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Author Topic: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ  (Read 24544 times)

Sterling C

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If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« on: September 04, 2010, 09:12:57 PM »

I took a drive down to Peg Leg today to check out the mayhem. It didn't take long until I stumbled upon this:



Now hopefully everyone on this site realizes what is wrong with this picture. Of course there are some people who will not, hence the reason this picture was taken. The fish in the middle is a WILD coho, which of course are closed for retention. Moreover, this fish (although impossible to confirm without looking at its DNA) is likely an ENDANGERED interior Fraser coho.

Shortly after I took this picture, I witnessed another fish being dragged up onto the beach and sadly that fish too was another WILD coho. The angler who caught it did not take the time to identify the fish before beaching it. Before the rock shampoo could be applied I intervened and informed the angler that it was in fact a coho he had caught. The angler refuted saying it was a spring and it had spots then went to show me how it had black gums. Of course it didn't. So as quickly as it was dragged out, I made sure the now shake and baked coho made its way back into the river. Sadly I doubt it will survive.

Its very upsetting to see someone, who supposedly knows how to identify fish, beach fish before properly identifying it. Even worse is the fact that I had several other people come to the anglers defense stating it was a spring.

The sad fact is that as long as DFO is willing to leave this 'fishery' open into the fall, there will be bi-catch. If you choose to participate, please take the time to identify your fish before you beach it and to make sure you are properly able to distinguish between sockeye, springs, coho and steelhead.

Here is a quick guide for anyone wondering:

(I don't really have any clear pictures of sockeye so if someone would like to post one that would be great)

Usually the first thing people look for are spots on the back, which could be any one of three species of fish at this time of year (4 during pink years).

The most common 'spotted' catch at this time of year are springs, which of course are open for retention. The can be identified by their black gums, spotting along the back, and spots on both the upper and lower lobes of their tails.

Here is a photo showing the black gums:



Here is a full length photo of a spring. Although this isn't the best example, you can see the spots on the upper and lower lobes of the tail.



Another possible catch at this time of year are steelhead. These can be identified by their heavily spotted square tails (top and bottom lobe), spotted backs and white gums. Also, as they mature their cheeks will turn rosy. Here is a full length photo, a tail shot and a close up of a head showing the white gums.







Finally we get to coho. The easiest way to identify a coho is by its white gums and by its tail which will only have a few spots on the upper lobe.

Here is a full length photo of a coho. You can quite clearly see the few spots on the upper half of the tail as well as the white gums.




Hopefully this was helpful to a few anglers and hopefully this will help to prevent similar photos to the one that I opened this post with. Remember, to always identify your catch before taking it out of the water and that when you are not sure of the identity of a fish its best to release it. It is your responsibility to know your fish species do not rely on the people around you because the sad fact is, that many of your fellow anglers out on the bar don't have a clue.



« Last Edit: September 04, 2010, 09:39:49 PM by Sterling C »
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bbronswyk2000

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2010, 09:20:23 PM »

Picture no workie for me....

The sad thing is these coho are also being caught in nets.
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Rodney

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2010, 09:24:11 PM »

Photo link fixed.

FishOn36

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2010, 09:59:06 PM »

This is a really helpful for those who may have a hard time identifying the different salmon species. Only problem is, it show what they look like in their spawning stages. NOTE: You will need a PDF file viewer application in order to open this!

http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/pac_salmon_id.pdf
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BigFisher

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2010, 11:04:27 PM »

Good on yeah. Theres just to many people and too much stress on the person to get the fish on the beach ASAP and out of the way. No time to think and identify, until its half way up the beach. :-\

What exactly were you doing at Peg Leg?  ::)
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alwaysfishn

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2010, 07:40:55 AM »


What exactly were you doing at Peg Leg?  ::)


I think that is irrelevant to the point of this topic. ::)
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BNF861

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2010, 08:15:56 AM »

Thanks for posting SterlingC. A sad sight to see :(

Very informative post especially with the pictures. Hopefully more people will take the time to identify their catch.

Hopefully DFO will close sockeye retention very soon to protect the wild interior fraser coho and steelhead that will be passing through. There are simply way too many people uneducated in species ID out on the river right now and sights like this will be more and more common the longer the sockeye opening continues. Like bbronswyk2000 posted, all the nets on the river are even less selective.
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Sterling C

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2010, 09:21:38 AM »


What exactly were you doing at Peg Leg?  ::)


Went for as stroll to check things out. I haven't participated in this fishery for several years now.
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BigFisher

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2010, 04:41:38 PM »

Today I was out and the fishing was good, there were lots of people getting there fish and then I noticed the guy just down from us cleaning his fish. I could clearly see the fish from where I was and right away I was thinking Coho, but I walked down to make sure, cause It could have been a little jack spring from where I was standing. Surely enough it was a dime bright Coho. The guy was tying the fish off to the back of his boat in the water (maybe to hide it?), I asked to see it and he lifts it up and in a sheepish voice he says 'What is it? I thought it was a spring", I told him buddy you just killed and illegal Coho. I could not doing anything, and did not make a scene about it, and walked away. I told him he should get rid of it, or cook it up for everyone on the beach, and walked away.

I dont know what he did with the fish after I left, and he continued fishing for his sockeye. Later in the day a guy fishing up river, mentions of a steelhead that was beached a couple days ago on the same bar, which was really disappointing to hear. But on top of all this there were 6 older guys above us who had caught all there limits yet continued fishing, all catch and release for the next hour and a half, maybe a dozen fish released total. That wasnt even the worse part, One of the guy doing all this catch and release has the 'Fraser valley Salmon Society' logo on the side of his boat.  :-\ Now Im all for catch and Release, but this fishery is the wrong place for it. I know this year is a booming year for the sockeye but come on, respect the fish. Get your 2 and get the hell out.
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dennyman

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2010, 06:55:51 PM »

Sad to hear stuff like this is going on. Can it be any simpler, get your two fish and leave.  However, it seems  these rules and regs. don't apply  to some of the fishermen, such as what you saw today, unfortunately.
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BBarley

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2010, 08:06:24 PM »

River has been open for almost a month, if you haven't got your sockeye yet, play the 4 year waiting game.

Flossing is as bad as netting when it comes to targeting specific species, and a lot of the fishermen couldn't tell species apart if their life depended on it.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 08:10:36 PM by Rodney »
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Sterling C

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2010, 10:27:15 PM »

I went back out to check things out for about an hour today. It didn't take long until I stumbled across this:



After taking this photo I asked the angler if he knew what kind of fish he had killed. He told me that the other fishermen around him had told him that it was a sockeye. I kindly informed him that it was a coho and that he should not have kept that fish. I also informed him of the consequences should he be checked by a conservation officer. I then explained to him how to tell the difference between the various species of salmon and that he should always check to see what type of fish is on his line before beaching it. He seemed very receptive to my words as it was very clear he was quite new to fishing. Sadly I doubt ignorance would qualify as an excuse in court.

I also ran into the creel surveyor. I informed her of the coho from the past two days. She said that her bosses would be very interested to hear and that stuff like this is what will get the river shut down. Hopefully forever.
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BBarley

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2010, 10:35:05 PM »

Sterling_C,

Thank you for posting these pictures, they need to be seen by all. It's people like you that hold people accountable for their actions when there is nobody "representing the law" present.

The unfortunate truth is tough, this will continue to happen. DFO appears hell-bent on making sure the financial interests regarding any fishery is top priority. These meager by catches are but a formality.
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BwiBwi

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2010, 10:55:21 PM »

Thanks for posting SterlingC. A sad sight to see :(

Very informative post especially with the pictures. Hopefully more people will take the time to identify their catch.

Hopefully DFO will close sockeye retention very soon to protect the wild interior fraser coho and steelhead that will be passing through. There are simply way too many people uneducated in species ID out on the river right now and sights like this will be more and more common the longer the sockeye opening continues. Like bbronswyk2000 posted, all the nets on the river are even less selective.

It doesn't matter if sockeye is closed or not it's not like those anglers that can't identify their catch will suddenly become all knowing.  They'll just mis-identify their catch somewhere else.
What's important is on the web when purchasing salmon stamp a quick identification test should be performed.  It might not be enough but at least that'll make sure the angler has at least read the section on "Salmon Identification".
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Fish Assassin

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Re: If you fish for sockeye, this is a MUST READ
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2010, 12:00:20 AM »

Alot of the guys out sockeye fishing are just ignorant. They wouldn't know a sockeye from a bullhead. ::)
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