NEW YORK (WWTI) — The public is encouraged to comment on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s plan to manage the Atlantic salmon population in Lake Ontario.

According to DEC, the species is native to Lake Ontario but were extirpated during the mid-1800s due to a variety of factors, including habitat degradation and overfishing. Although DEC stocks a small number of Atlantic salmon in Lake Ontario it only provides a limited fishery.

DEC stated that anglers have expressed a growing interest in further developing the Atlantic salmon fishery, especially in Lake Ontario tributaries. The proposed plan outlines goals, objectives, and strategies for Atlantic salmon management for the next 10 years, with emphasis on improving the survival of stocked fish and increasing the number of adult Atlantic salmon that return to tributaries to spawn.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos highlighted how the plan focuses on improving the Atlantic salmon population in Lake Ontario.

“Atlantic salmon are a native species and premier sportfish that were sparse in New York waters for far too long,” Commissioner Seggos said. “This plan proposes a new approach to bolstering the fishery for this sought-after fish in Lake Ontario.”

The draft plan is available for public comment until August 14. Comments should be emailed to fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov. Those looking for more information should contact DEC Lake Ontario Unit Leader at the Cape Vincent Fisheries Station Chris Legard at (315) 654-2147.