Bonneville Numbers

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by skyriver, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

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    Idaho needs to reconsider Dworshak Dam. The North Fork was the major producer of what today we call B-run fish. Removal of that Dam would do more for wild B-run fish than anything else, even more than removing lower Snake river dams. Ok, I admit I have an opinion and could be wrong about some of that (lower Snake R. dams). The Ahsahka hatchery doesn't help either.
     
  2. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    JS-
    The current 2017 A-run wild steelhead run has been downgraded from a preseason forecast of 33,000 to 21,000. That update run size is less than 2/3 of the preseason forecast. Assuming that a significant downgrade is likely due to lower than expected marine survival of the smolts. If indeed that is the cast that does not bode well for the 2018 B-run whose smolts went to sea as this years A-run steelhead.

    The higher water this spring should have helped more smolts in surviving their journey down the river to the salt(fish that will return as A-runs in 2018 and B-runs in 2019). Of course that is only part of the story; the real driver will likely be the ocean conditions that smolts will find. Indications that at least for coho and Chinook the oceans conditions this spring was not good.

    Fingers crossed that those smolts find better conditions and we see better conditions for a decade or so. However the wild B-runs don't seem to have much of a cushion and maybe in a tough place if things don't improve soon.

    Curt
     
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  3. JS

    JS Active Member

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    Thanks for the information, Curt. I really value your contributions to this site, and I know others do as well.

    So am I ignorant to be optimistic that ocean conditions look to be on a favorable swing lately? Or at least have moved away from the peril of the Blob?



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  4. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    JS

    Anglers by our very nature tend to optimistic; we expect to catch fish. That is doubly so for steelhead anglers. So no you are not ignorant to be optimistic but at the same time we have to temper out optimistic hopes with some reality.

    Curt
     
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  5. JS

    JS Active Member

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    Fair enough, Curt.

    What's the play then? As anglers watching this happen, is there anything to be done?

    I'm not being crass. If these fish are really going to disappear before our eyes I'd feel better giving my effort to something proactive. Habitat restoration is the only conservation effort that I have made, excluding evangelism, neither has done jack for us thus far.




    I'm still optimistic; maybe hopelessly.


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  6. Yard Sale

    Yard Sale Huge Member

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    Are you saying that science is saying:

    We don't know if ocean conditions are really better

    The ocean conditions look better but the effects are unknown

    Ocean conditions still suck?

    I'm under the impression that the warm blob has disintegrated and ocean conditions are more favorable. Hope that leads to more healthy returns! I do realize that is dependent on smolts actually making it out there in the first place.
     
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  7. Tim Ihle

    Tim Ihle Active Member

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    Any bets on how many make it over when it's all said and done? I bet less than 60K total summers.
     
  8. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    Curt, as always, brings up great points and a sobering scientific assessment of where things stand. In the midst of the doom and gloom I should mention that PIT tag data on a few populations I am familiar with suggests that 2016 outmigrant marine survival was substantially better than 2015. Crossing my fingers that applies to the B-run next year and that this year was even better.
     
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  9. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Tom -
    Thanks much for contributing that survival information. I freely admit that I'm ignore on many of the nuances of Columbia steelhead and the data available to track what is happen (one of the few upsides of all those dams!).

    Hopefully the recent and future smolts are/will a productive ocean.

    Have any info on the wild smolt numbers? If I recall correctly the B-run wild fish have quite a few older smolts (3 year-olds?), if so are we still seeing the effects of the 2015 drought?

    Curt
     
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  10. Shad

    Shad Active Member

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    Forecasts favored a return to El Nino by the end of this summer. We need to be hoping that doesn't happen. So far, the PDO has been headed downward all summer, which is good news for anadromous salmonids. Lets keep that negative PDO working, so we might have good fishing again in a couple years!
     
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  11. JS

    JS Active Member

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    Anyone know why the FPC site is down right now?


    CONSPIRACY!!!



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  12. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    Been down for 3 days. definitely a conspiracy.
     
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  13. JS

    JS Active Member

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    Either 10 fish or 10k fish.........


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  14. JS

    JS Active Member

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    What do you know? I called it...back up and 10k fish went over since it was down.


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  15. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Pardon my ignorance but, what is the "FPC site"?