Here's what's new at PSF

Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by Pacific Salmon Foundation, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Have you read Bob Hootons post on gold river.
    Not sure how long you have fished the system but it seems it’s been going down hill since 1970.

    On a side there was a salmon crash in the 1970 that some believe was then masked by hatchery production. Perhaps all we did with hatchery was mask a bigger problem like the one u have suggested.
  2. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Thanks wmy. I have read much of Bobs writings but totally disagree with his assessment as it doesn't match my field experience. He blames logging as a major factor to losses in habitat productivity on Gold river. Some contradicting information is the similar losses of productivity in other not logged valleys like Megin river in Clayquot sound. Another stream I have visited is Anhuatti river Knight inlet in 2015 spring. This once great steelhead stream has an unlogged valley other than 2km in the bottom end. We covered 12km of river in kayaks to hook one steelhead and two juveniles and seen nothing in the gin clear pools. There was no fry, bugs, birds or algae. The stream had white rocks void of any stains or moss just like acid washed aggregate. The stream was void of supporting ecology for fish and the lack of fish was evident. We were there in early May. Snorkel survey reports of this stream indicate the adult s/h population drops dramatically in 2000 as it does in all the other indicator streams near by. Again this is an unlogged valley. Interestingly, the next day we went to fish Devereux creek just a few miles away. It is a small stream that feeds Klinaklini river. The whole watershed of this stream has been mowed flat a few times. We first looked off the logging bridge to see if there were any visible fish. Well omg was there fish! there were several large dollies up to six or so pounds, many juvenile s/h and cutthroat trout along with abundant salmon fry!! When we dropped our hooks in there it was like pirranha's attacking. This little warm water creek had more life in one small pool than the Anhuatti had in 12km yet it has been logged many times over. It was also choked with large stream clams. Another heavy logged stream that hasn't lost all of its ecology and fish population is the Nootom in Burk channel. One of my favorites!

    I find Bobs assessments do not take into consideration environmental chemistry variables or involve invertebrate assemblages and trends. This is where I am finding the matches. Streams with no invertebrates have very few fish!
    You know that the 1980's we experienced some of the best fresh water productivity imaginable. Logging has been active for many more years before that and even the streams with logged valleys used to produce fish.
  3. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Funny you should mention donation! I will tell you a story.
    I have been trying to discuss water chemistry with DFO, MOE and the PSF for a few years now and getting little to no information or response. It has been a year since first contact with dr. Brian Riddell. I wanted to discuss the biological and chemical changes I have been witnessing and was looking for answers and information. I am confident the fresh water changes are major contributing factors to the present low productivity era we are in. He did agree to meet for discussion but never seem to have time for it. All I wanted is for him to come for a walk with me to a few local streams to see with his own eyes what is going on in our streams. After a few follow up emails I eventually got no response.
    On Sept 18 2017 I thought I would try a different approach. I emailed the main office with a donation of $1000 and to contact me with details. At 8:57 the next morning I was answered! There was appreciation expressed and directions on how to transfer the funds. I then explained a condition to my donation being a meeting with Brian Riddell to discuss water chemistry and fresh water ecology changes. He again agreed but still to this day after my follow up emails has not followed thru. My last email has not been answered.
    As of 2013 I am a donator to PSF with salmon stamp and license sales. I did offer an extra $1000 or whatever required to meet with a credible scientist at PSF to hopefully find information to why everything in my local streams has died! Maybe $1000 is not worth the bother? Lots of thoughts go thru my head. What do you guys think?
    My apologies for offending anyone at PSF or on this forum. My intentions are sincere. I am a concerned citizen and contributor to salmon science thru tax dollars and license sales and am looking for answers from the involved scientists receiving my financial contributions.
    trophywife, ILHG and wildmanyeah like this.
  4. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    You have gone above and beyond in my opinion thank you!
  5. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Although I have no formal scholastic training in fresh water ecology I am still a fanatic in the subject. Attached is a report from a spawning channel on Englishman river. If you scroll down the pages to the invertebrate abundance graph you will see the variable densities over a few years. In 2012 there was over 5000 macroinvertebrates per m2. By 2014 the population dies off to approximately 20% of what was there just two years before. This channel is sheltered from floods and has great influence from ground water. There is no way the population was washed away from high water or died of from temperature/drought conditions. Something in the chemistry has knocked back ecology to far less than where it was just a couple years before. Now take this information and compare it to adult salmon returns in all other VI streams with consideration to the brood and juvenile rearing years and you will find a match. I believe when the mystery of what forces cause invert population to collapse from 2012-2014 we will be on track to understanding what is restricting salmon populations from thriving to where they once were.

    I have a report from the Thompson river 1974-1993. The file is too large to upload but documents invertebrates in the Thompson river averaged 15000 or so back in the years of healthy fish productivity. This is the similar abundance that I used to see in all alberni area streams but now there is nothing near that and fish productivity is following suite.

    Attached Files:

  6. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    Thats quite interesting and you earlier stated that you don't think fish carcuses contribute to invert growth or decline. So then what is the leading cause of invert decline or growth. What in the water chemistry?
  7. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Decaying salmon could be excellent for invert growth. What I am seeing is a condition the water goes into where: green algae and invertes die off, decomposition of fish or leaves slows down or stops and didymo algae appears. Commonly this condition develops after high water events when receding waters leave stones that appear to have been washed with a solvent solution. Spring of 2014 was a big event here on the Stamp with the washed rock appearance. It is probably a combination of factors limiting invert biomass. Poisoning from heavy metals during the water event when the stones got washed is one possibility. Lack of calcium, magnesium or other nutrients that have been stripped away during the washing event is another influencing factor. Die off of decomposing bacteria, this will cause high levels of toxic ammonia.

    The golden question of what causes the variable of inverts in such a sheltered environment like the Young channel?? The water quality reports done along with the invert sampling had indicated high levels of aluminum but have not seen any follow up! This would be a great location for aquatic surveillance project.

    Possibly a new project for PSF?
  8. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Tinny, Above you are stating, "for the past several decades that is where the vast majority of science has been taking place". If so then please help me find the records of stream invertebrate sampling and water quality work for the last 20 years? I am also curious to what testing there has been for nitrifying bacteria? There is a fair amount of benthic work done pre 1995 but the last couple decades is hard to find much?
    Please have another thought about Didymo algae. It is more evidence that there is serious chemistry problems in fresh water. It is a fact that any stream that dydimo blooms in has its steelhead and coho runs go to hell. Thompson, Gold and Stamp have all experienced this. Dydimo was linked to low phosphate. What causes lowered levels of phosphate? Did levels of other important nutrients drop at the same time??
    Please help me keep this discussion going. Something is restricting life in fresh water and I have a deep curiosity for what is causing it. I am confident it lies in the bottom layers of ecology and how it reacts to chemistry changes. I know on paper there is little evidence indicating fresh water is the main issue but at least with fresh water we could possibly treat the environment.
  9. tincan

    tincan Well-Known Member

    happy to reply but I think this conversation has veered way off topic from 'what's new at PSF' so please start a new thread or rejoin another thread more suitable for the issues you'd like to discuss. thx

  10. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    I would be happy to start a new thread but it would just get bombarded with anti ff propaganda. This conversation is about psf. What's new at psf? I am requesting they research salmon ecology from the bottom up as advertised and salmon. My perspective is that salmon start in fresh water. There are at leased four components of ecology in freshwater before smoltification that deserve attention. Starting with bottom up is chemistry, bacteria/algae, micro invertebrates/plankton then macro invertebrates.

    My efforts as a citizen scientists reveal there is major chemistry stressors that have altered food web productivity for salmon/trout in fresh water. I have been politely mentioning this to MOE biologists and conservation entities back 20+ years now but, to this day, it still falls on deft ears. For the last year I have been trying to get discussion with psf about these water quality issues. There is no response! I am trying to be as polite as possible.

    My charter business sells no less than 130 licenses per year and every license has a salmon stamp. Since 2013 my financial contributions to psf have been no less than $3250 conservatively calculated. I am requesting either spend this amount on bottom level research in freshwater or refund me the money so I can. I am a two member science group, (girlfriend and myself), that is dedicated to understand what has been restricting ecology in salmon reproduction starting from egg to smolt. I am also operating at a full deficit. My personal expenditures in this project from purchases including water sampling equipment, nets, dry suit, courses is exceeding $4000 not including fuel and time spent. If psf choses to refund me the money will go directly into purchasing real time water sampling equipment for installation in local streams. This equipment will log any changed and provide me with valuable and cost efficient information for my studies. I will also freely share any of the data recorded from these instruments with any scientific group.

    My apologies if this discussion offends anybody. I have learned that 20 years of passively attempting to expose this mater has resulted in nothing. So I am trying to politely step it up a little.
    trophywife likes this.
  11. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Well-Known Member

    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
  12. california

    california Well-Known Member

    I'm not doubting your theories, they are quite possibly part of the issue. I guess my question is what can be done about water chemistry? Locally we cant make the rain have a different chemical composition. The water that falls picks up chemical components as it runs off the land over vast areas of drainage (most of the province). It seems the actions are still to conserve the fish as much as possible to allow enough to survive to recolonize if (and when) the waterways become more suitable for invertebrate life?
  13. Admin

    Admin Admin Staff Member

    This discussion has moved away from the thread topic and needs to get back on track. The question has apparently been posed to PSF directly by Fishmyster, which is how it should be done. The subject has been raised here as well, but the conversation is now at a point where it needs it's own thread.
  14. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

  15. A few new videos are up on PSF's youtube channel, including this one below on Juvenile Salmon Survival by SSMSP researcher Nathan Furey

  16. Here's another of Natasha who is working on eelgrass:

  17. And another one of Kevin Pellet who did some great work on predation studies on the Cowichan River.


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