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Fished 4-9pm 100-120 fow. Finished 1/1. Not a bite until 8:30p when we were pulling our first rod to quit for the night... DR rod went off next to me Green/yellow Big Weenie meat rig on DR 75 ft down in 90 fow. Straight out from Holland on NE troll 2.5 mph at the ball.

Holy crap! 44" King that we weighed on our manual (non digital) scale (damn!). Several guys helped us at the cleaning station trying to measure and weigh it so thanks guys!

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29 lbs, The only scale we had was my Cabela's spring scale and it was touching 30 lbs. Last night we were reading the wrong side of the mark. Fortunately we took a pic of the scale showing the bottom of the top black mark @30 lbs
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If the alewives are reduced - how can they get this big?.What was he eating?

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There's even fewer fish eating the reduced alewives.  Hence, the remaining fish have more to eat.  Same thing we had in 2013.

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FBD, then what's your opinion on the current salmon population?Because lately I've heard a number of people stating the same thing. I still stand as up in the air with the whole proposal and I am wondering what other fisherman's thoughts are.

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My guess and opinion (by no means am I any expert) is similar to FBD. Any predator prey relationship in the wild is going to have surges of the prey followed by the predator til it overcomes the sustainability level. Reduce prey means predator die off then the prey comes back etc. The problem with the chinook is that we have a continual addition to the population (from the DNRs) on top of natural reproduction and no decline in the predator numbers thus wiping out the prey. My thoughts are reduce the plantings multistate wide, ride out the bad/changed fishery for the next 5 years or so. Then let the plantings resume cautiously. We will still have a mixed bag fishery with some kings in the high 20s low 30s # class but just here and there. The days of boats limiting out with 20+ fish are gone..... For a while....

The lake trout on the other hand need to drop plantings concurrently with the chinook or we may lose the fishery entirely.
Just my opinion.


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And an excellent opinion it is


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Could not have said it any better.  If we continue with too much planting, have a few good years of natural production, and keep pumping Lakers into the lake, the alewifes will be gone, and the kings will follow.  Then you've gone from two great lakes with a viable king fishery to one, and that's a seven hour trip for me and not ten minutes.

The other fish can get by without alewives, but not the kings.  And while I'll target other fish from time to time, I'm not going to bother with the upkeep of a 29 year old glass boat to chase stuff I can target from my 14'.  I run the Four Winns to catch kings.  Period.

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FBD,
I hear you! The thing is, towns like Grand Haven, Muskegon, Ludington, and Manistee will survive. They have a large enough base to not need the salmon industry. But think of towns like Onekema or Frankfort etc. The money lost from us not fishing will close those mom and pop shops and downtown store etc. I feel bad for them. I have my boat in Grand Haven. I ran into a DNR guy this summer. We had a good chat about the salmon. I learned a few things from it about the salmon, lakers and gobys and zebras and quaggas . I just hope that this is a down turn in the industry analogous to the mid 80s with the BKD with a rebound. I did have a friend (who doesn't fish but was interested in the downturn) say somethings to me that made me think. "Remembering the old days of how things were and how things are not as good now doesn't do any good. You are only remembering the highs and lows and not the average years. Kinda like snow storms.Everyone remembers the bad years of so much snow or the years we didn't have any. But nobody remembers what it normally is like as you are comparing against extremes".


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