Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

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Sideburns
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Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Sideburns » Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:13 am

I just finished reading the Palmer Lake Kokanee Crash article from earlier in in December, and I cant help but wonder if the Kokanee in Lake Meridian were affected by the same problems. Does anyone know where the hatchery for the Meridian Kokes is? It seems that all of the Kokanee planted for harvest in 2016 are dead or just not wanting to play this year. Could the high algae concentrations that have affected many lakes in the area be responsible?

I caught an oddly large Kokanee in Meridian on 4-8-2016, ( http://www.northwestfishingreports.com/ ... id=456&t=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ) and have not heard of any caught since. This fish may have failed to spawn last year (sept-oct)) with the rest of its peers. It was 15 in long and close to 2 #'s. There were no copepods that I noticed at the time, and the full size images of the fish from that day dont show anything out of the ordinary.

Has anyone heard anything related to the issue, seen parasites or know which hatchery supplies the Kokanee fry... etc.
I'm anxiously waiting for spring to find out for myself.
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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Mike Carey » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:30 am

I have found that if you contact WDFW and ask to speak to the fish biologist for the Merdian area they are very helpful and willing to take the time to talk to you. Couldn't hurt to give them a call.
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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Toni » Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:51 pm

They are from the Lakewood Hatchery. Kokanee were planted June 2, 2014

I think it may have been when they planted them. But just my opinion. Clear Lake had fewer but larger fish 2016. They usually plant in May but changed it and planted what should have been this years (2016) in June 2014. This coming years fish were planted in July of 2015. Remember that HOT year? I don't know what it will be like.
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He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Sideburns » Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:46 pm

Timing surely affects the survival, but absolutely decimate the entire population? And what about natural reproduction? I would think that there would be some?

Yep, Im gonna have to make some phone calls, Ive been theorizing for almost a year now....
I'd love to chat with a local area biologist anyways, Ive always been very interested in fish/marine biology, and usually study the habitat and ecosystem of any new fishery i'm interested in. In hindsight, would have been an awesome career path.
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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Toni » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:15 pm

Sideburns wrote:Timing surely affects the survival, but absolutely decimate the entire population? And what about natural reproduction? I would think that there would be some?

Yep, Im gonna have to make some phone calls, Ive been theorizing for almost a year now....
I'd love to chat with a local area biologist anyways, Ive always been very interested in fish/marine biology, and usually study the habitat and ecosystem of any new fishery i'm interested in. In hindsight, would have been an awesome career path.
When you do ask if there was a creel report.
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He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Sideburns » Sat Dec 31, 2016 6:40 pm

will do
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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Mike10gs » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:12 pm

Sorry if in a bit late to this thread but I fished meridian 3 times. Once in July and twice in August. Only caught 1 each time. But were very nice 15inch. But i had to work hard for it. I would mark fish, but wasn't very hot. Hopefully this year that will change.

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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by ak9800 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 1:52 pm

I went out today to fish for kokanee on lake meridian, but only caught 2 rainbow trout, each 12-13 inches. I haven't noticed any reports of successful kokanee fishing lately either. Any updates on this topic?

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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Sideburns » Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:35 pm

well, ive fished it several times since I started this thread. Many times when I thought I was marking kokanee, I pulled up cutthroat trout, perch or rainbows. Ive noticed that the small cutts look very similar on the sonar and actually look darn similar in appearance when less than 10 inches. Until about about a week ago, i was sure that most of the kokanee sightings were misidentifications. But, then I finally hooked up with a few kokanee near the north end. I didnt actually land the fish, but pulled them close enough to the boat to make a positive id. The first one was mixed in with a bunch of 10 inch cutthroat and I lost it trying to flip it into the boat netless. This is the first year i've ever seen cutts in the lake BTW.

I did actually land one, but it was the smallest koke ive ever caught. Ive heard of others catching microkokes also....

I think the adult kokanee in the lake are very scarce, but they will likely start getting aggressive soon as they start to spawn.... we might see a few more caught soon?
Looks like there is hope for next year, but I cant help but wonder if the cutthroat trout are a recent/ related phenomenon (maybe responsible for the poor numbers of kokes?) (or possibly prospering because of the lack of kokanee?)
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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Sideburns » Sun Jul 23, 2017 11:45 pm

On a second thought, there is another invasive species in the lake recently. It seems that they are taking over the lake ..... they are called dragon boaters. Im sure they're somehow responsible, but it might just be my personal bias talking. So many ruined mornings.
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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Fish Dawg » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:57 am

Hi Sideburns.

Meridian is my home lake and I have noticed the same phenomena of few or no Kokanee to be caught after several years of plentiful fish from 2012 - 2015.

Did you ever connect with the area fish bio? Any revelations? Another thing I’ve noticed at Meridian is an abundance of cormorants and most of the lake is not especially deep. I’m curious if cormorant predation is a significant factor in survival of Kokanee planted in Meridian.

Perhaps we’ll connect in the lake this season. You’ll find me in a 17’ Blue/Gray Smokercraft Pro Lodge.

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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Sideburns » Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:37 pm

Never got a phone call returned. I did connect with a few emails, and got answers related to lack of funding for proper research. My feeling as of late is that the department of wildlife is so frustrated with insufficient funding that they just dont care anymore.... to the point of sabotage. Last year when I contacted the region 4 office about the fish stocking plan, with no triploids in it, they spouted off something like- Due to lack of angler support and lack of funding, the triploid program has been terminated. (its our fault?) It seems like they just popped one of the most popular region 4 programs just to get attention.

With all of the recent hoopla in the media about wdfw, Ive been reading alot of the wdfw meeting minutes available online. WDFW's court appointed independent oversight group has recently concluded that wdfw is operating very efficiently, and really just doesn't have enough budget to complete their responsibilities. It looks like they are requesting much more federal funding and we'll be looking at 10-20% lisc fee increases soon.

Increased fees are never good, but hopefully its a step in the right direction for wdfw. I hate listening to people whine. Who knows how long it will take for the $$$$$ to trickle down to actual action. Sorry for the rant!

I'll look for you on the water, I'm usually in a late 90's lund with a 60 and 15hp evinrude on back.
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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by TrackerPro16 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:46 am

The WDFW has been operating short for years now. It is seems to be an 'afterthought' in this State. Not sure if it is because they don't like recreational hunters and fisher-persons or if just is not a priority. There is frustration for sure about it. #-o

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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Sideburns » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:56 pm

I hate to even think this thought, but where would one look for proof that the kokanee ever even made it to the lake? This is not to be misinterpreted as an accusation, the idea of wasting so much thought and research on a "cause that never was" just bugs the heck out of me. Has anyone seen a kokanee stock on this lake? Ive heard witnesses of the kokanee stocking on other lakes say it looked like a massacre from all of the bass getting free lunch. Id love to witness it myself. Who hauls and dumps the fry?
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Re: Lake Meridian kokanee disappearance

Post by Sideburns » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:44 pm

Looking at the stocking plan for 2019 (got an early copy from wdfw) and noticed theyre going to be stocking kokanee in July (only Meridian, Angle & Sawyer for region 4) this year. Previous plants for some of the better kokanee fishing seasons were stocked in May) Last few years have been in June. Wonder what the rational is?.... Fingers crossed for 2021-2022

So... Angle Lake is still being stocked with kokanee? Has anyone seen a kokanee in angle lake recently? Havent seen any angle lake reports for kokes for years. Maybe similar situation to meridian.
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