Winooski Hydro 1 fish lift 10/22

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tiny
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Winooski Hydro 1 fish lift 10/22

Postby tiny » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:12 pm

Got to watch the fish lift in action as part of an aquatic ecology seminar. Numbers on the fish board are still climbing fast. We did learn that only ~200 individual salmon have been lifted. The 300+ number counts recaptures:
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The box comes up the lift chute very slowly but after a few anxious minutes we could see that there was something in the lift. Looked like a big salmon at first but once it got close we could tell it was just a bass:
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Luckily they had 4 salmon in the holding pen from the Thursday and the Friday morning lifts. Nick from USFWS with the first fish, a 4lb female that wasn't tagged and did not have a ventral clip. No clip means it was probably from fry or fingerling stocking in the Huntington River.
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Next step is to weigh, measure, and tag the fish:
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Tissue samples are taken from some fish for an isotope diet study to determine feeding rates on smelt, alewives, mysis, etc. After the tissue plug is collected they fill the hole with denture cream.
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The three other fish were small males and all were recaptures from this year. Apparently some fish are trap happy and like to ride the elevator up and the slide back down to below the dam. One of the males had a nice little kype forming.
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Bad news was that all 4 fish had several lamprey wounds. Good news is that the numbers are still climbing every day. Also Nick said that an 8lb male (Matt's fish?) that the Hydro1 lift tagged a few weeks ago showed up in the Boquet lift a few days later.
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Matt
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Re: Winooski Hydro 1 fish lift 10/22

Postby Matt » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:18 am

Learn something new everyday, thanks for the in-depth details. That's weird about the recounts, I know the worker at Hydro 1 with the short hair (John?) doesn't count tagged fish when he does the lift. Could have just started doing that though, not too sure. Starting to see some nice Steelhead in the trap too, he mentioned an 8 LB'er a few days ago, and I watched him lift and transfer a nice 6+ LB'er. The few I hooked into and landed weren't even tagged yet, same with that Brown I got a few weeks back. He said the Laker was a decent size, around 26". Browns in the trap were small, around 14". Nick is a real nice guy, he's always cheerful and likes to talk and inform people if anyone is interested in finding out things.

Let's try to meet up again, I'm hoping the water goes down since the Steelhead bite is starting to turn on, then I'd be willing to "try" fly fishing with you if you're up to it. Might need a helmet though... :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Hey that could be my fish! You never know. Maybe he got pissed he was caught and went all the way over to the Boquet out of embarassment. :lol: :lol:
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raz
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Re: Winooski Hydro 1 fish lift 10/22

Postby raz » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:39 am

Tiny...that's great stuff.
An 8 pounder was tagged and then found on the Bouquet a few days later...Wow. No wonder we have a hard time keeping up with these fish. Just amazing.
I'm hoping NOT to get any of that Denture Cream in my filets! :o

Thanks for the education...love it!
Catch and serve with lemon.
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Re: Winooski Hydro 1 fish lift 10/22

Postby Digitroll (Ron) » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:44 am

Fascinating stuff! Nice pictorial and narration.
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Reelax
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Re: Winooski Hydro 1 fish lift 10/22

Postby Reelax » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:54 pm

Great info.. I am amazed at salmon going all the way up to Hydro1 and getting trapped, then doing the same up the boquet a couple of days later... That is something.... They are really interesting!
Matt B
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fishmaster176
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Re: Winooski Hydro 1 fish lift 10/22

Postby fishmaster176 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:57 pm

They certainly are travelers. Just like their saltwater cousins.
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easilyamused
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Re: Winooski Hydro 1 fish lift 10/22

Postby easilyamused » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:19 am

Tiny,

Great report - thanks.

Okay - I have a (dumb) question for the group... Can anyone go down there to the dam/lift any day and get in on some of the education? I'm interested in attending one of the sessions and learning more about the lift, etc.

Matt
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tiny
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Re: Winooski Hydro 1 fish lift 10/22

Postby tiny » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:35 am

They usually run the lift in the morning and then again in the afternoon (~2-3pm). Nick Staats (USFWS) said he usually comes on MWF in the afternoon to work up the fish that are in the holding pen from previous lifts. Matt might have more specifics to add but the several times I've seen the lift in action have always been around 2pm.

easilyamused wrote:Tiny,

Great report - thanks.

Okay - I have a (dumb) question for the group... Can anyone go down there to the dam/lift any day and get in on some of the education? I'm interested in attending one of the sessions and learning more about the lift, etc.

Matt

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