Fin clipped coho question

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Stonefish, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    Posts: 3,861
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,264 / 1
    I don't fish the south sound nearly as much these days as I did growing up there. I had a few really good days down there last winter.
    Most of the fish were adipose clipped.
    I did catch a fair number of fish with unclipped adipose fins as well. I really wasn't paying much attention to the pelvic / ventral fins as I wasn't really aware they were clipping those as well. So the unclipped fish with may have been clipped after all.
    Now that I know I'll pay better attention this winter.

    Another question regarding the coho fin clipping.
    Do they ever just clip the pelvic / ventral fin without clipping the adipose?
    That seemed to be implied from this thread last year.
  2. Roger Stephens Active Member

    Posts: 1,207
    Ratings: +328 / 0

    For the past 4 to 5 winter/springs I have fished for resident coho in the northern part of Marine Area since resident coho have not been hanging around in the sourthern part unlike the early 1990"s through about 2006 or 2007 when they were plentiful. During the past 4 to 5 years I rarely landed a resident coho that had an intact adipose fin.

    At a pre-Falcon meeting in Olympia several years ago a WDFW spokesperson said that there are few wild adult coho in Marine Area !3. For all practical purposes they do exist or are not an important concern in the management of Marine Area 13 by WDFW. It is my opinion from what I heard at the pre-Falcon meeting.

  3. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,841
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +718 / 0
    Curt -


    I'm not too surprised you are seeing few unclipped resident coho in MA?. However just because there are few wild adults in MA13 does not mean that at least some years there can not be wild feeding sub-adult fishing using the south Sound. Lots of tag recoveries have demonstrated how mobile feeding Chinook and coho can be with surprising numbers of fish from say north Sound or Hood Canal found south of Seattle.

    Since my resident coho fishing is largely a summer affair since joining this site I have watch the south Sound winter resident coho reports with the thought that the fishing would be a predictor of what the summer fishing might be. There seems to be little correlation between the fishing you find in the south Sound and what I see during the summer; both in abundances and stock contributions. Clearly the winter south sound fishery is highly dependent on the hatchery releases (net pens and Minter Creek) the central sound fishery seems to have a more diverse stock composition (including wild fish) and less depend on those south sound releases.

    I do remain curious as to where those coho I catch in July have been feeding during the previous winter. I'm finding that those "resident coho" are much more complex that many think. That complexity includes some pretty diverse behaviors and stock contributions that can vary considerably from year to year.

  4. Roger Stephens Active Member

    Posts: 1,207
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    Interesting comment!

    In the spring of 1993 a resident coho(16 to 17") which I caught in the southern part of Marine Area 13 had a coded wire in it's head. The head of the fish was sent to the WDFW lab by the boat ramp fish checker. I was later informed by WDFW that the fish was released the previous year from the Quilcene River hatchery. Pretty interesting that the fish was released in the northern part of Hood Canal but ended up in the southern part of Marine Area 13 8 to 9 months later. At the time it didn't intuitively seem to make sense. However, in hindsight, It proves that your comment is true!

    P.S. That year the sourthern part of Marine Area 13 was absolutely "stuffed" with sand lance which were being chased everywhere by resident coho. The result was that the resident coho were big and fat for that time of year. Somehow, the Hood Canal hatchery resident coho got "wind of the feast" going on in the sourthern part of Marine Area 13 and came to partake "in the all you can eat banquet".

  5. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,841
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +718 / 0
    Since this discussion I have asked around my fishing circle to see what we collectively saw last summer in MA 10. During the period of July and early August we handled approximately 50 "resident' coho. While not a rigorous "study" we thought the unclipped portion of the catch was in that 40 to 60% range and not a single ventral fin was noted (we all bled and clean kept fish immediately so would surely note a ventral clipped fish though we may have missed a clip on a released fish). I will try to take more careful notes next year.

    Regardless the bottom line is that at least for those summer fish we may be seeing a pretty diverse group of coho contributing to those resident fish. I wonder if the creel clerks are looking for those ventral clips during the winter/summer? Also wonder what the coded wire tag information may show; this winter I'll see if WDFW's data base shows any insight on the stock contribution of those July resident coho.

    As a side note I recall seeing a study from the 1950s on the resident humpies that use to be fairly common in south Sound. Those small fish (typically 12 to 15 inches long when entering the fishery) were caught in June and July with the Tacoma area being the center of that fishery. Some of those fish were caught and tagged. The few adult carcasses that were recovered came from the Stillaguamish. Just another indication of how diverse and unexpected our fish behaviors can be.

  6. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,134
    Des Moines
    Ratings: +855 / 0
    I just caught a 3-4 lb right clipped hen that had eggs at a beach in upper MA11. Must have been lost.
  7. ryfly Addicted to flyfishing

    Posts: 377
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +50 / 0
    Got an 8lb clipped buck and 2 11# 'nates on an unnamed bay in MA 13. They are still out there, you just need to look for them or get lucky like we did.