We (The Phillips) stocked Lake Trout (as I recall 5" or 8" hatchlings) into Awosting 35 years ago in co-operation with the DEC or whatever it was called then -- the plane flew low across the lake in the early morning and suddenly we had fish! Well, we thought we did. We then placed some flat bottom boats on the lake and took hotel guests out for fishing.
After a while, we found it strange that no one ever caught a fish. Seems the acid nature of the lake killed all of the hatchlings. No one ever bothered to check the lake water because we (like the writer) simply assumed the water was clear and fish would love it. Since the acidity could only be adjusted artificially, we chose not to even attempt to alter what nature had created.
Mohonk (original name: Dark Hole) has fish -- it also terrified me as a
child because it was the first time that I dove in a lake and could not tell which way was up! The reason, as Gunx has pointed out, is that the lakebed is in the shale layer under the conglomerate. This makes the water dark and cloudy… at least when you compare it to Minnewaska or Awosting. Bottom line: murky water, normal Ph, good fish habitat in Mohonk. Clear water, very acid (ph is 3 to 4) no fish in Minnewaska or Awosting..
By the way, the flow of sewerage into Minnewaska from the fill-section leach field at the Ranger Station, has decreased the clarity of Minnewaska – the subject of many posts on this website. If it continues, perhaps the fishing will improve.