July 27, 2016

2eyesSmolt

The fall steelhead run is still weeks away so any post now is only relevant if it discusses preparations or prospects. Let’s go with prospects.

What “stocking year-class” of steelhead smolts will form the majority of fish running this fall?

Here is what the professional biologists tell me.

Not all fish make an annual run into the tributaries, but the ones that will run this fall are in these categories.  After 1-year in the lake the 2-3# 17” jacks stocked in 2015; larger mature 23”, 4-5# steelhead stocked in 2014; 26” 6-7# fish stocked in 2013; and 8-10# 28” fish stocked in the spring of 2012 will be entering tributaries this fall.  You can check the total number of steelhead stocked in specific tributary for a given year by consulting this chart.

Pennsylvania 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
               
Annual total 1,002,763 1,004,507 1,006,318 1,184,496 1,000,100 1,011,100 1,041,371
               
Conneaut Creek 73,624 75,100 75,333 75,000 75,000 90,000 74,996
Crooked Creek 74,000 74,047 74,000 74,000 74,000 73,200 78,480
Elk Creek 240,510 244,640 240,500 240,896 240,500 247,050 246,624
Four Mile Creek 37,000 37,000 34,000 37,000 37,000 18,300 19,620
Godfrey Run 18,500 18,720 18,500 159,600 18,500 18,300 19,620
Presque Isle Bay 87,378 83,250 83,250 82,250 83,350 83,350 88,292
Racoon Creek 37,000 37,000 37,000 37,000 37,000 23,400 19,745
Seven Mile Creek 37,000 37,000 37,000 37,000 37,000 18,300 19,620
Sixteen Mile Creek 18,500 18,500 18,500 18,500 18,500 18,300 19,618
Trout Run 46,250 46,250 55,235 90,250 46,250 45,750 67,050
Twelve Mile Creek 37,000 37,000 37,000 37,000 37,000 36,600 39,240
Twenty Mile Creek 111,001 111,000 111,000 111,000 111,000 146,400 156,959
Walnut Creek 185,000 185,000 185,000 185,000 185,000 192,150 191,507
               
Ohio 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
               
Annual total 413,325 421,888 428,715 448,599 420,769 265,479 342,979
               
Chagrin 96,680 90,085 90,063 108,353 90,009 60537   90,467
Conneaut Creek 75,019 84,866 75,040 75,184 75,068 44,719 75,001
Grand River 95,512 90,009 108,361 90,149 91,288 60,871 105,001
Rocky River 90,069 91,779 100,074 106,996 109,327 61,068 90,293
Vermilion River 56045 65,149 55,177 67,917 55,077 38,284 72,684
               
New York 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
               
Annual total 3,799,000   258,950 255000 260,000 310,194 276,720
               
Michigan 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
               
Annual total 110,100   67,800 62400 64,500 66,536 70,376
               
Ontario 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
               
Annual total     56,700 20,000 21,050 33,447 18,610

 

Not included above are 2015 stockings that take place after the spring stockings

Special thank you to PA, NY, OH, MI Fishery Biologists for the information posted in this chart.

 

Numbers3Research has revealed that 95% of the stocked smolts don’t live long enough to mature and run a tributary. Predatory ducks - birds - fish and other critters make a meal of that precious resource.   Anglers who are spring steelhead fishing kill countless numbers too no matter how careful they remove the hook. Those are the facts.

Increased fishing pressure and the preference to catch and keep steelhead are impacting the annual run too.

The 5% of the stocked steelhead smolts that manage to mature will be your target this fall along with those trophy-class fish that are “return runners”!

Now you can run the numbers and form your own opinion for what to expect on your favorite tributary.

Finally, don’t get your Orvis waders in a knot when you see a “drag and brag” angler sliding a rope of fish across the parking lot.   Erie’s steelhead program is a “put & take” fishery.  Just let is go brother/sister. Life is too short.

 

July 22, 2015

Homepage1To be beneficial, a steelhead fishing website should inform, instruct, and inspire the reader.  Your level of experience will determine what to read and what to overlook.  If fishing puts a smile on your face, then read-on!

Most anglers who visit this Fish Steelhead Alley Website have fished Erie, caught steelhead and know most of the “where, how and with what” that makes for a successful trip.  The challenge for creating a good Website is a presentation that satisfies all experience levels.

A chronologically ordered, blog with plenty of embedded links and a standard search option should do the trick.  That basic format will make the home page – landing page a starting point for all readers.  You can review the dated report on the home page and click on the embedded links that suit your experience level or you can use the search function to find a topic of interest to you.

When the “new Fish Steelhead Alley Website” launches, you are encouraged to bookmark the page and visit it often.  Content changes and additions are coming soon.  First, planned topic will be of interest to all steelhead anglers – 2016 smolt stocking program!

Summer 2015

Tom1 Tom3 Tom4  Tom2

The summer months offer plenty of fishing opportunities no matter where you live in the Great Lakes Region. Anglers at this time of the year, turn their attention to lake, bay and pier fishing. Target species are bass, perch and walleye. Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing gain popularity at this time of the year because just about all bodies of water hold bass. You can add pan-fish, pike [pickerel, northern, musky], catfish, and a variety of junk-fish as well.  [Thanks to Tom Cimino for these images.] Now if the time, weather permitting, to get your boat on the lake. If you do not have access to a boat I have two suggestions to make the most of your summer fishing. You can charter a walleye trip or plan to spend a day on a perch fishing head boat.  I trust during the summer you will keep your fishing skills sharp. Fall will soon be here and the steelhead will be staging just off-shore.