Friday, August 17, 2012

Valdez for my fishing friends

This is what the excitement is all about with the salmon coming in to spawn. The dip netting that takes place is usually at an area that the salmon coming swimming into their spawning river or lake.

Folks will get out in the bay and try to catch the salmon before they get to the spawning area. They are using fishing poles here. At the bay in Valdez, I never saw any dip netting, probably 38* water was part of the reason; and I never saw any fish wheels. The Ahtna tribe would be eligible to use that method here. I don’t think there are any Tinglgit (sp) in Valdez, as in a tribal group.

After the fish spawn they die. At that time they are not any good as they are ‘mushy’. They are considered to be best at the ocean mouth of the river. It is really an awesome sight when there are hundreds of them and all they want to do is get up that river. Here at the Valdez fish hatchery, they have placed a ‘fish weir’ (or it may be weir) to keep the fish out of the river. They say that there are too many fish to be viable in the river and at the lake for spawning. So the weir shoves them into the hatchery where they lay their eggs and they get fertilized. Then some of the fish are released outside and they die. Other fish are sold to ‘meat processors’ who use them in making cat and dog food. They short-circuit the spawning and dying process by using this method.


The life cycle of the salmon is really phenomenal. The part that sticks in my mind is out of 400,000 eggs only 2 will have fish that come back to spawn. Those are bad odds if you are a salmon. Pray you don’t return as a salmon next life time.

Professional fishermen and those with big boats or dollars will fish for halibut out of here. Locals also fish for ‘rock fish’.

1 comment:

  1. Those are some pretty amazing fish photos even for us non-fisher folk. Wow, 2 out of 400,000 eggs--not much for odds.