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#1035334 - 07/28/20 08:23 AM your opinion
RICH G Offline
I believe in a lot of stupid schit

Registered: 11/05/00
Posts: 3326
Loc: Land of the Lost
Most of us have lived through good times and bad times when it comes to fish runs and fishing.

One thing I have noticed with this management strategy of MSY without actually planting adequate fish is that there are not many fish to catch... Many of my favorite fisheries are now bunk,,, Lyre River, Goodman Creek.

Its noticeable that the fish are gone. You no longer smell dead salmon around Hood Canal between October and January, because most of the salmon are now gone. When I was a kid the pinks were on their way to being gone, I remember the Dungenes pinks, Dose and Duckabush pinks when I was little, rivers were chuck full of pinks in the early 80's, now they are mostly gone... Chums lasted till the early 00's and now those big runs are also gone... I remember catching and releasing coho on the Union, Tahuya and Dewato in the early 90's, eggs and no weight, massive runs of coho mostly due to fry releases,, now those fish are gone.

My point is maybe its time to abandon this idea of recovering wild fish at the expense of having enough fish to eat and catch. The fishing was much better when planting lots of salmon, stealhead and trout was a liberal idea.
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#1035335 - 07/28/20 08:32 AM Re: your opinion [Re: RICH G]
RICH G Offline
I believe in a lot of stupid schit

Registered: 11/05/00
Posts: 3326
Loc: Land of the Lost
My dad fished Goodman Creek allot in the 60's and early 70's before they started planting hatchery fish, the fishing was good from thanksgiving till Feb, once hatchery fish got planted the people started showing up and the wild fish were cleaned out accept for the later segment of the run. The damage was done.

I have been to Goodman since they stopped planting it, no fish at all now until mid January, the early wild fish did not return and no hatchery fish to catch either. It is now a dead zone between the coho and late wild steelhead. My point is the wild fish cannot recover once the stock is gone, you just have a river with no fish if you don't supplement.
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#1035340 - 07/28/20 09:53 AM Re: your opinion [Re: RICH G]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12949
With respect to your examples, it's a combination of things Rich. For instance, the Lyre River has low productivity and capacity for wild salmon and steelhead, so natural runs would consist of small numbers of fish. Absent hatchery plants the river cannot support much fishing at all. In the case of Goodman Creek, it appears that the presence of early timed (Chambers Ck) hatchery winter steelhead promoted the over-fishing of early timed wild steelhead. That happened all over western WA. Given enough time, the remaining later timed wild steelhead escapements will eventually fill that early winter return timing gap.

But another variable came into play. That is the huge reduction in smolt to adult survival rates (SAR). With SAR of 5 to 10%, the wild run escapement can expand relatively quickly to fill the early run timing void in a few generations. With SAR at 1% and sometimes less, it will take a very long time for that process to occur. It can and probably will still happen; it's just going to take a long time.

Puget Sound pink salmon runs have been volatile for as long as anyone knows, generally less than 2 or 3 million until about 1999. Then through the 2011 cycle there were unprecedented - as far as we know - increases where the returns came in at up to about 14 million. Then when we got some regular winter floods, the pink runs crashed back to "normal" or lower levels for the last few cycles. Given the extreme ranges of pink salmon run sizes to PS over the period of record, I don't think anyone can give a realistic estimate of PS for the productivity and carrying capacity for pink salmon. Only that runs can range from about 1 million to as much as 14 million.

Chum salmon have crashed throughout PS, more in the north sound than the south. The causes appear to be both environmental and some over-fishing. Usually when over-fishing stops, run sizes rebound. But if negative environmental pressures coincide with the period when a run should rebound, it stands to reason that runs would remain depressed. I don't know, but I think that is what is happening. There has been a lot written in the scientific literature recently about the huge hatchery releases of pink and chum salmon from Alaska and Japan. The inference is drawn that this is depressing survival rates and run sizes throughout the north Pacific Ocean and is quite possibly limiting Chinook salmon survival rates as well.

A key take home message from me is that the situation we are witnessing is very highly unlikely to be remedied by planting more hatchery fish. In all likelihood, doing so would only contribute to making the current problems even worse. I think salmon and steelhead are in for bad times for the foreseeable future. And, . . . I sure hope that I am wrong.

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#1035342 - 07/28/20 10:06 AM Re: your opinion [Re: RICH G]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5883
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
To my mind, a stream like the Lyre should be stocked heavily with steelhead. As Salmo said it is short and non-productive. It is also very accessible to walking angler. The tradeoff is that you don't plant other streams.

I don't understand why everywhere has to fished to death; harvest what nature provides.

I also think that the current crash in salmon, SRKWs, and seabirds south of AK is tied very closely to the pink and chum hatcheries up there and in Japan and Russia. They are eating the zooplankton (demonstrated in the literature). So, planting all those hatchery fish destroys fisheries. Who would have thunk it?

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