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What if there were no Kings?


Gill-T

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Nice. I lost the motivation to take this thread seriously. You nailed it vince. We havent offically met. I do have a chrome j plug with green tape on it. We have had it about ten years. We call it the thrillseaker. It came with a couple hundred feet of core...sorry

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Vince, While I retired my Charter business in 1999 after 20 years to chase my very gifted Athlete daughter around the US playing on elite basketball and soccer teams (my choice and a very good one) , I spent from 1972 until now chasing fish on all the great lakes and rivers, and of course especially LO. Am the past president of what once was the Western Lake Ontario Charter Boat Assoc. and a board member of the NYS Sports Fishing Council. I was a staff writer on the original "Great Lakes Fisherman magazine, and for nine years the LO Editor for NY Sportman Magazine. AND I love lake caught King Salmon and also hope the program stays stable as it is today. Yesterday's Fishing boat census reports for the first part of this year continues to show the interest and success of fishing for all species in the lake and especially King Salmon. I'm not chest pounding boyz...just letting you know I've also been around....I've been involved in the politics, as well as the volunteer programs, as well as the professional business that operate on the lake and rivers.

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission which has an important play in management of all the lakes is the main arm of native species "STUDY". Lake Trout and Atlantic Salmon studies have been going on folks since 1956 when this commisison was started mainly to work on the management of Sea Lampreys that invaded the lakes after the opening of the sea way. My personal view on fishery's today after all my experiences is #1 take care of the environment , which is essentially the food web and water quality for which all of these great games species require, and they will take care of you.

My comments on Atlantic Salmon is to dispell the notion that there is some agenda to replace our current lineup of sport fish in LO for Lake Trout and Atlantic Salmon. And I realize just cause I say that many think I'm speaking out the side of my mouth. Understand that since 1956 the study of these species has been taking place. Both in the US and Canada. We are doing it differntly here then in Canada. Canada because it's lucky to have true natel environments is trying to put fry in a river that has capabilities for natural reproduction. For the record NYS tried at different times in it's king salmon fishery history to stock fry, and the results were not successful either. But we don't have the same water qualities.

I've been fortunate to have spent time with some brilliant scientists. It's a shame that so many are suspicious of these folks who have no agenda other then to unlock the puzzles of science in trying to figure out if LO and the upper lakes has the capability to sustain native species. Most of these guys don't even fish. They are fish nerds if you will that are driven by what all scientists are driven by....finding answers to probelms that haven't been solved. Dr Johnson who leads the A Salmon effort for USGS was once one of the DEC's most gifted biologists who did the studies of our river systems back in the late 70's and declared back then that only a hatchery fishery could continue to sutain sport fishery's in NYS, and his findings were a driving factor of the building of the very Altmar hatchery where our salmon are raised today. He's not a guy with any agenda to undo what he helped start.

While I also have good friends working on the Canada effort that also includes many Rec and volunteer groups like CRAA who are not Govt' funded....let me stick to NYS. Johnson is growing fish to larger sizes just like Roger Griel does at LSSU in Huron....and is trying to spawn returning adult to the salmon river which he has. This effort is not taking up NYS hatchery space from other species and has NO FUNDS for the LO program invested in it.

It's pure scientific study. Three years ago for the first time in 150 years Johnson and his crew found 100's of naturally spawned wild Atlantic Salmon in the river. I don't know how anybody who loves sport fish and understands that this means we are making some strides in bettering the environment in which these fish live can't get behind this even with positive interest. LOTAC today has now planted nearly 40,000 tress for bank improvement that keeps spawning gravel in tack that our King Salmon are thriving in obviously, and the past three years the spring seining events have yeilded YOY Coho salmon for the first time ever.

Is this going to sustain a sport fishery No. (although it has probably helped the King salmon fishing in both the open waters and rivers) But it proves that habitat involvement by Humans can make a difference. I know there is some hard feelings in Canada between sport fishing groups but a group of volunteers who have planted close to 100,000 trees and diverted rain water from storm drains to stop the silting of spawning gravel in the upper Credit have lowered the temps of this Metro Toronto river by a full 7 degrees in the summer and now have very successful wild repo of steelehad. Steelhead that you are all catching. They are seeing returns of spawning fish in the 10's of thousands....where once they were lucky to retun 3000 adult fish.

Is there really anything wrong with trying to improve the habitat for which our very diverse population of sport fish require? After I stopped spending 150 days a season on the Lake, I started spending that same amount of time on the rivers. My eyes were opened wide to the connection of the entire fishery not just the lake or just the tribs. Can you imagine if we all got on the same page? If we all had interest in managing the entire fishery environment and not be split ...and has been for decades?

Yeah, I'm just not a one species of fish type of guy. I love them all, they all have their place, and for that I'm interested in supporting them all....including the efforts on native species. Lastly I'm more then anything a realist. I might have another 20 years on this earth to enjoy this fishery. From what I've seen, I think I have a realistic view of two things. Since LO sits at the bototm of the chain of lakes, I believe we will always have alwifes, because all the fertil water runs down to us. Populations will flux, but they won't go away in my lifetime. And two, I highly doubt from what I've seen that we'll have a very large naturally sustainable A salmon fishery in NYS. We'd have to plant millions of trees, take out dozens of barriers, and shut down factories and farms all along the South shore waterways.....and that's not realistic. BUT having said that, those A salmon that I do catch, and they are fantastic fish (in a river) , will forever more have my interest to study them, and help where ever I can.

I do wish in my lifetime Fishermen could see the big picture. Let's face it both lake and trib anglers are special interest groups. We fight hard for our fisheries. We should all be fighting hard for the entire fishery. One last thing....let's stop the sensless name calling. I'm as passionate as you are about these fish, my 40 plus years of volunterring, working in, going to Albany to fight for, and years spent writing about this...wasn't just done for my enjoyment. Let's start acting like adults, businessmen and women, and concerned stakeholders of this wonderful natural resource.

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King Davy,

How do you explain the legislation the Canadian government is drawing up getting rid of the stocking of non-native species? You say there is no plans of changing to Atlantics and lakers but the writing is on the wall on the other side of the pond. Do some digging and you will find the legislation. It's hard to sit hear and say there is no agenda when everyone on this site has no idea what the agenda is in government no matter how much involvement we have with the dec or mnr.

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Gambler Canada has been trying to revitalize Native Species way longer then just now. And honestly if you had to depend on Canada for our sport fishery would you? I understand that all fish to the system is good, but I have to tell you I believe there's no turning this horse around. Unless they are going to stop the flows in Duffin's, Little Shelter Valley, The Ganny, Wilmont, etc....they can't stop it. Yes they can stop raising fish in a hatchery (I think it will be hard to win that one...IMHO) , but take a ride in Sept to Wilmont and Duffins....you won't get your feet wet walking across those rivers cause you'll be on the backs of thousands of sucessfuly spawning King salmon. Just like our Salmon river. As long as that treaty is in place we will always have king salmon even if every hatchery in the state fell over. I get it that it won't be what we have at the moment, but we won't be starting from scratch

 

. I also get it that one must study and follow the goings on of their favorite fisheries, and all isn't good news all the time...... . Not trying to put you off Atlantic Salmon but truly there is a lot more REAL effort with stocking in our lake of Lake trout, and if you folllow the GLFC....you'll understand that Lake trout are a bigger target for them (since they now have a history of success in the upper lakes) . And we all know that lake trout live dozens of years and eat lots of bait fish. The chances of them impacting this fishery is far greater at the moment. YET....(and I say this becaue I'm a diverse angler) hook one of those 20 pound plus lake trout on a jigging rod, and I think you might have a different perspective. There is no denying that a 20 pound sport fish in the GL isn't a special fish.

 

Things change, and evolve.....by all mans fight for what your interests are, but in reality there are others that have different interests. Hence the reason we should ALL try and get on the same page. I still believe this fishery can be enjoyed by a wide varity of interest if managed as a whole diverse fishery, not just from special interest, that includes native species study.

 

Banding together of stakeholders interests for both the open waters of the lake and the tribs would have a much bigger  impact of urging Environmental agencies to find the right balances for this diversity. That's the only point I'm trying to drive home.

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Back about 10 years ago now we the Lake Ontario Steelheaders group, and CRAA held a joint meeting and all day seminar of  Stakeholders from both shores, and the perspective Fisheries management groups. DEC, and MNR. Both sides made many presentations, on projects, programs and scientific data driven findings and we asked questions from both sides. Nothing at that time had more juice to evaporate rumors and agenda's then this event. Now I realize this was a trib focused seminar, but we had difficulties understanding the directions our shores were headed in.

 

It was one of the most valuable events I've ever attended. The state of the lake meetings ...lets be honest, there is much mistrust in the room. The tension for the stakehoders to the management officials can be cut with a chain saw. In the event of which I speak, we checked the egos and the special interest agendas at the front door, and got down to facts. Some were debated, some were not accepted by both parties but in the name of science and "politics" we spelled out as far as an agenda was on the table for all to see and understand. BTW Native species was then and always will be a huge topic for the north shore.

 

So folks if you really want to get something done...get off the computer, and get a joint meeting of all parties involved. It can be done, and quite possibly welcomed by both managment and stakeholders IF....BIG IF, you check all the egos at the door and we act like concerned yet fair stakeholders, and LISTEN!!! ask intelligent questions without malice and mistrust and I think you'll get honest answers. Not saying you'll like them...but now the true playing field is clearly in front of you.

 

And maybe after having written this....this has actually happened....if so share what you've learned.

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You do to have to tell me about fishing lakers. I put more hours in lake trout fishing than 99% of the fishermen on Lake Ontario. I enjoy catching any species from carp on the fly to pike in a tip up. It is cool to have Atlantics as another species to catch but I hope I never see the day when they are the main species.

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Gambler I know you are a lakers guy....and for where ever we don't see eye to eye, I know you are a diverse angler. I'll never bad mouth lake trout, as they had saved my a$$ on many occasions with a Charter party.

 

To lighten the mood....I once took out a group of old...and I mean guys in their late 70's early 80's. Four guys who only fished the Finger lakes pulling copper. None of these guys had ever caught a lake trout on a fishing rod. EVER! 

 

And while we caught some nice kings that day, they wanted to experience lakers on a fishing rod. So in I went to our favorite shoal. Dropped my flashers and peanuts...and couldn't keep four rods in the water, and we had many fish over 10 pounds. Most of the fish these guys caught on a daily basis were on avg. much smaller. Throughout this slugfest with LO lakers, all they discussed while reeling in these fish were what rigs they were going to use the next day pulling copper.  When we got back to the dock...I said WELL??? how was that catching all these wonderful fish on fishing rods....to a man....Ahh...it was OK, but I'd rather pull them in by hand. It was Classic.!

 

OK enough of my rants.....appreciate your patience....I assure you My interest lies with a healthy fishery for all our species. I love to fish for King Salmon in open water....hence the moniker I received back in the 80's when I put 22 kings over the side on day two of a tournament ..to leap from from 44th place to 1st .in keeping our 10 best....and won $5K.  However now I like chasing some other fish in a different manner....Things change....and I'm OK with that.

 

Tight Lines boyz.

Edited by King Davy
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Actually it should be on the reader to make that determination, not the poster.  â€œBeing ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.†Ben Franklin

 

 

There is a ton of unwilling people on this board, myself included, but to understand the logic behind an argument is to truly understand the topic at hand

Edited by DNRoch
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As for the I love  NY ad You mentioned Capn Vince & how it was billed as a top Fly fish destination. 

The Tribs , & I mean any major or minor trib from the Niagara to the Black river Are PACKED , some shoulder to shoulder from Mid sept to Ice up & thru the winter if there is any flow. Then a good amount for spring Steel till April. On a good day there may be 100 boats out of the oak W / an avg of 3 fisheman each. Thats 300 guys. There will be that many from the Sic hole to the frog water for a month most every day Mid Sept till mid Nov. Mostly fly fisherman , & most  are not after the kings.

 Maybe that's why the state is promo it .Same at Burt , Sandy, Genny, Oswego, Salmon ETC. On some tribs you can't find a spot to park or fish. Tons of cash for the state. Pltes from all around the country . Sat at a table w 2 folks from Sweden last fall.

 

 A lady tackle shop owner said she makes most of her money from mid sept till nov.

 

Also the comparison or Trolling to fly fish , with all due respect, was weak.  I don't have a temp/ speed probe ,fish finder, underwater camera,GPS, auto pilot, electric reel, on my tippet or in my vest.

Edited by Has Been
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Has been. I have enjoyed those crowded tribs for years. It is an art. Avoid the goons snagging the mud sharks. The last straw in the bribs was two years ago. Three guys in their mid twenties asked if they could use my scissors. I gave them up. Ten minutes passed and i walked behind a group of trees. The three men were just finishing up and gave me back my sissors with a harty thanks. They had used them to belly cut a nice 10 lb brown hen. Pouch the eggs and leave the rest of the fish in the woods. This is repeated on a dailly basis. Kings, steelies and browns. Why are there so many people in the bribs. Because they are full of fish. Theres no need for water temp or speed. You find something they like and hit them in the head. A ten year old can do it. It is one step above a cain pole and a worm. That doesnt mean its not fun. Its elementry fishing. I just dont understand the superiority complex. Trolling is a team sport. Targeting fish while they spawn is not as much sport as easy catching. KINGS RULE!!!

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