New study on steelhead genes - "...up to 40% come from wild trout..."

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Luke77, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. fifafu

    fifafu Guest

    Uh huh well I'm not talking about "always" I'm talking about the Clearwater and the Grand Ronde right now. Lot and lots of natives every year since I moved here 14 years ago. I came from fishing the puget sound and the peninsula rivers and am amazed at the numbers of fish per day the good fisherman can produce consistantly every year. Sure they aren't as fresh as a Hoh fish but to deny their numbers is just laughable. The Hoh has no dams and is too green to fish by anglers most of the spring and yet the numbers of Steelhead when it does come to shape are disgusting low compared to even the 30 years ago.

    Why the success of those fisheries? Come on guys what's the deal?
     
  2. shawn k

    shawn k Member

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    i attended both meetings in forks. The state didnt consider anything that was discussed at the first meeting.Show me where there has been reasearch done that shows either way weather or not the wild fish are being negatively impacted by broodstocking on the Sol Duc. ( Not trying to challenge you) I would just like to see it. If broodstock programs are so bad why move it to the Calawah or Bogie. Also the concept of a wild gene bank river is a great idea but the wdfw admitted that harchery fish from the bogie do go up the Sol Duc. I would argue that the river that should have been considered for a wild gene bank river should have been the Hoh river.



    If broodstock programs are so bad than why is it that the Hoh tribe stopped planting chambers fish and went to a broodstock program.



    I would also argue that NOAA doesnt agree with you about hatchery fish being used to rebuild wild fish runs. There are captive breeding population hatchery programs being implemented in a lot of places.
     
  3. shawn k

    shawn k Member

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    Why the success of those fisheries? Come on guys what's the deal?[/QUOTE]

    tribal gillnets
     
  4. dflett68

    dflett68 Active Member

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    i know the general response to this has been in another direction, but what popped into my mind initially upon reading this were fresh doubts about the reclassification of rainbows from s.g. to o. mykiss. i'm not an expert on the reasons for the change but it seems like this phenomenon is unique to rainbows/steelhead within the genus they are currently classified in, and it seems like a very significant distinction. the other species in that genus can exist in a landlocked state, but (correct me if i'm wrong) i've never heard of a population of any other pacific salmon besides o. mykiss inhabiting a stream except for landlocked fish spawning in inlets or outlets.

    not saying salmo was the correct genus cause i don't know anything about that either, and maybe behaviors are not a factor in taxonomy, only physical traits? i don't know. but based on the article, it seems like behaviorally, rainbows have as much in common with bull trout (a char, obviously) as they do pacific salmon.

    like i said, i'm not an expert so i'm just asking. i'm sure the many experts here can help educate me.
     
  5. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Fifafu,

    Your 14 years is little more than a snapshot in time. After the Snake River dams (Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, Lower Granite, Hells Canyon, Oxbow, Brownlee, and Dworshak on the Clearwater, the Snake River salmon and steelhead populations plummeted, with many being extirpated. The large runs you see now are only large relative to the time when they were nearly lost. The pre-dam runs were far larger. The current run sizes are the product of stocking millions - that's millions not thousands - of hatchery smolts. The better than average contemporary returns are the additional product of spring spill and above average ocean survival.

    As bad as hatchery fish can be for wild populations, inland hatchery summer steelhead appear to survive better in the natural environment than their coastal Chambers Creek hatchery winter runs do. That is most likely because the spawn timing of the inland hatchery summer steelhead is about the same as the wild fish. That puts them a step ahead of the Chambers fish. All the other hatchery disadvantages still apply, but as hatchery fish survive in the natural environment, the subsequent generations apparently survive better, almost as well as wild fish with no hatchery heritage, as near as I can tell from reading some of the genetics study reports.

    An important point is that these current wild inland steelhead runs are not large relative to the size of the respective river basins. The Grand Ronde is a much larger basin than is the coastal Hoh River, not to mention that the productivity per unit area of the Ronde is likely significantly greater as well.

    Coastal and Puget Sound river steelhead are not having as good ocean survival as Columbia stocks, but that is a relationship that can and does flip from time to time. And has been discussed here considerably, PS river steelhead seem to be at an all time low for ocean survival.

    I hope this added perspective helps you better understand the factors influencing steelhead abundance.

    Dflett68,

    Rainbow and cutthroat were moved from the genus Salmo to Oncorhyncus because improved genetic analysis (DNA) shows them to be phylogenetically linked to the Pacific salmon species more than the earlier Salmo species - Atlantic salmon and brown trout. And you're right, fish behavior isn't a factor in taxonomy. It's about body structure and meristics.

    Sg
     
  7. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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  8. fifafu

    fifafu Guest

    Did you not read my original post? I said they are catching natives at 3 to 1 ratio. By the way it about the same in the Hanford Reach.

    What is the deal? How can they be thriving if all the hatchery fish are being planted? I'm still missing how there can be that many natives in Idaho but not in Forks? If you claim these are unclipped hatchery fish you haven't put your hands under a B-Run.

    Sorry I just don't get it.
     
  9. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Fifafu,

    A lot of hatchery fish have been caught by January, so that would increase the wild:hatchery fish ratio, but probably not by 3:1. Then you have the fact that wild fish bite better than their hatchery counterparts based on a Deschutes River creel census from a few years back. So wild fish show up in the catch out of proportion to their actual abundance. And this might be an attribute specific to the inland rivers, I don't know. But Freestone mentioned to me that the vast majority of their catch in the winter and late winter consists of unmarked fish in mid-C tribs, so the same thing may occur in the Snake and Clearwater as well.

    If you read my earlier post you should know why there can be more wild steelhead in Idaho than in Forks. What is it you're missing?

    Sg
     
  10. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Fifafu, just because more wild fish get caught than hatchery fish doesn't mean that they are thriving. It simply means that they bite/get hooked more and several studies support this. I've read that wild fish get hooked 10:1 over hatchery fish. I've had days when I hooked 10-20 fish and they were all wild endangered fish so no way in hell are they 'thriving', they're just biting...

    And like salmo g says, the rivers you mentioned used to have way more fish. Think of it this way: if you are used to making $100,000 a year and then you lost your job, became homeless and had to live on $100/year for many, many years, you'd suddenly feel almost rich again if you made $1000/year. It's all a matter of perspective. The wild summer runs are still very much in trouble. Did you ever wonder how many more wild fish there might be if there were no hatchery fish?
     
  11. dflett68

    dflett68 Active Member

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    Thanks SG. Seems like you can almost just look at rainbows and cutts versus browns and atlantic salmon and see they are more like Oncorhyncus than Salmo, so I can see how the existing genus was deemed inaccurate. But at the same time it seems like they have nearly as many distinctions from the other members of Oncorhyncus as they do from those of Salmo. Of course, I don't know phylogenetics or meristics are, and I'm too lazy to look it up at the moment, so I'll trust the taxonomists. But I will also publicly note, as I have privately, your obvious feelings of nostalgia for the old Salmo G, which I share.
     
  12. fifafu

    fifafu Guest

    If you know they are endangered why are you guys out there harrassing them? If I thought they were endangered I wouldn't pull 20 of them to shore.

    Maybe the Endangered Species List is wrong. Is that possible?
     
  13. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    The fishery is open specifically to pull out the hatchery fish so they don't spawn with the wild fish and NOAA and WDFW wants us to do this; so much so that it is actually illegal on to release the hatchery fish on the Upper Columbia and tribs. NOAA has determined what percentage of hatchery fish need to be removed and how many wild fish can be landed during the season before they shut the season down due to wild fish accidental mortality, which they just did this past weekend. It is a highly regulated and monitored fishery. The wild endangered Upper Columbia steelhead are years away from recovery as they are not successfully replacing themselves. The hatchery fish hurt their recovery chances but for reasons too complicated to explain, must continue to be planted so all we can do is remove as many of the ones that return as we can.

    I, for one do, do not like to or want to catch wild endangered fish but I do want to get the hatchery fish out of the river. I did not say I landed 20 of them in a day, I said 'hooked' them. When I see that I am starting to hook wild fish, I try to get them up on top as quickly as possible to determine if they are hatchery or wild. If they are wild, I try to break them off or bend the size 12-16 hook I am using and not have to land them. If neither of these work, I horse them in as fast as possible, and I do mean horse them in. I broke my favorite steelhead rod doing this last season because I am pretty serious about doing the least harm I can while trying to get the hatchery fish out of the system. My point is do not assume a fish population is 'thriving' just because people are catching what you or they consider to be large numbers of wild fish. While our Columbia & Snake River summers runs may be larger than the Puget Sound runs, as salmo g pointed out, you are comparing apples and oranges as far as the river sytems and the number of fish that they can and should have returning. The Upper Columbia steelhead runs are still classified as at medium to high risk of extinction in the next 25 years...
     
  14. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    Interesting stuff. i wish I would have known about this ten years ago. I released the biggest steelhead I ever caught. It was a beautiful, colored up hatchery buck in primo condition, that measured over 35" and that I landed in a smaller coastal stream that has no hatchery, but receives plants of smolts. I released it thinking that it would be great if this awesome fish was able to spawn. I had caught and bonked a similar fish the day before from the same pool, that measured 34.5" and weighed just under 14 lbs (dressed, with head intact). Man, I sure used to nail 'em with roe!
     

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