Check

 

Defiance Boats!

LURECHARGE!

THE PP OUTDOOR FORUMS

Kast Gear!

Power Pro Shimano Reels G Loomis Rods

  Willie boats! Puffballs!

 

Three Rivers Marine

 

 
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#5407 - 01/31/06 02:39 AM THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12694
Yukon kings appear to be getting smaller in size: Circumstantial evidence is compelling despite lack of study.
By CHRIS TALBOT
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
January 29, 2006)

FAIRBANKS -- Tanana fisherman Charlie Campbell doesn't need scientific studies or empirical data to prove Yukon River chinook salmon -- the mighty king of the species -- are getting smaller. All he has to do is walk into his smokehouse.

"I'm noticing I have a lot more headroom in the smokehouse than I remember," said Campbell, a subsistence fisherman who uses a fish wheel in the Rapids area of the Yukon between Tanana and Rampart.

"Long salmon strips hang in your face and you have to duck to get underneath them," he said. "I'm 6-2, so it's an issue for me. With these shorter fish, shorter strips."

Campbell hasn't been alone in his hypothesizing. Dozens of fishermen along the middle and upper reaches of the 2,300-mile Yukon have been claiming for years that smaller kings are returning from the ocean to spawn.

A pair of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists released a study recently that lends some weight to that suspicion. Already there is a move to do something about the shrinking of the chinook, a worrisome evolutionary trend that has devastated other vital commercial fisheries.

The federal subsistence board will consider reducing the depth that gillnets can be dropped in the Yukon to allow more large fish to escape upriver. And the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's top Yukon manager said he is thinking about introducing a modest decrease in mesh diameter.

Any changes are likely to affect the delicate commercial fishery at the mouth of the Yukon. But even some of those who aren't ready to buy the shrinking chinook argument say they believe more scientific study should be done.

"If the data shows it and enough fishermen think this is an issue, we don't want to keep our head buried in the sand," said Jill Klein, executive director of the Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association.


QUEEN SALMON
Among king salmon, the true giants are the females, which are built large for a couple of important reasons.

The larger the fish, the more eggs she can carry. And her great size -- 70-pounders have been caught -- gives her a better chance to survive one of nature's longest and most difficult migrations.

"The Yukon River is kind of a gantlet-type fishery," said Fred Andersen, National Park Service subsistence manager for the Yukon. "Some of those fish go 1,200 or 1,500 miles to spawn. And there's a cumulative effect of that type of migration."

Andersen has spent more than 30 years managing subsistence fishing on the Yukon. He heard the stories and noticed the decline himself. Eventually, Andersen and Russ Holder of the Fish and Wildlife Service asked for a study in the attempt to quantify a well-educated hunch.

"Large fish are known to produce large fish," Andersen said. "And if you sift these large fish out of the population with large-mesh gillnets, it's Darwinian."

The largest fish Campbell pulled out of the Yukon with his family's fish wheel last summer weighed 36 pounds, he said, and it's been years since he heard of anyone catching anything much larger. Eighteen to 20 pounds seems to be the average, he said, and small males, called "jacks," predominate.

That size reduction can be measured in a lot of ways. The king is a vital source of food in the Yukon's remote, roadless villages. A loss of size and vitality in the stock would mean it becomes harder to feed a family of four or a village of 80.

"I also became aware of this when people were saying, 'Can you get us a nice, big one, a 30- to 35-pounder?'?" Campbell said. "But it's a long time between those fish now."

Fish and Wildlife biologists Karen Hyer and Cliff Schleusner were able to show a decrease in king size by analyzing admittedly spotty carcass and weir data on six Yukon tributaries. But conclusions will have to wait for more study. And finding the exact cause is a mission scientists will have trouble completing.

"That is a much longer and more complex question," Schleusner said. "I think it would be challenging because the chinook salmon is such a complex species."


LIFE CYCLES
The chinook young pass through several development stages in their home streams before migrating down the length of the Yukon and into the Bering Sea.

After years strengthening themselves for the homeward migration, kings usually return to the Yukon between the age of 5 and 8, though 7- and 8-year-olds are increasingly rare.

Studies have shown that a salmon's development can be affected by its first winter and breakup, water temperature and salinity changes in the rivers and ocean, competition from hatchery fish and the decisions of fishermen and resource managers.

Little is known about a king's time in the ocean, but it is possible that the increasing loss of sea ice -- and the large supply of nutrients the ice pack provides Bering Sea species -- has had as much of an impact as gillnets.

"There's a lot of plausible explanations for this, and the study didn't try to tease out cause," Schleusner said. "More than likely, there are a number of factors affecting the fish, in both positive and negative ways."


HOLES IN THE DATA
People have subsisted on Yukon River salmon for centuries. The chinook, chum and coho species that return each summer are most important in the villages that line the river and its tributaries. About 20 percent of the Yukon Basin's 130,000 residents live with limited or no road access, so fresh protein can be hard to come by. Fish taken for subsistence outnumber the commercial catch 2 to 1.

The first commercial sale of Yukon chinook salmon came in 1918, and the fishery was closed by 1925 because of overfishing.

The chinook run strength has fluctuated significantly over the years, according to Fish and Game figures, from a high harvest of 220,511 in 1980 to 55,066 in 2000.

Commercial fishing was closed in 2001, but the stock seems to have rebounded since. More than 157,000 kings passed the Pilot Station sonar point on the lower Yukon last summer and at least 70,000 passed into Canada.

Though much time, money and effort has been put into managing the fishery, very little scientific study has been done beyond gathering escapement numbers.

When trying to put together data, Schleusner and Hyer had trouble coming up with consistent information. They studied carcass reports from the Andreafsky and Anvik rivers on the lower Yukon, the Gisasa, Salcha and Chena rivers in the middle and the Big Salmon River in Canada. They also used weir data from the Andreafsky and Gisasa.

But the time periods varied wildly from nine years on the Big Salmon to 28 years on the Salcha. In addition to the time series, they found differences in sampling strategies, measurement error, crew experience and environmental conditions.

There were also more practical problems in analyzing the material.

"Computers weren't near as handy back then," Schleusner said.

The study showed fewer chinooks measuring 900 millimeters or more in four rivers -- the Anvik, Chena, Salcha and Big Salmon. No change was evident on the Andreafsky or Gisasa.

The river with the biggest decrease in size was the Big Salmon, which the study's authors wrote was logical "since they typically have earlier run timing and are exposed to the combined effects of commercial and subsistence fisheries for a longer period of time than the lower-river stocks."

Klein said the fisheries association hired its own biologist to analyze the data and points to the need for more study and a consensus before any changes are made to regulations.

"We're not as certain of the evidence," Klein said. "There's a lot of anecdotal evidence from fishermen and now we've got some science.

"I don't think it's conclusive yet."

Andersen, however, believes a thorough search of the scientific literature on chinook salmon will turn up enough evidence to form a persuasive argument. For instance, he noted that the Tozitna River weir has been running mostly male over the past five years with an average run that includes 24 percent females. The low point for females during that time was 14 percent.

Because fish stocks have a history of rapid evolution when the largest members of a species are targeted, Andersen believes change should happen now. Waiting a decade could rob the run of the few remaining heavyweights.

"That's a risk, that's something we ought not run the danger of," he said.


HOOKED ON FISHING
Billy Charles has been fishing to provide for his family since he was old enough to reach over the side of a boat and pull in a net.

He's 50 now and, unlike his upriver counterparts, he said he doesn't buy into the shrinking chinook theory. He said he occasionally pulls a big fish out of the Yukon, just like when he was a child working on his father's boat.

"I remember catching 40-, 50-pounders back then, but it was very rare," the Emmonak fisherman said. "When we did catch 40- and 50-pounders, I did remember it because it didn't happen that often."

Charles opposes any changes in gear regulations because of the economic hardship they would bring. Commercial fishermen have already lost 15 feet of net depth to allow more large fish to escape upriver. And he said he believes reducing the maximum mesh size from the current 8 to 8 1/2 inches would have the unintended consequence of killing more large fish.

He said fishermen and scientists have found that large fish still become trapped in the smaller mesh. Instead of becoming completely entangled, a large king snared around the gills strangles, then falls free -- the big one that got away.

"It's just a waste of fish," Charles said.

In Emmonak, Charles said, 60 to 70 of the 800 residents fish for a living. About 100 rely on jobs at the local processing plant. Many fish the river for subsistence.

Charles said he believes changes to gear or openings would have a worrisome impact on downriver villages.

"It's the only economy we have in the lower river," Charles said.


MANAGEMENT PRINCIPLES
Change doesn't come easy on the Yukon River. After 20 years managing the fishery, Dan Bergstrom knows that well.

Politics act like a tidal force on all decisions. Fishermen square off against managers. Upriver residents spar with downriver residents. Fish wheel users fight net fishermen. Some like the taste of kings, others prefer chum.

"If you are going to make changes, you have to work with the fishermen," said Bergstrom, Fish and Game's Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim regional management supervisor. "If you push something through, they're not going to take it well. And that's a matter of time. It's not just one meeting."

Bergstrom said Fish and Game biologists are seeing fewer 7-year-old fish, a parallel sign that chinook stocks are changing. But without more study, Bergstrom said, he is not ready to rush forward with changes to commercial fishing regulations. He said he finds especially "infuriating" a lack of data from Canada, where the largest fish are headed. In addition to increasing study, Bergstrom said, it's important to come to an agreement about what type of fishery users want, then manage toward that goal.

One subsistence fisherman at a recent meeting Bergstrom attended noted the relative health of recent returns. With so many fish, she said, why complain about their size?

"I think it's something to be concerned about, but we don't see it as a crisis at this point," Bergstrom said. "We have time to look at it. I've been thinking about a very small change in mesh size. But we have time to work with the nets and see what sizes catch what fish."

Eagle fisherman Andy Bassich said he thinks it might already be too late. He has seen pictures from the early 20th century that show 60- and 70-pound females on the upper river. The biggest fish caught in Eagle this year was about 35 pounds.

The fish he's catching today don't compare with the burly hogs he caught when he started fishing 22 years ago.

"They're not the big, fat, robust fish anymore because those guys are getting nailed by the gillnets more easily than these long, slender guys," he said.

He said he doesn't want to see the chinook go the way of the cod, swordfish or dozens of other species whose shrinking was a clear early signal of evolutionary decline. And once the big fish are gone, he said, there's no getting those genes back into the pool.

"If we put our heads together," he said, "we can come up with a fix that's good for the fish and good for the fishermen."
_________________________
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." (Zane Grey)

"If you don't kill them, they will spawn." (Carcassman)


The Keen Eye MD
Long Live the Kings!

Top
#5408 - 01/31/06 03:38 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on
Bank of Duvall Offline
Smolt

Registered: 11/22/03
Posts: 79
Loc: Duvall
Does anyone ever think to suspect the lack of ocean food for these fish? I read a thread on ifish that said drop an extra 10,000,000 smolts to solve all our problems.... i don't think we've left enough unmolested food source(s) to support much - maybe I'm crazy ...??

Top
#5409 - 01/31/06 11:24 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on
The Moderator Offline
The Chosen One

Registered: 02/09/00
Posts: 14485
Loc: Tuleville
Quote:
Originally posted by Bank of Duvall:
Does anyone ever think to suspect the lack of ocean food for these fish?
Nope.

At least one UW professor has figured out the reason why, stated his case and concern to AK and the commercial fishery folks on the Yukon, and was promptly told by both organizations to get the fark out of AK and never return. frown Apprently, they didn't want to hear that the fish are in trouble and that if they want to be saved, fishing *MUST be stopped on the Yukon.

Disease and overfishing are the culprits. Mainly disease.
_________________________
Tule King Paker

Top
#5410 - 01/31/06 12:21 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on
Salmonella Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 11/29/04
Posts: 1369
Gives a lot of creedence to "Slot Limits".
_________________________


Top
#5411 - 01/31/06 12:42 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on
Bob Offline

Dazed and Confused

Registered: 03/05/99
Posts: 6480
Loc: Forks, WA & Soldotna, AK
Good read Doc ... thanks for the post smile
_________________________
Seen ... on a drive to Stam's house:



"You CANNOT fix stupid!"

Top
#5412 - 01/31/06 01:12 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on
TBird Offline
Fish Fear Me

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 3376
Loc: Port Angeles
18 to 20 lb kings called "Jacks?" I like their thinking! Must have been a hell of a river in it's time!
_________________________



So easy, a cavegirl could do me

Team FTW

Top
#5413 - 01/31/06 06:17 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on
WN1A Offline
Spawner

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 591
Loc: Seattle
Interesting article about the Yukon chinook, if you substitute Columbia for Yukon the story is about the same. The primary differences are that subsistence fisheries are top priority in the Yukon, dams are not an issue, and there are not 180 hatcheries putting fish into the river. Significant similarities are there are many competing users over the length of the river, multiple state and federal agencies regulate the fisheries, and chinook life history.

Chinook spend more time in the ocean than the other Yukon salmon. In the article it is stated that little is known about chinook in the ocean, a view that is stated quite often by freshwater fisheries managers as a reason for failures of management schemes. The reality is that data on chinook in the ocean have been collected for many years, generally in conjunction with studies of the more numerous pinks, chum, and sockeye. For the past four years an international cooperative research project has been looking at the effects of climate change on salmon ecosystems in the Bering Sea. Juvenile chinook feed on the continental shelf in there first year at sea and then move off the shelf for their remaining time in the ocean. Old data indicates that the juvenile salmon were confined to a small area north of the Aleutian Islands. The Bering Sea has been warming up for the past several years. Sampling shows that as the water warms juvenile salmon are now utilizing most of the shelf. One can speculate that this dramatic increase in feeding area results in a higher survival of juvenile Yukon chinook, chum salmon and pink salmon. The warmer water doesn't increase the food supply in the Bering Sea basin however. When the chinook move off the shelf they are competing with increased numbers of chum and pink salmon from Japan, Russia, Canada, and the U.S. Their growth rate will be reduced resulting in more fish returning to the river but at a smaller average size. The loss of the 7 and 8 year old fish is not so easy to explain. Scale studies to determine their growth rates compared to the younger fish might give some clues.

Continuing the comparison to Columbia River chinook, they also feed on the continental shelf along the Oregon and Washington coast after leaving the river. Unlike the Bering Sea warmer water temperatures and no north winds decreases the food available. 2005 was not good for salmon (and seabirds) that rely on upwelling.

The article mentioned the need for research. The AYK SSI group is starting a significant research program this year. If anyone is interested in a comprehensive review of Western Alaska salmon look at the report, " Developing a Research and Restoration Plan for AYK Salmon", that can be accessed from the link below. It is 224 pages long so plan on reading for some time.

http://www4.nas.edu/cp.nsf/Projects+_by+_PIN/BEST-K-02-08-A?OpenDocument

Top
#5414 - 02/01/06 02:01 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on
stlhdr1 Offline
BUCK NASTY!!

Registered: 01/26/00
Posts: 6414
Loc: Vancouver, WA
Yet another fishery destroyed by gillnets...

Sounds like the Columbia river of the 1800's! Yet now, a 20lber is nearly a wall mount!

Keith beathead
_________________________
It's time to put the red rubber nose away, clown seasons over.


Top
#5415 - 02/01/06 11:39 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on
The Moderator Offline
The Chosen One

Registered: 02/09/00
Posts: 14485
Loc: Tuleville
You are all on the wrong track.

The disease is doing the damage on the Yukon.

The fishing just isn't helping the recovery.
_________________________
Tule King Paker

Top
#5416 - 02/01/06 01:41 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on
WN1A Offline
Spawner

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 591
Loc: Seattle
Parker is talking about Ichthophyonus, a disease that has been discussed on this board before. It is a big problem in chinook on the Yukon but probably not the primary cause of decreasing size. Chum and other chinook runs in western Alaska exhibit the same problems as the Yukon chinook but don't have the disease. More likely the disease is a symptom of the problem, climate change. The severity of the disease seems to track the increasing temperature of the Yukon over the past 30 years. The study that Parker is referring to is well done and interesting to read. Look at the final report for study no. 01-200 at the link below to read it.

http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/fisreportdetail.cfm?fisrep=22

I realized that the link I gave in my earlier post was incomplete. It is now correct. That report notes the disease problem in Yukon chinook.

Finally this is an interesting news article that mentions the climate change problem on the Yukon.

http://www.ctnow.com/outdoors/hc-finalriversyukon.artoct24,0,3335887.story?coll=hce-headlines-outdoors

Top
#5417 - 02/01/06 03:09 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on
The Moderator Offline
The Chosen One

Registered: 02/09/00
Posts: 14485
Loc: Tuleville
Yup.

I swear Kocan told me that since the fish were not making it up to the spawning grounds, it was effecting their size as well. Maybe that was just the over-fishing.

He'll be back in my office in a week or so. I'll ask him about it again.

He's the Yukon expert.
_________________________
Tule King Paker

Top
#802567 - 11/24/12 04:42 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: The Moderator]
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12694
Seven seasons ago they were worried about the fish getting smaller.

Now they worry about getting any at all.

http://www.avcp.org/apps/Agendas-Reports...n%20Handout.pdf
_________________________
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." (Zane Grey)

"If you don't kill them, they will spawn." (Carcassman)


The Keen Eye MD
Long Live the Kings!

Top
#802569 - 11/24/12 07:36 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: eyeFISH]
GBL Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 01/31/05
Posts: 1879
Loc: Yakutat
And the guy in the article said the biggest he got was 36lbs, but I'll bet he did not throw it back to protect those big ones, so you are right where you should be after years of over-fishing and now disease thrown in!

And they want more studies!

Top
#802573 - 11/24/12 09:34 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: GBL]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6754
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Disease may be killing the fish, but it's not making them smaller. Gillnets may be making them smaller on the spawning grounds but not in the river.
Neither of these is making them younger.

marine mixed stock fisheries on non-adults-ocenan sport, ocean troll, bycatch in trawls, squid gillnets, and such is what is taking away the old fish.

The reduction in Chinook size,and the causes of same, were recognized when i was college (Noah was my fisheries prof).

The first step to recovering the Yukon Chinook size, or the Elwha Chinook size, or the Skagits, or anywhere is to quit killing them in fisheries until they are mature and stopped feeding. Then, of course, letting enogh of them spawn to support the run.

Management generally sets escapement goals as number of fish. As the females get smaller, thry bring in fewer eggs. An EG of 10,000 may have worked 30 years ago. Today, hitting 10,000 may give 60% as many eggs.

Top
#802574 - 11/24/12 09:54 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: Carcassman]
cohoangler Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 12/29/99
Posts: 1595
Loc: Vancouver, Washington
Decreasing size at maturity is an unmistakable sign of over exploitation of adults prior to the onset of maturation. This happens to ANY fish population where exploitation is high. I have personally seen this in a variety of fisheries from walleye and perch in Michigan to cod in New England to Chinook salmon on the Columbia. The symptoms are the same and so is the cause. Overexploitation.

The reason is simple. Harvest does not allow the adults to reach a large size at maturity. They get harvested before they reach a large body size. As such, the spawning stock becomes primarily those fish that naturally mature at a smaller size since those that naturally mature at a larger size (thus spend more time in the size range targeted for exploitation) get caught. Repeat this pattern for 50+ years, and the spawning stock will become progressively smaller and smaller. This happens to fish stocks anywhere that exploitation is high. The solution is equally as simple. Stop fishing for these fish on their feeding grounds. Wait until they reach their terminal age/size at maturity before initiating harvest.

I don't think the gill nets in the Yukon Rv are to blame for the decrease in size at maturity. The fisheries in the ocean are more likely the culprit.

Top
#802575 - 11/24/12 10:18 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: cohoangler]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6754
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
And yet, Washington's managers are on record, in the recovery plans filed with NOAA for PS Chinook, as saying the fisheries don't affect adult size.

Top
#802581 - 11/24/12 11:03 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: Carcassman]
eugene1 Offline
Spawner

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 880
Loc: out there...
I was at a meeting where a NOAA guy said the pollock fleet has serious impact on Yukon nooks. I think it was about 100,000 by-catched chinook last season. Really sad to see.

Top
#802583 - 11/24/12 11:22 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: cohoangler]
Jerry Garcia Offline



Registered: 10/13/00
Posts: 9160
Loc: everett
Originally Posted By: cohoangler
Decreasing size at maturity is an unmistakable sign of over exploitation of adults prior to the onset of maturation. This happens to ANY fish population where exploitation is high. I have personally seen this in a variety of fisheries from walleye and perch in Michigan to cod in New England to Chinook salmon on the Columbia. The symptoms are the same and so is the cause. Overexploitation.

The reason is simple. Harvest does not allow the adults to reach a large size at maturity. They get harvested before they reach a large body size. As such, the spawning stock becomes primarily those fish that naturally mature at a smaller size since those that naturally mature at a larger size (thus spend more time in the size range targeted for exploitation) get caught. Repeat this pattern for 50+ years, and the spawning stock will become progressively smaller and smaller. This happens to fish stocks anywhere that exploitation is high. The solution is equally as simple. Stop fishing for these fish on their feeding grounds. Wait until they reach their terminal age/size at maturity before initiating harvest.

I don't think the gill nets in the Yukon Rv are to blame for the decrease in size at maturity. The fisheries in the ocean are more likely the culprit.


The larger fish were also able to dig redds in larger cobble and deeper resisting the effects of scour.
_________________________
would the boy you were be proud of the man you are

Growing old ain't for wimps
Lonnie Gane

Top
#802597 - 11/24/12 12:29 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: Carcassman]
Eric Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 3513
Quote:
marine mixed stock fisheries on non-adults-ocenan sport, ocean troll, bycatch in trawls, squid gillnets, and such is what is taking away the old fish.

The reduction in Chinook size,and the causes of same, were recognized when i was college (Noah was my fisheries prof).

The first step to recovering the Yukon Chinook size, or the Elwha Chinook size, or the Skagits, or anywhere is to quit killing them in fisheries until they are mature and stopped feeding. Then, of course, letting enogh of them spawn to support the run.





Quote:
The solution is equally as simple. Stop fishing for these fish on their feeding grounds. Wait until they reach their terminal age/size at maturity before initiating harvest.




Simple, yes. But how many here believe that will happen anytime soon, if ever?

(No hands go up....silence in the room)

Top
#802606 - 11/24/12 01:04 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: cohoangler]
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12694
Originally Posted By: cohoangler
Decreasing size at maturity is an unmistakable sign of over exploitation of adults prior to the onset of maturation. This happens to ANY fish population where exploitation is high. I have personally seen this in a variety of fisheries from walleye and perch in Michigan to cod in New England to Chinook salmon on the Columbia. The symptoms are the same and so is the cause. Overexploitation.

The reason is simple. Harvest does not allow the adults to reach a large size at maturity. They get harvested before they reach a large body size. As such, the spawning stock becomes primarily those fish that naturally mature at a smaller size since those that naturally mature at a larger size (thus spend more time in the size range targeted for exploitation) get caught. Repeat this pattern for 50+ years, and the spawning stock will become progressively smaller and smaller. This happens to fish stocks anywhere that exploitation is high. The solution is equally as simple. Stop fishing for these fish on their feeding grounds. Wait until they reach their terminal age/size at maturity before initiating harvest.

I don't think the gill nets in the Yukon Rv are to blame for the decrease in size at maturity. The fisheries in the ocean are more likely the culprit.

Please submit your comments to the blue ribbon panel investigating the decline of Alaska Chinook
_________________________
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." (Zane Grey)

"If you don't kill them, they will spawn." (Carcassman)


The Keen Eye MD
Long Live the Kings!

Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >

Search

Site Links
Home
Our Washington Fishing
Our Alaska Fishing
Reports
Rates
Contact Us
About Us
Recipes
Photos / Videos
Visit us on Facebook
Today's Birthdays
fishgalpal, Rob B
Recent Gallery Pix
hatchery steelhead
Hatchery Releases into the Pacific and Harvest
Who's Online
2 registered (Carcassman, seabeckraised), 66 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Lawrence, I'm Still RichG, feyt, Freezeout, Whitekid253
11497 Registered Users
Top Posters
Todd 28154
Dan S. 17149
Sol Duc 16138
The Moderator 14485
Salmo g. 13363
eyeFISH 12694
STRIKE ZONE 12107
Dogfish 10979
ParaLeaks 10513
Jerry Garcia 9160
Forum Stats
11497 Members
16 Forums
63634 Topics
642087 Posts

Max Online: 3001 @ 01/28/20 02:48 PM

Join the PP forums.

It's quick, easy, and always free!

Working for the fish and our future fishing opportunities:

The Wild Steelhead Coalition

The Photo & Video Gallery. Nearly 1200 images from our fishing trips! Tips, techniques, live weight calculator & more in the Fishing Resource Center. The time is now to get prime dates for 2018 Olympic Peninsula Winter Steelhead , don't miss out!.

| HOME | ALASKA FISHING | WASHINGTON FISHING | RIVER REPORTS | FORUMS | FISHING RESOURCE CENTER | CHARTER RATES | CONTACT US | WHAT ABOUT BOB? | PHOTO & VIDEO GALLERY | LEARN ABOUT THE FISH | RECIPES | SITE HELP & FAQ |