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Gill-T

State of the Lake -- Everyone please read

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14 hours ago, Capt Vince Pierleoni said:

C'mon Lucky,  "exotics"? It's tough to be objective when thats the term you use around here. Lets call them "the remedy".  NO progress happened without the foresight of some great managers here in NY and in Michigan. They will continue to be the answer, no matter where your heart lies.

To your point, Steelhead have been devouring alewives in Lake Ontario for over 40 yrs. Do you have a better theory? 

Any introduced species is " exotic" to an ecosystem, if it is perceived negatively it is generally referred to as "invasive."  

 

Maybe I am reading your point wrong, but what I believe you said was "The single biggest suppressor of young alewife is the older larger alewife. "  If this were the case, the large alewife that existed prior to the stocking of pacific species should have controlled, and even possibly crashed, their own population in the nearly large predator free environment that existed then.  And history says that did not happen.  

 

I'm certainly not faulting the managers in LO, and was much less willing to risk the possible ecosystem collapse that could happen if there are too many large predators and not enough food for them.

 

If the steelhead are eating the "large alewife," certainly the kings are, too, and if there is such a surplus of large alewife, I would think we'd be seeing more of those huge kings of the past, but size and condition numbers do not say the salmon are necessarily "overfed." 

 

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A lot of the size of salmon has to do with the fish that the eggs are taken from. Selective targeting like they do in Canada. Which is one reason why they have been seeing bigger salmon than us.

Lake Ontario salmon fishing charters

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IMG_2486.JPG.

Vince, this is 100% personal involvement and learning experience.. A little less government and business interest for me lately and absolutely zero expense reports.......... my wife had more questions than I did actually. And my daughter kept thinking. "deadliest catch vessel ".

Vince your experience and exchange of information you provided on your "Trawl Trip" out of Olcott harbor last week was more important than you know. Communication and Questions is Key.

Jerry

 RUNNIN REBEL


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Edited by RUNNIN REBEL

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Any introduced species is " exotic" to an ecosystem, if it is perceived negatively it is generally referred to as "invasive."  
 
Maybe I am reading your point wrong, but what I believe you said was "The single biggest suppressor of young alewife is the older larger alewife. "  If this were the case, the large alewife that existed prior to the stocking of pacific species should have controlled, and even possibly crashed, their own population in the nearly large predator free environment that existed then.  And history says that did not happen.  
 
I'm certainly not faulting the managers in LO, and was much less willing to risk the possible ecosystem collapse that could happen if there are too many large predators and not enough food for them.
 
If the steelhead are eating the "large alewife," certainly the kings are, too, and if there is such a surplus of large alewife, I would think we'd be seeing more of those huge kings of the past, but size and condition numbers do not say the salmon are necessarily "overfed." 
 

There is not, and has not, been a shortage of bait relative to the number of Chinooks(remedies) in Lake Ontario. Many factors affect top end size- genetics and winter temps have an affect for sure. Most Chinook mature in their 3 rd year. Even back in the era you refer to, 4 yr olds were represented to a lesser extent. With today's relentless pressure on Chinooks on both sides of the pond daily throughout the season, the odds of the relative few 4 yr olds surviving has gone down. To top it off, the hatchery fish are showing a propensity to mature at 2 1/2 yrs old. Whether this is being engineered the way Silver Fox says, or if in fact it is the surplus bait driving this I don't think anyone knows at this point. FYI, ironically the DEC has always said more Chinook will delay maturity(4+) when Alewives are in short supply.


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If this were a volleyball game I'd want to be on Vince's team:) mainly because he stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of direct experience and first hand knowlege of Lake Ontario and the salmon and trout inhabiting it. Intellectual gamesmanship can be fun kicking around different viewpoints and ideas but once the dust settles the winning score usually goes to experience.

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Well ...... he wouldn't win on good looks.

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Consider the fact that the Toronto/ Burlington area population has boomed from 100,000 residents to over 6,000,000 in  my lifetime, the nutrient load discharged to Lake Ontario increased from that shoreline and the waste water temperatures from the area discharged to Lake Ontario has created a fish producing environment similar to Lake Erie which was considered to be the greatest fish producing freshwater lake in the world.

 

Then it is explained why larger fish come from the Toronto area.

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Gill-T

You mentioned that stomach content was low, i.e. some Mysis, spiney water flea. Isn’t that a flag or am I interpreting this wrong? In the past alewives fitness was never much of an issue as I recall? My reservations are as I think of the conversations about what happened in Michigan and especially Huron, the predator population was high keeping alewives in check but at the end of the day there still wasn’t enough productivity in the lower part of the web to keep the alewives population healthy. If we are seeing poor plumpness that is not good. Stocking more salmon could be a short term fix but this will all come to a head eventually if the lake keeps getting cleaner.

Also are there similar reports of bait abundance out of other ports? I would expect if bait was going to be high anywhere it would be in the west end. If it was still high as you head north and/or east that is probably a better indication of the overall health.

I got to think with still having a large breeding population of bait combined with a warm winter/spring and high water that things are setting up nice to have a good hatch. So if I interpreted the plumpness factor incorrect we should be in good shape. I honestly don’t see the productivity of the lake getting much worse (or better I should say) with the new administration i.e phosphorus load, waste and sewage management, ect

My 2 cents

Edited by A-Lure-A

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The zooplankton community over winter is   Not limitless. Over winter the Mysids and Copepods mate from October thru November. In preparation for mating season the Copepods start storing lipid sacs. Mysids are as big as your index fingernail ( unless you snort coke). These are big fatty rich foods that help alewife fitness over winter. There population starts to plummet after breeding season so after December Alewives have to rely on low-fat phytoplankton. Plump alewives is a good indicator of the zooplankton community health. Dieoffs happen when the surviving alewives coming off the lean winter season are taxed further by their bodies starting to prepare eggs and sperm. Add a delayed spring and a delay to the new plankton cycle firing up and bingo they start succumbing to disease. THE ONLY WAY WE CAN MAINTAIN BALANCE IS MAKING SURE WE STOCK THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF KINGS.  The lake is not getting cleaner. Look up the census data from the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) from 10 years ago and compare to now. Based on Sierra Defence Fund the average Canadian produces 63,000 liters of sewage per year. The amount of untreated sewage being dumped by Toronto and Hamilton in 1999 was 16 billion litres per year. With green water showing up on Lake Erie shores + the growth of the GTA, Lake Ontario is getting dirtier. 

Edited by Gill-T

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The data has not been compiled yet, but the early consensus is lots of adult alewives at a time when the first year of a predicted two year dip was suppose to materialize. 

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Gordy, Canada has a lot of doomsday fishermen....... well respected fishermen. Please do some investigating and see if you can help spread the word that the sky is not falling despite what that misinformed gentleman Frank Krist from Michigan presented at The Credit River anglers symposium last year. 

Edited by Gill-T

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I sincerely hope the sky is not falling, looking forward to the final analysis of the bait fish trawls.   Good luck on the water boys!

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A little wash of poop hitting the lake today!:shake:

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A little wash of poop hitting the lake today!:shake:

Rochester Kaho Trawl was a interesting experience I was happy to be a part of. We trawled from the 30 to 42 N to the 33 to 26 W. That is roughly 300 to 650'. There a boat load of deep water sculpins in 450 to 650' with a mix class of alwifes. As we got closer to shore the sculpins disappeared , but the alewife did not. Still a mix class with the 3 and 4 yr missing. I can say there is the mother lode of last year class as we found in all trawls. There should be no reason to not get the salmon numbers back up where they were or more. I would like to thank Brian Weidel for his hospitality and knowledge. The crew all work hard and pleasure to talk to. It's nice to know someone cares about the fishery and is always thinking forward. That is the Kaho crew. I apologize for taking so long to get this done. Thanks Jerry.

 

 

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On May 1, 2017 at 9:28 PM, brucehookedup said:

Rochester Kaho Trawl was a interesting experience I was happy to be a part of. We trawled from the 30 to 42 N to the 33 to 26 W. That is roughly 300 to 650'. There a boat load of deep water sculpins in 450 to 650' with a mix class of alwifes. As we got closer to shore the sculpins disappeared , but the alewife did not. Still a mix class with the 3 and 4 yr missing. I can say there is the mother lode of last year class as we found in all trawls. There should be no reason to not get the salmon numbers back up where they were or more. I would like to thank Brian Weidel for his hospitality and knowledge. The crew all work hard and pleasure to talk to. It's nice to know someone cares about the fishery and is always thinking forward. That is the Kaho crew. I apologize for taking so long to get this done. Thanks Jerry.

 

 

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Holy smokes there's that many sculpins living that deep?  How big are they?

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I would say as big as 8" and as small as 3". Nothing is chewing on them as they are in the bottom of 400' plus feet of water.

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