NFR Emergency closure on the Nooksack!!!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Nathan Weston, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. underachiever

    underachiever !

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    That's rich, the entity who is supposed to help ensure there's fishing opportunity is the reason the river is closed.
     
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  2. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Stonefish, The hatchery plant are much larger than their wild cousins and more aggressive pushing them off the good feeding lies.
     
  3. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Occupy Nooksack.
     
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  4. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    "From Marblemount Hatchery on the Skagit (data for 1999-2010):
    1) The worst hatchery steelhead year was 2003 with a cost of $942 per harvested hatchery steelhead

    2) The best hatchery steelhead year was 2002 with a cost of $148 per harvested hatchery steelhead

    3) The average cost per harvested hatchery steelhead for all 12 years was $488 "

    What are the numbers (Data) that determines these results??
     
  5. jake-e-boy

    jake-e-boy No mas

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  6. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    Chris,
    Thanks for the reply.
    That was part of my thoughts behind planting fry versus smolts. Perhaps planting them as fry may help even out the playing field.
    What is worse for wild steelhead, planting 30K smolts or 30K fry? Neither are great but I'd think the fry would has less effect on wild fish.
    Make it so the hatchery fry either compete or perish without giving them the added benefit of being fed or released as a larger smolt.

    I know in many stillwaters I fish the fry plants seem to produce a much better quality fish then the catchables. Growing in a more natural enviroment can't hurt. Perhaps it could work for steelhead as well.

    With the terrible ROI's being stated in this thread, it might be worth a try from a cost savings standpoint.

    Just my thoughts. Perhaps Smalma or others could chime in on this as I'm certainly no biologist.
    SF
     
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  7. hookedonthefly

    hookedonthefly Active Member

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    The cost per hatchery harvested steelhead took into account a $1.00 per smolt cost x the number of smolts released = total dollar smolt amount. Divide total dollar smolt plant costs by the number of harvested hatchery steelhead and there you have it.

    So, in the worst year on the Nooksack 2009, we had 146,599 smolts or $146,599. There were 59 hatchery fish harvested. $146,599 divided by 59 equals $2,484.73 per harvested hatchery steelhead in 2009 on the Nooksack river.

    Bill based the $1.00 smolt cost on numbers from the State of Oregon Columbia river hatchery programs as well as estimated smolt costs for the Great Lakes programs. There is not such information available for Washington hatcheries apparently; or, they just don't want us to know.

    Included in this smolt cost number is feed cost, annual hatchery operating and personnel and annual maintenance and repair. It does not appear that initial construction or major hatchery upgrade expenses were included in the Oregon or Great Lakes hatchery numbers. So, this may be a low estimate of what a smolt actually costs in this analysis.

    Stunning picture isn't it.
    Ed
     
  8. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    "The cost per hatchery harvested steelhead took into account a $1.00 per smolt cost x the number of smolts released = total dollar smolt amount. Divide total dollar smolt plant costs by the number of harvested hatchery steelhead and there you have it.

    So, in the worst year on the Nooksack 2009, we had 146,599 smolts or $146,599. There were 59 hatchery fish harvested. $146,599 divided by 59 equals $2,484.73 per harvested hatchery steelhead in 2009 on the Nooksack river."

    Very CREATIVE indeed...

    I'm sure if I wanted to create "gloom n doom", I'd use the same "logic" that someone took the time to dream up with this math equation.

    How sad!!!

    BTW...did it take into consideration, the number of tags purchased, the number of people fished the river, the number of hours fished, and the number of tags returned to the fish & game agency to come up with "rate of return"???

    How many total fish returned and how many escaped the fisherman's onslaught???
     
  9. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Stonefish -
    Folks have experiment with steelhead fry releases to enhance steelhead populations for years. In fact the earliest steelhead hatchery efforts (early 1900s) would put a weir across a tributary stream, collect adults, spawn them, and release the resulting fry back into the stream (and elsewhere). Typically such programs would last 6 to 8 years before they ran out of returning adults and needed to move some other stream that still had returning wild adults - the return from those releases was essentially zero. It was not until the old Department of Game figured out that they needed to rear young steelhead to smolt size (about 1950) did the hatchery programs begin producing significant returns. Remember form the early 1950s to the late 1980s the release of hatchery smolts (of acceptable size) were pretty successful in getting adult steelhead back to rivers. In 1983/84 the estimate of the hatchery return to the Snohomish system was over 26,000 adults (it is that kind of success that probably still drives some of the desire to continue to release hatchery fish with the hope marine survival conditions would improve).

    Studies 30 and 40 years ago looked at the fate of steelhead fry released in streams (sorry don't have a citation). The basic finding was that only those fry that were able to find rearing "niches" in the first 100 meters or so were able to establish territories the rest simply disappeared. To successfully introduce fry one would have literally release a handful of fry every 100 meters or so (still expecting most to simply disappear immediately); those few that found rear areas still would have to survival the same sort of mortality that the wild fish (remember just a fraction of 1% of the eggs a female puts in the gravel will survive to return as an adult.

    More to the point the release of hatchery fry in the wild would have significant hatchery/wild impacts. Frist question would be where to get the eggs (if hatchery brood stock is used and the fry scattered through out the system there would be no collection point. Using wild fish for brood stock would simply be a mining exercise of the wild population that would likely produce fewer returning adults than if the wild brood stock was left to do their own thing. Further any fry that were so lucky to find a rearing niche would become direct competitors to the wild for the two years it would take for them to become smolts.

    In short replacing the hatchery steelhead with a fry program would like produce fewer returning adults than the current program (is a negative return possible LOL) with a dramatic increase in hatchery/wild interactions/impacts.

    Curt
     
  10. NateTreat

    NateTreat Banned or Parked

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    My point is that they need to put a million in to make good numbers, or shut the thing down. That's unrealistic, so they need to shut it down and make it catch and release after the coho are done.
     
  11. hookedonthefly

    hookedonthefly Active Member

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    Yep...gloom n doom indeed. Out of those 146,599 smolt released. There were 59 fish harvested and another 109 that actually made it back to the hatchery. Pretty piss poor performance. The Kendall creek winter steelhead hatchery program is absolutely pathetic.

    Total return = 168 Kendall creek hatchery steelhead...period.
     
  12. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    Never hoppen, grasshopper. That would require an educated assessment of the problem and rule out the politics and making some hard decision.
     
  13. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Last count there were 32 steelhead @ the hatchery, out of 100,000+ released.
     
  14. golfman44

    golfman44 4-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year

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    That wouldn't change anything. The rivers can't even support the current planting levels. Adding more would do nothing. Until the hatcheries stop selling the vast majority of carcassees to businesses who turn them into food for cats/humans, the overwhelming majority of plants will continue to die due to being placed in a river system that is incapable of supporting them. They need to start throwing all carcasses back into the river system
     
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  15. kjsteelhead

    kjsteelhead Member

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    So do the Kendall Creek hatchery steelhead stray enough as to warrant closing down the South Fork in case North Fork Fish head up, say "Whoops!" then head back down and then up the North Fork to the hatchery?