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Salmon run off to slow start

Jack Danchak - Columnist
Posted 10/8/20

The annual Pulaski, NY trout and salmon run this fall did not get off to the start that most anglers wanted in recent weeks. Extremely low water conditions caused a slow start to the popular annual …

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Salmon run off to slow start

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The annual Pulaski, NY trout and salmon run this fall did not get off to the start that most anglers wanted in recent weeks. Extremely low water conditions caused a slow start to the popular annual salmon run, with outfitters on the Salmon River reporting spotty fishing and the challenging conditions and the closure of one popular stretch of the Salmon River.

There were some big fish caught and there's hope for a turnaround in conditions later in the season, but water levels are crucially low as anglers eagerly await the prime tributary fishing season for king, Coho, Atlantic salmon, brown trout and steelhead.

The NY DEC responded to the fishing conditions by closing the popular Lower Fly Fishing Section until further notice. The DEC also urged anglers to consider Great Lakes tributaries other than open sections of the Salmon River, to avoid overcrowding.

The Salmon River Flow Management Team, comprised of natural resource agencies and Brookfield Renewable hydroelectric facility, which regulates reservoir water levels, recently canceled scheduled whitewater releases. This action will conserve reservoir water to maintain suitable flows throughout the salmon spawning run, according to the DEC.

Bait and tackle dealers who cater to the fishermen who traditionally come by the thousands for the fall salmon run said things were slow, as they prayed for rain. The few fish that were caught were big and some were in the 30-pound class.

Chris Dever, a Salmon River Outfitter, said a slow start with early low water conditions, don't mean this season is a complete loss. He went on to say that similar conditions occurred in 2012, with state limitations imposed then as well, but rains arrived and late October saw some phenomenal fishing.

Youth Firearms

Big Game Hunt!

Youth hunters ages 14-15 and their mentors are waiting for the upcoming youth big game hunt during the Columbus Day weekend. Junior hunters may take a deer or bear during the youth hunt.

The hunt takes place in both the Northern and Southern zones with the exception of bow hunting only areas. Mentors may not carry a firearm or bow, even though archery season is open for adults.

Mentors must maintain physical control over the junior hunter at all times while hunting. Mentors and junior hunters alike must wear 250 square inches of solid or patterned orange or pink. They must hunt from the ground, no treestands.

The hunt will take place on October 10-12. To learn more about this special youth hunting weekend, visit dec.ny.gov/outdoor/46245.html.

Jack Danchak is the President of the Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs of Sullivan County.

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