South Sound Net Pen Coho Study

Don Freeman

Free Man
Resident Coho in area 13 are late released from the pens at Squaxin. Marine stocks are released now for commercial harvest upon return. The rezzies are intended for recreational angling locally. If they do residualize as hoped, these "rezzies" are found in spots around the south sound inlets and bays. In late spring, to early summer, the stocks often abruptly disappear, somewhere to the north as that's the only direction there is. This could be due to forage or warming water; it's unclear why they leave or where they go. I've not heard that they go clear to the ocean.

So, supposing they wander back, is that the "return" you're referring to scepter? I wasn't aware that these stunted resident silvers join up with marine stocks from years past to be beach seined as combined harvest.

Am I understanding this correctly?
 

scepter1

Member
Resident Coho in area 13 are late released from the pens at Squaxin. Marine stocks are released now for commercial harvest upon return. The rezzies are intended for recreational angling locally. If they do residualize as hoped, these "rezzies" are found in spots around the south sound inlets and bays. In late spring, to early summer, the stocks often abruptly disappear, somewhere to the north as that's the only direction there is. This could be due to forage or warming water; it's unclear why they leave or where they go. I've not heard that they go clear to the ocean.

So, supposing they wander back, is that the "return" you're referring to scepter? I wasn't aware that these stunted resident silvers join up with marine stocks from years past to be beach seined as combined harvest.

Am I understanding this correctly?

Yes, these rezzies do return. Since I live close by the Squaxin netpens, that's the area i mostly fish. I have caught quite a few of the clipped "sportmans fish" . Size-wise they are larger than the jacks and smaller than the ocean fish. - usually aound 3 pounds or so. The clipped South Sound Coho's come from Minter and Squaxin. Minter's are right pelvic/ventral fin clipped, and the left clipped ones come from the Squaxin net pens.
 
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Don Freeman

Free Man
Don Freeman, How big are these resident coho being released right now?

The smolts intended for residualing are held in the pens later than those released for migration to the ocean. This round of "rezzies" are still in the pens. This is a very soft science, sometimes it works, and sometimes the smolt go...away. It seems like the longer they're held, the more likely they will stick around, but it becomes a balance between rising water temps, health of the stock, feed budgets and so forth just how long they are kept in the pens.
 

Don Freeman

Free Man
Yes, these rezzies do return. Since I live close by the Squaxin netpens, that's the area i mostly fish. I have caught quite a few of the clipped "sportmans fish" . Size-wise they are larger than the jacks and smaller than the ocean fish. - usually aound 3 pounds or so. The double clipped South Sound Coho's come from Minter and Squaxin. Minter's are right pelvic/ventral fin clipped, and the left clipped ones come from the Squaxin net pens.

Makes sense, they don't go north and dissolve, so should wander back in the fall. My question is; where do they return from? How far from MA 13 do " residents" range?
 

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
Makes sense, they don't go north and dissolve, so should wander back in the fall. My question is; where do they return from? How far from MA 13 do " residents" range?

We see them up in area 9, early to mid summer, and sometimes in the fall. Last summer we saw them here consistently for a few weeks.
 

Ron McNeal

Let's Go Brandon!!
I can answer both questions. CWT's are coded wire tags, tiny bits of stainless steel the size of a whisker. These are embedded in the nose of fishes using a tiny needle. These trigger a beep in an electric wand when scanned by a creel checker. Some times the checkers are temporary hires who don't have a lot of answers, but can hear a beep and cut the nose from a fish. The heads are taken to a lab, the cwt removed, and a code number stamped into the wire indicates the origin of the fish.

This process is inexpensive, causes nearly 0% mortality and provides the basis for tracking anadromous stocks. The tags are impossible to detect without the wand.

I was lucky enough to see coho fry having these wire tags implanted at the Grovers Creek Hatchery recently. Sam was the biologist's name that was managing this lab/processing facility-on-wheels and he was extremely generous with his time to explain the entire process. Very interesting stuff and if you ever get the chance to tour this operation when it's in your neck of the woods, do it.

Entire process, if I remember correctly, involved measuring the fry, sorting them (so they'd go through the proper size-appropriate equipment), clipping their fins and inserting the tags. All of it automatic; fry weren't touched by human hands. Amazing stuff....
 

Roger Stephens

Active Member
The double clipped South Sound Coho's come from Minter and Squaxin. Minter's are right pelvic/ventral fin clipped, and the left clipped ones come from the Squaxin net pens.

Thanks for the information on fin clipping of South Sound Coho.

Every Winter/Spring I fish for resident coho in the Tacoma area. I have always wondered if the fish which I catch are from the Sqauxin net pens or Minter Cr. It will be easy now to make that determination and make entries in my fishing journal noting location of fish release site of each fish that is landed. However, there is one question which I have and it is do all fish released from those two sites always have there ventral fins clipped as you noted in your post?

Roger
 

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