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North Branch Susquehanna
November 15, 2016
4:39 am
River_Muskies
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Very disappointing news, at least in my opinion. North Branch stocking is being discontinued in 2017. See article below:
http://pfbc.pa.gov/images/repo.....-musky.pdf

The N.B Susquehanna now has, according to this article a self reproducing population of muskies. Not 3 or 4 years ago, biologists told our club that the river had MINIMAL if any success in spawning. How can we have a 180 degree change.

Something does not smell right here. I do not trust this report. Locals I know up north say the fishing is a fraction of its former glory and I personally think from my own experiences that it is not as good as 10 years ago. They all blame reduced fish stocking. How will it be with NO stocking.

Something is FISHY here

November 15, 2016
2:17 pm
DL
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What, other than the alleged results and their hypothesis about young of the year sampling, would motivate them to discontinue the stocking? Are there bass clubs that have a strong presence in the north branch? It just makes no sense. Thanks for posting.

DL

DL

November 15, 2016
4:33 pm
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stevewarner
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Were being bamboozled here.Typical smelly stuff from the pfbc,Its funny how they have been raising and stocking yearlings in the northwest part of the state where this is native musky territory.You would think there would be more reproduction going on in that area than in eastern pa.Stocking should be dropped in the native area where reproduction is much more likely.

Catch and Release works for everyone,keeping a fish works for just one!

November 15, 2016
10:53 pm
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lennyg3
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Regardless of their hypothesis and the validity of it or not, If they are going to discontinue supplemental stocking there needs to be a serious push to increase the minimum size limit on muskies in the NB. The data on size vs. year class indicates that the muskies in the Susquehanna are only mature for approx. 4 years before they become legal for harvest. There was data on a fairly recent study that stated spawning success improved as a fish aged (to a certain extent). The importance of this is that if we are now going to rely entirely on natural reproduction, we need to protect the brood stock of the river and increase the min size. Those 40-45" fish will make up the bulk of our fry for the following year. The larger a fish, the more eggs produced every spawn.

It certainly does seem as though the PFBC is trying cut $$$ from the stocking expenses, but I think we have to use this opportunity to benefit us. If we are able to make the push for increased size limits under the 2012 proposed "enhanced muskie program", these changes would be permanent, regardless of future finding on the success rate of spawning. My point is that should the PFBC revisit the surveys in 5 years and determine that supplemental stocking is indeed necessary, we will once again have a stocking program in place and an improved 45" size limit.

G3 HP180-225 Merc Optimax Jet

November 16, 2016
10:25 am
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Mike D
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Maybe they'd allow is to stock some tagged yearlings to track vs. the natural reproduction population

November 16, 2016
1:18 pm
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STUBBORN DUTCHY
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UNREAL!!!! The two guys that did the survey looked to me to be right out of college.... Book smart?..... Maybe....... Experienced..... Absolutly not.

ITS NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BOAT
ITS THE SIZE OF WHATS ON YOUR BUMPBOARD!
M.T.F

November 16, 2016
6:27 pm
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lennyg3
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STUBBORN DUTCHMEN wrote:
UNREAL!!!! The two guys that did the survey looked to me to be right out of college.... Book smart?..... Maybe....... Experienced..... Absolutly not.

Not a fair assessment of the study. It states in the caption that they are simply interns.

G3 HP180-225 Merc Optimax Jet

November 17, 2016
2:15 am
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T_Musky
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This is disappointing, the PFBC simply needs and has always needed Angler Log reports. There is no simple solution to this issue, but if the PFBC had more accurate info from anglers they would adjust their stocking programs appropriately. I just hope they don't let one of the best musky fisheries in PA go away.

Team MTF

November 17, 2016
12:42 pm
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Matt Lysek
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The findings are great when you have an extremly stable year with no major flooding washing eggs away , with big gaps in year classes with the ice and flooding years. September stocking helps with flood losses.
Pfc stop the stocking on the west branch also years ago with same findings of reproduction only to see a drop in fish returns and then restarted the stocking.

Why after dumping 100 K into Pa waters for all to catch they dont ask us as a club for our opinion or reports of catches, before they make decisions like this ? Why even have muskie meetings @ Cabelas with PFC if the decisions are all ready made.

I'm guessing we are just peon fishermen.

February 10, 2017
10:05 pm
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blkdrs
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Wild Outdoors Article that appeared on Feb. 9, 2017

"A Fine Place for catching muskies" by Bob Frye

https://blog.triblive.com/wild.....g-muskies/

"The Wrecking Crew"

February 13, 2017
2:27 pm
DL
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Silvia,

     Thanks for posting that link.  I read it and it seems a bit fishy!  Where did they make the correlation between their stocking and the fish they caught in the fall that were in the mid-teens?  Could they not have been the previous year's stocking?  I just have a problem with their rationalization.  Perhaps I am missing something.  

 

                                                             DL

DL

February 13, 2017
3:02 pm
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blkdrs
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My, my, DL, fishy you say??    It paints one of the rosiest pictures of a PA Muskie Fishery, that I've ever read....Wink  I think there's a bit of optimistic fiction??

"The Wrecking Crew"

February 14, 2017
11:37 am
DL
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Silvia,

     Shirley you jest!  May I call you Shirley?  Because this report surely cannot be taken seriously!  And the only thing that is rosey is the blood red fins of the few females that are expected to keep that fishery alive and stocked with natural offspring.  

      If the state is looking to cut costs, then perhaps they should look at some other species, and their stocking locations, that do not need or benefit from the overstocking they do with them.  For instance, I wonder how many thousands of stocked rainbows die each year as summer heat gets to be too much for them.  Or walleyes that never seem to flourish in the waters that are stocked with them.  I also like the earlier comment about stopping the stocking of the western part of the state where natural populations have always existed.

       Sorry, just another disgusted rant, by yours truly, that will fall on deaf ears.  Thanks for reading!

 

                                     

DL

February 14, 2017
12:05 pm
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blkdrs
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Of course I jest.  Laugh  Key words "optimistic fiction".  

To put their catch rate on par with the Niagara River...

"But if the commission had caught all of the fish it saw early in the process, when biologists were refining their techniques, “our catch rates would have been higher than the Niagara River, which is a pretty famous musky fishery,” Wnuk said.https://blog.triblive.com/wild.....g-muskies/"

That be a lot of kool-aide to digest.  Laugh

And no protection on the "supposed successful spawners.  

"The Wrecking Crew"

February 15, 2017
6:17 am
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Matt Lysek
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Optimistic fiction is like Fake news. (sorry)

February 15, 2017
1:00 pm
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blkdrs
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Monty Joe said
Optimistic fiction is like Fake news. (sorry)  

I see this article more like this.....images-7-1.jpegImage Enlarger

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"The Wrecking Crew"

February 17, 2017
2:55 pm
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jsh159
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Significant change (cease stocking the NB) based on the data presented.

Data appears to bimodal, some could interpret it as a "dog food" distribution. Neither is normal which means it should be investigated for special causes.

Concern is they are missing something and shooting from the hip.

I'll be interested to see the CY17 data.

Wonder what our local fisheries biologists thinks...off the record.

March 7, 2017
9:48 pm
River_Muskies
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We got to meet with some senior PFBC staff at the Pittsburgh Max. They were very cordial and listened to our concerns on both the North Branch and musky fishing as a whole. In general, a positive meeting.

 

That being said, I have to say I am more frustrated than ever in this decision. From my conversations, it appears this entire decision was based on 1 years limited sampling,  by intern employees, in limited areas. Not very scientific and again begs the question, was this 100% based on $$$?

 

Tom, Justin and myself very, very strongly presented our concern on the fishery and what we have seen over the last 2-3 years. They seemed surprised but interested in our finding.

 

We can have more discussions at future meetings but I think the N.B may be hurting for the next several years until they realize the mistake they have made.

March 8, 2017
9:38 am
DL
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Greg,

     Thanks to you, Tom and Justin for presenting our case to the PFBC.  Hopefully, with your input, the current program will be adjusted and a more in-depth study will be done.  I have only fished the NB a few times but would like to know that it remains an option.

                                                           DL

DL

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