Where Are the Rezzies?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by WagonDriver, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Karl -
    While El Nino events are thought of as being oceanic such events can certainly have impacts on Puget Sound; sometimes in surprising ways. There was some research a number of years ago the linked the productivity of Puget Sound (especially central Sound) to the amount of freshwater discharge into the Sound. Simply on years with large snow melts the increased amount of freshwater from the rivers increased the flow out the straits. Since that outflow was largely freshwater it was mostly a surface outflow. That in turn caused a deep water retrun flow of nutrient rich marine waters along the floor of the straits and as it high areas like Possession Bar there would be upwellings of nutrient rich water that would drive increased production.

    So yes El Nino can have an impact with at least one measure of the potential impacts would the snow pack in relation to "normal".

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  2. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    Curt, thanks for the response. I'm afraid my marine biology background is southeast U.S. not locally. I was wondering about snow melt, increased freshwater runoff. I was also wondering about flushing, sediment loads, upwelling, and current alteration. Neat stuff, eh?

    So where are the rezzies? Exactly...
     
  3. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Last week I talked to the person who manages the delayed resident coho program for WDFW. He said that 1.8 million fish were released from the Squaxin Island net pens last summer. There were two release dates. The first was near the end of May while the second was the first part of June. Normally the later that the fish are released the more likely that many of these fish will remain within Puget Sound. As Curt Kramer mentioned, where the delayed released coho end up being found each year is highly dependent on food availability in Puget Sound. The delayed release coho from last summer appear to have headed north maybe into the Strait of Juan De Fuca looking for available food sources.

    The past summer and fall I fished from my boat in many parts of Marine Areas 11 and 13 and never saw any small resident coho(7-9") except in June. It was very unusual since most summers/falls these fish are usually seen jumping along numerous shoreline areas. There is one area every winter where schools of resident coho and Bonoparte gulls could always be found feeding on amphipods. Amphipods are small scud-like critter(3/16" reddish/brown) and are often an important winter food scoure for resident coho. This in the first winter in 20 years that no/very few amphipods were seen in the area.

    The last two months I have looked in numerous areas for resident coho and have had a tough time finding any fish. However, there were 4 areas which have been holding a few resident coho. If I got luckly, I was able to land a few fish(13-15") each outing at these locations last month. Since there were so few resident coho at these locations rarely was a fish seen jumping/swirling. The resident coho were just there. We all got spoiled last winter by the large number of resident coho available!

    This years delayed release coho(1.8 million) have been or are in the process of being moved to the Squaxin net pens. The plan is to do 3 releases of these fish. Most of the fish will be released in early June and mid-June with another release of 60,000 fish in early July. Also, WDFW plans to release 200,000 to 300,000 delayed release coho from the Minter Creek hatchery probably in early July. In past years, the fish have often been released before the planned dates due to feeding and water quality issues. It sound like the feeding issue has been resolved. However, the water temperature and water quality issue is depend on weather conditions from year to year.

    The WDFW regional fisheries biologist will be conducting a monitor program of these delayed release coho from the Squaxin Island net pens and Minter Creek hatchery. Since I am retired, I will be helping out with some of the monitoring. It should be interesting and may help to understand the time of release of these fish and the likelihood of these fish remaining within Puget Sound.

    Roger
     
  4. TD

    TD Active Member

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    Roger - I find your posts informative and knowledgeable. As well as slightly humbling. Thank you for your insightful posts. They help us all better understand our resources in the Salt.
     
  5. toddr

    toddr Member

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    Yes. Thanks to all. This is a very informative thread. Roger's posts are both informative and generous. I learn a great deal from the site and appreciate the time members take to share their knowledge and experiance.
     
  6. gigharborflyfisher

    gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

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    I am kind of surprised that nobody has considered the impact of a 5 million + pink run on the resident coho fishery this year. It seems to me that every other year we go through this same song and dance. The only common factor that I can think of is the pinks. With over 5 million returning to the sound they have a major impact on the competition for food resources right when the little rezzies heading out of the net pens. With that much competition for food around that leaves little incentive to stay in the Sound. It seems to me that every winter following a pink run is typically slow for resident coho and the winters before are good. I have kept a journal for the past few years an it is easy to look back on notice a trend. Winter 2005, 2007 and 2009 were all amazing for ressies. The winters of 2006, 2008, and 2010 were all piss poor... I would be willing to wager that next winter will be much better...
     
  7. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    It wouldn't surprise me if the humpies were actually eating the rezzies
     
  8. rotato

    rotato Active Member

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    got a nice one yesterday
    outgoing tide in the mid morning
    chartruese over white snot dart
     
  9. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    "It wouldn't surprise me if the humpies were actually eating the rezzies "???? Don't see how.

    Gigharbor -
    Interesting obsrevations; however I would have thought that any potential impacts from pink fry would have been seen in the even years - the years that the massive numbers of fry would be leaving the rivers and be in a position to compete with the resident coho for food resources. Just another example of how dynamic things in Puget Sound can be and what little we know about what really influences the survvial of our various salmonids.

    BTW -
    It looks like the managers missed the target a bit with that 5.4 million pink forecast in 2009. In talking with some WDFW folks it looks like just the escapement of pinks in Puget Sound rivers in 2009 was approx. 8 million.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  10. gigharborflyfisher

    gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

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    Curt,
    I would think that it is probably the adult pink and not the fry that are having an impact on the resident coho. The life history over lap on pink fry and juvenile coho salmon wouldn't be expected to be very extreme as they are both very different. Pink fry would likely provide food for the coho, plus they are known to be very quick at exiting the Puget Sound after dropping out of the rivers; unlike chum fry which hang around as late as July. So I wouldn't expect the impact to be overly extreme. The adult pinks however eat many of the same things as the resident coho would be expected to eat during that time of the year (i.e. krill, smaller baitfish, etc). I have looked back to find other things to indicate what the factors could be and pinks are the only common suspect. It seems like there would be little reason to stay in the Sound with 8 million pinks to compete with for food...
     
  11. SeaRun Fanatic

    SeaRun Fanatic Member

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    Really great observation. Saltwater flyfishers take note: KEEP A JOURNAL!
     
  12. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Gigharbor -
    It is hard for me to see where returning adult pinks would be able to successfully out compete the smaller resident coho. For one the pinks were virtually all north of the Tacoma narrows. Two the small coho would be able to feed on smaller/younger krill etc before the adults would have a chance at them.

    And finally and most importantly until like in 2008 where there were juvenile coho everywhere in Central/South Sound during the summer in 2009 the juvenile coho in the same areas were virtually missing in action before the adult pinks had entered the sound. Did they somehow know that the massive horde of pinks were coming?

    Your theory may well be correct; I just have a hard time putting my finger on the mechanism.

    Searun Franatic -
    I agree that keeping journal can be very helpful; both in your fishing and providing potential insights to long term trends.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  13. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    Very neat thread, well done.
     
  14. kelvin

    kelvin Active Member

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    Don, How do you know this ??

    I would like to start a program up here in the north sound to release fish
     
  15. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    There are some resident coho released in the North Sound, but it isn't as massive as the South Sound releases to my knowledge.