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Do broodstock salmon make it to sea?

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prokhk

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I know the fish stocked in the CT likely make it out to sea, but do the salmon stocked in the Shetucket and Naugatuck also make it all the way to the salt? I caught one while striper fishing well downstream of where they stock early spring two years ago (released without taking it out of the water) that was quite silver and looked in much better shape than the images of the fresh stockers I've seen. I'm wondering if it could have made it out to sea and back, although I'm not sure if there is any way of knowing. 

IMG_4291.jpg

Edited by prokhk
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I always thought that those stocked salmon were placed in land locked areas.  Like there may be damns up and down river from the location.  I suspect so there is a fixed area to catch them. Call it a salmon park.

 

I do remember that salmon fry had been planted and some rivers still have signage.  so perhaps that fish you caught was related to that effort. 

 

Google:

"After 40 years of stocking Connecticut rivers, salmon program being scaled back"

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Both rivers that get stocked w brrodstock in CT have dams downstream of the stocking areas.  Every year a couple of atlantics are caught by striped bass anglers in a western CT River downstream of the dam.  

 

My guess is their natural instinct to go to sea takes over in some of the fish and they swim over the spillway and head down river.

 

Neither of the rivers that get stocked with broodstock or the larger downstream rivers they drain into are part of the fingerling stocking program....

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From my knowledge the broodstocks retain their anadromous instincts, however, they cannot spawn anymore. In other words, they have maxed out their spawning opportunities in the hatchery and are released in the rivers for recreational purposes. They aren't going to survive much longer. Many of them find their way to the salt, but that's pretty much the end of the road for them.

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Wild spawned Atlantics will  regularly survive to spawn again, repeat spawners are not uncommon ,two or even three spawnings are rare but have been recorded. You can count spawning marks on their scales. However poor feeding conditions at sea are reducing the likelyhood of this happening .

 

Hatchery reared fish which are retained for spawning and then released ,may naturalise and head off to the Arctic. Farmed fish do it when they escape ,so dont see why released hatchery adults shouldnt. Might take some time to key in on a fishy or krilly diet rather than lots of pellets!

 

Its a big debate whether stocking  is a good thing. If you are stocking to maintain a fishery  vs  conserving a stock is not the same. Atlantic salmon show a lot of fine scale within river differentiation. The  river may hold a number of genetically distinct populations ,geographically separated by in-river topological features eg natural falls, gorges even lakes. Crossing fish from different locations within a catchment  may produce ecologically less fit offspring.

 

Are these salmon populations natural or manmade?

 

 

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11 hours ago, puppet said:

I always thought that those stocked salmon were placed in land locked areas.  Like there may be damns up and down river from the location.  I suspect so there is a fixed area to catch them. Call it a salmon park.

 

I do remember that salmon fry had been planted and some rivers still have signage.  so perhaps that fish you caught was related to that effort. 

 

Google:

"After 40 years of stocking Connecticut rivers, salmon program being scaled back"

i did a "research paper" on the salmon stocking program, for a high school biology class, in 1967 when the salmon stocking program was in its infancy.  over the ensuing 56 years,  virtually no returning salmon in any significant quantity. hmmm..... that went well.  also, i had a researcher friend that claimed there was no factual evidence that salmon were in the connecticut river and its tributaries, ever.

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On 11/23/2023 at 6:19 PM, srm413 said:

i did a "research paper" on the salmon stocking program, for  i had a researcher friend that claimed there was no factual evidence that salmon were in the connecticut river and its tributaries, ever.

Maybe your researcher friend didn't have Google?

 

 

 

"The late Elihu Warner remembered when forty salmon were caught in
a day near the lower end of the street, about 1773, the largest of which
weighed between 30 and 40 pounds. (Mr. Pierce and six others owned
a seine in Hadley in 1766. The whole income of the seine for the fish
season was £22, 17 s., and the expenses were £14, 12 s. 10 d., leaving
for gain £8, 4 s. 2 d. Shad were then 1 penny each.)
"In South Hadley there was a noted fishing place near the mouth of
Stony Brook and another above Bachelor's Brook against Cook's Hill.
Many salmon were taken at those places; 24 are said to have been caught
at one haul near Stony Brook, weighing 6-8 to 40 pounds ...
"The falls of rivers were great fishing places in New England for Indians
and English. The falls at South Hadley, called Patucket by the Indians,
were one of the most favorable places on the Connecticut for taking
fish."

 

https://aquadocs.org/mapping/2067/1/HistoryCTRiver.pdf

Screenshot_20231125_081538_Drive.jpg

Edited by mikez2
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23 mins ago, mikez2 said:

Maybe your researcher friend didn't have Google?

 

 

 

"The late Elihu Warner remembered when forty salmon were caught in
a day near the lower end of the street, about 1773, the largest of which
weighed between 30 and 40 pounds. (Mr. Pierce and six others owned
a seine in Hadley in 1766. The whole income of the seine for the fish
season was £22, 17 s., and the expenses were £14, 12 s. 10 d., leaving
for gain £8, 4 s. 2 d. Shad were then 1 penny each.)
"In South Hadley there was a noted fishing place near the mouth of
Stony Brook and another above Bachelor's Brook against Cook's Hill.
Many salmon were taken at those places; 24 are said to have been caught
at one haul near Stony Brook, weighing 6-8 to 40 pounds ...
"The falls of rivers were great fishing places in New England for Indians
and English. The falls at South Hadley, called Patucket by the Indians,
were one of the most favorable places on the Connecticut for taking
fish."

 

https://aquadocs.org/mapping/2067/1/HistoryCTRiver.pdf

Screenshot_20231125_081538_Drive.jpg

It looks like the argument against salmon not being in the river historically probably goes back to an archeological researcher who couldn't find many records of salmon bones in archeological digs. Presumably critics of the expensive and unsuccessful salmon restoration program latched onto that research to help kill the program. 

 

Needless to say, there are reams of historical records that show salmon were present in the river in colonial times. Here's an interesting paper that addresses the archeological question:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&opi=89978449&url=https://www.fs.usda.gov/nrs/pubs/jrnl/2014/nrs_2014_Jane_001.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjMyM2Eod-CAxVpvokEHd2QB9wQFnoECB8QAQ&usg=AOvVaw0BqgRlIz6AIV-isvZwA-dA

 

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My understanding is that the Connecticut--and maybe the Housatonic--represent the southernmost rivers that historically hosted salmon runs.

 

Early reports of salmon in the Hudson River have been attributed to misidentified striped bass, and the tendency of early explorers to apply familiar names to animals that they never saw before.  But I think that the evidence against salmon in the Hudson may be the same sort of negative evidence discussed above--the absence of salmon bones, etc. in native middens.  But if I recall correctly, there weren't many shad remains found in such middens either, at least in the Hudson Valley, very possibly because there were far less bony fish available.

"I have always believed that outdoor writers who come out against fish and wildlife conservation are in the wrong business. To me, it makes as much sense golf writers coming out against grass.."  --  Ted Williams

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4 hours ago, CWitek said:

My understanding is that the Connecticut--and maybe the Housatonic--represent the southernmost rivers that historically hosted salmon runs.

 

Early reports of salmon in the Hudson River have been attributed to misidentified striped bass, and the tendency of early explorers to apply familiar names to animals that they never saw before.  But I think that the evidence against salmon in the Hudson may be the same sort of negative evidence discussed above--the absence of salmon bones, etc. in native middens.  But if I recall correctly, there weren't many shad remains found in such middens either, at least in the Hudson Valley, very possibly because there were far less bony fish available.

that was my understanding as well, that middens showed no evidence of salmon.  mis-identification?

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Thanks, everyone for the discussion on this! That is super interesting about the salmon being potentially misidentified. If I remember right the salmon stocked in the CT come from Maine. Looking back at the picture, I think this fish had what could be a lamprey bite mark mid-way down its side. If that is the case I think it could be a good sign indicating that it did make it all the way to the salt, as the DEEP says that sea lamprey do not feed in freshwater: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Fishing/Freshwater/Freshwater-Fishes-of-Connecticut/Sea-Lamprey#:~:text=However%2C sea lamprey in Connecticut,larvae%2C that scavenge the carcasses.

 

 

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On 11/25/2023 at 8:16 AM, mikez2 said:

Maybe your researcher friend didn't have Google?

That is the problem with research, it can be imperfect.

 

And yes, even within 6 months we get access to new information. 

 

Its a  always hard to validate what we find on the www.  There are always contratry examples.

 

The age of both information and misinformation.

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Some of them certainly make it to the salt but I doubt many make it back up, or even back to the estuary. I got this one a few springs ago at a popular schoolie spot. A bit thin but it fought very well.

 

 

DSCN1438.JPG

Edited by Fergal

ASMFC - Destroying public resources and fisheries one stock at a time since 1942.

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