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Thread: Weird salmon runs out of Valdez

  1. #1
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default Weird salmon runs out of Valdez

    We spent a month mid-July to mid-August at our cabin about 45 miles out of Valdez in Port Fidalgo after a late June trip for a week. The pink run usually begins in late June and is very evident by the first week of July and by later July the beach is littered with spawned carcasus. There were NONE then. By the middle of July a few pinks showed up, none were going up the stream. By the first week of August a paltry run showed up but was still milling around the stream mouth. A few started up but no dead ones. By the middle of August, they were starting to run up the stream, and we saw only one spawned out dead pink on the bank. Lots of confused seagulls, eagles and a few bears!

    Silvers were also very late and sparse, lots on the forum about that, we caught some with a lot of work but the numbers were amazingly low and the fish were scattered, we didn't see the usual gang swimming in with a hooked fish where we could easily see them. We mooch, by the way, never troll. Heard they were all out by Goose and sounds like they are still there.

    As far as I know, the stong pink run closer to Valdez and also out where we are never materialized and there was no commercial opener for pinks, lots of seiners were as hungry as the birds and bears. By mid August, there were some seiners out, probably for silvers?

    I noticed that my temp readings on my sonar read around 54-56 degrees. Normally they are 51-52. A few degrees in ocean temperature makes a big difference especially for food fish like herring. We didn't see any herring balls like we usually do.

    Hopefully at least enough pinks will spawn to feed the bears. Right now there is hunger all the way up the food chain!

    Every year is different, one of the things I like about Alaska!

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Bear & birds in the Valdez Port are eating well. Many thousands of dead pinks littering the beaches here. The overall volume may have been considerably less than normal, but that just means less fish went to waste considering the vast majority of fish normally just die off and are consumed on the sea floor by bacteria and shrimp.
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  3. #3

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    Was a very poor pink salmon year in PWS. The return on both wild fish and hatchery fish was bad.

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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default need a map

    Those fish are there, they just got lost. They all ended up in Parks Highway streams! We have a serious glut of pinks- last year hardly any; its as if the even/odd rule got turned on its ear.

    More seriously, though, for the pinks- could the fact its an odd year account for the lower numbers?

  5. #5
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Runs

    The runs are way out of wack this year. I have had not one pink in the stream in my back yard and no chums. Usually this time of year the eagles are lined up along the Lowe on the way home. I counted 157 one year. This year they are had to find in the trees. Silvers seem to be running deep for some reason. The recent flooding of the Lowe may or may not help things; time will tell. Lots of debris in the water this year too. The prop is not happy either.

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    If it means anything, the AK fishing report on KSKA (public radio) said that the pink returns in Southeast were waaaaaaaay behind, with something like 16 million fish showing up when the forecast is for 40 million. Down there some folks think the low runoff from the home streams might have confused the schools. Not sure what to make of it, but the returns to Cook Inlet seemed pretty large, and there was a pretty dry summer in that area.

  7. #7
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default No one noticed the water temps...

    I had water temperatures 3-4 degrees above normal, was hoping someone would know something about.

    Not sure what the odd-even rule is in PWS, I know it is odd years only for pink runs in western Puget Sound near Seattle, but we usually have a good run every year in PWS I thought.

    I didn't see anything that looked like a normal run in Valdez Port, some years they are trying to run up the trickles from the fish cleaning stations in the harbor, and dead carcasses all around the boat launch.

    I wonder how many salmon die because there just isn't room to get into a fresh water stream and spawn? I've been told that pinks have adapted to spawn in mostly salt water outside of stream mouths, and I have observed some spawning by our stream in the salt, or maybe they are just foolin' aound!

    In 2006 there were reported to be 25 million pinks in eastern PWS...that's a lot of fish and it looked and smelled like it! I wish the king run they tried to establish would take off like that

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    I had water temperatures 3-4 degrees above normal, was hoping someone would know something about.
    Here's some info for you.

    http://www.adn.com/news/environment/...ry/907351.html

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    That is so odd, the run of Pinks in Kodiak this year is crazy. One could almost run across the rivers there with all the pinks. It got to the point where I tried to not catch them, and it did not work well. I will check on the numbers, as I am very curious what their count is there. I Probably Saw Half a million while I was there, no seriously. Every stream I went to along the Island was like that. And Still jumping in the bay for Weeks.

  10. #10
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default I know what you mean....

    it was that was in eastern PWS in 2006, you would have thought that would make a big run in 2008 but it was about normal, then a collapse in some parts this year. I've heard the runs around Seward and Cook Inlet were large this year, could be a lot of things, many things can happen between spawning and return 2 years later (I think pinks are 2-ocean year fish....)

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