Annual Report - 2013
Jim Lawler -  president

The club continues to have success in bringing Atlantic salmon back to their native waters.      This May, a 27” Atlantic salmon was caught and released in Oneida Lake.  A newspaper article and photo helped publicize our efforts.

An ice jam backed up water in Fish Creek and flooded the hatchery in early February.  Cold weather then froze the high water, shifting the tanks off their supports.  Luckily, the eggs had not arrived yet, and we were ready for them by the time they came.
The Club ordered 45,000 eyed eggs from the hatchery in Casco, Maine.  The eggs were ready in mid February.  Arley Morey drove to Casco and brought them back on Valentine’s Day.

Club members set up and manned the display booth at several sports shows over the winter, spring, and fall.   
Tom Schneider again ran the raffle and collected prizes.  Raffle tickets were sold at each show, and the winning tickets were drawn in May.
The Oneida Lake Association asked that someone from the Club give a talk at the annual meeting in late April describing the history and goals of the club. Jim Lawler gave a talk to attendees.

This years stocking was conducted in two stages.  The Ed Weed Fish Culture Station in Vermont had 15,000 fry available to us for stocking in early April.  The fish were brought back on Saturday April 6 to a huge turnout of members and supporters ready to stock the fish.  Due to deep snow still along the East Branch, these fish were stocked in four locations on the West Branch of Fish Creek and the Mad River.   
Fish from our hatchery were ready to stock in late June. Due to earlier flooding in the area, especially in Oneida, the water level on the East Branch was too high for stocking. The decision was made to stock our 30,000 fish in the West Branch and Mad River. For the first time, no fish were stocked in the East Branch of Fish Creek. This should help determine if natural reproduction is taking place.
Tunison Labs in Cortland has been rearing fingerling Atlantic salmon for release in the Oswego River.  Tom Schneider and Arley Morey helped with stocking Tunison’s salmon in the river behind the Altmar Hatchery.
Arley traveled to the ADK Hatchery in Lake Clear to help with their salmon egg take in November. We hope to continue this in the future.

The Spey Nation event was held July 20 at Pineville, and proceeds from prize raffles at the event were again donated to the Club (over $3500).  Our affiliation with the Spey Nation event continues to be very rewarding.  

Paul Miller headed up a project to bring Trout in the Classroom to Camden Middle School on behalf of TU. For the first time, some of our Atlantic salmon will be also be raised by the students.

Neil Ringler of ESF and Margaret Murphy put together a New York Sea Grant proposal to fund a grad student to help us with field work and analysis required to develop a strategic plan.  The proposal has received funding, and Neil and Margaret are reviewing available grad students for suitable candidates.

The Club received several egg incubators from the ADK Hatchery in Lake Clear a few years ago but they have been in storage since.  We decided to set up one incubator for the 2014 eggs and warm the water to increase growth. In August, several members visited the hatchery for more information on setting up and operating the incubators.      We asked Harden Furniture if there was space in a building where we could put the incubator to avoid spring flooding.  They offered us space in a pump house next to the creek that supplies water for the factory’s fire protection system.  The incubator should be operational by the time the eggs arrive.  

Next year we expect to be working with an ESF grad student on field work and a Strategic Plan. This may include further improvements to the hatchery.