ChicagoLand Fishing Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
263 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I remmember buckets of smelt when I was growing up in the 60's. Does anyone but me think that maybe if we laid off netting the few that we do have left that we might see them rebound? Think about it,,,,, :)4 if we closed the season for one or two years, these prolific breeders might just bounce back to nearly what they were :)6 :eek: The salmon fishing might benefit also. Or, maybe cut it back to every other year :)5 Just wondering if anyone else agrees that they'd like to see the smelt bounce back. I have trouble justifying the drive from the n/w 'burbs for a catch of 9-10 smelt in 5-8 hrs. fishing. The perch fishing was cut back to "save" the fishery and it seemed to work out well. Sure some grummbled and complained but it's a good fishery now. Would you really miss it if we stopped for 1-2 yr.s then got a more balanced fishery out of the deal :)5 :)5 :)6 :)5 Plus a enough smelt to actualy feed more than a small child?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I like the way you are thinking but I believe we're about 15 years too late. I think it's not due to fishing pressure as much as it's due to easier predation from the water being much more clear from the proliferation of zebra mussels. However I would like to see what a closed year or two would do to the fishery. Doesn't really matter to me as I gave up on smelt over 10 years ago. That said I don't think we'll ever see the numbers that we saw in the 70's and before (can't comment on the 60's only what I've seen in pictures). Just one man's opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
I remember the great Smelting in the sixties. In our own way, by not swarming on the lakefront by the hundreds to net the tasty morsels, we have stopped fishing for them. The few that brave the spring weather are not making any additional impact on the Smelt numbers. For now, at least on the Chicago lakefront they are gone compared to the past. More regulation is the last thing we need on the lake front. I think the time, effort and cost to regulate would be best be spent elsewhere. How about a more aggressive stocking program of sport species? I'd love to have a lot of things on the lakefront back the way it was in the sixties but it's really not too bad now either. JMO :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,218 Posts
Buckets? How 'bout filling an 8ft pickup truck bed. Yes. That many. Here is something else to think about, the salmon. The salmon virtually have wiped out the alewive and smelt population. For the opposite reasons, over population of salmon. This is why the DNR is finally cutting back on stockings. There are less and less "smelters", so I don't think thats the problem. The kings are smaller. Less baitfish. But Browns are getting bigger and so are the bass in the big pond. Why? They are adapting and eating on gobies. Enjoy what you have or "had", as mother nature will adapt to "your" surroundings.
 
G

·
I'm not sure that a closed season would help the smelt population. With the low numbers present, the gobies are probably devouring all the eggs. The only fish that escapes the egg predation are those that guard the nest, smallmouth bass. Perch numbers were higher and some eggs probably survive due to shear numbers. Don't think the smelt will ever come back. Head north if you want some.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Gone forever

I went down to montrose one week night last year and saw 6 nets in the water. A total of 6 fish were claimed. That's an average of 1 fish per net.
I don't think closing the season will have any impact as per the various reasons already stated in previous posts.

In a way I am sad about it. For those of you who went with your parents at a tender age can appricate what we knew.

I now have two young daughters.

They will never know.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,191 Posts
If no one is catching any in their nets, it doesn't make any logical sense to ban the people who are not removing any from the lake as a way to bring back the smelt population. :eek:

I'm sure there's numerous factors involved, but one is not fishing, since no one is catching any. As mentioned, the smelt being gobbled up by the salmon and trout are probably the #1 reason. I'd be happy if they stopped stocking the big greasy things completely and maybe the lake would return to more of it's natural balance. With the crash of the alewifes, I'm sure the salmon have turned their appetite on the perch. Maybe that's a bigger factor in the perch decline than biologists and the DNR care to discuss...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Smelt and alewives are not native to Lake Michigan, part of the reason that salmon were originally stocked was to control their population. The only salmonid that is native is the lake trout, whose population was decimated by non native sea lampreys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
I'm sure the salmon have turned their appetite on the perch.
Never heard that before! Anybody pulled any perch from a Salmon or Trout stomach?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
911 Posts
PBFISH said:
The only salmonid that is native is the lake trout, whose population was decimated by non native sea lampreys.
I'm no lover of lampreys, but recent studies are coming out that show that the lamprey most likely isn't an invasive species, but that we tricked them into become active like one. The gist is that lampreys always existed along side of the lakers, but when stocking programs and pollution clean ups happened the explosion in fish stocked into the great lakes caused an explosion of lampreys too.

More here:
http://128.227.186.212/fish/InNews/nati ... y2005.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
Cluricaun said:
PBFISH said:
The only salmonid that is native is the lake trout, whose population was decimated by non native sea lampreys.
I'm no lover of lampreys, but recent studies are coming out that show that the lamprey most likely isn't an invasive species, but that we tricked them into become active like one. The gist is that lampreys always existed along side of the lakers, but when stocking programs and pollution clean ups happened the explosion in fish stocked into the great lakes caused an explosion of lampreys too.

More here:
http://128.227.186.212/fish/InNews/nati ... y2005.html
That article was about Lake Champlaign in Vermont, not Lake Michigan.


Here's some more info http://www.glfc.org/pubs/FACT_3.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
911 Posts
PBFISH said:
That article was about Lake Champlaign in Vermont, not Lake Michigan.
Sorry, you did mention Sea Lampreys specifically, which are invasive to the great lakes. The Chestnut, Northern Brook, American Brook and Silver lampreys are native to the lake though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
832 Posts
What ever theory you have we can all agree that all we have left are the memories and that's too bad. don't see it ever rebounding any time soon :cry: :cry: OH THE GOOD TIMES WE HAD LONG AGO :-D :-D :cry: :cry:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
Sorry to say I think the analysis is easy,

The 60's everyone is referencing is just before the Salmon started to be put in the Lake.

They not only have eaten the beach clogging and beach smelling alewives, I bet they have eaten the smelt also.

Interesting how the dates corrolate.

It is not hard to see why, the salmon hammer any number of metallic lures without any stink to them.

andyg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,284 Posts
Smelts lots of em

Go to Sheboygan folks there getting mutiple 5 gallon buckets right now. Have not seen them like that for a long long time.
GLGF
Fin :-D :-D :-D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
It's always 20/20 in hind site. When the alewife where stinking up the beaches people complained and salmon where introduce everyone was happy!. When you went for a swim the lake, it was so polluted that when you came out of the water you have a ring of oil around your belly, people complained and zeba mussels and pollution control came in and the lake cleaned up. Gobys came in to the lake and people complained, but bass and perch are getting bigger and the gobys are feeding the other fish when the smelt and alewifes are gone. Now, the asian carp (cod) are in line for the lake. Wonder what will happen there? All I know is the lake is aways a changing enviroment and man just isnt smart enough to know what is best for the lake. We should respect it, protect it and keep it clean. Leave it alone and It will take care of itself in the long run.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top