Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Got this from longtime friend Fran Verdoliva- NYDEC Salmon River Coordinator...interesting!...wonder what the verdict will be on LAKE MICHIGAN......:(

For Release:  IMMEDIATE                                                                        Contact:  Lori Severino
Wednesday, January 7, 2015                                                                              (518) 402-8000


Nutritional Deficiency Strongly Implicated in Increased Steelhead Mortality in Lake Ontario Tributaries

DEC Taking Steps to Meet Egg Quotas to Ensure Robust Steelhead Population

            Adult steelhead (a strain of rainbow trout) returning from Lake Ontario to the Salmon River in Oswego County are exhibiting signs of stress and elevated mortality rates due to an apparent thiamine (vitamin B) deficiency, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. 

DEC scientists enlisted the help of fish health experts in other agencies and academia to determine the cause of this disorder. DEC staff submitted moribund Salmon River steelhead to the Cornell University Aquatic Animal Health Program for testing.  Results indicate that fish pathogens are not responsible for the abnormal behavior and mortality.  DEC also sent steelhead samples to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Northern Appalachian Research Laboratory for further lab testing.  Results strongly indicate a severe thiamine (vitamin B) deficiency, which means it is likely contributing to the steelhead mortality. 

“Lake Ontario steelhead are an important component of Lake Ontario’s sport fishery and  DEC is deeply concerned about reports of steelhead stress and mortality in the Salmon River and other Lake Ontario tributaries,” Commissioner Martens said.  “Steelhead provide high-quality sport fisheries in the open lake and are especially sought after by anglers who fish in tributaries from fall through spring.  DEC staff will continue to work closely with federal agencies, Cornell University and other stakeholders to identify the cause of the current situation and strategies to ensure a robust steelhead population.”

In mid-November, DEC fisheries staff began to receive reports of steelhead swimming erratically in the Salmon River and higher mortality of the species.  More recent reports indicate similar behavior in steelhead in other Lake Ontario tributaries. 

Steelhead are an important component of Lake Ontario’s sport fishery, which a Cornell University study valued at over $112 million in angler expenditures in New York annually. 

Great Lakes fish predators (including salmon and steelhead) that feed primarily on alewife are prone to thiamine deficiency.  Alewife, an invasive bait fish in the Great Lakes, are known to contain thiaminase, an enzyme that degrades thiamine.  A thiamine deficiency can impact egg quality and the survival of eggs and newly hatched fish, and, in severe cases, can cause the death of adult fish. 


DEC is taking steps to meet its spring 2015 steelhead egg-take targets at Salmon River Hatchery, and will work with Great Lakes agency partners to provide assistance in meeting egg take quotas, if needed. Staff from DEC’s Rome Fish Disease Control Unit and Salmon River Hatchery are preemptively injecting adult steelhead returning to the hatchery with thiamine.  Thiamine-injected fish will be held in outdoor raceways at the hatchery and fed a diet fortified with vitamin B to improve the likelihood of successful steelhead egg collections in 2015.

However, little can be done to alleviate the mortality of adult steelhead that are unable to ascend the river and reach the hatchery’s holding facilities. Although moderate thiamine deficiencies are not uncommon in top predator fish such as salmon, lake trout and steelhead in Lake Ontario and other waters, this year’s acute deficiency is atypical in its severity.  DEC staff will continue to collaborate with experts to further understand the circumstances leading to this year’s mortality. 
For more information, contact DEC’s Bureau of Fisheries (Cape Vincent Fisheries Station) at (315) 654-2147.

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Monday, January 5, 2015


Hope everyone had a great holiday season!...cant believe we started our Gray Drake in 1995! -20 years of lots of great and interesting clients, memorable fish ,epic OMG experiences-good and bad, and never a dull moment- especially with how the unpredictability of our weather , river flows, timing of the runs and hatches go...whew!!!!! it was an insanely bad and good year in 2014- roller coaster ride to say the least!. I had the most busy last half of the year I ever had since we opened...(not bragging and shameless self promo!..)...and we were shut down the first 4 months with polar vortexes and building an Ark for the flooding. My two books "Selectivity and Steelhead Dreams "continue to sell well and there are three new projects on the immediate horizon- including TV, video,  a book and print media- will keep you posted.

From the nasty coldest and snowiest winter on record, massive devastating flooding in the spring, we finally started to get some love in May with outstanding gray drake hatches. The cool summer made trout and summer steelhead epic....but the fall saw unpredictable salmon and steelhead runs. The huge bright spot was the amazing Atlantic salmon program starting to take shape in Michigan which is very bright for the future...( don't worry Au Sable guys- spring will be the 'canary in the coal mine' indicator if we have a fishery there or the stockings failed.)

With the tremendous trout holdover and incredible sizes of especially the browns -and rainbows also from this fall/winter, our trout fishing will be epic in 2015 when the stone flies hatch.

My New Year's resolution is to post more updates on the blog. The Facebook pages we have - SELECTIVITY TSS...... GRAY DRAKE...... AND MATTHEW SUPINSKI pages are very easy to post updates and real time reports/images. But I realize many don't go on Facebook for a good number of reasons!.....SO ...I will be very diligent in posting on the blog...Cheers!...Na zdrowie!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Fresh Steelhead AND WARMING TREND coming in...Atlantic salmon run was EPIC!

Fresh steelhead and a good crop of lake run browns in the the river systems...we have plenty of water..Northern Michigan Atlantic salmon was best I have seen in decades...cheers ! ...I know I post too much on Facebook.... but it's quick and immediate info...I have three pages
..aka Matthew Supinski page...Gray Drake Page ...Selectivity TSS page...hope all is well!..join Facebook, or be a Neanderthal ..blessings!..I have posted on Linkedin an never hear any response ..:(

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


(Marvin Cash- National Board of Director for the Federation of Fly Fisherman-FFF-from North Carolina with a 'trifecta' in three days with me- first steelhead on the swing, on the Muskegon- first time using a two hander , and a buck and hen Atlantic salmon swinging a white tube leech....awesome Marvin!- it was spectacular!-)

(Phil from Connecticut with a lake-run brown on his  Hang Time tube leech)

Way too much chatter on Al Gore's internet  about the "THE steelhead..RUN!"!- good/bad/lack of ?...these  PICS tell the story!....conditions?.....well:)- you have to work for your fish but they are there and more to come.- bait and center pin guys doing good in lower river with slack water lies-swinging is swinging- you earn and enjoy everyone you get..;)..we have had great December fishing and I predict another this year......- low clear water. will change and fish are off the piers each day....But!.....RAIN/SNOW/COLD coming!!!. mykiss and salar, if they are on Face Crack, will give this weather a big like...

Again!!!..please follow us on Facebook/Twitter/social media...Matthew Supinski page...Gray Drake Page...Selectivity TSS Page...I do a google blog... I. get 700 hits! Facebook three page post get 7,690 hits- so I reach more people and quicker and easy to post images right from the river....Face Crack is not for everyone I know...just sign in with  name"Colonel Angus" if you dont want to be recognized..;)....

PEACE..LOVE AND ALWAYS!...NA ZDROWIE! ( to your health!)

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