Coho Salmon

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ox, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. ox

    ox Well-Known Member

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    We we are totally in a mode of excitement here on the homestead. In mid December a large run of Pacific Coho Salmon have come up the creek running through Singing Falls. Joe Hall Creek, Elk Creek, Browny Creek, Tyson Creek. All these streams are connected in our immediate vicinity and go about 90 miles to the Ocean. Joe Hall cuts diagonally through our stewardship. This is a major event since it has not happened since the 1940's according to the elders here and the state/federal biologist. We've been here 15 years and have never seen the like. I put together an html page at our site to describe what's going on and what we plan to do to keep it happening if we can. There's some short mpgs to watch also
    stream-restoration.html
    These fish are amazing and huge. I am accustomed to seeing lots of fish in our creek but these behomoths are incredible to watch. Even some of the old timers cried when they heard of it.
    See what you think and I'm open to input on gettings the federals involved.
     
  2. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    Congrats! Its one of the beautiful things you can see living on land. Fun to hear about it, better to be able to experience it, I figure maybe a millionth of less of a percent of the land (or less) in the US have people living there that can every directly experience a samon run, much less a big fish-flopping-everywhere-one.
     

  3. blufford

    blufford Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When I die I would like to come back as a Grizzly Bear and eat some of these salmon. Please make sure they don't add any food coloring to them!
     
  4. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Can you imagine sitting in your wickiup a couple hundred years ago? Staying close to the fire, trying to keep warm on a cold December morning? Wishing wisfully for something to eat other than dried pemmican...and you hear a loud splash from the creek? What a gift!

    Looking forward to your still photos.
     
  5. ratherbefishin

    ratherbefishin Well-Known Member

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    very gratifying-coho will spawn in almost any small stream or ditch and clearing debris so as to allow them access upstream is well worth the effort when you see salmon returning to their historical spawning grounds.
    Hopefully the surrounding land will be able to support clean water flows,streamside shade and ennough vegetation to prevent flooding and washing out redds, as well as a slow release in the summer months to keep stream levels high ennough to prevent pools drying up
    One question- was there a remnent of spawners in the existing streams, or did it require stocking from another stream in order to restore the run?
     
  6. ox

    ox Well-Known Member

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    Just got a boat load of stills for the website and I'' get them up today some time. It's amazing. I have an old Cow Creek indian for a neighbor, former tribal chairman, and he is really excited about this run. He doesn't understand.
    No one understands WHY the run has occured but we are all glad it did. The most likely scenario for the near future - this summer will be a fry capture during the dry season and remedial work on the stream in the late summer-early autumn.
    All of the specimens examined so far are wild fish, not hatchery versions. The federal biologist says that at least 10 -15 % of returning salmon do not return to thier spawning grounds but get caught up in schools going elsewhere.
    It's very strange. I am not a "red neck" or a "greeny" but a very conservative christian type. This event has galvanised our little village and shattered some of the cultural barriers. We all see it as a possible sign of healing. Good will is blurring some of the divide, specially some of my mistrust of governmental agencies. Mr. Baldwin, the federal biologist seems like a really level headed and knowledgable chap.
    Every one agrees we need to strike while the iron is hot and accommodate the runs. The tribe is very pleased at the common interest. I personally view it as a miracle of sorts whose meaning is beyond my grasp in these troubled times. The current administration has alotted substantial funds for projects such as these. Will it be successfully utilized? Since this is national forest the state hasn't been involved. There is a chance that beaver will be returned to the area. Funny, Oregon is the "Beaver State" and i have yet to see one in this national park or the adjacent wilderness area. Lots of lions, bears, birds and beasts of prey but few small non-predatory mammals.
     
  7. kathy H

    kathy H kathyh

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    This is really cool. Thank you for sharing it with us.
     
  8. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    How wonderful! I've seen salmon spawning in AK many times. I've never heard of any going to a stream that none had been spawning for so long. Eager to see the pix.
     
  9. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I pray that none of the wackos (from either side) get involved. Its a tall order for that to happen though. More likely regulations will abound.

    A number of years ago about 1993 there was a terrible shortage of returning COHO to the Snohomish and Skagit river systems in Washington State and the powers that be shut down all fishing for the salmon INCLUDING the Indian Netting across the mouths of the river. That was UNPRECEDENTED. Everyone was predicting the total demise of the coho salmon. Well approxiately 4 years later there was a tremendous run of coho. Its amazing what happens when you let some of the fish actually get a chance to breed. In my opinion, the netting across the mouths of rivers is the single most detrimental thing that happens to salmon. I don't give a damn if it is the way tribes fished for centuries - its harmful.

    Simple math expains it. If there is a 1% survival of baby salmon then 1% of 1,000,000,000 eggs is many more than 1% of 1,000,000 eggs, and each time the number keeps increasing, as there are more and more salmon to come back. You get the billion eggs by having more breeders than you had to only get the million eggs - you get that by getting more and more females upstream - past the GD nets.
     
  10. TwoAcresAndAGoat

    TwoAcresAndAGoat Well-Known Member

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    Ox

    I wanted t thank you for your efforts to help the returining Coho Salmon and for sharing this wonderful event with me.

    You don't know how much it lifts my spirt to know shuch things.
     
  11. ox

    ox Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement. Sorry I didn't respond sooner but I was unable to access the board until this evening.
    Here's the first set of still shots. The next set should be up by tommorrow evening. I think they'll be much better.

    Coho Salmon Images
     
  12. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Rumor has it the salmon are back in a creek behind the old homestead. An ice storm in 1976 pretty well clogged the creek and stopped the run but before that !!!! A flood in 1986 opened it up a bit and now all the trees must have finally rotted enough to give passage again.


    mikell
     
  13. quietstar

    quietstar Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ox....For sharing the great news and the pictures were outstanding. This story serves to warm the soul during a dreary time of year. I for one, would enjoy hearing more as this natural drama unfolds. Thanks again....Glen
     
  14. ox

    ox Well-Known Member

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    50 mile long foreign gill nets at sea.

    Over population of sea lions at sea (protected species).

    Un-natural non-indigenous population of large mouth bass in the warmer sections of the South Umpqua River.

    In our immediate area, just above Singing Falls in the un-named tributary that feeds the falls there is the "Joe Hall slide". A massive slide of clay based earth as a result of clear cutting. It turns the stream to mud when the winter rains hit. Probably the single most profound point source for turbidity in the Elk Creek drainage.

    These are just some of the barriers.

    I've cut trees my all my adult life and have never seen the value of clear cutting. I have seen the sorry effects of it. I have a good Christian friend from the tribe who has logged for years. (I am very "proud" of his logging jobs.) They are more like husbandmen and gardeners with the forest than anything else. It can be done right. Yes, Oregon law demands tree planting afterwards but usually a single species of tree.

    Except for our place, which was previously logged three times before we became its stewards, all the jobs up the Joe Hall Drainage canyon were clear cuts that cut right up to the creeks edge and cleered the creek of debri. Not good.

    Yet in spite of all this - here come the coho! I want to help them very much.

    It is a big job and our hands are full already with our herd of 80 angora goats, sheep and land cultivation. Yet I am compelled to do this as a token of gratitute to God and a gesture of wisdom in our stewardship.

    I found out that the only string attached so far is that the land owner must contribute 25% for in kind value up to 25,000 dollars per "incident". It's going to a long hard year at Singing Falls. I'm 57 years old, hehe, this should be fun to see :)

    Look for more really neat pictures this evening.
     
  15. ratherbefishin

    ratherbefishin Well-Known Member

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    now- with the salmon returning-are you also seeing the scavengers -bears,seagulls, eagles showing up?The think about the phenomina of salmon in an ecosystem is it supports a whole host of other creatures, even the carcases nuturing stream ecosystem.
    Researchers now know that they have a much higher success rate when restocking a stream, if they dump in a good number of salmon carcasses which in turn support increased algae and insectlife that the young fry depend on-makes sense when you think about it
    The pioneers also utilized salmon carcasses as a ready fertilizer for their gardens-my wife's grandfather tells of that in the Tillamook Valley.
    So-salmon are a beneficial part of the whole lifecycle of many creatures-including humans
     
  16. ox

    ox Well-Known Member

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    hehe the scavengers have been here waiting for them for years - eating my goats! It's been a tough battle but things are beginning to come to some sort of equilibium over the last few years. Parasites have, all of a sudden, beat back the cougars and bears (which were way over populated) and the deer population is bouncing back a little.
    Yes the massive impartation of nitrogen into the system here from dead salmon is long missed and needed. We need beavers. We need shade. Quick.
    On our homestead in Montana we used the non-indigenous overubundance of sucker fish in Little Bitterroot River to feed our chickens certain times of the year. Yes Salmon are beneficial and no doubt their absence here is part of why the area is so imbalanced.
    We've been relocating salmon carcasses upstream because of the dogs. Salmon poisoning. Pretty hard for canines to survive it. Once they do they are immune.
     
  17. caballoviejo

    caballoviejo Well-Known Member

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    Beavers should be easy to get if the process is not too regulated. Heck, here in the south you pay to get rid of them.
     
  18. ox

    ox Well-Known Member

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    Yes, most places we've been consider them a real pest. I had beaver tail stew many years ago. Didn't like it much.
    But we are now in Umpqua National Forest and we have hundreds of square miles of National Forest, National and State wilderness, Roseburg Lumber land and BLM land surouding our property. We need those beavers back if Joe Hall Creek is going to flow year 'round again. It hasn't in 40+ years. The riparian zone really does need them if it's going to survive much longer. The artisian spring at the waterfall needs some beavers to hold some of the water back for the dry season. It usually goes right to the ocean. Besides it would be nice to gravity feed/water my garden year round. I usually have to stop in late July.
     
  19. ox

    ox Well-Known Member

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