Go out to the environmental news network. Seems the pen hatcheries have resulted in a massive increase in sea lice and they are killing the fingerlings - up to 90 percent in some cases. And the have posted in the scientific journals that there is a clear relationship now with pen raised commercial salmon, sea lice and the declines of the salmon in the pacific. The article puts the blame on the many hundreds of commerical pen hatcheries along the BC coastline but I am sure we here in the US are at fault too.
My latest observations over the last couple days. Didn't see any Silvers in the Skagit at Rockport. What Silvers I saw in the lower Skykomish are gone, nothing rolling. Worked the beach at Picnic Point yesterday and it was dead. Usually there are seal everywhere when they are in, nothing. Last week you could see lots of boats out trolling between the Muk and Deadmans ferry routes. I saw one lonely boat yesterday trolling from possession to Edmonds. I don't know, but I think we have gone from still early to they're late and slowly but surely, the run is over.
Makes me wonder sad thoughts...boss man went out sunday from Everett to the west side of the bar and caught an 11 lbs.'er and a 2 lbs.'er... When he came in around 1pm that day the checker at the marina had only counted around 6 fish...
I think the dry year is the main reason for our lack of of fish. The fish seem to stay out in the big salt much longer and by time the rains come they only have sex on their minds and raceing to their gravel bed big party. I did catch one hatchery male of 3 pounds last week. When I cleaned it the stomach was as big around as my finger and was hard and empty. There was plenty of natural bait around so if eating had been on its mind it could have feasted. I know that one fish is a small statistical sample but I must work with what I am given. In years past when the rain came late we watched them race past without stopping to play.
talked with a federal bio this afternoon while scanning the horizon for boats, any boat, fishing in the dungness bay special coho season (none spotted so reelfast remains tied up). this guys take on the coho this year is all about poor ocean conditions 2 yrs ago. i don't know how true this is, just sayin'. i am driving up to the hatchery tomorrow sometime to see if i can chat up a state bio and get their take on this.
I agree with the poor ocean conditions during the spring of the 2005 and don't understand why folks have a hard time accepting that the run is poor. Remember the unusual warm water along the coast with no bait. Heck in the tuna were closer than the salmon for a while. The coho smolts leaving the Puget Sound area would have encountered those conditions as they were arriving to the offshore areas.
The dry conditions this year would likely have little to do with this year's adult run size. If they fish did hold of shore some it might account for some of the severe "lockjaw" condition being reported. It however may be very bad news for next year's smolts. Low flows equal less freshwater rearing areas (carry capacity is reduced). The low flow conditions in the late 1980s yielded smaller run sizes.
Over the long haul great runs will be "balanced" by poor runs - that is the nature of average.
For much of the north Puget Sound area the largest terminal run sizes was in 2001. With restriction in various Canadian fisheries in recent years we have been seeing a much larger portion of the total run sizes getting to Puget Sound.
Some of the highest marine survivals were seen in the early1980s.
the susitna silver run rocked this year because the keani comm nets weren't put out untill the last week of july which let a ton of cohos through, the keani also had a killer run so the coho run was pretty good in the state overall. I think the yukon had a slow year or just people weren't fishing for them because of the price of gas (the yukon has comm setnetting and fishwheels most of the way to the canadian boarder)
Read the states weekender report, the fish are here but they just aren't feeding like usual and now most of the runs have gone over to the waiting stage, I saw alot of staging salmon on tues. south sound, big healthy jumping around but not at all interested. I think the weather did us in.
went up to the dungness r. hatchery this am. all the doors were wide open, wandered around everywhere, not a soul in sight, interesting.
went down to the trap pond. this is the whole truth 12 coho!
i would guess the largest of these fish might weigh in at perhaps 4#. they were all pretty dark already and thin as snakes. of course there is a pretty minimal flow in the river at this point so maybe there will be more returning if it ever rains.