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Thread: History of Little Susitna Salmon . . .

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    Lightbulb History of Little Susitna Salmon . . .

    Little Susitna River
    Salmon History from 1886 to 2012


    Abstract


    The Little Susitna River and salmon history can be characterized by three distinct eras: First, from the late 1880 up until the 1960's; Second, from the 1960's thru 1996; and Third, from 1996 until the present. The first era is the mining era from the 1880's until 1964 (Good Friday Earthquake). Lode gold mining with cyanide leaching for gold recovery eventually eliminated native salmon populations from the Little Susitna River. The second era is characterized by development of the Fort Richardson, Fire Lake, and Big Lake Hatcheries. All three hatcheries mixed local King and Coho stocks with at least six King and Coho stocks imported from Washington and Oregon, as well as Kodiak, Seward, and Petersburg, Alaska. During the second era, 1964-1996, 10=20 million Coho fry/smolt, as recorded, were stocked into the Little Susitna River. Additionally, millions of unreported/undocumented stockings also occurred. The third era, 1996 until present, all reported stockings ceased. Since then, the King and Coho returns to the Little Susitna River have declined, most notably in the last 2 to 3 years. Since the late 1970'ss, the sport fishing exploitation, 50%, has occurred, even during the last three years of small Coho returns. These smaller, less than 25,000 returns are the result of public access, Coho availability, hook and release mortality, parasites, diseases, invasive northern pike, warm water temperatures (13˚ C), blocked culverts, beaver dam blockage, urbanization and impaired water quality. These are all issues occurring in the Little Susitna River today.

    *****************************


    I ran into Dr. Maw at the airport Monday evening. We chatted while I waited for my wife's flight to arrive. This paper below came up, and I picked up a copy this morning. Thought some would find it of interest.


    The 21-page paper described above was prepared by Roland Maw PhD, UCIDA Executive Director and is available by request from:

    UCIDA
    43961 K-Beach Road, Suite E
    Soldotna, AK 99669

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    Very interesting...I wonder if the fish could make a come back if it was closed to all fishing, and the use of motorized water craft. This little river used to be a great float trip from Houston to the the Burma landing.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Little Susitna River
    Salmon History from 1886 to 2012


    Abstract


    The Little Susitna River and salmon history can be characterized by three distinct eras: First, from the late 1880 up until the 1960's; Second, from the 1960's thru 1996; and Third, from 1996 until the present. The first era is the mining era from the 1880's until 1964 (Good Friday Earthquake). Lode gold mining with cyanide leaching for gold recovery eventually eliminated native salmon populations from the Little Susitna River. The second era is characterized by development of the Fort Richardson, Fire Lake, and Big Lake Hatcheries. All three hatcheries mixed local King and Coho stocks with at least six King and Coho stocks imported from Washington and Oregon, as well as Kodiak, Seward, and Petersburg, Alaska. During the second era, 1964-1996, 10=20 million Coho fry/smolt, as recorded, were stocked into the Little Susitna River. Additionally, millions of unreported/undocumented stockings also occurred. The third era, 1996 until present, all reported stockings ceased. Since then, the King and Coho returns to the Little Susitna River have declined, most notably in the last 2 to 3 years. Since the late 1970'ss, the sport fishing exploitation, 50%, has occurred, even during the last three years of small Coho returns. These smaller, less than 25,000 returns are the result of public access, Coho availability, hook and release mortality, parasites, diseases, invasive northern pike, warm water temperatures (13˚ C), blocked culverts, beaver dam blockage, urbanization and impaired water quality. These are all issues occurring in the Little Susitna River today.

    *****************************


    I ran into Dr. Maw at the airport Monday evening. We chatted while I waited for my wife's flight to arrive. This paper below came up, and I picked up a copy this morning. Thought some would find it of interest.


    The 21-page paper described above was prepared by Roland Maw PhD, UCIDA Executive Director and is available by request from:

    UCIDA
    43961 K-Beach Road, Suite E
    Soldotna, AK 99669
    I have read this and one thing that is not correct is "Lode gold mining with cyanide leaching for gold recovery eventually eliminated native salmon populations from the Little Susitna River." I went back and found the historical records and while gold mining impacted portions of the stream during the time of mining and following there were good returns of chinook, sockeye, and coho. Otherwise this is a very interesting history of stocking and introduction of fish from the lower 48. It is probably not even complete as some things done back in early statehood are not recorded. Good read.

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    Smile More . . .

    Anyone interested enough to contact UCIDA for the paper above might also request:


    The Alaska Salmon Alliance flyer

    Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association 2012 Annual Report

    A Watershed Perspective on Salmon Production in the Mat-Su Basis


    More contact:

    260-9436

    info@ucida.org

  5. #5

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    thanks for posting this Very interesting read UCIDA also published another paper entitled A Watershed Perspective on Salmon Production in the Mat-Su Basin. Anybody concerned with salmon runs in the Mat-Su should read both of these.
    Instead of pointing fingers at who we think is to blame, let us all work to try to better the habitat issues that are impacting these stocks. Just think- commies, sporties, guides, dippers, and environmentalists united on this. We could move mountains.

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    Cool Change . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by gunner View Post
    thanks for posting this Very interesting read UCIDA also published another paper entitled A Watershed Perspective on Salmon Production in the Mat-Su Basin. Anybody concerned with salmon runs in the Mat-Su should read both of these.
    Instead of pointing fingers at who we think is to blame, let us all work to try to better the habitat issues that are impacting these stocks. Just think- commies, sporties, guides, dippers, and environmentalists united on this. We could move mountains.


    Real change, when it comes, always comes from the bottom up, never from the top down.

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