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Ask Frank Daignault Frank Daignault is recognized as an authority on surf fishing for striped bass. He is the author of six books and hundreds of magazine articles. Frank is a member of the Outdoor Writers of America and lectures throughout the Northeast.

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  #136  
Old 01-17-2019, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

I recently read in an issue of Trout magazine a description of the Steelhead's "life history", which is apparently a lot more diverse than any salmon species. The life history, actually plural life histories, references the diversity of spawning life cycles within a single population. The example they gave was with respect to one of the river populations, perhaps Columbia river, where the *same* genetic rainbows will have multiple life histories: some staying freshwater all the time, some smolting within a particular season or the other, some taking a shorter time (like a year or shorter to smolt: ie move to saltwater, if I have it correct), or longer etc.


Whereas all Salmon apparently have 1 life history per species: a pink will live 2 years, including smolting, growing and returning to spawn; others longer, but a single cycle.


I'm not sure about stripers, but given the diversity of populations running from the maritimes down to Florida, it would seem they have more flexibility w.r.t. to temperature, salinity, whatever to successfully spawn than any Salmon.


Adds another challenge to the management process, I would think. Interesting to think about (to me) anyhow.
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  #137  
Old 01-18-2019, 10:32 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

Salmon is a generic term for a number of species. Steelhead do not function the same way as pinks, nor do salmo solar, aka Atlantic salmon, even remotely function like any other salmon species. There is some behavuoral similarity in the landlocked salmon with sea-run Atlantic salmon; steelhead and rainbows; brown trout and sea trout. Hatchery breeding experiments have yielded some sterile "mules" but these do not happen naturally in the wilds.

There are also some cultural, call them man made, differences. For instance some parts of the world it is okay to use lures for Atlantic salmon while other places fly fishing is the only accepted way to fish. Upstate New York and other Great lakes locations it is okay to lift or snag Pacific salmon. They would cut your nuts off for doing that in any Atlantic salmon river (probably with a dull knife).
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  #138  
Old 02-14-2019, 03:51 PM
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2018...8859397147688/

https://webcache.googleusercontent.c...&ct=clnk&gl=ca

"Miramichi spawning population down 2/3rds due to over fishing, poor fish handling and over-wintering die off in Labrador etc.

Anglers should be just as concerned about how successful the previous spawns have been and how many of those young have survived from each year class as they are the future of the population."

Recent news from the media. The newspaper is fire walled.
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  #139  
Old 02-15-2019, 07:39 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

I have no exposure to Maratime Canada but I can say that the salmon/striped bass issues seem to generate a lot of hostility. The salmon anglers I've known dispise stripers viewing them as competing unfairly with salmon while consuming salmon smolts. Salmon fishing in Maine I have seen anglers rip the gills of a striper before releasing it. Why would it be any different in New Brunswick? Local press in Canada can seem supportive of striper management but what is printed and what is thought privately can be two different things. Keep in mind all regions have a certain amount of folk science passed generation to generation which is right up there with the voodoo medicine of Tanganyika.
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  #140  
Old 02-24-2019, 11:13 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

All the striper orgs in the states are expressing concern over declining striper stocks. Might it be that warming has rerouted bass to summering farther north? The maratimes are loaded with bass and I know our daughter has had great striper fishing in Maine. Of course my problem is that I don't believe nor trust anybody. Also, other Maine contacts are also saying that they have never seen such great striper fishing.
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  #141  
Old 03-05-2019, 12:17 PM
walter walter is offline
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-...ence-1.5040052

Also, the FLY FISHERMAN April 2019 ISSUE has a where to go piece on the Miramichi bass written before the pop drop news broke.
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  #142  
Old 03-05-2019, 03:41 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

A lot of what is being said is contradictory. It appears Canadian fisheries management is as poorly informed as that of the U.S. I still would like a better grip on stock identification for the Maritimes. Are they losing U.S. fish or losing their own fish. And is anyone trying to find out?
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  #143  
Old 03-17-2019, 10:06 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

Again the bean counters assessing striper populations are resorting to counting the catches instead of looking further into stock identification and then examining the rivers of origin. Contemperary striper management is simply asking a whole bunch of people how the fishing has been. Fourth grade wildlife management.
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  #144  
Old 03-17-2019, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

https://www.capebretonpost.com/livin...lqmNo.facebook

There is info here that is new to me.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2018...9307145436246/

Beautiful bass from St John system but terrible fish handling.
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  #145  
Old 03-19-2019, 09:50 AM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

The material in this thread is welcome and certainly of interest but a lot of it is contradictory. On one hand stripers are so abundant they threaten smolt salmon; on the other there has been a huge drop in striper numbers. And while I am still trying to decide what to trust, I get the feeling that columnists don't know much about the true numbers. Laughingly might Maratime outdoor reporters just creating copy what with all this speculation about striper numbers? Such wild swings are not natural or even precedented in most regions. Puts these reports into question.
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  #146  
Old 03-20-2019, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

I agree, Frank. It still seems that historically these fish a lived together, so while mankind has introduced imbalances that have caused a lot of population swings, ultimately we just don't know. As you said elsewhere about junk science on fisheries management: just taking angler surveys.
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  #147  
Old 03-20-2019, 12:05 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

Much, if not all, in Fisheries is a joke. For instance, how can you cart someone off to jail or indict them for a fish when down south they are netting them by the ton? Why do you think local commercials fishing with rod and reel have nothing but contempt for regulation? Its not my world anymore and there is no effect on me, but I feel sorry for those guys because they are victims of public opinion, not bonified science. Remember buoys and curls, when a culture imposes any injustice, you could be next.

Take the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts where you can smoke dope but can't hunt on Sunday. Siegheil
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  #148  
Old 05-17-2019, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/ne...hSr_x4QPYBYo2I

"Fisherman pulls monster bass from Annapolis River after tidal station shutdown
Premium content
Aaron Beswick (abeswick@herald.ca)
Published: 16 hours ago
Updated: 46 minutes ago
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Chad Cook with his 46-pound striped bass caught on the Annapolis River. - Contributed
Chad Cook shows off his 22-kilogram striped bass caught on the Annapolis River. - Contributed
The sun was just breaking over the Annapolis River on Tuesday morning when Chad Cook cast his line.

It was a sleepy beginning to what would be another long day on the river.

He?d fish until the tide dropped, go dig clams for six hours, then go back to fishing.

Six hours a day bent over digging in the mud with a little metal shovel called a hack to pay the bills and six hours with a rod for pleasure and food.


This is how the 48-year-old has spent between five and seven days a week from April 15 to Dec. 1 since he was 15.

?It doesn?t leave a lot of time for sleeping,? said Cook.

?We eat a lot of fish in my house.?

On Tuesday morning something marvelous happened.

?I let the drag off and I could just hear the line screaming out,? said Cook.

?I couldn?t do nothing with him, he was just taking line down river. When he surfaced it was just breaking daylight, I saw his dorsal fin and thought ?this is a monster.??

But it took him half an hour fighting the striped bass on 20-pound test line to realize how much of a monster it was.

The 114-centimetre-long fish would weigh in at close to 22 kilograms.

And this just before breeding season on a river where the local population was supposed to have been largely killed off by a causeway built in 1960, and again by a tidal generating station that opened in 1984.

Cook?s big catch has raised eyebrows among the river?s many advocates.

?If there?s fish going back up there and that water is left to free flow a bit more maybe it could propel a re-colonization,? said Trevor Avery.

The associate professor of both biology and mathematics at Acadia University has taken a sample of Cook?s big fish for genetic testing. He wants to know where it came from.

Annapolis River flowing freely
According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, striped bass used to spawn in the Saint John, Annapolis and Shubenacadie river systems on the Bay of Fundy. The causeway built across the Annapolis River in 1960 and the Annapolis Royal Tidal Generating Station that opened in 1984 have been widely blamed for driving the fish from that river. Meanwhile the Saint John population dropped off after the Mactaquac Dam was built in 1968.

But, after decades of protests by local residents and revelations in The Chronicle Herald that Nova Scotia Power was not relaying reports it received from the community about Atlantic sturgeon allegedly killed by its turbine to the federal regulator, Fisheries and Oceans Canada ordered a review of existing scientific data on the turbine?s effects. Based on the review?s findings, Fisheries and Oceans told NSP in April 2019 that it would no longer be permitted to operate the turbine without being first granted an exemption to kill fish under Section 35 of the Fisheries Act. At the time, a Nova Scotia Power spokesman said the plant had been shut down since January.

Since then the gates have been open on the Annapolis River, allowing the water to flow freely with the tide and also, presumably, for fish to travel through.



?If you look at the Penobscot River in Maine or the Peticodiac River in New Brunswick we have examples of where, when you remove that infrastructure and make changes, you can see species returning to a river and it?s not just striped bass,? said Avery.

Through the 1960s people were dumping rocks in rivers and paving roads over them throughout Atlantic Canada, encouraged by federal dollars for the infrastructure projects that would also protect farm and development land further up river.

?It wasn?t just that they were cheap, it was also that you could get someone else to pay for them,? said Edmund Redfield, a fisheries biologist with Fort Folly Habitat Recovery.

?There was actually one place on the Memramcook where they replaced a bridge with a causeway, which doesn?t make a lot of sense.?

Among the rivers his organization has been working on in southern New Brunswick is the Petitcodiac.

A causeway was put across what had been a kilometre-wide section of that river in 1968.

"When I was a kid any culvert coming out of the river you could stand there and fill a bucket with white perch. The last 10 years I don?t think any were caught in the river.

- Chad Cook, fisherman

Runs of shad dropped off immediately, striped bass stopped coming up the river, salmon began a long decline that resulted in extirpation and tom cod were shut out, too.

Then, in 2011, they opened up the gates, allowing the water to flow freely.

Striped bass are back in heavy numbers, though there?s no evidence yet as to whether they are successfully spawning in the river.

Shad, too, are returning in greater numbers every year.

?Recovery is slow but we are seeing progress,? said Redfield.

?One of challenges we face is that there?s not as much information about what pre-causeway conditions were like to make it easy to make comparisons.?

Back in Annapolis Royal, Cook is even noticing a difference on his clamming beds since the turbine stopped spinning.

The beds are covered in less silt, which can smother juvenile clams.

?When I was a kid any culvert coming out of the river you could stand there and fill a bucket with white perch,? said Cook.

?The last 10 years I don?t think any were caught in the river. This year there is all kinds.?

As for what he?ll do with the striped bass he considers the catch of a lifetime: some of it will get cut up as steaks and some as fillets.

How it?s cooked will depend on who?s at the stove.

His wife, Ashlie, prefers it pan-fried while he thinks deep fried is best.

Nova Scotia Power provided a written response to The Chronicle Herald stating that there is no update on its idled facility."
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  #149  
Old 05-17-2019, 02:18 PM
Francis Daignault Francis Daignault is offline
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

There is so much environmental degradation that damages fish runs. U.S. management blames over fishing by sport fishermen. I believe to my core that reproductive results determines striper populations. We have always had these swings in striper numbers. Think about all the times we have had moratoriums, tightened regs, stupid rules like banning gaffing.
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  #150  
Old 05-22-2019, 12:19 PM
walter walter is offline
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Default Re: This was a Shock!

Buddy is hyperbolic about it but it shows the reaction of some. It is too soon to know if salmon are really in trouble because of bass. Salmon and bass co-existed in New England for 1000 of years.


https://sportingclassicsdaily.com/mo...kgMgeZEtHEecnM

Mourning the Miramichi
by Robert Sohrweide | Apr 12, 2019 | FISHING, FRESHWATER

Three friends of mine were on the Northwest Miramichi at the beginning of August. They fished for five days and did not see an Atlantic salmon. Not an adult fish, a grilse, or a parr. For five days on a storied Atlantic salmon branch of the Miramichi they cast in vain. What they did see were hundreds of striped bass – in pools thirty to forty miles inland, pools normally the realm of Atlantic salmon.

My friend, Rob, one of the fishermen who returned to tell me the sad news, has fished the Northwest Miramichi every summer for forty years. He is looking into Iceland for next year. The situation is that discouraging. I was planning on returning to the Miramichi next season. Alaska now calls…

Striped Bass are a New England native. We New Englanders fish for them in Massachusetts and off Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maine shores. Cape Cod is prime Striper fishing grounds and I have enjoyed fighting them on a fly rod there, at the mouths of creeks flowing into the sea.

But now, the striped bass have invaded the north. Warming waters and the lure of food first brought them to the mouths of New Brunswick rivers. There they waited and attacked and ate the salmon parr making a run for the sea. We fishermen did not dream that they would follow their prey upriver. They did so, and a new invasive species was born. Forty miles inland; Stripers everywhere; not a salmon in sight. I am in mourning.




Like most mourners I remember the departed – the Atlantic salmon, the fine pools, the famous camps, the guides, the fishing companions, wet waders, the smell of damp felt, mist rising from the river, rain and sun and the difference a five-inch bump in the river makes. Bacon and eggs, steaks, sandwiches eaten alongside a pool miles from camp; whiskey, beer, jokes, laughter and some bragging. I remember…

I came to Atlantic salmon fishing late in life. Soon after I retired and moved to New Hampshire, Rob, an old hunting partner of mine, invited me to the Northwest Miramichi. He showed me pictures and told me stories and like a well-hooked salmon I ran off line getting to Orvis and mail-ordering salmon flies from Doak’s Fly Shop in New Brunswick. Phone calls, discussions over good bourbon, emails, packing lists, checks written, checks mailed and one day in mid-August we were on our way, driving through New Hampshire and Maine to New Brunswick.

Magical the trip, magical the river and magical the fishing. And magical the tradition and history. The club whose waters we were fishing was founded in the 1880s. Guides and fly tiers of renown, artists and artisans, athletes and authors, sportsmen and politicians, legends of business and industry, rich and poor, have come here – fishermen all. Atlantic salmon fisherman. And the salmon have always been here. Waiting to spawn and return to the sea.

My first salmon was a grilse of six pounds, silver and strong, fresh from the sea, a leaping small truck of a fish, one that took my line and my heart. The memory and excitement of fighting that fish has brought me back to Atlantic salmon waters for ten years. Let me tell you about him. My first.

It was the evening of August 21, my birthday. At dinner I had received a birthday present from my companions, my pick of all the pools. We were at Dam Camp and I picked its home pool, The Basin. Our quarters looked out onto The Basin from high on a nearby cliff. From its deck we all saw salmon stacked in rows. They were there, twenty of them in sight, more in the depths, waiting – for me, I hoped.



Sandy was my guide. We talked at the top of the cliff, planning the campaign. He advised me to use a brown buck bug. Under his watchful eye I put it on and then climbed down twenty feet of ladder to get to the rock “table” beside the pool. That four-by-six-foot flat rock would be my casting platform. Sandy reached down and passed me my eight weight Helios rod.

Both Rob and Sandy had warned me to keep back from the edge for the first few casts. “There are fish lying right at your feet. Start very close and be ready.”

I kept back and dropped the fly into the water. A short drift and I pulled another six inches of line from the reel. The next drift ended with a tug. I paused, set the hook and watched a leaping salmon come out of the water at my feet. I remembered to bow to the salmon (barely) and yelled, “Fish on!”




“Keep the rod tip up,” replied Sandy as he scrambled down the ladder and we watched the line tearing off my reel. “That is a strong grilse, nearly a salmon.”

Strong one! You bet he was. The line was running from my reel, the rod was jumping in my hands – the hands holding the rod in a death grip. “Let him run. We’ve got room.”

Let him – I couldn’t stop him, I was barely hanging on. I bowed as he came out of the water a second time, then reeled in some line as he came toward me. Again I watched as he took more line from the reel. Ten minutes of adrenaline, shaking arms, screaming reel, leaps and runs and cool instruction from Sandy. Ten minutes of magic and then in the net. A long look, a quick twist of Sandy’s hand and we released the salmon back into the pool. Whoops and shouts from above. My companions had been just a hundred yards away when they heard my shout. They’d come back and watched the fight from the top of the cliff, their birthday gift to me.

And now, ten birthdays later, I have heard the terrible news. No more Atlantic salmon in The Basin. It is full of striped bass. I mourn; I remember, and I mourn.
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