Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Tiny Reds on Russian River

  1. #1
    Member Tomcat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    293

    Exclamation Tiny Reds on Russian River

    Just returned from a 10-day fishing adventure along the Kenai River. Spent most of my time wetting a line between Cooper Landing and Soldotna. Truly an awesome experience with outstanding results from the bank.

    I was really impressed with the size and fighting ability of the hawg sockeyes landed on the main river around Soldotna and Sterling.

    However, most of the reds caught near the confluence of the Russian River were flat out puny by comparison. In fact, I overheard one guy ask whether they were actually trout.

    I found the small size of these fish rather surprising. Since second-run reds remain in the ocean longer than their first-run cousins, the logical conclusion is that they would be larger than those that showed up earlier in the season. As near as I can tell though, this has not been the case so far.

    Makes me wonder whether these particular sockeye were jacks. Is there such a thing within this species of salmon?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,293

    Default

    I noticed that on sunday while fishing. They were very small compared to normal.

  3. #3
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,767

    Default One Possibility

    Could be a batch of three-year fish coming through. How small were they?

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  4. #4
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    between wasilla and palmer
    Posts
    1,061

    Default

    There are jack reds. Though I dont know if that is what you were catching. The ones I have seen before were only like 12 inches long.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,293

    Default

    Nah the ones I saw were about 4 lbs maybe 25 inches? Maybe up to 5-6 lb. Looked like small kasilof reds, but even a little bit smaller.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    3,568

    Default

    There is a distinct difference in the reds that go to the Kenai and the ones that head up the Russian.
    The Russian river reds are smaller and more torpedo shaped than there Kenai cousins. The reason given to me for this is because the Russian reds have to fight stronger currents and are therefore more streamlined in shape.
    A 6-7 pound Russian red is a big fish.
    Tennessee

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    Along with the previous statement, isn't it true that all first run fish are bound for the Russian, and the second run has fish that go everywhere including some to the Russian? I've heard that all my life, but I don't know if it's true.

  8. #8
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    54

    Default late run reds

    I have heard, and have noticed, the first run russian reds are bigger than the second run reds. This seems counterintuitive, unless the smaller reds have better survival swimming past bears after the water drops (more genetically fit for the late run, therefor more liekly to pass on their small size) .

  9. #9
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River/ Juneau
    Posts
    5,154

    Default

    Jacks are about 12 inches while 2 ocean fish are generally 16-20 inches. If they are under 16 inches you can keep 10 per day. This summer I sampled 1500 reds in the Ugashik system and we found that the longest measurment from the eye to fork of the tail was 645 mm which is just about 26 inches putting the maximum length of the fish about 30 inches. I'd say about 30% were 2 ocean fish, with less than 1% jacks (we got 2). Of course these percentages are different on the kenai. Usually in august I only seem to catch 2 ocean fish simply because they are the last to arrive and thus stay fresh longer.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  10. #10

    Default Commercial Nets

    Commercial fishing on the first run is almost nill. There is a big hit on the second run. The smaller fish escape the net with a greater frequency than the larger fish. These actions are a bit like grading gravel. The small fish breed small fish, pretty simple genetics. Also you get less genetic diversity and this is bad over a long period of time.

  11. #11
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,397

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by echolmbe View Post
    Commercial fishing on the first run is almost nill. There is a big hit on the second run. The smaller fish escape the net with a greater frequency than the larger fish.
    While your theory seems to make sense on the surface, I don't think it holds up under scrutiny. The mainstem Kenai spawners are targeted by the same commercial nets you are referring to, yet according to many accounts the 2nd run Kenai reds are the largest anyone can remember this year. I can attest to that as well, as the fish we dipnetted in the mouth of the Kenai were on average 1-2 pounds larger than anything we've dipped in the last few years. If your theory held to be true, Kenai reds would be getting smaller, which is not the case.


    On a side note, during each of the past 4 Augusts I have noticed a fair number of very small, very late reds on the Russian. I usually make a trip to the Russian to fish for silvers around the 20th or so. Every time I do so I see people keeping small "silvers" that are actually reds. They come into the river after the rest of the run, when all the other reds are colored up and spawning. Fishermen who don't know how to properly ID a salmon assume they are silvers since they are a silvery color unlike the rest of the reds in the river. On average I would say that these really late fish are 3-4 pounds.

  12. #12

    Default Think Again, it goes even deeper

    Most of those accounts were fish extracted from the river on non-commercial days. The ones that got through when the nets were down. The Russian run may arrive in a very short period of time.
    An extended openner may sift the population over a very short time. This was being discussed in the Soldotna office as early as 1990. I spent a summer working a project
    on the ADFG King drift boats tagging fish and had many discussions with
    the biologists about this. Different sub-populations of fish enter the stream
    at different times and the timming of the openners versus the entry of
    the particular subpopulation can be damaging. Then again, they may be early entires. I think it is both and we can control only one of those events.

  13. #13
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Eagle River/ Juneau
    Posts
    5,154

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Along with the previous statement, isn't it true that all first run fish are bound for the Russian, and the second run has fish that go everywhere including some to the Russian? I've heard that all my life, but I don't know if it's true.

    True


    567889
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  14. #14
    Member LungShot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    467

    Default Yes very true.

    Thats why when you fish that hole just up river from the ferry on the kenai right across from the confluence in late june/early july you get nothing even though the Russian is slammin. Then In late july/into Aug you slay em in that hole one after another.

    It is also my experience that the second run reds are usually much larger than the ones I catch ealier in the season.Thats on the Kenai, and the Russian. Even though I have caught those real late tiny reds in the Russian as well.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •