You May be Killing Steelhead and Not Know It

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Steve Call, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,531
    Edmonds, WA
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    Giving people factual information is much more important than making up numbers to prove a point. The study this thread is based on is bogus. It is admittedly bogus.

    The people that actually catch a lot of fish handle fish better than those that don't. You can't become proficient without the experience of actually doing it. We have a course that puts hundreds of new drivers on the roads every day but those people have absolutely no idea how to actually drive a car until they have tens of thousands of miles under their belt. Lets control what we can control but leave the bogus information out of that equation.

    There's a big difference between 2% and 20%. And, just for clarification, what the hell is a meat fisherman? Someone who fishes gear rather than the fly?

    I don't see a whole lot of casual, bash them on the head fisherman on the water during the wild runs. I see people who care about the resource out enjoying that resource. Look at what the pink runs bring out. Now, look at who is on the water during our spring steelhead runs. 2 completely separate user groups.
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  2. Salmo_g Active Member

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    Hi Hydrological,

    Well well, so why don't you tell us how you really feel? That was a pretty good lambast of Charles' post you did there. Neither he nor anyone else is advocating careless handling of the fish we catch and release. Fish handling gets a lot of exposure on this forum. However, over the top remarks or rants probably don't help any. It's important to note that, as has already been posted in this thread, that the "study" describes in the OP was bogus and the alleged high incidental mortality rate is no more real than this study that didn't occur.

    I think it's far better that our forum members read accurate information. In fact I'm beginning to think that this forum ought to have a section for scientific reports on topics like CNR mortality since the subject comes up so often. The further thought occurs to me that a person should have to read the reports before being allowed to post in any thread about CNR mortality. But where would be the fun in that, eh?

    Sg
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  3. Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Posts: 1,032
    Des Moines
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    Very interesting, i didn't realize that was such a factor. It does still reflect the point that morality rates vary due to a number of factors that arent always obvious
  4. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,792
    Marysville, Washington
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    In interest of providing full information the issue of increased handling mortality on fish whose scales have not yet "set" is a very real problem with Chinook; especially those early stocks (springs and summers) who tend to enter rivers as relatively immature fish. The handling mortality is much higher on those Chinook while they are "shedding" scales then once those scales have "set". It is of interest that those elevated mortalities seem to the greatest for those Chinook with shedding scales once they leave the salt. That sort of handling mortality seems to be the greatest for Chinook and less so for the other salmon species and especially the various "trouts" -steelhead, cutthroat, bulls,etc..

    However there are other conditions which can result in elevated handling mortalities for steelhead; the most common of which are high stream temperatures.

    Curt
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  5. FinLuver Active Member

    Posts: 405
    Mid-Willamette Valley
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    "Hardness of scales" or "setting in" causing mortality... now that's a new one on me.

    Guess, that's why I've seen the banks littered with all the dead "early river runners"...??

    Must be all the bears are getting to them before I do...or.... it makes as much sense as them banging their heads on the rocks from jumping the falls. ;)
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  6. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,531
    Edmonds, WA
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    Do some homework, then get back to us.
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  7. Salmo_g Active Member

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    FinLuver,

    Salmon and trout, while in sea water and rapidly growing, have very loose scales. Scale loss increases vulnerability to injury, but most especially increases their vulnerability to infection. After the fish have been in freshwater a week or so, their scales harden and become "set," as in much harder to pull out. Try it some time. I think heavy scale loss almost always results in infection when the fish are in fresh water, which can then spread, resulting in mortality.

    BTW, salmon and steelhead do sustain injuries from jumping water falls. Well, not from the falls, but from the rocks and other things around the falls that they accidentally hit.

    PT is correct; you have some homework to do.

    Sg
  8. FinLuver Active Member

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    Mid-Willamette Valley
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    Well...I don't get to the salt that much in my travels...but I partake a bit in my recipes. :oops:
  9. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,792
    Marysville, Washington
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    A little more about the scales of our various salmonids species; each of their scales grow in what is essentially an envelope of skin. As Salmo g states while those fish are in the salt and growing rapidly that skin pocket is relatively thin and pliable perhaps to allow for the rapid increase in body size associated with the rapid growth. However as the fish mature and near spawning the skin of each scale pocket thickens and toughens. This results in the scale being tightly held to the body and provides addition protect from the various hazards(injury, infections, etc.) the fish might during its migration and spawning process.

    While the fish is growing rapidly and the scale pocket skin is thin the angler typically refers to the scales as being "loose or easily shed (deciduous)" and once that skin thickens we refer to the scales being "set". Just another example of the many tiny adaptions our salmonids go through to insure their diversity which insures the long term survival of the species. It is of course that diversity that endears fish like steelhead to many of us.

    Curt
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