Game Fishing Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To: Dave Croonquist

Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2008 7:27 PM

Subject: FW: salmon in 2008

Ward Norden’s prognostications for the 2008

salmon fishery…..

2008

SALMON RETURNS Early every winter

for the last 24 years, I have published for my fishing equipment business

customers a projection of what the salmon returns would be the following summer.

The reason I began this annual ritual in the early 1980’s is that we were all

getting tired of the so-called fisheries experts in government being perpetually

off in their predictions of salmon returns by 40, 50 and even 70%. To

listen to these so-called government experts was a ticket to go bankrupt in your

fishing equipment business. A more professional, objective look was needed

to help the businesses dependent on early purchases to support their summer

retail activities. At that time I was freshly out of

the University of Washington College of Fisheries and before that had a degree

in marine invertebrates from Oregon State. I had just started my own

wholesale fishing equipment business. I was already aware that fisheries

agencies of both Washington and Oregon were highly

corrupted by special interests and politics that colored their

predictions. I knew I could do a better, more professional job for my

customers because I was not required to only use politically-correct, corrupt

data. In the years since that time I

have used ocean temperatures, currents, and plankton to accurately project

salmon returns. I concluded that habitat and dams are far less

relevant than the politically-correct thought police of the environmental

movement would like you to believe. In recent years, my projection

of chinook returns to the Columbia River have been as close as 2% of the actual,

while the same government agencies using politically-correct data remain

regularly off by more than 40%. The good news

for 2008 is that we are finally getting beyond the effects of the catastrophic

ocean conditions of early summer 2004. Those conditions virtually

collapsed whole year classes of certain runs of salmon such as the coho

run of 2005 and the spring chinook run of 2007. We will still see

the last direct effect of 2004 on spring and fall chinook returns to several

coastal rivers of both Washington and

Oregon,

however. This year will be much more

interesting than usual. Some agencies have already been coming out

with projections for coastal coho and chinook that make no sense at all given

conditions out in the Pacific Ocean at critical

times of plankton growth in 2005 and 2006. In the case of Columbia River spring chinook, I hope the so-called

experts are right for a change and I am

wrong. Below are my

projections for salmon returns to rivers of Washington and Oregon in 2008:COLUMBIA RIVER SPRING

CHINOOK - The first important salmon run of the year to the Pacific Northwest is

the Columbia River springer run. This run

begins to trickle in beginning in mid-February with a peak, depending on

different components of the run, around

mid-May. Last year was a

disastrous year for this huge run with a return of only 86,000 due to

catastrophic ocean conditions that occurred for four months in 2004.

In 2008 there will be a great improvement in this run, but there will still be a

component almost missing due to events in 2004. My projection is an

increase of about 30% to about 120,000 due to good ocean conditions in

2005. Government “experts� are calling for a return of 269,000

spring chinook to the upper Columbia which I think is wildly

unrealistic. Normally, either projection

would mean improved fishing for sports anglers, but I am concerned that

government fisheries managers will allow a very aggressive early gillnet

fishery. If my projection is right, gillnetters will take the lions share

of the run forcing an early closure to sports fishing, leading to disaster for

local economies. Poor counts over the dams will be blamed on dams, global

warming, and sportsmen. If my cynicism is correct, only upriver

tribal fish managers have the political clout to avert a

disaster. The real record spring chinook

runs will return in 2009 and 2010, and they will be like runs of a century ago

long before dams. These runs may approach 500,000

fish. COASTAL FALL CHINOOK - Coastal fall chinook and Columbia River fall chinook with a couple exceptions

follow the same pattern of returns. The effects of the catastrophic

summer of 2004 are still being felt with fall chinook because a large portion of

this run stays at sea two to three years or more longer than spring

chinook. This year there will be very few of the chinook that went to sea

in 2004, but plenty that went to sea in 2005. If you go to the coast

to fish this summer, don't expect to catch very many chinook in the 25 to

35-pound class. The majority of the chinook caught will be from the

2005 outmigration that will weigh from 14 to 24 pounds. This is the

“bow wave� that precedes all-time record coastal chinook returns in 2009, 2010,

and 2011. Good times are ahead for those with

patience. Overall, the fall

chinook return total numbers will be about average in 2008 with the large number

of younger fish balancing out the almost missing year

class. To the fish

ecologist, this is the strategy nature has devised for the survival of the

chinook species. Unlike coho that can wander to other rivers or

pinks that return in huge numbers to offset natural disasters, chinook from the

same redd may come back in multiple years so that a local temporary disaster

cannot wipe out the whole run. This is one of nature's

wonders.COASTAL COHO - The effect of 2004 will be indirectly felt on

coastal rivers from the Hoh

River to Northern

California. This is the return year of the offspring of the

coho impacted by the 2004 disaster. While conditions when these

young coho went to sea in spring last year were quite good, the outmigration of

naturally-produced coho was quite low in most rivers. Hatchery

coho (finclipped) returns next fall will be good coastwide, but the numbers of

coho with adipose fins will be

low. In contrast to my optimistic

view, the government “experts� are predicting disastrously low returns for coho

in places like the Columbia

River. There may be a

political reason for this low run prediction by the fish

bureaucracy. If fisheries were rationally managed, sportfishers

would have a good season because they can fish selectively, harvesting only

finclipped coho with minimal 3% mortality on released, naturally-produced

coho. Only gillnetters who realistically must kill everything that swims

would have to be curtailed. Historically, however, it has been the

philosophy of Washington bureaucrats that if the gillnetters

can't kill everything that swims, nobody

fishes. The run forecast by the

“experts� would seem to set up a rationale to shut down sport fisheries if the

gillnetters can't fish.PUGET SOUND/OLYMPIC PENINSULA COHO - Part of the

good news for Washington State anglers is that coho which entered saltwater in

nutrient rich Puget Sound were never seriously

affected by the offshore conditions of 2004. The other part of the good

news is that offshore growing conditions for the coho that leave our sheltered

waters were nothing short of outstanding. The food chain conditions that

created the new world record humpy caught in the Stillaguamish River three months ago were also perfect

for growing young coho. 2008

should be an excellent year for coho returning from offshore to Puget Sound through the Straits of Juan de Fuca.

Resident Puget Sound coho fishing should be good as well with numbers of those

fish equal to or better than last

year. Depending on quotas, I am

expecting outstanding coho seasons in Neah Bay and La Push in August. Fishing

for resident coho in August near Everett, and for

the big oceangoing (hook nose) coho in September throughout the Seattle area should be

excellent as well. We can all just hope coho return early

enough that they are still in the mood to

bite. As always the timing of coho

runs from offshore and the size of the fish is dependent on the ocean conditions

during the summer. A summer El Nino will delay the return and stunt

the fish, but a colder ocean grows the fish larger for a regular return

time. As of this writing I am even more optimistic than usual for good

growing conditions next summer due to the continuation of global cooling trends

that began in 2001.PUGET SOUND CHINOOK - Because Puget Sound chinook

spend an extra year in the nutrient-rich inland waters of Western Washington

plus have been engineered by our fisheries managers over the last century to

return a year earlier (and smaller) than their coastal relatives, we have long

since passed any effects of 2004. Puget

Sound's chinook fishery should actually be a little better in 2008

than in 2007 if the same regulations are in place and possibly become less

restrictive for finclipped

chinook. As of this writing,

there are a lot of rumors that the fish bureaucracy's dislike for recreational

fisheries will color its decisions. They may try to ignore increasing

numbers of finclipped chinook and proven low-hooking mortality statistics on

released chinook. For the

above reason, I can only say there is a potential for a very good year of

chinook fishing in Puget Sound. It

is all about politics, not biology.PUGET SOUND PINK (HUMPY) SALMON

- Humpies returning on even-numbered years are Puget

Sound's native humpies. Odd-year returning Puget Sound humpies are nonnative. Even-year

humpy runs have always been much smaller in number than odd-year runs.

Over the last thirty years I have often called our even-year humpies the

original “hard luck story�. It has seemed that every time this run starts

to increase in size comparable to their nonnative odd-year cousins, something

awful happens like an El Nino causing mass starvation or floods that ruin

spawning beds. 2008 will be no

different. This run will be smaller due to floods in 2006 in the Snohomish and

Skagit

River systems, but not as

small as one might expect. Ocean conditions last summer were excellent for

the young survivors of the floods and it would appear at this writing that

conditions will be good for their maturity. Instead of the 80,000

one would expect to return to the Snohomish River, there may be as many as 160,000

which is still barely 1/5 of last year's

run. Fishing for humpies will be limited

in 2008 in both fresh and saltwater, but a one humpy limit in addition to coho

may happen.LAKE WASHINGTON SOCKEYE - 2008 should be a good year for

returns of sockeye to Lake Washington with

ocean conditions what they have been for the last couple years.

Unfortunately, fish counting and fisheries in the lake are dominated by special

interest politics, political expediency, and an anti-recreation harassment

agenda in enforcement agencies. This is also an election year which

may bias counts. None of this has anything to do with the actual numbers

of these salmon returning to the big

lake. It is no secret that

it is my opinion that, since these salmon are not native to Lake Washington and may even compete with native species,

there should be a season every year in the lake and return numbers are

irrelevant especially since there is now a hatchery for sockeye.Tight

Lines to All - Ward

Norden **************Start the year off

right. Easy ways to stay in

shape.http://body.aol.com/fitness/winter-exer ... 0000002489
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,304 Posts
Interesting info. Thanks for posting it. Since I mainly target silvers flyfishing off the beaches of Puget Sound, I like what was predicted for this years PS coho run.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,271 Posts
Interesting. I like the big returns for 2009 thru 2011. SWEET!

Although I don't really believe it since we had those massive floods a year ago (2006) wiping out redd after redd and not mentioning the flood of 2007 doing the same. Who care if conditions were good if there were no fish out there. Hey, I have an idea! What would happen if Alaska cut back commercial over harvest by half?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,506 Posts
Interesting read....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,056 Posts
If Ward Norden can obtain a UW fisheries degree, I guess that's proof almost anyone can. I don't like to criticize anyone personally unless they really earn it. And Ward has.

For example, look at his projections for coho returns in 2008 wherein he refers to unfavorable ocean conditions of 2004. Coho salmon in WA are overwhemingly 3 year old fish. The coho returning to WA rivers in 2008 weren't even spawned until the fall/winter of 2005. It's impossible for the current return to have experienced any of the ocean conditions of 2004, favorable or otherwise. Now, the parent brood year coho from 2005 did enter the ocean in 2004 and experienced those conditions. I don't recall what the coho run of 2005 was like, but there may have been fewer spawners - which usually only affects wild runs, not hatchery, BTW. This could have resulted in less than full seeding of freshwater habitat, but no matter, as Ward claims that freshwater conditions are not very relevant to determining run size, but that ocean conditions are. At least he is part right.

For another example, he said Puget Sound chinook stay in salt water another two or three years more than the spring chinook . . . Where does he get this? Or does he just make it up?

Or what about even year humpies are the native pink salmon and odd year humpies are non-native. Is this guy for real? I don't think so.

When Mr. Norden learns his basic salmon life history, like age at maturity, and elements that influence, what species are native, etc., how he uses ocean data to predict runs might be interesting to review.

Sincerely,

Salmo g.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
I would like to think he is right. We all know that WDFW doesn't do a very good job. Time will tell if he is correct. It will be interesting to see.
If you are right sir. You should post a reminder when the runs materialize. If you are incorrect. Maybe not. Good luck and tight lines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Wow a little bit of aggresion :lol: This is what he actually said ................. Because Puget Sound chinook

spend an extra year in the nutrient-rich inland waters of Western Washington

plus have been engineered by our fisheries managers over the last century to

return a year earlier (and smaller) than their coastal relatives, we have long

since passed any effects of 2004. Puget
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
867 Posts
Even though WDFW is often off, why should I believe these predicitons any more then theirs. Lots of statements in there seem bogus to me and where did this odd run pinks being non-native come from?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,515 Posts
Interesting predictions. Don't let the predictions slide into obscurity, but after we see the results of this years runs, and the ODFW and WDFW predictions and his predicitons (about the runs and the politics) let's see who is right. I am not as anti-establishment as he might be but...I think that gill netting on mixed stocks of fish (threatened and hatchery) being allowed while restricting sport fishermen is preposterous and demonstrates the very political nature of this game. If he is a loon then his predictions about 2009 and 2010 will certianly demonstrate it.

It is certianly true that getting a degree in something does not make you an expert. I wonder if predictions (and policies based on them) being wildly off doesn't also further demonstrate this truism. I also wonder if being hired by the government to do a job makes you more or less of an expert? Might it be that the people who get the predictions right might actually be the experts. So lets see how it turns out. :|
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dont shoot the messanger here people.... I just thought I would post this as I found it a bit of a interesting read and prediction :shock: I hope it would all turn out like he said, but i to have my doubts ?
The runs he speaks of are what I dream about, However we will just have to wait and see I suppose :mrgreen:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,506 Posts
Live to fish said:
Dont shoot the messanger here people.... I just thought I would post this as I found it a bit of a interesting read and prediction :shock: I hope it would all turn out like he said, but i to have my doubts ?
The runs he speaks of are what I dream about, However we will just have to wait and see I suppose :mrgreen:
I think many found/will find the msg interesting, whether they believe it or not is up to them, good post Tup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Thanks alot for the effort and sticking your neck out Live to fish!
As far as Pinks go, I believe the WDFW was way off on its Green prediction of 1.3 Million last year. It was probably the best run of Pinks for that river in the modern era, but I don't think it was anywhere near that number.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,271 Posts
Jake Dogfish said:
Thanks alot for the effort and sticking your neck out Live to fish!
As far as Pinks go, I believe the WDFW was way off on its Green prediction of 1.3 Million last year. It was probably the best run of Pinks for that river in the modern era, but I don't think it was anywhere near that number.
Yep, way off last year but not even close in the numbers as in 2005 when numbers were close to 800,000. Just a guess last years numbers were closer to 300,000 if that many :?:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
481 Posts
I agee with you in part Mystical when it comes to the Columbia River run . I beleive that the number of Springers going over Bonnivile will be between 196K to 217K not the 269 they quoted. I hope I am wrong. The majority of the fish will be between 8 to 12 lbs. Most of the run going over the first dam will be latter than usual peaking some time around May 16 (there will also be a small surge around April 22) if the snow pack continues increasing (you just don't know what mother nature may do over the next couple months).

On another note, what I heard from a reliable source is that the best the sportsman will get in there share will be 60% but could remain the same as the last 2 years 57/43 split. It's a shame that the local public sport side is going to get shaffted again (the number being presented by Cindy Lefluer were very misleading so the commission could play ignorant to the true nature of things) just to benifit the gillnet fleet. The only way change will ever take place is in a court of law and through legislative changes and that will take at least 8 years of hard work.... and than only maybe. I hope that CCA can make a diffrence over time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,081 Posts
Live to fish said:
Early every winter for the last 24 years, I have published for my fishing equipment business customers...

To listen to these so-called government experts was a ticket to go bankrupt in your fishing equipment business...

I had just started my own wholesale fishing equipment business...
BIG GUY said:
get's me excited for the future fishing prospects.....
;) :lol:
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top