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The DEC is open for Input on their Decision of potential Stocking Number reductions in Kings and Lake trout  for the 2017 year.

 

PLEASE PM me with any  thoughts and Question. There is enuff Quarrel on my other posts, so short & simple thoughts help point me in a majority direction.

Trying to put some #'s together.

 

Just had Fisheries biologist from Canada that Strongly supports adjusting (cutting) the numbers for 2017, He is representing over 81,000 members (also in support )of the ONTARIO FEDERATION OF ANGLERS AND HUNTERS.  www.ofah.org    The Canadian representative I see at the Great Lakes Fishery Commission meetings touts over 1000,000 members/associates.  A Non-Governmental group  

 

LAKE ONTARIO UNITED.COM   is unique with over 18,000 members and is open to EVERYONE to browse "24 hours"  7 days a week  in any state or Country.

I am looking for some imput

 

 

Jerry

RUNNIN REBEL

 

  

 

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I will bite Jerry. With the idea of short term preservation of young offshore alewive numbers .....

Keep Steelhead numbers the same as recent die offs have already reduced numbers

Cut kings by 150,000 but increase significantly percentage of pen fish

Increase brown stocking numbers by 75,000

Cut Lake Trout stocking in half

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DEC admits that the salmon weren't in the usual places this year but that they were out there.  Why can't they realize that alewives are also fish and probably did the same thing.  i.e. took a different path?  They're adamant in their fixed location trawling & even sent out that peer review paper but they didn't seem to read it themselves.  It stated that the fixed location trawl can't give a good estimate of the overall population. I have never seen as many pods of baitfish as I have this year.

 

They claim the salmon will only eat the 2 or 3 year olds but they'll slouch off the statement that we've all caught big fish on little lures & little ones on big lures as well as vice versa.   Guess that's all antectodal though, isn't it.

 

Tom B.

(LongLine)

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Jerry,

As far as the number of fish they want to reduce it by, I am fine with. But..... They said those fish would not be impacting the bait population for 1-2 years, and lakers even longer. So in order to "protect" these year classes they say is not there, something needs to be done NOW to the predators that are feeding on these year classes. I suggested increasing the limit of salmon and lakers in our daily creel, but was given some typical BS response. If my memory is correct, " Capts don't want the increase because it was hard enough to fill their clients limits with the 3 salmon now, and didn't want to have to take extra time to get another 2-3 fish." I could be off my one word, but it was along those lines. We really won't see an impact with the numbers they put out, but if they have to cut, then more pen fish should be the way to stock what gets released into the lake.

Capt Rich

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Reduce stockings of kings and lakers until the age distribution of alewives is restored to normal. It won't make an immediate impact, but it will help in the long term. I honestly don't think that it will hurt perceived success, either, since we're experiencing feast or famine out there anyway. Catching ten kings in a day is great, catching 20 isn't that much better. And half of diddly-squat is still diddly-squat.

 

I'll pm you, too.

Edited by Gator
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Thanks for all the input, Much appreciated.

 

I have responded to all the PM's also.

 

 

Jerry

RUNNIN REBEL

 

 

Tom B ---LONGLINE

Are you for or against the King/Lake Trout cut Proposal ?

I still have you in the "3rd bathroom" category now.

Edited by RUNNIN REBEL
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Fish weight is important because it means that the fish are finding food or not. You can argue all you want about our forage data or how much forage is out there. If the fish are good size, you know that there is good forage.. I also like to look at catch rates. When catch rates are high, it typically means that fish are more hungry healthy, and energetic  (not always though). Alewife year class strength and how good year classes survive through the years is also important.

As trawl data in 2016 indicates missing Alewife of the salmon preferred 2 and 3 year class forage that is related to extremely cold winters and stressful spawning conditions of 2013 and 2014, we have the mild winter of 2015 that was favorable for alewife spawn and survival. That 2015  one year class are the 2 year old class in spring of 2017. Presumably able to support more salmon stocking numbers in the pens in closer proximity to those 2 year old alewife which migrate and hang in the warmer waters of the warming solstice spring and summer. Thereby giving the young salmon the fastest access to the forage they prefer. A necessary component to kick starting the maximum growth potential of a mature salmon.

Therefore in the intrest of survival and growth potential of stocked salmon, I advocate increases in pen rearing stocks, and decreased direct stock until the forage base regains another year class in 2018. Keeping the average between the 2 stocks normal without cuts to the total on the respect of forage alone. Angler success rate is another factor and could be a player in the total scheme of things for an increase. As this winter season reveals conditions favorable then maybe we could increase direct and increase pen in 2018 and on accordingly to the availability of preferred forage. That's a wait and see on mother nature's part.

Creel census by DEC was never done on my trips this season. Without that data it is hard to determine angler success rates. So I will contribute what I can here. I firmly believe success of limit catches has been more possible when stocks are high, due to better knowledge sharing, equipment, and participation. An estimate to match the supply and demand is a feature to be an indicator for increased stocking as well. I would like to see an angler survey site on line to help with that.

Some cause and effect observation of my own..purely observational and unscientific but as information saturated as I am. This past season. Approximately 15 trips starting July4th ending September 12th.

Without DEC creel census ever done on my trips this past season, here is my report.

July chinook catch excellent Point Breeze ..Shadigee to Sandy Creek 

August..same locations...catch rates dropped dramatically to basically nothing by end of month. 

September..no change from above in that location. Catch rate was good however at Niagara Bar.

Chinook weight for age 2 and 3

Age 2...without actual scale readings...18 to 21 inch fish underweight in comparison to previous years

Age 3....most chinook under 36 inches...underweight but better than last season by a few pounds.

Two clipped kings at Niagara Bar 23.64 and 20.30 lbs (4 year olds) saved the heads for tag extraction  (staging salmon weight)

Chinook condition

Healthy well proportions to weight 

Less lamprey marks observed from previous years 

Catch per Effort

Solo trips mostly and some 2 and 4 man trips.

Many salmon caught on non specific baits, but more on long copper and dipsey than downriggers. Herring strip caught majority  (smell and size triggered response to preferred forage target) 2 year class Alewife representation of the missing year class makes sense.

Coho weight

Not many caught but healthy and also a big consumer of alewife to be considered.

Forage biomass on sounder equipment 

Smaller pods this year more scattered, but very numerous. In the typical water columns related to comfort zone.

Alewife year class strength

Guessing the majority is adult more than 3 years and large. Stomach remains of processed salmon indicated same. 

% natural reproduction

Anyone's guess without fin clips in 3 past seasons

Incidence of disease 

None 

Composition of catch (how many chinook compared to lake trout, brown, steelhead coho, etc)

90 %

Lastly, I wonder how much effort a new stocked salmon has to expend to chase, grab, and eat a large adult Alewife. Leading to the lighter weight 2 year olds caught. Is there a starvation factor to consider among young salmon? They definitely take mag size spoons and the meat rigs with reckless abandon. Could be easier to catch a slow swimming angler's bait than a large escaping alewife that's hard to swallow for a baby salmon.

Mark

Sent on a Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note® 3

Sent from my SM-N900P using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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Some thoughts...obviously overlooking all the 'Heritage act' or 'Clean Water act' that would be non-starters on Laker elmination and nutrient boosting.

 

Lake Trout reduction to 15-25% of current level immediately and until population is so limited they are a rare catch (Match stocking to angler interest generally speaking)

Atlantic Salmon...How is this still a thing?

 

Take the Lake Trout Reductions and put toward boostsin Brown and Steelhead numbers (These trout hit up Alewives less than Kings and Lakers)

Boost Nutrient load drastically in the lake to bolster the foodweb from bottom up and feed those skinny Alewives!

Manage Alewife population boom years with temp King/Coho increases (these mouths expire in 2-4yrs unlike the Trout)

Start tracking Alewife spawning success since that is the time to base a decision on future stocking plans (not after multiple years of year class losses)

 

My $0.02

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Therefore in the intrest of survival and growth potential of stocked salmon, I advocate increases in pen rearing stocks, and decreased direct stock until the forage base regains another year class in 2018.

 

Just thought I should check to see what you meant by this statement...If the goal is to ease pressure on the forage base, you would want to invert Pen and Direct stocking numbers.  e.g. Increase direct stock #'s lower Pen reared numbers.  

 

Pen reared fish have twice the survival rate of direct stocked and will be larger in size at same age compared to direct stock fish.

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Thank you for experiences/comments and Info. EVERYONE benefits from everyone else's input.

 

 

********Could you please put in your responses if you are in favor or against the proposed King & Lake trout cut for 2017 ******

 

THANKS AGAIN for everyone's effort here.

Jerry

RUNNIN REBEL

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Interesting PM's I am getting. A few are requesting NO king cuts AND keep Laker cuts.

 

That is not the proposal.

 

PROPOSAL :  %20 King AND Laker cuts for 2017 or nothing done.

 

Skipper Mark,

The cuts if enacted would then  let the Pen projects increase their capacity up to %75 total of site allotment (increase from current %50) with a 2 for 1 swap (decrease of direct stocking) of direct stock fish at that site.  The current %50 at sites is grandfathered in at 1 to 1 ratio.

 

Tom B,

I am getting alewife trawl data answers for you shortly.

 

NOTE*******With reduced flows on Salmon River,They are closing the lower fly fishing area  of the Salmon river also to protect Returning Salmon to hatchery********************

 

Jerry

RUNNIN REBEL

Edited by RUNNIN REBEL
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Just thought I should check to see what you meant by this statement...If the goal is to ease pressure on the forage base, you would want to invert Pen and Direct stocking numbers. e.g. Increase direct stock #'s lower Pen reared numbers.

I was speaking from a survival point of view for pen raised stock, and what appears to be dismal returns of adult salmon along western south shore tribs. Maybe its 50% better in pens, I'm not anything but a recreational fisherman and think on those terms. Survival is an asset for both sides, bait and gamefish .. i think starving salmon is a waste. I also think and hope the year class missing is possibly back to normal and maybe can support the stock plus.. Dead salmon unless in an anglers fish box can't be calculated accurately can it?. That's why I thought about an angler survey site open 24/7 to help with determine supply and demand and forage factors.

Unfortunately we will never know actual spawn success of the forage base unless we see floaters of them at the point it happens . Maybe then is when changes in location should be considered for stocking, instead of 2 years later after trawl net data indicates trouble.

If the goal is to invert stocking numbers to ease forage pressure, I see that part works very well and...

Having 50% of your eggs in a basket break is in my opinion wasted asset, effort, and resources for 50% return. In this case 50 % of fishing activities will go to the golf course. They don't fund stocking Lake O. We need continued creel census as we, the prime predators get better at removing them, the humans are the only real indicator of salmon mortality, physical evidence. A catch ratio participation days/hours basis census continued each season. So much more info than loosing 50% to starvation or who knows what.

Maybe the forage spawn can't take the pressure, but so far they have in the capacity it's at over many years.

Help me understand as I am not a science or biological kind of guy, but see returns, good or bad. If we need a wait and see approach, then when the alewife wash up on beaches we, can lead from behind and maybe return to the 40lb salmon 4 years later.

Sent from my SM-N900P using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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I support the reduction at this time, better to be safe.  There was certainly no shortage of bait or salmon out there this year...but what about next year, or the year after...I think that is why there is a sense of caution right now.

 

And for people saying it was TERRIBLE fishing this year...just go out to the West Coast where these fish are actually from originally....we may possibly have better fishing than they do.

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Jerry - I'll support anything that good data shows.  I certainly don't want it to go like huron, however I've lived by statistics for over 45 years. 

 

A fixed location trawl survey cannot give a good estimate of the entire population. Only random sampling can yield good conclusions about the entire population.  If they didn't see many 3 yr olds this year then they didn't see many 2 yr olds last year or 1 yr olds the prior year, hence they should have thrown in a bunch of random sampling sites this year before proposing changes.  I've seen their trawl site map & I see 120 trawls in the same basic locations.  They threw in additional trawls but they were in the same locations.  They need to revisit their sampling techniques rather than practicing their advanced mathematics.

 

Is it best to err on the side of caution?...probably...so as long as they cut the Lakers, I'll vote for it.

 

Tom B.

(LongLine)

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Go with the DEC proposed cuts for now. The DEC has the most information about the state of the lake. But at the same time increase the lamprey treatment and start working seriously on mussel eradication instead of watching them increase and wringing our hands.

Edited by rolmops
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Wake up, our forage base of emeralds and alewife is dependant on algae that is devastated by the tremendous biomass of zebra/quagga mussels. With out algae our salmon and trout fishery is destined for collapse.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

 

 

Jimski2, I would direct you to the LOLA report put out by the USGS.  The food web is intact.  To grow plump alewives it is the zooplankton that is key.  When zooplankton drops, alewives feed on phytoplankton and their body weights suffer.  Right now there is too much algae in Erie and Ontario thats why they are attempting to reduce phosphorus loading in Ohio.  This is NOT a food web issue but as stated by biologists, a back-to-back historically cold winter issue.  The food available to alewives is seasonal in its availability.  If winter stays too long and delays the spring bloom, alewives starve.  They starved and washed up on the beaches in the spring even when the lake was plankton soup in the 70's and 80's.  This is a short term hiccup only, not the sky falling.

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Wake up, our forage base of emeralds and alewife is dependant on algae that is devastated by the tremendous biomass of zebra/quagga mussels. With out algae our salmon and trout fishery is destined for collapse.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

X2, in between Stoney and Galloo you can see your lure on the bottom in 50ft of water and our boat casts a shadow the size of a house off to the side. I feel were in for a rude awakening!! There is no origin of life any more, we are working the food chain of life ass backwards and now we worked ourself down to the last bunch of alewives, that have not much to choose from in the way of food, but our fingerlings of the species that is our future target species.

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Jerry,

As far as the number of fish they want to reduce it by, I am fine with. But..... They said those fish would not be impacting the bait population for 1-2 years, and lakers even longer. So in order to "protect" these year classes they say is not there, something needs to be done NOW to the predators that are feeding on these year classes. I suggested increasing the limit of salmon and lakers in our daily creel, but was given some typical BS response. If my memory is correct, " Capts don't want the increase because it was hard enough to fill their clients limits with the 3 salmon now, and didn't want to have to take extra time to get another 2-3 fish." I could be off my one word, but it was along those lines. We really won't see an impact with the numbers they put out, but if they have to cut, then more pen fish should be the way to stock what gets released into the lake.

Capt Rich

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

Just wondering why clients are allowed a 3 fish limit when the Dec regs suggest eating only 1 fish per year due to mercury ? Seems to be a confliction. Am I missing something ?
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Just wondering why clients are allowed a 3 fish limit when the Dec regs suggest eating only 1 fish per year due to mercury ? Seems to be a confliction. Am I missing something ?

NYS Health department gives out the fish consumption advisories not the DEC.  It was changed recently and it is meals per month not meals per year. 

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Fish weight is important because it means that the fish are finding food or not. You can argue all you want about our forage data or how much forage is out there. If the fish are good size, you know that there is good forage.. I also like to look at catch rates. When catch rates are high, it typically means that fish are more hungry healthy, and energetic  (not always though). Alewife year class strength and how good year classes survive through the years is also important.

As trawl data in 2016 indicates missing Alewife of the salmon preferred 2 and 3 year class forage that is related to extremely cold winters and stressful spawning conditions of 2013 and 2014, we have the mild winter of 2015 that was favorable for alewife spawn and survival. That 2015  one year class are the 2 year old class in spring of 2017. Presumably able to support more salmon stocking numbers in the pens in closer proximity to those 2 year old alewife which migrate and hang in the warmer waters of the warming solstice spring and summer. Thereby giving the young salmon the fastest access to the forage they prefer. A necessary component to kick starting the maximum growth potential of a mature salmon.

Therefore in the intrest of survival and growth potential of stocked salmon, I advocate increases in pen rearing stocks, and decreased direct stock until the forage base regains another year class in 2018. Keeping the average between the 2 stocks normal without cuts to the total on the respect of forage alone. Angler success rate is another factor and could be a player in the total scheme of things for an increase. As this winter season reveals conditions favorable then maybe we could increase direct and increase pen in 2018 and on accordingly to the availability of preferred forage. That's a wait and see on mother nature's part.

Creel census by DEC was never done on my trips this season. Without that data it is hard to determine angler success rates. So I will contribute what I can here. I firmly believe success of limit catches has been more possible when stocks are high, due to better knowledge sharing, equipment, and participation. An estimate to match the supply and demand is a feature to be an indicator for increased stocking as well. I would like to see an angler survey site on line to help with that.

Some cause and effect observation of my own..purely observational and unscientific but as information saturated as I am. This past season. Approximately 15 trips starting July4th ending September 12th.

Without DEC creel census ever done on my trips this past season, here is my report.

July chinook catch excellent Point Breeze ..Shadigee to Sandy Creek 

August..same locations...catch rates dropped dramatically to basically nothing by end of month. 

September..no change from above in that location. Catch rate was good however at Niagara Bar.

Chinook weight for age 2 and 3

Age 2...without actual scale readings...18 to 21 inch fish underweight in comparison to previous years

Age 3....most chinook under 36 inches...underweight but better than last season by a few pounds.

Two clipped kings at Niagara Bar 23.64 and 20.30 lbs (4 year olds) saved the heads for tag extraction  (staging salmon weight)

Chinook condition

Healthy well proportions to weight 

Less lamprey marks observed from previous years 

Catch per Effort

Solo trips mostly and some 2 and 4 man trips.

Many salmon caught on non specific baits, but more on long copper and dipsey than downriggers. Herring strip caught majority  (smell and size triggered response to preferred forage target) 2 year class Alewife representation of the missing year class makes sense.

Coho weight

Not many caught but healthy and also a big consumer of alewife to be considered.

Forage biomass on sounder equipment 

Smaller pods this year more scattered, but very numerous. In the typical water columns related to comfort zone.

Alewife year class strength

Guessing the majority is adult more than 3 years and large. Stomach remains of processed salmon indicated same. 

% natural reproduction

Anyone's guess without fin clips in 3 past seasons

Incidence of disease 

None 

Composition of catch (how many chinook compared to lake trout, brown, steelhead coho, etc)

90 %

Lastly, I wonder how much effort a new stocked salmon has to expend to chase, grab, and eat a large adult Alewife. Leading to the lighter weight 2 year olds caught. Is there a starvation factor to consider among young salmon? They definitely take mag size spoons and the meat rigs with reckless abandon. Could be easier to catch a slow swimming angler's bait than a large escaping alewife that's hard to swallow for a baby salmon.

Mark

Sent on a Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note® 3

Sent from my SM-N900P using Lake Ontario United mobile app

One thing I have always wondered about fish weight is the length of the "growing season".  Do harsh winters and late springs will yield smaller kings because their growing season is shorter? 

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One thing I have always wondered about fish weight is the length of the "growing season".  Do harsh winters and late springs will yield smaller kings because their growing season is shorter? 

 

 

Charter captain's fish diaries show this to be true.  The Tule strain evolved in water on Washington coast that does not vary from 48-55 degrees all year.  I would surmise that when water temps dip below 40 degrees there is an effect on activity levels. In the spring we don't really see Kings coming into play until the water rises to the magic mark of 40 degrees so I think that probably is the tipping point.

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