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TOPIC: What is in a number?

What is in a number? Dec 10, 2019 5:02 am #25564

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In 2016, we (Indiana) stocked approx. 200,000+ Kings. We stocked those kings in 3 ports of Indiana. East Chicago, Portage and Michigan City.
The number of stocked kings for us, was also part of the lake wide numbers.
2019 the return to Indiana of spawning kings was somewhere around a 1/2 percent across all 3 ports.
So when did those baby kings die?
Why did they die?
There is a couple of issues here. The #1 issue is hardly any kings survived. The #2 issue is the 200,000+ number is part of the total lake amount count. Is a number just that???? A number!!! So how does a -200,000 effect lake wide numbers?
My point is don't get hung up on numbers. If all those numbers equated to live fish well that's different then.
What we need to do is not focus on what other states are doing but what is Indiana doing?Are we going to stock 3 ports again with less fish?
What did Indiana do to make sure that king smolts will survive? How will doing the same give us different results?
How do we make sure that we fill a gap in our fishery? Remember if 200,000 didn't work,,,,, the next few fall spawning years coming will be pretty non existent.
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Last edit: by Lickety-Split.

What is in a number? Dec 10, 2019 9:42 am #25565

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What would the results be if all 3 ports adopted net pen programs to protect the salmon from predators until they imprint and smolt? There seems to be a lot of history we could learn from. Lake Ontario has been doing it for decades and has now expanded the program to cover 8 harbors. Wisconsin is expanding their net pen program. Michigan is also using them. Reported increased return rates are high enough that they now embrace and are expanding the program .
What permits would we need?
Who would take care of the nets and the fish?
It's an all volunteer program that requires monitoring water temps, oxygen levels and feeding the fish for a 3 to 5 week period until the smolts are released, usually under the cover of darkness. This would all have to be done in coordination with the local DNR.
Fin clipping and/or Coded Wire Tags could be used to identify net pen fish over direct stocked salmon to monitor survival rates when they return.

Right or Wrong, If our problem is survival, I don't think we can afford to continue doing nothing when we have nothing to lose.
Net pens could double our return rate over direct stocked fish and there have been return rates reported as high as 7:1 over direct stocking.
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Last edit: by StormJunkie.

What is in a number? Dec 10, 2019 10:51 am #25566

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Dave,
as always thank you for your responses. I see how much time you have been putting studying in on the net pen projects. I certainly think steps to make improvements where we can are all positive.
You, Harry and others, like Capt. Mike, Capt. John, other recreational fishermen that are really into it have all been asking questions and searching for answers. Maybe it is time to put together a INLMC(Indiana Lake Michigan Committee) for Indiana. There is so much that could be looked at. I do not think anyone has The 1 answer to this cross word puzzle. I would think getting the right people across all 3 ports sitting down to discuss "Where do we go next" is another positive. We have all watched and saw the lake adjust seasonally. Is bringing every bodies ideas to the table and looking at what can/can't be done easily and what would take time the next step??????. Again all positives .
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What is in a number? Dec 10, 2019 1:16 pm #25567

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Net Pens - On behalf of the Hoosier Coho Club all I can say is please plan on attending our Town Hall meeting on Jan 11, 2020. We are still working on the time and venue, but it will be up on the HCC website as soon as we have it. Please see the below link:

www.hoosiercohoclub.org/index.php/meeting-dates
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What is in a number? Dec 10, 2019 1:52 pm #25568

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Jeff are you closing this thread.Sounds like discussions are being shut down. Have to wait to HCC meeting to discuss? Why?
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What is in a number? Dec 10, 2019 2:36 pm #25569

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Nope - not closing this thread. Discuss at will :)
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What is in a number? Dec 10, 2019 3:08 pm #25570

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Ed, weather permitting I plan on attending the January 11th meeting.
We know it isn't the answer to all our problems but feel we have to start somewhere. As we've discussed in the past, the little Chinooks are inherently difficult to deal with once they lose their stripes and have to be released at an early age. This might help shave the odds a little in their favor.

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What is in a number? Dec 11, 2019 4:34 am #25574

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Dave I think your ideas are spot on,,,, sorry if I gave you the feeling they weren't. Yes I plan to attend the January meeting as I have a host of questions I need answered.
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What is in a number? Dec 28, 2019 10:34 am #25643

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A few things...

First, I think 2019’s return reflected the new reduced numbers. If you look back at the record, 2016 was the only year for some time that any kings were stocked in the marina at EC. In 2018, the marina was loaded with kings for about 3 weeks, most I’ve seen in years. 2019, I saw maybe 5 salmon in the harbor. My guess is the 2016 fish were 1y.o. when stocked and returned 2 years later as 3yo. I’d love some clarity from the DNR on this.

2. Net pens. Let’s look at it as net returns, the managers are not concerned with the number of fingerlings stocked. The are concerned about the number of fish surviving to adulthood and eating baitfish. If we start using pens and all the sudden the number of survivors doubled or tripled, that would have the same net effect on the baitfish population as continuing current practices but sticking double or triple the amount of fish. It’s hard enough to predict what’s happening out there already why not eliminate another variable.

3. Increasing stocking: we are finally seeing these fish hit their potential in size. If the fish are fully hurting that potential, they aren’t getting enough to eat. 3 10lb kings are not as healthy as 1 30lber.

I could go on and maybe will later, but that’s it for now. I’m on board with all you guys about wanting the best fishery we can have. I just think there’s a lot of barking going on the wrong trees.

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What is in a number? Dec 28, 2019 11:37 am #25645

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Kings are typcially stocked as 6month old im pretty sure
-Jinx- 270 Offshore Sport Craft
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