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From NOAA:
Lifespan: up to 50-100 years:
males typically live for about 30 years, but can live as long as 50-60 years;
females typically live about 50 years, but can live as long as 100 years
 
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As a Canadian, I can't agree with something this fellow said. Specifically:

"We need to get more fish for these whales, they're not getting enough salmon year round," said Garrett. "Especially in the Columbia watershed due to the dams, especially on the Snake River because that blocks the largest wilderness spawning area on the west coast, so those salmon are severely depleted. That's what these orcas depend on. "

If our Canadian government put ten percent of what it has cost to deactivate dams in the American northwest, towards enhancement of chinook salmon populations in the Fraser River watershed, these whales might have plenty to eat. Killer whales in southern BC rely heavily on chinook salmon, as does our recreational fishery and our modest west coast Vancouver Island commercial troll fishery. Most of these fisheries, and to a certain degree the whale population, rely on US enhanced stocks. Canada does little to enhance Fraser chinook and to indicate that the problem of lack of a food source for these killer whales rests at the feet of dams on the Columbia is I feel an erroneous belief. There has not been a targeted full fleet commercial chinook fishery on the Fraser River since the early 1970s. The only places where we have had targeted chinook commercial fisheries in southern BC is in the Alberni Canal and Tlupana Inlet, on hatchery produced chinook. The majority of the chinook salmon that are harvested off the west coast of Vancouver Island and to a lesser extent in the Strait of Juan de Fuca are US origin, not Canadian. Blaming the dams on American rivers for a lack of chinook is misguided. If it was not for the hatcheries in Washington and Oregon, Canadian anglers in southern BC waters would have little to fish for and these whales, which do not live their lives while recognizing the border we share, would in likelihood be worse off than they are now. I'm not advocating hatcheries as the answer for BC, however Canada does need to direct more energy into improving populations and conditions for salmon in BC, especially the Fraser River which for too long has been ignored.
 

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As a Canadian, I can't agree with something this fellow said. Specifically:

"We need to get more fish for these whales, they're not getting enough salmon year round," said Garrett. "Especially in the Columbia watershed due to the dams, especially on the Snake River because that blocks the largest wilderness spawning area on the west coast, so those salmon are severely depleted. That's what these orcas depend on. "

If our Canadian government put ten percent of what it has cost to deactivate dams in the American northwest, towards enhancement of chinook salmon populations in the Fraser River watershed, these whales might have plenty to eat. Killer whales in southern BC rely heavily on chinook salmon, as does our recreational fishery and our modest west coast Vancouver Island commercial troll fishery. Most of these fisheries, and to a certain degree the whale population, rely on US enhanced stocks. Canada does little to enhance Fraser chinook and to indicate that the problem of lack of a food source for these killer whales rests at the feet of dams on the Columbia is I feel an erroneous belief. There has not been a targeted full fleet commercial chinook fishery on the Fraser River since the early 1970s. The only places where we have had targeted chinook commercial fisheries in southern BC is in the Alberni Canal and Tlupana Inlet, on hatchery produced chinook. The majority of the chinook salmon that are harvested off the west coast of Vancouver Island and to a lesser extent in the Strait of Juan de Fuca are US origin, not Canadian. Blaming the dams on American rivers for a lack of chinook is misguided. If it was not for the hatcheries in Washington and Oregon, Canadian anglers in southern BC waters would have little to fish for and these whales, which do not live their lives while recognizing the border we share, would in likelihood be worse off than they are now. I'm not advocating hatcheries as the answer for BC, however Canada does need to direct more energy into improving populations and conditions for salmon in BC, especially the Fraser River which for too long has been ignored.
Two totally different areas. Not sure the "J-pod" even goes that far north.

But I hear what your saying. Maybe the U.S. should put a mark on all the hatchery fish it produces and charge everyone a fee for harvesting them.
:rolleyes:
 

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J Pod resides as I understand, throughout Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and inner Juan de Fuca and up through Georgia Strait to around Campbell River and southern Johnstone Strait. 78% of their diet is chinook. Most of the chinook we see in southern BC waters is of US origin. If DFO produced chinook of Fraser River origin it seems likely that the southern residents would benefit at least during those times of the year when Fraser chinook are present in this area and it wouldn't hurt our recreational and commercial fisheries either. Part of the solution for these fish is providing them with more feed. The problem is not the hydro-electric dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. It is a lack of abundance of feed for these animals within their range.
 

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Squamishpoacher -
While restoring or increasing some productivity of southern Cninook via such activities as dam removal or habitat restoration is the obvious way to assure long term increases in Chinook abundance I think there are other potential actions that have the potential for relieve in the short term.

I'm surprised that under US endangered species act that those concern about the orcas and their food supply (Chinook) as well as fishers south of Alaska have not demanded NOAA review those northern fisheries and their potential impacts on various ESA species. With the US/Canada salmon treaty being re-negotiated I would think there would be another opportunity for that review. The Puget Sound co-manager Chinook management plan would be another opportunity (as I recalled the orcas were not listed the first time that review occurred).

Over the decades the average size of Puget Sound Chinook (especially the hatchery fish) has been dramatically declining. 40 years ago Puget Sound mature Chinook less than 28 inches long were Jacks. Today nearly 1/2 of the returning adult Chinook (including females) are less than 28 inches long with virtual no fish reaching 30 pounds. It should be a simple matter at hatcheries as the Samish hatchery (which feeds the major summer feeding grounds of the resident orcas) to practice some selective breeding using the larger adults to restore the more historic size distribution of the returning adults. it would not take much to achieve a 20% increase in the average size of the returning adults. This would have the effect of increasing the available biomass to the orcas of those hatchery fish by 20% without any increase in run size.

Just of couple examples of potential out of the box thinking.

Curt
 

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Kind of sounds to me like the orcas suffer from the same piscatorial prejudice many anglers do. Among the salmon, Chinook are the kings, and as such, they are everyone's (and everything's) primary target. A little less bloodlust toward Chinook would be really good for the Chinook, and likely the orcas and anglers who like to catch them as well.

I like Curt's idea about selecting hatchery brood for better average size, but history has never been kind to the largest "trophies" of any species that sits below humans on the food chain. Isn't that a big part of why the Chinook are "shrinking" everywhere?

I couldn't agree more that the northern intercept fisheries need to be sognificantly curtailed. All the fisheries to our north are robbing our watersheds of critical spawning recruits and marine derived nutrients, and they are the biggest reason why, despite lots of money and effort going into habitat improvements, our escapement goals are never increased. It's gonna be real friggin' hard to recover salmon, or anything that depends on them, if we refuse to accept the fact that we're killing far too many of them.
 

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Curt,
I agree with you 100 percent. My comment of comparing dam removal to the feds in Canada directing funds to Fraser chinook enhancement was a bad analogy and my fault if that was misunderstood. The fact is here in Canada, little is spent on enhancing Fraser chinook and if the feds put some effort into it, it would likely help our resident killer whales. We also see the same thing here with smaller sized chinook coming from hatchery production, likely what the outcome is when you can only at best simulate natural selection by mixing the sperm from several males with the eggs of a female. Our hatchery chinook, with rare exception, are all cookie cutters around 20 pounds. Those big fish of 50 pounds or better are much fewer than a few decades ago. We are also seeing, particularly on the Stamp River and Conuma River a tendency for there to be a far greater number of males than females returning which is making it difficult on the hatchery to obtain the eggs required to maintain production.
 

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Bycatch issues have been acknowledged as concerning for over 20 years and was first recognized on a global scale through the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in 1995. The trickle down effect of recognizing it as a concern and getting people to change their attitudes as that catch comes over the side is the tough part to manage. A lot of people feel that the burden of conservation rests with someone else and do not see how their actions when cumulative across a greater number of like minded individuals can have terrible consequences for sustainability. Bycatch effects all fisheries. In 2010 Canada, the United States and many other nations adopted the International Guidelines for Bycatch Management and Reduction of Discards and it is through that, and the studies conducted to address issues in those guidelines, that we now have better understanding of bycatch impacts on chinook in the Alaska trawl fisheries. The bottom line I think is that as much as possible, non-target species must be avoided and where they cannot be avoided they are accurately account for as being harvested. Where the impact is too great on a species of concern and the fishery cannot be conducted without severely impacting that species, the courage of our fisheries managers to say "no" needs to be applied. That seems to be the difficult task. Anyway, I don't want to derail this thread anymore. Killer whales, plain and simple, need chinook.
 

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From NOAA:
Lifespan: up to 50-100 years:
males typically live for about 30 years, but can live as long as 50-60 years;
females typically live about 50 years, but can live as long as 100 years
So they're a lot like us. It appears the female of that species nag their men to early graves too!

I'll be appearing at Holiday Inn Express all week...
 

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Human overpopulation has nothing to do with this, right?
 

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predictable
 
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