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anybody worried???

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Grand Haven had no significant run of salmon this year. Holland and Saug the same but neither gets the amounts planted at GH. Last year wasn't much better.

The past 2 years, even though I've caught the same amount of fish, I have caught more fish in May and June than July and August, and the fish were bigger in the spring for the most part. I caught very few mature/dark fish in Aug.

5 years ago I only marked bait occasionally, but now I mark it almost every trip and plenty of it.

I realize that this was a very weird year temp wise for the lake with how warm it stayed, and last year was similiar.

My feelings are that the DNR plant reductions have worked, along with the limit increase, the bait has come back, and they need to start stocking more again. I think we are hitting what we have so hard and effectively in the spring and summer, that come fall we have very few salmon left.

I know that the DNR will point to an increase in natural reproduction, a number that they est. at over 50%, but I think that pertains to the better rivers up north and not to the Grand, Macattawa and Kazoo. I have "heard" that their are/were not enough salmon in the weir on the L Manistee for the DNR to collect enough eggs for the reduced numbers stocking let alone an increase. Hope this isn't true.

What do you think??????????

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Interesting point. I am just say 300 miles north of Grand Haven and we have the same thing going on here. I just talked with one of the tribal fisherman who says he is catching loads of smelt in his whitefish nets. I am puzzeled as to why the DNR is not planting steelhead or brown trout in place of the salmon. It seems as though they must have some empty raceways at the hatcheries. I caught my big fish in May 28 a 22 pound male chinook and July 3 a 25 pound male chinook. We took alot of small 3 pounders throughout the summer. The Sault Tribe plants all of the salmon in the St Ignace area so I would say that the DNR cannot claim any credit here. As far as the salmon go St Ignace, Cedarville, and DeTour were very good fishing this summer. The fall run the last two years has been down to a trickle here also.

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My hat goes off to the dnr's around the lake for trying to control the population's to make sure the fishery does not collapse.

The lake is a huge body of water to manage the resources in. IMO it is still a huge guess as to how many fish, and what the forage base actually is. This was a very odd year temp wise for the lake. The wind blew out of the West all year long, and really stacked in the warm water.

I question how successful the fish are reproducing in the Southern rivers.

I think everyone will have a better feel for the fishery next year.

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You bring up some interesting information Kevin. I wonder how we are doing on a longer cycle (say 5-10 years). I am not sure that a 2 year trend, especially with hot summers, is a trend or a fluke. I think we did see salmon run this year (based on the catches at the dams), but it was during a time when no one could get on the big water.

I'd be curious to hear from the guys that fish the dams more often.

Was this year a good year IN the river or by the dams compared to last year or maybe the last 5 years?

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We had 3 abnormal years in a row. 08 and 09 were cooler than normal and this year of course was warmer than the norm. We all tend to measure our success or lack of it by the past. I feel conditions are right for a bait fish population explosion. Along with typical bait fish the numbers of perch have increased tremendously. As fishermen we play the trends. Get em while they're hot. Lake MI never experienced the normal June lull this year. Alewives and Salmon are not native to the GLs. Salmon were planted as an experiment to control the alewives. I think the Salmon and the DNR are doing their job.

The walleye fishing on Huron was different this year also. A quick warm up was the reason for that. We had a real good year on the Saginaw Bay but there were a lot of fishermen that were struggling.

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I would say that I am considerably less worried than I have been in the past 5years. I will definitely take a few years of more difficult fishing over a decimation of the resource like we saw in Huron. I never got skunked this year and I never really lit them up either. My average trip was around 6 fish. Highest was 15 and lowest was 2. I can take that

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I see that Hitman is a moderator on this forum. I hear that you have some strong opionions on this subject, care to share them with us?

Jon use to mate on the Hitman, and has been living in Colorado for the last couple of years.

It would be nice to hear some numbers from some of the charter guys.

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  • 3 months later...

I am.

I have only been salmon fishing for five - six years now and as you can guess I have a lot invested in both money and passion for the sport.

This was the worst year for me since I started. My first year I just did not know what I was doing and the fish were few and far between.

Two years ago we really hammered them, but then again I was told that you could troll car keys and catch fish.

Going into last year I was feeling pretty cocky right up till it slowed down in July. We never got skunked, but had to work real hard for our fish from July on.

I do not have enough data points to really know what to make of last year.

I have to echo all of the observations, we had a really good spring and early summer, but hot water from July on (we could not find cold water 140ft down in July - 74.2 degrees). Then again we never marked so many bait fish.

I guess time will tell. Everything tends to be cyclic and I guess salmon fishing is the same. Mother Nature has a way of making adjustments to whatever man does to her. I just hope that there is nothing to this global warming stuff and that the hot water is here to stay.

I’m not set up for bass fishing and besides they taste like crap.

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Received a report of some kings spawning on the PM last week. He says they were kings. I would call that pretty late and messed up. Despite the warm water, fishing was great last year possibly better for me. The fish will be around for quite some time, they just might change their habits.

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