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Inthebox30lbs

Lake Michigan Giant kings this year!!!

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Posted (edited)

Michigan seems to have rebounded with the size of the kings.  Fish over 30lbs have been consistently weighed in spring and summer tournaments all over the lake.  This weekend loads of fish pushing 40lbs and several over 40 have been weighed in during competitions all over the MI/WI shorelines.  Also the cohos are bigger this year than ever.  Lake Ontario has always had the bigger kings.  Whats goin on??? Opinions....... 

Edited by Inthebox30lbs

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We have a GIANT class of three year olds that are all competing for bait. More mouths to feed = less chance to grow a gluttonous 40 lb 4 year old. 

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2 hours ago, A-Lure-A said:

They cut stocking by over 50 %. 

Yup.  I'm not seeing many small kings either this season.  Should right the ship in the next couple of years as long as we can get some good hatches of alewife. 

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Why can't alewives be stocked or hatchery produced?

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6 minutes ago, PD Buoy said:

Why can't alewives be stocked or hatchery produced?

 The reason Kings are there in the first place it to control them

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You think anyone in fisheries will allow stocking of an invasive? Keep in mind the measurements of alewives is in the BILLIONS!!!   We are not at risk for losing our bait like Huron because Ontario is a green cesspool at the end of the plumbing. The sky is not falling. Having alewives take a temporary dip is not a bad thing because it allows for competing species to rebound such as emerald shiners or walleyes. 

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As to raising bait for a Great Lake, really a small ocean, where are you going to do it?  Rotenone Oneida Lake, or maybe Kueka and use that. That will sit really well with those property owners!   Steve LePan calculated a few years ago that if all the hatchery capacity of NYS were devoted to Alewife culture, they could produce enough alewife to feed the ravenous predators we already stocked into LO for 8 days.  No, you want big salmon, cut the numbers that go in and the ones that remain have more growth possibility.  On the other hand, if the west end charter guys had their ways, more would go in and you could get a box full of 4 year old ten pounders, if the population didn't totally crash, and I see that  as a big risk despite what Gill says, with the continuing decline exhibited in the data from a well designed, well vetted, well run random sampling program run for over 40 years.

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You think anyone in fisheries will allow stocking of an invasive? Keep in mind the measurements of alewives is in the BILLIONS!!!   We are not at risk for losing our bait like Huron because Ontario is a green cesspool at the end of the plumbing. The sky is not falling. Having alewives take a temporary dip is not a bad thing because it allows for competing species to rebound such as emerald shiners or walleyes. 

I guess it depends on the invasive.
Kings,browns, steelheads and rainbows are all invited invasives.


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One thing we all can probably agree on is all stocked kings should be clipped. Don’t need to chip, just clip. 

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Posted (edited)

DP

Edited by Gill-T

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Michigan has 4yr old kings because of a lack of bait and there fish need the extra year to sexually mature.  We have 95% of our Kings maturing at 3 years of age because we have plenty of food and our net pens are giving them a fantastic start on life.  No complaints here.   

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50 minutes ago, rolmops said:


I guess it depends on the invasive.
Kings,browns, steelheads and rainbows are all invited invasives.


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Non-native, not invasive. ;-)

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21 hours ago, Tall Tails said:

Michigan has 4yr old kings because of a lack of bait and there fish need the extra year to sexually mature.  We have 95% of our Kings maturing at 3 years of age because we have plenty of food and our net pens are giving them a fantastic start on life.  No complaints here.   

I don't quite get the age thing. Does the counting start at incubation time in Altmar or does it start when the fry is released into the lake?

 

21 hours ago, UNREEL said:

Non-native, not invasive. ;-)

as I said, "invited",

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2 hours ago, rolmops said:

I don't quite get the age thing. Does the counting start at incubation time in Altmar or does it start when the fry is released into the lake?

 

as I said, "invited",

Age starts at conception

Edited by Tall Tails
wording

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On 8/13/2019 at 11:50 AM, Tall Tails said:

Michigan has 4yr old kings because of a lack of bait and there fish need the extra year to sexually mature.  We have 95% of our Kings maturing at 3 years of age because we have plenty of food and our net pens are giving them a fantastic start on life.  No complaints here.   

Actually many years here on Ontario big numbers of 2.5 yr olds mature due to excessive food. In the early 90s NYSDEC told us the slug of large Chinooks was due to "delayed maturity."  Accelerated maturity is due to abundant food source. Lets keep in mind that a Salmon populations entire purpose is to propagate and become food. Lake O is now a mature fishery with intense Chinook Salmon fishing pressure. Age 4 Chinooks have always been the exception, and these days even if an individual Salmon is destined to be  a 4yr old mature it most likely gets caught and harvested before that. There is no problem with that as more people around the lake are enjoying Salmon fishing than ever before. Healthy alewives and healthy Salmon have created a bigger fishery. 

Now, be careful what you wish for--if you dig into the Lake Michigan Salmon fishery it is more policy than biology. Alewives are on the upswing but instead of increasing Salmon plants they are cramming record numbers of Lake Trout into the Lake. If you dig into the realities of the Salmon fishery I don't think most would like what they find--and certainly wouldnt trade for our fishery. Yes, there are some giants being caught but the day to day action is spotty at best unless you want Lakers. Look no further than the largest Pro Tournament on Lake Michigan, The Ludington Offshore Classic. Only one team was able to catch 3 Salmon both days. The vast majority filled their remaining creel with Lake trout. When I talk to Captains over there they say its difficult to determine which client gets the ONE opportunity at a Salmon during their outing. 99% of the anglers over there would trade for our fishery in a heartbeat.        

Edited by Capt Vince Pierleoni
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Good points Vince.:yes: You know I think a lot of times we seem to take this Lake Ontario fishery for granted as well as the Finger Lakes for that matter. The truth is that we live in a very special area with unparalleled diversity of fishing offering something for all and the ability to do all kinds of fishing boat or no boat. I guess it may be human nature for folks to look for the greener grass on the other side of the fence, but it is critically important to fully appreciate what we have and to look for ways to improve things without pizzing off Mother Nature. Although folks may always be shooting for that 40 or 50 pound behemoth as their potential trophy when out there a trophy is pretty much " in the eye of the beholder". To be chasing that dream is what it is truly about for many, but the reality is that these Chinooks and the other salmon and trout for that matter regardless of size or weight are a hell of a lot of fun to catch, and it borders on ":addiction" once it is experienced. We don't ever want to lose sight of how much pleasure is derived from the experience of fishing for these brutes right here on our doorstep. Many people in the world would give anything to be able to do this.:smile:

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Give me box full of healthy 20 something  lb. Kings, mixed in with a bunch of 12-16 lb. cohos and I'm happy as a clam at high tide. I remember the late '90's, almost every King was 30+ lbs. but that didn't necessarily make it better. Last year was incredible, my boat took a 32 lb. King in May (should have entered the derby).:puke:

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Our gene pool has been watered down need a new gene class of eggs from the pacific northwest the hatcheries are been taking anything for eggs for too many years now just look at the stats from the hatcheries

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I don't think that suggestion will receive much attention by the DEC as the Pacific salmon fishery has very severe problems in many places largely because of the fact that the salmon fish farming has placed their holding areas within the traditional spawning streams of the native salmon and they have become contaminated and infected with a variety of viruses and fungi and the numbers returning to streams are down significantly from historical levels.

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Our gene pool has been watered down need a new gene class of eggs from the pacific northwest the hatcheries are been taking anything for eggs for too many years now just look at the stats from the hatcheries

It would be a great idea because the original kings that were stocked here have adapted to Lake Ontario. Changing the genetics would be starting all over.


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Do a study on Pacific Herring and how they are the forage for Chinook Salmon. Our Alewives are tiny compared to Herring. The Herring are many years older and larger. Our alewives are a poor substitute for natural wild herring. When the salmon stocking program started it had its main target Coho salmon. The were down graded for Chinooks since “Size Matters “.


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Seems like actual problems like Whirling Disease, BKD, VHS, and who knows what potential new problems, have faded from memory for a lot of folks.  Why there is a moratorium on moving fish eggs from  State to State anymore, or at least why DEC isn't doing it.

 

Alewife ARE herring.  https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/85766.html

 

Looking at Wikipedia, there is no mention of Pacific Herring being anadromous, so I question whether they would be viable in a freshwater environment.  The lack of salt in freshwater acts as a barrier to invasion of freshwaters by species that could just swim up from the ocean if their physiology allowed them to adjust to the different salinity.

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