Homer King Derby observation
So I finally made it down to fish the Homer King Derby this year, and from what I have heard from many who have participated over the years, we really had some great conditions. It sure was fun!
My buddy and I both managed to catch a king, mine was 10.5 pounds and his was 14.7 pounds. We went through the whole deal of weighing them in and registering them (we had a skunk bet!)
Anyway, turns out my fish was a hatchery fish (clipped adipose). I hadn't even noticed until a fish tech from Fish & Game was standing there with a clipboard telling me "hey, did you know that's a hatchery fish?" She took the head/scales from my fish and then told me that I would get a letter giving me information about the fish's origins.
The letter arrived just a few weeks back and it turns out that my fish was born and raised in the Willamette hatchery in Oregon!!
Thought this would provide some interesting discussion. I know for years that the west coast fishery folks have been saying that many of their fish get intercepted by the fleet in SE Alaska...but this fish travelled even further north than that!
so that's where all the darn things are ending up... Spring run Chinook. Mitigation hatchery fish for all the flood control dams that blocked access to spawning areas in streams on the west slope of the Cascades. One of the 5 million released annually. Very tasty.
Originally Posted by Sockeye Charlie
This is no surprise....
When ADFG tried to do a study to apportion the marine harvest of kings in Cook Inlet by stock of origin based on CWT's, the lion's share of the fish originated from BC and the PNW.
The single largest recovery of CWT's from a local origin stream was Ninilchik... IIRC it was on the order of a single digit percentage point or perhaps even a fraction of a percentage point.
Alaska's fertile marine waters are the great mixing bowl for chinook stocks up and down the entire west coast. Ty posted a bunch of maps showing the distribution of CWT's recovered from OR/WA/BC/AK stocks.
For decades, kings have been indiscriminately intercepted in AK marine waters before they can contribute to local fisheries in/near the basin of origin.
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
The KeenEye MD
I knew the Doc would be all over this one ;-)
help me catch up
Since the far away fish topic came up.
The extent of fall run of Snake River Chinook (threatened species) is mapped as occupying most of SC Alaskan waters, including all of Cook Inlet.
What about the winter run of the same? What about the rest of the west coast stocks? I'm curious about the how and why this single stock is included in the T&E literature, but not others.
Snake River Fall Chinook
Of the ESA listed salmon stocks, fall-run chinook from the Columbia basin are among those most likely to be harvested by Alaskan fisheries. "Bright" or early run fall Chinook spawn in the middle to upper Columbia and Snake River mainstems. The portion of this run on Columbia side of the basin is healthy - most spawn in the free-flowing reach of the Hanford Nuclear reservation. Most of the habitat for the Snake River fall run is under reservoirs or blocked by dams. The Snake River Fall Chinook are listed under the ESA and fisheries up and down the coast are limited by restrictions to protect this run - they are a primary driver in fisheries management in the US and Canada. That is why they get so much attention.
There are also listed Spring Chinook and late run Fall Chinook returning to the Columbia River and/or Snake rivers that are also taken in some numbers in Alaskan fisheries, primarily in the southeast. Impacts are less and so are less of a concern to Alaska fisheries. More so to the Canadians.
Winter Chinook runs in California are listed and a big deal but I don't know that there are any significant winter Chinook runs north of the Sacramento River. Don't know that alot of those from the Sacramento make it that far north.