Ever since my April column about fishing for lake trout on Otsego Lake, fishermen have been e-mailing and calling me about how some Cooperstown residents have a problem with others fishing in “their” lake.
Let’s face it, access to the lake has been extremely difficult for many, many years. There’s no public boat launch that’s readily available to everyone.
If you plan on fishing Otsego Lake _ or as the locals call it, Cooperstown Lake _ get there early. Parking is very limited in the small lot near the village boat launch and you can’t park on the streets. So after 6 a.m. or so, you unload your boat, take your trailer to the parking lot outside of town and go back to fish.
When you want to get off the lake, you may get hassled about tying up your boat so you can go get your trailer.
Why hasn’t the state built a boat launch that everyone can use? Is there any other New York state park on a lake shore that doesn’t have a public boat launch? Maybe it’s because the people of Cooperstown really don’t want anyone else on “their” lake.
Additionally, the state stocks the majority of fish for Otsego County in Otsego Lake. The state stocked 44,580 brown trout of various sizes, 5,000 lake trout and 5,500 landlocked salmon in Otsego Lake in 2009, when 6,500 tiger muskies were put into Canadarago Lake.
As most of us know, Canadarago Lake has a state-operated boat launch with adequate parking, giving everyone easy access to the lake.
This year, the state stocked thousands of walleyes in Otsego Lake and none _ that’s right, zero _ in Canadarago Lake. The state claims that Canadarago Lake is self-sufficient. Obviously, the state hasn’t been fishing in these waters.
Walleyes are among the best eating fish out there. Their light, flaky meat is unsurpassed by any other freshwater fish.
Most of us couldn’t care less about the muskie. Sure they’re fun to catch every once in a while, but I like to eat a nice fish filet, not a piece of flesh with a hundred bones in it.
I remember when there was a movement to “Save Our Lake Otsego.” I guess some people missed the meaning of the word “Our.”
There also was a group that pushed for “Motorless Otsego.” That would have a great effect on the fishing, wouldn’t it?
Otsego Lake is a fantastic fishery and it belongs to everyone, not just the people who have expensive homes around it. These same people claim they don’t pollute the lake, either, but I’ve never seen a place where human waste flows uphill. Eventually, it all leaches back down into the lake.
As you may know, though, I’ve been wrong before.
Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.