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Same story on Lake MI as Lake O


Yankee Troller

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Article - http://woodtv.com/2015/09/22/dnr-slashing-salmon-stock-in-lake-michigan/

 

 

Seems they have the same battle we do. The local government/MNR would rather step aside and take the free federal handouts over standing up to them and requesting a product that brings in more tourist money and interest. Not to mention a product that is uncontrollable for 10+ years. Thank god we are, and will, always be more fertile than Lake MI. I just wish someone would take our side and tell the feds to re-think their plan.

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Article - http://woodtv.com/2015/09/22/dnr-slashing-salmon-stock-in-lake-michigan/

 

 

Seems they have the same battle we do. The local government/MNR would rather step aside and take the free federal handouts over standing up to them and requesting a product that brings in more tourist money and interest. Not to mention a product that is uncontrollable for 10+ years. Thank god we are, and will, always be more fertile than Lake MI. I just wish someone would take our side and tell the feds to re-think their plan.

It's time we draft a from letter to all the local congressmen/senators and government officials. I can post it on this site and each individual can print sign and mail. I would just need some decent factual info, on the effects to the local economy ect..
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They want lakers because they are Native species.  I wouldn't go as far as to say laker populations are uncontrollable but not as easy to maintain.  They could cut king stockings and see a difference in a couple years.  Lakers live way longer and would take a lot longer to get out of the system (unless everyone started targeting them).  When salmon fishing is horrible and lakers get pounded for seasons in a row, laker populations drop.  The 90's / early 2000's were a prime examples.  It would not take too much effort to drop the laker population back down.  They are the most predictable and easiest species to catch.  What species of the trout and salmon stays in the same band of the lake for the entire season?  LAKERS. 

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Lake Michigan has a forage base problem. Not like Ontario with way better alewife population. Their worries are more predator to prey ratio similar to what happened to Huron some years ago that caused a crash. A lot of what goes on with alewife population isn't all predators either. They aren't even considering stocking Michigan lake trout in higher number. I watch the tournaments on Salmon Showdown and it's pitiful what the teams are bringing to the scale. A 15 to 18 lb mature is big in their lake. Lack of food!

Our state see's fed money and would rather shoot themselves in the foot with lack of economic sense of mind. We won't have to worry about the ecology of the lake killing the economy of the state...it will be a "Man caused disaster" from Albany.

Edited by skipper19
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The Kings generate a huge injection into the economy of NYS. You always see people coming to the lake from all over to catch these fish. That goes to charter boats, bait shops, hotels etc. I rarely hear about people coming to catch lakers. We don't need a ton of lakers we need the fish we love and the blessing that come with them

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Seems to me that they are stocking kings , just not as many . Also that we are not getting the returns that we want from those stocks. Average size of fish are smaller .

 

Lakes Ecosystem  has become volatile year to year. Maybe what is in the lake is what it can support. What you want may not be in the best interest of the lake.There are a lot educated people whose job it is to make sure there is a fishery out there. I think they do a pretty good job of it , all things considered.

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Seems to me that they are stocking kings , just not as many . Also that we are not getting the returns that we want from those stocks. Average size of fish are smaller .

Lakes Ecosystem has become volatile year to year. Maybe what is in the lake is what it can support. What you want may not be in the best interest of the lake.There are a lot educated people whose job it is to make sure there is a fishery out there. I think they do a pretty good job of it , all things considered.

Stocking more lakers could have a very very negative effect on the lake if the bait population drops. Lakers live a long time! The 34lb laker we caught in 2012 was 27 years old. When was the last time a king lived that long!!!!! Kings would bring more tourism, and be able to be cut back and cause less damage to the bait population!

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Must be a reason why the powers at be are making the decision to stock all these lakers & not kings. They must know that the kings are what most anglers want.  Why?

 

There is a lot  of study that goes into LO . Also 40 or so years of history . I defer to them. 

 

Sounds like some of you guys should apply for positions w/ the Board of Fisheries to  help them out.

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Seems to me that they are stocking kings , just not as many . Also that we are not getting the returns that we want from those stocks. Average size of fish are smaller .

Lakes Ecosystem has become volatile year to year. Maybe what is in the lake is what it can support. What you want may not be in the best interest of the lake.There are a lot educated people whose job it is to make sure there is a fishery out there. I think they do a pretty good job of it , all things considered.

They're doing a pretty good job with the deer regs eh? They ignore fisherman's inputs and that's what makes everyone angry.

silverfoxcharters.net

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Must be a reason why the powers at be are making the decision to stock all these lakers & not kings. They must know that the kings are what most anglers want. Why?

There is a lot of study that goes into LO . Also 40 or so years of history . I defer to them.

Sounds like some of you guys should apply for positions w/ the Board of Fisheries to help them out.

They are stocking more Lakers because the feds flip the bill. If the feds flipped it for salmon, guess what they'd be stocking. This state is penny wise and pound foolish.

silverfoxcharters.net

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Can you guys imagine how devastating it would be to watch your salmon fishery die a slow death like we have over here on Lake Michigan!

Feds don't care. They just keep dumping lakers and further depleting the alewife population. Charter captains would be dead in the water without them now, though. Chinook population is so low now they're almost an incidental catch. Sure they have their day when they still catch some, but nowhere near consistently. So if the salmon aren't in, drop down the dodgers/peanuts and keep the clients happy.

Coho's took up a little of the slack, steelhead some too, but the size is down on both of them, too. Browns are doing OK just because they'll eat Gobies like the lakers.

It's been like a perfect storm over here. Over planting, underestimating natural reproduction, two severe winters in a row with record ice cover, and topped off with zeb's and quag's making the water near sterile.

It's so depressing I don't even care go over there any more. I'm not going to drag my boat 3-4 hours and spend a bunch of money to catch lakers or anemic salmon. And believe me nobody loves his big lake fishing any more than I do.

Hopefully the El Nina' will help things come back next year, dunno. regardless its not going to happen overnight and may never be anywhere near what it once was.

Don't know what I'll do next year. Looks even more bleak. Might hit some browns in the spring. Might go to Saginaw or Erie for perch/walleye. Don't know, don't know............

Edited by IRon
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Creating a fishery in which the DEC recommends you DO NOT consume any Lake Trout over 25" due to toxins. The amusing thing is the DEC has tried all different types Lake Trout strains in an attempt to find the best strain to survive and repopulate Lake Ontario. Sorry, in my mind if you change the strain.....it is no different in theory than stocking any of the introduced salmon species.

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Anyone who's retired from DEC will tell you that there's some decisions made based upon evidence and some decisions made based on politics. And all decisions are based on $$$. The lake trout/native species thing has been going on for years, sometimes being pushed harder than others.

 

Gotta say though that I doubt simple stockings are the main root of the problem. It's gotten complex out there with the invasives. 

 

That having been said, all of the stops should be pulled to save the king fishery before we go ie. L. Michigan.

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Seems to me that they are stocking kings , just not as many . Also that we are not getting the returns that we want from those stocks. Average size of fish are smaller .

 

Lakes Ecosystem  has become volatile year to year. Maybe what is in the lake is what it can support. What you want may not be in the best interest of the lake.There are a lot educated people whose job it is to make sure there is a fishery out there. I think they do a pretty good job of it , all things considered.

 

I'm not doubting the intelligence of the biologist. All I'm saying is if you found room in the ecosystem for 300,000 more Lake Trout why not swap that out for Salmon? Lets be honest. Salmon and Steelhead are the fish that drive this fishery, AND that's the smarter choice when trying to keep the balance of a predator/prey ratio in my honest opinion. I can go out and get a 6 man limit of Lake Trout in under an hour right now. Do we really need more?

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Chinook dependence on alewife through their whole life cycle is gonna make the next couple years tough. The last two winters set back spawning dates considerably. Depending on the port the alewife spawn being temperature dependent was delayed maybe 3-4 weeks in a lot of ports even more so in more northern ones. So what might have been hatching in late June- early July and feeding/growing to survive the winter, went to late July- early August. Which doesn't give the fry much time to grow and gather weight to survive the winter. That on top of an already depleted population. 

 I've also heard that Lake O has a more diversified forage base than Lake MI, too? Ciscoes and other species and no doubt more fertile.

 Of course there's the  politics and people in denial claiming there's plenty of ales, the DNR just needs to plant more Chinooks?  

 But its not all doom and gloom. World class Sheephead and Catfishing has developed in the harbor areas! Some great smallmouth action and even the walleye population seems to be in an upswing along Michigan. Perch are doing better although Gobies are a nuisance. Just gotta diversify I guess. 

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I'm not doubting the intelligence of the biologist. All I'm saying is if you found room in the ecosystem for 300,000 more Lake Trout why not swap that out for Salmon? Lets be honest. Salmon and Steelhead are the fish that drive this fishery, AND that's the smarter choice when trying to keep the balance of a predator/prey ratio in my honest opinion. I can go out and get a 6 man limit of Lake Trout in under an hour right now. Do we really need more?

I don't doubt the intelligence of the biologists.  I just don't think we get the 100% honest truth from the DEC.  A lot of stuff goes on behind the scenes in government agencies that is not made public. 

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3 years ago did they not stock kings ? Where are they ?   What happened to all the steelhead you guys couldn't keep off the line last summer.?

 

I have to think the brain trust has short & long term plans for the fishery based on reasearch, history & economics. Maybe they do know more than they let on about the fishery.At least they know the lakers will survive.

 

Also there are good years & bad year. Has been since the begining of this. Hopfully it will straighten itself out.

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3 years ago did they not stock kings ? Where are they ?   What happened to all the steelhead you guys couldn't keep off the line last summer.?

 

I have to think the brain trust has short & long term plans for the fishery based on reasearch, history & economics. Maybe they do know more than they let on about the fishery.At least they know the lakers will survive.

 

Also there are good years & bad year. Has been since the begining of this. Hopfully it will straighten itself out.

 

Never did I say they didn't stock Kings 3yrs ago. Here's what I am saying:

 

- If there is room for 300,000 more Lake Trout in the system why not use that space in the plan for Salmon. It was OK to add more Steelhead over the last 5 years due to surplus hatches. I'm guessing the system can handle more of a fish that's lifespan is much shorter.

- I fished over a lot of bait in Western Lake Ontario the last two seasons with not much on it.

- We witnessed lamprey wounds on over 75% of the Salmon we caught. How quick does a Lamprey kill a fish, and what methods can we change to help control these.

 

As for the Steelhead in my opinion the die off last Fall was worse than we initially thought. I travel to a large percentage of this lake and fish out of many ports. I have a very large network of fisherman on both shores. The Steelhead fishing was poor everywhere with the exception of a week here and a week there.

 

This fishery started as an experiment back in the days to help with an alewife population that was out of control. It turned into a billion dollar fishery. A fishery driven by Salmon 6mos of the calendar, and Steelhead for the other 6mos. Take care of what pays the bills. Not something you want to re-establish (Lake Trout), or a pipe dream (Atlantics).

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Good stuff, Rick. I thought you would end up a torch carrier. The bottomline is comparing Michigan to Ontario at THIS time is apples and oranges--other than the agenda which sportsmen seem to have no say in--Lake Trout priority one. There is surplus bait for the pelagics in Lake Ontario at this time. Yes, they did stock 3 yrs ago but keep in mind that much of that was "paper numbers.'  If direct stocks are in poor condition they don't contribute. Our fishery in open lake is driven by natural fish and pen held fish. Returns in the western basin are mostly pen fish. On top of the quality challenges of hatchery product, predation by countless cormorants and increased warm water species is not being factored into any equation. Lastly, the skill of the average angler has skyrocketed and the Pacific Salmon are the targets day in and day out for obvious reasons. I feel strongly that our fishery can be turned around quickly with much more care and concern given to the Pacific Salmon species. Not only does this increase quality fishing opportunity and lakeshore/state economies, but helps all species including the native effort by balancing the ecosystem.   

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