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#802614 - 11/24/12 01:47 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
While we all join in on railing against the ocean fisheries that are hammering Yukon stocks remeber that the developement and increase in the PS blackmouth fisheries is recuing the adult size of PS Chinook, too.

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#802624 - 11/24/12 03:19 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: eyeFISH]
WN1A Offline
Spawner

Registered: 09/17/04
Posts: 591
Loc: Seattle
During the past seven seasons chinook size and numbers have both decreased but the idea that these changes can be reversed by fisheries managers hasn't changed. It is time to realize that the tweaks to harvest management or even stopping harvest will have little effect. Human actions are a major contributor to the changes, climate change, ocean acidification, pollutants, and industrial fisheries that may have small direct impacts on an individual species but a great impact on the marine ecosystem they rely on.

An example is size at maturity, computer models demonstrate that harvest might reduce size at maturity, but there is growing direct evidence that pollution has the same effect. At the recent Salish Sea Conference information was presented that size and age of maturing Puget Sound chinook is reduced by exposure to persistent organic pollutants. There are many lab studies that demonstrate that the offspring of maturing females (not just fish) exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals can have lower growth and survival. Even more important is that the changes are epigenetic, the fish that survive pass the new traits to their offspring. These kinds of pollutants are everywhere, in both the marine and terrestrial environment. Salmon are a fast evolving species, 10 generations can lead to a lasting change. Smaller, younger fish would have less exposure time to pollutants in the marine environment, speculation but it could be the future.

Disease (Parker's post of 2006), ocean temperature changes,and freshwater habitat are all contributing factors. Along with pollution and harvest no one thing can be assigned the blame for decreasing size and numbers. More likely it is a synergistic effect brought on by a combination of these stressors.

There is going to be a two day workshop, open to the public, in Anchorage in early December that will examine some of the problems and potential solutions to the Yukon Chinook problem. It is sponsored by AYKSSI, more information, speakers and topics, can be found at the link below.

Salmon Outreach Workshop

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#802729 - 11/24/12 11:01 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: WN1A]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
If the idea that the pollutants are causing Chinook to get younger and smaller can be tested, at least to some extent, by looking at the age and size changes occurring in the New Zealand Chinook. Are they showing the same decreases in both age and size.

I do agree that natural selection will be for what survives to spawn. Life will try to adapt. At some point, though, on the Yukon the fish will be too small to successfully migrate to the spawning grounds and to successfully spawn in big rivers with big substrate.

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#802761 - 11/24/12 11:59 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: stlhdr1]
Illahee Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 05/22/05
Posts: 3779
Originally Posted By: stlhdr1
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


If you think gillnets killed off the CR salmon then I've got a dunce cap you need to wear.
Did it ever occur to you that dams killed off the CR salmon runs?

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#802768 - 11/25/12 12:18 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: Illahee]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Columbia River salmon were already well depressed prior to the dams.
The dams just finished what the commercial fisheries started.

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#802774 - 11/25/12 12:28 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: Carcassman]
Illahee Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 05/22/05
Posts: 3779
Originally Posted By: Carcassman
Columbia River salmon were already well depressed prior to the dams.
The dams just finished what the commercial fisheries started.



Then why do runs devastated by poor ocean conditions rebound almost instantaneously after ocean condition return to good?
So how is harvest any different than poor ocean conditions?
If you want to kill off any species, just make it difficult for them to reproduce.

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#803106 - 11/27/12 09:16 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: Illahee]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3994
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
Hell CM it was not just the Columbia it was the entire NW coastal area. If you go back through newspaper articles of the time it was a constant problem, overharvest that is. Now what I loved in the research was the fact that the reduced harvest far exceeded today's run sizes. Then we added the massive marine harvest and that was the ball game as you could nail the other states or regions fish as you had screwed up yours. Over harvest has been a driver hand in hand with the loss of watershed productivity as it has declined from the moment the first settler cleared a spot to build their house on, and continues today. The challenge is to get folks to accept the reduced harvest that the reduced watershed productivity requires and PROTECT WHAT GOOD HABITAT IS LEFT.
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#803143 - 11/27/12 02:48 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: Rivrguy]
fshwithnoeyes Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 08/20/08
Posts: 299
Loc: Lewis Co via Bham
+1 Carcassman

Leave the "feeders" alone.
_________________________
If we ignore the environment it will just go away

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#803150 - 11/27/12 03:20 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: fshwithnoeyes]
cohoangler Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 12/29/99
Posts: 1588
Loc: Vancouver, Washington
I agree that we should leave the feeders alone. But isn't that 100% of the blackmouth fishery in Puget Sound? And the commercial troll fishery in SE AK? It would be great if we could let those fish reach maturity before we starting pounding them. But that's not likely to happen anytime soon.

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#803155 - 11/27/12 03:39 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: cohoangler]
Todd Offline
Dick Nipples

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 28153
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
Taken to its extreme, any salmon fishing in saltwater is going to be, if not fishing for them outright, at least catching sub-adults.

Any directed blackmouth fishery is, by definition, catching juveniles that have not reached their adult size.

Fish on...

Todd
_________________________


Team Flying Super Ditch Pickle


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#803188 - 11/27/12 07:22 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: Todd]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
For those who think that the sport fishery can't exert a lot of pressure, back in the day the PS blackmouth fishery took essentially all of the non-Indian share. Actually, with the exception of the Bellingham Bay Chinook net fishery the sporties, with some help from the WA trollers, took the NI share.

It should also be remembered that Chinook were accounted for as "adult equivalents". This means that an adult in the bay pr river conted as 1 fish. A barely legal blackmouth counted as (say) half a fish because the natural mortality gave it only a 50% chance of becoming an adult.

So, not only did the sporties take 50% of the accounted fish they took a whole lot more than that in actual fish.

In the interest of fairness i should point out that WDG used to have a spring trout fishery that they knew took steelhead smolts but allowed it because it gave opportunity to those who preferred to catch trout in the spring on light gear rather than steelhead in the winter on heavier gear.

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#1059680 - 05/06/22 07:29 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: eyeFISH]
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12689
"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.

OH HOW PROPHETIC

And here we are 16 years later, and the Yukon has collapsed.
_________________________
"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!

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#1059681 - 05/06/22 07:31 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: cohoangler]
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12689
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.


Your foresight was 20/20, Mark... SPOT ON!
_________________________
"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!

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#1059684 - 05/06/22 08:44 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: eyeFISH]
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12689
"Therefore the 2022 run is likely to be similar to 2021. Because of the poor projected run size, salmon fishing closures are required until inseason run strength estimates indicate a harvestable surplus above escapement needs. This will likely require closures at least through the midpoint of the run."


https://adfg.alaska.gov/static/applications/dcfnewsrelease/1368784388.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!

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#1059685 - 05/07/22 10:52 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
I've said it before, maybe even in this thread, but we have known (at least fisheries professionals) for multiple decades that fishing has made the salmon smaller. And, in a few cases, larger. This most obvious with Chinook where they get fished as immatures for years.

But, in the last decade or so a much more dangerous factor has arisen. The salmon are now smaller at age; the quality of food is insufficient. In fact, some of the larger adults die when migrating back to the more southern streams where they swim into warmer water which raises their metabolic rate to the point that a full stomach of low quality food won't sustain them and they die.

Which means, if we don't fix the food chain, too, that even closing the marine mixed stock fisheries might not get the big fish back as they lack the nutrition to grow big rather than just lacking the opportunity.

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#1059687 - 05/09/22 10:00 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: Carcassman]
DrifterWA Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 04/25/00
Posts: 4942
Loc: East of Aberdeen, West of Mont...
Originally Posted By: Carcassman


In the interest of fairness i should point out that WDG used to have a spring trout fishery that they knew took steelhead smolts but allowed it because it gave opportunity to those who preferred to catch trout in the spring on light gear rather than steelhead in the winter on heavier gear.



Why does WDFW continue to fill rivers with winter run steelhead plants???

Anyone that fishes the coastal Region 6 rivers, for the hatchery steelhead knows that there is a chance on hooking a Wild steelhead, for that matter it was legal to catch and keep a wild steelhead until 2004, the Commission put a halt on keeping wild steelhead, for 2 years, at that time.

Problem was, the sportsmen were allowed to continue to fish for hatchery steelhead and tribal fishermen continued to net both hatchery and wild. We all know about fish and gillnet but we don't REALLY know the impact of released Wild steelhead.

Now the coast is at shut down for all winter run fishing to protect the remaining runs of wild steelhead, I agree with that, but I can't get WDFW Region 6 Manager Losee to give any written timing plan, only that there are committees working on it. No one really thinking about how many years, or life cycles, it will takes to get the Wild steelhead to a safe level......10, 20, 50 years, maybe even more, maybe never?????

What to do????? Stop plants of winter steelhead, until a level of Wild steelhead reaches a level that WDFW fish management feels in necessary.

Increase the summer run steelhead plants in the rivers that have hatchery plants now, look into area rivers that could start to receive....plants. Would it take some major changes ?????? I think so, maybe there might be some rivers not ever opened for 10 - 20 years But there would be rivers open to fish for summer steelhead.......How was your winter season this year, in Region 6?

Just trying to have a "plan B", rather than complete shut downs. This should make for interesting comments!!!!!!
_________________________
"Worse day sport fishing, still better than the best day working"

"I thought growing older, would take longer"

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#1059688 - 05/09/22 11:31 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: eyeFISH]
Lifter99 Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 12/01/18
Posts: 196
Drifter,
I talked to Larry Phillips before he left the Department about what the plans were for winter steelhead seasons and winter plants. He said that winter steelhead plants were going to continue as usual because with improving ocean conditions the wild runs might improve sooner than expected. We all know how those things go. I suggested maybe enlarging the summer steelhead plants and maybe starting a summer run of steelhead in other rivers such as the Satsop. He didn't seem to be very interested in that. Larry has left now but I don't think we are going to see any changes with Losee. Status quo with the Department.

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#1059689 - 05/09/22 12:54 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: eyeFISH]
cohoangler Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 12/29/99
Posts: 1588
Loc: Vancouver, Washington
Originally Posted By: eyeFISH
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.


Your foresight was 20/20, Mark... SPOT ON!


Thanks Doc. When I wrote that, I was 10 years younger than I am today...... I was sorta hoping I was wrong, but alas the situation on the Yukon has not gotten any better.

And Carcassman's insightful post has brought up some additional issues that haven't gotten as much attention, but probably should.

Hope all is well with you.

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#1059705 - 05/13/22 01:04 PM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: eyeFISH]
GoPro Hero Offline
Parr

Registered: 06/11/21
Posts: 59
So basically we have to let them eat and need to have the state shut down all the saltwater fishing and just have the rivers be open. Then we can all catch some big fish.
_________________________
Go Pro? Letís Goooo!!!
Follow me on Instagram @fishpr0her0

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#1059711 - 05/16/22 10:57 AM Re: THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING KING.... read on [Re: GoPro Hero]
cohoangler Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 12/29/99
Posts: 1588
Loc: Vancouver, Washington
Not exactly. By allowing these fish to reach their optimal size at maturity, the returning adults will be a variety of sizes and ages. This allows for diversity of body sizes of the females, which allows successful spawning in various locations in the river (e.g., shallow and deep, small tribs and large tribs). This maximizes the use of whatever spawning habitat is available; and optimizes survival.

Plus, if there are various body sizes, the adults will return at different ages. This will spread the risk of adverse weather or geologic conditions (floods, drought, volcanos) across multiple generations. So one bad flood (or Mt. St. Helens) doesn't destroy an entire year class of Chinook.

The bottom line is that harvesting salmon while they are in their feeding/growing stage is destructive on multiple levels. We're better off waiting until they reach their terminal body size before harvesting.

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