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3 yr old Salmon?


Corey K

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This has become quite an impressive thread, at least as far as theory, stats., perceived facts, and speculation go. I was advised by experts a few years back that our Tule ocean salmon were living into the 6-7 year old category out west.That was confirmed by a google of the subject. Have they changed their life span since becoming fresh water great lakes salmon? I dunno. But, there is more to what is factual, I suspect, than what we are always given as statistics and truth. I would also ask how many other strains of ocean salmon we have adopted here, and what their particular background is for life longevity. On the big fish we had many decades ago, remember two things, fisherman's technology and techniques have come a long way, along with the numbers of fisherman today vs. yesterday. Also, the number of salmon in the lake grew from hundreds of thousands, to many many millions today, with a similar, or perhaps drastically reduced, food base available.

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I’d have to say if you are trying to establish a larger inland salmon, then you need to research the DNA of some of the largest salmon caught in the great lakes, Alaska and the West Coast states. With today’s ability to study genetics it certainly won’t be a stretch to determine what genes are involved in those salmon that are living more than four years.

But from a rather simplistic view why not just separate the roe from the female salmon that are 25 pounds or larger and do the same with the milt from the 25 pound of larger male salmon? This year there certainly should be enough of the 25 pound and over fish to collect enough roe and milt to fertilize and create a number of what should be larger salmon that have adapted to today’s living conditions in the great lakes. Ranchers and farmers have used this approach for years.

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You also have to consider the genetics of the strain you are selecting. The Tule strain was specifically selected because it is a river mouth/short river running strain, which stays out in the ocean/lake feeding as long as possible, when they run, they are almost ready to spawn, which is why they get stale so quickly once they enter the creeks.

This made them an ideal selection for the great lakes where, with a few exceptions, 30 miles is a long tributary and they wanted a strain that would stay out there eating alewives as long as possible.

Every so often you'll hear someone wish they'd get some Kenai River king eggs for the Great Lakes so we could see those 6-7 year fish that get to 60-70+ lbs. The problem there is that those fish are genetically wired to run the river starting late May and June, because they have almost 1,000 miles of river to run to reach the spawning gravel. That won't work in the great lakes and we'd never have a summer fishery for the big matures as they'd all be dead, stinking up the warm, short rivers we have because their biology told them to run in the spring.

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Once a year I take grandpa's tackle box out and run the gear from the 70's. Still works.

My comment was tongue in cheek. Tim nailed it, kings just eat. I laughed when I heard a biologist say they had a really good year class of four year old walleye that were now legal as they were 15-17". That is why walleye fishing sucks.

So are you running Gramp's plugs on copper behind a board, or a downrigger below the boat?? And not saying old stuff doesn't work, but what are you going to use to up your odds?

In my limited experience, and what I've also been told by the pros, is downriggers take far fewer fish, especially fewer big fish than the gear that is spread out from under/behind the boat. Do you agree? And 30 years ago what percentage (and total #) of fish were being caught on downriggers? More?

What about midday? Were more fish caught outside low light periods in the past than they are now? Thanks for humoring this rook

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Good question. However, grandpa caught 100% of his fish on riggers and dad about 100% as it was all riggers back then. Lures 5' off the ball, the water was green, and the first light bite not as big of a deal.

I do know that locos, Sonics, and chargers work much the same as dreamweavers and stingers. A white cupped yellow blade green tape magnum nailer off cowbells is still laker candy...

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  • 3 weeks later...
This literally has got to be the only reason why less fish are caught on the old standby methods close to the boat, and more are caught using new methods to get lures away from the boat. Could also be because the water is clearer now too though, maybe?

I must say this is just what I have heard and believe to be true about the history of fishing tactics - I am a totally clueless rookie. So I'd love to hear more experience from the veterans. Although getting off Corey's original topic - needs a separate discussion? Fascinating stuff!

Or could be why some colors are hot for a year or two then nothing

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  • 2 weeks later...
Good info. Any one else notice the runs are earlier and earlier? A couple years ago we caught a nice cooler of matures in the channel on August 26. When I was a wee lad we fished kings in the harbor in late September and it was snowing when the coho ran.

We have picked up dark fish as early as late July , found them at the river mouth in late august, but also had them in the harbor as late as mid November for spawning.

The Smolts are put in the harbor so that is where the run returns to.

This was taken first part of September river mouth 2 years ago.

p9040002.jpg

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