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Big Blue
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lake Mahopac, probably the best lake I have ever fished; may have finally succumbed to the pressure and lack of weeds. When the grass Carp were introduced (150 in November 94 and 1500 in the fall of 95) it took a little over two years for all the grass to disappear. We were all quite worried and we rang the "death knell" and sang her praises far and wide for all to hear.

During the following three years (97-00) the fishing was nothing short of "silly". Put your trolling motor down at the ramp and before an hour had passed, you had a minimum 15 pound limit in the well. There were many guys (lol) who were convinced they were going to be BASS pros after spending a day sampling her delights.

In 96 I saw a 30 pound 6 fish limit of largemouth weighed in by Frank Giner and Ed Cowan at a D.A.R.E. tournament. Once while fun fishing with Lee Bailey we caught 127 bass (all largemouth) and 34 were 4 pounds or better. Articles appeared in almost every out door magazine including Bassmasters, and last year one of Roland Martins shows was filmed here.

Yes, Lake Mahopac was the "cats pajamas" of small lake fishing.
Now I fear those days are gone forever. This past August there was a fish kill. According to the DEC who investigated, they claimed the kill was due to an oxygen depletion problem and was not unusual for this type of lake. In the past few years I had witnessed this very same "kill", but this years was different. While fishing thru the months of September and October, I would see dead largemouth on the bottom; here and there. It's what I couldnt see that has me worried....very worried.

This October, the largemouth fishing was all but non-existant. Normally, I have a jig bite to kill for and there are ALWAYS a good number of fish on the banks in less than a foot of water. This year..."that wasn't happing man"!!!. All I can do is wait till the spring and look for the spawning beds. Usually there are so many beds, you have trouble believing what your seeing.....it looks like the lake has "chickenpox". Somehow....I dont think I am going to see that this spring. I hope I am wrong.

Scully
 

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Scul: I have been talking about this downward trend really for the last 2 and half years.....

now: what is more important is what is going to be done about it?

Is there any way to get an official word on this from the DEC and how do they go about restoring the lake.....

the carp, obviously, will not be replaced....the ones that are there should be killed if possible......

they are not supposed to live much longer, but why wait???


will it need to be restocked?

will it need special regs and limits or whatever until it recovers?

will they allow it to be inundated with the usual schedule of tournaments WHILE it recovers??

these are all important questions.....

is it only the Lake Association that has word here or does the DEC step in?

Hard to see how McDonalds will not be affected by this.......
 
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Funny Blue

John and I were just discussing this years pathetic results in various Tournaments and outings...
I have not spent the time that I have previously on Maho but noticed my numbers down significantly. (Fishing Log)
I would say that 90% of the fish I caught this year were Smallies.
An outing with Pat and TTony proved to be the one exception...
I also happened to be at the ramp the day that Cornell or some Major institution were taking water samples and mentioned a lack of oxygen.
I have heard SEVERAL people commenting on DEAD LM and Kenny C (The Big Man) and I noticed one two weeks ago on the bottom..
We should in someway share our thoughts with the lake association and any other powers to be...
I pray for her speedy recovery...Whether it effects us fishing there or not...
Best,
Woody
 

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bass addict
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7,298 Posts
i wonder if the same people who threw to many carp in the lake do the same thing with their medicine?maybe they will take to much of something and then thet will know how the lake feels.hopefully the weeds will make a quick comeback as weeds usually do.maybe then things can get back to normal.i hope they at least learned a lesson from this fiasco.:argue:
 

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Premium Member
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Does the lake association make any money from all the tourneys on the lake? Just wondering why everyone thinks they even care about the state of bass fishing on the lake! Remember reading awhile back about the Candlewood LA being kind of anti-bass Tx
 

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Big Blue
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1,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There isnt ANYTHING that the state (DEC) will do. According to "them", "mother nature" has her way of taking care of things. I told them I was unaware that "mother nature" worked for the DEC; and asked "them" why she had issued a permit for the Lake Association to put Grass Carp; an exotic species, into the lake. They didnt find that line of questioning amusing in the least.

The Lake Association could care less. Some of the people who live on the lake dont seem to be aware that there are ANY fish in the lake. SERIOUSLY!!!! There concerns are based solely on the comfort factor....wouldnt want my leg touching any weeds...icky-e-poo!

At this point, a wait and see approach would seem to be the only smart option. If my worst fears are confirmed, there are remedys, though not quick fixes available. Keep your fingers crossed and pray...

Scul
 

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bass addict
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7,298 Posts
well ,maybe they care about the environment even if they don't care about tourney fisherman.causing a fishkill by killing all the weeds and depleting the oxygen is not exactly an environmentally conscious act.maybe they can learn from the gross error they have comitted.if they are not carefull they will wind up with a dead sea.the dec should help them restore the lake to a environmentally steady state.weed control can be done in a intelligent fashion,but what they did was utterly stupid.i understand that to swim and boat they want to thin out some of the weeds,but they need to follow recomendations of somebody who is qualiified to help them.:argue:
 

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Scully said:
There isn't ANYTHING that the state (DEC) will do.
I'm not too savvy on the political workings of a lake such as Maho but seeing as how it's completely surrounded by private property with no State launches or parks isn't the maintenance of it's ecosystem and fishery more up to the lake association than the State? Did they even need a permit to dump in those Carp?

I know the land owners don't own the water but if they own all the land around it doesn't that make it their decision? I mean if it weren't for the fact that McDonald's allows us in (which could change in a heartbeat) we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Somebody please fill me in on the legality of this type of situation. :confused:

And I have to agree with Ray, the association doesn't give two sh#%s about the fish. I was kinda surprised to hear they even did testing there. Or was that done by Universities on their own accord?
 

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It is very sad to see so many of us noticing the same decline on this once GREAT body of water. Perhaps those of us who are concerned about the grass carp should take matters into our own hands and try to "fish them out" of the lake, if the DEC and Lake Authority wont do anything to reverse this situation. My 2 cents.
 

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the problem with that Leigh, is that it is posted that we are not allowed to harvest the carp.....

no sense in one of us getting into trouble over this, has to be done through the proper legal routes......

Scul, what is your WORST fear??????????
 

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lost on the Lake
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71 Posts
Unfortunately the story at Mahopac is not that unusual from the stories that I hear. You have to remember one thing. We dont live on the Lake, we just Fish it. Unfortunately residents dont want to swim in weeds, and weeds upset their pleasure boating.

Now the residents are going to complain to the board who in turn will use their influence and formal complaints from the residents to try to get the problem rectified. Unfortunately sometimes with or without any help or permission from Local and State agencys. I could go very in-depth with this topic, but for fear of post deletion, I wont.

Lunker Dave
 
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Lunker Dave

Why toy with us?
What is the SKINNY as YOU know it?
Information is a good thing...If I get some... I may have a friend that I can contact to express our concerns...
Thanks
Woody
 

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if the property owners at mahopac and the association knew about the decline in the bass population, most of them would be delighted i imagine... with the exception of a few fishermen who live there, i would guess the majority of lakefronters want a clean, private, weed-free lake that is used by residents only... i can't imagine they enjoy having bass tournaments there... they want it to themselves, which is their right if it's a private lake...

the residents will have to be convinced the lake needs the weeds for it's ecosystem, not just for the bass.... jp's right: if it wasn't for macdonalds marina, we wouldn't be having this discussion... it would just be patX and other resident fishermen dealing with it.
 

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Big Blue
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1,810 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
JP

ALL bodies of water within the State are considered to be resources of the state REGARDLESS if its a private lake or not. The state has a mandate from their citizens to protect and maintain those resources.

The lake association (Lake Mahopoc) treated the lake chemicaly in the mid-80's with terrible results. They followed the instructions of the manufacturer, or so they thought, and in the process, there was a large fish kill in the summer of 84. The state had not issued a permit for this treatment and in the process fined the lake association $2500.00. Basically a slap on the wrist. The association fought the fine which was then lowered to $1000.00 and settled. ALL OF THIS INFORMATION....I have been told. I have been unable to independently verify any of it, but I know the source quite well and he has no reason to mis-represent these facts. Still.....

In 1993 the lake association filed a request with the state DEC to put grass carp into the lake. They originally requested they be allowed to put 3000 in. At first the state demured, claiming that an environmental impact study would need to be done. However, due to the fisical climate (allocated state funds) at that time, they would be unable to perform this study until 98 at the earliest. The lake association purchased 150 carp and stocked them in the fall of 94 without permission. SUPPOSEDLY $$$$ and political pressure was applied at a higher level in Albany, and the permit was approved to stock not 3000, but 1500. The state DEC prefered a ratio of 3 carp per-acre. What the state failed to inform the association (this was the DEC"s mistake and no-one elses) was that it was supposed to be 3 fish per vegitated acre. At that time it was estimated that less than 50 percent of the lake was vegitated. In short the state erred in allowing the lake association to OVERSTOCK the carp.

When I spoke with a biologist in New Paltz, his response floored me...he said and I quote "Whats the big deal? Most of the NYC watershed reservoirs are devoid of weed and their eco-systems are quite healthy"...Duh! When I suggested that his comparison wasnt very scientific, he answered and I quote.."All you fisherman care about is catching fish". It became apparent I was talking to an a--hole.

Some good news however, the state in 01 turned down a request from the association to re-stock the carp.

In answer to Johns question, I am worried that the "brood stock", or breeders have been severley depleted. As we know, this lake produced in its "hey day" what seemed to be an average fish close to 3 pounds. That has declined to the point where an average fish now is about 2 and 1/4 pounds. With the dissapearence of that gene pool, the overall quality, of the fishery will decline. At best I see an average fishery, not the one that captured the hearts and minds of all the area fisherman.

Again, I hope I am wrong and the problem is no more serious than "mother nature" at her cruelest. Oscawna and Whaley both had hey-days in the mid 80s and then came the decline. Or, this could all be cyclical and my ramblings not much more than a "nervous nellie" with too much time on my hands. We shall see.

Scully
 

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lost on the Lake
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I am not toying with you Woody. The post will be long an in-depth so therefore it will take long to write. In fact I will write it today in my spare time, and send it to John G. later on tonight (if thats O.K. with John G.). If he feels its appropriate I will post it if not I will revise it. Now it may not address Mahopac specifically, but it will address on how things like this happen, and how people can go about to stop it or how they can possibly go about to correct it. Now this is just going to be my 2 cents from my experience with State and Local Govt. and dealings with the public.

Lunker Dave
 
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Mahopac in the 80's

was a small limit place. A winning five fish limit was usually less than 10 pounds. That was before the milfoil. Also in the 84-86 time frame there was a concerted effort to limit bass Ts on the lake and the local marinas cooperated. Our club used to get access to the lake at THE LIVING WATERS, a small religious store that was on the opposite side of what is now he condos from MacDonalds; back where the little creek and lilly pads are today. The condos were not there then. The milfoil paved the way for the great fishing in the 1990's. Matt D'Addio and i won the first DARE event on Mahopac with six fish that weighed almost 24 pounds and Jay Jay Sr had a five fish limit the next year that weighed in at 25 pounds. The grass definately was the reason. Also, the carp are not solely to blame. The grass in mahopac literally disappeared in a matter of months in most places. Yes they were overstocked but someone surely added poison to the equation. I personally had DEC / DEP folks from Albany down to the lake on my boat observing and taking samples. These two guys were shocked at the total lack of weeds in the lake after only a short period of exposure to the carp. BUT, they would not pursue the possibility of poison. Despite their initial interest, the DEP stopped returning my calls and never developed a public opinion. At one time there was discussion that mahopac was a back up water supply for the city of NY and that the city also has an access point to the lake. Either way, Mahopac gets too much pressure and that doesn't help either. Our club is staying off next year to give it a rest, but that won't make a difference. There will be Ts there every weekend during the season regardless.
 
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