Swing the Fly Issue 2.4 Spring 2015 - Page 123

the founding members of the club believed that Atlantic Salmon belonged in Fish Creek. The Salmon run, which used to contain adult Atlantic Salmon upwards of 20 pounds swam out of Lake Ontario, up the Oswego River, into Oneida Lake near Syracuse and when the fall spate rains came, made the rest of the journey up the 35 mile Fish Creek to spawn in the headwaters. The construction of the Erie Canal blocked the fish’s passage to their spawning grounds. Around the Lake Ontario watershed the eradication of Atlantic Salmon was also in full swing by the usual suspects. Dams, overfishing, pollution and habitat degradation finished the natives as they have done all

over the world. Currently, state, federal and international programs are underway to bolster Atlantic Salmon populations in Lake Ontario however Oneida Lake and Fish Creek are still impounded by 7 working dams and not on any official program list. A small group of dedicated volunteers manning an off-the-grid (Powered by gravity) in-stream hatchery on donated land are out to change that. Independently stocking fish in New York State is expensive and through Spey Nation’s Annual Clave those costs are mitigated. beautiful flies that I enjoyed and that I felt worthy of the Steelhead I was pursuing.