collapse

Advertisement


Author Topic: Puget Sound Steelheading  (Read 3677 times)

Offline cavemann

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • Longhunter
  • *****
  • Join Date: Dec 2014
  • Posts: 673
  • Location: Washington
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2020, 10:31:16 AM »
In 2000 there were 100s of thousands of chum on the skagit. It was so much fun. This year maybe < 10K.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

What many people don't realize is how this run, this one fish, affects everything else in the river. The Chums were prolific in not just the Skagit, but all the PS basin rivers. When I was in high school (not that long ago) I could put the driftboat in at Ben Howard on the Sky at daylight, and take out and Tualco at dark. Arms beat and battered because it was an endless stream of chums on plugs all day. You could literally hook as many as you wanted to. The Skagit and Stilly were the same way. There were silvers like crazy, and steelhead returns were reasonable and somewhat stable. I could float the upper Skagit and catch 100 rainbows and Dolly Vardon behind spawning chums without even thinking about it.

At about the same time, in the early 2000's a market for Chum roe opened up as Sushi became mainstream. Suddenly huge piles of rotting chum carcasses were being found up and down our rivers. Hens were stripped of eggs, and bucks were simply discarded. The prize? Roe to be sold to the Japanese and domestic sushi market. It literally took less than 10 years and natives along with non-native commercial seiners have all but wiped out these runs. Hell the Skagits had to open a CHUM HATCHERY! On a river that less than 10 years prior had 100's of thousands of these fish spawning in it naturally??? WTF?

The truly sad part is the system wide repercussions. Those fish don't spawn in the river anymore, so the Dolly's and rainbows don't get the eggs and flesh from dead salmon. Their carcasses don't rot on the bottom and along the banks of the river anymore, so the bug life that sustains salmon fry, resident rainbows/Dolly's, and steelhead smolt is decreasing every year. The smolt outmigration in late spring early summer is dismal, and the predators that rely on them like mergansers, cormorants, seals, and other predatory fish are taking a much higher percentage of the run than before.

By specifically targeting that one salmon to the brink of collapse in our local rivers, it's had a ripple effect throughout the whole river ecosystem, crashing all the other species that depended on in. Why do you think Pink runs have been so dismal the last few runs? Because about 8 years ago Chum runs weren't large enough to sustain the roe market so they moved on to the next biggest source, Pinks! Seen the sein boats outside Mukilteo and Everett scooping up 10's of thousands at a time? These fish are the backbone of our ecosystem and every other species in the river depends on them successfully spawning in mass.  It's all connected guys. Couple terminal net fisheries with piss poor ocean conditions and we are being set up for catastrophe.

WTF

This may very well be the best post I've seen that simplifies and answers the question..  These fish also contributed greatly to river bank forage with the increase nitrogen surplus that made cover and erosion control natural habitat as well.  The sheer mass return numbers of Chum is what supported this.  River fishing in this state is close to done.

As stated above, I think what has happened to our fisheries far out weighs the problems of wild game.  That is a sad statement

Offline 7mmfan

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2008
  • Posts: 4097
  • Location: Marysville
    • https://www.facebook.com/rory.oconnor.9480
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2020, 10:46:15 AM »
In 2000 there were 100s of thousands of chum on the skagit. It was so much fun. This year maybe < 10K.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

What many people don't realize is how this run, this one fish, affects everything else in the river. The Chums were prolific in not just the Skagit, but all the PS basin rivers. When I was in high school (not that long ago) I could put the driftboat in at Ben Howard on the Sky at daylight, and take out and Tualco at dark. Arms beat and battered because it was an endless stream of chums on plugs all day. You could literally hook as many as you wanted to. The Skagit and Stilly were the same way. There were silvers like crazy, and steelhead returns were reasonable and somewhat stable. I could float the upper Skagit and catch 100 rainbows and Dolly Vardon behind spawning chums without even thinking about it.

At about the same time, in the early 2000's a market for Chum roe opened up as Sushi became mainstream. Suddenly huge piles of rotting chum carcasses were being found up and down our rivers. Hens were stripped of eggs, and bucks were simply discarded. The prize? Roe to be sold to the Japanese and domestic sushi market. It literally took less than 10 years and natives along with non-native commercial seiners have all but wiped out these runs. Hell the Skagits had to open a CHUM HATCHERY! On a river that less than 10 years prior had 100's of thousands of these fish spawning in it naturally??? WTF?

The truly sad part is the system wide repercussions. Those fish don't spawn in the river anymore, so the Dolly's and rainbows don't get the eggs and flesh from dead salmon. Their carcasses don't rot on the bottom and along the banks of the river anymore, so the bug life that sustains salmon fry, resident rainbows/Dolly's, and steelhead smolt is decreasing every year. The smolt outmigration in late spring early summer is dismal, and the predators that rely on them like mergansers, cormorants, seals, and other predatory fish are taking a much higher percentage of the run than before.

By specifically targeting that one salmon to the brink of collapse in our local rivers, it's had a ripple effect throughout the whole river ecosystem, crashing all the other species that depended on in. Why do you think Pink runs have been so dismal the last few runs? Because about 8 years ago Chum runs weren't large enough to sustain the roe market so they moved on to the next biggest source, Pinks! Seen the sein boats outside Mukilteo and Everett scooping up 10's of thousands at a time? These fish are the backbone of our ecosystem and every other species in the river depends on them successfully spawning in mass.  It's all connected guys. Couple terminal net fisheries with piss poor ocean conditions and we are being set up for catastrophe.

WTF

This may very well be the best post I've seen that simplifies and answers the question..  These fish also contributed greatly to river bank forage with the increase nitrogen surplus that made cover and erosion control natural habitat as well.  The sheer mass return numbers of Chum is what supported this.  River fishing in this state is close to done.

As stated above, I think what has happened to our fisheries far out weighs the problems of wild game.  That is a sad statement

Caveman, your comment on shoreline forage and brush is spot on. One of my favorite things to do when I was a little kid floating the Sky with my dad was leap out at the top an island and he would pick me up at the bottom. The bars with all the willows and other brush on them were always loaded with corkies, spin-n-glows, plugs, and an occasional goose nest to keep things interesting!  :yike:  The last few years I found myself wondering why all the bars in those sections of the river were just bare gravel. Most of them had been in place for many years yet there was virtually no plant growth on them. Your statement makes a lot of sense.
I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

Offline WSU

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2009
  • Posts: 4730
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2020, 12:30:02 PM »
It's also likely land-use based.  Rivers are flood-prone, scoured, channelized, rip-rapped (is that a word?).

As for steelheading, stick a fork in it.  I missed the good old days but even starting in the early 2000s, there isn't much left from even that late.  I've quit targeting wild fish for catch and release because I can't even justify that much impact anymore.  Who wants to be the guy that kills the last one?

Offline MADMAX

  • Trade Count: (+7)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2007
  • Posts: 3195
  • Location: Kitsap
  • I like big bucks and I can not lie
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2020, 12:35:03 PM »
Should be a separate good old days steelhead success thread
Boy some of the things outdoors I liked doing sure has tanked in the last 10 years
Elk
Deer
Salmon
Steelhead
Halibut

Itís sad whatís happened

Keep the wind in your hair, and the sun at your back.


A gun is a tool, Marion, no better or no worse than any other tool, an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.



"Mighty hunter, yes?
Fine figure of a man, yes?
That is all you need to know."

Offline 2MANY

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2013
  • Posts: 2971
  • Location: Chehalis
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2020, 12:48:48 PM »
That's exactly why my son now holds a Fender Rarities Strat instead of an 1141 these days.

At least it will have a purpose.

Offline 2MANY

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2013
  • Posts: 2971
  • Location: Chehalis
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2020, 01:21:55 PM »
Man I miss the 80's


Offline 2MANY

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2013
  • Posts: 2971
  • Location: Chehalis
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2020, 01:28:14 PM »
Both my kids were potty trained in a jet sled.
How could our fish managers screw things up sooo perfectly????
Pathetic!!!!!!!



« Last Edit: January 21, 2020, 01:34:18 PM by 2MANY »

Offline 2MANY

  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+3)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2013
  • Posts: 2971
  • Location: Chehalis
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2020, 12:17:00 PM »

Offline huntnphool

  • Chance favors the prepared mind!
  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Legend
  • ******
  • Join Date: Apr 2007
  • Posts: 28905
  • Location: Pacific NorthWest
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2020, 04:36:27 PM »
 A good read is One Man's Steelhead Shangri LA  :tup:
The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first!

Offline Backstrap

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Hunter
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jul 2009
  • Posts: 186
  • Location: Auburn, WA
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2020, 05:02:44 PM »
To many pink salmon and whales eating up all the food base. Too many people wanting to participate. Preserve them for posterity, like bald eagles, if you want. Sadly, the good old days are long gone.

Step once, look twice...

Offline 7mmfan

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2008
  • Posts: 4097
  • Location: Marysville
    • https://www.facebook.com/rory.oconnor.9480
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2020, 05:53:27 PM »
Uhhhhh I dont think to many pink salmon are the problem.
I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

Online JimmyHoffa

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+2)
  • Explorer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Sep 2010
  • Posts: 11768
  • Location: 150 Years Too Late
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2020, 06:06:44 PM »
Uhhhhh I dont think to many pink salmon are the problem.
There's a theory that the hatcheries from Alaska, Russia, South Korea and Japan are releasing close to 5 billion pinks a year.  They all seem to converge in the same general feeding grounds as all the other Pacific Salmon and out compete for the food.  The result is the other salmon are reduced in size and numbers, which lowers the productivity of rivers here.  Steelhead and rainbow trout would be negatively affected by increasingly sterile rivers.

Offline 7mmfan

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2008
  • Posts: 4097
  • Location: Marysville
    • https://www.facebook.com/rory.oconnor.9480
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2020, 06:39:57 PM »
Considering the biomass of anadromous fish in the north Pacific is a fraction of what it was historically, I cannot imagine that there is any serious competition for food out there amongst salmon species. Maybe in extreme warm water years but even then I think it would be a stretch.
I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

Offline huntnphool

  • Chance favors the prepared mind!
  • Political Topics
  • Trade Count: (+6)
  • Legend
  • ******
  • Join Date: Apr 2007
  • Posts: 28905
  • Location: Pacific NorthWest
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2020, 06:40:42 PM »
Uhhhhh I dont think to many pink salmon are the problem.
There's a theory that the hatcheries from Alaska, Russia, South Korea and Japan are releasing close to 5 billion pinks a year.  They all seem to converge in the same general feeding grounds as all the other Pacific Salmon and out compete for the food.  The result is the other salmon are reduced in size and numbers, which lowers the productivity of rivers here.  Steelhead and rainbow trout would be negatively affected by increasingly sterile rivers.

 I read something similar.
The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first!

Offline 7mmfan

  • Non-Hunting & Covid-19 Topics
  • Trade Count: (+4)
  • Frontiersman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2008
  • Posts: 4097
  • Location: Marysville
    • https://www.facebook.com/rory.oconnor.9480
Re: Puget Sound Steelheading
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2020, 07:37:51 PM »
Well I've could be wrong, it's happened before. Just seems highly unlikely to me.
 
I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

 


* Advertisement