The only freshwater naturalized kings???

troutdude

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Please correct me; if I am mistaken. But doesn't Green Peter--and a couple of other Oregon lakes--have natuarlized Chinook (what we call "Chinokanee")? Here's an article, from back east...


By Lydia Lohrer, Special to Detroit Free Press12:33 a.m. EDT October 16, 2016

(Photo: Photo courtesy Sen. Dave Hildenbrand)
This is a tale of two Lake Michigan fish species that would be king: chinook (king) salmon and lake trout.

Last week the Michigan DNR was flummoxed when Wisconsin, the neighbor across Lake Michigan where both species reside, made a surprise declaration that salmon would hold the throne.

Chinook salmon are a savory silver cash attraction, dancing on the fishing lines of tourists and funding much of the lakeside economy. They were introduced to eat invasive alewives some 50 years ago and are considered a naturalized species. Michigan has the only naturally reproducing freshwater king salmon fishery in the world.

The more sluggish lake trout are the original predators. They take 20-some years to reach full size. By the time they make it, they are too rife with accumulated toxins to be much use as food. Some live to be more than 40 years old.

Lakers declined as alewives rose: alewife consumption causes nutritional deficiencies, making them infertile from the unnatural diet. Today, with so many other invasives to eat, they are doing fine. They both compete for alewives.

Both species are stocked, grown in raceways by biologists and released into the wild. Both species reproduce to some degree on their own.

The lake trout cost more to raise. Grown and clipped for identification and released at around 10 inches long, they’re strong and ready for life. Salmon are released as 3-inch fry. Larger lakers don’t hesitate to gobble up a meal of smaller salmon fry.

Now alewives are on the decline, and the state is reducing salmon stocking a great deal (46%), and lake trout a wee bit (18%). This so displeased anglers and those whose businesses depend on the king salmon that they formed an organization, the Great Lakes Salmon Initiative. They felt the DNR wasn’t listening to their concerns.

Across the pond in Wisconsin, after countless meetings with citizen groups, the DNR decided to reduce their lake trout stocking by half and maintain the salmon.

In order to understand this disparity, I contacted various officials. Michigan’s fisheries director, Jim Dexter, hasn’t returned my calls since I opposed an aspect of one of his fisheries’ orders more than a year ago. I tried texting him this time.

“So, wouldn’t reducing the stocking of lake trout in Michigan increase the availability of baitfish for salmon?” I inquired.

“All agencies agree to not reduce any further than we have. If we do we jeopardize 50-plus years of rehabilitation efforts,” Dexter messaged.

Except that’s not quite true. Wisconsin is reducing lake trout stocking in half. Does this mean they’re jeopardizing the restoration? Also, was their decision based on public pressure or was it science?

I turned to Todd Kalish and finally reached Jennifer Serena, the public information officer. She said they did have an equivalency formula for how many lake trout equal a salmon, in terms of consumption, but it wasn’t handy. She told me that although people were out of the office, I should e-mail my questions. She would get them answered.

I asked for confirmation that the reductions were science-based rather than related to social pressures. I also asked for the equivalency formula used to determine fish stocking reductions.

I waited two hours and then realized I had Kalish’s number. He seemed eager to talk and said he would call when he reached Traverse City. I never heard from him again, though I called and sent texts.

I receieved an e-mail at 9:41 thanking me for my patience, explaining that everyone was unavailable and repeated a partial statement from a news release.

So dear readers, conspiracy theories thrive — among biologists who wonder if their science is being ignored, and among the charter captains and business owners who wonder if we can’t get the same results a different way. I can’t offer many answers.

The folks who make public decisions are not forthcoming. It’s a little strange.
 

rogerdodger

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my understanding is the chinook plantings in Green Peter were an experiment that used up some extra chinook smolt and they didn't end up becoming a self generating population, but I could be wrong.

I do know that Lake Coeur'd'Alene has had chinook salmon in it for at least 50 years that run up one of its inlet rivers to spawn...largest one in 22 years was caught back in July:

http://cdapress.com/news/local_news/...d728fd0f4.html
 

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troutdude

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Thanks Roger.

However, the reason for my question, is that I saw Chinook, in "GP", back in the mid-80's. Acutally they were several miles up, and into, Quartzville Creek. In fact they were way up past Yellow Bottom. My buddy at the old Anderson's Sporting Goods, Chuck, confirmed my suspicion that they were Nooks. He then told me, about planting...I believe, in the early 80's.

And Throbbit Shane caught one in GP, just some 4 years ago (give our take a year). So I'd assume that they have become naturalized, by spawning in the tribs. Maybe they even move into, the Middle Santiam. But I have never been, up that high, on that stream.
 

rogerdodger

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the info that I could locate is that 2008 was the last fingerling chinook plantings in Green Peter and I think the one Throbbit caught was most likely one of the last of those planted fish...if chinook were effectively reproducing in GP, there should be lots of reports of them being caught. I think in the last couple of years there have been chinook fingerling plantings in Detroit but too soon to know if they will reproduce.

either way, the report from Lake Michigan is wrong about that lake having the only natural reproducing freshwater chinook fishery in the world.
 

troutdude

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Thanks for digging into that. I didn't know about, any more recent plantings. Come to think of it, catching them is indeed rare. At least peeps, don't talk about it much. Had a hunch that the article, was incorrect. Unless they meant the only lake, out of the remaing Great Lakes--and didn't mean all lakes, across the board.
 
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