Truesdale Lake  

South Salem, New York

2020 Fishing Survey Report

[Download the report as a pdf file via the link below.]

2020 Spring/Summer Fishing Survey

Prepared for: Truesdale Lake Community

Prepared by: Robert J. Cummings

June 23, 2020

Dates of Survey: May 24, 2020 – June 9, 2020


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Section 1: Executive Summary


Gather information about practices, attitudes, and recommendations about fishing (and related boating) on and around Truesdale Lake from members of the community.


Present facts and findings to the lake community in order to help come up with a unified approach to community fishing. Ideally the approach would address recreation, responsibility, property rights, cleanliness, and practical legal issues.

Solution & Next Steps

The associations and residents need to elect to form a Truedale Lake Fishing and Boat Committee / Advisory Board.

There were twenty-five respondents to the survey that indicated interest in helping on a committee to formulate and publish a fishing policy.

We plan to reach out to those interested in forming a working committee.

Project Outline

Survey was created by Rob Cummings.

•    Posted survey on May 24.

•    Posted link to survey on to Truesdale neighborhood only.

•    Emailed survey link to TEA email list.

•    Survey closed June 9, 2020

•    Analysis and Report written June 15-22, 2020

•    Draft report posted for comments June 23, 2020 on with links from and the association email lists.

•    Raw (anonymized) data from the survey will be made available to anyone who requests it.


Note: We use the term “fishermen” and “fisherman” throughout but it includes both male and female people who fish for the purposes of this document. This is in order to avoid saying the awkward sounding “fishermen and fisherwomen” or some other word like “angler” each time we refer to people who fish.]

This comment from one responder sums up a lot of what we have concluded after reading through the results of the survey and all of the comments:

 â€œI have seen people on Nextdoor posting that fishing should be banned, I would hope that this is not an option. Residents should not be restricted or denied the ability to fish the lake as this is one of the many reason some live here in the first place.  I believe that a first good step would be signs posted in common fishing areas and these areas being policed if people do not have proper tags or identification.” (Comment 41) 

Section 2: Facts 

Truesdale Lake

Some baseline facts about Truesdale Lake:

·       Truesdale Lake is 83 acres in surface area, its dimensions are approximately one mile from north to south and 400 meters east to west at the widest point of the lake. (Source, Land-Tech study, Sept. 2001

·       Truesdale Lake is estimated to hold over 100 million gallons of water. The watershed for the 83 acre lake is over 2,300 acres. 51% of this watershed is in South Salem and 49% of it is in Ridgefield, CT. (Source: LandTech study, above)

·       Truesdale Lake has over 300 homes across three associations. (

·       In addition there are ten riparian properties that are not affiliated with an association. (

·       Of these over 300 households in the lake association community, 78 are directly on the shore of the lake (“riparian”). (Source: hand count from this map here:


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Some facts about fishing in New York State:

·       Every person fishing in freshwater bodies of New York State who is age 16 or over needs a New York State Fishing license. (source:

o   There are a few very narrow exceptions, none of which apply to Truesdale Lake.

·          NY State Fishing License requirements include needing a fishing license in ALL of these cases:

o   fishing in private lakes with no public access,

o   fishing from private property,

o   fishing from roadways,

o   fishing from association property,

o   and fishing from boats.


NY State fishing fact source: June 4, 2020 email query Rob Cummings to Ryan A. Coulter, Aquatic Biologist, NYS DEC Region 3 Fisheries Unit, Phone: 845-256-2204 and the NY State DEC 2020 Brochure on Fishing.



Section 3: Survey Observations

Baseline Observations

There is immense interest in fishing on Truesdale Lake from residents.

One hundred and forty (140) residents responded to the Truesdale Lake Fishing Survey. 53% were from TLPOA, 35% from TEA, 4% were from Lake Shore Drive unaffiliated, 4% were from the Lovecross (Vreeland) association. An additional 4% were non-association based people responding to the survey (see Question 1).

The percentages of responders are roughly similar to the populations of the associations, with the smaller groups a bit overrepresented. This might be due to more households from these areas being directly on or very close to the lake.

Just under half (66 of 140) of the survey responders reported fishing on Truesdale Lake (see Question 2).

Only 25% of respondents (35 of 140) reported inviting guests to fish on the lake (see Question 3).

Respondents who fish have a wide range of fishing frequency. The most common answer was “A few times a year” (25). Next was “Not often but not never” (18). After that came “A few times a month” (17), while only nine said “Weekly or more.” (see Question 4).

The lake has always had fishermen during all seasons. Some fish from resident boats, others fish from the dam and Indian Lane, many fish from their own properties and docks, and others fish from association properties or neighbors properties. Most survey responders indicated they fish from a boat, from their shoreline, or from an association property. A smaller number of survey respondents fish from the dam or Indian Lane (see Question 5). 

The most common season responders fished during was Summer (67). Next were Fall (47) and then Spring (41). Only nine respondents reported fishing in the Winter on Truesdale Lake. Mutliple answers are possible with this question (see Question 6).

Responders fished morning, afternoon, and evening. Most fishing takes place in the afternoon, but there are many who fish morning and evening (see Question 7).

Responders used live bait and artificial bait mostly. Not much fly fishing on the lake (see Question 8).

Most responders fished either with one other person (56) or alone (34). Only a small number of survey responders fished with a larger group (see Question 9). Those who said they fish “In a group” was very small compared to what is observed on the dam and around the lake. Groups seem more common than the survey responses indicate. This might be because the fishermen who come in groups did not respond to our survey. Survey respondents are much more likely to be resident adults. Local resident kids usually (but not always) fish in groups. And the fishermen we believe or know who are coming from outside the area tend to be in groups of 3-4 and sometimes more.

Responders reported catching all of the common fish in Truesdale Lake. Bass (45) and Sunfish (23) were the most frequent. Perch (17), Crappies (9), and Blue Gills (3) were the rest (see Question 10).
The open-ended question “What would you like to catch?” got some more colorful responses. In addition to “No preference” (4), Pike (3), Bass (15), and Crappies (1), Pickerel (1), Edible ones (2), and Big Ones! (1) we also found out responders were interested in catching fish that are not currently known to be in Truesdale Lake including Trout (9), Salmon (1), Tuna (1), and the Loch Ness Monster (1). The elusive Large Golden Carp/Koi that has been spotted over the years in the lake was a target of one responder (see Question 11). Possibly this beast is Truesdale’s “White Whale.”

Attitudes Towards Fishing and Fishermen 

Most respondents strongly agree that they enjoy fishing on Truesdale Lake and they also enjoy seeing others fish on Truesdale Lake. However, there is a smaller group that disagrees with fishing on the lake and does not enjoy seeing others fish (see Question 12A & 12B).

Survey respondents were pretty evenly split between whether they thought fishermen were responsible citizens and whether they cleaned up after themselves (see Question 12C). A nearly equal number agreed as disagreed with the statements that “Fishermen clean up after themselves” with a substantial number staying neutral on the question (see Question 12D).

Recently during the COVID-19 pandemic and NY PAUSE directives, Truesdale Lake has seen an enormous increase in the number of fishermen and frequency that fishermen are on and around the lake. These fishermen are especially visible on the dam and Indian Lane. But there have also been fishermen nearly daily out on the lake in boats and at the TEA boat launch dock on Truesdale Lake Drive. 

Some of these are certainly residents, but survey responders strongly believe a substantial number are non-resident visitors who are coming to the lake and taking advantage of the fishing opportunities (see Question 12E) and lack of enforcement of private property and NY State Fishing laws . Survey responders also believe these fishermen are coming with boats and launching from the dam area, or from one of the association properties (see Question 12F). 

One of the most straightforward answers came with the next question in the set: “I would like a way to easily identify whether fishermen on Lake Truesdale are permitted fish here such as a fishing tag or sticker.” Over 75% of survey responders agreed or strongly agreed with the statement (see Question 12G). This is clearly an area for follow up.

Over half of respondents strongly agreed or agreed that they had witnessed damage caused by discarded fishing line or hooks in the environment. A quarter of those responding disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. The rest were neutral. This question could have been worded better and I take the blame. There have been documented and photographed incidents of heron, geese, swans, and turtles being strangled by discarded fishing line and impaled by hooks. In addition there have been documented cases of fishing hooks injuring children and adults. So there is no question it has happened. The question should not have asked if the responded had actually witnessed these incidents themselves. It should have been broader and asked about whether the respondent believed we could effect a change that would help prevent such injuries and wildlife deaths. (see Question 12H).

Respondents also had a very clear opinion on signage: 80% agreed or strongly agreed that “Signs should be posted at spots around the lake such as the dam and the boat launch to educate people about our fishing rules and regulations plus the NY State Fishing license laws.” 15% were neutral. Only 5% disagreed or strongly disagreed. This question is easy to answer (see Question 12I) 

Fifty-five percent of respondents were aware that fishing on Truesdale Lake requires a New York State Fishing License. But 45% were not aware. However, of the residents who fish, the knowledge about license requirements was a bit better. Out of the sixty-six respondents who fish on the lake, 48 (72%) were aware that they need a fishing license on Truesdale Lake (see Question 13).

Lastly for the question summary, we had 25 people out of the 140 who responded to the survey indicate they were interested in being a member of a Truesdale Fishing Committee / Advisory Board if the associations agree to create one. The committee / board would work to put together a comprehensive policy for fishing and signs on and around the lake. This policy would be shared with the town and police so they are aware of what we as residents have in place and want to have happen when a call or query is made about fishermen on the lake. (see Question 14).


Section 4: Analysis

Two of the clearest answers to come out of the survey and responses were:

1.     We need to have signs at the access points to the lake educating residents and visitors about private property, responsible fishing, and NY State fishing laws.

2.     We need to have a way of easily distinguish resident fishermen who are allowed to fish on and around the lake from non-resident fishermen who are not allowed to fish on the lake.


There is very strong sentiment in favor of signs at the access points to the lake. However, the devil is in the details: What should the signs say, how many should we have, and where should they be put? The answer to this will be up to a Truesdale Lake Fishing Committee.  

Here are some existing signs:

At the beaches: Most are already covered. Main TEA and TLPOA signs are below.


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Signs at TEA and TLPOA entrances



The TEA beach has two identical smaller sign specifically addressing fishing on the fenced-in beach area.


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Sign currently up at two places at TEA Beach to

educate fishermen about avoiding fishing in swim areas


Other possible locations for signs:

·       TEA Boat Launch Property – Large lot at corner of Gilbert Street and Lake Shore Drive – two separate entrances

·       TLPOA Boat Launch Property – Lake Shore Drive (between 65 and 69 Lake Shore Drive)

·       TLPOA Boat Launch Property – Corner of Indian Lane and Gilbert Street (northwest corner of dam)

·       TLPOA Boat Launch Property – Hoyt Street (between 48 and 52 Hoyt Street)


There are existing signs at these locations, but a Fishing and Boat Committee might consider replacing these with new signs that carry the same look and message. The signs should have these items covered:


·       Private Lake, Residents only.

·       No trespassing.

·       Boats without a Truesdale Lake Sticker are considered abandoned and are subject to removal and sale without notice.

·       No fishing without Truesdale Lake Fishing Tag.

·       All fishermen age 16 and older must have valid NY State Fishing license.

·       Contact email and/or phone number.

·       Website link with policy and additional information.


The Dam

The dam is by far the most popular spot for casual fishing at Truesdale Lake.

Question 5 in the survey “Where do you fish from” has very few responses saying the dam and/or Indian Lane compared to answers from boat fishermen and home dock fishermen. This is probably because the fishermen who fish from the dam did not respond to our survey. Respondents to the survey are much more likely to be resident adults who have a boat or waterfront access via a dock.

There have been issues with fishing on the dam going back to the Fall of 2019 and even before then.

With the drawdown siphon tubes and hardware in place on the dam spillway from September 2019 – March (?) 2020 there was a temporary ban imposed on fishing from the dam near the spillway. Temporary signs were placed on the bridge letting people know not to fish from there. The fishing ban for this area was because fishing line and equipment was fouling the siphon tubes and interfering with the drawdown efforts. Snagged line, hooks, garbage, and even an entire fishing rod was found inside one of the siphon tubes over the winter. These blocked discharge at a critical time and caused additional expense and time for the project.


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Temporary sign on dam prohibiting fishing last fall and winter.

Photo also shows some of the debris cleared from one of

 the siphon tubes including a lot of monofilament line, lures, and a fishing rod.


The dam is an inviting place to fish because the water is deeper, there are no trees to snag a line on, and it is easy to walk over to (or drive over to) and drop a hook and line in. Unfortunately this ease of access has attracted fishermen who have heard through word-of-mouth that there is lax enforcement, good fishing, and lots of room at the spot. Indian Lane is a very narrow road and cars parked on the dam or on the streets next to the dam can cause a tight squeeze.

In addition, some fishermen cast their lines off the north part of the spillway into the stream below. Fishermen have even gone down into the stream to fish. This area should be off limits due to the dense tree and underbrush growth. There is almost no way to avoid getting fishing lines snagged in the vegetation. Unfortunately one of these discarded lines caused the death of one of the resident herons on Truesdale Lake in April 2020.


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Our resident Great Blue Heron on Truesdale Lake April 25, 2020 after being

removed from fishing line that entangled its wing just below the dam spillway.

The heron died several hours after this photo despite the extensive efforts of a local veterinarian.


In addition to the danger to wildlife from careless fishing practices, fishermen from outside the Truesdale Lake area can bring invasive species to the lake. These can be plant species such as invasive Brazilian Elodea (which was introduced into Lake Waccabuc a number of years ago. Fortunately they were able to detect and eliminate before it got established — although at great time and expense – read about it here:

A few years ago we noticed Alewife in Truesdale Lake. These were almost certainly introduced by fishermen using them as baitfish who let them get into the ecosystem in a quantity large enough to breed. They are not a freshwater native species, but can survive in freshwater under stressed conditions. (


Truesdale Lake Fishing Tags 

“There should be a bright sticker permit developed for resident fishers to display.” (comment 59)

How do you make the determination that someone is fishing illegally? A visible “Truesdale Lake Fishing Tag” distributed on-demand to lake association residents (similar to the boat stickers) can be a solution as long as resident fishermen get the tags and display them regularly.


Some possible sources for fishing tags:



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Possible models for metal Truesdale Lake Fishing Tag with tag numbers.


We already have a system in place that is working for Truesdale Lake boat registration. The vast majority of residents who own boats have gotten a sticker for their boats. (if you have not yet done so, visit and sign up today.)

The same system can be set up for Truesdale Lake Fishing Tags. Cost to order durable serial numbered tags is estimated at around $3-4 per tag when a quantity of 100 or more is ordered. Boat tags would be issued to residents for free on demand via the website.


Boat Launch Properties

Several survey responders noted things along these lines: “management of boat storage and identification is key to controlling who is using the lake.” (Comment 56) and “The boat area at the [lake shore drive] tea launch site is crowded. Some people pack their boats in so tightly that it prevents others from moving their boat to the water easily. I have sometimes had to drag my boat over the top of other boats to get it to the water. I also feel people are not responsible with their boats at the boat area. They allow rainwater to collect in their boats which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other bugs.” (Comment 4)

We agree and think that the plan for monitoring fishing access and boating registration should go handinhand.

The boat launch properties are not the ones people typically think of when they think about large groups fishing. But they are a piece of the puzzle.

A number of residents who are adjacent to the boat launch properties have noted an increase in same-day boat launches from non-resident cars and trucks. “I live next door to one of the boat launches… Cars park on the street and unload boats” (Comment 77). In addition, some survey responders believe or know that non-residents are storing boats at the boat launch properties illegally.

The associations have periodically inventoried the boat launch properties to look for unregistered boats and boats owned by residents who have moved away. An attempt will be made to contact the owners if we have contact information. If there is no response or contact information, the boats will be sold or disposed of without notice. Signage with this important information will be critical to efforts to keep non-resident boats off of the limited boat storage/launch properties owned by the associations.


Idea: Build docks / fishing piers from some of the boat launch properties



Partnering with the Lewisboro Police Department 

The lake community must provide the Lewisboro Police Department clear direction about who can and cannot fish on the lake. The LPD is also aware they can ask anyone 16 and older to see their NY State fishing license. This includes residents and non-residents. Since many (but certainly not all) of the non-resident visitors are from nearby Connecticut, it is unlikely (but possible) they will have a NY State fishing license.

Procedure to call Lewisboro Police Department if you suspect trespass or illegal fishing:

·       In an emergency always dial 911.

·       Lewisboro Police Department phone number is 914-763-8903.

·       The number for the NY State Police Barracks in Somers is 914-277-3651.

·       Note the location of the fishermen, the location of their car, and their license plate number. Please provide names if you know them – and any other details that might be helpful.


New York State Fishing Licenses

To reiterate a point made before, New York State requires all fishermen age 16 and over have a valid New York State Fishing License.

Specifically referring to Comments 9, 23, 63, 92 regarding the subject, which contain incorrect information. From the NY State DEC: “anyone over the age of 16 fishing NYS waters needs a freshwater fishing license.”


Section 5: Conclusions & Recommedations 

Fishing activities continue to be very popular on Truesdale Lake. But there is a clear and growing problem with littering and fishermen coming from outside the lake area to fish here.

These problems have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic but they existed before then. With families home during the day there more people noticing the extensive fishing activity. There are also more people, both resident and non-resident, fishing at Truesdale Lake.

Both the issue of responsibility for cleaning up after oneself and prevention of trespass on private property must be addressed.

The prevailing thought from survey responders was that resident fishermen are more responsible in their care and stewardship of the lake and environment. This is likely true but not in every case. Non-resident fishermen get the lion’s share of the blame for garbage left behind, fishing lines and hooks carelessly discarded, and other unacceptable behavior such as blocking the roadways, being loud, and privacy concerns.

Non-residents have also been witnessed launching non-resident boats that potentially carry invasive species.

One concern of many respondents in their comments was: who will enforce fishing restrictions? Many people are not comfortable approaching a stranger fishing on the dam or on a boat. Nobody wants to be the “bad guy.” But at some point we have to clamp down on people who are trespassing, not respecting the rights of the residents, and damaging the environment and wildlife. Signs will help deter some non-residents from stopping to fish. Other times a sign is nice backup when asking someone to leave the private property. The resident can point to the sign and say “the sign says Private Property. No trespassing. In some cases simply asking the fishermen if they are a resident and asking them to leave if they are not is sufficient. If there’s a larger group, asking this question might be intimidating to some residents. Police can be called if the situation demands it.

One of our survey responders had some good very specific suggestions for individuals, the associations, and the town to help keep fishing safe and the lake healthy: (Comment 11).

Rules to consider for fishermen to help lower environmental impact:

·       Require single barbless hooks only (no barbed, multiple or treble hooks). This makes landing fish harder, but decreases the incidence of snags. It also makes hooks fall out easier.

·       Limit fishing line to 6/8/10 lb. rated monofilament, and prohibiting leaders made of steel. This makes line break easier – and closer to a lure if it is snagged, rather than the angler having to cut the line at the reel when the lure is stuck 30 feet away in a tree.

·       One rod per person.

If the associations (and town) agree:

·       Placing conspicuous (but tasteful) receptacles to deposit discarded fishing line.

·       Limit street parking around trouble zones (i.e., basketball court down to bridge, access points, etc.)

·       Hefty monetary penalties for littering (including discarded line) and trespassing.


Section 6: Questions & Responses

We asked 15 questions with one question set having nine separate responses asked.

Not everyone answered every question due to the nature of the questions being asked (e.g. not everyone fishes on the lake, so questions about fishing habits and preferences were not answered by a subset of residents.) In addition, some of the questions were optional.

One hundred and forty (140) unique responses were submitted. A few obvious duplicates (same text submitted twice by accident) were purged before compiling the results below. We don’t know if anyone submitted more than once on purpose, but we don’t think so. It is possible, but with such a large response size any potential skewing effect would be diluted.

Just over half (71) of responses included a free-form comment varying from a single sentence to a multi-paragraph response. These have been very helpful in gathering what the overall range of opinions and attitudes are. Many of the submissions have very helpful suggestions that are part of the analysis and conclusion section.


1.     Which Truesdale Lake association are you a member of?

Answers: TLPOA (75), TEA (50), Lo­vecross (Vreeland) (5), Lake Shore Drive Unaffiliated (5), not a member of a Truesdale Lake Association (6).



2.     Do you or your family members fish on Truesdale Lake?

Answers: Yes (66), No (75).



3.     Do you invite guests to fish on Truesdale Lake?

Answers: Yes (35), No (106).




4.     How often do you, your family members, or guests fish?


Answers: Not often but not never (18), A few times a year (25), A few times a month (17), Weekly or more (9).


Note: there are 75 responders who stated they and their family does not fish on Truesdale Lake. See question 2 above.





5.    Where do you, your family members, or guests fish from?


Answers: A boat (43), An association dock or shoreline (11), My dock or shoreline (35), A neighbor’s dock or shoreline (1), The dam area (17), The dam bridge (12).


Note: Can choose more than one response.



6.    In what season(s) do you, your family members, or guests fish?


Answers: Winter (9), Spring (47), Summer (67), Fall (41).


Note: Can choose more than one response.



Comment: Most people who fish are fishing in more than one season.


7.     What time(s) of day do you typically fish?


Answers: Morning (25), Afternoon (43), Evening (41).


Note: Can choose more than one response.




8.     What do you use as bait?

Answers: Live Worms (46), Plastic Worms (1), Artificial Lures (51), Meat (1), Tied Flies (8), Other (2).

Note: Can choose more than one response.



9.     Do you fish…

Answers: Alone (34), With another person (56), In a group (10).

Note: Can choose more than one response.



10.  What fish do you generally catch?

Open answers, can list more than one

Bass (45), Perch (17), Crappies (9), Sunfish (23), Blue Gills (3), What is in the lake (2).


11.  What fish would you like to catch?

Open answers, can list more than one

No preference (4), Pike (3), Bass (15), Trout (9), Crappies (1), Pickerel (1), Salmon (1), Tuna (1), Loch Ness Monster (1), Large Golden Carp/Koi (1), Edible ones (2), Big Ones! (1)


12. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements about fishing and the impact of fishing on the residents and wildlife of Truesdale Lake:

Answers to the following questions are on a scale from Strongly Agree – Agree – Neutral – Disagree – Strongly Disagree


A.    I enjoy fishing on Truesdale Lake.




B.    I like seeing people fish on Truesdale Lake.




C.   Truesdale Lake fishermen generally are responsible citizens.



D.   Truesdale Lake fishermen generally clean up after themselves.




E.    I believe there are fishermen who come from outside the membership area to fish here.



F.    I believe there are fishermen who come from outside the membership area to launch boats here.



G.   I would like a way to easily identify whether fishermen on Lake Truesdale are permitted fish here such as a fishing tag or sticker.



H.   I have witnessed damage or injury caused by fishing tackle or line on the lake, shoreline or islands.



I.      Signs should be posted at spots around the lake such as the dam and the boat launch to educate people about our fishing rules and regulations plus the NY State Fishing license laws.



13. Did you know that New York State requires a freshwater fishing license for everyone 16 years and older who fishes on a pond, lake, or river in the state?

Answers: Yes (78), No (63)


14. Would you be interested in being a member of a Truesdale Lake Fishing and Boating committee/advisory board if the associations agree to form one?

Answers: Yes (27), No (114)


Open-Ended Comments


15. Please let us know if you have any comments or feedback about fishing on Truesdale Lake that we have not asked about. Or if you’d like to expand or clarify your answers to the questions above.

Open ended comments were encouraged and many people generously shared their thoughts, experiences, and feelings about fishing on Truesdale Lake.

Lightly edited (to remove identifying details) comments are below.

Responses are numbered in the left-hand column so we can refer to them in the analysis and conclusions in the sections above if needed. Not everyone submitted a comment – that is why there are gaps in the numbers.




“When a guest is fishing, they’re always with me. I do not allow people to come here and fish without my presence. I’ve seen in some posts about maybe allowing outsiders to register so they can fish here, I do not agree with that. Outsiders do not have the same pride or investment in our community like we do. The boat area at the [lake shore drive] TEA launch site is crowded. Some people pack their boats in so tightly that it prevents others from moving their boat to the water easily. I have sometimes had to drag my boat over the top of other boats to get it to the water. I also feel people are not responsible with their boats at the boat area. They allow rainwater to collect in their boats which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other bugs. Lastly I am not in favor of Truesdale Lake people confronting potential outsiders. I have seen too many times and heard of too many times where seemingly innocent questioning can lead to a verbal confrontation or worse.”


“I wish fishing was not permitted on the lake. If that’s not possible and people must fish, I wish they would stay out in the middle or at least away from people’s shorelines and docks.  If they must or want to fish near the shore, let them fish near their own shore, their own dock. I have found several clumps of fishing line with hooks on them near our shore and after the drawdown, not far beyond our dock. That is dangerous for swimmers and wildlife, and very upsetting. … Thank you for providing this survey. I hope it generates positive results.”


“I would prefer if fishing were not permitted.  I have witnessed wildlife injuries and we have found several lost hooks in the lake along the shore near our house, which raises injury concerns for my family since we swim/kayak in the lake and have a small child.”


“I do not think licenses should be required. I can’t imagine many people keep any of the fish they catch here.

The associations could issue neighborhood permits similar to boat stickers to all residents that want one, if you insist on a tracking system.

Fishing by the dam is the only place to go if you’re not in a boat. Little kids love to fish there and it should continue to be allowed.”


“This is very upsetting. I grew up on this lake and care about it deeply.  As a lifelong angler, I can honestly say that those who fish irresponsibly are in the minority – but the irresponsible few create an unreasonable risk.  As we have seen, wildlife are very likely to be severely injured or killed when they come into contact with littered fishing line. Given the gravity of the harm and likelihood of it occurring, we should not ignore this problem.

Additional rules/policies to consider based on fishing regulations on water across the US that may help deter irresponsible anglers:
  * Single barbless hooks only (no barbed, multiple or treble hooks).  This makes landing fish harder, but decreases the incidence of snags.  It also makes hooks fall out easier.
  * Limiting fishing line test to 6/8/10 lb. monofilament, and prohibiting leaders made of steel. This makes line break easier closer to a lure if it is snagged, rather than the angler having to cut the line at the reel when the lure is stuck 30 feet away in a tree.
  * One rod per person.
  * Placing conspicuous (but tasteful) receptacles to deposit discarded fishing line.
  * Limit street parking around trouble zones (i.e., basketball court down to bridge, access points, etc.)
  * Hefty monetary penalties for littering (including discarded line).
  * Placing rule signage.”


“Non-residents must be prohibited from fishing from anywhere on the shore or any boat or canoe. Signs, with $$$ penalties should be posted at the dam and all boat launch/ public access points.”


“Suggest that Truesdale Lake residents place small stickers on their car. We did this at our condo association in Florida and it really helped identify non-resident vehicles. I’m assuming that visitors are not allowed to use the beaches etc. without being accompanied by a resident.”


“My neutral answers above mean I don’t know.”


“Why is the no fishing sign removed from the bridge?”


“While a license is required, I have never seen a game agent or been asked to show one.  Since this is a private lake, their jurisdiction is unclear.”


“The main issue is fisherman by the dam in groups and leaving garbage. They tend to be also loud.”


“Unfortunately, I know nothing about the impact that fishing has on Lake Truesdale.  If fishing is in any way harmful to the lake, I would oppose it or suggest regulations and rules to protect the lake.”


“We love the Truesdale Lake community. We do not visit the beach area or fish in this area. My husband is a salt water fisherman. I have seen cars parked near the entrance to the lake on lake shore…. In this day and age, i will not be confronting anyone regarding fishing.”


I can’t speak for other fisherman cleaning up or being responsible as the survey above asks but I know that we always clean up after ourselves, are respectful and responsible when fishing near the dam area.  This is our back yard, we care for it because we want to be able to continue using it’s for many lake activities. 

i have seen people on Nextdoor posting that fishing should be banned, I would hope that this is not an option.  Residents should not be restricted or denied the ablitiy to fish the lake as this is one of the many reason some live here in the first place.  I believe that a first good step would be signs posted in common fishing areas and these areas being policed if people do not have proper tags or identification.”


“I think by limiting or eliminating non-residents from using our lake will go a long way to reducing the trash and abuse the lake absorbs. Once we can reduce the use to residents only – we can then see how much damage and trash our members and their kids really do and then go from there. Love the flag ID idea. And I understand … that the police will enforce whatever policy the TEA and TLPOA decide on. Don’t think another committee is necessary.”


Boat stickers are being requested for boats owned by friends who are not a part of the lake. There must be verification that stickers are issued only to lake owners who actually own the boat(s) they are registering. Special Truesdale Lake flags or IDs should also be issued so residents can display them on their packs or person whenever fishing from shore or water.

Signs must be posted and leave no doubt.

– Private Lake, Fishing by lake residents only

– Guests if accompanied by a TLID carrying member

– Fishing Prohibited from beaches & entire length of the dam

Considerate behavior and the clean-up of trash is family training and should not be wasted on a sign.


“We have rented our house out in the summer and I think the renters have fished from the Hoyt St boat launch.”


“I think the management of boat storage and identification is key to controlling who is using the lake.”


“The problem becomes, what do you do about people who know they shouldn’t be here and just don’t care. Then the situation of residents who allow friends to come unaccompanied by the resident
All this stuff isn’t a problem until it’s a problem but by then it’s been going on so long it becomes accepted. But then what if one day my mom is at the beach while she is waiting for the kids to get off the bus.  Then it becomes I can’t fish without the resident present so she shouldn’t be allowed on the beach and rules are rules.”


I love our beautiful lake, community and activities!

A few thoughts: we must end fishing at the dam. Best we find alternative locations. I would also like clear, unequivocal signage put up with lake rules and regulations (including that it’s a private lake). I worry about the sudden influx of non-residents using the lake and association properties.

I have frequently found fish hooks at the TLPOA beach, while swimming with my small child. It’s dangerous and frustrating. My husband got a fish-hook through his hand while swimming at the beach last year.”


“I’m very keen that as many residents as possible are able to safely enjoy all the activities on offer at the lake – this is a predominant reason why many of us moved here.

However, I am concerned (especially this year with the increase in local traffic) that many non-residents and unsupervised guests are using the lake, as it is a fragile ecosystem, and bad practices – even if accidental – can cause a good deal of destruction (and expense to remediate). This is particularly worrying for the well-being of of critical infrastructure – fishing at the dam being a chief concern, along with unhygienic boats brought into the ecosystem. For the dam, not only is the fabric being continuously torn by fishing hooks, but wildlife is being killed, and the road itself is being blocked for traffic. Moreover, I worry about non-resident accidents & injuries and what our liabilities are as a private community.

I am very keen that there be a bright sticker permit developed for resident fishers to display, and stricter enforcement of non-stickered boats on and around the lake. If there’s a strong sense in the community that these stickers should be made available to non-residents, then perhaps there could be a non-resident application together with a fee that could help cover the costs of maintenance, enforcement, and include a liability waiver and rules of the lake. I know TEA used to have non-resident beach membership – we could look to adopt ‘lessons learned’ from their experience, if residents are still keen to have non-residents use the lake (personally, I’m less certain this is a good idea)

I would also support an exploratory survey of good fishing spots that can be accessed by those residents who do not have lakefront properties (and that is not the dam). These residents ought to have the opportunity to fish, which does not involve getting into a boat each time. I’d like to see some of our underused lakefront spots cleared, with perhaps some picnic tables etc, so that they are attractive destinations for our fishing enthusiasts (and all residents generally), that are away from the dam and swimming locations. Some of these would need to include good spots to ‘drop a line’ rather than have to cast a long way, which can be a tricky technique for kids (and hence one of the reasons why the dam is a popular spot). As such, a picnic table (and even a BBQ?) might help develop a better fishing spot for the whole community. Obviously there are specific association claims to different pockets of waterfront property, but I’m confident we can come up with an exciting, equitable plan for all parties to support!”


“The associations should not be policing fishing licenses – that is the job of the DEP.” (Author’s Note: The DEP is in charge of the New York  City Reservoirs and watershed. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) is the agency that manages fishing licenses. The NYS DEC has Environmental Conservation Officers [ECOs] that are special state police who “enforce New York’s Environmental Conservation Laws, including those relating to environmental quality, hunting, fishing and trapping and protection of natural resources.” They work with local law enforcement officers who can also issue tickets and violations to fishermen without licenses.)


“If it’s a private lake and paid dues make associations why do homeowners on the lake need a license as well to fish. What the point of living on a private lake.” 


“Too many people coming in from CT and elsewhere that park on the road near dam.”


“I live close to the dam so often just walk down to fish with my son for a quick 20 minutes or half hour to unwind. I enjoy fishing from a boat as well but the convenience is not the same when time is limited. My son and daughters love to fish and I have always taught them responsible fishing and outdoor practice. Fishing with artificial lures on a Texas style rig means that we rarely to never lose hooks or lures and never have to cut lines.

It goes without saying that old hooks and line all eventually flow to the spillway, much of the publicized trash found recently at the dam may be from generations ago and do not indicate that we fisherman are all of a sudden messy or irresponsible.

I’m happy to share any fishing site with others and find that most are polite and friendly. I walk to where we fish or when I boat, so I can’t say that I am a big fan of seeing tons of cars parked at the dam or boat launch as we have narrow roads and it is often unsafe and congested. I wish there were enough sites so that any interested fisherman could walk to a close site without the need to drive and park.

I do find it disconcerting when the lake is overrun with non- residents when we want to use fishing sites, etc.- they have no personal stake in our lake and therefore are less motivated to clean up after themselves. Most that I have met have been polite and courteous however.”


“I probably have different views but I come from the days when anyone could go and fish if they wanted to. The water and the air are free. And I like that idea. It is a simple pastime. Not many people fish anyway anymore. I also believe the oceans and lakes are a natural resource that should be shared.”


“People are fishing close to the shoreline and docks. Their conversations and music can clearly be heard. It is highly intrusive.”


“My husband has a fishing license and I think is responsible when he is fishing alone or with our children. The process to obtain a boat sticker is nebulous and it would be great if it were an easier process. Signs would be great as well. I don’t personally feel comfortable asking people to leave if they are not residents, especially during difficult times such as these. I also don’t want to see the health of the lake harmed. It is a challenge.”


“We already have signs except for spillway and that just clutters up the environment. The signs say private and also include information about boats. We should refer people to NY state regulations and included there is how to call for violations. If parks can balance fishing so can we and we should not be in the enforcement other than to make a call. Individual responsibility includes making the phone call just like it does for cleaning up and type of lures. People are going to willfully break the rules signs or more signs. So a shared responsibility is calling DEC or police if violations not the homeowners association. I found [some] folks … like to point out problems but want someone else to enforce… I have cleaned up and called and enforced but in the end you just minimize the violations. Other lakes don’t have signs all over but rather at entrance to neighborhood. Most of our violations are younger people whose parents live in the area. I don’t see any of the people complaining willing to have those difficult discussions. They post on social media but won’t call a parent. During COVID with people home we may have seen the worst in fishing and the worst in people. We also don’t need yet another process for more boat stickers. Fix the one you have.. and don’t forget non lake front people all don’t have boats so access points and the dam are used by families without boats and young children.”


“I don’t fish regularly but always enjoy the sight of kids fishing off the dam.  It’s part of lake life.”


“I live next door to one of the boat launches. Unfortunately the honor system doesn’t work and I think it’s going to get worse with all the new walkers we have been seeing. I always felt something needs  to be done. Cars park on the street and unload boats. Hope this helps.”


“I’ve read several posts on fisherman being irresponsible and not cleaning up after themselves.  I don’t think this is the case.  Equipment and lures are expensive nobody usually leaves this behind.  However sometimes when you cast near trees lures and hooks can get caught in trees with bad casts.  Unfortunately after trying to retrieve the hook sometimes it’s out of reach or sometimes you hook a rock under water and can’t get the hook out having no choice but to cut the line.  Responsible fisherman always try to minimize the amount of line left in the trees or water but it does happen.  Especially when there is a lot of weeds which we have in our lake.”


“Weeds weeds and more weeds. when can we get these things treated.” 


“I object to fishing personally on ethical and environmental grounds. I choose to reduce harm To other beings and abhor the secondary injuries that occur to ourselves (my child got a hook in her one year while swimming) and other animals. On the other hand I do not wish to righteously impose these principles on others nor do I want to be un generous to people not fortunate enough to live on the lake, Private or otherwise. I prefer to request responsible, knowledge based open use of our lake (of course with necessary restrictions to protect the health of ourselves, the lake and animals).” 


“I don’t fish but my husband does with the kids and other buddies from the lake. Thanks for looking into this!”


“Thank you for all you do for our beautiful lake.”


“I am unsure as to whether a fishing license is needed if you are within your own property and fishing on a private lake that you have deeded lake rights, and pay a membership fee for?”   


“We fish for sport and throw back most all of the fish we catch. Hopefully most people do the same. Not sure if we have to many fish being taken out and not enough left to replenish the lake.”


“I think signs are a critical element here. In the boatyards, at the dam, and at other popular fishing spots, we need a sign saying PRIVATE LAKE–RESIDENTS ONLY to inform out-of-towners that rules do exist. You might also add NY FISHING LICENSE REQUIRED for RESIDENT FISHERMEN if you think that would be helpful. Many thanks for all your work on this issue!”


“What recourse is there if you are very sure that the people fishing are not from Truesdale Lake?”


“Permits may sound like a good idea but I don’t think anyone is going to the trouble to get one if a few friends are coming for the day. Especially if it’s spur of the moment.”


“We live on Main Street and our house faces Hoyt.  We are not part of the Truesdale Lake association but would like to know how and if we can join.”


“I would like to learn to fish and identify fish in the lake. I saw there was fishing gear to borrow from the library. However, I don’t know how to use it or what to do with the fish after I catch them. I do want to learn. Perhaps the more newly trained responsible fishing people are out there, the more you can count on us as helpers to know the right way to go about it, help with cleanup if we see things, or care for the fish and lake with knowledge and pride. I also hesitate to fish with the levels of copper sprayed in there so education can include signs about what fish live there would be helpful, instead of just signs about what is sprayed, what not to do and where not to go, I encourage a compassionate invitation to learn that assumes we want to care more. Honestly, a rigid structure of rules and shaming of rule breakers is an invitation to tune out.”


“Someone fishing from a boat should have a Truesdale boat sticker. If not they should be asked why and told how to get one. If they become abusive, have a way to report them as trespassing…and discouraged from returning.”


“I do not like hearing about birds and dogs being injured by abandoned hooks and lines.  This is likely a byproduct of fishermen coming to the lake and not respecting it/community.  Damage was also done to a memorial bench near the dam.  There used to be a plaque on it and it appears that somebody pulled it off which is very disrespectful.”


“I am opposed to catch and release. I find it cruel. Limited ethical catch and eat is better.”


“I am adamantly opposed to fishing by anyone that is not a member of our hoa. Secondly, there should absolutely be no fishing from the dam or shorelines. Thank you.”


“We just moved into the lake community this past fall, and just got a boat.  Have not gone fishing on the lake yet, but will start this week.  Really looking forward to it! Because of this I could not answer those questions above.”


“I believe it is imperative that we post the fishing regulations on our lake!!!”


“We need to consider the burden of fishing on the environment and wildlife. People are not being responsible and other people, habitats and animals are getting hurt.”


“ am concerned about invasive species, and I’m especially concerned when I see the small kayaks appear and even larger craft that are so easily carted around from lake to lake.  I am not interested in policing the lake for violations, and I am strongly against putting up signs because in my view they are a blight on our beautiful lake area and I don’t believe that they are effective.  Better to communicate to the associations with Constant Contact.”


“I think signs are a good idea and IDs are good as well. My only question is, “Who is going to enforce/police this??” Should we have volunteers on the weekend do this?? Should we hire a security guard??”


“In the last dozen years I have fished in the lake a few times, occasionally with my adult son.    My impression is that some people who fish at the dam (perhaps elsewhere) behave irresponsibly.  It would be nice if that could be addressed without punishing everyone, but I do not know if that is possible.  I would rather see no fishing permitted than fishing that hurts wildlife (other than fish!).”


“I do think that fishing is part of Lake Truesdale life.  And people who fish are generally responsible and friendly.  However, in certain spots – like the dam, you can plainly see lots of tangled wire and lures in trees and below.  I know that this causes damage to the dam and water system, and is also a threat to birds and other wildlife long after the fishermen are gone.”


“How do we educate those fishing while not having new signs posted all over the area? Thanks for focusing on the problem of potentially deadly fishing line carelessly left behind.”


“I feel very strongly that signage is important to make it easier for us to enforce rules. If we see someone fishing from an area where it is posted “no fishing” then it is much easier for us residents to say….the sign says….no fishing in this area!  A couple of residents have put in ridiculous hours cleaning up the dam area from fishing debris and it is damaging the dam Geofabric, so why are we allowing fishing from that spot? We need to consider this as the dam health is very important to both the TEA members AND the TLPOA members.”


“I think we should consider forming a Waterfront Owners Association. It doesn’t need the agreement or ratification of the TLPOA or TEA. I think it’s necessary because there seems to be a gap in who cares about enforcing Truesdale’s regulations and trespassing laws. Those off the lake seem uninterested. Those who live on the water feel these issues more urgently. For us, Truesdale is more than a lake. It’s literally our shared backyard.”


“I think we can post tasteful signage to advise visitors that this is our private lake. If we fine or ticket visitors for a while, the word will get out, do not fish in Lake Truesdale unless you live there. Anyone caught leaving tackle, trash or anything at the lake while fishing should be ticketed and their names should be published on Nextdoor.”


“We need to control access to the lake and enforce the private property status.  We need to be able to easily identify who can make use of the lake and who cannot. I am greatly concerned for the change in character of area, and increased risk of crime, that may result by allowing people who not live here make use of the lake. The covid19 situation changes things greatly with a lot more people in the area daily than normal.”


“I have personally collected a huge amount of trash deposited by fishermen on this lake – from the exposed lakebed and the entire length of the dam during the 2019 – 2020 drawdown, from all three islands and the boatyards on Hoyt St, Indian Ln and Gilbert St in March, April, and May. I have many photos of this trash. I have been told that the lake resident fishermen are considerate and clean up and I have to believe that. The non-resident fishermen therefore are negligent and careless.”


“Often on weekends there are obvious “nonresident” boat fishermen who are looking in our bedroom windows very early in the mornings.”


“On the Indian Lane bridge, there is a constant massing of vehicles parked along and sometimes blocking the roadway and people fishing, many with CT license plates. People from all over the Lewisboro community know our lake to be a local destination for fishing with no rules or enforcement. Aside from licensing and signage, local law enforcement involvement would likely be needed to really impact (reverse/eliminate) the constant flow of non-residents from fishing here.”


“I am generally in favor of fishing on Truesdale.  I don’t even mind if non-association members fished as long as they were respectful, removed their lines and trash etc. However I realize that most folks around the lake feel it should be limited to association members.”


“Unfortunately, we found TWO fish hooks in two separate areas this past Sunday. One was on the beach by the picnic table closest to the water. The other was on the grass just in front of the dock. My daughter was running around barefoot so obviously I was very concerned. “Luckily” it was me who stepped on it and it didn’t puncture my skin.  If I could weigh in, I’d prefer that no fishing be permitted. In my opinion people aren’t acting responsibly with their gear, and I truly believe that most people fishing on the dock don’t belong to TLPOA or TEA.”


“I think it’s worth investigating constructing a platform on the curve before Vosler’s house which is owned by TEA. I would be willing to contribute to this effort — and parking could be in the beach parking lot. Of course, fishing would be at the risk of the fisherman. However, this does not solve the problem of folks discarding hooks and fishing line into the lake.Just my two cents.”











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