Feb 07

100 years ago in The Saratogian: February 7

From the George S. Bolster Collection of the Saratoga Springs History Museum

Posted: 02/07/16, 1:00 AM EST

From the George S. Bolster Collection of the Saratoga Springs History Museum

From the George S. Bolster Collection of the Saratoga Springs History Museum

MONDAY, FEB. 7, 1916

Saratoga Lake is being overfished in the winter to the detriment of summer fishing and should have a longer closed season to preserve the fish stock, according to a New York angler quoted in today’s Saratogian.

In a letter to the editor of the New York Press, Murray R. Fonda recommended that fishing in Saratoga Lake be governed by the same schedule that applies to Lake George.

In Lake George, the fishing season for pike, pickerel and wall-eyes runs from June 16 through December 31, leaving the lake closed to ice fishers most of the winter. By comparison, Saratoga Lake is open for fishing for all but two months each year, its season running from May 1 to March 1.

“I can state from personal experience that I have found the fishing poorer at Saratoga Lake every successive summer for the past four years until last summer the game was hardly worth the candle,” Fonda wrote, “and until the fish are better protected there and the fishing consequently improves I would not advise my brother anglers to seriously consider Saratoga Lake.”

Saratoga Lake Postcard 1914

Saratoga Lake Postcard 1914

The Saratoga Lake Association has already considered conservation measures, but despite his admiration for Mayor Walter P. Butler, who is also the Association president, Fonda feels that the changes proposed last December 27 were inadequate to the situation.

“The only remedy favorably considered by the [conservation] commission seems to be the elimination of night fishing through the ice and the limiting of each person to five tip-ups [i.e. bait lines] instead of the fifteen now allowed.”

To put this recommendation in perspective, Thomas C. Luther, who lives at the south end of the lake, told the commission that there were “about two thousand” tip-ups just in the vicinity of his place.

“Though this protection is good as far as it goes, it is entirely inadequate even as to winter fishing,” Fonda wrote.

Since Saratoga Lake is just a fraction of the size of Lake George – “You could in fact put it into one of the big bays of Lake George” – Fonda believes that Saratoga Lake has more need of a shorter fishing season. “Other things being equal, the smaller the lake the more protection is needed, for the less chance is there for the fish to escape destruction.”

IN THE RED. The organizers of the Russian Symphony Orchestra concerts at the Convention Hall last Saturday will end up losing approximately $500, according to manager Alfred Hallam. Poor sales for the afternoon concert, attended by 902 people compared to the 1,373 who attended the evening show, are blamed for the shortfall.

– Kevin Gilbert

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