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Thread: What runs of fish are still coming up Cook Inlet......Today..??

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    Default What runs of fish are still coming up Cook Inlet......Today..??

    I see a lot of Belugas today......just wonder what they are feeding on.......???

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    I saw some a week and a half ago and was wondering the same thing - they were at the head of turnagain - past bird.

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    Eels possibly??

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    There was about 16 today about 1/4 mile up fresh water. If there is a run of fish then there will be bears. My "Guess" is Silver Salmon.

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    Been seeing a few whales up Turnagain too! Salmon still? Anyone catching down in Bird or Portage somewhere? I know there's a late run going up the Kenai so maybe that's what those belugas are chasing? Or if you ask Kardinal maybe a red or chum! Haha! I'm still waiting for him to report on those elusive feeder humpies out there

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Been seeing a few whales up Turnagain too! Salmon still? Anyone catching down in Bird or Portage somewhere? I know there's a late run going up the Kenai so maybe that's what those belugas are chasing? Or if you ask Kardinal maybe a red or chum! Haha! I'm still waiting for him to report on those elusive feeder humpies out there
    Just kings...and pollock Sunday! Bummer! huh? lol...

    I've heard there is a run of smelt (longfin?) that migrate into the rivers in the area during the fall. I've heard stories from native elders in Kenai but I can't seem to find any information on them. Definitely have not confirmed it one way or the other....

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/sp...melt_final.pdf

  7. #7

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    See last paragraph.

    Taken from the life history section of : http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...gfinsmelt.main

    Life History

    Growth and Reproduction

    Longfin smelt are anadromous which means it spends part of its life in the ocean and part of its life in fresh water. Longfin smelt spawn in freshwater streams. As the spawning season approaches, longfin smelt gather in large schools off the mouths of their spawning streams and rivers. Longfin smelt do not strictly “home” to a particular stream like salmon, but appear to use streams in the general area where they were spawned that have the best habitat conditions.
    Longfin smelt spawning rivers are typically slow moving waterways since these fish are weak swimmers that cannot travel through long stretches of high water velocity. Spawning sites are in the lower elevations of the river or stream, but in some rivers with long flat deltas spawning sites may be many miles upstream. Eggs are "broadcast" over sandy gravel bottoms, once fertilized a sticky substance allows them to attach to sand particles. Their adhesive eggs, about 24,000 per female, attach to sand-gravel substrates, rocks, or aquatic plants. The eggs hatch in freshwater in 21 to 40 days, depending on the water temperature. After emerging from the eggs, young longfin smelt migrate downstream to salt water to grow to maturity in the sea. After two to three years at sea, they return as adults to spawn. After spawning, the majority of longfin smelt die.
    Feeding Ecology

    River currents carry newly hatched young to the sea where they feed mainly on copepod larvae and other plankton or insect larvae. As juveniles and adults, they feed mainly on small crustaceans, especially copepods, cumaceans, and euphausiids.
    Migration

    Since stream water temperature can affect the timing of the spawning migration, the numbers of spawning longfin smelt returning to a particular stream can vary greatly from year to year depending on stream water conditions and overall ocean survival. In Southeast Alaska, the main spawning migration can occur as early as April, while in Southcentral Alaska, longfin smelt have been observed returning to the Kenai River in late November through early December. Some streams can have two separate but overlapping migrations.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kardinal_84 View Post
    Just kings...and pollock Sunday! Bummer! huh? lol...

    I've heard there is a run of smelt (longfin?) that migrate into the rivers in the area during the fall. I've heard stories from native elders in Kenai but I can't seem to find any information on them. Definitely have not confirmed it one way or the other....

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/sp...melt_final.pdf
    We fished the smelt out in Bristol Bay with a small gill net, and I much prefer them to hooligan. I wish there was a net fishery on the Kenai for these fish like there is for hoolies.

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    do you see any eagles around , that would be a sure way to tell I think when there is a meal to be had they will come SID

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    had a buddy up chasing late run silvers last weekend up 20mile, said the belugas were up a mile above the highway. not sure on the hooly's but silvers into early Dec, have been pretty common.

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    I am strongly inclined to go with the Late, Late Run Silver........I have a hard time grasping Belugas chasing smelt. Plus if the smelt don't spawn up river/creek.........and the Belugas are way up the creek.

    Quote Originally Posted by POLE BENDER View Post
    had a buddy up chasing late run silvers last weekend up 20mile, said the belugas were up a mile above the highway. not sure on the hooly's but silvers into early Dec, have been pretty common.

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    I am strongly inclined to go with the Late, Late Run Silver........I have a hard time grasping Belugas chasing smelt. Plus if the smelt don't spawn up river/creek.........and the Belugas are way up the creek.
    Belugas chase hooligan up Turnagain Arm, don't they?

  13. #13

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    The smelt do spawn in river. I have a harder time believing I'm missing out on enuf silvers to feed a beluga pod!!!! I can more believe the silvers are there! It's amazing the bait you see in K-bay and further up the inlet.

    I'm very curios as to the biomass feeding a couple of dozen belugas!


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  14. #14

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    Asked a few folks I know and came up with this possibility....
    page 15 of pfd (page 13 of report)
    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/s...gapetition.pdf

    Basically says in 1986 a beluga stranded in January was dissected and contained 13 salmon tags from salmon tagged 20 to 80 miles UP the Susitna River. So maybe they are targeting spawned out salmon washing down??? Have one more email into a biologist.

  15. #15

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    Yes, but they are a fair bit larger than smelt.

    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Belugas chase hooligan up Turnagain Arm, don't they?

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Yes, but they are a fair bit larger than smelt.
    Possibly the variety of smelt in question are smaller than I am used to. The smelt out in Bristol Bay get almost 10" long, and out there the belugas follow them up and down with the tide. Gray whales eat them up in the spring also.

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    I remember being told that silvers come up into AK rivers pretty much all winter long......
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Hey Kardinal, thanks for all the info! Even saw a kayak fishing mag over at Barnes and Noble the other day. Guess it's getting popular! Still trying to talk myself into trying it and my husband is kinda curious too. Good info on those smelt too. Interesting.

    Polebender: how far up the 20 mile do you have to go to get into those late silvers? Are there a lot of them this time of year or just a few here and there? I assume you're casting at the mouths of sloughs or tribs right? Any spot within walking distance?

    Saw couple of whales in the arm yesterday coming back from Girdwood. Must be something moving through or are the whales just like people, hoping there is fish to be found? Also talked to a guy that went up the Kasilof two weeks ago and did great on silvers and steelies so the inlet does have fish. Good luck to all!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kimjn View Post
    Hey Kardinal, thanks for all the info! Even saw a kayak fishing mag over at Barnes and Noble the other day. Guess it's getting popular! Still trying to talk myself into trying it and my husband is kinda curious too. Good info on those smelt too. Interesting.

    Polebender: how far up the 20 mile do you have to go to get into those late silvers? Are there a lot of them this time of year or just a few here and there? I assume you're casting at the mouths of sloughs or tribs right? Any spot within walking distance?

    Saw couple of whales in the arm yesterday coming back from Girdwood. Must be something moving through or are the whales just like people, hoping there is fish to be found? Also talked to a guy that went up the Kasilof two weeks ago and did great on silvers and steelies so the inlet does have fish. Good luck to all!
    Pick up a copy of the Alaska Sporting Journal that should be out. A) there is a great article on icefishing sheefish out of Kotzebue by this forum's own JediSalmonSlayer that is a great read. B) Also there is an article about a kayak trip out to Cochraine Bay near Whittier. I couldn't go but I did lend the kayak to the guy who managed a 70 pound halibut off it! But the couple the author went with, the wife is the Kayak fisher and her husband is more into sea kayaking and not so much into the fishing but they both have a great time getting out! In my case, I am the fisherman and my fiancee the photographer. Neither of us are ever bored being on the water! Highly recommend!!!

    Relating to this thread (sorry about the Hijack), I have not heard back from an inquiry I made to an APU professor who apparently studies the Belugas in Cook Inlet.

    Sayak, I saw a powerpoint where the main "smelt" found in Beluga stomachs were the rainbow smelt in bristol bay and here in Cook Inlet hooligan (no mention of longfin) . But another study also stated that the biologist know virtually nothing about the Belugas winter feeding habits. I don't think any fish is "too" small if there is enough of them.

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    Kardinal 84...........Thank you for your time, effort into answering this question.

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