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Author Topic: Pitching salmon carcasses  (Read 1404 times)

Rodney

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Pitching salmon carcasses
« on: November 13, 2019, 09:04:32 PM »

I had the opportunity to follow along with the staff at Chilliwack River Hatchery this afternoon after they completed their coho salmon spawn. We headed up to one of the Chilliwack River tributaries and pitched carcasses into it. This is done to provide additional nutrients for the watershed in the months to come, which will benefit trees, insects and eventually their offsprings next spring.







DanL

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2019, 09:22:32 PM »

That's cool. After filleting fish I save the trimmings / heads and instead of composting, I try bring them back and chuck them into the vedder or Fraser a few times each season.

just curious if anyone knows offhand approx how many fish do they use to continue the hatchery program?
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Dave

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2019, 02:02:52 PM »

Nice job Rod!
I'm glad that some of the things going on in the watershed are being brought to the attention of those that weren't aware.  Looking forward to seeing your FVWC video. 
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Wiseguy

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2019, 02:46:32 PM »

Cool!
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Rodney

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2019, 11:23:07 AM »

just curious if anyone knows offhand approx how many fish do they use to continue the hatchery program?

I have a video coming out hopefully next week (got a cold right now, no voice to film it) which will provide an overview of the hatchery program and this year's returns.

Nice job Rod!
I'm glad that some of the things going on in the watershed are being brought to the attention of those that weren't aware.  Looking forward to seeing your FVWC video. 

There was one thing that took me by surprise at the SFAC meeting last night. I knew that surplus coho from the hatchery once brood requirement is achieved are picked up by Soowahlie as part of the ESSR (Excess Salmon to Spawning Requirements) fishery. What I didn't know was surplus chum salmon from the fishway are also taken as part of the ESSR fishery. This seems absurd to me when the entire watershed is lacking chum salmon and there is a conservation concern. I wanted to know if it makes more sense to have these fish transported to either the upper watershed or the newly built spawning habitat downstream so we could maximize productivity. When looked into it further, it appears that it is not done due to resource limitation (staffing, time and equipment).

wildmanyeah

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2019, 11:30:01 AM »

What happens to the Chinook? do they get packaged for ESSR as well.
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Rodney

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2019, 11:35:21 AM »

Good question, I actually don't know. The impression I got was that only coho and chum salmon fall in the ESSR fisheries.

Speaking of chinook salmon. FYI, summer red return was good this year, 1,000 made it to the hatchery. The fall white return this year at the hatchery was around 5,000. Previous year's fall white returns are 14,000 last year, 9,000 in 2017, 8,000 in 2016.

Brood requirements have been met for all species this season and the hatchery is running at full capacity.

wildmanyeah

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2019, 11:44:32 AM »

I think having almost no rain in october helped anglers be very successful in catching chinooks this year.  From the pictures on social media you would of thought this was one of the best years for chinook.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 11:46:14 AM by wildmanyeah »
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avid angler

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2019, 02:55:14 PM »

Good question, I actually don't know. The impression I got was that only coho and chum salmon fall in the ESSR fisheries.

Speaking of chinook salmon. FYI, summer red return was good this year, 1,000 made it to the hatchery. The fall white return this year at the hatchery was around 5,000. Previous year's fall white returns are 14,000 last year, 9,000 in 2017, 8,000 in 2016.

Brood requirements have been met for all species this season and the hatchery is running at full capacity.

That’s real interesting Rodney. I noticed there was much better chinook salmon this year in river compared to last. And two years ago there was better fishing then last year as well.
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Rodney

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2019, 03:44:47 PM »

I think most anglers on the Vedder including myself this year would say both the chinook and coho salmon fishing is really good. I even prematurely said this was the best coho season since I started some 20 years ago, but the second half of the season didn't really pan out the way it was expected. The total number of coho salmon counted at the hatchery so far is around 12,000. By the time it finishes, it should be around 20,000. That's half of last year's
(40,000).

How many fish arrive at the hatchery is not an indicator of what the stock size is. Angling/retention pressure is most likely a significant factor on the smaller return at the hatchery. As mentioned, that low water conditions resulted in some pretty fabulous fishing for most people in the lower river, there wasn't a shortage of fish being retained.

The good news is that how many hatchery coho salmon people choose to retain legally doesn't really have an impact on the return in three years from now. The hatchery collects the broods they need, and the impact from our retention is really only on how many fish get transported to Soowahlie First Nation. The only concern that I can think of is repeat capture of unmarked coho salmon, which would influence their spawning success. In this case I personally would not oppose to a regulation similar to steelhead where anglers need to stop fishing once the daily quota is reached.

Dave

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2019, 04:09:25 PM »

I wonder what the economic value of these Chilliwack hatchery ESSR fish is to Soowhalie?  Most of the fish on the sorting table are very mature sexually, and well past their best for eating so I suppose they go to a pet food market or reduction plant. 
I guess what I'm getting at is would these excess fish be better used as carcass dumps to provide nutrients??
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Rodney

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2019, 04:26:52 PM »

I don't think that discussion is even on Soowahlie's radar Dave. ;) These fish are picked up directly by the fish plant and sent to Steveston for processing, so my guess there is very little hands-on involvement by the band. The roe from harvested chum salmon is probably the most valuable. Everything else is probably processed as pet food like you mentioned.

Nevermind having the carcasses in the river, I want those fish to be spawning in the river when we are struggling to reach escapement goal. It makes absolutely no sense that on one hand resource managers are concerned about not getting enough fish back while they are actually being harvested anyway.

Perhaps it's a conversation that needs to be started with the band, but no idea how you'd even get there. Telling someone not to harvest the fish they are legally entitled to, maybe consideration would be given if they are aware that the river is lacking chum salmon. With so much talk about the low chum salmon returns, I would find it hard to believe that they didn't get the memo.

wildmanyeah

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2019, 05:02:44 PM »

I think the Value to ESSR fisheries is too keep the nets out of our tributaries that have hatcheries

I could be totally off base with that comment but.....
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 05:09:11 PM by wildmanyeah »
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Rodney

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2019, 05:23:49 PM »

If escapement isn’t met, nets would be out of the water. I don’t see why the same can’t apply to ESSR, considering it stands for “excessive salmon to spawning requirement”.

wildmanyeah

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Re: Pitching salmon carcasses
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2019, 06:13:22 PM »

If escapement isn’t met, nets would be out of the water. I don’t see why the same can’t apply to ESSR, considering it stands for “excessive salmon to spawning requirement”.

I believe the only fish that are harvested for ESSR are the ones that swim right into the hatchery.

If to many chum are returning to the hatchery wouldn't the easiest solution be to release more chum in the tributaries of the C/V, Rather then in a location where they will return to and swim into the hatchery?

I know some community hatcheries that dont have hatchery intakes or outlets this year are taking less brood so more chum will naturally spawn and feed the local bears.
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