Dmas, thank you, and that is consistent whit my observations. I feel that steelhead numbers int he area are way down and declining. While there is a lot of 'guidespeak' and blameflinging going on, it seems to me the principal cause is stocking of many more fish than the ecosystem can support. There4 was great fishing while the stocked fish were busy depleting the forage base, but now we are swinging into an equilibrium. The real question is whether anybody is investigating the 'maximum sustainable yield' or the maximum salmonid density that the Lake Ontario forage base can support.
My guess is the number would be MUCH lower than what the state has been stocking.
This spring I fished the area hard for two days (with a guide) for one 14" rainbow (steelhead??) and one other steelhead hit. My son scored a ~6lb brown (which had sevceral fresh lamprey bites). It was fun and the crowds were minimal, but that's the least fish we got there per hour of effort since I began fishing the river. Reports from other fishermen seemed similar.
On the good side, 1 steelhead per 2 days is still a respectable number and is low enough to really chop crowds. In that sense, the Salmon river might actually become more fun to fish for dedicated anglers.
Maybe this decrease in fish numbers will help address the river's meatpit mentality.
Why do they keep stocking such a large ratio of chinooks to steelhead?