Steelhead mortality

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by generic, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. generic

    generic Justified

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    I am asking this sincerely. I don't understand the C&R mortality rate. I am not disputing that it does not happen...just that it's hard to wrap my head around. A salmon, yes. They are dieing as soon as they enter the fresh water system. Steelhead seem to be much more resilient.

    After catching steelies last year, I'd throw them up on the bank in the weeds, and keep fishing. The fish flopped around a while, then seemed to stop. Several minutes later when it was time to move down river, I'd grab the fish, put them on a stringer and tie it off. The fish were in the water, but I wasn't worried about it. Three hours later I'd come back, and I thought my fish were gone. Turns out, they were very much alive and swimming comfortably behind a big rock, still tied off with plenty of spunk left.

    This happened so many times, that I had to start taking the time to bonk them on the head.

    So you see, I just have a hard time understanding how these very tough fish, die from being caught. Over here on the eastside, the fish have to swim farther, yada, yada, yada.
    Is it because they are caught several times in a short amount of time, or too close to spawning time?

    :hmmm:
     
  2. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    The vedder study is the best I've seen. There is one on Vancouver island, I have heard. 2-3% seems like the actual mortality rate. I am not sure if that is above the baseline (non-caught) mortality rate.

    IMO It's a red herring with regard to recovery. Angling just doesn't push the needle so to speak.

    I would also expect a lower mortality rate on the East side fish because their scales have hardened and they are summer runs with high fat reserves.

    These are likely the reason's that the fed's use a 5% mortality on the East side rather that the 10% used on hte west side. Of couse all the stdies pointing that show the mortality rates are west side winter studies.

    I have to be honest with everyone, I've made this same post abut 9 billion times. The average angler doesn't pay attention or read the studies. The studies may be in opposiion to their opinions. The same question is asked over and over, and then we blame the state for closures that the fed's are responsable for and get together and support hatcheries that do no help wild fish. All the while we get pissed at other anglers over the methods they fish under the delusion that C&R mortality makes a difference. It does not. Rant over.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  3. Methow Roamer

    Methow Roamer Seeker of the Exotic and Aquatic

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    Well, I almost posted this:
    But decided to do a little research first, namely because I am rather skeptical of C&R mortality.

    This is what I found.
    LINK

    Makes even the skeptic consider the possibility that C&R mortality is a serious issue...
     
  4. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Apples and oranges. See the steelhead studies.

    When do we fish 57 degree water?

    Go Sox,
    cds

     
  5. speyforsteel

    speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

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    Catch and release is not all happy release unfortunately.
    I had a fish die in my hands last yearbawling:
     
  6. generic

    generic Justified

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    Though that article was a good read, I didn't find that link helpful. It seemed to read as an opinion. Also he speaks of trout, which I believe (can't prove) to be more fragile. Again, I'm not saying it isn't harmful, just that steelies seem much stronger than that. I do believe it's a good reminder to get the fish back in the water ASAP.

    Thanks for the info Charles. After all these years, I had no idea how different east vs west steelies are from each other. Well that, and the fish on the west side seem to be a little bit brighter....just a little though. :rolleyes:
     
  7. generic

    generic Justified

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    Was that a trout or stealhead?
     
  8. speyforsteel

    speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

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    Steelhead,a wild one at that.
    :beathead:bawling::beathead:bawling:

    I've had two or three trout croak on me also.
     
  9. Rich Simms

    Rich Simms Active Member

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    Occupy Hearings!
  10. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    I think the humane thing to do for a steelhead your gonna hill its beat them over the head with one solid blow from your favorite device. I know alot of people cherish there bonk sticks.
     
  11. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I8abug,

    The Tufts report is one piece of information, but I wouldn't take it to the bank as the final word, especially as it relates to steelhead CNR mortality. Charles is roughly right; the best information suggests that steelhead CNR mortality is around 2-4%, and that is generally with experienced anglers handling the fish. A lot of anglers who catch and release steelhead are not so experienced. As a result, 5% seems pretty reasonable to most biologists, and the 10% applied to some of the ESA fisheries provides a reasonable buffer.

    I don't doubt the experience you report, but will share my opinion that that's pretty crass handling of a fish, even one you intend to kill, keep, and eat. I think even a hatchery fish deserves the respect of being whacked on the head, well enough to stun it if not kill it, and then cut the gills and bleed it. The quality of the meat will be improved by that simple act. Keep the meat cool in the river - if the river is cool - or in an ice chest if you want the fish to be worth cooking and eating when you get it home.

    Sg
     
  12. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Roughly right? I'm completely right!!!! God damn it!!! Wolves are killing children!! Oh wait, it's thanksgiving, I've been drinking.

    Inexperienced anglers don't cach enough fish to make them matter. Tht is unless a aguide rows hem into a fish. In that case the guide should know how to release a fish.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  13. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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  14. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    not everybody uses barbless flies now do they... a lot use bait.
     
  15. Rich Simms

    Rich Simms Active Member

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    Charles, Not sure what your referring to?