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GAMBLER

Lack of small kings

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So far this season, the salmon fishing has been awesome.  My only concern is the lack of kings under 15lbs.  We have only caught a few small kings this season so far.  Usually the number of small kings out numbers the numbers of mature fish.  It has been backwards this year.  Anyone else seeing this?  I'm wondering if we are finally seeing the stocking cuts?

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I’ve had my share of young ones but very few dink’s.


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There was high mortality on the North Shore last year in the pens.  Big wind storm pushed ice into the harbors and crushed the pens. Claims of 100% mortality in a few locations.

 

That could explain the lack of 1.5 year old kings.

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We haven't been getting many inside 200 fow but every time I venture out deep I have  been  seeing  some. Tons of small steelhead everywhere too

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We haven't been getting many inside 200 fow but every time I venture out deep I have  been  seeing  some. Tons of small steelhead everywhere too

We have caught a ton of small steelhead. Thats great to see!

 

 

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My biggest salmon so far this season was 9lb. ;(  havent been out since mid june. My two weekend trips i boated 18 salmon most 4-9lb range but also a bunch of small steelhead 

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The Lack of skippers is the cuts showing up.  No one should act surprised by this.  The only thing that saves us is a great year class of naturals.  We need to start talking about protecting vital spawning habit in our creeks and rivers.

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50 minutes ago, Tall Tails said:

The Lack of skippers is the cuts showing up.  No one should act surprised by this.  The only thing that saves us is a great year class of naturals.  We need to start talking about protecting vital spawning habit in our creeks and rivers.

 

Let's be honest the only creeks and rivers conducive to spawning on our side is the Salmon River. Canada closes down their systems, and those put at least half of the naturals into this lake. So, we're good there!

 

As for the cuts and lack of naturals the data showed we needed them. I don't care what you see on your fish finders when it comes to bait. I'd rather see a lack of them and our forage levels get a break. Now we can pound on the Steelies and Brown Trout to piss off the stream guys!

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18 minutes ago, Yankee Troller said:

 

Let's be honest the only creeks and rivers conducive to spawning on our side is the Salmon River. Canada closes down their systems, and those put at least half of the naturals into this lake. So, we're good there!

 

As for the cuts and lack of naturals the data showed we needed them. I don't care what you see on your fish finders when it comes to bait. I'd rather see a lack of them and our forage levels get a break. Now we can pound on the Steelies and Brown Trout to piss off the stream guys!

The issue with that is, they can only take so much pressure.  Year after year of fishing them hard we will be struggling to find them.  Looks like I better stock up on inventory for the business,  It might get a little busy!

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I've heard this doom and gloom on here before . And look at the last few years . 

Would not surprise me at all If things were not as good the next few years . Can't be stellar every year . 

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9 minutes ago, HB2 said:

I've heard this doom and gloom on here before . And look at the last few years . 

Would not surprise me at all If things were not as good the next few years . Can't be stellar every year . 

The last few years, there were numbers of all year classes of kings.  Over the 35 years I have been fishing Lake Ontario, I have never seen the ratio to matures to young kings this out of whack. 

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My trip last week to Henderson we were taking skippers, and so was my buddies boat.  Id say more than normal.  Tons and tons of bait in the Henderson Area right now as always attracted to the structure and current this area of the lake has.    

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My trip last week to Henderson we were taking skippers, and so was my buddies boat.  Id say more than normal.  Tons and tons of bait in the Henderson Area right now as always attracted to the structure and current this area of the lake has.    

That’s good to hear. A lot of guys I talked to are saying not many small kings around. I have seen a good amount of bait. June it was ridiculous off of the port I fish.


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Fishing shallow water in mid-May out of Olcott we had quite a few 5-6 pound salmon around banging spoons that I assume were last years class mixed in with the 15 -19 pound fish.  I boated very few fish in that 9-13 pound range though and expected to see some of them missed in and didn't.

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On 7/31/2019 at 8:36 AM, Yankee Troller said:

 

Let's be honest the only creeks and rivers conducive to spawning on our side is the Salmon River. Canada closes down their systems, and those put at least half of the naturals into this lake. So, we're good there!

 

As for the cuts and lack of naturals the data showed we needed them. I don't care what you see on your fish finders when it comes to bait. I'd rather see a lack of them and our forage levels get a break. Now we can pound on the Steelies and Brown Trout to piss off the stream guys!

Disagree. 

I think there is more Nat reproduction on the south shore than most think . 

 

Up to half of the returns are Nat reproduction . 

 

That's,a lot . Not all coming from the S almon and north shore IMO.  

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Disagree. 
I think there is more Nat reproduction on the south shore than most think . 
 
Up to half of the returns are Nat reproduction . 
 
That's,a lot . Not all coming from the S almon and north shore IMO.  

What tribs are good enough for natural reproduction in your opinion?


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I have seen these fish spawning in drainage ditches . 

 

I feel it is not the bigger streams so much  but the smaller . Such as Bald eagle , Maxwell ,etc . Those that have moving or estuary water that is close to the lake . 

 

The fish spawn from mid Oct to mid Dec . Eggs hatch 6 to 20 weeks . Cold enough to sustain them . 

 

Waters rise and floods come and flush some of the fry  Into the lake . Not really so far fetched to think this maybe happening . At least on a small  scale . 

 

Also as waters warm in spring , that in and out surge of tide like cool water that comes in May force them to stay in that water and  suck them out into the lake 

 

Maybe  it's up to 10 % of the 50 % of the Nat reproduction but it could be some . 

 

And there would be really  no way to know if in fact this was happening . 

 

 

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Irondequoit creek gets fairly strong runs of kings every year. I don’t believe kings have been stocked there in a long time. Could be strays from the Genny I guess but it makes me wonder. The creek does support a resident brown trout population all year 

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It is one thing to have spawning fish, and it is quite another to produce viable fry. You need right temps, O2 levels, a lack of egg predators, the right timing on flushing etc etc. It really is the Salmon River and a few select rivers north. 

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Bald Eagle creek dries up most falls and has very little run. It may get Steelies in spring. Irondequoit Creek is a good possibility in the upper stretches. The Genny, Oswego, the Oak and Sandy more than likely do not have king natural repo.


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The urge for Mother Nature to keep the specie going is so strong , she will do what she has to . Even if conditions aren't  perfect. 

 

King salmon were originally from the harsh environment of the Pacific ocean . They don't get to 30# in 3 years by being frail . 

 

We are 15 generations from the first stocks and IMO they are adapting the LO ecosystem . We already see some evidence of this from staging and timing of staging of spawning runs . 

 

I don't think some of you guys give mother nature enough credit . 

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Actually HB2 is correct. Especially in years where we have higher water and a cold spring like the past two. I fished all the local streams into Mid May because there were steelhead in those systems. You couldn't take a step in Oak Orchard or Sandy in several good spawning areas without a cloud of Chinook fry following you chomping on stream invertebrates you dug up with each foot step. I even saw King Fry in very small tribs to the east of Rochester in April. In most cases these fry will head to the lake in April, and May, and as late as June if stream temps stay lower then lethal Mid 60's. 

 

The seining effort on the salmon river this spring will show a huge bumper crop of Kings, as well as other salmonids. Streams like Irondequoit has Kings all the way to Fishers and above with plenty of cold spring water added into the flow, and the IRON absolutely produces wild fish. Several years ago DEC did shore line seining off Sandy Creek and Oak Orchard and found wild fish. 

 

Now having said all this, it's anybody's guess how many of these fish survive to become adults. Remember if numbers at the salmon river hatchery during the clipping program said over half the fish they handled were wild...understand most of the wild fish, don't descend the hatchery. They are spawning naturally in the 11 miles of river they have access to. 

 

Personally I'd like to see DEC and MNR clip stocked kings again for at least two generations of fish and develop a program with Rec and Pro anglers to report their Stocked to Natural repo catches. Good data is King....Otherwise very difficult to manage the lake for Chinooks VIA the forage base if you have that big ? mark.

 

However every year in all other streams outside of the Salmon River is a crap shoot because they don't have a base flow rate plan. The Salmon has a treaty to maintain base flows year round, thus why it is so prolific in hatching millions of wild fry.

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