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Plans are already being made to try to minimze the impact of cormorants in this area. I'm not sure if going far out in the lake is the answer as that opens them up to other predators. What definitely needs to happen immediately  all over the Lake is high impact cormorant control. These devils are eradicating alot more than just Chinook plants.

Agreed Vince -Tons of birds flying around Oswego this fall! Something needs to happen. I see you made a stop at the hatchery recently. Many fish in the stream leading into the Ladders?

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I visited the Altmar hatchery over the weekend. The raceway is full the whole length of Coho & Chinooks. They start stripping eggs tomorrow the 13th. However there were very few fish being caught in the Oswego river. As a side note: I spoke with a biologist that does testing on all the Great Lakes and he said " all these fish are fully loaded with bad stuff and suggested not eating them". I guess the water isn't as clean as we thought it was. I should have picked his brain a bit more

Fyi they are running today, in the lower river and have seen well over 200 go by, mostly kings. They are still coming, the shore on the lake is plastered with fish, that is from a fellow Capt that rows the night shift. We will see how long this run lasts.

Capt Rich


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Edited by Patriot
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I don't think the baby pen salmon would survive a deep water release into ice cold water without nutrients. Besides, if they did I'm sure they would quickly figure out to get back to warmer more rich waters where all the predation is taking place by birds and other pelagic species trying to get a feast after a cold winter. That zone is also where we concentrate our fishing activity.

I wonder if keeping the babies in the pen a month longer or more and move the pen slowly to different zones as the water warms in a progressive manner to give them a better chance to assimilate to open water life. Of course feeding would have to be done and it's a challenge that would require a boat and folks to go out there all the time to monitor temp and feed, but would keep the Salmon safe from predators until they can be released in deeper water to fend for themselves on a better size to cope with their challenges...and yes the cormorants are a big problem. They used to oil the eggs on Little Galloo island. Not sure they are doing that so much lately.

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I don't think the baby pen salmon would survive a deep water release into ice cold water without nutrients. Besides, if they did I'm sure they would quickly figure out to get back to warmer more rich waters where all the predation is taking place by birds and other pelagic species trying to get a feast after a cold winter. That zone is also where we concentrate our fishing activity.

I wonder if keeping the babies in the pen a month longer or more and move the pen slowly to different zones as the water warms in a progressive manner to give them a better chance to assimilate to open water life. Of course feeding would have to be done and it's a challenge that would require a boat and folks to go out there all the time to monitor temp and feed, but would keep the Salmon safe from predators until they can be released in deeper water to fend for themselves on a better size to cope with their challenges...and yes the cormorants are a big problem. They used to oil the eggs on Little Galloo island. Not sure they are doing that so much lately.

For many years they towed the pens out into the lake in Oswego. Only recent years they haven't. I believe they still do in Fairhaven!

Edited by troubles
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I don't think the baby pen salmon would survive a deep water release into ice cold water without nutrients. Besides, if they did I'm sure they would quickly figure out to get back to warmer more rich waters where all the predation is taking place by birds and other pelagic species trying to get a feast after a cold winter. That zone is also where we concentrate our fishing activity.

I wonder if keeping the babies in the pen a month longer or more and move the pen slowly to different zones as the water warms in a progressive manner to give them a better chance to assimilate to open water life. Of course feeding would have to be done and it's a challenge that would require a boat and folks to go out there all the time to monitor temp and feed, but would keep the Salmon safe from predators until they can be released in deeper water to fend for themselves on a better size to cope with their challenges...and yes the cormorants are a big problem. They used to oil the eggs on Little Galloo island. Not sure they are doing that so much lately.

For many years they towed the pens out into the lake in Oswego. Only recent years they haven't. I believe they still do in Fairhaven!

 

 

 

So why did they stop?  Was there a mortality issue from transport?

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I'm not sure that they stopped taking the pens out of the estuary, but they don't go out far, as I assume for the reason of the cold water and essentially no real aquatic food source for them. Just wondering about a more time release way of letting them out of the pen. Possibly moving them when temps warm more at different zones out from shore. Problem is though there is no real predictions for how that temperate zone will fluctuate with weather and wind. Something that would have to be monitored constantly and be proactive in moving the pens in and out of the preferred zones...even maybe moving them back to the estuaries temporarily.

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And who you talking to? If it's me I worked on Oswego's pens and donated $145 directly to the funds for automatic feeders. Did you fish any tournaments in 2015? Or donate any money?

The only tournament  I fished this year was the fairhaven,but for what it's worth,I paid for all three  legs of the triple crown.

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There may be a compromise between towing the cages out and  releasing the fish on the spot where the cages are anchored. It should not be too hard to tow the cages into the current and releasing them there,preferably in the dark. The current will spread them and take them out while the dark will give them some shelter at least from birds.

As for getting rid of the Cormorants. Careful they are protected. However,their eggs not so much. One can addle the eggs (putting a bit of oil on them so the exchange of air through the shell stops) and have a trained border collie chase the cormorants away from their roosting places. That is how we got rid of the geese in the town of Brighton,NY without killing them .

Edited by rolmops
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Agreed Vince -Tons of birds flying around Oswego this fall! Something needs to happen. I see you made a stop at the hatchery recently. Many fish in the stream leading into the Ladders?

Went Thurs AM. Lots of Coho in the raceway. The Kings we saw that day looked to be predominantly 2 and 3 yr old males. When we arrived one of the "educators"(name tag designation) was trying to explain away the poor river fishing to a group of anglers using the bad winter story. As we left it was a different group of concerned out of state anglers-but same excuse.

We did not see very many Chinook hens in the raceway, hopefully they had some in the holding bays.

If anyone has any info on the stripping that is to start in the next couple days I am very interested in the take.

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Agreed Vince -Tons of birds flying around Oswego this fall! Something needs to happen. I see you made a stop at the hatchery recently. Many fish in the stream leading into the Ladders?

The raceway was loaded with fish and the ladder was full too. Was there on Saturday. They start collecting eggs today

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As for getting rid of the Cormorants. Careful they are protected. However,their eggs not so much. One can addle the eggs (putting a bit of oil on them so the exchange of air through the shell stops) and have a trained border collie chase the cormorants away from their roosting places. That is how we got rid of the geese in the town of Brighton,NY without killing them .

You can oil the eggs if you can find where they're nesting. They only roost in this area. And eat and shi#!! A border collie would be useless unless they can climb trees. If you harrass them to leave you are making them someone elses problem. The Federal USFWS needs to make a decision on their protection status. Shoot em all!!

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Question?  In terms of trying to promote the health of the fishery and the size and quality of the fish taken,why not increase the size limit for a king to 25 or 30"?  I would think it would make sense to try and protect the fish that do survive the gauntlet of predators while maturing from fry. 

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I read somewhere that during the winter months most of the salmon are to the west  and North of the niagara river. The Niagara river outlet and current into Lake Ontario during the winter months is too cold for the salmon to cross. Only when the water in that current warms up are the salmon able to cross it and start feeding in it.That's why usually the first salmon of the season are caught near the bar or the green can. This year and last year with the fierce cold and heavy ice cover the river water took a very long time to warm up to get to the point where salmon could cross. It was easily a month later than in other years. Possible a lot of them never crossed and stayed north of the current and the rest just started their migration and breeding pattern much later than they normally would. This and the severe cold and ice cover (ice does not allow air to mix into the water) may have caused the poor season and the late runs.

Just my 2 cents

Edited by rolmops
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a lot of skippies under the legal limit dont survive release as it is.. may as well let somebody keep it rather than feed the birds

I disagree. Unless you rip the fish's gills out I think most skippys survive. They are far hardier than most people think and unless they receive a fatal wound they will survive. A little bleeding around the mouth does not constitute a "fatal wound". Gills ripped out does.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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I hear you that the run is good now on the Salmon. But if the majority of the fish are condensed into one big "late" push, it could create the perception that there are more salmon around than is true. 

 

Probably some combination of all of the theories that have been posted here is closest to the truth though. Let's hope for a more normal winter and we'll see what we see.

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I hear you that the run is good now on the Salmon. But if the majority of the fish are condensed into one big "late" push, it could create the perception that there are more salmon around than is true. 

 

Probably some combination of all of the theories that have been posted here is closest to the truth though. Let's hope for a more normal winter and we'll see what we see.

 

Thats the way I see it as well.

It would have to be a damn good and long run to make up for the last month and a half of very few fish.

At least the egg take should be up to par.

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I would have expected a good push of late fish up the Salmon River as it gets stocked the heaviest and there is natural reproduction. The question still is where are the stocked fish in the other tributaries? We have tons of unaccounted-for salmon.

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Was at The salmon yesterday. Fishing down low. Plenty of fish moving in, and talked to a good friend and fishing partner who works the DSR. Since so many salmon are nesting in the DSR, which may be that as late as they have arrived and found the first gravel they like have set up on it... DEC is taking the opportunity this week to come on the DSR and sample some of those fish for B1 health. Giving them data from fish that arrived at the hatchery, as well as natural spawners....and late arrivals 

 

 DEC continues to investigate issues with Steelhead and Salmon. As far as other tribs.....Genny has lots of fish, Oswego is loaded, The Iron has fish....and OO is getting fish, but very low water conditions hinder the western basin watersheds.

 

Back to my first paragraph. I've really only witnessed Salmon nesting in the DSR on years of late runs. So the other condition one has to include is that Salmon may be spawning at river mouths, or much farther down river then normal as they are in prime nesting condition arriving this late. I saw dozens of pairs of salmon nesting yesterday less then a mile and a half from the lake. If they are...many fishermen will never see these fish.

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