Steelhead Anglers- Help us Biologists!

Discussion in 'North West Michigan Streams and Rivers' started by M. Tonello, Nov 23, 2020.

  1. nighttime

    nighttime

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    Actually few years back mdnr increased steelhead plants. Mostly north big name rivers. I’d like to see those plants closer to home where more people would have better success in their backyard. Especially with the COVID thing, big increases of local guys targeting the resource by me last few years. No ice lots of steelhead fisherman. Research program is an evaluation of what we have and what we shall do moving forward.
     
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  2. Spoonbill

    Spoonbill

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    This project is being led by Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension, with additional funding from Detroit Area Steelheaders. Our goal is simply to take advantage of a great opportunity provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Great Lakes Mass Marking Program. For the first time ever, virtually all stocked steelhead have an easily-identifiable fin clip. This project is just a way for us to help biologists with Michigan DNR and other agencies get more data from anglers on the status of fisheries - and river fisheries in particular.

    With steelhead, USFWS is leading efforts to determine lakewide % Wild. Any determination of lakewide stocking rates will depend on models that use natural reproduction rates based on USFWS estimates. This is true for all trout and salmon species, but now that we have mass marking the estimates are getting better - which means better decision-making.

    The volunteer project is helping to fill in the gaps by providing a comparison among major river fisheries. We don't know how it will turn out, but we might find that some rivers are more dependent on stocking than we previously thought. Without data collection, we just won't know. Should we assume all rivers are the same? Should we guess where the natural fish are coming from?

    It is not just about natural reproduction, either. We can probably all think of rivers that get a decent summer run despite not being stocked with Skamania. We may learn more about straying of summer-runs, and also straying of stocked winter-runs into largely unstocked rivers like the Pere Marquette.

    At the end of the day, this is a project run for and by people who love steelhead fishing and want to contribute to a bright future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020

  3. riverman

    riverman

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    Not a fin clip yet on the pm
     
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  4. AdamBradley

    AdamBradley

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    interesting! We saw many last year - forget the exact ratio, but it was very noticeable!
     
  5. Kisutch

    Kisutch

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    Spoonbill your second paragraph sets a very ominous tone in the aspect of future plants. Please reread what you stated. As written you are saying the feds will eventually control our steelhead plants. I for one have had enough interference from people in far away places calling the shots. 40 plus million Lake Trout the past 20 years is a good place to look in what "THEY" want for "OUR" fishery.

    Kisutch

    God Bless Dr Howard Tanner

    Former Lake Michigan Stakeholder

    Lake Michigan Lake Trout Gillnetters Association Join now

    Alewife what?
     
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  6. BMARKS

    BMARKS

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    Same. i have laid eyes on 6 this year so far.
     
  7. bborow2501

    bborow2501

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    I love the idea of this app, and have plenty I could report, but the website only works half the time I try to add an entry, and the app is only for apple products. I would love to see an app rolled out to android users. Surely we don't want to introduce a bias in the data that could come from excluding those who don't use apple products...

    Sent from my LG-G710 using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
     
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  8. riverman

    riverman

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    Perhaps we could just report our findings here under a separate heading?
     
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  9. nighttime

    nighttime

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    Only so much funds were directed for start up and apple was easiest for them to start with. Look for android app come next fall most likely.
     
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  10. streamerheaver

    streamerheaver

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    Hi Mark, I recently signed on to the GL Angler's Diary SH program and would like to know, how obvious is a ventral fin clip on a SH? I recently measured a SH landed on the upper Manistee with a clipped adipose fin, and was also missing approximately 2/3rds of it’s first (leading edge) spine on it’s right ventral fin, but the fin was otherwise intact. Was this a hatchery clip or something else, such as an injury? Thanks
     
  11. M. Tonello

    M. Tonello

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    Streamerheaver- I would definitely count that as a clip. For one thing, we clip the Manistee River Skamania strain steelhead plant with a right ventral clip (in addition to the adipose clip that all the steelhead are getting). No doubt that's what you caught. Ventral fins tend to regenerate a little easier than other fins, which is probably why you're seeing what doesn't look like a complete clip. But when you're dealing with three other states, it can be hard to find a fin that isn't being clipped by someone else for some other study. So a few years back we settled on the right ventral for those Manistee River skamania steelhead because it was all that was available. Hope that helps. Congrats on catching one of the Manistee River Skams!
     
  12. M. Tonello

    M. Tonello

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    bborrow- I've been entering my catches online and haven't had any trouble with the website working. That said, I haven't had as many catches as I'd like so maybe I'm not on there as much as you!
     
  13. tgafish

    tgafish Premium Member

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    I've entered 3 on the website between 11-20 and yesterday. I've also had zero issue Mark
     
  14. tgafish

    tgafish Premium Member

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    Seems like you're finding your own bias in the paragraph. Federal govt has been providing data to Great Lakes managers for decades and has never played a part in Steelhead stocking decisions. Mass marking studies, prey fish assessments, lamprey control, etc all provided by federal agencies. I agree they have pushed the "native" agenda to the detriment of sport fisherman but other than that they are a huge help. I haven't caught a single wild spawned steelhead in my preferred river yet this year. Hopefully that equates to continued stocking levels or even increases in the future
     
  15. Spoonbill

    Spoonbill

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    Although the main branch of the PM is not typically stocked, the Big South Branch does receive roughly 11,000 stocked steelhead each year. In 2018, 2019, and 2020 those stocked steelhead would have been adipose clipped and tagged with CWTs. Most likely, the clipped fish that you were catching in the PM would have been from stocking in the Big South Branch (although strays from other river system are also possible).

    For data entry in Great Lakes Angler Diary, we separate the PM into the upper and lower river (above or below Indian Bridge) and include the Big South Branch. I would expect that more stocked fish are caught in the Lower PM and Big South Branch, with fewer stocked fish showing up in the Upper PM catches - but it will be interesting to see.