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> Salmon stocking approach
longfish
Posted: Apr 04, 2023 - 01:31 pm


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I am a rookie to salmon and I am finding this discussion very interesting. I think we need to share all our views, they are much appreciated by me. That is how we all learn. Disco thank you for what you have shared and please continue to share more. My opinions are always open for change from information that is new to me.

Arnie

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MarkDv
Posted: Apr 04, 2023 - 03:45 pm


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QUOTE
The salmon should be pen raised up river in a suitable cold water area to allow them to imprint properly and return to spawn and bolster the low numbers in the west end. The carrying capacity of specifically the Credit is massive compared to the run numbers.

I wonít argue this, you know it better.
However if you really believe that salmon returns to the same spot in the river for spawning (which I, personally, think could happen only as accidental occurrence rather than high probability event) then, theoretically, there could be an issue to release 30K of fingerlings in the single spot of the creek (and even worse, as you mentioned, to raise fingerlings in the pen in the upper section of the creek) because you then should expect that all of them who will be able to return will occupy the same portion of the creek and as such there will be competition for spawning.

Generally, Iím not a big fan of many MNRís policies and practices, but Iím trying to be unbiased and find the info for support or opposition. So far I see very inconclusive evidence for the topic we discuss.
As for what you say that MNR sacrifices the proper stocking practices of pacific salmons in favor of atlantic I personally wouldnít mind at all to see atlantic instead of pacific given the same amount of fish available in the lake. But from what I learned so far, atlantic is more difficult to raise in hatcheries and it has a poorer rate of return (compared to chinook) and some other issues. So itís very unlikely to happen in my life. In meantime, if MNR work hard to introduce sustainable population of atlantic and still support the same quality fishing for chinookÖ I donít see much problem with that. If you do, please elaborate a bit more.

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Disco
Posted: Apr 04, 2023 - 05:51 pm


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Personally I donít see an issue with having both Pacific fish and Atlantics. I love them all.

As far as returning to the same river and even the same section of the river it has been studied and proven but I donít have the studies.
What I have experienced first hand is the Goldstream run on Victoria. They have a great resource Center there also explaining the entire run. Itís incredible the run of Pinks, Chum,Steelhead, Coho and Chinooks. All return to not only the same section but the species donít overlap more than a 100 yards. The lower has all the Pinks spawning. Above that either itís Chinook first or Coho first but I canít remember which. The fish though natural selection have pretty much divided up the river naturally. Itís a great place to study as there is almost no fishing at all. Itís illegal for anyone to fish except one ancestral Indigenous tribe. Even that tribe can only use primitive methods of net, hook or spear from what I read when I was there.

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longfish
Posted: Apr 04, 2023 - 07:19 pm


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QUOTE (Disco @ Apr 04, 2023 - 05:51 pm)
Personally I donít see an issue with having both Pacific fish and Atlantics. I love them all.

As far as returning to the same river and even the same section of the river it has been studied and proven but I donít have the studies.
What I have experienced first hand is the Goldstream run on Victoria. They have a great resource Center there also explaining the entire run. Itís incredible the run of Pinks, Chum,Steelhead, Coho and Chinooks. All return to not only the same section but the species donít overlap more than a 100 yards. The lower has all the Pinks spawning. Above that either itís Chinook first or Coho first but I canít remember which. The fish though natural selection have pretty much divided up the river naturally. Itís a great place to study as there is almost no fishing at all. Itís illegal for anyone to fish except one ancestral Indigenous tribe. Even that tribe can only use primitive methods of net, hook or spear from what I read when I was there.

Maybe we should send our MNR there.

Arnie

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MarkDv
Posted: Apr 04, 2023 - 08:56 pm


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Well, you see, for the last decade or so I had the opportunity to carefully read or just get through dozens, if not hundreds of biology related articles, from medical stuff related to my and my wife's health issues to the theory of evolution, genetics etc.
What I have learned is that the quality of big amounts of studies is very low, especially in the zoology field, but what is more important is the interpretation of the results.
One may set up a good, ingenious experiment and get the valid result but interpret it far beyond its validity.
I can give you a few examples.
QUOTE

As far as returning to the same river and even the same section of the river it has been studied and proven
The lower has all the Pinks spawning. Above that either itís Chinook first or Coho

Suppose we have here the study which was performed correctly and the result is valid. You can assume here that this choice of specific section of the river is due to imprinting because we know for sure that salmon returns to the specific river by imprinting its geomagnetic and olfactory ďcoordinates" or features.
From here you make an assumption that the Ďconditioningí of young fish in the upper section is a necessity.
But while we certainly know that geomagnetic field and smell play a big role in salmon orientation we donít know (or at least I couldnít see it yet) if salmon choose the specific section of the river due to its imprinting feature or, on the contrary, just because it is more suitable for the spawning for specific species and as such they are driven by instinct but not imprinting.
And moreover, in any case it does not mean that not conditioned (in the upper section of the river) salmon will have poorer rate return and overall poorer reproduction rate.
That should be proved in separate study. And this is what Iím looking for right now.
Another example.
I mentioned earlier the pioneer study (in 1976) which showed that salmon can orient by smell into specific tributaries that exhibit the same smell which was introduced to the young fish in the hatchery.
Does it really mean that the smell is only or even the main feature for salmon orientation to choose the tributary? I donít see it this way.
If the young fish was raised with the presence of strong olfactory stimulus and that stimulus was later (during salmonís spawning period, with high level of specific hormons presented in fish), was found in the water flow it may be the main driving force. Especially considering that fish was not conditioned in natural environment. But that may not be the case in nature where no strong single stimulus is present but instead are many weak ones.
Saying all that, I'm really skeptical when reading popular scientific literature and very rigorous when reading the actual science.
But at the same time I tend to trust field biologists with good on-hands experience. Thatís why Iím trying to find some info to justify different stocking approaches because I tend to believe that MNRís biologists rather know what they are doing than not.
On the other hand, I know how much political hype and social bogeys can influence science and practice.
As I see it, the switch from stocking salmon to stocking lake trout is a good (means really bad) example of this.

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MarkDv
Posted: Apr 04, 2023 - 09:12 pm


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BTW, if salmon yearlings being released directly into the lake are less prone to enter the river for spawning than those released in the upper section, wouldn't that mean that this fish will spend one or few years more in the lake and as such grow bigger and may have bigger chances to be caught by anglers?
Is it not what anglers and maybe MNR are looking for?

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MarkDv
Posted: Apr 05, 2023 - 01:45 pm


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Here is an interesting document from South border of LO
Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Stocking Strategy.
https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf...ingstrategy.pdf
A couple of things here caught my attention.
Firstly, it seems to me that there is a huge difference in the numbers presented in this document and the map I posted earlier from the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.
For example, for chinook, for 2022 the map shows only 41.5K from Ontario side and nothing from the NY side while in the Stocking Strategy it is 895K from the NY side only.

Table 1. New Yorkís Lake Ontario stocking allocations in 2022.
Chinook salmon 895,600
Steelhead 505,200
Brown trout 480,000
Lake trout 320,000
Coho salmon 135,000
Atlantic salmon 150,000
Total 2,485,800
Iím probably missing something here and if anyone could find it please post it.


The other thing is directly related to our discussion here.
The pen-reared fish stocking approach is used specifically to maximize the fish survival and confirm Discoís opinion that pen-reared chinook strategy is used for fishery support only. However they still will try to use this strategy for atlantic salmon

Concentrating Chinook salmon stocking to a few locations with higher numbers of fish should provide improved staging and tributary fisheries at major fishing ports. Additionally, all stocked Chinook salmon will be pen-reared or Salmon River broodstock (which perform similarly to pen-reared fish). Maximizing pen-rearing should provide improved survival of stocked fish and improved fishing quality during all phases of the fishery.

Atlantic salmon stocking is being done in an experimental fashion to determine the best methods and locations for providing adult returns to Lake Ontario tributaries. Atlantic salmon stocking will focus on spring yearlings, stocking fish close to the stream mouth, stocking fish at temperatures near 46-50 degrees F, experimenting with pen-rearing, and evaluating a new low thiamine tolerant strain of Atlantic salmon

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Disco
Posted: Apr 05, 2023 - 03:02 pm


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If youíre asking why NY stocking number are ten times or more than Ontario I know the answer.

The agreements between NY and Ontario determined that Ontario produces massive amounts of wild fish because our rivers have the correct habitat. Most NY river with the exception of the Salmon river have little to no reproduction.

The agreements were put in place with this point considered. I believe they also took population into account but am not really sure.

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