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splashhopper

To collect salmon roe or not ?

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I am in a bit of a quandary this season about taking roe from salmon. (Not that I have even caught one yet. :P)

 

Especially after watching this documentary on the BC salmon >>

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XODQ0MDg4MDA=.html?full=true

 

However, in the Lake Huron tribs that i frequent the salmon seem smaller and fewer than last year and the year before that.

 

If a salmon has 500-1000 eggs in its belly and we harvest them, are we shortchanging our sport for future generations?

 

 

I post this question not so much to engage a debate, but as to your OWN experience and why you do or do not harvest the roe from the salmon.

 

 

Thanks

 

Splashhopper

 

 

PS

I am fully aware of the commercial fishing and native over fishing issues, so PLEASE keep those separate issues out of this thread.

Thanks for your consideration.

Edited by splashhopper

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Guest ThisPlaceSucks

i harvest roe from steelhead once or twice a season. i don't fish for salmon so i can't really comment but i assume the situation is similar.

i doubt a fish per person that fishes salmon would make a difference. i would assume guys who keep a bunch of fish from tribs, or bigwater downriggers would have a much greater impact.

 

also, my understanding of pacific salmon introductions was that they were introduced to curtail the alewife populations, which accounted for much of the great lakes biomass. perhaps as they achieved their intended purpose, coupled with increased angling pressure, they no longer fluorish as they once did. this is a hypothesis however i'm sure there will be many of those in this thread.

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It's my understanding that the success of natural salmon reproduction in Great lakes tribs is not well understood, or at least there is a lot of mistaken info floating around out there. I've read/heard estimates that put the % of naturally produced fish at anywhere from 5-50% of the great lakes populations. Either way the salmon population is highly dependent on stocking. So while I personally don't fish for salmon, and therefor don't keep any, I doubt keeping a few fish for roe will have an impact. Personally I'd prefer people take salmon as opposed to steelies for roe ;)

Edited by timmeh

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I don't fish for Trout or Salmon much any more but plan on being in Kincardine this weekend a bit with my uncles they will keep what they catch, the salmon have the alewifes & smelt under control & the Lake Trout are coming back, some of the older guys in Kincardine believe the smelt spawned after the lake trout & after they hatched they ate all the lake trout fry, less smelt more lake trout?

Richard

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If you'd like to harvest roe for bait then salmon roe is the way to go, specifically Chinook.

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I am a 100% user of the resource. To me that means I fish for fun,I fish for competition and I fish to eat.

 

Nobody should feel bad about keeping 1 salmon or 1 Steelhead for some roe. But you should do everything in your power to consume the whole fish or at less bury it under your rose bush (maybe that's my roses look bad).

 

Gutting it and leaving the carcass just shows no respect.

 

It's true salmon were stock to control alwives, yesterday I seen 50-60 salmon working reds in a very short stretch of Bowmanville Creek and 5% natural reproduction from eggs would be very good.

 

Garnet

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I keep a bunch of nice early run silver salmon each year to eat, the roe is definatly a bonus for me. I have found myself feeling guilty about keeping the females the past few years. Especially after reading a few reports saying the g-bay tribs i fish have a very high amount of naturally reproducing salmon. But like others have mentioned they were originally stocked to keep the alwives under controll, now that they are under controll maybe its just time for the salmon to move on. I can only hope that atleast a small run of these fish does remain. I don't see anything wrong with keeping a few females as long as the entire fish is utilized. Anyhow you asked so i gave my 2 cents.

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More salmon spawning is good up to a certain point. What everyone fails to realize is the "carrying capacity " of the nursery water and the ability of the fry/smolts to reach full term , that is in the end the number of new fish that will be entering the population in the lake. Once you reach a certain number of spawning fish any increase in the number of spawners will not impact the number of recruits to the population. To achieve the numbers of fish that anglers want in the lake I think we are looking at augmenting the natural production with hatchery fish .

I'm not condoning the flagrant waste of fish for roe or the guys that think they need several gallon ziplock baggies for personal use, bet more is wasted than actually gets used as bait Probably preaching to the choir here as most of us here that use roe are not guilty of the excesses that we witness, but I don't think responsible collection of a few eggs as bait impacts the population.

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I'll keep salmon roe from Ontario, but all steelhead hens go back unharmed.

 

I'll tap the great resource aka Lake E tribs in the winter if I need some steelie roe.

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On a bit of a tangent, has anyone tried harvesting sucker spawn for bait?

 

I read about steelhead eating sucker eggs and see flies tied to imitate them. Is this a viable option?

 

 

My thoughts on the smaller size of the salmon, at least anecdotally reported in all of the GLs, is the lack of a high quality food source. I know at least in Huron and Superior, that the smelt population (for whatever reason) is nowhere near the levels of 10-15 years ago.

 

After a population boom there is always a bust then movement back to an ecosystem equilibrium. Whether some type of contaminant (or cocktail) is affecting growth and reproductive success remains to be determined. Tissue contaminant levels haven't greatly changed in the GL fish.

 

Maybe we should let salmon populations collapse and fix lingering water quality issues so that brook trout will once again dominate the lakes.

Edited by troutologist

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A large part of crap that goes on during the salmon run could be curtailed if the taking of fish for roe was stopped. In many jurisdictions in the States roe is banned from being used as bait, it's only a matter of time before that happens here. In the mean time if you recognize that your angling skills aren't up to par and you need the salmonid equivalent of a bobber & dew worm to catch a fish, atleast harvest your roe from tribs that rely on stockers (Bronte & Credit) and not natural reproduction (Eastern tribs, GBay).

 

...But like others have mentioned they were originally stocked to keep the alwives under controll, now that they are under controll maybe its just time for the salmon to move on...

 

Heretic!

 

Maybe we should let salmon populations collapse and fix lingering water quality issues so that brook trout will once again dominate the lakes.

 

Uh.......okay. :blink:

All considerations of the mighty dominant speckled brook trout aside, I think you meant lakers. There's gobs of greasers...err...lakers in Lake O. Nobody fishes for them, unless the salmon & trout really aren't biting, they're an inferior sportfish in every respect to salmon & steelhead.

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they're an inferior sportfish in every respect to salmon & steelhead.

 

Luckily that's an opinion and not fact...

 

A lot of people would disagree with you.

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I read about steelhead eating sucker eggs and see flies tied to imitate them. Is this a viable option?

It's a nice idea, but not terribly practical. Sucker eggs are really tiny, so tying loose eggs in bags is really not an option as they go right through even the finest mesh. So you have to deal with chunks of immature, skeined eggs. Unfortunately, those just don't freeze well - they tend to turn to mush really quickly. I guess you could try and Pro-Cure them, but it's not likely worth the hassle.

 

Maybe we should let salmon populations collapse and fix lingering water quality issues so that brook trout will once again dominate the lakes.

Brook trout have never dominated any of the Great Lakes, at any point in recorded history. Not sure where that idea came from.

 

Lake trout were at one time the dominant species on the Great Lakes. But as CLofchik notes, not many people fish specifically for them today. Lake trout just do not melt line from your reel like a chinook, nor do they jump all over the place like a steelhead or a coho.

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I agree with you both about brook trout. I guess my wording wasn't the best. Given a choice, I would rather have effort put into restoring coaster brook trout than pacific salmon.

 

Saying this hurts cuz I really really like steelhead fishing.

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Guest steel'n'esox

My collection of salmon roe involved walking the rivers for dead chinooks which havnt spawned and not been dead too long, 3 fish 2 were loose and one in the skein, lots more to choose from as well. did fish that day Sept 30 and caught one 5lb brown which was released, not a big fan of chinnys when there up the river

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On a bit of a tangent, has anyone tried harvesting sucker spawn for bait?

 

I read about steelhead eating sucker eggs and see flies tied to imitate them. Is this a viable option?

 

i have with minimal sucess...but it was ONLY fresh that worked in my experience

 

Maybe we should let salmon populations collapse and fix lingering water quality issues so that brook trout will once again dominate the lakes.

 

 

i respectfully disagree with this ....the fight of a brookie is in small comparision to a chinook...

 

 

i keep one hen of salmon a year and it lasts me through the steelie season ...in the spring i keep one steelie hen and it lasts me through the fall ...but my preference definatly lies with salmon roe

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Its a personal decision to harvest or not, within a sustainable fish population Im all for harvest to the point of sustainability, outside of that well obviously not. Personally dont harvest off the N shore Im more of a gold sorta guy and prefer to harvest in a clearly put delay and take fishery. I will say though next few years are going to be filled with hot fish due to the recent yrs weather

 

The Credit's fish population of salmonids that come from wild stock vastly out number the stockers these days in all cases other then say the ho's and maybe browns. Checking the charters and mooching from the weigh in stations during the derby are a great sorce for eggs, as many want to eat the fish and could care less about the eggs, besides its skein and it way out performs loose eggs as the weather gets colder

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I would harvest from chinooks. I'm new to salmon fishing but I think 1 chinook's roe is plenty enough for a season. After that, I'd only eat males anyways since I feel that females are being pulled out at a horribly uneven rate. On the same topic of harvesting roe, what is the deal with collecting loose roe. I caught one last year and quite a few eggs were spilling out. The fish was released. So are the loose eggs considered towards your limit?

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