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Current state of the Egg take at the Salmon River hatchery


Tall Tails

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ELOSTA had its monthly meeting at the hatchery last evening and some of the guys from the DEC joined us for a little Q and A on the current state of the hatchery situation. Here are some of the numbers and they are current as of 830pm last night. I would like to thank Andy Groulik (hatchery manager) for the numbers.

2.5 million Chinook eggs have been taken so far. Target is between 3.5 and 4 million They have spawed 2800 chinoooks to get to that number. The stocking projection is 1.75 million so they have enough they just would like to collect there buffer.

1.25 million Coho salmon eggs have been taken. They will have no problem getting the coho eggs. 3200 cohos have been spawed to get to that number.

The Chinook egg situation is a little funny. One would think with all the fish this year it would be no problem getting eggs but Andy told us that the fish are really only trickling into the hatchery on a daily basis. There are more then enough males showing up but they are lacking the females. They think that that because of the low water fisherman have been able to target the larger females more easily. They do think they will hit there target of eggs it may just take a little more effort then a weeks time. They have opened the fish ladder in Dexter and are currently looking to take eggs from the Black river fish. They got about 208,000 eggs out of the black river just yesterday. Also a little side note Canada is having zero issues getting there salmon eggs also the river to there Chinook hatchery is totally closed to fishing.

After all is said and done they will have about 76,000 cohos to release. That is what is left after all the issues last fall with eye up. As far as the current BT stocking predictions they cant nail that down yet as we will have to wait and see in the spring but stocking will be down significantly. The Rome die off really made things worse. The regional fishery managers will meet to discuss where those BTs will get stocked. My OWN OPINION does eastern lake Erie really need BTs, do you guys really target them? Just asking dont shoot the messanger.

ON a positive note the have extra steelhead about a few 100,000 that they will be able to stock.

As far as the water flow issue they feel like they did a better job this year holding the base flow at 185 till they needed the water vs 2007 were they had it as low as a 100. I agree seemed they learned from there mistake. As far as the natural spawn they are attributing this years great run of naturals to not having river flows over 2000cfs during those year class years.

That was a real quick over view of what I wrote down last evening if you guys have anymore questions please chime in and I will see if I have the answer if not I can send out an email and get it for you. They are going to let me know when the process is complete and I can pass that along.

Thanks to Dave Lemon, Dan Bishop, Les Wedge, Andy Groulick and Scott ... for all the info last evening.

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They used to stock browns in Erie and stopped for years. If I remember correctly, they started stocking browns again 6 or 7 years ago (I think) when they made the decision to stop stocking domestic rainbows in Erie due to (in my opinion, misplaced) concerns with domestic rainbows mixing with the fairly significant numbers of wild steelhead being produced in the Cattaraugus Creek system ( 25%+ of the steelhead in that system are now wild) so they started stocking browns again to make up for the loss of the domestic rainbow stocking. There are good numbers of browns in Erie, DEC trawls have found good populations hanging around Brocton Shoal in the summertime, but apparently everyone on Erie would rather fill their freezers with tasty boots, so no one fishes for them. I'm sure they are there for the taking along the shoreline in the spring, same as they are on Ontario.

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Vince, don't know about this year, but I remember that question coming up at the State of the Lake meeting back in the spring and they indicated that they get almost NO wild fish returning to the hatchery as they aren't imprinted on the hatchery/beaverdam brook.

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Vince,

90% of the fish that showed at the hatchery were hatchery fish. There feeling was the nauturals hit the river in huge numbers very early, even before good water temperature. Very few showed themselves at the hatchery.

They are doing a small study on survivability of the naturals vs hatchery with an emphasis on the thiamene treatments. Obviously the naturals do very without the thiamene treatment and the hatchery fish have to be treated in order to survive. Based on the outcome of this study they may start taking wild females in the future to improve the genetics.

They believe strongly that large females were targeted in the low water and it is contributing greatly to the amount of females showing at the raceways.

On a side note I was amazed at the number of jacks I saw in the ladder last night.

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Thats what I would have thought. Those fish would imprint better than any other, and would also help explain why not enough would enter the raceway. With todays intelligent fishing pressure on both the North and South shores, the stocking numbers were woefully inadequate. When/if there is a good hatch of naturals, it will be primarily in the Eastern end and the North shore. Any egg eyeing problems or stocking shortfalls will hurt the heavily fished Western end the most. The Niagara had a weak run again this year. When we had Caledonia hatchery Salmon, this was not the case and also showed itself in 18 mile and the Oak.

I would hate to see where we'd be without all the holding pen projects and the help of the volunteers.

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Tim,

I think you know where I am going with this. Come spring there will be very few BTs to stock in the state let alone Lake O. Fisheries managers are going to have to make a tough choices about who gets BTs and who doesnt. I am not sure people realize that what is in the Rome hatchery is all we have in the state and those fish get spread out to not just lake O. We had a short discussion last night about your end of the lake. One local Capt from the east end said you guys did not need them as you dont target them. I did defend the west end dont worry.

Vince,

We did talk about that as well. Dan Bishops feeling was there is not very good habitat at the Oak for good natural spawning. He did feel like there was some at 18 mile but he feels the pressure there hurts it. He also compared the Niagara to the Oswego that there is obviously no spawning habitat there for them at all. He thinks Oswego gets a decent number of fish from the pens and maybe some confused fish that thought they were in the Salmon river. There was High praise for the Pens and the volunteers from all sides last evening. A niagara river net pen may not be a bad idea..

Brian

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When we had Caledonia hatchery Salmon, this was not the case and also showed itself in 18 mile and the Oak.

I would hate to see where we'd be without all the holding pen projects and the help of the volunteers.

Can I get a big AMEN here :yes::yes::yes::yes:

I really wish we could get kings back into Caledonia, particularly for western basin tribs, but there appears to be some personal agenda's and territorial protection going on in the hatchery system that won't let that happen.

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Yes, I know Brian, and I was kind of agreeing with you that even though they are there for the taking in Erie, they are a totally unused resource there and are pretty much wasted as a result. I was simply explaining WHY they stock browns in Erie for those that don't know the history.

Who says we don't target browns on the west end? Many of us certainly do. It's overshadowed by the fact that we have Kings to play with all season, but we have a great summer brown fishery. Just because in a normal year, those on the East end HAVE to beat up on their brown trout all summer to have any fish to catch, doesn't mean we don't target them as well on our end.

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Who says we don't target browns on the west end? Many of us certainly do. It's overshadowed by the fact that we have Kings to play with all season, but we have a great summer brown fishery. Just because in a normal year, those on the East end have to beat up on their brown trout all summer to have any fish to catch, doesn't mean we don't target them as well on our end.

This was my argument to the uneducated...

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Thanks for the info. It's a bit of a relief to hear that they have 2.4 million eggs collected, considering the flow conditions in the river. And it's nice to see they learned from 2007 and put a plan in place, and they are utilizing it.

It's really too bad about Caledonia. In my opinion it's a very under untilized asset.

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anyone know the reasoning or the logic behind not putting kings in caledonia? you said the dec pathologist was against it does that mean there are some disease treatment and containment issues?

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Not utilizing Caledonia is complete crap.....don't kid yourselves guys, its all about $.

God forbid that a devastating accident happen at Altmar and they loose all the eggs or stocking Frye....where are we then? Screwed that's where.....one freaking hatchery on the American side....great Idea D.E.C.....let's put all our eggs in one basket and hope for the best.

Sorry for my rant....I just hate to see resources wasted....

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ok, more than just rainbows, though they are more susceptible,

here's a pretty thorough research paper on VHS. Check out section 2.4 on Control and prevention in particular.

Paragraph 2.4.6 has this to say:

2.4.6. Disinfection of eggs and larvae

Disinfection of eyed and green eggs is an efficient and cost-effective preventative measure for stopping

the spread of the disease (for detailed procedures see ref. 5).

here's the link to the entire paper

http://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/H ... 09.VHS.pdf

Tim

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