Pikeminnow

ChezJfrey

Well-known member
Anyone wanna talk pikeminnow. Who's getting ready
Ha! I caught my first one on a fly, on the Clack, just the other day :) Had me jazzed for a bit, because it wasn't a darn smolt...too big. But, it wasn't a steelhead for sure and it took me awhile of confusion before I could finally realize what the heck that fish was on the end of my line.
 

DrTheopolis

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If I don't plan to eat it (or turn it in for a few bucks), I release it. Although I have no problem with people killing non-native species for whatever reason.

Biggest pikeminnow I ever saw came out of the Clack.
 

rogerdodger

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I am a fellow infidel. They are a native species and have survived alongside salmon and steelhead since the dawn of time.
exactly, the dams on the Columbia resulted in a higher population and larger sizes which is why there is a 'pay to catch' program there (funded by BPA) to reduce the numbers and especially get the largest ones out. most locations, pikeminnows are just a native species doing their thing, I let them be;

now smallmouth bass are non-native and if you want to help our anadromous fish, bass should be harvested whenever legal to the limit from salmon/steelhead waterways.
 

bass

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exactly, the dams on the Columbia resulted in a higher population and larger sizes which is why there is a 'pay to catch' program there (funded by BPA) to reduce the numbers and especially get the largest ones out. most locations, pikeminnows are just a native species doing their thing, I let them be;

now smallmouth bass are non-native and if you want to help our anadromous fish, bass should be harvested whenever legal to the limit from salmon/steelhead waterways.
Yep, I was going to add the comment about the dams supposedly giving them a predatory advantage. I would be curious to know how it was determined that this is true. I doubt that there are pikieminnow population records from before the dams were created.

You have to love the thought process.

Man builds dams that harm native salmon habitat. Solution: Kill a different native species and offer money to do it :)
 

rogerdodger

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looks like they have studied the crap out of pikeminnows....appears they are very adaptive and good at finding target rich food sources.

"Thus, the species potential for adaptation has allowed northern pikeminnows to flourish despite construction and operation of the Columbia Basin hydropower system. Dams, and specifically the orientation and creation of protected habitat and increased prey availability (e.g. the juvenile fish bypass outlet of Bonneville Dam) create favorable areas for high densities of northern pikeminnow and salmon smolts that make the predation of northern pikeminnow more efficient, thus perhaps enhancing, rather than limiting, pikeminnow population growth and productivity (B. Muir, NOAA Fisheries, personal communication). In the lower Columbia River Basin, reservoirs impounded by dams in the Cowlitz and Lewis river systems (Mayfield Lake and Merwin Lake respectively) likely contributed to increased abundance and production of pikeminnow (J. Tipping reports, WDFW mid-90s)."

http://www.nwcouncil.org/media/21163/Vol._III_Ch._5__Pikeminnow.pdf
 

bass

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looks like they have studied the crap out of pikeminnows....appears they are very adaptive and good at finding target rich food sources.

"Thus, the species potential for adaptation has allowed northern pikeminnows to flourish despite construction and operation of the Columbia Basin hydropower system. Dams, and specifically the orientation and creation of protected habitat and increased prey availability (e.g. the juvenile fish bypass outlet of Bonneville Dam) create favorable areas for high densities of northern pikeminnow and salmon smolts that make the predation of northern pikeminnow more efficient, thus perhaps enhancing, rather than limiting, pikeminnow population growth and productivity (B. Muir, NOAA Fisheries, personal communication). In the lower Columbia River Basin, reservoirs impounded by dams in the Cowlitz and Lewis river systems (Mayfield Lake and Merwin Lake respectively) likely contributed to increased abundance and production of pikeminnow (J. Tipping reports, WDFW mid-90s)."

http://www.nwcouncil.org/media/21163/Vol._III_Ch._5__Pikeminnow.pdf
Yep, I see "PERHAPS enhancing, rather than limiting, pikeminnow population growth and productivity" and "LIKELY contributed to increased abundance and production of pikeminnow ". So they have studied the crap out of it but do not seem to have a conclusive answer.

I believe that what they are saying is probably true but I am not completely convinced. I wish I could see number on pikieminnows per mile for the Willamette, lower Columbia and the pools on the Columbia. What is average increase in fish per mile caused by the dams? How many pikieminnows are in the river to predate on smolt? How much can they eat in a day?

These are the questions I can't seem to find an answer to. Certainly any time you funnel prey through a small opening you will increase the predation during that event. However, a few weeks of feasting on smolts can't sustain a population for an entire year. What do pikieninnows eat for most of they year? Are the prey they normally consume competitors of salmon smolts? Is it possible they offer a net benefit to the system?

I always get the feeling that a lot of the pikieminnow hate exists to form a smokescreen for the more dire issues that salmon and steelhead face.
 

rogerdodger

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Yep, I see "PERHAPS enhancing, rather than limiting, pikeminnow population growth and productivity" and "LIKELY contributed to increased abundance and production of pikeminnow ". So they have studied the crap out of it but do not seem to have a conclusive answer.

I believe that what they are saying is probably true but I am not completely convinced. I wish I could see number on pikieminnows per mile for the Willamette, lower Columbia and the pools on the Columbia. What is average increase in fish per mile caused by the dams? How many pikieminnows are in the river to predate on smolt? How much can they eat in a day?

These are the questions I can't seem to find an answer to. Certainly any time you funnel prey through a small opening you will increase the predation during that event. However, a few weeks of feasting on smolts can't sustain a population for an entire year. What do pikieninnows eat for most of they year? Are the prey they normally consume competitors of salmon smolts? Is it possible they offer a net benefit to the system?

I always get the feeling that a lot of the pikieminnow hate exists to form a smokescreen for the more dire issues that salmon and steelhead face.
Bass- note the link and quote are from a chapter from what I assume is a text book on fish, so the wording you point out would be expected since this isn't a single technical paper or study. what you are looking for is basically a doctorate level thesis that pulls together all the data and evidence, adds to it, and draws supportable conclusions from it. not having that at our fingertips at this moment doesn't mean it doesn't exist...:thumb:
 

bass

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Bass- note the link and quote are from a chapter from what I assume is a text book on fish, so the wording you point out would be expected since this isn't a single technical paper or study. what you are looking for is basically a doctorate level thesis that pulls together all the data and evidence, adds to it, and draws supportable conclusions from it. not having that at our fingertips at this moment doesn't mean it doesn't exist...:thumb:
Yes, I understand. It just seems that every time I see anything quoted about pikieminnows that it always has these types of qualifiers buried in the statements. I would like to see something more definitive.
 

DrTheopolis

Well-known member
I always get the feeling that a lot of the pikieminnow hate exists to form a smokescreen for the more dire issues that salmon and steelhead face.
Pretty much my thoughts. The pikeminnow are a scapegoat, which was sold quite well by the BPA.

I actually registered one day before fishing the C, and of course didn't catch any. It's my understanding that the fishing is much better either immediately above or below the dams. Pretty much sucks in the Portland area.
 

hawkeyes

New member
Pretty much my thoughts. The pikeminnow are a scapegoat, which was sold quite well by the BPA.

I actually registered one day before fishing the C, and of course didn't catch any. It's my understanding that the fishing is much better either immediately above or below the dams. Pretty much sucks in the Portland area.
why is it the guy that can't catch any makes derogatory remarks about the program.like scapegoat,
 
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