Riainbow or steelhead?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Smalma, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

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    When I took Ethology at the UW back in 1974, one of the things the Sociobiologist were interested in was Game Theory. These papers considered life as a game with the rules being mortality and fecundity tables and the winners being reproductively successful. Game theory showed that the sucessful life histories were evolutionarily stable. But what really caught my attention was how in some cases, if the life history functions were laid out in a certain way, you could find that more than one life history choice could be evoluntionarily stable. It was like being slapped awake during this class. I immediately saw how this applied to our anandromous salmonids. You could fiddle with the functions until you got some indiviuals breeding early and some later in life and approximate the percentages seen in our jacking percentages. But the observations of a lowly fisheries student weren't considered very important to those in the zoology department.

    I've been having trouble finding references lately to any of those Game Theory papers. I think they are largely unknown to fisheries scientists, but they should be. Can you be of any help, Curt?
     
  2. Ned Wright

    Ned Wright New Member

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    Great threat Curt.... but with all of your fish knowledge I figured you would be able to spell Rainbow....:rofl:

    This makes me think how useful it would be to have some basic life history/id/fishing ethics on the main wff page. I know when I first started I was looking for a good place to find this information on the internet. While the info was there it was difficult to find. I would think that it would go well with the tide charts and river flows that are there now. I think this would be a great resource for those that don't want to hurt the resource, but just don't know better.

    If I were to write some content, would there be anyone interested in doing some edit/review work for me?

    Thanks,
    Ned
     
  3. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

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    When I was a kid I noticed that there was quite a variance in size of the Walla Walla Steelhead. That buck is quite large for the Walla Walla if I remember correctly. The little one is pretty small for even a small steelhead.

    Keith
     
  4. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Paul -
    Game theory would be a great way to look how behavior stategies would dovetail together to produce the best over strategy for long term survival. Have not seen those theories applied directly though I don't see way it would not provide some interesting insights (some of us had begun thing is similar direction).

    Typically folks tend to focus in the survival/strategies at the individual fish level when in reality a more global view by looking at the population as a whole would be productivity in understanding what is needed for long term species survival. A strategy that makes little sense for an individual may be key at the species level.

    In addition looking at even a larger scale level would be very important. Inter-species interactions and partition of the habitats between species (ecoystem interactions if youy will) recieve far too little attention.

    Ned -
    Given my notorious poor spelling ( a lfie long problem) and my clumsy fingers it is amazing that my posts are not even more filled with typos/miss spellings. I try to keep those to a minimum (clearly wiht mixed success) but hope they are not too distracting from the info I attempt to pass along.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  5. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    FWIW Keith I know of fish that size in the lower Snake tibs and WW basin on a rare occasion. I mean this as an aside, as obviously Andy finds them often enough :)

    I have no way of proving it, but I suspect the vast majority of large clipped fish (i.e. over 15 lbs) are likely B-Run strays. I can't back that up, but given the fairly consistent size difference between A-Run Snake/Clearwater fish and B-Run Clearwater fish I think it is a reasonable conclusion. Also, steelhead stray plenty (as do most anadromous fish), for example the Descutes (many/most clipped fish caught are A-run Snake fish) and John Day (I think they still plant 0 hatchery fish...but plenty are caught there).

    Now if I could just bump into a pig like that this year...
     
  6. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

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    Did you know that back in the 50's that the Walla Walla had summer run steelhead. We use to catch them. Pretty and Bright. But then came irrigation and they dried up the Walla Walla in the summer from Milton-Freewater on down. End of the Summer Runs. Sad but most folks don't even know that the Walla Walla at one time had a run of summer runs. We were less conscience of the enviroment when I was growing up in the 50's. Irrigation came first.

    Keith
     
  7. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Keith -
    Believe you'll find that the Walla Walla steelhead are still consider to be summer steelhead (entering the Columbia during the summer). It is just now that they are forced to remain in the Columbia waiting for favorable flows to enter their home waters.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  8. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

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    Sad isn't it that some really good summer run fishing was destroyed. I we use to go up the South Fork and catch Summer Runs in July and August. I'll have to ask Andy because I've haven't fished the Walla Walla in years, but when do they come in now I'm wondering.

    We also had winter runs that came into the river in December through March. But, these were either very late winter runs or summer runs that we caught in the the summer. But that was back in the fifties. (I was a gear fisherman back then - confession is good for the soul :) )

    Keith
     
  9. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    To the best of my knowledge the Walla Walla has always been "summer run" only. The fish that eventually spawn in the WW arrive in feshwater (the Columbia) starting in May. While it is academic for the most part I don't think Winter fish "offically" exist upstream of the Klickitat. I think fish entering the rivers after Nov 1 are considered winter run fish.

    Again, it's kind of academic and I am not calling you a liar :)

    It makes a lot of sense that with higher flows in the 50's, many fish would arrive early (June-Aug) and then a bigger push would show up with the winter high water (Nov-Dec). Now the early push is much smaller, but fish can still be found in the summer if you know where to look.
     
  10. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

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    The farm I was raised on was out by Umapine. We had an irrigation canal flow right through our place. In the early fifties when they turned the water off on the canal it would be full of trout and a few steelhead. We'd catch them by hand and cook them. Then they put in a screen to keep the trout and steelhead out.

    David maybe we can do some fishing sometime when I'm down Walla Walla way visiting relatives.
    Have you ever fished with Andy?

    Keith
     
  11. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Keith,

    I'd be happy to fish with ya! My unlce and some of his cronies frequently pine about the things you used to be ablet to do in the "old days" (Chinook fishing on the Wenaha, steelhead in the little Walla Walla and Dry creek, etc.). Things are still pretty good...IMO :)

    Shoot me a PM or just look me up in the local yellow pages if you think your heading in.

    Andy and I have some common fishing partners, but I have not personally fished with Andy.
     
  12. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

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    I thought group selection as a theory was pretty much out the window, except in some very narrow theoretical situations.

    Kin selection is likely still, but is quite a bit different than "A strategy that makes little sense for an individual may be key at the species level." Do you have an example of what you mean? Will I finally find a answer to my struggle to understand the evolution of the strategy of "displacement flights"? http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/board/showthread.php?t=15543&highlight=displacement+flights
     
  13. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Paul -
    I guess the best example that I can think of off the top of my head would the one I referred to earlier - that is the spawning timing of our wild steelhead. In this case lets use the wild fish of the Sauk.

    They have some of the latest spawning in the State with peak spawning happening the 2nd and 3rd week of May. With that spawning timing the fry typcially leave the gravel around the first of August; several weeks later than say the Skykomish. A quick look at the hydrograph of the Sauk sheds light on the likely reason why that would be. Typically (at least in the past) the snow run-off last well into July or even early August. For the fry to pop out of the gravel earlier would place them in harms way to those high flows ( the daily average flows in June is higher than even during November the typical flood month here in western Washington). Having the spawn timing matching up with the environmental factors only makes sense and if find it pretty cool.

    However every year there are some very late spawning fish in the Skagit basin. Common to see some spawning June and even July (a couple of times actively spawning steelhead have been seen as late as the last week of July). The timing of that spawning makes little sense. Even with elvated summer temperatures those late spawning fish would not be emerging from the gravel until late August or even early September. That is so late in the growing season that those fry would be exceptional small and have little fat reserves when compared to the earlier emerging fry. That would be a very key issues for over-winter survival - those smaller fish would be strongly selected against.

    The question becomes why in the heck would those late spawning fish presist in the population if the fry are at severe selective dis-advantage? The answer I believe is that on years of very high snow packs and/or late run-offs the high run-offs last well into August placing those normal timed fish in harms way. However those fry from late spawning fish would be prefectly timed to escape the high flow mortalities. Thus while most years being from a late spawning parents is disadvantage and makes poor survival sense occassional the pay off from being a late emerging fry must be enough of an advantage for that behavior to presist in the overall population.

    While I agree that all the above is merely speculation on my part and probably does not "prove" anything in the classical sense. It makes good sense to me and seems to explain a puzzling behavior.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  14. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

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    Yes, but that's an example that's straight adaptation. Every five to ten years those late timed fish do real well. Their progeny return and the late timing trait is preserved in the population. Some years it's the early timed fish that reproduce most successfully and the early timing trait is preserved in the population. Still the individual fish and their selfish genes are programed only to do the best they can at reproducing. There's no selective pressure trying to preserve the species.