Got Rezzies?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Don Freeman, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    A couple questions for your south Sound regulars.

    How often do you find these resident coho using the same beaches and using the same food items as the sea-runs?

    Do we really want an increase in a hatchery program that produces fish potentially competing with our wild cutthroat resources?

    I see the hatchery coho as a larger threat/competitor to the cutthroat than hatchery Chinook.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  2. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    I definitely agree with you Curt

    Leland.
     
  3. MDL

    MDL We work to become, not to acquire.

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    And this is where the problem comes in. The effects of a hatchery fish that competes and eats searuns that Les, Bruce and others have helped bring thier numbers back for us to enjoy as a C&R fishery. The irony of our choices and wants... What were the searun numbers of yester year when the resident silver population was abundant?
     
  4. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    Calm down folks resident silvers are not snakeheads. Cutthroat populations have bounced back in recent years due to the saltwater catch-and-release policy pure and simple. Rezzies are not eating up the cutthroat nor are they consuming all their food stocks. There was once a healthy wild resident silver population in Puget Sounds that lived in perfect harmony with cutthroat.
     
  5. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Dimebrite -
    I'm well aware of the historic wild resident coho populations. My point is that there are no free lunches and those hatchery coho likely have adverse impacts on wild cutthroat and other wild salmonids. the question is would there be more cutthroat without those hatchery coho? - no knows for sure but pretty sure but many would prefer to err on the side of the wild cutthroat.

    I'm all for managing for wild resident coho. Every year there is some discussion of wild coho release in south Sound at NOF and every year that is where it ends. I would much rather spend my time and effort on promoting wild fish and management for those fish than in generating more hatchery fish.

    At any rate as often is the case these issues are complex and I suspect I raised something for folks to think about. Our individual response on such issues will be colored more by of fishing desires than what is best for the resource.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  6. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    Another thing to consider is that the wild cutthroat will be hammered if that is the only gamefish accessible to saltwater fly anglers. Resident silvers help to spread out the fishing pressure on the native cutthroat population. There is mortality with the catch&release cutthroat fishery, especially harsh on the smaller 6-12 inchers that folks are hooking this time of year. For this reason I don't target cutthroat nearly as aggressively as I once did and focus more on catching salmon in the salt.


    PS- I dropped off a hard copy of the petition at the AVID ANGLER today so please ask to sign-it next time you visit the shop. I'll pick it up at the end of July and mail it to Don.
     
  7. CurtisS

    CurtisS Member

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    While I agree with whats happening here, this type of thinking is what has, is, and will destroy wild fish populations. Though this is about as unharmful to wild fish as a hatchery program can get, we should rely on it for angling opportunities. I really like don's outlook on this, but total hatchery take over is as close to blasphemy as you can get in fly fishing.
     
  8. CurtisS

    CurtisS Member

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    This just doesn't make sense to me. Salmon are a much more desirable target to most anglers than cutthroat. Keep in mind that while ALOT of fly fishers fish for cutts int he sound, not a whole lot of gear guys do, there are alot more fisherman in general who would target Salmon first.

    If these fish occupy the same areas wouldn't a bigger silver salmon presence in the sound INCREASE fishing pressure on cutthroat?
     
  9. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    ok I can get some to some local shops as well
     
  10. Jeff Hale

    Jeff Hale B.I.G.F.F.

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    Is there any specific research out there that someone can quote that shows the effects of hatchery coho on the wild cutty populations? I am torn on this particular hatchery issue. Generally I vote for wild fish first, but not sure on this one. I would love some unbiased research supported by strong evidence instead of everyone's different guesses on the impact to wild cutts.
     
  11. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    In historical context one can say that back in the day there were more wild salmonids around Puget Sound waters and yet they coexisted with cutthroats in some kind of balance. But in that same era there was more and healthier marine and watershed habitat and a greater abundance of forage species, especially herring. Today we have less watershed habitat and much of what we do have is degraded, with fewer forage species and the marine environment isnt faring any better, especially regarding herring populations. sIntroducing hatchery salmon into the environment puts more pressure and competition on the few remaining wild fish,including cutthroat trout.

    This topic is a great example of how fishermen have driven the fisheries management decions in this region to rely upon hatcheries for their fish. It doesn't work ecologically. But the political pressure continues. Anything to keep the rollercoaster running.
     
  12. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Not being a south Sound fisher I have another question for you regulars.

    From a far it seems to me that over at least the last decade in spite of the numbers of delayed reared coho released there has a considerable variation in the numbers of resident coho in South Sound. The speculation I heard as the potential factor for part of the variation in fish numbers was the availability of forage for the coho. Is that still commonly thought to be the case? If indeed forage availability is part of the equation how does release more hatchery fish result in more residents? Would it not work the other way? The fish could exhaust the forage faster and more on.

    Just soem food for thought. It seems to me for more than a century the promise of hatcheries being an easy solution to salmon problems has disappointed folks more often than not. This past history suggests that it may be wise to carefully consider the full range of potential issues associated with an incarease hatchery production before jumping on that band wagon.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  13. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

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    Forage can indeed be a factor in residualzation. When food is scarce, the coho leave the area in search of food. The cutthroat stay in place and eat what's available, so during hard times, the salmon don't over compete with wild populations.

    Your statement "in spite of the numbers of delayed reared coho released" seems to assume that the number of fish released has been stable and plentiful. This is not the case. The number released has declined dramatically in recent years with entire facilities being closed. A crucial factor in fish staying around is time of release. In some cases, lack of money for food, and fear of infection from unseasonably warm water temperatures has triggered early release, resulting in marine migration instead of creating resident Coho.

    Our current effort is to shift production of Coho to facilities which have better conditions for growing healthy silvers, but are currently having less relative success producing blackmouth than other hatcheries. There is a finite (and shrinking) license fee generated fund for these projects, and we want to spend the money wisely to provide more recreational opportunity.
     
  14. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Curt:

    You raise some excellent questions/thoughts about the relationship between resident coho and sea-run cutthroat shared food sources!

    I have no solid information about about food availability for resident coho and sea-run cutthroat. However, in my "unscientific/opinionated" fishing journal I noted a noticeable decrease in sea gull activity in the 1990's vs. 2000 to 2010 particularly Bonaparte gulls which eat much of the preferred food(amphipods and sand lance) of resident coho and sea-run cutthroat. It seems like sand lance populations are cyclic. Are changes occuring in food sources in Puget Sound? Herring populations have greatly decreased in the past but appear to be maybe on the increase hopefully. I was out fishing on Monday and there a lot of baitfish out in open water in a lot of areas. My quess is that they were herring which would be encouraging. What about other food sources?

    IMHO there are some locations where resident coho and sea-run cutthroat share the same locations but it is not the norm. Since both resident coho and sea-run cutthroat prefer shallow near shoreline locations, they obviously share the same food sources. The resident coho will normally be in deeper water(10 to 25 feet) and the sea-run cutthroat in shallower water(1 to 10 feet). Whenever I keep a resident coho, I check it's stomach content. It gives me a good indication of what nearby sea-run cutthroat will be feeding on.

    Roger
     
  15. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Roger -
    .
    Thanks - I was hoping you would chime in; I respect your history, observations, and opinions on the fish and fisheries in south Sound.

    Unfortuantely your observations seem to reinforce some of my concerns. That is on poor or marginal forage years planting more delayed released coho are unlikely to produce more south Sound "residents" and potentially increase interactions between those hatchery fish and the wild cutthroat.

    Tight lines
    Curt