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Author Topic: Whitefish etc.IFW "Volume I Managing Maine’s Inland Fisheries into the Future"  (Read 4094 times)

Offline woodchip

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In all your large lakes Smelts were never stocked.  They ended up there the same way salmon . got land locked!!!

Offline Moosekill

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Atlantic salmon became landlocked salmon when their migration routes were cut off by the glaciers in the last ice age.  They were stranded in a few lakes where they could no longer leave.

Rainbow smelts were found in certain lakes in Maine but are generaly sea run, but not always.  Now they have spread throughout the state and while they are great feed for certain game fish, they also eat whitefish eggs and therefore, the whitefish are declining thoroughout the state.


Offline clamfarmer

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Atlantic salmon became landlocked salmon when their migration routes were cut off by the glaciers in the last ice age.  They were stranded in a few lakes where they could no longer leave.

Rainbow smelts were found in certain lakes in Maine but are generaly sea run, but not always.  Now they have spread throughout the state and while they are great feed for certain game fish, they also eat whitefish eggs and therefore, the whitefish are declining thoroughout the state.
I wonder if there are such water bodies where smelt are protected where harvesting might be allowed to cut back the smelt issue. ALSO... Are there water bodies w/o whitefish  have suitable water quality, forage and low or non-existent smelt populations. I think Long Pond on MDI might fit the later description.
"You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy fishing gear and that’s kind of the same thing.” 

Offline eiderz

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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.

Offline woodchip

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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.

Offline woodchip

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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.

Offline Moosekill

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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.
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.

Offline eiderz

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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.

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.



Offline woodchip

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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.

Offline eiderz

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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.

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.

Offline eiderz

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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.

I recall we discussed Moosehead water quality a month or two ago. Agreed, water quality may be a factor there. Remember however, a slightly depressed but stable ph by itself doesn't doom the fishery. If a lake has adequate alkalinity to buffer against acid shocks from runoff, the ph may remain stable enough to preserve the fishery. Moosehead has a ph of around 7 but low alkalinity, so it is probably susceptible to ph fluctuations. Many lakes in Maine are similar, it has a lot to do with the bedrock chemistry which in most of Maine is not calcareous.

Offline Moosekill

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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.

Whitefish almost completely dissapeared from Mooshead in the 60's, with just a few remaining into the early 70's.  So when did the aliens change the water quality?

 



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