IFish Fishing Forum banner
  • Are you passionate about fishing? Would you like to write about topics that interest you and get paid for it? Read all about it here!
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following is an excerpt from the current (July 2003) issue of the Lower Columbia Flyfisher newsletter...a report on a new idea for artificial stream nutrient enhancement:

(LCF member) Hal M. displayed the latest in fluvial nutrient enhancement, nutritional pellets called “Carcass Analogs”. These are dried, compressed pellets of fish carcasses designed to break down much slower than fresh carcasses, thus feeding the river over longer period of time. Very new technology and relegated to research only, the Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group will be testing these on several regional waters beginning this next year. One other advantage seems to be that the processing of carcasses this way kills potential viruses. I don’t know…….they look like bull elk turds to me……..and the smell…...

For your info.
GSA
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
37,111 Posts
Why do we always think we can improve on nature? Hasn't someone wondered if maybe the carcass/smolt relationship has evolved over eons to provide the right amount of nutrients to the system at the right rate for optimum effect?

I wonder how many decades it will be before some consultant's biologist gets paid a huge sum to conclude that nature did it best without compression and that maybe the salmon that naturally died there were best left there?
 

·
Qualified Sturgeon Hugger
Joined
·
38,375 Posts
Gosh, don't you know we always know better than Nature? We can do it better, it's human nature. :hoboy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,020 Posts
Sounds like some salesman has too much pellet making equipment on hand. The carcasses have worked since before time began and the pellets will be expensive, relative to the costs of the carcasses. Why try to reinvent the wheel.

IMO,
D.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I don't think this is going into full scale implementation yet...just testing, I think. But the pellets would be made from spawned out and surplus carcasses at hatcheries...presumably the same ones now sold for cat food...not dead fish collected from spawning areas.

Under pre-1850 conditions, streams probably got a lot more carcasses over a longer time frame than today's wild-spawning runs provide. If artificial nutrient enrichment is conducted, it might be better to convert excess hatchery returns into pellets that would have more staying power in the creek instead of a one-shot application of fresh, potentially diseased carcasses.

I think we are going to hear a lot more about stream nutrient enrichment in the future, not less...and I'm glad to hear of the experimentation. In a few years maybe we will see anglers packing 10 lb. bag of pellets with them while steelheading...do their part to help the resource...would be a lot easier than packing around a dead, stinking salmon carcass. :wink:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,904 Posts
Well this is the first I have heard of it, but it doesn't sound too bad to me.

It is difficult and expensive to transport carcasses into no man's land and maybe you can get the nutrients in there by spraying them or dropping them instead of paying people to pack them in?

The way the wild fish are rebounding, it won't be necessary too long because of the amount of natural fish dieing in the woods.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,020 Posts
GSA,

I can't argue with the concept. Although, I think it would be cheaper to simply put ALL of the carcasses in the river (scattered throughout the system). Also, any virus in the carcass would simply help with natural selection process. I do, however, like the idea of being able to pack in dry pellets and put them into areas that have become sterile due to the lack of nutrients (Metolious - am I spelling this right?)

JMO,
D.

[ 06-27-2003, 11:16 PM: Message edited by: drhall99 ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,964 Posts
Thanks GSA


First, historical return times for native salmon was not as compressed as many of our hatchery runs. Spawning and dieing through out the year allowed a timed release of nutrients into the river and riparian ecosystem. Dropping whole salmon carcasses is good for the river but they dissipate in less than two weeks. That means that all the carcasses you place in the river for each carcass event is released at once and is generally gone all at once.

Second, it is much easier to transport dehydrated pellets. They can also be stored for extended periods of time. Further, they can be manufactured in such a way as to have differing dissolution rates so that differing pellets will dissolve sooner and some later thus maintaining a more even nutrient load.(a mixed bag of pellets)

Finally, because they are lighter it will make it easier to fertilize higher in the river system and not just as high as the highest bridge.

I still like releasing live, spawned out hatchery salmon into rivers to fertilize at a more natural rate but these types of pellets would be very useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Just like cooking your vegetables, don't you think that the processing of the carcasses breaks down some of the more volatile yet necessary nutrients? Just a thought.

On a lighter side: Soylent green is hatchery fish!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,498 Posts
a lot of good points have already been brought up so i won't rehash them. the thing that comes to mind for me is this: we've already altered the ecosystem so aren't we now obligated to do what we can to support it? in the past, runs were staggered more than they are now. the pelletized fish carcass allows us to spread the nutrient load of planted carcasses over a longer period of time, more in keeping with how nature did it before we fouled it all up.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,921 Posts
I can see it now. Hey, Joe, you usin' a corkie and yarn?"

No.
:wink:

Skein
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
A bit on details, maybe semantics - but "nutrients" are not the issue. Coastal Oregon rivers are extremely rich in mineral forms of nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, etc, etc.

The streams (smolts, bugs) need food in the form of the carcasses or fish-cakes or whatever. I wonder whether the fish-cakes preserve the protein, amino acids and actual caloric content of carcasses. Calories, fat, protein ... the GOOD stuff.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,904 Posts
I'll bet those pellets would work good in a squid bottle for commercial crabbing. :grin:

Seriously though I mentioned that to a bait company or two several years ago.

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
603 Posts
As long as there is no harm there are probably a few jobs in the deal. :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,321 Posts
I'm always amazed at how smart people think "mother nature" is. Who is this lady and where can I meet her? :wink:

To me it's not hard to understand why some scientists think they might know better than blind luck and chance beneficial mutation since that is what a lot of them choose as their a priori assumption about how nature operates.

[ 06-29-2003, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: fisheromen ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The following are excerpts from the August 2003 issue of The Lower Columbia Flyfisher...additional info on stream nutrients and indications of the effect of their depletion thru decades of overharvest:

Here are some excerpts...........regarding watershed nutrient enhancement programs in British Columbia, Idaho, and studies of nutrient levels of Olympic Peninsula streams.

· In the Keogh River, BC twenty years of research tracking nutrient enhancement and habitat improvement results has shown salmonid spawning has improved from 4-6 smolt per spawner to 40-60.

· Idaho Chinook yearling survival studies have shown a correlation between nutrient capacity of available spawning habitat and numbers of successful spawning fish. Studies there proved fry survival did not change with changing the number of spawning adults, and point to limitations in the available food chain as the limiting factor.

· Olympic peninsula streams productivity with excellent habitat has declined to emergency closure levels due to over harvesting and robbing the streams of required nutrient regeneration from carcasses. This has mirrored Alaska’s Karluk Lake studies which demonstrated the same correlation.

Each of these studies gives support to enhancing nutrients in streams as a vital part of restoring fish populations along with habitat restoration. The hope is that recreating nutrient levels in stream through “artificial” assistance will result in healthy returning populations of fish to the point that Mother Nature can once again do so on her own.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">I foresee a time when conscientious steelhead and freshwater salmon anglers will carry a bag of carcass analogs to help restore nutrients to the streams.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
It seems to me that the raw carcasses would feed the the entire ecosystem better. Insects and other wildlife utilize the carcasses and they wouldn't feed on pellets.

Crash n bait you arn't one of those vegan hippie raw food supporters are you? :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,322 Posts
Hey they might be crunchy and tasty as a mid-morning snack. As Garrison Keillor might say ---"Mighty tasty, and helps you to do what needs doing!" :grin:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,268 Posts
The fish pellets are not new. If you wnat to look into it there is a good deal of information on the subject out of Canada. Primarily, the argument for the pellets is as *** stated, easier to get to the stream, and definitely less expensive to transport than using a helicopter to drop carcasses into remote stretches of water. For those who fish Astoria often. BIO OREGON, between Warrenton and Hammond is one of the manufacturers of the cubes. They compete with Canadian companies also in the manufacturing of pellet foor for hatcheries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,354 Posts
though the benfits are there such as the ease of transport, I am very leary about this. So what if the fish pellets break down slower? We think it's good because there is more the "nutrients" than before over a longer period of time. But is that how it is suppose to be? Perhaps a stream is not suppose to be so overloaded with nutrients. there are way to many "ifs" on this one.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top