Helpful ReplySooo, why the poor returns this year so far?

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Meatball
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2019/11/07 19:27:41 (permalink)

Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far?

I say the overloaded population of walleye, eating smolts and competing with food.
 
What say you? 
 
This should be entertaining

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ICE NUT
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/08 06:44:06 (permalink)
Its the smokehouses last week all I saw was rope em and smoke em!!!!!!
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CAPTAIN HOOK
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/08 09:28:37 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby radman 2019/11/09 20:14:18
I'm confused the reports say there are masses in all the creeks ......but I guess they meant people not fish !
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hookedonsteels
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/08 09:41:47 (permalink)
I have talked to a few great guys that have fished up there for a lot longer than I have and no one seems to have an answer.  Erie has always had walleye, but is it possible that it has over recent years the mouths of streams become a holding ground to eat smolts every year and has became learned behavior?  One guy said, during the hotter summers, steelhead move to cooler waters which is on the Canadian side and they have been getting netted by commercial fisherman.  But last few summers have been pretty decent.  Oh well. Certainly not like it was 5-7 years ago.  Still catching but not in spoiled numbers.  

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CAPTAIN HOOK
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/08 10:18:28 (permalink)
The really worst cycles of retuning fish started about 7-8 years ago as compared to other past returns . From reports last year was decent probably being the best in the last 7 years still not comparable to the early 2000 runs . When you can catch fish steady from I-79 on Elk Creek and jump in your vehicle and travel to the mouth and catch more fish all in the same day ....now that's a good run ! The early 2000 runs were unreal fishing spoilers in all tribs. Most holes were stacked with pods of steelhead for miles of creek travel.
 
Just guessing and IMO the stockings have been cut way back over the past ten years . Without looking at data I'd tend to think that's the main reason . Erie tribs can only support a certain number of fishermen with creek access and the huge influx of fishermen only jeopardizes the whole system as far as parking , legal land access , litter , noise and so on. Cutting fish numbers decreases interest and travel for many out of towners ,but just stocking enough numbers to keep Steelheading interesting . 
 
Remember the early first runs are always somewhat good ,but how many fish show up after those is what makes the great runs. 
 
 

post edited by CAPTAIN HOOK - 2019/11/08 10:21:38
#5
workcanwait....
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/08 11:58:34 (permalink)
Walleyes ate your smolts...what returns gets roped some by me...more people then fish now...WCW
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fisherofmen376
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/08 18:30:26 (permalink)
I’ve seen no shortage of fish this year. Or last.
Less than 10-12 years ago, but still plenty for me and others. More duuds this year because of drought the first month and book facing stekkhead report pages. Gotta love the inturdnet.

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
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genieman77
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/08 21:42:29 (permalink)
maybe what we're been seeing the last 10-12 years is the really the "norm"
and the late 90s/early '00s were actually anomaly years
as I don't recall the "epic" numbers in the late '80s and early/mid '90s like the early '00s
 
If my recollection is right, I recall the first noticeable  drop around '06/'07 season .
But that season had some of BIGGEST fish I can ever recall .
 
numbers steadily declined till they tapered off to where they've been for the last 10 or so years
 
 
Two things happened I recall starting around '03-'05
They diverted some west side  smolt numbers  to the east side creeks
and the record walleye hatch of 03(?)
(which I've always theorized as the main reason) that being smolt predation by hungry 'Eyes
 
..L.T.A.
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BeenThereDoneThat.
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/08 22:22:34 (permalink)
L.T.A. what I'm lurnen from these boards is, it don't matter what you experienced in real life. If it ain't dun in anuthur state the way you sayed it happoned hear or if u duzen't hey've sceintifik pruuf.......it didn't happen.

noW ef i culd jus lurn to keep mi mouth shut-up, thAt wuud be lurNin......😬 it ain't happening.
post edited by BeenThereDoneThat. - 2019/11/08 22:23:48

Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a life time. ~Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919)~
 
 
 
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#9
genieman77
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/08 22:53:02 (permalink)
BeenThereDoneThat.
. If it ain't dun in anuthur state



 
it did
Ohio's numbers drop mirrored PA's
donno nuffin about science tho...I'm twodum 
 
..L.T.A.
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BeenThereDoneThat.
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/08 23:02:09 (permalink)
Guud nuff foUr me, ur rIte cept I just kan't remimbir aBout whAT.

Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you will feed him for a life time. ~Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919)~
 
 
 
  Old fisherman never die; we just smell that way. 
 
#11
pafisher
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/09 10:44:18 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby FiveMilePete 2019/11/10 21:33:29
Lots of hungry walleyes are eating the smolts,that's the answer so get out there and rope oodles of eyes then we will see more Steel in the creeks.
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chrisrowboat
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/09 13:59:18 (permalink)
Low water in the fall,  Steelhead spawn in spring, early warm springs.
Sounds a lot like global warming.
post edited by chrisrowboat - 2019/11/09 14:03:16

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hookedonsteels
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/09 17:48:46 (permalink)
Boy did I mess up on my earlier post.  I said it isn't like what it was 5-7 years ago.  I asked my son how old he was when we caught all the steelhead that one year and he said 14.  He is now 26.   GEEEEZ!!!!!   Guess it was 10-14 not 5-7.   I stand corrected.  Man does time FLY!!!!!!  I lost 5 years somewhere.  Now I gotta go find out where they went?!?!?!

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Shorelunch2
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/09 18:36:41 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby CAPTAIN HOOK 2019/11/12 07:12:22
If it makes you boys feel any better starting in 2007-2008 (roughly) our steelhead fishery collapsed and never ever came back. We live in wny typically fish 18 and Catt. Fish numbers have decreased by an astonishing 90-95%. Our norms would be 20-60 fish days under proper conditions. Occasionally we would have our 8-10 fish days with 70-80 fish days mixed. Our maxed out runs were from 2000 to 2006. Now a days a normal outing under perfect conditions is 3-6 fish. Sometime 1-3 fish. The Cattaraugus creek use to be one of the best steelhead rivers in the world. A place where you could stay on one hole everyday of the year. A place where all 500 holes were massed with huge numbers of fish. I believe stocking is our problem. Removing domestic rainbows from our stocking program was our destruction imho. They have been brought back last year, however the damage is done. When we have problems like this and crashed like this it takes 2 decades to reverse it I believe. We have got to let the age classes run their natural reproduction classes through the system. This takes a long time to get all the mature fish running and all the spawning classes to follow. We stock a terrible Washington strain fish, yet we catch 90% domestic rainbows. How is that possible? Because there is soooo much natural reproduction going on that nobody can believe it. We haven’t stocked domestic rainbows since 2000 yet we continue to catch them as our staple. Fall spawning steelhead aka domestic rainbows are the key to the good ole days. NYS steelhead fishery is currently all running on natural reproduction. Our stocked Washington strain is to the point it contributes virtually nothing. PA fishery has collapsed since 2004 but not to our 95% degree ours have.
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Lucky13
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/09 22:02:16 (permalink)
Don't be tellin' yer wife about that 5 lost years! 
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FiveMilePete
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/10 21:31:44 (permalink)
FISHUSA reports saying all the creeks are jammed full of fish, their entire lengths.
Other reports saying stuff like:

"Real report here. Made the three hour drive yesterday to Erie. Less than 40 fish from the wall to the waterfall on Walnut, watched two fish caught all day and over 100 people in that section alone. Was told Elk wasn't any better. SAVE YOUR TIME AND MONEY , Don't go up until they get rain/fish."

Somebody is wrong here.  What's up?  I'm still suffering but have been checking the East side, and haven't seen a lot of fish, anywhere.   
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genieman77
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/11 06:25:43 (permalink)
"jammed full" is subjective, I reckon....
 
I will say, if there's not enough fish by now to be "worth it"  to him, hang up the rod.
cause there won't be any "major" runs from here on out .
(west side anyway, I know nothing of the east side)
 
By this time of year, the majority are in and you won't see anymore fish than you see right now.
Note...that doesn't men more fish won't come in...plenty will.
But not enough to overcome rope and stress/handling/landing attrition
and we won't see a "bunch more" than we do right now
 
How do I know that??
 
The "bones", man
I have bones in a goat skin sac given to me by a powerful shaman
He taught me to  dump the bones and read them .
 
"roll the bones"......
 
 
..L.T.A.
#18
Porktown
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/11 09:00:48 (permalink)
chrisrowboat
Low water in the fall,  Steelhead spawn in spring, early warm springs.
Sounds a lot like global warming.


Whether Chris was just joking or not, but low water in the fall and early warm springs definitely sound like reasons for low returns to me.  I could definitely see high numbers of walleye contributing to the smolt mortality as well, but as others noted that there have always been walleye.  I remember in the later 80s fishing the tribs with my dad, hearing guys talking about walleye eating the baby steelhead.  My dad and I never tried it, but had talked about making trips to try and catch said walleye.  
 
It is not like these fish "have to" run the creeks in the fall.  I believe they run them in the fall, to look for food.  Their biological alarm I believe, is to follow the salmon up the streams to eat their eggs, and whatever else they can find in rivers/streams.  If they are finding it too hard to get into the creeks and finding food in the lake, I would have to think many would be fine sticking around in the lake.  I have read that a certain percentage of natural steelhead in the Pacific, stay in the streams and never hit the ocean, since they are just fine eating what they find and able to buck the biological tendency.  I would have to think the same for the other way around, granted, the biological response to spawn would likely be different.  If they learn this one year, it might be something they end up doing annually?  With them schooling, playing follow the leader, wouldn't this possibly have many of them doing it?  Maybe focused on emerald shiners and contributing to the lower perch numbers?  It isn't like there are many salmon for them to follow up the creeks, which I'd imagine a few might have figured out?  Maybe the few additional salmon 30 years ago, had more followers?  
 
As a side note - I have been reading a good bit on Atlantic striped bass, and their "reduced numbers".  Which really just means, lower catch rates by guys on the beaches.  The guys in the boats 1-2 miles out, say that they are as thick as they have ever seen.  There is ample food source there, so no reason to follow their biological alarm and head into the surf zone to feed on the near shore forage.  The shore bound guys blame it on the beach replenishment projects, which makes sense to me as well.  There is also a certain percentage of fish that enjoy a location and remain as "resident populations".  Completely different species, but I found it rather interesting the similarities (of anglers complaining, and reminiscing of the good old days)...  Both species being anadromous might really be their only similarity though.
 
No scientific data to back any of this.  But I am usually lucky enough to catch a few smaller ones, regardless if epic run or "no one is catching anything"...  I find myself fishing striped bass more, even though twice the commute, but work has me within range much more often.  Nowhere near the crowds, but usually not catching as many.
 
 
 
post edited by Porktown - 2019/11/11 09:31:59
#19
rippinlip
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/11 10:08:34 (permalink)
We're SPOILED. We have a better fisherie than the west coast! Yes I said it....we have better steelhead fishing than the west coast.

You should have been here yesterday.............. Streams are made for the wise man to contemplate and fools to pass by [Sir Izaak Walton]
#20
crappiefisher
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/11 17:49:23 (permalink)
 McKean Hole LOL...
  
 
#21
crappiefisher
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/11 18:01:48 (permalink)
 Rope & Dehydrate 'em
post edited by crappiefisher - 2019/11/11 18:03:13
#22
Kokanee Killer
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/11 21:03:43 (permalink)
I believe the numbers of stocked smolt are a fraction of the mid 90s early 200s 

I have become comfortably numb
#23
chrisrowboat
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/11 21:20:05 (permalink)
I was not joking just MHO.

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#24
H3Fisher
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/11 22:05:41 (permalink)
Hey, everyone pays for their license, so gotta keep every 14 inch steelhead they catch and take pics at poor richards. 
 
Sure a slow start this year due to the water conditions. But its been a decline of what it used to be. Still go up, to get out and enjoy the views and catch a few. But in reality, they need to start looking at adjusting limits of daily fish with the weak returns we are getting.
 
 
#25
CAPTAIN HOOK
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/12 07:32:41 (permalink)
One thing we know for sure ....nobody knows how many Steelhead return the next year if they are released ....I'd say very few survive to return. Most lake Erie boat fisherman throughout spring and summer fishing for Walleye don't return caught steelies ...in the cooler they go ..and there are tons of boats out everyday . Limit controls have a little effect ...not much. Erie use to be 8 Trout limit on boat and shore , then 5 Trout limit , now 3 is the lake limit . Guess what ...I caught more fish when it was a higher take limit . NY has had a one Steelhead take limit for over 25 years ....no difference on runs...some years good some bad ....this year NY sucks on about all tribs from reports ....why ?  It's all about stocking and survival rate of smolts .....low stocking numbers = low returns.
 
I still can't believe Pa / Erie allows fishing tribs in spring when smolts are stocked ...talk about killing your future returns ....never made sense to me .    
#26
bingsbaits
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/12 11:12:04 (permalink)
Steelhead have been stocked in the Lake Erie system since the late 1800s, mainly to support recreational fisheries (Crawford 2001). Populations became established in the tributaries during the early decades of the 1900s (MacCrimmon 1977), and then declined in the 1940s and 1950s due to lack of stocking, sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) predation, and degradation of water quality (Berst and Wainio 1967; Kustich and Kustich 1999). Populations rebounded in the 1970s, mainly due to a renewed stocking effort that began in 1975 (Crawford 2001). By 1989, 1.1 million yearling steelhead were being stocked lakewide (Figure 1) (Coldwater Task Group 2012). While the 1990s brought significant ecosystem changes to Lake Erie primarily due to the invasion of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), steelhead fisheries continued to thrive while Pacific salmon fisheries declined. Eventually Pacific salmon stocking was phased out and many stocking programs were redirected to steelhead. By the early 1990s, annual steelhead stocking had increased to over 1.7 million yearlings. Lakewide stocking levels of steelhead have since stabilized and range from 1.75 to 2.0 million yearlings annually.
 

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#27
fisherofmen376
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/12 11:41:23 (permalink)
same stuff, every year.  No global warmin....but certainly there is climate change thru the history of our planet.  Before cars and tree huggin whiners who fly in private jets and own 7 homes but say its you're fault for drinkin bootled water and driving a truck!
Rope em and smoke em as long as you actually eat them and dont burn em in the freezer.  Put and take fishery.  
Theres feesh to be caught.  I aint a trahht gawwwd like summa yinz but i catch fish and its fine with me.  
Genie you said the same thing last year-this is all the feesh we will get.  Then we got a great fresh run in December...
ive been on this boards and walkin the creeks long enough to see the patterns.  NO it aint what it used to be.  But its good enough if you know what yer doing.  

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
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#28
rsquared
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/12 12:16:04 (permalink)
When September is dryer and warmer, as it has been the last 4-5 years, and when the lake doesn't cool to the mid to lower 60's till October like it has the last 4-5 years . . 
 
October is the new September.
 
November is the new October.
 
December is the new November.
 
At least on Elk, and a couple of smaller cricks I'm pretty familiar with.  
 
In those past 4-5 years, fishing for my sons and I has been very, very good from mid-November through ice up.  OK before mid November, but not great.  Kinda like early October used to be.  Crowds are a little lighter by then, but not significantly.  Less ropin' and smokin' would probably help, but it ain't the only issue.    
 
It was really good yesterday for the few hours we got to fish, and we left a hot bite to go sit in the woods to poke deer with a sharp thing.  Shouldda stayed on the hot bite.  
#29
Recman
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Re: Sooo, why the poor returns this year so far? 2019/11/12 12:51:15 (permalink)
If I remember correctly, or somewhat close- I think it was around 2008 when I started looking at it.
 
Follys End website used to have a chart with a date when the steelhead arrived. It has since been removed.
The dates were mid September, then late Sept., early Oct each year or 2 it got later to end of Oct. We went Early November last year and Follys said the steelhead just arrived. 
I think this goes along with what rsquared posted. 
 
Does anyone remember seeing the chart?
 
 
#30
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