FISH AND WILDLIFE VALUES: (1997)
Sodus Bay is one of the largest sheltered bays on Lake Ontario. Extensive littoral areas, such as those found in Sodus Bay, are unusual in the Great Lakes Plain ecological region. Although human activities in the area have resulted in considerable habitat disturbance, the area still serves as a highly productive fish and wildlife habitat.
Sodus Bay has outstanding habitat values for resident and Lake Ontario based fisheries resources. The dense beds of aquatic vegetation, high water quality, sandy substrates, and freshwater tributaries, create highly favorable conditions for spawning and nursery use by many species.
Warm water fishes found in the area include
- gizzard shad
- brown bullhead
- white perch,
- yellow perch
- largemouth bass
- rock bass
- northern pike.
Sodus Bay is a major concentration area for yellow perch in Lake Ontario. Concentrations of white sucker, smallmouth bass, and various salmonid species occur in Sodus Bay prior to and after spawning runs in the major tributaries.
Salmonid populations in the area are the result of an ongoing effort by the NYSDEC to establish a major salmonid fishery in the Great Lakes, through stocking. In both 1984 and 1985, approximately 200,000 chinook salmon fingerlings were released in Sodus Bay. The diverse and productive fisheries in Sodus Bay provide excellent opportunities for recreational fishing. Access to the area is available from many locations, and there is heavy fishing pressure throughout the year. Anglers from throughout New York State are attracted to the area, especially for the yellow perch ice fishery and the spring bullhead fishery. A considerable number of yellow perch caught in the bay are sold to commercial markets in the Rochester area.
Wetland areas bordering Sodus Bay contribute significantly to the productive fisheries in the bay, and support a variety of wildlife species. These wetlands serve as nesting and feeding areas for a variety of waterfowl and other marsh birds, including green-backed heron, great blue heron, mallard, wood duck, belted kingfisher, marsh wren, red-winged blackbird, and swamp sparrow.
Other wildlife species found around Sodus Bay include white-tailed deer, beaver, raccoon, mink, muskrat, green frog, northern leopard frog, and painted turtle.