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2017 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Why would a Salmon cross the road?  (Read 1245 times)

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Seabreeze

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Well, more to the point...............
Why would Salmon come into Monterey Bay if they no longer spawn in any of the local rivers?  Would we have a better season if we stocked salmon in our rivers?......or would we just end up with more restrictions to protect them?
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bsteves

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I can think of a couple reasons... food and food.

1.) Salmon are migratory and during the summer they spend most of their time eating, building energy reserves for the "big event" upstream in the fall.   So where they are in late spring/early summer doesn't really matter as long as they have time and energy to get to their river in the fall.
 
2.) Monterey Bay is a very productive bay (i.e. lots of food for salmon).  This is due to a suite of oceanographic conditions that brings up nutrient rich water from the Monterey Canyon, which is utilized by plankton, that are eaten by krill and small filter feeders like anchoives which in turn are favorite food items for Salmon.

As for a stocking program in Monterey Bay... say in Elk Horn Slough.. you might end up with more salmon in the area but I think the biggest difference would be more salmon later in the summer and early fall when those stocked salmon try to return to the slough.

Brian   




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Windrider

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Brian is the expert but forgot to mention that most King Salmon spawn at 3 or 4 years of age.  Though rare some females don't spawn till 5 or 6 years of age.  This gives them a lot of time to cruise up and down the coast feeding before the spawning urge hits them.  As Brian mentioned the Monterey Bay area provides some great conditions for the bait fish and the predators which follow them.




Seabreeze

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Okay.  That makes sense.  I remember Josh saying that there used to be salmon in one of the rivers near Santa Cruz.  Funny, I would feel badly picking off a fish on its way to its last act.
Saltwater is the cure for everything that ails us,
sweat, tear or the sea.


mooch

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Quote
I would feel badly picking off a fish on its way to its last act.

Pat - I feel the same way  :smt045


Bushy

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The Monterey bay Salmon and Trout Project releases hundreds of thousands of smolts into the bay each year.  this year 180,000 scheduled from Santa Cruz.  In other years, they have released from Monterey and Mosss Landing as well.  Fewer than a third of these fish survive.  In fall we have a "run" at the Sant Cruz harbor, because these fish have imprinted on that water.  the run occurs right after the season closes, and a number of poacher types try to get away with throwing spinners at them inside the harbor.

We think the apparent resident population of salmon that hang mostly at the tip of the Soquel Hole are these Stanislaw smolt fish. We may not always be able to catch them, but there's a consistent population in that spot, even in the off season.

Allen




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Seabreeze

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Thanks for the STP connection, Allen
Saltwater is the cure for everything that ails us,
sweat, tear or the sea.