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PostPosted: October 15th, 2018, 7:29 am 
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Reports are 12 wild crooked river salmon needlessly died Friday due to design flaw and incompetent management of the weir by MDIFW.


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PostPosted: October 15th, 2018, 9:37 am 
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srs wrote:
Reports are 12 wild crooked river salmon needlessly died Friday due to design flaw and incompetent management of the weir by MDIFW.

Could you be more specific?
What was the cause of the kill and how is it related to design flaw and incompetence?

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PostPosted: October 15th, 2018, 10:20 am 
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Fish can get sideways in weirs, get stuck, and drown. It's not unheard of.

With that said, how many fish run up the Crooked in a given year? Are 12 fish statistically significant? How many do you think died from angler mis-handling this fall? I'm guessing more than 12. The data gathered from the weir is useful information, and expensive / labor intensive to otherwise generate. There are trade-offs in fisheries management that have to be weighed- and this may be one of those situations. But we don't know the specifics, so, at least I, can't really make an opinion on such.

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PostPosted: October 15th, 2018, 2:55 pm 
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Hunter wrote:
Fish can get sideways in weirs, get stuck, and drown. It's not unheard of.

With that said, how many fish run up the Crooked in a given year? Are 12 fish statistically significant? How many do you think died from angler mis-handling this fall? I'm guessing more than 12. The data gathered from the weir is useful information, and expensive / labor intensive to otherwise generate. There are trade-offs in fisheries management that have to be weighed- and this may be one of those situations. But we don't know the specifics, so, at least I, can't really make an opinion on such.


I agree that, minus specifics, it’s tough to make a judgement call on the weir.
But I don’t agree that 12 fish should be acceptable collateral damage in the interest of data collection and/or egg harvesting. If the 12 were egg-laden females, or trophy-sized, or bearing any other genetically superior traits, I say it’s not worth it.
If we know that fish can get caught and killed in weirs than we ought not to be using them until that flaw is corrected.
Anyway, without details, it’s all speculation.

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PostPosted: October 15th, 2018, 6:51 pm 
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2 posts= troll?
:?
And with silence since.......?


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PostPosted: October 15th, 2018, 8:49 pm 
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Now that the season is closed, a few thoughts:
Fish seemed smaller this year. Considerably. But otherwise healthy-looking and spunky.
Quite a few fish in the river...but tough to move. As usual with low water. Better flows than the last few years though!
Found a dead 18” fish at Edes...first time I’ve ever seen a dead adult salmon in this river.
Caught one large hen and noticed it’s snout was all mashed up and bloody. I wondered if it was from fighting the weir...but other anglers said they have seen similar condition on salmon before.
Pressure was as light as I’ve seen it...one or two crowded days and otherwise, I enjoyed the river mostly to myself.
On to the lake show, and a few rivers still open!

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PostPosted: October 15th, 2018, 9:14 pm 
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Post-spawn mortality is pretty common amongst wild fish. Males in particular do not have high survivability do to the riggers of the spawning process. I think the Chamberlain Lake study on brook trout showed 50-80% mortality of post-spawned males. If you’ve ever watched the fish spawning at the East Outlet- you’ve likely seen the effects spawning has on fish. I’ve seen LLS with eyes swelled shut and sides beaten purple and/or raw. Mortality is pretty high in the natural cycle.

Again- I don’t have a dog in the fight, but twelve fish isn’t a lot in comparison to the spawning run, and I suspect is a small portion of the overall mortality during the run. Basically- while I hate to see fish killed inadvertently, it’s not likely to have an impact on the population. Heck- I’m willing to bet egg stripping to feed the hatcheries their egg supply kills a LOT more fish than 12.

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PostPosted: October 16th, 2018, 4:53 am 
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How far up river will the salmon travel to spawn in the fall? Some time ago I was fishing above the Sodom Road bridge in the spring and there were pools that were full of juvenile 4" +/- salmon, so I guess they must make it up at least that far.


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PostPosted: October 16th, 2018, 7:40 am 
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The difference between post-spawn mortality and fish killed by the weir is that the former were able to successfully spawn, ensuring a new generation. Fish killed during migration exponentially reduce the
the population...
Also...if fish are killed in the weir or because of it, that’s a tangible outcome that is easily documented. We know what happened, and can easily prevent it from happening again. Just remove the weir...
Other causes of fish mortality require the aforementioned study (s) to ascertain, or rely on anecdotal evidence and/or theory, and leave us little recourse in affecting those outcomes.
Do fish die from angler stress? For sure, but again, this outcome isn’t usually evident, so we’re forced to guess based on theory, anecdotal evidence and speculation.
And 12 may not be many...but, and I’d love to hear srs chime in again on this (troll??), if this was a single event last Friday, one could speculate :? that other kills have occurred. Anyway, if true, there are at least twelve fish which didn’t contribute to the next class, simply in the name of data collection. And that seems like a waste.

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PostPosted: October 16th, 2018, 6:45 pm 
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That river needs a lot of care. It requires kid gloves in terms of how it’s treated by us. If 12 fish move the needle in management information and future management decisions we should all be grateful to those 12 fish. This is a resource that exists and, occasionally, thrives despite us. Intelligence in managing it is necessary.


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PostPosted: October 17th, 2018, 6:08 am 
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The 12 salmon were found laying dead on top of the weir decking.The weir design was not able to handle less than an inch of rain combined with a moderate leaf drop and became clogged causing a rise in the water level.The prevailing theory is that these salmon attempted to leap the weir,failed,and landed on the decking,where they remained until the weir was finally attended by someone.
Dead is dead,and these 12 salmon were all males with one being a male of an older age class.The next kill could just as easily be egg laden females.Without a doubt,in addition to totally disrupting this season's spawn,additional mortality has already occurred.
While 12 salmon may or may not be a statistically significant number,these magnificent wild salmon died an unnatural death.They were only doing what they have done for ages.Leaping a barrier in order to reach their birthplace and they were stopped by man once again.
If you are bothered by this, voice your displeasure directly to MDIFW commissioner Woodcock and hold these people accountable.


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PostPosted: October 17th, 2018, 3:46 pm 
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I opposed this weir from the beginning when my concerns about blocking a wild run of native salmon were not addressed sufficiently to alleviate my concerns. Could the data not be collected by means that would not impede hundreds of fish at a time ? Electro fishing seems like it could work. The last time the department put a net in a Mile Brook it filled with debris and washed downstream. To not think that could happen with the weir is ridiculous . Anyone who fishes the river knows how much crap gets blown into the river on a windy day. Weirs are used in AK but they typically don't block the entire river . They use them more to count fish as they pass upriver. They are also manned 24/7. This weir is being checked every 3 days from what I understand. Not sufficient. There have been days with hundreds of fish in the box which is not large enough to hold that many fish without causing damage to themselves. The rigors of spawning are tough enough on the fish. My view has been and will be to let them pass without obstruction.
I have worked on fish surveys as an angler to achieve much of the same info this weir was supposed to achieve. I'm supposed to put my faith in people who have looked me in the eye and said " We are not managing Sebago for Togue" ? I may not have a degree in biology ,but I know when you put a slot/length/qty. limit on an invasive species introduced by DIFW that is in fact managing a species. Call me a skeptic.


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PostPosted: October 17th, 2018, 7:13 pm 
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Hi folks,

Joe Overlock, MDIFW Fisheries Supervisor, reached out to me today to provide some clarifying comments, after someone alerted him to this thread. Joe provided the following official response:

"Last Friday, a volunteer discovered 12 dead salmon on top of the fish collection box at the Crooked River weir. Based upon initial findings, game wardens feel this could be an intentional act and are actively investigating this incident. The weir has been in place for eight weeks and during that time over 1,700 salmon have passed through the weir. The weir has and will continue to provide MDIFW with valuable information on wild landlocked salmon migrations, growth rates, and the overall health of the Sebago Lake and Crooked River fishery. Anyone with information that might help game wardens are being asked to call Public Safety dispatch at (207) 624-7076 or Maine Operation Game Thief at 1-800-ALERT-US. "

Joe also indicated that there would be a MIDFW Blog post coming out later this week with more information. Finally, anyone who has specific concerns or questions is encouraged to call Jim Pellerin, the biologist in charge of this effort, in the Region A office.

Thanks to Joe for reaching out and setting some of this information clear!

-Dan


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PostPosted: October 17th, 2018, 7:20 pm 
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On a personal note, I'd like to add that I have known Jim Pellerin for over 25 years, and fly fished with him a number of times. He is an excellent angler, knowledgeable expert and all around good human being. Knowing that Jim is in charge of this project, I'm confident that it has been approached with the best of intentions and scientific objectives. In my book, Jim deserves the respect of assumed good intent and a reasonable approach. And in the absence of contradicting facts, that's where I'll leave it.

Cheers,
Dan


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PostPosted: October 17th, 2018, 9:35 pm 
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Interesting. Thanks Tark!

It is kind of odd that all the fish found were males. I hope they had a camera on the weir.

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