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: Matane Report


Venture
07-17-2007, 02:26 PM
The Matane is in great shape today. We have around 600 fish in the river, and the water levels are perfect. There are some monsters still in the river. I was told that a 39 pound fish was registered along with several other 30+ pound fish. I would not be surprised if there are some forties up river.

I have been working at my camp and have not been fishing as much as I would like. I installed internet into the camp as well. As for the fishing, I hooked a monster up river on a #12 double. Had him on for 20 minutes until the knot broke along with my heart. The fish definately was pushing 30 or bigger. Yesterday 13 fish were caught. Always tough on the Matane, but the fish are here and the water as I said is perfect and with some work and luck (as usual) its a great season.

In the last few days, with all the very high water, the fish have not cleared the ladder in town. As soon as those levels go down, my guess is that we will have many fish coming up. The numbers of salmon this year was beating last year until this last set of rain storms. My guess is that this year will top last year when all said and done. And I never saw fish as big as what I am seeing. In very early July, almost every fish spotted was a twenty or larger.

I did fish the York for the first time on Sector 9 and Sector 2 thanks to Ann's guidance. I managed a fish each day in each sector. That in my book is very good. Nice river.

Now back on the Matane...... Will hit the pools in about an hour. Oh by the way, 8 fish were hooked in the Metropole yesterday and 5 were landed. Nothing big, all in the 10 - 13 pound class. The big ones are up stream a bit........

Howie

blueelver
07-19-2007, 07:38 PM
Howie,

I spent a few days on the Matane in mid-July, hooking and loosing my first North-American salmon at the tail of no. 57 on Friday 13th. This is one fine river, and it was fun to try it both before and after the floods started.

What surprised me was that I did not see more than 30-35 people on the river on any give day, (I mostly fished 8AM to 6PM) since last year there were a lot more permits sold most days in July. Is there any reason for this? higher permit prices or unseasonably cold weather, or do the locals prefer to fish very early?

Best of luck,

Ari

Venture
07-20-2007, 08:29 AM
Hi Ari,

Good to hear you had a good experience up here and liked our river. You hooked your fish in one of the most popular pools. The name of the pool is Le Cap Seize. There are always fish in that pool, and most fish are hooked in the tail end on dries.

Further up river is the Park de Matane, one of the most beautiful places on earth. There are some popular pools up there but also secondary pools that do hold fish as well. There you can fish alone, and not see many fisherman.

This year has as many fisherman as ever. Some days though, for some reason, many are not fishing, and perhaps you came accross that kind of day. There were many fish hooked on that Friday you fished as the water came up quite high and fish were moving. It is now down again, yet conditions are still OK.

I fished yesterday and had no luck, although I did not fish all day. I am taking it a bit easy here and enjoying the total environment and not too driven to prove myself as I did when I was younger. What I like about it best is the locals which many have become friends. We are thoroughly enjoying ourselves. I am glad you liked it here too.

SALMONCHASER
07-20-2007, 02:20 PM
Howie.
Not to stir the pot or get a C&R debate started but does the "registration" of this 39lber as well as the other 30lb+ mean that these fish were killed?
I suspect it does as we have had many discussions on the killing of large salmon and the Matane always comes to the forefront. Care to provide a best guess as to the percentage of salmon released on that river the last few seasons?
My wife and kids have vacationed in matane the last several years and is one of our favorite places to be. I haven't yet fished it but saw first hand that the thought process is that these fish are there to be killed,, no matter of size or gender.
Dwayne
Salmon Chaser

Salar36
07-20-2007, 02:40 PM
Dwayne, we may discuss again about it, B & H Model or Riker Curves model, but Matane is currently the river applying the Riker Curves model the closest as the model is, and curiously, is the healtiest river in Gaspe this year (again...) You may not like it, but the fact is it works, and this year prove it again...and most of the rivers contesting this model since couple years are...in trouble this year. So anybody can have his own conclusion, but I don't believe a suggestion to change it will find anybody to listen. This year is also exceptional for the incredible number of VERY BIG salmon in this river. In 32 years, I have never seen a similar number of 20 pounds +, and this tendancy seems to increase since about 10 years. Matane used to be a 13 pounds salmon river, but is now very close of the Matapedia with a high % of 20 +. Yesterday, 108 fish (only 27 grisles) in the fish way, today, at 15:30, 85 (only 7 grisles, on the way for another day with 100+), for a total of 812 this year...Depend of the situation of grilses later, but they are on speed for another season in the 2800-3000 range.

Blueelver, regarding the number of anglers on the beginning of July, Matane has a major increase since the end june, whcih is usualy very quiet. In fact they are on the way for a record year. This is the only river in Gaspe where the # of anglers increased this year. In fact, most of the people who left Bonaventure are in Matane. Maybe last year you were there later in July, usualy, the peak is after July 20th. And the number of anglers may take couple of day to register since there is 6 or 7 place to buy daily licence, and some of them send their record only once a week.

Venture, I think I mised you last week. Next time I will try to visit to your camp. I fished close of there couple times...A quick tip, put some cards on the 48 hrs draw for the Ste Anne...Not very far ;)

Venture
07-20-2007, 03:27 PM
Dwayne, you cannot cause a stir by bringing up the discussion, or the lack of catch and release on the Matane. I too feel the pain of every salmon killed and perhaps it's effect on the overall stocks. But the lack of restrictions is one of the things that makes the Matane, its populous and its river valley so natural.

I am always amazed to see that 25% of the fish coming back are captured and killed. I do think there would be more fish coming back each year if this were not the case. But would this make it better? Perhap there would be more salmon. but it will be a restriction and I am a believer in the cost of restrictions. Here on the Matane, you fish where and when you want. You have to play a more "natural" strategy because you must compete as you would "naturally". And it is also natural to kill at the end of a hunt. The Matane, as far as Atlantic Salmon go, is as wild as it gets here on the the Gaspe because of this reason. And to Pierre's point the Matane still works, and works well.

And to answer your question....I am sure that the registration of any fish means that it was killed. Yes, that 39# fish is no longer here as well as the other 30#+ fish. But they all existed in our river as an effect of our system in the first place. We have had many big fish reported this year. Perhaps bigger than any year I can ever remember. I did get lucky enough to battle one for 20 minutes. And in retrospect, even though it was a heart break to loose "her" I was lucky enough to hook her and also not be challenged with the decision of whether or not to kill "her". I may not have killed her and that would have been my choice. I also may have killed her because the "lingering" hunter in me had to bring my trophy home to perpetuate my own ego. Everyone has same choice here. Few here condemn. Everyone in this valley would turn a deaf ear to any Bleeding Heart Democrate preaching about "the way it should be". My neighbor Daniel Blanchard feeds his family deer, moose, salmon and trout. That is is only red meat and fish he feeds his family. Today he killed 20 chickens for market. He and many others in this valley are very proud to understand life. Survival encompasses death. This knowledge can breed the utmost respect for nature for only those who think.

It is raining now....and has been for most of the day. The river will be up tomorrow, and a few degrees colder. Well over two hundred fresh fish will have entered this river in the last 48 hours. A few grilse, mostly salmon. I will fish down river tomorrow. I must make my own plan on where to go as there are no restrictions other than a very small private sector. I am free to find them as I would be in nature. I am free to release them if I want, or perhaps I may have to prove my manhood once again with no one condemning me other than myself.

Venture
07-21-2007, 08:43 AM
Plans Changed. River is very high and dirty from 20 hours of solid hard rain. No fishing for a few days at least. Won't be fishable until next week, maybe Monday at the earliest but best bet Tuesday.

Jim Miller
07-21-2007, 09:06 AM
Thanks Howie
always enjoy your reports!

The Thrasher
07-21-2007, 11:03 AM
Umm. How can high kill rates be responsible for improving a river's returns? That seems to be what you're claiming, Pierre. Doesn't the Matane have, historically, one of the lowest average success rates (fish/rod/day) of all the Gaspé rivers? Also, isn't it a Ricker curve, after Bill Ricker, the famous McGill ecologist? (Ricker, W.E. 1954. Stock and reruitment. J. Fish. Res. Board Canada 11: 871-893).
Killing salmon is not "wrong" if stocks permit, but it's hardly a way to maximize recreational angling experiences when the number of fish is rather limited compared to the demand by anglers. We are a long way from the routine multi-fish days enjoyed by anglers 50 or 100 years ago, so clearly demand continues to outstrip supply on our salmon rivers. Still, I hope you will continue to post all your news and views, which I always read with interest, even if we do not always agree!

best regards,
Ian.
Dwayne, we may discuss again about it, B & H Model or Riker Curves model, but Matane is currently the river applying the Riker Curves model the closest as the model is, and curiously, is the healtiest river in Gaspe this year (again...) You may not like it, but the fact is it works, and this year prove it again...and most of the rivers contesting this model since couple years are...in trouble this year. So anybody can have his own conclusion, but I don't believe a suggestion to change it will find anybody to listen. This year is also exceptional for the incredible number of VERY BIG salmon in this river. In 32 years, I have never seen a similar number of 20 pounds +, and this tendancy seems to increase since about 10 years. Matane used to be a 13 pounds salmon river, but is now very close of the Matapedia with a high % of 20 +. Yesterday, 108 fish (only 27 grisles) in the fish way, today, at 15:30, 85 (only 7 grisles, on the way for another day with 100+), for a total of 812 this year...Depend of the situation of grilses later, but they are on speed for another season in the 2800-3000 range.

Blueelver, regarding the number of anglers on the beginning of July, Matane has a major increase since the end june, whcih is usualy very quiet. In fact they are on the way for a record year. This is the only river in Gaspe where the # of anglers increased this year. In fact, most of the people who left Bonaventure are in Matane. Maybe last year you were there later in July, usualy, the peak is after July 20th. And the number of anglers may take couple of day to register since there is 6 or 7 place to buy daily licence, and some of them send their record only once a week.

Venture, I think I mised you last week. Next time I will try to visit to your camp. I fished close of there couple times...A quick tip, put some cards on the 48 hrs draw for the Ste Anne...Not very far ;)

txraddoc
07-21-2007, 02:34 PM
go to Kharlovka river web site ( I don't want to advertise or step on toes so I did not put the real name of the outfit but if you google the river it comes up), they show direct benefit of increased parr counts and salmon counts from C&R

http://www.kharlovka.com/radio_tagging.html


Tight Lines,

Jim Y

blueelver
07-21-2007, 08:39 PM
Guys,

I came across some count and catch statistics from the Matane from 1984 to 2006 which are pretty interesting, and could explain why there seem to be plenty of big fish in the river despite the very limited C&R. Here are a few points I stumbled on:

During this entire period, a grisle was about 6% likely to survive the fishing season after it entered the river than a big salmon. The survival of grisle as compared to large salmon varied widely from year to year, for reasons some of you might be able to explain. 6% is not a big difference, you can find rivers where the grisle has more than twice the survival chances of the big fish.

The ratio of big salmon vs the number of grisle the previous year has not been dropping dramatically, with the 5-year moving average falling from about 1.1 in the mid 80's to about 0.8 in the last few years. I doubt this is any worse than elsewhere in Canada, or across the North Atlantic.


There is no obvious trend in the ratio of big salmon in the spawning stock, and curiously enough, two of the biggest spikes (60% large salmon) occured in 2001 & 2005.

This begs the following question. Is the current bumper crop of big fish in the Matane, 3 sea-winter fish from the 2001 spawning, or repeat spawners from other years? If they are indeed from 2001, which had an unusually small number of grisle in the spawning stock, the way to help the big fish may be to kill more grisle.

Food for thought,

Ari

Salmosalar!
07-22-2007, 08:18 AM
txraddoc ;

Very interesting!

Salmosalar!

Venture
07-22-2007, 09:18 AM
When ever I see the daily stats I cringe about the total % of returning fish that are killed. It can not be possible that these stats are good for increasing the future stock on any river.

As said, the Matane has few restrictions. Thats its beauty. Its catch per rod day is low because are many fisherman, not that there are few fish. So you must be very good to be consistant here. . And this the "natural" way because in nature, competition is fierce.

Sure the rod per day catch is much better on other rivers. But that is obviously because there are much fewer fisherman, not more fish. Putting more fish in the Matane, will probably increase the amount of fisherman returning, keeping the catch rate more or less the same.

Actually I would like to see the Province of Quebec issue the Kill License with only one tag for one Salmon, and 6 tags for grilse. This would satisfy the egos of the trophy hunter that needs fulfillment, and the visitor who wants to feast on his catch while he is up here. He can eat grilse.

The river is still very high today but dropping. It is still muddy but beginning to clear. Another 127 salars came through yesterday. So in the past three days, 108, 134, and 137 have entered. There are many here out to intercept these fresh fish as the water clears and drops. Is the Perfect Condition for Extreme Anticipation.

The Thrasher
07-22-2007, 10:00 AM
Putting more fish in the Matane, will probably increase the amount of fisherman returning, keeping the catch rate more or less the same.

So, to increase the catch rate, we should decrease the number of fish in the river? I'm not sure about that one, Howie. Though I suppose when there is only one fish left and one angler fishing for it, the final catch rate will be pretty good. :-(

The Bonaventure also has a lot of "unrestricted" (i.e., public) water and is comparable to Matane in number of rods/year, yet has had generally higher fish/rod/day than Matane. Decreasing the number of fish in Bonaventure (this year) has resulted in similar decrease in rod/days, but fish/rod/day also is down even more.

Simply put, there are too many anglers and too few fish to satisfy the demand, on any of our salmon rivers. Catch-and-release is not the whole solution, but when fish are within a few miles of their spawning grounds after a long and perilous journey, it's pretty clear that they are at their most valuable reproductive potential of their lives and are the biggest benefit (per individual fish) to the future fishery. And in this year of terrible returns on Bonaventure, anglers are removing 75% of those potential spawners. (Matane stats are not available on Saumon Quebec, for some bizarre reason.)

regards,
Ian.

Venture
07-22-2007, 02:54 PM
Ian,

Water seeks its own level. I am sure that public water is fished at a rate directly proportional to results. The better result, the more attractive thus more fisherman. What I did not imply is that we should decrease the number of fish. You should check up on your intention. Not only do I believe in the above, but I also believe that the kill tags for recreational angling be limited to one trophy salmon per year, and 6 grilse....as previously stated. That is how Blue Fin Tuna are regulated.

The problem I do have with the Matane is the dam. I never understood why it was built. It serves no obvious purpose other than to provide a park. This advantage comes with a very high price. It seems like it was someones bad idea. If they wanted a park for tourism, they could have built one without the dam and fish window. Heck, they charge 3 bucks to look at a salmon. And most people looking dont even know what they are looking at.

We had about 375 fish (a whole weeks worth) enter in the past three days. This is because the fish could not find the hole during last weeks high water. Naturally, this would never occur as the fish would have come up all week instead of three days. I have always thought that there must be a percentage of fish that go back to sea because they could not find that damned little hole. That is my biggest issue specifically tied to the Matane.

The Thrasher
07-22-2007, 05:28 PM
Howie,

Yeah, I can understand your feelings about the dam. Mine are mixed, I suppose. On one hand it is an unnecessary obstacle to the salmon, but OTOH, it does enable some estimate of the number of fish, and it is fairly educational. It may be the first live salmon many people see, and they are an impressive sight. It's usually a spot I stop at to sip a Timmies and see the first fish of the journey to salmon land. One of these days I'll have to stop and fish, or meet you for a coffee!

regards,
Ian.

Ian,

Water seeks its own level. I am sure that public water is fished at a rate directly proportional to results. The better result, the more attractive thus more fisherman. What I did not imply is that we should decrease the number of fish. You should check up on your intention. Not only do I believe in the above, but I also believe that the kill tags for recreational angling be limited to one trophy salmon per year, and 6 grilse....as previously stated. That is how Blue Fin Tuna are regulated.

The problem I do have with the Matane is the dam. I never understood why it was built. It serves no obvious purpose other than to provide a park. This advantage comes with a very high price. It seems like it was someones bad idea. If they wanted a park for tourism, they could have built one without the dam and fish window. Heck, they charge 3 bucks to look at a salmon. And most people looking dont even know what they are looking at.

We had about 375 fish (a whole weeks worth) enter in the past three days. This is because the fish could not find the hole during last weeks high water. Naturally, this would never occur as the fish would have come up all week instead of three days. I have always thought that there must be a percentage of fish that go back to sea because they could not find that damned little hole. That is my biggest issue specifically tied to the Matane.

Venture
07-23-2007, 01:48 PM
Matane is in fine shape today. Much anticipation brought the troops out to meet the oncoming onslaught of fish mid river. Most major pools were filled with casters this morning hoping to hook up. Don't have the stats yet. I managed a fish of approx 13#s on a wet fishing alone in a quite secondary pool. The fish took a rusty rat in peat stained water.

Venture
07-24-2007, 10:39 AM
The Matane fished like a premier river in Iceland this morning. The water dropped to great fishing levels while the water cleared nicely. I released two fish within the first hour of fishing. One was a proud teenager of around 16 pounds - 18 pounds and the other a grilse. Both The salmon fought like a pro, taking me through two sets of rapids. My backing finally got a good stretch. Nice to see this river produce. Their are now about 1050 fish in the river besides the fish that entered very early on in the season before the dam shut its gates.

They lower the dam gates before June 15 to let the big fish in. After that all fish must go through the ladder and be counted.....

The Thrasher
07-24-2007, 11:49 AM
The Matane fished like a premier river in Iceland this morning. The water dropped to great fishing levels while the water cleared nicely. I released two fish within the first hour of fishing. One was a proud teenager of around 16 pounds - 18 pounds and the other a grilse. Both The salmon fought like a pro, taking me through two sets of rapids. My backing finally got a good stretch. Nice to see this river produce. .

Glad to hear your good news, Howie! Hope the fishing stays hot for you, and that you keep sharing your experiences here. What fly today?

cheers,
Ian.

Salar36
07-24-2007, 04:26 PM
Riker curves are exactly what have been mentionned, The Stock Recruitment model.

The goal is to maximize the production of the river, and under the assumption than passed over a certain level, the marginal production decrease and finaly become negative. All works on the St Jean shown this (last 15 years). Survival rate in the river passing from 5% with a level of stock to less than 2% with an higher level. What does it mean? Smaller parr with a higher level than with a lower level, what does it mean? Survival rate in the sea lower than 2% with small parr rather than 2.5% with bigger parr, what does it mean? Is 1 000 000 eggs generating 1250 fish are better than 2 000 000 eggs generating 700? This is in fact what the St Jean shown...And this is what is applied where stock allow it, like Matane. Is the goal is to have a river in better shape? I know it is hard to admit that, and very hard for some "religion"...Matane passed over 1000 this week end. July 22nd is very soon to pass over 1000 on this river...if the grilses finaly arrive, it is now on the way for a sason with more than 3000.


The case of the Kharlovka is interesting. They increased the stock of parr to 45 per 100 squared meter. Matane and Matapedia are already between 45 to 50. Causapscal and Patapédia frequently over 50... The real limit of this model, is to exactly establish the optimal level, before the marginal rate of production fall. And there are no rivers with the same productivity. Is the Matane or the Matapedia would be able to support 60, 70 parr per 100 squared meter? Never forget that these river always support 2 and 3 generations...4 in the case of eastern Gaspe rivers. Russian river are probably supporting 4 and maybe 5...

Look at the Petite Cascapedia. C & R has improove the fishing success, this is a fact. But what about the number of fish coming in the river? The dream has always been to have a river with 1200 fish, but it seems nature has decided that the river will support parr to produce 500. More than 50 years of stocking programm has never changed it, and C & R not more until now...

There are to many case where overspawn have just in fact created high variablity in fish run. A cycle with very high number followed by an other cycle with very low number.

But we must fill the river to teh capacity...this is why more than 80% of the rivers here ARE C & R. Everybody always talk about the Matane of Matapédia. What about Rimouski, or Cap Chat, or Godbout, or Ste Marguerite, etc...?

Regarding the rate of fish "harvested", reading number like 75% show me that some people would have best interest to learn a bit more....

On the Matane, this rate is ALWAYS between 30 to 35% INCLUDING grilses, which have a much higher rate than MSW. So in fact, MSW are more around 20-25%. And you may place 500 anglers, this rate will, in fact decrease. In the past, this rate has decreased with a higher pressure, rather than increase. Restricted rod number area has in the past always generated a higher rate (we have seen over 50% on rivers like Grand Cascapedia in the past). A pool crowded at 4 Am is never very productive for the balance of the day...On the Bonnie, the rate is usualy under 40%, including grilses. Never forget that more than 45 km of this river are not fished..

blueelver
07-25-2007, 12:07 AM
Howie,

Congratulations on your catch. As for "premier rivers in Iceland", a 16-18 pounder would be the biggest fish of the season on most of them so far. The June catch in Iceland was terrible, and the grisle runs are just now starting to bring things to life after a miserable early season, with both MSW fish and rain is short supply.

Decades of much greater mortality of early running big fish (as high as 70-80% in some cases) than late running grisle are mostly to blame, but there are a few rivers where C&R has helped to buck the trend somewhat. The permits keep getting more expensive though, thanks to an ever-growing local crowd of bankers and other freeloaders, who can pass the bill to unsuspecting shareholders instead of paying for the fishing out of their own pocket.

Which brings me to what I feel is the main virtue of the Matane, based on my first trip there. For the cost of 25 minutes of prime time fishing in Iceland, you can fish for a whole day on a beautiful fly-only water with a small but very real chance of catching huge fish, in a relaxed atmosphere where no one seems to be in any big rush. The average catch per rod-week is only about one salmon, but the Matane is still a bargain, especially for people who have time to fish for two weeks or more per season.

Those who complain about how the Matane is managed should keep this in mind, and instead of advocating C&R it would perhaps be more productive to push SOGERM to introduce a small fry stocking program (using rod-caught early running big fish) to counteract the impact of the killing of large salmon. This would not increase the total catch, but it could preserve the genetic diversity and help the early season runs which are most vulnerable to high catch rates.

Good luck,

Ari

SALMONCHASER
07-25-2007, 06:36 AM
Ari.
Many of us who push C&R do so because on our home rivers there is very little,, and in some cases no money for stocking programs so it makes the most sense to leave all the returning fish in the rivers so that any money from Government can be used on stream enhancement, etc. We here on PEI have had the tags dropped to two grilse but i would rather see the spring trout fishery regs changed as kelts in the spring get absolutely slaughtered in April and May,,much more so than a few more tags per fisherman in June and July.
I just can't understand why there isn't just Grilse retention on the Matane(or every river) and leave the large fish to do their thing. Dead MSW Salmon and the rivers that support this fishery are at the very bottom of my "to do" list.
Salmon Chaser

Venture
07-25-2007, 09:29 AM
Today I am taking a day off. Much too exhausted to fish properly. The water is dropping rapidly. Still it is in good shape, and entering August in fine condition. If we have rain periodically, we will be fine through September, but that is a tall order as we cannot rely on future weather.

I will be leaving for a short period to fish the Petite Cascapedia for a few days from the pre-season draw. I never fished that river and am looking forward to the experience of new water and meeting up with the "Famous" David Bishop. It will be my first time fishing "mandatory" catch and release water on the Gaspe as well as being guided.

Besides the logistics of the perpetuation of the stocks and the debate of C+R, I just don't like killing fish as a function of habit, or to perpetuate my ego as "real" man. Le Saumon ont beacoup de valeur. Spiritually thinking, this fish has come a long way. I find it a shame to kill them as a function of habit.

I usually kill one for the refrigerator, which lasts for many dinners. We eat only fresh salmon and never freeze it for later. If there is fresh meat for the family here, all the rest of the catch is released. Its my own way of saying thanks to the fish for coming and meeting me in this paradise. No longer can I kill a very big fish. Its my own personal choice. Having a choice is best. Thankfully we do have choices on the Matane.

Venture
07-25-2007, 09:31 AM
Ian,

My fly of choice......le Pelletier...... #10 - #12 double..... Jungle cock necessary.

The Thrasher
07-25-2007, 09:48 AM
Regarding the rate of fish "harvested", reading number like 75% show me that some people would have best interest to learn a bit more....

On the Matane, this rate is ALWAYS between 30 to 35% INCLUDING grilses, which have a much higher rate than MSW. So in fact, MSW are more around 20-25%. And you may place 500 anglers, this rate will, in fact decrease. In the past, this rate has decreased with a higher pressure, rather than increase. Restricted rod number area has in the past always generated a higher rate (we have seen over 50% on rivers like Grand Cascapedia in the past). A pool crowded at 4 Am is never very productive for the balance of the day...On the Bonnie, the rate is usualy under 40%, including grilses. Never forget that more than 45 km of this river are not fished..

Pierre,

Obviously Matane is doing pretty well under the current management system, though the success rate is one of the lowest, for whatever reason. If I understand your post correctly (and I appreciate you taking the trouble to post in English for those of us not bilingual), you're claiming that the Matane spawning escapement is already optimized to produce the number and size of parr and smoults best equipped to survive and return, which is a good thing. I wonder though, if 2000 fish (MSW + grilse) is the most Matane has produced historically?

Bonaventure's current state though, is surely not helped by having a consistently high harvest rate again this year. I cannot speak to the percentage of the total run harvested, only the percentage of the caught fish that are killed rather than released, and that percentage as of 2 days ago is 74% killed, 26% released, according to the Saumon Québec daily stats. Presumably the diver survey and count will soon give the ZEC an idea of how many fish are in the river, but it would be very surprising if these numbers were not drastically lower than normal, as is the catch rate this year. My friend there who is an experienced guide has spent days fishing for rocks in the B sectors with his clients -- he knows how to see fish if they are there, and in his opinion, they are NOT there this year.

I've also heard that some river managers have tried to get C&R for MSW fish starting with the opening of the season this year but been turned down by the government. Looks like that might have been a good decision for many of the rivers which are having poor seasons.

regards,
Ian.

Salar36
07-25-2007, 01:23 PM
Sorry for the 74%, I understood you mentioned they caught 75% of the fish returned. The released rate is not known on the Matane, but it is lower than the Bonaventure,and anyway, very few released are registered, so the number means nothing, on the Bonnie as on the Matane. Overall in Quebec, the released rate known passed over 50% 2 years ago.

Regarding the C & R, river management can ask for C & R on their river, and generaly, on a public river, the MRNF will agree if a reasonable management level has not been reached. Ultimately, the manegement of the ressource is in the hand of the government, not in the hand of the river management. But river management have a very big influence. The biologists here work with the Riker curves model and will not allow a spawning level of 300% where it can be measured since ALL their studies shown a major decline at level like this. So if a management on a public river has been turned back with a request (I have no information about this) it is probably because the request had other goal than salmon conservation. Keep in mind that one fo the first mission of a management on public water (after salmon conservation) is to allow access to Quebec's residents and participate to economic development in their area.

Regarding the diver survey on the Bonaventure, any number from this river should be handle with care, since they never counted the 45 km upriver section, and some results in the past has been reported much much lower than what was realy seen by people there. When you see a end of season number lower than mid season count (seen for 3 following years), even if it was C & R after the mid season count, you have an idea about the value of these numbers...So the real things on the Bonnie are somewhere betweeen what is shown and everybody's imagination. Put a number in a bag and you have better chance to have a valuable number! And this year, with the current water level they have, don't wait for a diver survey, the river flow in the forest!

Regarding Matane, it has always been between 2500 and 3500. They had some exceptional year like 1980 with more than 4000, but also some bad season like 1979, when the river was closed due to a lack of MSW....so 1 year is not a trend like you can see. The Matane has been restored in the 40's and 50's with Patapedia's spawner, since the river was almost empty of salmons.

Generaly speaking, all the Gaspe's river had between 7000 and 10 000 spawners left for all rivers in the beginning of the '70s and currently, this number is in the range of 17 000 to 18 000. So I imagine that the management has not been that bad...

The Thrasher
07-28-2007, 09:39 AM
Sorry for the 74%, I understood you mentioned they caught 75% of the fish returned. The released rate is not known on the Matane, but it is lower than the Bonaventure,and anyway, very few released are registered, so the number means nothing, on the Bonnie as on the Matane. Overall in Quebec, the released rate known passed over 50% 2 years ago.

Regarding the C & R, river management can ask for C & R on their river, and generaly, on a public river, the MRNF will agree if a reasonable management level has not been reached. Ultimately, the manegement of the ressource is in the hand of the government, not in the hand of the river management. But river management have a very big influence. The biologists here work with the Riker curves model and will not allow a spawning level of 300% where it can be measured since ALL their studies shown a major decline at level like this. So if a management on a public river has been turned back with a request (I have no information about this) it is probably because the request had other goal than salmon conservation. Keep in mind that one fo the first mission of a management on public water (after salmon conservation) is to allow access to Quebec's residents and participate to economic development in their area.

Regarding the diver survey on the Bonaventure, any number from this river should be handle with care, since they never counted the 45 km upriver section, and some results in the past has been reported much much lower than what was realy seen by people there. When you see a end of season number lower than mid season count (seen for 3 following years), even if it was C & R after the mid season count, you have an idea about the value of these numbers...So the real things on the Bonnie are somewhere betweeen what is shown and everybody's imagination. Put a number in a bag and you have better chance to have a valuable number! And this year, with the current water level they have, don't wait for a diver survey, the river flow in the forest!

Regarding Matane, it has always been between 2500 and 3500. They had some exceptional year like 1980 with more than 4000, but also some bad season like 1979, when the river was closed due to a lack of MSW....so 1 year is not a trend like you can see. The Matane has been restored in the 40's and 50's with Patapedia's spawner, since the river was almost empty of salmons.

Generaly speaking, all the Gaspe's river had between 7000 and 10 000 spawners left for all rivers in the beginning of the '70s and currently, this number is in the range of 17 000 to 18 000. So I imagine that the management has not been that bad...

Pierre,

Of course you are correct that there are many sources of uncertainty in managing fish stocks.

However, if we accept that good catches reflect good numbers of fish in the river, then we must also accept that very poor catches (Bonaventure, etc.) must reflect very low numbers of fish in the river, barring huge floods that make effective fishing impossible (which is not the case this year). Also, I cannot believe that suddenly this year twice as many people are failing to report fish released -- although the release numbers may not be entirely accurate, they are probably a relatively constant proportion of the fish actually released.

There's a full moon coming, but I'm not too confident that we'll see the runs suddenly doubling in the rivers reporting poor catches.

best regards,
Ian.

Salar36
07-30-2007, 11:00 PM
I never said that. What I said is the cumulative stats in Quebec (for all the province) show 50% and more released. You are talking about the Bonnie, I am talking about 117 rivers, on which more than 80% are C & R!.

The Thrasher
07-31-2007, 12:05 PM
I never said that. What I said is the cumulative stats in Quebec (for all the province) show 50% and more released. You are talking about the Bonnie, I am talking about 117 rivers, on which more than 80% are C & R!.

Ummm??? Pierre, we *were* discussing the Bonaventure and the Matane, with some general remarks about salmon rivers as a whole. Your remarks on Bonaventure are below, again, saying -- I think -- that release stats and diver counts in the Bonnie (and Matane) are not to be believed. My contention is that, while not 100 percent accurate, a 50% decline in reported releases or of diver count, probably is pretty good evidence of a proportionate decline in the total run.

BTW, given that many rivers are not reporting to the Saumon Québec site, I'd be interested to hear daily/cumulative numbers for rivers like the Matapedia, Cascapedia (Petit and Grand). (Thanks to Howie for the link to Le Metropole, which is posting daily numbers for Matane. )

regards,
Ian.

<snip> The released rate is not known on the Matane, but it is lower than the Bonaventure,and anyway, very few released are registered, so the number means nothing, on the Bonnie as on the Matane. <snip>

Regarding the diver survey on the Bonaventure, any number from this river should be handle with care, since they never counted the 45 km upriver section, and some results in the past has been reported much much lower than what was realy seen by people there. When you see a end of season number lower than mid season count (seen for 3 following years), even if it was C & R after the mid season count, you have an idea about the value of these numbers...So the real things on the Bonnie are somewhere betweeen what is shown and everybody's imagination. Put a number in a bag and you have better chance to have a valuable number! And this year, with the current water level they have, don't wait for a diver survey, the river flow in the forest!<snip>

Venture
08-06-2007, 07:32 AM
The fish keep coming. I don't have the numbers for the last two days but from August 1 through August 4 an additional 325 fish entered the river showing that the run is still in full steam. With water conditions the way they are, it looks to be a good August. I am back in NY right now but plan to return to the river in about a week and stay through at least the first week of September.

Hopefully I will have the opportunity to set a subtle example of catch and release, although I usually fish areas where there is no audience.....

Salar36
08-06-2007, 03:40 PM
The fish keep coming. I don't have the numbers for the last two days but from August 1 through August 4 an additional 325 fish entered the river showing that the run is still in full steam. With water conditions the way they are, it looks to be a good August. I am back in NY right now but plan to return to the river in about a week and stay through at least the first week of September.

Hopefully I will have the opportunity to set a subtle example of catch and release, although I usually fish areas where there is no audience.....

Here is one done by my friend André during my last trip on the Matane, on the run of the pool Metropole, released on July 13th (guys in the bar of the hotel told they saw 2 "americans" released a fish in the run ;) )

This one has been registered ;)


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