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Thread: Macs Need to Go

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default Macs Need to Go

    Hi Folks,
    It is not in my nature to be a town crier. My usual stance is to sit back and watch. I have been fishing the Gorge A Lot for the last 22 years. I spend my summers camped at the Buckboard RV park. I am an avid Kokanee fisherman. The last few years I have tried to do my part by catching and keeping more pups. I made two trips this winter to catch them on the hard water. I teemed up with a friend and entered the Pupulation Tourney and finished 3rd. Not bad for my first ever tournament.

    Two weeks ago I fished South Buckboard for pups and caught more than I have ever caught. We were vertical jigging and had schools of pups come by at 30 feet. We thought they may have been kokes, but to our surprise they were pups and they were so aggressive. Of coarse we marked and caught many fish on the bottom in 70' to 90' of water.

    The Kokanee are disappearing and it is well documented by studies for years. From what I have read the Macs have to go if we ever want this to be a great Kokanee fishery in the future.

    If you care about this fishery you will at least read these two documents. The Utah State University study is dead on regarding the fishery. They forecast what has happened as early as 1992. The other study was produced in 2009. It describes what is happening to our Gorge, with many examples from other great fishery's the Macs have devastated.

    Flaming Gorge USU Study
    https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q...=1&oi=scholart

    Western Lake Trout Woes
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...zrbBByarCRdOBz

  2. #2
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    May 2009
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    Syracuse, UT
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    Default Western Lake Trout Woes Study (Please Read)

    After much more research than I have put into this, including the Western Lake Trout Woes study, (attached here) Tony Valdez's statement to me was "They have to go!". Knowing that his family, especially his son TJ benefits from guiding services chasing the big Macs.

    The Western Lake Trout Woes study suggests lots of different methods that have been used at many famous Kokanee/Lake Trout fisheries. They include commercial removal, removal of slot limits, introducing sterile Macs, poising or sterilizing of spawning beds, bounties instead of tagged fish prizes and more. This study describes all the major Western fisheries and what each of them did to try to recover not just Kokanee but other trout species. I think they need to include them all!!

    Once again please at least read the Western Lake Trout Woes study. The USU study is like reading a Nostradamus prediction for Flaming Gorge, backed by biomass data. The three agencies, Utah, Wyoming and the Feds, determined that they could not plant enough rainbows to keep up with Mac predation to sustain a quality rainbow fishery. They plant rainbows to feed the macs too.

    Western Lake Trout Woes Study
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CQ2...ew?usp=sharing
    Last edited by ducksfresh; 05-03-2022 at 12:25 PM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Good summary and articles to support your views. It would help if all koke fishermen killed the pups they catch by accident. I think as a community focused on chasing kokanee we could put more pressure on the fish and game departments of the states we fish. Maybe this fishing forum could initiate something that would make it easy to reach out to the f & g departments to support this?? Other ideas from others??

  4. #4
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    May 2009
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    Syracuse, UT
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    Default To The Duck

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckHarvestor View Post
    Good summary and articles to support your views. It would help if all koke fishermen killed the pups they catch by accident. I think as a community focused on chasing kokanee we could put more pressure on the fish and game departments of the states we fish. Maybe this fishing forum could initiate something that would make it easy to reach out to the f & g departments to support this?? Other ideas from others??
    I posted this same thing on the Flaming Gorge Facebook Page. It has over 100 comments. I know the Fish and Game watch the pages. I hope we can help the fishery somehow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Green River Wyo
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    Default

    If the Wyo g& f was serious about the small macks in the gorge ,they would put a kill order on any macks caught that were 24 inches or less. This has been suggested at meetings with the g& f and always seems to fall on deaf ears.
    "Chance Favors A Prepared Mind"


  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Propnut69 View Post
    If the Wyo g& f was serious about the small macks in the gorge ,they would put a kill order on any macks caught that were 24 inches or less. This has been suggested at meetings with the g& f and always seems to fall on deaf ears.
    Tim, I agree with you and often wonder if they would. When burbot first became part of the fishing regulations there was a set limit with a must kill order on all caught. It didn't take long to convince the powers to be to change a limit to unlimited catch & kill. Unfortunately, macks have been in the Gorge for a very long time. F&G must have some kind of obligation keeping a healthy population. My days fishing the Gorge are limited which I don't target macks but do catch when chasing Kokes. I don't care for them much but do help out friends with some table fare.
    2000 F250 7.3L Diesel
    2007 Columbia 2018 Fisherman XL Yamaha F150 Yamaha 9.9 kicker 4 Walker Electric Downriggers Raymarine Element HV 9 Uniden Solara VHF

  7. #7
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    Jun 2008
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    Green River Wyo
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    Default

    Hey Rodger hope you and the Mrs are doing well. I feel for her about the cataract surgery, I had both eyes done a few years ago. Something I don't understand about the Wyo g & they raised the limit on small macks to 12 If people wouldn't keep a limit of fish when it was eight. What makes them think people are going to keep a limit of 12?
    "Chance Favors A Prepared Mind"


  8. #8
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    Mar 2013
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    Colorado
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    Default So what are the secrets for catching pups?

    I spend a fair amount of time on the Gorge. I do pretty good finding kokes, but try as I may, I rarely pull in a pup. What's the secret?

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Propnut69 View Post
    Hey Rodger hope you and the Mrs are doing well. I feel for her about the cataract surgery, I had both eyes done a few years ago. Something I don't understand about the Wyo g & they raised the limit on small macks to 12 If people wouldn't keep a limit of fish when it was eight. What makes them think people are going to keep a limit of 12?
    Hi Tim, wife is doing good and I'm officially off of house arrest as of today after spending 2mo administering eye meds. She picked the wrong time to have her cataracts removed. I missed out on spring fishing and meeting up with you guys at the ISE this year. Now that she can see again she is watching the bank account closely, I'm just a fisherman that gets HOOKED window shopping for tackle/supplies and don't miss out on an opportunity for a new rod combo or 2.
    With the attention the Gorge has drawn over the years from out of state sportsmen coming for the Kokes, most don't target lake trout.
    2000 F250 7.3L Diesel
    2007 Columbia 2018 Fisherman XL Yamaha F150 Yamaha 9.9 kicker 4 Walker Electric Downriggers Raymarine Element HV 9 Uniden Solara VHF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Green River Wyo
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Old'n still learning View Post
    I spend a fair amount of time on the Gorge. I do pretty good finding kokes, but try as I may, I rarely pull in a pup. What's the secret?
    I really don't know if there is a secret or not. I have never went just after small macks before. Big macks yes,but that a different type of fishing. One reason I won't fish south buckboard or big bend . I would catch more small pups. Even when i was catching kokes,it seemed like I was catching small macks 2-1 in that area. .The same with the cliffs south of squaw hollow boat ramp on the west side. More pups then anything else. If you are wanting to catch small macks, look for big drop-offs on the bottom Good luck.
    "Chance Favors A Prepared Mind"


  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bduck View Post
    Hi Tim, wife is doing good and I'm officially off of house arrest as of today after spending 2mo administering eye meds. She picked the wrong time to have her cataracts removed. I missed out on spring fishing and meeting up with you guys at the ISE this year. Now that she can see again she is watching the bank account closely, I'm just a fisherman that gets HOOKED window shopping for tackle/supplies and don't miss out on an opportunity for a new rod combo or 2.
    With the attention the Gorge has drawn over the years from out of state sportsmen coming for the Kokes, most don't target lake trout.
    I'm really curious how dropping the lake level as much as is proposed. How this will affect the koke fishing?
    "Chance Favors A Prepared Mind"


  12. #12
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    May 2009
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    Syracuse, UT
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    Default Bigger Macs North

    Quote Originally Posted by Propnut69 View Post
    I'm really curious how dropping the lake level as much as is proposed. How this will affect the koke fishing?
    I would assume lower water levels would help the predators be more efficient at consuming prey. Not matter what they are eating.

    As far as smaller macs in the north end of the reservoir, I agree 100%. One thing I had never seen was schools of pups at 30', schools big enough to fake my fish finder into showing the bottom at 30', when we were in 75 feet of water. The last couple years there have been lots of 40# fish caught at south Buckboard.

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