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Thread: The Big ???

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    Default The Big ???

    Any hypothesises on why the King run, statewide is poor, & yet, targeted commercial red salmon in Bristol Bay, & targeted roe chum else where are thriving? Along with a thriving pink & silver run?

    Could the non target thriving salmon (reds, chum, pinks & silvers) be eating most of the kings PRIOR to getting to the Ocean? Pike, Shee, & other fish (trout, dolly, jacks etc) are eatin' the king roe, we know, but what 'bout other salmon?

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    Default Suggestion...

    Quote Originally Posted by gogoalie View Post
    Any hypothesises on why the King run, statewide is poor, & yet, targeted commercial red salmon in Bristol Bay, & targeted roe chum else where are thriving? Along with a thriving pink & silver run?

    Could the non target thriving salmon (reds, chum, pinks & silvers) be eating most of the kings PRIOR to getting to the Ocean? Pike, Shee, & other fish (trout, dolly, jacks etc) are eatin' the king roe, we know, but what 'bout other salmon?
    All five (Six) spp of salmon inhabit different niche in the ocean... Kings are by far the most benthic of all the salmon and all salmon have different physiological differences for feeding on different prey and various locations in the water column and near and off shore waters... Kings spending the most time in the ocean in fact may have the greatest cumulative impact or poor ocean conditions of all the salmon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    Kings are by far the most benthic of all the salmon ......

    Benthic or pelagic??

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    Default I'm betting you are right

    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    ... all the salmon and all salmon have different physiological differences for feeding on different prey and various locations in the water column and near and off shore waters... Kings spending the most time in the ocean in fact may have the greatest cumulative impact or poor ocean conditions of all the salmon.
    And that either ocean conditions or bicatch is killing them and not the others.

    Something to bear in mind is that there have been numerous times in the past century or so that reds hardly returned to Bristol Bay, like in the early 70s (when a lot of people didn't even fish and consequently weren't eligible for LE permits). It happens.

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    Kings may also require different in stream habitat to be successful. For instance the Willow and other streams are being choked off w/ beaver dams. Kings prefer cold fast shallow water for spawning so their actual spawning grounds are being turned into warm ponds due to the standing water soaking up more of the suns energy. These conditions wouldn't affect reds the same way. I am not sure about the implications on Chums. I do know that the upper Wasilla Creek area was choked off w/ beaver dams until the mid 90's and now that they have all been destroyed the same area that was once pond/marsh is now full of spawning kings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Kings may also require different in stream habitat to be successful. For instance the Willow and other streams are being choked off w/ beaver dams. Kings prefer cold fast shallow water for spawning so their actual spawning grounds are being turned into warm ponds due to the standing water soaking up more of the suns energy. These conditions wouldn't affect reds the same way. I am not sure about the implications on Chums. I do know that the upper Wasilla Creek area was choked off w/ beaver dams until the mid 90's and now that they have all been destroyed the same area that was once pond/marsh is now full of spawning kings.
    Good post, but a small issue... Willow Creek has no beaver dams anywhere in its spawning habitat, which is mostly from the canyon down. It did, however, suffer very low, warm water conditions in '04 and '05 which could be a large contributing factor in the low (near non-existent) number of 6 year old fish this year. It also had a 100 year flood in '06. Then the threshold was missed in '07, '08, and '09. We can not change the mother nature conditions on that stream that were present in '04-'06; we could have at least acknowledged that those 3 years were going to cause issues now, and regulated all fisheries conservatively, rather than expanding and creating new fisheries as the BOF did. We can and should address every action, managed and unmanaged, of this state that could be a contributing factor to the missed escapements. 2000-2003 all saw great king returns; the returns from those parent years did not materialize. Why not?

    Little Willow can have an issue with damming on hot dry summers: a double whammy to the stream, as water is low and warm, allowing the beavers to dam more easily, which then makes slow moving ponds of what water is left.

    Moose and Kroto Creeks, important headwaters of the Deshka, have big issues with beavers. What could be debatable is whether the beavers are the disease or a symptom of the disease. I think the initial problem was low warm water, which made the presence of beavers much more visible, and heightened their impact on the system.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Thanks WPFF, I meant to say little willow in my previous post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClearCreek
    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON
    Kings are by far the most benthic of all the salmon...
    Benthic or pelagic??
    In marine fisheries science, benthic typically defines a bottom-dwelling fish, such as a Halibut, Turbot, or Rockfish. Pelagic typically defines a fish that does not dwell on the bottom, but rather in the open sea water column above the bottom.

    Studies have shown that Chinook inhabit a variety of ocean stratums, from the surface to the deep. They persistently occupy a narrow range of thermally sensitive areas of these ocean stratums (8-12*C). The depths they occupy are related to annual cycles of surface temperatures and feeding opportunity, going deeper when surface temperatures are higher and food sources are more scarce. There is no doubt that some Chinook inhabit deep water, especially when feeding or occupying optimal thermoclines. However, feeding on the bottom or occupying deep thermoclines does not make Chinook benthic. Coho and sockeye are also known to occupy the bottom, feeding on benthic ocean creatures such as amphipods, copepods, euphausids, ostracods, crustacean larvae, zooplankton, and even benthic fish species such as Sand Lance.

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    Default So then Grampy...

    can we then assume that the factors of the Ocean benthic predatory relation (eaters of salmon speices) of declining numbers, statewide, wouldn't factor in on the decline of king numbers?

    Ie. since both Coho, & reds aren't in decline, & are benthic feeders, & kings are also benthic feeders, but are in decline, ocean preds aren't a factor?

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    Boy, I don't know. I don't even know if we have enough information to assume the decline is a result of what's happening out in the ocean. That might be an obvious culprit, but there are so many in-river productivity and predator factors too. I do think ocean predators are playing a bigger role these days...salmon sharks, seals, gulls, whales, etc. And I also think herring and other salmon food isn't as abundant. Add that to both the ocean and river fishing pressure, and we could have a recipe for what's happening.

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    Interesting article in the ADN today about ocean acidification, temperatures and other factors which may also be affecting salmon survival.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grampyfishes View Post
    Boy, I don't know. I don't even know if we have enough information to assume the decline is a result of what's happening out in the ocean. That might be an obvious culprit, but there are so many in-river productivity and predator factors too. I do think ocean predators are playing a bigger role these days...salmon sharks, seals, gulls, whales, etc. And I also think herring and other salmon food isn't as abundant. Add that to both the ocean and river fishing pressure, and we could have a recipe for what's happening.
    King declines coast wide for 5 years, not enough to show due to ocean survival??? What else do you need?? There is a clear trail from California to Northern Alaska showing stock across the board... Happens to coincide w/ large scale PDO changes and oh guess what we are heading back into a -1.5 La Nina a very dramatic shift from the +1/5 El Nino in May... Climatologists have said that what is unusual about the recent PDO shifts is that we are flip flopping between warm and cold regimes vrs staying in one regime or the other for 20-50 years.

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    Default Tynmon...

    I see exactly what you're saying, & understand it, perhaps both predatory increases on king salmon (particularly noticable in So. Cal. where sealion numbers are increasing, as are shark numbers) & climate change, along with factory trawling, are having an impact on King salmon, and not the other salmon species.

    One has to wonder how long factory trawling in the Bering has been going on...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TYNMON View Post
    King declines coast wide for 5 years, not enough to show due to ocean survival??? What else do you need??
    Well, I'm not going to be ignorant and exclude all non-ocean factors from the decline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willphish4food View Post
    Good post, but a small issue... Willow Creek has no beaver dams anywhere in its spawning habitat, which is mostly from the canyon down. It did, however, suffer very low, warm water conditions in '04 and '05 which could be a large contributing factor in the low (near non-existent) number of 6 year old fish
    Actually Willow Creek does suffer the dreaded Beaver Dam Warming Dilema. From the mouth upstream to the upper reaches, you can easily see no less than two hundred dams. Granted none of them fully stem the main channel at any point. They are along side the creek in the back channels and sloughs. Then there is the problem with the hundreds of dams in the tributaries flowing into Willow, like Shirley Creek, Deception and several others. All these add up to a real problem and.....it is getting worse each year. If you take a flight over it, it will give you a real good idea of the magnitude of the problem. No one traps them anymore, so they proliferate unfettered.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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    Most of the Northern District tribs suffer from huge beaver dam problems, making it easy for the glut of bears in that area to wreak havoc on runs. Several decades ago I worked that area counting fish and tearing beaver dams out. Akres is right...it is worse now than it was then. The Northern District should be on an all-out beaver dam busting crusade!

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