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PostPosted: November 1st, 2017, 6:00 am 
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This season, I caught two 20"+- salmon on a general law river which is known for 8-16"stocked trout. They are the first salmon I've caught here after hearing tales of their presence for years. The second one caught came a few days before the recent closure, and it was hooked well downstream from a spot my fishing buddy netted one of similar size an hour earlier.
They enter the river from a popular salmon lake in high water, can't get back into the lake and thus roam the river until they are presumably harvested by the significant meat fishing crowd which frequent this river. It's considered by the state to be a put-and-take trout fishery, and as my buddy pointed out, the salmon are incidental and as such not recognized as a resource to be protected.
I would love to see more protection for the trout in this very productive river, even a simple designated area for catch and release only, ALO, but with these large salmon present, it seems like the powers that be should seriously consider a rule change, doubtful as it may seem.
No need to name the river, but any thoughts?

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2017, 8:46 am 
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At least slap an S-22 on there so the limited # of lls get spread around the freezers.

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2017, 12:47 pm 
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I've talked to the bio about this place, about putting some kind of regulation on it. He exact words were "if we put any regulations on that river there would be a massive public out cry because the majority of the people use that river as a grocery store."
I have caught wild browns, brookies, rainbows, and salmon in that river. It could be much more then a put and take river. Despite the number of fish that get dragged home in shopping bags it still holds a lot of fish, and a lot of good fish.

Peter

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2017, 3:04 pm 
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Peter010786 wrote:
I've talked to the bio about this place, about putting some kind of regulation on it. He exact words were "if we put any regulations on that river there would be a massive public out cry because the majority of the people use that river as a grocery store."


Peter



Perhaps the single saddest/worst quote I’ve ever read on FFIM. Has that biologist ever heard of Hannaford or Shaw’s? There’s a thread on another site about the biggest differences between here and out West. That’s the single biggest difference......right there. I’ve certainly not fished all the major Western rivers, but I’ve fished a whole lot of them in the last 25 years of heading out there.......and NEVER have I seen anybody using those rivers “as a grocery store”. WTF???

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2017, 6:43 pm 
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"First salmon caught here after hearing about them for years"

"People use this river as a grocery store"

They must be starving with that sort of a success rate?

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2017, 7:22 pm 
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Formerly Larvae wrote:
"First salmon caught here after hearing about them for years"

"People use this river as a grocery store"

They must be starving with that sort of a success rate?


It's not a salmon river, they are not stocked there and there isn't a wild population I'm aware of. Their existence is incidental to high water and escape from the lake.
It's not a river I fish often either, a few times in the spring and once or twice in the fall. So my success on salmon wouldn't be indicative of their numbers either way. It should be noted however that in four outings there this season, I caught big salmon on two of them and watched a buddy catch another. Another angler shouted across a pool to me,
"Trying to get one of those lunker salmon!"
So there seem to be enough to warrant discussion of the matter.

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2017, 7:29 pm 
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Formerly Larvae wrote:
"First salmon caught here after hearing about them for years"

"People use this river as a grocery store"

They must be starving with that sort of a success rate?


Well the salmon population of that river is small, but its definitely there. I've seen people dragging salmon close to two feet long down the bank while yelling out to me in the river asking "do you know if this is legal to keep?" No joke... this has happened more then once. The majority of fish kept are 9 inch stocked browns and rainbows. A few decent holdovers are kept also. I honestly don't know why people would want to eat fish out of that river, several towns upstream dump their treated sewer waste directly into the river. That does contribute to the good fishing I think... the bug life there is OUTSTANDING. I'll dig threw my emails, I think I saved my conversations with Francis. If I have them I'll post it.

Peter

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PostPosted: November 1st, 2017, 8:52 pm 
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I think it's interesting to look at the competing perspectives here.
We know where the salmon come from; it's the only lake population that can access that river with any measure of consistency.
Regulations on the river (or lack of them) do not cover salmon. Only trout, in that two may be taken daily. The salmon then are regulated under general law for rivers: 2 fish, 14" min 25" max, per day.
But since they come from the lake, why then are they not regulated in the river the same way? It's the same population. Here's the regs on the lake:
General fishing laws apply, except: S-2, S-3, S-22, S-26. Minimum length limit on landlocked salmon: 16 inches. From January 1 - March 31: Closed to the taking of landlocked salmon; all landlocked salmon must be released immediately without removal from the water. From October 1 - December 31: S-6, S-7.
Way tighter. I think it's logical to maintain the same regs for the same population of fish. One fish, 16" or larger ALO and C&R after Sept. 30. That might be a good start!

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PostPosted: November 2nd, 2017, 5:32 am 
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Dave,

While I agree that most of the tourists and industry people in the west are not harvesters, I can say with certainty that my family who resides in Montana eat an awful lot of trout. All within the laws, but food none the less. Maybe they are an outlier, decendants of homesteaders, but we mutually surprised each other when they killed their first fish and i released mine.

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PostPosted: November 2nd, 2017, 7:47 am 
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TGIF wrote:
Dave,

While I agree that most of the tourists and industry people in the west are not harvesters, I can say with certainty that my family who resides in Montana eat an awful lot of trout. All within the laws, but food none the less. Maybe they are an outlier, decendants of homesteaders, but we mutually surprised each other when they killed their first fish and i released mine.



Tim......

Are your family fishing lakes? Montana stocks the living hell out of lakes, but doesn’t stock rivers and streams. I’m quite sure a few of those stocked trout get through the dams, but it’s quite small. I have seen lake fishermen out there taking trout......but never seen it inthe rivers.

Dave M

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PostPosted: November 2nd, 2017, 8:28 am 
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I like to eat trout and salmon, though not anywhere close to how much I like to catch them. I will take a few each year, but rarely (in recent years, not at all) river-run fish. They typically are larger fish taken while trolling lakes/ponds.
Peter's point is a good one, why anyone would eat a fish from that watershed is beyond me.
Taking fish isn't really about dinner though IMO. For some anglers, it's the prize for the outing, a tangible reward for a successful trip. The experience isn't complete without that aspect. I have good friends who will chastise me for "letting them go." It's all in good nature, we laugh about it. They can't figure why I want to "waste" a good catch. Waste? It's all subjective.

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PostPosted: November 2nd, 2017, 9:24 am 
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Just to play Devil's Advocate here, if the fish can't make it back to the lake- what's the reason to attempt to stockpile them through special regs? If they can't get back to the lake, neither can their progeny. And life expectancy for a large salmonid without access into larger, deeper holding water, is not good. Otters, ospreys, etc... and angling pressure mortality all take a toll. Plus a large salmonid needs a fair amount of food to survive for any length of time in a riverine environment.

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PostPosted: November 2nd, 2017, 12:14 pm 
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Plus, landlocks are stocked which makes them not worth fishing for.


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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2017, 12:50 pm 
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My family are mostly river fishers in MT. They are quick to point out that people from away far outnumber them on their local rivers.

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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2017, 3:53 pm 
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TGIF wrote:
My family are mostly river fishers in MT. They are quick to point out that people from away far outnumber them on their local rivers.


Well played Tim.


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