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big easy

what happened to the 40 LB Kings of the past.?

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Does anyone remember remember the year when the first twenty salmon on the LOC/ESLO tournament leader board were all over forty pounds.?

The top 20 this fall were all over 30 which is great, but I wonder why there have been none over 40lbs even the fish that were not in a tournament.

I assume that the most common thought would be that its a shortage of forage and bait fish like alewives, but we still mark a fair amount of bait while on the water when trolling. I would think that we would see an occasional fish in the forty pound range, as its not like there is no bait or a horrible shortage of it.I spoke to a Dec guy at the cleaning station in Olcott, who said that Ontario has not suffered a baitfish crash like the other great lakes, but it could possibly happen, and claimed that they should have some better info after they analyze their research from the last few years, and will adjust stocking levels accordingly. Let's hope the baitfish levels remain stable at the least and possibly even increase.

Any thoughts as to the missing in action 40 Lb kings???

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I don't think you want 40 lb fish in many numbers swimming around. Not now anyway. We are missing two year classes of alewives. I would gladly chose a lake filled with 15-35lb salmon and steady action over hours upon hours upon fish-less days with a chance to catch a 40. Kings in that 20-24 lb range fight the best IMO anyway

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I think the lake has naturally selected smaller fish, which are getting better and better at natural reproduction. Nothing in nature is an accident.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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I think the lake has naturally selected smaller fish, which are getting better and better at natural reproduction. Nothing in nature is an accident.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

Agreed. Probable artificial selection. Not too many bodies of water can hide a 40 from snatching. A few years ago there was a 40 caught off the Niagara drop by a lady with no derby ticket. The Niagara could engineer 40 lbers.

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I don't think you want 40 lb fish in many numbers swimming around. Not now anyway. We are missing two year classes of alewives. I would gladly chose a lake filled with 15-35lb salmon and steady action over hours upon hours upon fish-less days with a chance to catch a 40. Kings in that 20-24 lb range fight the best IMO anyway

I agree. Love the low to mid 20's kings. I only want to see a 40 lb on the end of my line on the last day of the Fall LOC :rofl:

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Also have to take in affect the changes the lake has gone thru as well. The smelt population is next to none, lakers have doubled if not tripled in poulation, the addition of zebra mussels and not to mention the gobies. All in all considered I am quite satisfied with the average salmon weighing in the mid twenties and the occasional 30+. I remember back when it was a trophy to catch one in the 20's many years ago. Also the natural reproduction is t as great either, look at the numbers that used to run the Genesee River compared to today. Have to give credit to the or reading projects or the population would be much lower than it is.

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 Mentioning Lakers,just watched a special on Yellowstone and they were trying to figure out why the Elks were losing numbers. Checked the wolves, mountain lions etc. out and they weren't the culprit. Turned out to be the bears and the reason they were feasting on the young elk was that there feeding habits have them in the spring feasting on Cutthroat Trout. Well there numbers had decreased over recent years so they turned to the baby Elk for that portion of there diet. Where did the Cut's go ? Man had stocked some Lakers in a neighboring lake years ago and they made there way into Yellowstone Lake. There diet ?? Yep Cutty's. They tried gill netting them and that helped a little but not enough. So they put trackers on them to find out where they were spawning then went there and shocked the waters. Cuttys are coming back and  is the Elk population there. Has nothing to do with 40lbers but I thought it was interesting and food for thought.

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Sounds like a liberal backed pro-wolf study molded to push their agenda.  I can equivocally state that cutthroat trout have NOTHING to do with lower Elk numbers!  I can however agree with your insinuation that Lake Trout predation is having an effect on the ecosystem.

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Yea I'm not really buying that either Bozeman Bob. My father and uncle have hunted in Northwestern Montana since the early 90s and have seen a dramatic decrease in deer and elk since then. They said back in the day you'd see 120 class bucks crossing the roads left and right now a 120 inch buck is a rarity. I've hunted there since 2007 and my last trip there in 2014 you could also see a dramatic decrease in deer and increase in wolves.

Also like Gill T said I would agree that the mass amounts of lakers have a huge impact on bait. Talking about fish that can live for 30 years and eat far more bait fish than salmon or trout in the same size range.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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with fewer fish stocked there are fewer that can reach 40.  Add in that to grow a fish that size requires 3 straight years with optimal growing conditions that means mild winters where the water stays warmer longer much like last winter.  That has to happen mulitiple years in a row though.  with 2 out of the last 3 winters being very cold and long it suggests that the next two year classes are likely to be smaller.  That said the growth potential of the king is increadable that is why the 2 year olds are some of the plumpest fish out there and the why there were so many 30lbs caught this fall despite having survived those 2 tough winters.  as far as genetics I dont buy it there have not been fresh genetics added since the original stocking yet you saw 40lbs in 2001 so that would mean the genes survived 30 years just fine but than couldnt make it the last 15?  Enivironment plays a bigger factor with growth potential.  

 

my guess is another mild winter combined with the alweye situation where there are mostly larger adult baitfish means nexts years matures could be very large.  but a tough long cold winter will stop there growth early and it wont start up again till the water warms in late spring.

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That year was an anomaly. Even in the 80's, derby boards did not look like that. The official position from the DEC that year was those fish were the result of "delayed maturity"--and actually 4 year olds. Their reasoning was the bait was actually down and the Salmon needed the extra year. I actually subscribe to this, as in recent years we are seeing incredible growth rates and lots of early maturing fish. Those 8lb male dark Kings you are seeing are ONE AND ONE HALF YEARS OLD. The 14 to 16lbers?  2 1/2 yrs old. Most of this years brutes(28 plus lbs) have been 3 1/2 yrs old--the highest percentage of any population will mature in their 3rd year. This is normal for Chinook.

The single biggest reason we don't see the high 30s and low 40s Kings is relentless, intelligent pressure on both sides of the fence. No one is to blame, many Chinooks fight to the death and many people desire mid sized ones for table fare. From the late 70s through the early 2000s anglers just weren't as deadly, the information network wasn't as present, and many anglers targeted trout until the Kings staged in the fall. If a young Chinny was programmed to be one of the small percentage that matures in its 4th year, it had a much better chance of making it to 4 1/2, and not cropped early as a 1,2, or 3 yr old.  There are absolutely NO growth issues with Lake Ontario salmon. Just like with whitetail deer, its all about age structure.  

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Sounds like a liberal backed pro-wolf study molded to push their agenda.  I can equivocally state that cutthroat trout have NOTHING to do with lower Elk numbers!  I can however agree with your insinuation that Lake Trout predation is having an effect on the ecosystem.

  All I can say is what I saw in the documentary. If the wolves cant smell the baby elk, which is true, they cant track or kill them. The skat and dna studys clearly show the bear as the one doing the damage. It also shows where they used to sit in the streams and eat cuttys that were being eradicated by the Lakers. The wolves that were reintroduced were not the same species as the original. They are bigger and more aggressive breed ,Saw some last winter at Yellow eating some carcass and they are huge. So if the main diet of bears in the spring are cuttys and there just about wiped out by the lakers what do they do to offset that loss of fatty food ??? Really don't think its some liberal pro wolf thing, and like you stated, Ecosystem, which used to have wolves until man took them out of Yellow.

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Yea I'm not really buying that either Bozeman Bob. My father and uncle have hunted in Northwestern Montana since the early 90s and have seen a dramatic decrease in deer and elk since then. They said back in the day you'd see 120 class bucks crossing the roads left and right now a 120 inch buck is a rarity. I've hunted there since 2007 and my last trip there in 2014 you could also see a dramatic decrease in deer and increase in wolves.

Also like Gill T said I would agree that the mass amounts of lakers have a huge impact on bait. Talking about fish that can live for 30 years and eat far more bait fish than salmon or trout in the same size range.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

  My daughter shot her first Elk in her pajamas on there back porch as her husband saw a herd in the back 40 and called her out to get some winter food. There is no shortage in Southwest Montana that's for sure.,i see herds all over the place, just have to know there patterns and be persistent ,like hunting Salmon Not saying the wolves aren't affecting the deer/elk population but they were originally part of the ecosystem and now there back. Thing will level out.

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I heard it was a hybrid king salmon that the DEC stocked for a few years. By now they are blended in or died off. They were bigger then. I won the LOC youth Derby in 1996 with a 34.6 pound salmon. I didn't even place on the adult board.

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