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Thread: Late season flooding and salmon spawning?

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    Default Late season flooding and salmon spawning?

    I'm not an expert, but I would venture to guess that this flooding in the area will negatively effect salmon returns for their given cycles. Is there anyway the eggs made it through this? Anybody out there have an idea?

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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    It's not just the eggs, but the smolt that are in the rivers get devestated as well. The smolt seek out the slower water and end up way up in the woods and the flood plains where there is less current. Then when the water recedes, a lot of smolt get trapped in small pools and never make it back to the rivers. The pools eventually dry up or freeze solid. I remember hunting for hares a few years back near the Knik River. I came across a depression in the woods, a couple hundred yards from the river. The depression was 15 feet across and had several hundred, maybe even a thousand or so dead 1 inch smolt in it...and that was but a single spot.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Not to mention all the nutrients that all the smolts depend on from all the dead/decaying, those dead/decaying are probably just feeding halibut now.

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    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    A friend up on montana creek found eggs on the road 1/2 mile from the river.

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    Member AKnook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    It's not just the eggs, but the smolt that are in the rivers get devestated as well. The smolt seek out the slower water and end up way up in the woods and the flood plains where there is less current. Then when the water recedes, a lot of smolt get trapped in small pools and never make it back to the rivers. The pools eventually dry up or freeze solid. I remember hunting for hares a few years back near the Knik River. I came across a depression in the woods, a couple hundred yards from the river. The depression was 15 feet across and had several hundred, maybe even a thousand or so dead 1 inch smolt in it...and that was but a single spot.
    I have seen this in October while hunting hares in the same general area. It was a pool about 2 feet deep and 4 feet wide. It must have had a hundred or so smolt in it. They were all alive but nowhere to go. Of course they got frozen up with the pool.

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    The same situation applies in the NW. Salmon are fall spawners. The torrential rains are a November/December thing for the most part. There are observed incidents of smolts in the woods. Somehow they have survived.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Ya, the fish will survive, but with the king return as bad as it was, now this, gonna be a tough road ahead I feel.

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    King and silver returns since the '06 flood have showed the effects. Silvers were very strong that year, yet now are in severe decline. Add this years flood to the low returns of both and it will have a big impact over the next decade. The creek bottoms get scoured and the sand/gravel redeposited. The invertebrate life that fish of all sizes depend on get washed out to sea, too. Managers need to really pay attention to the overall effects of this flood, not myopically peer at one or two species.

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