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> slow on the Maitland, no one carrying fish
Jimmyspoons
Posted: Mar 24, 2021 - 08:38 am


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I've been on the maitland for two weeks now, fishing multiple spots from the bridge down. lots of guys out on the weekends, very few fish caught. My brother and I have been there for sun up and sun down.

one of the slower starts to the year that I can remember. River has been beauty condition all week. hoping this big rain coming will improve the hook ups but will most definitely blow it out if we get the rain they are forecasting.

we usually take a drive over to Port Albert after we are done to see how the morning was over there and the word has also been slow. I have only seen two small coho come out in 6 trips to the river in the last 14 days. no suckers either?? ouch!


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2Cold
Posted: Mar 24, 2021 - 09:41 am


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Thanks for the report you saved me a 4hr trip ... I was going to head up there tomorrow as I never have fished it in spring, but will try some where north of there that is usually more consistent...some times?

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maitlandman
Posted: Mar 24, 2021 - 11:44 am


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That's because the Maitland is a naturally reproducing WILD fishery but is still treated in the same manner as heavily stocked put and take fisheries by most that don't care for or respect its natural thresholds.
Most of these people only travel to the river when they hear its on and don't care to actually "know" it either.
Same with Port Albert but smaller water= even bigger gong show.
That's also why there is garbage everywhere now.
And why Salmon no longer run it like they once did either.
"The gauntlet" section you speak of that is open year round for combat fishing combined with the relatively new but constantly growing fad of look-at-me IGers, facebookers etc. hot-spotting all over the web and killing fish or practicing sketchy and counter productive catch-release methods with much higher mortality rates all for the sake of a pic, virtual followers or even branding purposes now is finally catching up and showing itself through constantly diminishing returns, both fall and spring.
The spawning grounds don't matter if they don't get used.
I grew up on it and based on what it was and what it is now, its in BIG trouble.
Maybe even too late kind of big trouble.
The whole river should be catch and release in my opinion.
If you've ever hooked a fresh hot steelhead in any section of the river other than the alley below the bridge (where they cant go anywhere really) than you will know the significant difference between them and put and take fish in S/O tribs and it boggles my mind why anyone would kill one for food or any other reason.
There is a purpose to a put and take stock fishery and thats what those stock fish are for - to sustain us in our greed.
There are plenty of them around in plenty of our systems.
People with a genuine interest in and passion for wild anadromous fish should take a hard look at our own west coast as well as Oregon, Washington and California for a glimpse of what's to come....

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EsoxWanderer
Posted: Mar 24, 2021 - 01:39 pm


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Very much agree with maitlandman. Too many cave-in-heads not following sustainable fishing practices.

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ROFF
Posted: Mar 24, 2021 - 02:07 pm


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QUOTE (maitlandman @ Mar 24, 2021 - 11:44 am)
That's because the Maitland is a naturally reproducing WILD fishery but is still treated in the same manner as heavily stocked put and take fisheries by most that don't care for or respect its natural thresholds.
Most of these people only travel to the river when they hear its on and don't care to actually "know" it either.
Same with Port Albert but smaller water= even bigger gong show.
That's also why there is garbage everywhere now.
And why Salmon no longer run it like they once did either.
"The gauntlet" section you speak of that is open year round for combat fishing combined with the relatively new but constantly growing fad of look-at-me IGers, facebookers etc. hot-spotting all over the web and killing fish or practicing sketchy and counter productive catch-release methods with much higher mortality rates all for the sake of a pic, virtual followers or even branding purposes now is finally catching up and showing itself through constantly diminishing returns, both fall and spring.
The spawning grounds don't matter if they don't get used.
I grew up on it and based on what it was and what it is now, its in BIG trouble.
Maybe even too late kind of big trouble.
The whole river should be catch and release in my opinion.
If you've ever hooked a fresh hot steelhead in any section of the river other than the alley below the bridge (where they cant go anywhere really) than you will know the significant difference between them and put and take fish in S/O tribs and it boggles my mind why anyone would kill one for food or any other reason.
There is a purpose to a put and take stock fishery and thats what those stock fish are for - to sustain us in our greed.
There are plenty of them around in plenty of our systems.
People with a genuine interest in and passion for wild anadromous fish should take a hard look at our own west coast as well as Oregon, Washington and California for a glimpse of what's to come....

I also agree with many aspects of this post, itís getting bad everywhere. I liked it much better when fishing wasnít considered cool. The only thing that Iím confused with is these so called put and take fisheries in Southern Ontario?? The MNR hasnít stocked steelhead or salmon anywhere in Ontario for decades. I believe all river systems are sustaining populations and have been for a long time now.

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metalbuckle
Posted: Mar 24, 2021 - 03:11 pm


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I was going to remove this thread, as it mentions a river's name and a location during the trout and salmon migration / spawning run....... BUT have at it.. I guess..

Does it matter that here on this one little forum we have strict rules about trying to keep areas / lakes / rivers - which are sensitive to pressure and abuse, -- protected...... Not really, when other places ie. the social media madness is a buzz of activity, giving away locations, run info, when, where, how, cell phones chiming when one guy in pool hooks a steelhead.. etc etc.. Here we will continue to run the forum status quo, as we do believe we are doing our part to protect the resources, as well as educate and share tips and promote fishing and hunting in a positive way..

If you want I can edit out the river's name(s) and you can continue to discuss this issue, or we can just leave it ....

I am not going to rant about what I see, have seen and continue to see. and what I see for the future.... It's obvious.. As others have chimed in. I don't even bother to visit or check other social media outlets, because the arguments, trolls, bashing and foul mouthed interactions, are a complete turn-off, and I am embarrassed to call many of these individuals - fellow fishermen.

But in short - YES, as an avid steelheader -- in the past 20 years, the returns in our rivers have gone down greatly, especially "wild" rivers with natural reproduction.

Peace out..

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dan66
Posted: Mar 24, 2021 - 03:24 pm


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agreed,
grew up fishing both rivers.
wife and i now have a cottage just north of the NINE.
and its an absolute gong show not even on weekends, both rivers.

was up checking on the place on weekend and took kids for a hike, river is LOW for this time of year ( IMO) - ground is hard enough golf carts are on the golf courses already.
the rain thats coming isn't gunna BLOW the water shed the way you think it might.
the big blow already happened, but will be enough to put some much needed colour in it, and get some fish less skittish.
to say the #'s of fish on these rivers is declining is a understatement, i have found.
put in my share of hours, yes some good days for sure, but they seem to be more few and far between in past 3-4 years.

usually get up a bunch , with young kids, its not as easy as it once was.
will post a report next time im up to see if i can help provide some river conditions for guys.
i likely will not post results , but you will be able to read between the lines.


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Jimmyspoons
Posted: Mar 24, 2021 - 07:28 pm


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understood

I won't post again.

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Fishnhunt
Posted: Mar 24, 2021 - 08:18 pm


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Good discussion though.....thanks for leaving it up metalbuckle.

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maitlandman
Posted: Mar 24, 2021 - 10:32 pm


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First off, my apologies jimmyspoons. after re-reading my response i want to make clear that it was reactionary and generalized statement based on my own personal views about the state of S/O steelhead and rivers, the maitland in particular, and in no way meant to be directed individually at you. Also it was certainly not intended to discourage you from posting whatever you want whenever you feel like it.
all i really meant to get at is how much steelhead fishing has suffered in such a short time as a result of a change in attitude and rational about what constitutes a "good outing" and a drastic shift in what the "motive/purpose" of even taking the time to do it in the first place is.
It really has become almost a trendy thing whether people acknowledge that or not. A marketing machine. The new hipster-like cool. They look like they play for a professional team out there these days. Setups worth more than my truck. 25 slightly different and colour coordinated leader lines. Gotta be 50 different steelhead hat and merch companies..

I imagine there are many non steelhead fishermen when thinking on their favorite piece of ice, back lake, small wild trout stream or crown land trail automatically understand the sentiment and in many cases know the feeling of watching it blow up first hand...

In reference to my comment on the put and takes i meant the vast majority of GTA rivers as well as many of the huron and gbay tribs are supplemented through stocking via organization run hatcheries and grant programs not directly affiliated with the MNR but with their approval and at times passive assistance. A significant number of these also now host next to no naturally reproducing steelhead.

Sidenote - rearing/stocking numbers that were drastically reduced this past spring due to covid will also be evident before we know it in those same rivers putting even more pressure on less fish everywhere. The Wild ones too.

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Disco
Posted: Mar 28, 2021 - 10:54 am


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I donít disagree at all that many Steelhead runs are way down due to over harvest. We should have a tag system in place for harvest.

As far as the vast majority of SO river being supplemented with stocking thatís not true at all. Most SO rivers and creeks receive no stocking at all and are wild fish. Some larger systems like the Credit, Humber, Ganny and a couple of others do receive some stocked fish. The Credit is a destroyed fishery because fish cannot reach proper spawning but even then only 10% of the annual run is from stocked fish.

Ontario does not properly protect Steelhead because they just donít care about this introduced species to the degree it should be cared for.

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Berger
Posted: Mar 28, 2021 - 11:13 am


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2 X "People with a genuine interest in and passion for wild anadromous fish should take a hard look at our own west coast as well as Oregon, Washington and California for a glimpse of what's to come.... " - Amin.

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Duxx
Posted: Mar 28, 2021 - 03:41 pm


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Steelhead fishing is fishing is catch 22. Let's be reasonable especially on lake O, most guys bonk hens for bait not because there are hungry. I have been fishing steelhead from before center pins existed here let allow breathable waders. This covid deal has only made it worse. If you have a YouTube channel and an underdeveloped ego that you need stroked by likes and views you should stop if you like catching bows.. How steelheaders can afford all the gear I don't know because they don't ever seem to be at work. This year even weekdays were crazy midday. I show up to 25 cars in a lot that traditionally had 6 at 3 pm. The you tubers should drive past the st Mary's and make there video up there. Back grounds in posts should be taken down.

The tag system will never work here. I have property in the Atlantic salmon mecca and seeing a C.O. or a deputy is not an "IF" its When. You have to book a section of river to fish. I have little faith in a self policing tag system. There is an established etiquette there of allowing other angler to rotate through a pool even if fishing is good. And of course Flys only. Here I think catch and relarease is the best option for the future but then where does to roe come from to catch more bows?

I learned rivers by driving checking and making note of the conditions. Its been a downhill slide since floatfishing

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ronnie
Posted: Mar 28, 2021 - 08:38 pm


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Im not sure why folks moan and complain . I posted a couple of years ago the mathematics of why there is such a decline in fish being caught.
The bottom line is that the west rivers do get stocked and are fishing ok whereas the only east and northern rivers get nothing (except a token 8/10k in the Rouge. Natural reproduction which is a buzz word from the so called gurus at the Ministry is a farce .
I have done the math on this and in my opinion there is an approx 60/70% negative value between what is caught each year and "natural reproduction". Within 5/10 years there will be so few rainbows and on that day you will see the MNR jumping for joy. Atlantics/suckers and lake trout will be there utopia

Its only because of the USA that we have any Bows or Salmon because of the agreements that our side have to adhere too..

I have witnessed salmon fry that have been raised all winter with our tax dollars and then pumped and dumped into the lake at midday so the cormorants can eat every last, one is a testament to our ministries long term plan .

(Just look at the Atlantic fiasco in the credit and now in the Ganaraska )

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maitlandman
Posted: Mar 29, 2021 - 08:15 am


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To clarify, my post stated the vast majority of GTA rivers and MANY GBay and Huron rivers receive supplementary stocking, not that the vast majority of ALL S/O rivers are stocked nor that all fish present in said rivers are stock fish.
I also stated that those not receiving this supplementary stocking when compared to those that do have seen their return numbers significantly diminish as a result of many factors including harvesting.
Both statements are true.
There is a ton of readily available info from government reports, great lakes reports, special interest groups rearing/stocking numbers, fish ladder counting/tagging etc. to corroborate both.

Also worth considering is that a lot of the smaller systems are assumed to be receiving fish stocked not in the rivers themselves by conservation/local interest groups, but in the great lakes as outlined by ronnie in his response.

While I understand that the lack of suitable spawning grounds and/or the ability for fish to reach these grounds obviously plays a significant role along with a host of other issues, originally I was just addressing the harvesting of wild fish from tribs that dont specifically receive hatchery reared smolts and the "fad" steelhead fishing has become.
I concede the scope of the problem is WAY larger than just that.

As for the Credit, it is a destroyed fishery for a vast number of reasons that include but are not limited to lack of spawning ground access.
Pollution, fishing pressure, water temps, retroactive changes in urban zoning and environmental protection laws to name only a few.
Just look at what happened with David Crombie and the Greenbelt Council, then almost to the lower Duffins watershed until they realized there was resistance on that one and the optics were bad so Amazon decided to dial it back.

It may be true that only 10% of the Credit run are so called stock fish. I am not sure to be honest.
If so, what if that data is also relevant to and reflective of the facts that the run itself is probably 10% of what it even fairly recently was or the possibility that the stat may include taking at face value the decision to consider "wild" fish milked and eggs reared by organizations for the sole purpose of attempting to sustain a run as truly wild when presenting numbers to the public...
If the flashy Atlantic salmon reintroduction program at the expense of the rest of the anadromous fish in the Credit is any indicator then all may not be as it seems.

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