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Thread: Size and Age of Chinook salmon decreasing across its range.

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    Default Size and Age of Chinook salmon decreasing across its range.

    We sorta knew this already, but in case there were any doubters amongst us, here is the most recent research:

    http://www.cbbulletin.com/440291.aspx

    Here are some excerpts from the article:

    The researchers analyzed nearly 40 years of data from hatchery and wild Chinook populations from California to Alaska, looking broadly at patterns that emerged over the course of four decades and across thousands of miles of coastline. In general, Chinook salmon populations from Alaska showed the biggest reductions in age and size, with Washington salmon a close second.

    "Chinook are known for being the largest Pacific salmon and they are highly valued because they are so large," said lead author Jan Ohlberger, a research scientist in the UW's School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. "The largest fish are disappearing, and that affects subsistence and recreational fisheries that target these individuals."

    No real surprises here but it is an unfortunate verification of what we have discussed on this forum for many years.

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    Super interesting about the Orca’s preference for large fish.


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    Same thing happening in Kamchatka

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    BFish - If what you say is correct, that would be significant.

    As I understand it, freshwater harvest (recreational, commercial, PU, subsistence) on the Kamchatka Peninsula is nowhere near the levels seen in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, or BC.

    That being the case, if the size and age of Kamchatka Chinook is going down in a similar pattern as Chinook elsewhere, the cause can be isolated to the saltwater environment (e.g., human harvest and orca). That would support the theory that freshwater harvest, and the resulting genetics argument, is considerably LESS important than the effects of saltwater harvest and orca predation.

    Perhaps you could post a research publication (or just ‘gray’ literature) that supports your suggestion re: size and age of Kamchatka Chinook.

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    Not at all would it support a theory that freshwater harvest has less effects. Because fresh water harvest in one river only harvests fish from that river. I do see how fast you can turn anything on everyone but the ones killing the Kings with kindness!

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    We now know what to troll for Orca's now

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    Personally from what I've read about the TONS and TONS of wasteful bycatch, is it really any wonder?....and those are the ones that we know about...!!!

    Not to mention what the Japanese have been doing out there for years and years...
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Guys, I'll go ahead and volunteer to be the one to do the right thing here. My only question is whether I should use my 45-70 or need to buy a new gun for the orca hunt? Or maybe a bowfishing setup? What draw weight and line do you think would be best?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    BFish - If what you say is correct, that would be significant.

    As I understand it, freshwater harvest (recreational, commercial, PU, subsistence) on the Kamchatka Peninsula is nowhere near the levels seen in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, or BC.

    That being the case, if the size and age of Kamchatka Chinook is going down in a similar pattern as Chinook elsewhere, the cause can be isolated to the saltwater environment (e.g., human harvest and orca). That would support the theory that freshwater harvest, and the resulting genetics argument, is considerably LESS important than the effects of saltwater harvest and orca predation.

    Perhaps you could post a research publication (or just ‘gray’ literature) that supports your suggestion re: size and age of Kamchatka Chinook.
    Check out "Monster Fish" on Netflix, episode in Alaska and Kamchatka. From the little they show, there seems to be quite a bit of freshwater fishing for the Chinook. Enough so, that I'd like to look into it further. Bottom line, all fisheries select for large fish. And removing large fish can change a fisheries look very quickly, to the point it may never be able to rebound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Bottom line, all fisheries select for large fish.
    Once again, I have to disagree with your facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnycake View Post
    Guys, I'll go ahead and volunteer to be the one to do the right thing here. My only question is whether I should use my 45-70 or need to buy a new gun for the orca hunt? Or maybe a bowfishing setup? What draw weight and line do you think would be best?
    I have an 1886 Winchester in .45-70 that was used to hunt Beluga whales. It is in amazing condition since it was used while hunting whales in local rivers rather than out on the salt water. I also have a Remington 722 that was used in PWS to hunt seals and sea otters. It isn't in as good condition as the 86.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Default Size and Age of Chinook salmon decreasing across its range.

    Everyone is so quick to blame freshwater fisheries that target big fish preferentially, orcas, the Japanese, the trawlers, warming ocean conditions.... anyone but themselves.... but nobody wants to seriously address the targeted sport/commercial chinook fisheries in saltwater across the West Coast. Poor fish can’t get a break. It’s all about allocation per user group, rather than reducing overall harvest, which is really the only way to stop the trend. How you translate that to meaningful regulation, I have no idea....

    Quote Originally Posted by Cohoangler View Post
    That would support the theory that freshwater harvest, and the resulting genetics argument, is considerably LESS important than the effects of saltwater harvest and orca predation.
    Why wouldn’t the genetics argument apply to saltwater harvest as well? If the age distribution has been actively truncated for the last 30+ years, chinook runs across the board would be genetically favoring younger spawners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak char View Post
    Everyone is so quick to blame freshwater fisheries that target big fish preferentially, orcas, the Japanese, the trawlers, warming ocean conditions.... anyone but themselves.... but nobody wants to address the targeted sport/commercial chinook fisheries in saltwater across the West Coast. When you introduce a factor that increases mortality in a particular life stage of an animal, populations will respond by adapting to avoid or abbreviate that life stage. If the ocean is not a safe place to spend 3,4,5 years growing, it makes sense that fish are adapting to only spend 2 or 3. I suspect it’s much more difficult for a chinook to survive 5 years in the ocean than it was historically, especially for stocks where the primary reading grounds are near-shore. Every extra year they spend out there is another 365 days they can be picked off by a troller out of Sitka or a charter in Homer or Kodiak or Craig or anywhere “feeders” are targeted along the West Coast. Poor fish can’t get a break.
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    Yeah, like how could taking a 4,5, and 6 year fish each and every year for decades out of a river system POSSIBLY affect the population of large chinook salmon in the system, huh??
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!
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    Default Size and Age of Chinook salmon decreasing across its range.

    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    Yeah, like how could taking a 4,5, and 6 year fish each and every year for decades out of a river system POSSIBLY affect the population of large chinook salmon in the system, huh??
    Well obviously, but that doesn’t change the fact that saltwater plays a significant role too. The rivers in SEAK, where there hasn’t been targeted freshwater fishing for Chinook in decades, are experiencing similar decreases in size and age.


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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnycake View Post
    Guys, I'll go ahead and volunteer to be the one to do the right thing here. My only question is whether I should use my 45-70 or need to buy a new gun for the orca hunt? Or maybe a bowfishing setup? What draw weight and line do you think would be best?
    Sounds like a good excuse for a new gun and new bow set-up, let us know what you decide

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokeRoss View Post
    I have an 1886 Winchester in .45-70 that was used to hunt Beluga whales. It is in amazing condition since it was used while hunting whales in local rivers rather than out on the salt water. I also have a Remington 722 that was used in PWS to hunt seals and sea otters. It isn't in as good condition as the 86.
    Would love to see pics of those Ross.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Would love to see pics of those Ross.
    I have posted pics of the 722 in the past, but can't remember if it was on this site.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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    Blatchfords were the ones using the 86 on Beluga whales. Percy and his son Joel. In the Susitna River mouth. 1970's.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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