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Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR

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Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR
This pretty much sums up what it used to be like...spring to fall!

https://www.greatlakesfisherman.com/...e-is-on-south-shore/


Now, we are in year fifty of the lake trout restoration initiative...with four of the five Great Lakes still below restoration goal of 62% natural reproduction fish per 1000' of experimental gill net. But the joint effort has reduced the alewife stock from one with 8-9 year classes of spawning age adults down to one and some change. Did I mention that a legal length lake trout from the lower Great Lakes is a do not consume fish in the Michigan Fish Consumption Advisory...you have to appreciate ill-conceived native fish restoration programs, under taken with tax payer monies for decades without end...
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
I don't know anything about the great lakes fisheries, but that was a nice stick that was caught about 6 minutes in.
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
They "fight" like a walleye or a lake trout...
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
As a kid, even on into the early eighties, I remember slaying them in the feeder rivers of Lake Erie. Around the mouths, they could be caught on traditional lures, and bait, but once they started the run, it was snagging only. Not very sporting, but productive. I guess, the DNR decided the payout vs return wasn't good enough.

Jon

"Each decoy you touch holds memories of, past, present and God Willing, future hunts. The places, birds, men, boats, dogs and days you spent doing what you so dearly love and enjoy"- Vince Pagliaorli
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
I've caught a few sticks myself, so I couldn't resist. So I need to ask-is he salmonid program no longer going in the Great Lakes? Or is it just cut back? I may need to find this out as my daughter starts at MSU in the fall. But the fishing I really want to do is the Au Sable and the Boardman(I think). I'm a pretty avid fly fisher of trout , love tying flies and catching fish. I think those rivers are 3-4 hours from East Lansing, which would make for an interesting return ride to NJ, but might be worth it.
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
They still stock other Great Lakes, just not Erie anymore. I had some salmon caught out of Lake Ontario, earlier this dummer, that was absolutely delicious.

Jon

"Each decoy you touch holds memories of, past, present and God Willing, future hunts. The places, birds, men, boats, dogs and days you spent doing what you so dearly love and enjoy"- Vince Pagliaorli
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
First,why is any of this important or of value to you folks who live in other geographies? The Great Lakes contain over 20% of the World's fresh surface waters; a bigger deal than oil reserves down the road apiece, pard*!

The salmon stocking program that began in the late 1960's-first in the Platte River with silver salmon from the Green River and four years later with Chinook fingerlings stocked in a broader array of streams- has been quite successful and does still continue in a significantly reduced fashion, as does stocking of steelhead, and lake trout. Howard Tanner, then DNR Director and Wayne Tody, Fisheries Division Chief, notified the National Marine Fishery Service via a letter of intent that they would be acting on behalf of the population of Michigan to control invasive alewife numbers in Lake Michigan, hopefully converting the near-ubiquitous alewife stocks that lined the shoreline with a windrow of dead bodies through most of the summer, dying from endocrine system stress associated with spawning. As a marine invader, they were able to handle the difference in the osmotic characteristics of fresh water environments well enough to stay alive and spawn for several years before succumbing to die-offs which were sporadic, but significantly large enough to fowl most swimming beaches. The NMFS did not respond to the proof of concept submission, essentially abrogating their role in management oversight of the Great Lakes.

As a cohort of other Great Lakes states observed Michigan's Great Lakes sport fishery's explosive growth, they too, opted to begin their own Pacific Salmon rearing and planting programs, some buying fertilized eggs from Michigan's expanding hatcheries, others obtaining their own egg sources from the Pacific coastal streams. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service had just begun a two prong program to diminish populations of another Great Lakes invasive species, sea lamprey, which, along with a commercial fishery overfishing stocks of endemic whitefish, lake trout, walleye, and yellow perch stocks. The opted for TFM stream treatment, monitoring ammocoete's total body lipid content to determine treatment windows to kill them in the interval immediately prior them metamorphosing into transformer phase sea lamprey, the initially parasitic fish eating phase of their life cycle where they disperse to open water from tributaries and begin feeding on whitefish, trout and salmon.

This is where the tug-of-war between individual States rights to manage their sport fisheries via a species array to maximized their revenue streams, versus the newly formed Federal oversight program, operating under the International Great Lakes Fishery Commission's new unfurled banner, was first conceived and populated by Canadian and U.S. Federal level staffers and biologists who derived ZERO percent of their operating revenues from this burgeoning State level sport fishery. The GLFC determined a course of management that was solely focused on restoring indigenous species to the Great Lakes as the operative means of restoration, largely independent of the newly established sport fishery operating in each of the Great Lakes. Essentially, the Federal and State-level management programs were developed from the onset to operate at cross-purposes: lake trout restoration and sea lamprey eradication or, at least, population control versus a diverse sport fishery to maximized participation and consequent revenue stream to the States.

Uniquely, the lake trout restoration initiative was conceived from the start as a largely top-down management approach to fishery restoration: Put the fish in the system.
Improve water quality via Clean Air and Clean Water Acts legislation, passed during the Nixon Administration as Federal Law, and wait to see what happens over time.
Next to nothing was directed at stabilizing the damaged food webs of the Great Lakes initially or subsequently, until monitoring began to turn-up a growing array of invasive species, largely dispersed from salt water freighters emptying their ballast water within the system, rather than prior entering the St. Lawrence Seaway. This invasive species population burgeoned to an "alphabet soup" of invasive species, eventually adding dreissenid mussels from the ponto-Caspian area to the array; initially via a zebra mussel invasion and then as the quagga sp. mussels that now dominate the system. As Quagga sp. spread, marked declines in a large crustacean invertebrate, Diporeia affinis began to be noted, as did a large but lesser decline in the opossum shrimp, Mysis diluviana. Both of these two macro-crustaceans are the "work horses" involved in transporting nutrients and energy back into surface waters at night via their diel vertical migrations, and into the pelagic fish community.

Around 1980, anecdotal reports of juvenile Chinook and coho in a variety of streams in Lakes Michigan, Huron, Superior, and Ontario began to surface, eventually building to open lake stocks, subsets of the total populations of Chinook and coho which were still largely from hatchery stocks. Courtesy of overstocking of total salmonines in Lake Michigan and to a lesser degree Lake Huron, courtesy of the ensuing Bacterial Kidney Disease (BKD) outbreak, salmon stocks collapsed for nearly a decade in these two water bodies, despite a stupendously stupid initiative by Michigan Fisheries Division personnel to actually increase Chinook plants sequentially as smelt and alewife numbers declined and BKD incidence increased. Finally, every State fishery agency cut back on salmonine stocking rates, other than Federally funded lake trout plants, which were not surviving to spawning age anyway. Still, in any system other than Lake Superior. During this short window, expansion of naturally reproducing Chinook and coho salmon stocks began to increase at a steady pace. By resurgence of the overeaten alewife stocks in Lakes Michigan and Huron around 1990, the fishery and State level stocking began to increase again. Finally, around 2007-2007 fishery managers reached a concsensus that the combination of wild and hatchery origin Chinook and coho salmon were, again, too great a forage pressure on the alewife and smelt stocks which, while abundant were not as numerous as in previous intervals.

The concsensus among fisheries scientists and managers was building that dreissenid mussel colonies were acting as biologic sieves, sequestering nutrients as mussel innards and shell biomass within these now-massive quantities, stretching out to nearly 300FOW depths throughout the Great Lakes. Lake Michigan was once determined to be able to produce three times the fish biomass as Lake Superior, base solely on the difference between the two water bodies in their Calcium Carbonate Hardness values, was now only equivalent to Lake Superior in the post-dreissenid mussel invasion interval. Superior fishery managers achieved a self-sustaining lake trout stock within the basin sometime in the late 1990s, eventually opting for cessation of coho and Chinook stocking due to poor survival and a dwindling forage base. Why is Superior the only Great Lake that has achieved a sustainable lake trout population again? It has nearly zero quagga sp. mussels(small colony off the mouth of the St. Louis river near Superior/Duluth), and it has a nearly intact food web, quite close to its post-Pleistocene array, with Diporeia sp. and Mysis sp. still abundant. Sea Lamprey are held to near optimal numbers via lamprey control programs.

USFWS fishery researchers in conjunction with United States Geological Service fishery personnel, were finally able to determine that Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS) was adversely impacting survival of not only lake trout, but all salmonines in the Great Lakes. However, EMS acts most markedly on lake trout and atlantic salmon during early life stages. EMS is induced in these populations by fish feeding on high thiaminase content forage- rainbow smelt and alewife.

With alewife stocks in decline, Federal fishery managers were over-joyed. State level fishery managers...well, not so much. In the 2003, through 2006 interval, Lake Huron's alewife stock totally collapsed, despite the fact that Michigan DNR fishery managers had ample evidence that two things were occurring: A salmon stock that was too high, in terms of forage pressure for the alewife stock to survive. And a massive proportion of wild-origin Chinook salmon annually originating from Canadian shore tributaries in the basin. When they determined that the Chinook stock was three times what the forage base would support, the alewife population crash was well underway.

Did Dave Borgeson, Jr. and Jim Dexter learn anything from the Lake Huron collapse? Yes, duck and cover activities can enable you to keep your positions! Thus far, despite opposition from a variety of conservation and sportsman's groups, the Michigan Fisheries Division has been able to convince the GLFC's Lake Michigan Management Committee membership to continue to support a single species stocking reduction as the sole management tool to diminish forage pressure on the alewife and smelt stocks that carry the fish populations in Lake Michigan. The fascinating part of this occurred in late 2010 when Jim Dexter received the results of a Decision Analysis Model that he had commissioned the Quantitative Fishery Center at Michigan State University to develop to model what stocking arrays of salmonines would best achieve a 100Kt alewife stock (deemed enough alewife to provide the bulk of the forage base while minimizing EMS incidence in lake trout and atlantic salmon) in Lake Michigan. Each of the four final stocking array options developed from an initial 25, were run 100 iterations to determine likelihood of outcome over a five year interval post-enactment and presented to the Public for a stakeholder vote. Option 4, a mixed species array had the best likelihood of achieving the desired alewife stock without significantly diminishing catch rates within the sport fishery's multi-species array. Stakeholder, sportsman's groups, and conservation agencies voted to support Option 4. The GLFC's Lake Michigan Management Comm. opted for Option 2, a single species reduction based solely on Chinook stocking reductions... Why? AFTER development fishery personnel in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan EVENTUALLY realized that enacting a multi-species array in immediate stocking reductions would entail them throwing away existing hatchery stock that was in the system in these multi-year rearing programs: lake trout (5-7years), Steelhead (3-5 years). coho salmon (18months), Chinook salmon (6months). Chinook salmon fry are dirt cheap, about sixty-cents apiece in cost to rear to release. NOT a single fishery manager had the resolve to do what was biologically sound, but not politically defensible-from their collective perspective... The one thing that did come out of these meetings was that the stocking management decision interval was FINALLY changed from every five years to every three years, due to the overwhelming evidence that Chinook salmon in the Great Lakes spawn on-average every 3.5 years (six months in hatchery) rather than every five years. The wild-origin stock component is now closing-in of 70% of the open lake population, a much smaller proportion of total fish than five years ago.

What is the current status of the alewife and smelt stocks, you ask? They are teetering on the brink of collapse, with one year-class and some change(older year-class remnants) carrying reproductive potential and stock expansion forward. How can this be, since Chinook stocking has been cut in 2000, 2005, 2010, 2013, 2016. Oddly, the Red Flags Matrix Model and QFC's Decision Analysis Models were dropped in favor of a new guidance model focused solely on alewife biomass and Chinook biomass, despite stable isotope analysis of lake trout that indicates that lake trout preferentially feed on adult alewife, despite the abundance of juveniles in the populations lake wide due to decimation of the adult spawning stocks. Adult alewife move to depths generally greater than 150FOW where the now very abundant lake trout stocks eat their way through the adult stock component...the one that spawns and carries the population. Smelt stocks have gone the same way as the alewife population. Lake trout are still not at self-sustaining population goals in any Great Lake other than Superior, Chinook continue to spawn and survive as "exotics" in all Great Lakes except Erie. Steelhead have now been determined via Coded Wire Tag studies to be the most second most significant alewife predator behind lake trout in Michigan, Huron, and Ontario.

Round goby? Yup. They are incredibly abundant. They largely carry the walleye, smallmouth, and perch populations in Lake Erie. Nearly every salmonine eats them in Lakes Ontario, Michigan, and huron, except Chinook and most coho. Their down side? Alewife and smelt are roughly equivalent in energy density at comparable total lengths, round goby in Lake Michigan are roughly half of an equivalent length alewife or smelt in total Kcal. content. Lake Huron round goby have a lower total Kcal. density per unit length than Lake Huron fish-remember, Lake Huron is the receiving body for infertile Lake Superior's outflow. Round Goby begin to feed exclusively on Quagga sp. mussels at around age III. Very few round goby do not get eaten to attain age III status in any of the Great Lakes.

You can keep an 18" lake trout in Lake Michigan after catching it. It is not recommended to eat it...per the Fish Consumption Advisory. PCB-like congeners are the culprit, followed by Methyl-Hg. Currently, a spawning phase Chinook carries slightly less methyl-mercury as a total body burden concentration...and it reproduces naturally. Who should be the keystone species in a restoration initiative that has made no effort at food web recovery over its fifty-plus year history? The USFWS and USGS advocate for lake trout. The States advocate for Pacific Salmon. One agency derives none of its income from Dingell-Johnson monies or fishing license revenues. The other fish and game management agencies rely on these revenue sources or well over sixty-percent of their operating monies, annually. How odd, there seems to be a pattern here...

The USFWS and USGS, together with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission(Treaty of 1842), and the Chippewa Ottawa Regulatory Authority(treaty of 1936 signatories) are now advocating for a lake herring resurgence and restocking program to replace the severely depleted alewife stocks as a forage source(remember, no one is still doing anything to restore the food web) in Lakes Huron and Michigan, based on a stock of cisco that is spreading slowly in northern Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay. This is "big doings status" and front burner now!!!! Call and talk to Jory Jonas at the Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station. She will provide you with a fascinating powerpoint presentation that documents that this cisco stock is a genetic amalgam of several remnant lake herring populations that mixed together as their endemic stocks dwindled due to sea lamprey predation and over-fishing, spawning on substrate in some areas and pelagically in others. Rather than feeding on predominantly on macro-invertebrates and zooplankton like historic parent stocks, it feeds on round goby to a significant degree. Nonetheless, the USFWS, USGS, CORA, and GLIFWC have shoved-through a cisco restoration program in Lake Huron, using remnant shoal spawning stocks from the Las Cheneaux Islands area, relocating these gametes to waters offshore of outer Saginaw Bay. Oh, did I mention that historically there were lake Herring populations in this area...but absolutely now evidence that walleye or yellow perch ate them for the seasonal forage they are meant to provide via this re-stocking program. CORA biologist and commercial fishery, Mark Ebener, is advocating for a "limited" commercial fishery developed on this remnant stock for tribal fisher participation, as part of the egg taking operation.

I forgot to mention...for the first time in recorded fishery history, lake whitefish stocks in Lake Huron are now feeding on round goby (12%) in monitoring studies. All commercially fish stocks in Lake Huron continue to decline in both US and Canadian waters.

* pard- local colloquialism for partner; originated and derived from the underground hard rock miners who could not see the man working next to them to identify them, generally referring to them as, Partner, shortened to Pard. Eh Pard, voiced by and among folks of Scandinavian descent is a general term of familiarity and endearment Michigan's Yoop.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: May 1, 2019, 5:37 AM
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
Very interesting read. Thanks for taking the time to compose and submit
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
This post needs pics of Kings from back in the day. I'm thinking: mullets (hair style - not fish), healthy tans, cut off jeans and luhr Jensen tackle!
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
tod osier wrote:
This post needs pics of Kings from back in the day. I'm thinking: mullets (hair style - not fish), healthy tans, cut off jeans and luhr Jensen tackle!


+1 I resembled that in my short Michigan exile in the early 90's, though I do not have any photos.

As with most industrial scale efforts to stock non-native fish , there are a multitude of perspectives on the past, present, and future salmonid fisheries in the Great Lakes. And the issues go way beyond lake trout restoration vs. Pacific salmon sport fish management. The entire ecology of the Great Lakes is different today than it was back in the 1980's--and that was, in part, the goal of the Pacific salmon stocking.

I got this book for Christmas and thought it was a great read on the tremendous difficulties of trying to manage a system as unique as the Great Lakes for multiple use: The Life and Death of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan. Alewives, lampreys, lake trout decline, introduced salmonids, other invasive fish ranging from round gobies to Asian carp, zebra and quagga mussels, nutrient discharges, algae blooms, water level management and other issues are all covered.

https://www.amazon.com/...aps%2C159&sr=1-1

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
Jeff Reardon wrote:
tod osier wrote:
This post needs pics of Kings from back in the day. I'm thinking: mullets (hair style - not fish), healthy tans, cut off jeans and luhr Jensen tackle!


+1 I resembled that in my short Michigan exile in the early 90's, though I do not have any photos.

As with most industrial scale efforts to stock non-native fish , there are a multitude of perspectives on the past, present, and future salmonid fisheries in the Great Lakes. And the issues go way beyond lake trout restoration vs. Pacific salmon sport fish management. The entire ecology of the Great Lakes is different today than it was back in the 1980's--and that was, in part, the goal of the Pacific salmon stocking.

I got this book for Christmas and thought it was a great read on the tremendous difficulties of trying to manage a system as unique as the Great Lakes for multiple use: The Life and Death of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan. Alewives, lampreys, lake trout decline, introduced salmonids, other invasive fish ranging from round gobies to Asian carp, zebra and quagga mussels, nutrient discharges, algae blooms, water level management and other issues are all covered.

https://www.amazon.com/...aps%2C159&sr=1-1


People seem to be overlooking the new potential trophy Goby fishery.

I read that book.
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
tod osier wrote:
I read that book.


Did it make you want to slit your wrists? It was a pretty depressing read.

Brings to mind this quote from Aldo Leopold:
?One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.?

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
Jeff Reardon wrote:
tod osier wrote:
I read that book.


Did it make you want to slit your wrists? It was a pretty depressing read.

Brings to mind this quote from Aldo Leopold:
?One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.?


I read a lot and I read a LOT of depressing shit. I found that not too much more depressing than my standard. Ohio is getting their stuff together.
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
Jeff Reardon wrote:
tod osier wrote:
This post needs pics of Kings from back in the day. I'm thinking: mullets (hair style - not fish), healthy tans, cut off jeans and luhr Jensen tackle!



+1 I resembled that in my short Michigan exile in the early 90's, though I do not have any photos.

As with most industrial scale efforts to stock non-native fish , there are a multitude of perspectives on the past, present, and future salmonid fisheries in the Great Lakes. And the issues go way beyond lake trout restoration vs. Pacific salmon sport fish management. The entire ecology of the Great Lakes is different today than it was back in the 1980's--and that was, in part, the goal of the Pacific salmon stocking.

I got this book for Christmas and thought it was a great read on the tremendous difficulties of trying to manage a system as unique as the Great Lakes for multiple use: The Life and Death of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan. Alewives, lampreys, lake trout decline, introduced salmonids, other invasive fish ranging from round gobies to Asian carp, zebra and quagga mussels, nutrient discharges, algae blooms, water level management and other issues are all covered.https://www.amazon.com/...aps%2C159&sr=1-1[/quote[/url]]

The argument for management programs focused on native fish restoration efforts in large water bodies undergoing multiple use is based on a failed paradigm. Yes, the USFWS and TU have failed to grasp that, yet!

I just attended a TU sponsored fishery forum on Lake Superior. I was amazed to find that sediment traps are now universely regarded as a waste by our TU chapter. Had they actually read and comprehended the study they cite, they would have seen the qualifier and the data that supported the author's conclusion that: in streams that don't have significant upstream deforestation or cutting that increases sediment transport and runoff to the watershed, sediment traps generally contribute to bank erosion and remodeling downstream of the site.

I have read much of Dan Egan's reporting, Yes, he is a reporter, not a fish biologist, nor fishery researcher or a fishery manager. Do you have a plumber come over to wire your house because he understands the physics of electricity flow? I find his take on events similar to be what he has been fed via conversations with fishery managers, politicians, et al...oh, well, that is your choice. Did you folks out in Maine ever look at EMS caused by smelt ingestion as a factor in native salmon stock declines? What does that bring the total to, three potential causative contributors outside of smelt predation on YOY and larvae? Our trout lakes have warmed by four to five degrees over the last couple decades, which largely takes rainbow trout out of the picture as a fishery component. Say, aren't you kids in northern Maine at the same latitude range as the U.P.?


Actually, Jeff, the position paper Tanner and Tody submitted to the National Marine Fishery Service stated the goal of the Pacific salmon introduction program was to convert alewife as a forage stock into a viable sport fishery resource for the population of the State of Michigan, as well as other Great Lakes states. What remained unchecked, largely by Federal oversight error and right-out intervention was the continued inflow and colonization of the Great Lakes by over 100 invasive species identified to date, mostly invertebrates. That invasive introduction that was ecosystem altering, despite all other non-natives was Quagga sp. mussels. Their spread an the consequent restrictions in energy flow, as well as the nutrient sink that their colonies have become, aide by their co-occurring Ponto-Caspian round gobies an Echinogammarus sp. amphipods have had a marked constrictive effect on primary productivity in Lakes Huron, Michigan, Erie, and Ontario. Instead of transport back into surface waters during periods of thermal equilibrium in spring and fall there, we have essentially bound these nutrients within these mussel colonies within a meter of the substrate where pseudofeces packets excreted by Quagga sp mussels are cycled by Echinogammarus sp. invasive amphipods who are fed on by round goby which seldom venture more than a meter or two up into the water column around these colonies. This phenomena changed the dynamic within Lakes Huron, Michigan and Ontario, improving light penetration, which caused a partial offset in production and productivity since addition substrate became part of the photic zone, colonized by periphyton. The Nitrogen and phosphorus that cycle tightly within these exported mini-ecosystems from the ponto-Caspian region function to induce the marked growth of filamentous algal species, much of them blue-greens, which sluff-off to form rolling mats during storms that accumulate in benthic depressions, undergoin bacterial mediated decay which drives dissolved oxygen down in their immediate vicinity, forming "dead zones". Declines in green, browns and desmid phytoplankton transfer to shifts in zooplankton to seasonal stocks dominated by cyclopoid species rather than the larger and more nutritious calanoids like Bosmina sp. an Daphnia sp. Invasive spiny water fleas, Bugensis sp. an Cercopagis sp. further ravage zooplankton stocks via predation lake wide. Declines in the three YO and up age classes of alewife, which feed on these invasives are now significantly diminished or gone, so their "blooms" expand and dominate for much of the summer season in the lower Great Lakes, further diminishing calanoids that serve as high quality forage for native whitefish complex species, and nearly all early life stages of endemic and Great Lakes native fishes.

During periods absent temperature stratification of the water column, Steve Pothoven's group have documented that Quagga sp. mussel colonies strain the entire water column at depths of 70Meters (nearly 300 feet) every five days. Yes, the system has markedly changed from the 1980s, particularly since driessenid mussel dominance that occurred in the early 2000s in Lake Michigan.

Mandenjian and Pothoven found Great Lakes adult alewife to have significantly diminished energy stores in the interval when Quagga sp. mussels became dominant and displaced native Diporeia sp amphipods. This has two averse impacts: adult alewife tap somatic energy stores for gamete production, recovering that lost energy post spawn by moving out to depths 150FOW or more to feed on....Mysis sp. and Diporeia sp. They also documented that salmon would have to increase consumption rates by 21% to compensate, which they did, further reducing alewife stocks. Add in, that lake trout became the numerically dominant salmonine in Lake Michigan in 2007, when the alewife stock had 8-9 year classes of spawning age fish within its numbers. As I said earlier, there is one spawning adult age year class and some change in the current numerically abundant, but biomass and age array diminished alewife stock in Lake Michigan. Alewife in Lake Huron appear to be trapped in a predator pit. Lake trout stocking has been terminated at levels below recovery goal because stocked fish are not surviving. Somewhere between 10 an 17,000 Chinook still swim over to Lake Michigan each spring to feed on alewife, along with the endemic stock of fishes within that water body.

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission recognizes that atlantic salmon, which, based on all evidence never ranged further into the Great Lakes than the Lake Ontario watershed, is deemed a native species, endemic to Great Lakes waters. I find that truly fascinating, since alewife exhibited the same distribution, documented repeatedly in spawning streams in large numbers during the late 1800s in Lake Ontario, yet it is deemed an invasive species and its eradication and/or declines are seen as a benefit to the ecosystem. I also find it quite fascinating that the invasive Pacific salmon have, in all Great Lakes except Lake Erie, developed significant wild stocks, a feat yet to be established for lake trout in all water bodies except Lake Superior(again, the only Great Lake with an intact food web much like that that existed in the post-Pleistocene. Yes, they are nearly totally reliant on alewife for their complete forage array.

Actually, the issues don't go much beyond State's rights and Federal oversight and over-reach, fought-out on the Great Lake via their proxies: Chinook salmon and lake trout.

Then there is the mandated lake trout stocking required via the 2000 Consent Fisheries Decree, but I digress..!

Did I mention I nearly got fired from the USFWS Sea Lamprey Research lab. for giving my Friday seminar: Lake Trout management on the Great Lakes: why manage for "swimming boxes of death" as a long-term goal? I just got tired of constantly hearing "stinky salmon" every couple of days. I had already accepted a job with Merck. Oddly, I just got attacked by two USFWS employees for maligning their agency's efforts to control sea lamprey and restore lake trout at the TU sponsored fishery forum on Lake Superior last week. Let's see: you throw-in fish annually who swim in the same preferred temperature strata as lamprey into the system by the millions, that are fed on by sea lamprey that now grow to produce maximal progeny-seriously, we are managing to maximize sea lamprey fecundity, numerous managers concur that indirectly THAT is the result of the current paradigm. Instead of killing those sea lamprey or removing them prior or during spawning via pheromone traps, light traps, sterile male release in large water bodies. You allow them to spawn and then try to kill their progeny just before the metamorphose to parasitic transformers. Bad things happen to stoneflies, mayflies, and trichoptera during a TFM treatment. Worse things happen to vertebrate fishes when that chemical bank exceeds 6ppm for longer than thirty minutes...but that is another story.

I find it difficult to ride a "dead" horse, perhaps your experience is different given your employer. When the Federal government rescinds a State-level saltwater freighter ballast monitoring and treatment program because it determines that it is too restrictive, you know the deck is rigged

Quote Reply
Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
tod osier wrote:
This post needs pics of Kings from back in the day. I'm thinking: mullets (hair style - not fish), healthy tans, cut off jeans and luhr Jensen tackle!









Yeah, I had to toss some Superior "springers" in from Grand Marais and a Salmon Trout coaster brookie as well, taken via kayak after a five mile paddle to get around to the Huron Mountain Club.

Last edited by:

RLLigman: May 1, 2019, 2:25 PM
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
Nice pics, especially that coaster brook trout.

Beyond Egan's reporting, which as I recall from reading the book some months ago pretty much agrees with your take on the quagga mussel situation being the latest and most depressing of a long list of disturbances to the natural fauna of the Great Lakes, I don't know much about the Great Lakes. FWIW, Egan blames decisions made in Canada about allowing ships with ballast water to move upstream as much as anything else, but what was most depressing to me was that under the US Clean Water Act, I think any of the US jurisdictions could have treated ballast water releases as a discharge and regulated them. That they didn't is what makes the multiple invaders that came in on that vector so tragic. Live and learn, I guess. Here we are seeing white catfish show up in the lower reaches of our larger freshwater rivers, and ballast water is one of the suspected vectors for how they might have gotten here from the mid-Atlantic, where they are native.

I do know something about Maine's native salmon and their interactions with smelts. Maine has two subspecies of native salmon--the seagoing and landlocked. All of the Maine landlocked populations, which were restricted to just 4 watersheds in Maine, co-existed with rainbow smelts in their original waters. The spread of smelts throughout Maine, and eventually into neighboring states, followed the salmon, as early fish culturists realized that when the introduced just landlocked salmon, they didn't thrive, but when they gave them smelts for forage, they did. There is no evidence that rainbow smelts have any deleterious impacts on landlocked salmon in either native watersheds or where both species are introduced. In fact, most management of Maine's sportfisheries for landlocked salmon is directed to balancing stocking rates and wild reproduction against harvest to ensure a relatively low density of salmon that won't deplete the smelt resource. Landlocked salmon will eat other forage, but do not thrive except where smelts are present.

I don't know if that same pattern holds for other landlocked salmon populations in Canada, or historically in Lake Champlain and Lake Ontario. The map here suggests that smelts were native in Lake Champlain, but not in Lake Ontario. I don't know accurate that is. https://nas.er.usgs.gov/...t.aspx?SpeciesID=796

As for our sea-run salmon, they spawned in both watershed where landlocked smelts were historically present and watersheds where they were absent. Sea-run smelts are native to the entire Maine coast, and are commonly present in the upper end of estuaries/lower end of freshwater rivers spawning in early spring. The fishery for post-spawned salmon in the spring in many rivers targeted these them when they were feeding heavily on anadromous smelts, whose spawning runs seemed to coincide with outmigration of post-spawn salmon. Perhaps the best-known example of this fishery is the "black salmon" fishery on the lower Miramichi River in New Brunswick.

I don't know much about sediment traps. Michigan's rivers have different geology and land use patterns than what I am used to. It strikes me that sediment traps are an example of treating the symptom rather than the cause,of the problem, and in the long run it would probably be more effective to deal with reducing sediment at the source than capturing (and removing? Do those traps get cleaned?) in the stream channel. That may not be possible in heavily developed or agricultural watersheds.

Enjoy the spring fishing. I'm still a couple of weeks from ice out on my favorite waters.

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
Well, Egan is wrong on the ballast water issue. Widespread efforts have been made since the mid-1980s when zebra mussels were first discovered in Laker St. Clair, significantly raising concerns. Yes, the Canadians have encouraged greater saltwater traffic to ship grain out through the St. Lawrence Seaway, while most grain crops in the Upper Midwest are still shipped out via barge traffic down the Mississippi River. Each time a Great Lake state has moved forward with a ballast water treatment law that varies from existing Federal legislation, it has been struck down as unenforceable by the EPA. When a consortium of Great Lakes states banded together to pass an initiative at the Federal level, via congressional action, the US Coast Guard held-up distribution and training for its personnel for nearly a year, slowing enforcement, arguing that Homeland Security training trumped it. We had a local "stink" occur where a grandpa and his son, and grandson were out trolling off the upper harbor and got their downriggers hung in a poorly marked tribal net off the outside trench by the "white rocks" north of the McCarty's cove swimming beach, nearly sinking. The net had bleach bottle with some flagging on the handle on one end an a couple of Era bottles and a broken crutch taped together on the inside end. Not bad for 1000' of gillnet! The local USCG station commander sent his adjutant to the meeting to explain that their priority is to protect commercial shipping channel approaches to the two fossil fuel powered electric generating stations in the north and south harbors (both, now decommissioned and closed as of last week). After they were verbally "stoned" by the members of the South Shore Fishing Association, I had a chance to ask them about their discharge manuals and training: postponed indefinitely-orders came from Washington. This was during the Bushl Jr. administration.

Did Dan Egan report on the novel and quite cheap ballast water treatment developed by Michigan Technological Univ. scientists that was purchased by the shipping industry and then not deployed to saltwater freighters? Actually, ballast transfer at the mouth of the St. Lawrence seaway

Lake Superior is often held-up by Great Lakes Fishery Commission officials as the great success story in restoration of native fish stocks, specifically the lake trout stock, which is composed of deep water siscowet strain fish, red fin and humper morpho-types on offshore sea mounts and Isle Royale reefs, and the inshore lean lake trout stock. While in composite they have a broad dietary array: lake herring, burbot, Pacific salmon smolts, cigarettes, bottle caps, etc. However, their principal forage item, particularly the inshore lean lake trout stocks, is rainbow smelt; one of the few invasive species within the food web of Superior. The lean lake trout stock is actually an amalgam of several strains of fish developed as hatchery origin hybrids bred for rate of growth and low disease incidence. Dr. Kerfoot's group at MTU conducted an interesting modeling study a decade or so ago on the Lake Superior fishery using UNESCO developed Ecosim and Ecopath models. After populating the various model parameters and running them with real data to make sure they performed accurately, they began to introduce a variety of perturbations, singular and in an array of combinations, in Mysis sp, total zooplankton, burbot, lean lake trout, smelt, coho, Chinook, lake whitefish, lake herring, and siscowet for a decade and then ran the models for fifty years after that decade long alteration. They concluded that major and minor changes in coho and chinook salmon had little effect on lean lake trout, siscowets, burbot and whitefish, but did impact smelt stocks. However, minor declines in lean lake trout, smelt, or Mysis sp. had major impacts on Pacific salmon stocks. No hatchery supplementation of fish species occurred during their data runs of the models. Specifically, upticks in smelt and Mysis sp. with lean lake trout declines had the most marked beneficial effects on these two salmon species, with amplitude and rate of population increase a function of the magnitude of the opossum shrimp and smelt stock expansion. Increases in lean lake trout were direct results of smelt abundance increases, and secondarily influenced by burbot stock numbers, particularly juvenile fish. History has proven Kerfoot's group's conclusions to be quite accurate.

However, Charles Kerfoot and his team are best known for discovering the "Doughnut in the Desert" that existed in southern Lake Michigan from late Fall to spring from Chicago vicinity waters up to the southern margins of the mid-lake reef between Muskegon and Port Washington/Milwaukee. The "Doughnut" is a current gyre that forms in this portion of Lake Michigan's southern basin as Low pressure fronts sweep in from the northwest. Remember, Lows involve counterclockwise air circulation, driving these isothermal to near-isothermal waters to flow in a counter clockwise gyre, sweeping the nutrient laden river plumes of the Muskegon, White, Grand, Kalamazoo, an St. Joseph up and spinning them to distribute this high N an P laden water in what is the largest overwinter hibernaculum for alewife. This high nutrient laden water was also rich in diatoms, and green algae. Diatoms are particularly high in Omega-3 an 6 fatty acids, which are energy rich and quite easy for invertebrates and fish to digest. In the pre-dreissenid era, annual maxima for content of these high energy content short-chain fatty acids occurred in Mysis sp. and Diporeia sp. in late June, just as the smelt and alewife stocks completed their inshore spawning runs and moved offshore to replace somatic energy that had been shunted late-winter into gamete production by feeding on them. This physical phenomena was fully documented in 2003 and interpreted to be the driver for Pacific Salmon stock mass movement, along with other pelagic fish stocks into the southern portion of the basin to overwinter right in the highest density of over-wintering alewife and smelt. It has existed for decades. In a one hour plus conversation with Jim Dexter in early 2008, I was personally assured that his division understood the importance of the "Doughnut" and its integral role in both alewife/smelt and salmonine survival and growth through severe upper-midwest winters. Jim's exact words were; " We are not going to allow Lake Michigan to go the way of Lake Huron (which had just experienced an alewife stock crash, followed by sharp declines in Pacific salmon numbers, with the exception of Canada trib. spawners who emigrated to Lake Michigan each year to forage on the more abundant alewife and smelt numbers, increasing forage pressure on these stocks, since managers were unaware of this occurrence, despite it (the river sport fishery) being heralded among the sport fishery community, lauded by many fly fishers as "Alaskan level drift fishing experiences". Over the years we fished the upper stream limit below the falls on the Garden River, twenty to thirty fish-on drifts per day were pretty common. After two days of fishing it was quite physically painful to raise your arms above shoulder level...even though I was doing weight training for XC ski marathons and mountain bike races of 25 to 40 miles duration! We used to each buy a case of different Canadian beer brands at the Government beer store in the Sault when we drove through and then make beer bets on how many drifts you could get a Chinook on without hooking a pink salmon!

Well, the "Doughnut in the Desert" collapsed in 2009-2011, again documented by Charles Kerfoot's research group at the MTU Great Lakes research facility. Quagga sp. mussels are at their greatest densities in a band in inshore waters that generally ranges from 30 to 50meters of water. Steve Pothoven, NOAA Great Lakes Lab. researcher followed the 2007 flood event on the Grand River, documenting that the nutrient plume was fully absorbed by dreissenid colonies within three weeks post-event. Nearly sixty percent of these sequestered nutrients are bound for decades within these invasive mussel colonies as shell biomass. Oh, did I mention that Jim Dexter, whom I had worked with at MSU FORGOT to tell me during our lengthy conversation as he had just assumed the position of acting fishery division chief that he had personally ordered a massive expansion in offshore reef deepwater morph. lake trout plants, just as he had approved the single species cut in Chinook we were discussing. Jim was the lead author of the lake trout restoration effort report for Lake Michigan...his pet project. Jim's folks forgot to factor-in the likely uptick in burbot numbers at these offshore reef sites that co-occurred with concomitant declines in alewife densities at these sites over the previous five year interval, documented by upticks in relative standard error (RSE) values from the lake wide trawling sample annual surveys conducted by the USGS and MDNR trawlers, as well as the USGS acoustic survey data targeted at enumerating density and biomass of juvenile stocks of alewife and smelt, which are generally pelagic until year three.. Despite large declines in forage fish abundance of their predators, Mysis sp. numbers also had declined by nearly a third as well. In the next five year interval the burbot stocks at these deepwater reefs happily chowed-down on these fingerling lake trout plants, reducing them to remnant status by year three.

Probably the most compelling data arrays that indicate the resilience of alewife and smelt and their subsequent value within the food web, were a series of presentations of studies from the GLFC annual lakes committee meeting for Lake Ontario. As I mentioned earlier, Lake Ontario is a rift valley lake like Superior with a basin largely surrounded by rocky shoreline that falls away quite quickly compared to shallow Lakes Erie and St.Clair, as well as the bowl basins of Silurian era dolomite limestone that underlies Lakes Michigan and much of Lake Huron. Essentially what fishery researchers fleshed out was that Lake Ontario receives a significant inflow in the western third of the basin of nitrogen and phosphorus (N and P) largely from the overabundant agricultural lands runoff from Lake Erie. This N and P inflow has largely enabled the western half of the lake basin to maintain most of its spring diatom bloom, driving alewife and smelt year-class survival up. It has a smaller lake trout stocking inflow, which had worked to preserve the alewife and smelt adult spawner age-class arrays of larger, older fish (remember, Matt Kornis presented stable isotope analysis long-term food habits data on Lake Michigan salmonines in a multi-year study that documented that adult lake trout preferentially fed on larger, older alewife than all other salmon and trout species studied, which had predominantly shifted to feeding on the more abundant juvenile alewife stocks, EVEN Chinook salmon which are solely dependant on alewife and smelt for forage.) Oddly, Matt Kornis presented this data at the GLFC Annual Lake Comm. meeting and drew barely a response. Now, Dr.Kornis has presented this data in updated form to sport fisher groups for three years at the annual Lake Michigan Sport fishery status meetings in Ludington,Oddly, NEVER stratifying lake trout consumption by juvenile and adult stock components now...HMMMMMMMMMMMM. Concomitantly, Michigan Sea Grant has not published video from these meetings for the last two years, citing the cost and manpower expenditures, yet covering all other events with a video feed supplement that they organize.) Lake Ontario alewife and smelt stocks, with several adult age year-classes hold invasive spiny water flea populations largely in check, which, in turn yields a larger proportion of high nutrient content cladocerans versus cyclpoid copepod zooplankton. Forage fish lipid content, juvenile and adult was higher than Lake Michigan comparator's, despite Lake Michigan's higher carbonate hardness values, which Should equate to better growth and condition. Despite a Chinook stock component of wild-origin fish that nearly pegged 60% of total stock, both alewife and smelt were generating successful year-classes of yound post spawn. Dreissenid mussels were numerous, but not as extensively dispersed due to the basin's bathymetry. Diporeia sp. populations had crashed , but Mysis sp. were still abundant and doing well, since diatom blooms still occurred in most of the inshore waters of the basin. It was a quite striking dichotomy, but it did not last, since lake trout restoration via deepwater plants was ramped-up. Fast-forward to current year issues and the same sequence and cascade now is in evidence in Lake Ontarios as well.

The "song" offered for sport fisher consumption remains the same...the alewife stock is in decline for largely unknown reasons, we MUST adjust to this and go forward with Lake trout restoration....because we are getting close to goal, just not in the northern third of Lake Michigan where Consent Decree tribal fishers and sea lamprey predation are holding the wild-origin lake trout stock component at around 26% of total stock. Sea

You would think that the USFWS National Fish Hatchery system would move from this success to slowly shift to employ Superior basin fish transported to the lower Great Lakes as smolts or eggs in their stock restoration efforts. No, they have continued to plant experimental strains of fish from a variety of out-of-system waters, initially employing 13 strains, but now down to six in their RESTORATION efforts. I think it should be a little more transparent, titled restoration of native stocks in name only! Yup, they are lake trout: some Seneca lake fish, some Perry sound fish, etc. IF you knew more about the biology of Great Lakes lake trout, this process would be revealed for the sham it is, since each of the siscowet, humper, and red fin have very unique and important specific ecologies and functional roles within Lake Superior that enable both the lake system's function, but also nutrient transport and flow within biological pathways. The "Lego land" lake trout of Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Ontario are not even similar, particularly Ontario fish which are being planted in a rift valley system nearly identical to Lake Superior's.

I suspect your smelt stock induces a degree of EMS in both landlocked and ocean-run fish. As I stated earlier, marked changes in a single species are usually multi-factorial, making native species restoration initiatives largely unattainable and almost always with unforeseen consequences and costs. As nutrients have declined in our oligotrophic Great Lakes, zooplankton assemblages have shifted away from cladocerans to omnivorous copepods like Leptadora sp. These array slightly deeper, well below the bottom of the photic zone.
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
tod osier wrote:
Jeff Reardon wrote:
tod osier wrote:

I read that book.



Did it make you want to slit your wrists? It was a pretty depressing read.

Brings to mind this quote from Aldo Leopold:
?One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.?



I read a lot and I read a LOT of depressing shit. I found that not too much more depressing than my standard. Ohio is getting their stuff together.


Oddly, when a city the size of Toledo has to abandon its water source due to Microcystis sp.blooms, you know some type of remedial action will occur, just not enough and not on the scope necessary to make a difference. The pushback was nearly immediate from the farming community when they were told no spring plowing and more controlled and timed fertilizer applications.
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to

Quote
Did Dan Egan report on the novel and quite cheap ballast water treatment developed by Michigan Technological Univ. scientists that was purchased by the shipping industry and then not deployed to saltwater freighters?



Yes. As I said, I think you'd find a lot of common ground if you read his book.


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As I stated earlier, marked changes in a single species are usually multi-factorial, making native species restoration initiatives largely unattainable and almost always with unforeseen consequences and costs.



Depends on the species and the system it's in. That may be true in the Great Lakes, where so much about the ecosystem has changed and continues to change so rapidly that restoration of complex structured populations like lake trout may not be possible. (Egan's reporting has quite a bit on this, too.) But there are other situations where the species declines can be easily related to a single cause and recovery will quickly follow addressing it. Yellowstone Lake cutthroat come to mind. The problem is introduced lake trout. Control the lake trout, and the cutts will recover. (This is happening now, but is totally dependent on an expensive lake trout removal program that will have to be sustained in perpetuity.) Another case would the recovery of East Coast striped bass when over-harvest was addressed through a moratorium. (Though we may now be going through Round 2 of that cycle.) The classic case is dealing with impacts of dams that obstruct native fish from spawning habitat. Remove an obstacle to sea-run alewife passage, and alewife populations will recolonize habitat in the first year, and recovery to near historic levels in less than a decade. We seem to be seeing the same for American shad when head of tide dams are removed, though on a longer time scale. Would that it were so simple for cod or sea-run Atlantic salmon in Maine, both of which seem more like the multi-factorial mix your Great Lakes lake trout face.


As for the Coast Guard and snagging trolling gear on nets--that's beyond me. They were equally unhelpful when one of my fishing buddies wrecked his lower unit and threw a passenger out of his boat when he hit a barely submerged chunk of plywood that had been released from a flashboard system on an upstream hydropower dam into the tidal Kennebec River. He argued that the release of the flashboards was both an unpermitted discharge into waters of the United States and a navigation hazard, but neither the EPA nor the Coast Guard would investigate.

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
Yellowstone Lake's cutthroat populations is TRENDING toward recovery, which is a current-status assessment, not an identified outcome.

Had, someone...any agency; State or Federal, stepped forward with focus on rebuilding the food web to some large semblance of it's post-Pleistocene state, much of what has occurred in the Great Lakes and Lake Michigan in particular would not likely have occurred. Instead we got a top-down species introduction program frought with serial failures, running for over fifty years without success. Despite their development of a deep-water morph, Quagga sp. mussels have failed to expand as Tom Nalepa's group at the GLF lab. had projected, and appear to be hitting some type of asumptote.. Their ability to largely truncate spring diatom blooms resulted in marked juvenile alewife energy density declines and poor year-class production values, which, in-turn resulted in all salmonine species that consume them to be forced to once again increase consumption rates to maintain growth rates, or suffer declines, individually and as a stock. USFWS and USGS researchers only took six years to figure that cause and effect relationship out...

Current Coded Wire Tag (CWT) studies are pegged at determining survival and dispersal of steelhead within Lakes Michigan and Huron for the next two to three years.. The phase-in data and stomack content analyses from charter and sport fisher co-operators now indicate that steelhead feed to a far great degree than thought on alewife, with frequency of dependence increasing with individual fish size to a value above 60%. Why is this noteworthy? When the CWT data come in the likely outcome will be: steelhead, and then lake trout, followed by Chinook salmon in terms of both biomass an numeric abundance, yet fishery managers have decided to focus on a Predator: prey ratio to guide stocking, based on alewife and Chinook salmon.

Additional Great Lakes Fishery Trust Fund (My personal legacy to the Great Lakes) grant monies will be let to assess Chinook otolith structure among wild origin stocks in Lake Michigan to assess their natal stream proportional cohort make-up.

Keep in mind. dam removal and upstream passage in the Great Lakes has historically impacted two species: Chinook salmon and sea lamprey. As upstream passage accessibility is enhanced, the primary impacts of the Clean Water Act have resulted in enhanced water quality, When combined with dam removal lowered water temperatures have brought more tributaries and drainages into temperature and water quality ranges that a preferred by sea lamprey, resulting in additional treatment area of coverage and frequency, both having secondary impacts on TFM purchases, causing marked expenditure increases through time. The ammocoete population in the St. Mary's River system alone, requires the entire budget of the U.S. and Canadian Sea Lamprey control agencies to purchase adequate volume for one treatment. Consequently, this system has become the source of most of the sea lamprey in Northern Lake Huron waters and eastern Lake Superior. USFWS failure to provide adequate oversight to resolve potential flooding issues in a dispute between Mi. Dept. of Environmental Quality permitting agency staff and the US Army Corps of Engineers on upstream seasonal flooding issues impact the City of Manistique on a dam complex that former Governor Snyder provided his signature as an agent of the State to assume all costs of maintenance in-perpetuity for the facility. USACE wants to build a 4.3 Million dollar fixed-head facility. MDEQ wants them to build a variable head dam with an accompanying sea lamprey barrier they have offered to pay for and maintain with the dam complex. USACE refused, citing no flooding issues the interfere with navigability...their direct charge, not adjacent weltands flooding that may impact a municipality. Or, as the USFWS employee nearly shouted at me from two feet away, following the meeting, " The State fails to grasp that We are the Federal Government, and, therefore, the final arbiter. I reminded him that the State's position and that of the MDEQ is that they are responsible of adjacent stream channel flooding that impacts municipalities, AND, the property is owned by the State of Michigan, not the Federal government, a self-governing sovereign entity that is not a vassal of the FEDs or the USFWS. To date: four treatments with TFM have been performed since the June,2014 signing ceremony, at an individual cost-per-treatment of $700,000-750,000 per treatment-you do the math.

Again, upstream access via riparian corridors has enabled the wild-origin Chinook salmon population to essentially negate the control via stocking of alewife populations within the Great Lakes.

Asian Carp are a potential invasive species pair: silver and big-eye, that were luckily denied access to the Great Lakes via the Desplaines River and the Chicago SAG canal network by an Illinois congressman who secured Federal funding for an electric weir barrier, the Demonstration Barrier, initially intended to keep Eurasian River Ruffe from getting into the Mississippi River drainage from Great Lakes waters!!!!!!!!!! Grass Carp have been documented spawning in several sites in Lake Erie, which really pose no extensive threat. Silver and Big-eye Asian Carp are river spawning species that would like colonize western Michigan rivers, decimating them as sport fisheries for both trout and salmon. When I last talked to Phil Moy, he said the current estimate for a spawning aggregation cluster size necessary to achieve colonization, the consensus value was pegged at 25 fish in any one spot. Once I thought alewife, since they are sight predators, feeding in particulate selection fashion on larvae and eggs spawning in these same rivers, would control them to a large degree. With alewife stock collapse a likely outcome now, that may not hold true when the do invade Great Lakes waters.

I sold my Great Lakes boat in fall of 2016 to a gentlemen from Washington who fishes and crabs out of it on San Juan Island now.
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
Here is Matt Kornis' stable isotope food habits analysis presentation from the 2016 Great Lakes Fishery Comm. Lakes Committee meeting for Lake Michigan:

https://www.youtube.com/...amp;feature=youtu.be


I would encourage you to view the entire video, however, the point where he makes the distinction between diet shifts for adult and juvenile lake trout alewife consumption size-fraction preference is at 6:40 on the timeline, so I would encourage you to listen carefully from 6 minutes in, onward. He is a good presenter so the data will sail along quickly via his overview...

He also covers dietary niche overlap data that is quite interesting.

As I stated previously, lake trout eclipsed Chinook salmon numbers in 2007-2009 shifting the alewife stock from on composed of a minimum of 8 spawning age year-classes downward via foraging preference. Yet, the official perspective is that Chinook salmon forage pressure pushing the stock toward collapse....
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
Watched the whole presentation. What is most striking to me about the study is that of the major predator and prey fish in the study, 4 of the 5 predators and 3 of the 6 forage fish are non-native. And it's worse than that, as the non-native forage fish make up more than 90% of the diet of the three species of Pacific salmonids; more than 85% of the diet of the brown trout, and more than 60% of the diet of lake trout.

My perspective--as a guy who by inclination and profession is mostly concerned with restoring native fish--would be, as I said several posts ago, to slit my wrists. I have enormous respect for anyone with the persistence to try to restore lake trout in that system, but I wouldn't want the job. It's kind of amazing they've had any success at all. It makes dealing with non-native lake trout impacts on Yellowstone cutts or non-native pike and muskellunge impacts on native brook trout here in Maine look like jobs for slackers.

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
tod osier wrote:
This post needs pics of Kings from back in the day. I'm thinking: mullets (hair style - not fish), healthy tans, cut off jeans and luhr Jensen tackle!


Tod,

Should I digitize some old pictures of me and some Lake Michigan salmon I will oblige. Although, I never did have a mullet or wear cut-offs. I did have a tan and some Luhr Jensen tackle. I caught more fish on Rapala's and Little Cleo spoons.

We did most of our fishing early spring starting in Michigan City, IN, following up the IL coast. By the time the salmon made it to WI waters there were moving too far off shore for our small car top boat. We had a 12' wooden boat and old 5.5 Johnson outboard. We always referred to the boat as a Wisconsin Guide Boat. Unfortunately, it has now rotted back to the earth. That boat was small enough would could launch from the beach, bypassing lines at the launch ramps

The salmon were pretty small in the early spring, 3-7 lbs. But, in that small boat they would be jumping over our heads. It was a lot of fun!

Tom
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
Jeff Reardon wrote:
Watched the whole presentation. What is most striking to me about the study is that of the major predator and prey fish in the study, 4 of the 5 predators and 3 of the 6 forage fish are non-native. And it's worse than that, as the non-native forage fish make up more than 90% of the diet of the three species of Pacific salmonids; more than 85% of the diet of the brown trout, and more than 60% of the diet of lake trout.

My perspective--as a guy who by inclination and profession is mostly concerned with restoring native fish--would be, as I said several posts ago, to slit my wrists. I have enormous respect for anyone with the persistence to try to restore lake trout in that system, but I wouldn't want the job. It's kind of amazing they've had any success at all. It makes dealing with non-native lake trout impacts on Yellowstone cutts or non-native pike and muskellunge impacts on native brook trout here in Maine look like jobs for slackers.



It's good that you support their efforts, your tax dollars have helped underwrite it for over fifty years.

Metaphorically, Isn't that what stenotopes do when faced with major change; slit their wrists?

As I've documented, the "success" achieved that you laud has resulted in the crash of the food web, via the plants of the endemic-in-name-only lake trout you hold as sacrosanct. That food web riddled with invasives had actually remained functional for the same interval as the lake trout plants have existed in the lower Great Lakes, all trending in the same direction.

It's a good thing that TU attracts so many well-healed "sports" as members; if PT Barnum were still alive he would be clamouring for your membership lists.
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Re: Why do we miss the chinook fishery on the Great Lakes-NDR In reply to
 
Mr. Ligman:

If you want to give up on lake trout recovery to improve the chinook fishery, go for it. (Good luck given the state of forage as depicted in the presentation you shared. I disagree with you that lake trout are primarily responsible for this.)

As of last night, I was feeling good about the fact that this had been a discussion and not a name calling contest. I know I'm a cranky and opinionated guy, but I try really hard to disagree without being disagreeable.

Then I saw this post, which sent me looking for my thesaurus to find some obscure insult that can top "stenotope".

Probably better I leave that to you.

Enjoy your spring fishing.

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold