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Fish monitoringyou can participate
Each year, Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection (OCDWEP) monitors Onondaga Lake to measure how the lake is changing as pollution levels decline. The 2011 OCDWEP Ambient Monitoring Program (AMP) represents the 43rd consecutive year of Onondaga County's lake monitoring effort.
The County’s biological monitoring program tracks a number of plant and animal communities in the lake ecosystem. The monitoring program
measures the number and types of fish, aquatic plants, macroinvertebrates, phytoplankton (algae), zooplankton, zebra mussels,
and the closely-related quagga mussels.
Recent findings of
the fisheries monitoring program are very encouraging. Onondaga Lake supports a diverse
and productive biological community. Fish are quite abundant, and
angling is becoming increasingly popular. The lake now resembles
other regional lakes with respect to the diversity and richness of fish
species, extent of aquatic vegetation, and summertime water clarity.
The improvements to water quality are seen throughout the
biological community. Fish more sensitive to pollution are
expanding their distribution, and important gamefish such as
largemouth and smallmouth bass are becoming more
For more information on Onondaga Lake's fisheries, download the Onondaga Lake Fishery:
2011 Fact Sheet (October 2011).
In 1998, the County's historical water quality monitoring program was modified and expanded to include biological components. Results of the monitoring program are used to evaluate how the lake is changing in response to clean-up efforts.
Onondaga County's monitoring program is designed to help answer two important questions:
• Does Onondaga Lake support recreational
• Does Onondaga Lake support a balanced
community of plants and animals?
These issues are not limited to Onondaga Lake; all
regional lakes face these challenges. Despite these
issues, it appears that Onondaga Lake and its fish
community continue to improve.
Angler diary program
You can help OCDWEP in its efforts to assess the success
of Onondaga Lake as a popular catch-and-release fishery.
If you fish the lake, Seneca River, or Oneida River
frequently, you could participate in the Angler Diary
Program. The program requires careful
record keeping of time spent fishing, numbers and
species caught, fish kept, and the area fished.
Request an Angler Diary.
Please contact Chris Gandino at (315) 435-2260 to request an Angler diary.
You may also submit your Angler Diary Tallies by downloading a form (*xls format), CLICK HERE, and e-mailing it (as an attachment) to Chris Gandino.
For additional information on fish in Onondaga Lake, please contact Chris Gandino, 315-435-2260.