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Whitefish etc.IFW "Volume I Managing Maine’s Inland Fisheries into the Future"

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woodchip:
smelts have been in Sebago from day one , they were landlocked like Salmon. fishermen were allowed to dip smelts with net in spring , but spring smelt season was canceled because they were declining like Salmon and White fish  they have blamed poor fish growth on all other reasons ,they have some control over. not the real true reason PH drop  Acid fallout ,more septic systems near water shed, Land fills with in a 1/2 mile of lake, more timber cutting in watershed.  The state will not lime water shed because it costs money,  Lakes and forests should be handled like the farmers handle their gardens.

Moosekill:

--- Quote from: eiderz on Apr 28, 2022, 05:53 AM ---Sebago is an example of a lake where landlocks occur naturally, and where there was a whitefish population. Were smelt in the lake naturally? I haven't been there for many years, did I read somewhere that the forage in Sebago right now is alewives?

So if the smelt are removed from a lake with salmon, togue, brookies and whitefish, what becomes the forage? The whitefish? I know some would prefer that most lakes have only brookies and whitefish, but just curious what the consequences of removing the smelt is.

--- End quote ---
Smelts were in the lake for a long time.  However lake trout and pike were not.  Since I am not wearing a tin hat today, my guess would be the vast overpopulation of lake trout in Sebago upset the balance that naturally occured with salmon, smelt aand whitefish.  Add to that the new inclusion of pike and reintroduction of alewives and the catch and release religion that has gripped many and made it very difficult to remove fish when needed and you end up with a bad situation for whitefish. 

Whitefish live a long time and grow slowly but don't make lots of baby whitefish, so it doesn't take a lot to upset the apple cart.

eiderz:

--- Quote ---smelts have been in Sebago from day one , they were landlocked like Salmon. fishermen were allowed to dip smelts with net in spring , but spring smelt season was canceled because they were declining like Salmon and White fish  they have blamed poor fish growth on all other reasons ,they have some control over. not the real true reason PH drop  Acid fallout ,more septic systems near water shed, Land fills with in a 1/2 mile of lake, more timber cutting in watershed.  The state will not lime water shed because it costs money,  Lakes and forests should be handled like the farmers handle their gardens.
--- End quote ---

I agree that water quality is a player in some lakes, but probably not all, because water chemistry varies naturally in lakes across the state. If the biologists are saying the smelt are a major predator of whitefish eggs and/or fry, I'm willing to accept that as a reason for whitefish decline in certain lakes as well.


woodchip:
smelting in spring was stopped before lake trout were stocked . Moosehead and Chesuncook lost there White fish and Togue have been in those lakes since day one,   PH is the big reason .Admit it !!! bring water quality  back and all fish will survive together.

eiderz:

--- Quote from: Moosekill on Apr 28, 2022, 09:17 AM ---Smelts were in the lake for a long time.  However lake trout and pike were not.  Since I am not wearing a tin hat today, my guess would be the vast overpopulation of lake trout in Sebago upset the balance that naturally occured with salmon, smelt aand whitefish.  Add to that the new inclusion of pike and reintroduction of alewives and the catch and release religion that has gripped many and made it very difficult to remove fish when needed and you end up with a bad situation for whitefish. 

Whitefish live a long time and grow slowly but don't make lots of baby whitefish, so it doesn't take a lot to upset the apple cart.

--- End quote ---

I didn't know the stinklogs were in Sebago. Not a great addition.

Yes, agreed that C&R isn't always preferred. Fishing is management from a biologists perspective. If the management goal is removal of target sizes or species, C&R is counterproductive.

Perhaps it's just anecdotal, but of the lakes I enjoy fishing in across several NE states, the ones with more than a couple of piscevore predators tend to do poorly. Oneida Lake in NY is the exception. In Maine it seems that brookies and salmon generally do OK, add in togue and things can get whacky. Pike or rotenone have roughly equivalent outcomes.  ;) I'm not counting whitefish because I understand they focus primarily on small benthic forage, rather than smelt, dace, shiners or alewives.

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