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Thread: Floods and fish counts

  1. #1
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    Default Floods and fish counts

    Sad to look at these creeks and rivers just a'raging and think about what this flooding is going to do to our already hurting salmon runs :-(

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Floods and fish counts

    Was just watching the news and thinking the same thing.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    OK, clarify for me please? I'm used to high water bringing in fish, so are you worried that they just won't be able to count them? I know the high water always helps here on Kodiak.

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    Member Gerberman's Avatar
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    The high water washes the eggs out of the reds before they hatch, this will devastate the run if the water stays high.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Default Floods and fish counts

    All of the counting is done. The fish are in the river at this point in various stages of development. I can't imagine that high/fast water with tons of erosion is good for them. Especially not any still in the egg or alevin stage but I doubt it is helping the fry either especially since the returns this year were so low that they closed the entire drainage to fishing.

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    Default Floods and fish counts

    I believe it has the potential to wash out some obstructions and restore flow to areas that were previously good rearing and spawning habitat but have been choked off by logjams. At least that is my observation along the little su.

    Of course, it also has the potential to create new logjams and close off what is currently good habitat. Hard to say which way the balance will swing when you look at an entire watershed.

    Obviously the turbidity and erosion is not good, but not necessarily a disaster. Biggest problem is areas where wetlands have been developed, decreasing their ability to buffer the runoff, and greatly increasing erosion. See little susitna and kenai as examples.

    Rec cabins in the su drainage are much different than suburban development as on the little su and kenai...

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    Default Floods and fish counts

    Also interesting to note 6 year chinook life cycle and we are exactly six years (and one month) from previous major susitna flood.

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    This flood is worse than the big one in 1986. And VERY different from any flood we've had since. We did have a spring flood several years ago when the April temps got warm before the ice and frost were gone. The last Big Su flood originated up north and left the valley's salmon steams alone except at the mouths. This one has all the salmon streams flooding and the water is very silty so there mustl be re-distribution of soils that'll likely choke egg beds. Only time will tell what the impact may be but rest assured the Pike are having an easy time traveling to new waters.

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    Default Floods and fish counts

    Mr Pid that is not entirely true. 2006 was similar in many respects. Perhaps the westside (yentna) susitna tribs were not the same in 2006, but eastside tribs such as the talkeetna experienced very similar water levels as in 2006, as did the little susitna.

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    Default Floods and fish counts

    Talkeetna mountains drainages are what I am referring to. (upper susitna mainstem, and talkeetna, also chulitna which is part talkeetna mtns part ak range proper, mostly ak range glacial flow)

    Yentna drainages are what you are referring to. More (all?) of the drainage was impacted this go around, but the eastern 60 percent experienced much the same in 2006

    I believe from the susitna Dam meeting I attended a couple years ago that the yenta is about 40 percent of the flow.

    August 19 2006 is when most streams crested back then, at very similar levels as this time. (again yentna was not as extreme then)

  11. #11

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    The 06 flood was a cruch leaned on for several years to explain low returns in the matsu. Lots of people used the flood as the primary reason fewer salmon were coming back. Therefore no need to make changes to sport/commercial fishing regs. I bet the samething happens. Very few people are willing to go along with new regs if it impacts them. Point a finger away from yourself seems to be the norm, now we have a new flood to blame as well.

    Bill

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Changes will need to be made. The fish meetings are full of people deflecting attention away from their interest's impact on the resource. A common mantra from the commercial interests is "beavers, pike, development." Fix those, you'll have good runs. Till then, we can catch as many fish as we want, because its not having the impact those habitat issues are.

    The BOF members listen to the people who they want to listen to. Its usually shaded by their own personal experience and interest. They have had an earful about the effects of the flood of '06, and the importance of restricting fishing both commercially and sport as runs attempt to recover. Open the regulation book to see what has gone into regulation as a result. There has been some action, but seems more heavily weighted on the sport fish end.

    Bill, the board needs clear evidence of the devastation to spawning grounds caused by this flood. Pictures and videos of washed out beds, salmon in the woods, pockets of water away from the rivers with salmon smolt drying up and dying. Its one thing to tell them about what happened; its another to have photo evidence of the damage.

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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    I think what Bill was saying is that the BOF or what not will use this flood as an excuse to explain low numbers in the up coming years the fish return to spawn. Personally i don't think they listen even with proof, they hear it every where they go. Obviously there is no quick fix to this equation, but I think it is time to start taking more drastic steps to conserve what is left should things get even worse which may or may not happen.

  14. #14

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    Not just the BoF. Many out spoken Guides will blame high water as a reason for few fish. I know it is how they make money but show me a guide who is not pointing at comercial netters as the root cause. I can't and wont ask someone to make less money so I can make more. There needs to be more in river restrictions as well as more restrictions on netters untill this gets turned around. I would rather see EO's open rivers than close them. It is backwards they way it has been done the last 3 years. Plus if netting is such a great deal how come more people are not doing what they can to get into that business?? I have been a guide more than 20 years, I called it quits for now. I have a hard time selling trips I would be mad if someone sold me the same trip. I dont agree it is about getting out and putting in your time. I want a real chance at catching!! my 2 cents.

    Bill

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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    I don't know where you fish, or work, but I do know guides that don't just blame the comm guys, and I also know guides that have the morales to not rip people off like your self. I hear you though most guides do blame the comm guys because that is what they see blocking the fish from getting into the rivers, they really should advocate together I honestly think that would turn this around in a hurry.

  16. #16

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    I have been guiding on the Little Su for more than 20 years. The catching is nothing like it used to be. Most of the guides that fish that river teach and are willing to stop fishing in an effort to help salmon recover. The most out spoken guide and the two guys that work for/with him fight every closer. As a matter of fact he believes the bottom end of the goal is all that is nessisary and fishing regs should be relaxed once that number LOOKS like it will be met. Not me I say let a few extra spawn.

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbooth View Post
    I have been guiding on the Little Su for more than 20 years. The catching is nothing like it used to be. Most of the guides that fish that river teach and are willing to stop fishing in an effort to help salmon recover. The most out spoken guide and the two guys that work for/with him fight every closer. As a matter of fact he believes the bottom end of the goal is all that is nessisary and fishing regs should be relaxed once that number LOOKS like it will be met. Not me I say let a few extra spawn.
    Well, that's how the com fishery is managed. Once bottom end is projected to be met, its ok to not only fish regular openers, but have emergency ones as well. So isn't whats good for the goose good for the gander, too? Maybe that guide doesn't really want what he's asking for, but is asking it to make that point.

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    That makes perfect sense. Put it in writing and go on record asking for something you don't want. Never thought of going with reverse psychology

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    On the Deshka, this recent flood has exceeded the '06 flood levels.
    Almost up to the '86 flood level.
    I'm sure it has had a negative effect on the salmon, unfortunately.
    BK

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    It is only common sense, that the flooding waters WILL hurt the salmon. The thing that drives me nuts is the lack of common sense with the commercial guys and the f&g. As far as I'm aware of, sport guys only get 10% of the fish. I've asked f&g, that if the Kenai reaches its count then why do they allow emer openers if they cant tell me which school of fish go to which stream. And that for years fishing has sucked in the valley. And as for bad comm fishing, that is to be expected every once and awhile. I am totally opposed to ANY fed monies givin to them for a bad year. I did not have my hand out when construction took a hit for a few years back. Sorry about the rant, but it had to be said. I hope the BOF can pull there heads out and realize that mother nature will ALWAYS throw a wrench into there plans. BOF and F&G need to allow for more escapement for future runs, so most people can provide for their families. I am just life long Alaskan that provides for my family and pays some attention to issues.

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