Factors affecting Smolt survival in streams

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by fish brain, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. fish brain

    fish brain Active Member

    I am attempting to shift the recent discussion from the PSF thread.

    @Fishmyster has done some good work, I think its something that needs to be explored further.

    @wildmanyeah said :
    Our local streamkeepers did an interesting study "You get some pretty crazy pH numbers when you let cedar bark and leaves sit in water overnight. We recorded about 5.0 as compared to 6.5 in the creek."

    I asked what the ideal PH for invert growth and they said 7.0.

    Ive took your Touch Fishmyster and ill always ask questions now for in river water quality!

    Perhaps you could team up with your local stream keepers.

    We are seeing acidification of our oceans affecting coral reefs and shellfish. Do you think this is related?
  2. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    I believe it's all climate change related, I just dont believe salmon can do well with the increases in ocean temperatures. We are also seeing more erratic weather that causes our streams to have more inconsistent flows.

    Tho I have no idea about inverts or water quality.
  3. GLG

    GLG Well-Known Member

  4. Whitebuck

    Whitebuck Well-Known Member

    Mosson has a great group of workers!
    My first hatchery I ever volunteered at.
  5. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Some good work done at Mossom creek! Looks like a good group of enthusiastic ecology lovers there. Attractive report.
  6. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    I do not know of a Stream keepers group here in Port Alberni. Wish there was. I would sign up.

    You mention the ph drop from cedar bark. There are many coastal streams that do have influence from acidic cedar forests. Interestingly this might be helpful in some circumstances. If a stream has low but consistent ph it is better off then one that has variable ph. Some of the streams on QCI's and central coast have not suffered the same losses as the rest of the provinces streams. These ones have a heavy tea stain and consistent low ph, below 7. It is possible that contamination falling from the sky would pass thru these streams consistently because the low ph keeps the material from precipitating. In a stream with high ph average much of the contamination would precipitate, (possibly for decades), until soil alkalinity gets eroded down from acidic rain events allowing the stream ph to drop. This could cause a pulse or release of higher concentrated pollutants that had built up over time. I think investigation into why these other streams have not lost productivity and other neighboring streams have is worth the effort.
    wildmanyeah likes this.
  7. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    You know your stuff man, that the color of Kanaka creek, where the stream keepers did the test!
  8. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    California, You had asked what could be done about water chemistry?

    For starters would be to understand and accept what is going on. Sweeping it all under the rug will not help. If it was my money being spent on fisheries science and enhancement I would always be looking for ways to be more efficient with my expenditures and create more fish. As for rain chemistry we are all at it's mercy.

    Monitoring and knowing a stream has little supporting ecology could be valuable in enhancement practices. To release a pile of healthy hatchery fish into a stream lacking inverts to compete with the struggling wild stock seems counter productive. The hatchery fish could be transported to the ocean where there might be more available food of the get go and help leave the natural stream food for the wild stock.

    It might also be beneficial to raise hatchery fish in closed containment. GCL private fish farm hatchery has to adjust the chemistry of the Great Central Lake water they use because it is not naturally suitable for fish culture. Robertson creek hatchery uses the same GCL water flow thru to raise fish for Stamp river releases. Closed containment could be beneficial in restricting virus and disease transfer from wild to hatchery stocks vice versa.

    Monitoring stream chemistry trends could also be useful. If it is a deficiency issue in a waterway restricting ecology then adding appropriate elements could be an option. If it is poisoning that causes stress of eliminates the food webs then reestablishing the bottom up food web structure after events might be possible. Just like an aquarium that has been shocked. Adding water and gravel containing nitrifying bacteria from another tank will restart the bio filter system.

    B.C. Hydro is obligated to direct funds to fishery sciences as a condition of water leases. This money is used for all kinds of stream assessments that mostly get shelved. This is a lot of available money that could be directed to chemistry studies or chemistry adjusting components. All that is needed is MOE to show interest and dictate where the money gets spent.

    These are just some ideas. I will say that it is fresh water issues that we have a chance to correct or alter. Not much can be done to the ocean so most of that monitoring will only be useful for stock prediction and not help in creating more fish for people or SRKW's.

    If it was my money being spent I would dedicate a large portion to research and development for bottom up structure in fresh water. My priority would be to put natural food in wild salmon streams where it is proven to be lacking and possible for influence. This is why I tried approaching PSF as they are recipients of public and my funds. Not much luck yet!
    IronNoggin likes this.

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