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Thread: What happened to the Seward Silvers?

  1. #1

    Default What happened to the Seward Silvers?

    When I moved here almost ten years ago now I remember hearing fish stories from old timers telling me how great the silver fishing was in Resurrection Bay during the great Seward Silver Salmon Derby. When I was finally able to buy my first boat three years ago, I purchased one I could use trolling salt water close to shore with hopes of catching tons of those huge Seward Silvers. In the last three years, virtually no Salmon have showed up in Resurrection bay during the derby. If the fishing was going to be even average the last several years your were required to make the run all the way out to Pony Cove, a trip I only dare make on the days with excellent weather. So back to my original question, were have all the silvers that used to clog the bay like the do in Valdez gone, and is there any hope of them returning?

  2. #2
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    silvers have been down in much of the state for a little bit, Also theres been increased pressure especially outside the bay leading to less biting fish per boat
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Commercial fishermen seem to be making their money off of chums down here.

    Not sure if there is any connection, but, our silvers have been weak too.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

  4. #4

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    You may want to adjust your fishing techniques. There are lots of silvers there. Every year that I have gone down there over the last 8 or so years has been phenominal. Yet, with that said, there have been days that I can see them on the fish finder and nothing I can do will entice them to bite. It sounds like you have had a collection of those days. I feel for you.

    Here are some tips. You probably already do all this, but these have really helped me:

    1.) Find large concentrations of bait fish on your fishfinder.

    2.) Find large concentrations of salmon on your fishfinder.

    3.) Fish a couple of hours before the tide change and a couple afterwards. The fish really feed heavily these times.

    4.) If you have found the fish and they are not biting, change presentations until you find something successful and then stick with it.

    5.) Fish an area that has good topography. The bold headlands along the western shore are good places to fish. Caine's and Callisto can have very good fishing at times. Personally, I like to troll from North Beach to South Beach or vise versa depending on the direction of the tide.

    6.) Keep your hooks razor sharp with your hook sharpener. You don't want to miss a bite.

    7.) Finally, and probably the most important, is just to sit back relax and enjoy the time on the water. We only get so much of it up here and if nothing else, the scenery is incredible.

    Good luck in 2009!

  5. #5
    Member AKCAPT's Avatar
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    Default Seward Silvers

    What has happened to the Seward Silvers? You are absolutely right, there are nowhere near as many salmon as there used to be. They used to fill the boat harbor and jump up on the docks. Shore based fishermen could get their limit of six for weeks in August and September.....

    Habitat has been degraded on Nash Road. When you drive into town look to your left as you approrach the three bridges. You will see that the wetlands have been filled in and turned into a parking area for contruction equipment

    Water temps have been much cooler over the last two years, resulting in no small forage fish. The bait in the bay has been almost exclusivly herring instead of candlefish over the last few years

    September floods also degraded spawning habitats for a couple of key years and resulted in poor returns

    Pressure, more fish are caught earlier and the runs have been weaker than usual

    Finally enhancment efforts have been curtailed due to less funding. Call the Chamber of Commerce and talk to them about the salmon restoration fund.

    Bauer is right, you can still catch them. We do every day but it is not nearly as easy as it was.

    Warmer water temps, milder Septembers and a few more fish in the bay would help!

  6. #6

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    I too had more some difficulty finding them last year if it makes anyone feel any better. It seems that one day they would be biting in their traditional spots and the next, you couldn't find them to save your life.

    I probably had my best luck near Agnes Cove one evening in mid July. There were a lots of boats up by Pony - a few charters and your typical three dozen 17 foot aluminum boats bobbing around and trolling around in circles, but not a one on the North end of the Cheval Island Narrows. So we cruised down there to fish as that is traditionally a decent spot. I had 6 people on the boat and we all got fast easy limits just mooching. It was crazy for a while. But, as always, people starting seeing us slay them there and in short order we had a flotilla of boats around us. Everyone was still having great sucess after we left.

    The next day we went the very same spot and couldn't find that school. I doubt they were fished out, there were seemingly tens of thousands of them. So, we motored on back towards Bear Glacier and trolled around Callisto and Caine's and in front of the City RV Park and finally limited.

    The point is that they are still there. I don't know how many. But, as a friendly guide pointed out in a previous post, he thinks that there are less of them. He clearly spends more time on the water than I do and he is probably right.

    I had a similar experience late in the season out of Whittier, I couldn't find a silver to save my life. They just weren't there. And, there normally are good numbers milling around. Perhaps ocean conditions are tougher than we think.

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    They are all waiting untill i get up there in the middle of July! now all i have to do is find a good reasonable 6 pack charter and i will be good to go! My buddy has a boat in Homer for the Halibut but we wanted to make a trip over for the silvers. I hear its a blast cathcing them!

  8. #8
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCAPT View Post
    Finally enhancment efforts have been curtailed due to less funding. Call the Chamber of Commerce and talk to them about the salmon restoration fund.
    Bingo... Less smolt less adults
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  9. #9

    Default Pony Cove

    We hit them hard at Pony Cove last summer filming an episode which airs this coming Jan 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Correct me if Iíve been given the wrong information but itís my understanding the Bristol Bay fisheries is the last true organic fisheries left in these parts. Dunno...personally I haven't researched it yet but I sure like hitting the silvers in Valdez.
    Finally enhancement efforts have been curtailed due to less funding. Call the Chamber of Commerce and talk to them about the salmon restoration fund.

    Bauer is right, you can still catch them. We do every day but it is not nearly as easy as it was.

    Warmer water temps, milder Septembers and a few more fish in the bay would help!
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

  10. #10

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    tdelarm,

    I think that you find more than that one. But, as far as importance, it is hard to beat that one. I suppose it also depends on what you mean by a true organic fishery too. I am sure that one of our fish biologists (Nerka, where are you?) will chime in soon enough.

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