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  1. #16
    Port Elgin has had 250,000 Eggs & now is allowed 110,000 eggs so there is room to grow but it takes Money, Volunteers & the MNR's approval before that can happen, I would think there are other Hatcheries out there that have room in them too, maybe some one in the know will chime in
    Richard

  2. #17
    GBO Member Josh Choronzey's Avatar
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    ...the MNR does little stocking in Huron (minus lakers). CFWIP clubs like the LHFC, Ontario Steelheaders, SSA, GeoTri, etc are all volunteer based. These clubs apply for permits form the MNR to raise fish for Huron. The saugeen project undertaken by O.S. and the LHFC is a special project. Clubs just can't decide to stock a river and take action, all these decisions are made under the supervision of the MNR.
    Without these CFWIP clubs on Huron, there would be NO chinook, Brown Trout or Steelhead stocking.....only Lakers, as the MNR pumps millions into Huron. So, fish stocking for Sport Fisherman in Huron is already the responsibility of us...not the mnr.
    I think it is important to look at the issues on Huron without having stocking as the major tool to manage a fishery on each river. The Saugeen is full of Dams....51 or 52 to be closer to exact. Wild reproduction on the Geen suffers due to these barriers. In this case, it is obvious that the intense stocking program of advanced yearlings has done wonders...but that might not be the case for a river like the Bayfield, Maitland, or Sauble. Some rivers can support excellent natural repro if managed for such. Taking care of the watershed and habitat management can be the answer for certain rivers.

    Ultimately it comes down to time, manpower and money. All of the local clubs need more members. They could also use more money. Raising fish isn't cheap. The best option is to grow local club memberships before trying to form new organizations...from there, more projects can be undertaken on more local rivers. That is the number 1 reason I urge the guys who fish our local tribs to get involved. Without anglers stepping up to help out, Huron and the local fishery will not be the same.

  3. #18
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    Thanks for the info Josh. I knew the returns would be alot higher than out here with so many less issues fighting them but WOW. Those are defiantly some impressive percentages. As for the total run being upwards of 15,000.....I was under the impression the Geen was seeing at least 10,000/yr before the hatchery program started but maybe not?

  4. #19
    GBO Member Josh Choronzey's Avatar
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    I doubt it was that high. Maybe 20ys ago, but estimates put the run just over 5000 before the program started 5 yrs ago.

  5. #20
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    Just over 5000??! That would mean the mighty Geen was getting the same number of fish as lil old Ganaraska crik? This seems way off to me. Just based on the catch rates on each river in comparison or how heavily exploited the Ganny is in comparison to the Geen (before the hatchery program as I realize the number of anglers has exploded after the program started) it wouls SEEM that the Saugeen would have a much higher number of fish, no? I'd love to hear more discussion on this topic. I'm not looking to fight or are saying you're wrong Josh, it just seems way off considering a small creek like the Ganny has been putting out those numbers, or close to it for many years in recent years and at one time as many as like 18,000 I believe. More comments please!

  6. #21
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    Also, if current run estimates are around 15,000 fish, and you stated that you are seeing 40% clippers and 60% wild, well the math would work out to about 10,000 wild fish.

  7. #22
    GBO Member Josh Choronzey's Avatar
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    Zach,
    Estimates. Don't take them for gospel. Ideally, I would like to have the paperwork and stats from the lift while I compile this and I'm horrible with math. 15,000 currently is an estimate. Some involved claim returns almost double that, but I don't think so. 60% of 15000 is 9000, with 6000 left over. To me, that's a massive bonus of hatchery fish. Adult transfer #s have more than doubled by O.S over the past 7yrs too. Transporting 1000 spring adults is a huge boost in compared to 200 annually. Then another 500 or so in the fall. That's a lot of spawners in the holy land.
    Knowing true totals is a guessing game as the ladder is on swim through 90% of the time, often a peak times.

    Also, I would caution relying on clips to determine run counts when not all Mich fish stocked are clipped. They stock a lot, and did not imprint the majority of their releases for almost 20yrs, which added a large component to the runs.

    Former runs there are interesting. Wild runs must rely on seasonal factors like flow rates, water temp air temps and so on, especially on the Geen where upper dams and fishways were only passable to an extent. This has a major effect on how many fish reach productive spawning water. Consecutive bad yrs for spring migrating conditions over the past 15 yrs and the fishway in Walkerton not passing fish = horrible wild recruitment.
    In 2002 and 2005 if I recall... I personally witnessed the state of the ladder in Walkerton as it passed 0 fish over the span of a month. MNR tech from the local office completed a radio telemetry project at this dam in the past 6 yrs and it wasn't working..that is a mjor hit in wild recruitment, as the most and best water is above here.
    That problem was fixed by the OS and MNR a couple yrs back now with improvements to the fish way.
    I worked fish lifts at Dennys during the 1st year of the stocking project, lifting nearly all wild fish. In comparison to last 2yrs, that 1st season was a dribble of returns. When members of the LHFC and OS who have worked the ladder for decades tell me their estimates I tend to listen, as they provide the most current and ardent observations.

    5000 is a lot of fish, especially when the majority of Geen anglers target them below a lower river dam. Consider even Dennys only passes fish in optimum conditions and the illusions of bigger numbers is chalked up to good fishing for steelhead that have been stalled up for who knows how long. 15 to 20 thousand is a massive amount when you start looking at returns around the province. I spent many hours in discussion with Jon George, MNR steelhead specialist while I was in thunder bay for a couple years. His calculations for returns on remote Superior runs was interesting and believable based on science. Remote North Shore tribs with awwsome fishing and great habitat only had runs a fragment of what I would have guessed. Annaul variations are sometimes night and day in terms of totals. Same thing with the population of wild fish on any given river, including the geen.

    Good discussion..to have to write with a BBerry...errr

  8. #23
    GBO Member Nick Toth's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ZACH SANCHIONI
    Josh or anyone else, I am curious to know what the return rate/percentage would be on those 55,000. I know out here an average return would be 1-3% I believe but I think thats for released smolts and they obviously have a whole different spectrum of variables affecting their return (ocean conditions, more predators, massive gill netting operations ect.)
    For what it's worth. Aspects of each entry are recorded for the Chantry including species, number, clips and clip placement

    Brown - 20 entered; 0 clips; 0.00%
    Coho - 32 entered; 0 clips; 0%
    Pink - 1 entered; 0 clips; 0%
    Chinook - 541 entered; 12 clips;, 2.22%
    Rainbow - 207 entered; 5 clips; 2.42%

    Now, this one really surprised me:
    Lakers - 370 entered; 98 clips, 26.49%

    This was over 16 days and mostly in waters off Oliphant to Port Albert which is a big stretch of water. There were a scant few entries from our new zone in Georgian Bay.

  9. #24
    GBO Member Josh Choronzey's Avatar
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    In regards to the Chantry totals...
    -keep in mind that Michigan State has been stocking in access of 1.5 million chinooks each year over the past decade...and a very large percentage have NO CLIPS
    Same goes for Mich steelhead stocked in Huron.

  10. #25
    GBO Member Nick Toth's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Josh Choronzey
    In regards to the Chantry totals...
    -keep in mind that Michigan State has been stocking in access of 1.5 million chinooks each year over the past decade...and a very large percentage have NO CLIPS
    Same goes for Mich steelhead stocked in Huron.
    For sure. As I said, take it for what it's worth. Again however, the percentage of clipped Lakers? How does one account for that given that American Lakers aren't clipped? Or are they?

  11. #26
    GBO Member Josh Choronzey's Avatar
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    Mich state stocked LTs are all clipped. Search the Great Lakes fish stocking database.
    Ont. MNR data has not been updated to the site so not sure where the unclipped LTs are from. Maybe naturals, but I would question that % of wild LTs.

    And...according to the GLFSD...the browns stocked by Mich in Huron lack clips as well.

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