considered for record-book status, the Department of Environmental Conservation must ensure that the fish was not caught from brood stock (fish that were already large when stocked) or from splake waters containing hybrid lake trout/brook trout crosses.
FREE FISHING DAYS
Don’t forget that this coming weekend, Saturday, June 23, and Sunday, June 24, are Free Fishing Days here in New York State. No fishing licenses will be required though all other rules and regs, such as creel limits and minimum sizes, will still apply.