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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I don't get it....why are we allowed to fish and kill vedder steelhead smolts during the summer? Why is it that we can kill what is going to be our future Steelhead stock? I just don't get it.....

Mike <"))))><
 

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Well the Vedder canal is a strange place for alot of Hatchery Steelhead smolts.As these fish make there migration to the ocean,a percentage of these smolts do not go and become residual rainbows.There is a strain of wild rainbow trout mostly in the upper closed section of the river that I am sure some of are members on this site have caught in the open section or many years ago when the closed section was open to fly fishing :'(.These fish are very heavily spotted top to bottom.Beautiful looking fish :thumbup:.So the opening of 4 adipose clipped trout was brought into effect to try to eliminate the chances of the residual rainbows spawning with the wild rainbows.Did this work :confused:Who knows. This is only one reason.There are more. :cheers: If those clipped fish put a smile on some childs face, It worked for me.No harm done.


cheers sage
 

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I believe some of the DFO staff were actually looking into smolt catch rates last weekend, in order to try and decide if something should be done to protect them while they're in the river.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I understand about putting a smile on a kids face, as thats one of the main reasons for catchable "trout" lakes....but I do not understand how we could let our winter steelhead smolt stock be caught on the way out....and plus there are a lot of people that are not children out there getting smolts, bonking them and away they go.... :-\
 

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A good point made, Mike.........Last year, when fishing for Springs, I witnessed several guys fishing with a float/worm and they caught and bonked quite a few of these little guys(actually, when I checked with the hatchery staff, they said most of the smolts released were approaching 12-14 inches and around a lb.)
It is just one more reason to not use bait in July and the bycatch of these little guys may be reduced.
I guess one question to be answered is How many residual fish hang out in the Vedder/Chilli and never leave the canal? What % actually hit the big muddy and out to the ocean?.............Ortho 8)
 

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I definately agree with you on this one Mike... It doesn't make sense... But a thought to add that probably won't be well received on this board, is that in my opinion, with the future of our fisheries in the diminishing state that they're in, combined with the pressure on this particular flow, maybe the whole river should be catch and release for all species. Why just be concerned with steelhead conservation? I think now, more than ever, is the time for progressive movement... Think of how much better this system would be in a few years witrh less pressure, and no bonking. :confused:

Now if you excuse me I've got to crawl back in my shell and take cover. :cheers:
 

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Trout Chaser, i couldnt agree more. Obviously we like to bonk a fish every now and again, makes for good eating, but i believe protecting out future fisheries is much more important. Say, as an example, 2,000 fish are bonked on the Vedder each year (please dont criticise that number ;D) well that 2000 fish that probably made it up to spawn, will most like produce another 2000 fish or more. This number may not seem very large, but it might increase year by year. :2cents:
 

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troutchaser said:
I definately agree with you on this one Mike... It doesn't make sense... But a thought to add that probably won't be well received on this board, is that in my opinion, with the future of our fisheries in the diminishing state that they're in, combined with the pressure on this particular flow, maybe the whole river should be catch and release for all species. Why just be concerned with steelhead conservation? I think now, more than ever, is the time for progressive movement... Think of how much better this system would be in a few years witrh less pressure, and no bonking. :confused:

Now if you excuse me I've got to crawl back in my shell and take cover. :cheers:
Careful what you wish for troutchaser. :naughty: If you shut the Vedder down to kill fisheries, then DFO will have less pressure to maintain the hatchery facilities. And you know how they itch atthe thought of shutting down another hatchery. :-\ :pissed:
 

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Why couldnt they make it catch and release for a couple years and keep the hatchery going to keep building up stocks. Lets face it, with the increase of angling pressure more and more every year, why dont they just make it C&R, so they rebuild depleating stocks to ensure future angling enjoyment by us and upcomming anglers. Yeah sure its nice to bonk a fish every now and then but does anyone really have that big of a problem with practicing C&R for a cpuple years to bring up numbers. Call it preventative maintenance. Isnt it better to do something to soon than too late? my :2cents:
 

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The whole purpose of a hatchery like the Chilliwack facility is to provide sportsfishing opportunities for all. This includes you & me, guides and their guests and all the tourists that flock to the area with the knowledge that they have a realistic opportunity to bring home a salmon. The salmon populations in the river (aside from the sockeye ) are enhanced by the hatchery. Clipped fish were raised to be bonked....Now, plenty of them are released every year hopefully to put a bend in someone elses rod before they die.
The steelhead hatchery program appears to be quite successful as well. Many fish are caught and released, but hatchery fish are caught and brought home by a wide range of anglers every day during the season.
I doubt if you will see a catch & release fishery here.....too much at stake.....Ortho 8)
 

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fishortho said:
Clipped fish were raised to be bonked....

::) ::) ::) ::)

That's why I used the word "progressive." It's time to think differently. I know it's not going to happen any time soon, but it would drastically improve the fishery, to the point where anglers of all skill sets could have a far more "realistic" oppurtunity to sportfish successfully. It'll just mean you'll have to swing by the local butcher shop on the way home if you want to fire up the bbq. But i guess we can just spur up threads like this one every July in the meantime. And if you believe that "clipped fish were raised to be bonked" than I guess you probably don't see the harm in taking the odd smolt home with you too.
 
G

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Vedder Smolts should be left alone.. Unfortunatly they are little roe pigs. Unless they Roe ban for a certain amount of time on the vedder, than they will keep on being hooked.

Best way i can think of is... Make them Catch and Release...
 

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Those fish are meant to be bonked. Think about how dense those little buggers are around opening day. Not only are they competing with the wild fish fish for food but they are also preying on the wild fry. Rivers can only support so much biomass and one would have to believe that fish of that size would certainly out compete their wild counterparts. Also, consider that these are hatchery fish. Are we willing to sacrifice the health of our wild runs so we can have a better chance of bonking a hatchery brat a few years down the road. I'm not, but if you are then I reccomend moving 3 hours south.
 

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So with the HUGE runs of WILD summer and winter steelhead getting taken by nets and other means, if we obliterate the hatchery ones because they were ment to be bonked how many more years could the vedder/chilliwack fishery go on for with the "quality fishery" that is presented now on the flow. Still guide for them, take people who want to fish for them, just why not release them to ensure the next time the guide or the out of town tourist that has dropped money in your local economy has something to catch. But im being serious here, if everyone who keeps steelhead, big or smolts, how many more years can there be a fishery for them before some sort of action SHOULD come into place?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good points fellers, I was just courious....yes protecting WILD runs of fish is a very essential thing to do, but just think of how many steelhead would return if there was a C&R rule in effect on the little buggers....
 

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Troutchaser...If you read my previous post and knew anything about me, you would know I am not in favour of bonking little smolts. :eek:The adult coho and steelhead programs are meant to enhance the area tourism which stretches into the millions of $$ annually for the area. These fish are carefully raised in a hatchery environment and released when they are larger to give them a better chance of survival. When they return, they make everyone happy!....Wild steelhead ALL need to be released in the river and that is a big plus!
The main point here IMHO is how many hatchery raised smolts are released and stay in the system, and how many actually return to the ocean? I don't think there is any reliable data to answer the question.
Certainly, there are quite a few in the system every July as many are caught, especially with bait.
Are these fish just lazy and hang around for a free lunch from the salmon that are entering the system, or do they eventually head for the ocean when the water starts to warm?
There are far fewer caught in August when the warm weather is upon us that makes me think they head out eventually. Hatchery programs provide for a great deal of the sport we enjoy, and without them our rivers would be in serious trouble, but with that said, I don't see the point in making the Chilli/Vedder C& R only as this would defeat the purpose of the existing programs and agreements..............Ortho 8)
 

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Hey Ortho,Your last two posts hit it on the head. These fish do disappear by the end of aug. making thier way down the flow or for that matter back up the flow. I agree with some of the points in regards to protecting them ,but not all. First off the vedder is known primarily as a salmon and ADULT steel head world class fishery. That being said the trout fishing pressure during July is not that great.The ones who are out there are generally pop teaching junior to fish, which in my opinion is a great way to get you child intrested in fishing with out the gong shows of the fall, I plan on taking my oldest daughter (2.5) out shortly to start to teach her our hobbY. Though we will catch and release i think it will be a valuble lesson to figure out how it all works.
Second if dfo does have any concerns about survival why wouold they have changed the retentions fron 2 fish over 30 cm. to 4 to over 20 cm. to 4 fish with no size limit.
Instead of a C&R fishery the first step you would think if there was a concern would be to change the limits back to 2 over 30, but I think the powers that be have done their homework because the july fishing for sm trout hasn't gotten any less than it was 25 years ago when we used to spend our summers scouting the pools, log jams and riffles for the little darts.
Cheers :cheers:
Crazy D
 
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