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Old 04-10-2018, 07:46 PM   #1
Saba Slayer
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WSB OREHP meeting with DFW

It's some dry political stuff but somebody's got to do it...

Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP). Meeting 4/10

Kinda small meeting considering the recent Science review...Dallas Weaver, Bill Shedd, John Riordan, one commercial guy, myself, and a half a dozen folks on the conference call along with the DFW reps.

Mark from Hubbs gave some info on what's happening at Mission Bay and Carlsbad and some numbers...
114,320 released fish in 2017
40,000 tagged and ready in Carlsbad
31,000 in growouts along the coast
At Carlsbad they've downsized the brood-stock tanks from 4 to 3 and established one tank for the young new breeders...we have about 50 fish that are 20 years old so Hubbs is looking forward to doing some brood-stock gathering this year to get some new blood in the tank.
He discussed WSB larval studies, Walling behavior (bumping into the tank walls), Degassing systems (to get rid of the google eye that sometimes effects the fish) and some parallel Halibut research (Broodstock, Culture, Genetics, Lab Studies and a pilot release) Halibut stuff funded with the money from the Dick Laub grant that CCA helped establish.
One interesting fact...cultured Halibut do not bury well in the sand...so perhaps some studies on raising with a sand bottom might be needed. There has been lots of work done with flounder in Japan so there is a lot of info available out there in academia.

Mike from Hubbs was up next and he gave lots of numbers I won't bore you with about the gill net sampling and some studies in tag retention. He also talked about otolith sampling to gather info on the WSB. They have a couple of different methods involving cutting and counting the "rings" or grinding into powder and reading chemical markers and DNA. Otolith microchemistry is very expensive...!
Mark Okihiro (the Senior DFW Fish Pathologist) was up next and he said there was a small outbreak with the Oxnard fish but it was under control...he then proceeded to trash the program...IMHO he has never been a supporter of the DFW's WSB program. As long as I've been in the WSB meetings he has never offered a positive outlook or positive advise. I don't get it...it's the Departments program...you'd think they'd put someone in there that supported their own program.

Valerie the project manager from the DFW was up last and she talked about the budget and the funding which as usual is down...(one common comment from the Science Advisory Committee was about the lack of funding for the various aspects of the project).
She will be informing the DFG Commission on the SAC review and the upcoming public meetings at the next commission meeting in Ventura.
She also informed us that the DFW is contracting with Cal Sea Grant to put together these 3 meetings to inform the public and gather information on what the fishing community would like from the program and it's future. The meetings will be held in Santa Barbara/Ventura, LA/OC, and SD.
The Department says that they are looking for public input on the future direction of the WSB program...we pay for the majority of the funding with our saltwater stamp and the legislature has determined that the funds should stay in the hatchery program unless WE the FISHERMEN want to change it.
PLEASE ATTEND THESE MEETINGS TO HELP DETERMINE THE FUTURE DIRECTION OF THE WSB and The Ocean Resources Enhancement and Hatchery Program (OREHP).
We ended the meeting with a discussion on the scientific review and WE AGREED TO DISAGREE...we did agree to have a special OREHP advisory panel meeting again in June after the public meetings with the chair of the scientific review committee in attendance to get some answers and hash out a few more differences.

A WSB Fishery Management Plan meeting is this Friday with the DFW and it should be interesting to see the state of our WSB and any new reg changes that might be brewing...
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:08 AM   #2
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Some interesting info, thanks for relaying our important fishery updates.
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:49 PM   #3
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Jim I love ya... but the return rate does not lie.

It's flawed methodology. This seems painfully obvious to me. Growing them in pens is a mistake. They should hatch them then release them immediately. Obviously fish that grow up in pens lack the skills necessary for life in the wild. Larval seabass develop in the plankton for about five weeks. They should release them in that planktonic stage in areas that they are known to be found so they then develop naturally with the instincts they need to survive long term. It would save time money and have a much higher success rate.

Fish grown in tanks or pens only understand tanks or pens, they imprint to that environment, this is why the tank grown butts do not know how to properly bury themselves.

I appreciate the idea and all the effort but to succeed with a hatchery they are going to have to release those fish into the wild ocean in a larval non imprinted stage.

Last edited by Fiskadoro; 04-11-2018 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:47 PM   #4
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info

Hey Jim
You're aware I don't run the program... and it's been in existence since 1983...

The first batch of 1,581 fish was released in Mission Bay in 1986.

I've been involved more and more for about the last 15 years. When CCA came into existence a few years ago I was appointed as alternate chair to John Riordan's position on the OREHP Advisory committee and the CCA rep for the WSB program. Before that I've been a volunteer at the Redondo grow-outs all this time and I do a one day a month clean and feed and help with the deliveries and releases.
I'm not a scientist...I'm just interested in the program and the resource.
We have spent a lot of time discussing the merits of earlier releases over the last couple of years in the twice yearly OREHP meetings...nothing happens fast in the science world or with the DFW.
The scientists from Hubbs have been communicating a lot more with the brainiacs from Texas and South Carolina on their successful hatchery programs...THAT ARE WELL FUNDED AND SUPPORTED BY THEIR DFW....!

The hatcheries in South Carolina and Texas that raise Red fish and Sea trout release their fish when they are very small...I may be wrong but I believe it's less that 100 days...
They also raise the fish in large ponds with brackish water that they pump in and they raise them on natural feed...
Both those states strongly support their hatchery programs and fund them to be successful.

This was the first Science Advisory Committee review in the history of the program and it was past due in my humble opinion. We need to fix this program or change it if it's not working...BUT...it's not going to happen if all you WSB fishermen sit on your hands and watch what transgresses.

Posting here is great but the real action and creativity take place in the public forum with the guys in charge and the DFW...

Please show up at the public meetings and offer creative info such as this to Hubbs and the DFW.
It's our program...we fund it...lets make it it what we want.

FYI...a WSB Fishery Management Plan meeting is this Friday at 10am at the DFW Los Alamitos office.
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Saba Slayer View Post
Hey Jim
You're aware I don't run the program... and it's been in existence since 1983...

The first batch of 1,581 fish was released in Mission Bay in 1986.

I've been involved more and more for about the last 15 years. When CCA came into existence a few years ago I was appointed as alternate chair to John Riordan's position on the OREHP Advisory committee and the CCA rep for the WSB program. Before that I've been a volunteer at the Redondo grow-outs all this time and I do a one day a month clean and feed and help with the deliveries and releases.
I'm not a scientist...I'm just interested in the program and the resource.
We have spent a lot of time discussing the merits of earlier releases over the last couple of years in the twice yearly OREHP meetings...nothing happens fast in the science world or with the DFW.
The scientists from Hubbs have been communicating a lot more with the brainiacs from Texas and South Carolina on their successful hatchery programs...THAT ARE WELL FUNDED AND SUPPORTED BY THEIR DFW....!

The hatcheries in South Carolina and Texas that raise Red fish and Sea trout release their fish when they are very small...I may be wrong but I believe it's less that 100 days...
They also raise the fish in large ponds with brackish water that they pump in and they raise them on natural feed...
Both those states strongly support their hatchery programs and fund them to be successful.

This was the first Science Advisory Committee review in the history of the program and it was past due in my humble opinion. We need to fix this program or change it if it's not working...BUT...it's not going to happen if all you WSB fishermen sit on your hands and watch what transgresses.

Posting here is great but the real action and creativity take place in the public forum with the guys in charge and the DFW...

Please show up at the public meetings and offer creative info such as this to Hubbs and the DFW.
It's our program...we fund it...lets make it it what we want.

FYI...a WSB Fishery Management Plan meeting is this Friday at 10am at the DFW Los Alamitos office.

I know Jim. I just know you are invested in this, and I didn't want to hurt your feelings or come across as bashing it. I've always been pro hatchery, I even went on the first halibut collection trip. I figured the Seabass plan was working until that recent report.
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:27 PM   #6
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only report...

"I figured the Seabass plan was working until that recent report."

I've been getting the feeling that it wasn't working the last couple of years of meetings and the return numbers were just too poor as they were presented.. but I'm no scientist and I'm still learning about all the science and politics involved...so I'm just glad they finally did an outside scientific review of the program.
There are so many factors involved with the sampling...10 years ago they stopped sampling with gill nets above Palos Verdes due to budget cuts...when United Anglers went down the incentives that they were offering for returned sea bass heads was shut off, the number of heads turned in has declined greatly...and what incentive do the commercials have to turn in heads...?
The lack of effort in fishing for WSB when all those Yellows were around locally for a couple of years effected the number of fish caught as did the lack of squid beds locally. The warm water seemed to chase em up north where the numbers were better the last few years.
Anyway...too many factors to just nail it down easily...
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saba Slayer View Post
"I figured the Seabass plan was working until that recent report."

I've been getting the feeling that it wasn't working the last couple of years of meetings and the return numbers were just too poor as they were presented.. but I'm no scientist and I'm still learning about all the science and politics involved...so I'm just glad they finally did an outside scientific review of the program.
There are so many factors involved with the sampling...10 years ago they stopped sampling with gill nets above Palos Verdes due to budget cuts...when United Anglers went down the incentives that they were offering for returned sea bass heads was shut off, the number of heads turned in has declined greatly...and what incentive do the commercials have to turn in heads...?
The lack of effort in fishing for WSB when all those Yellows were around locally for a couple of years effected the number of fish caught as did the lack of squid beds locally. The warm water seemed to chase em up north where the numbers were better the last few years.
Anyway...too many factors to just nail it down easily...
The other deal is that fish released local could end up anywhere. 2 million fish seem like a lot until you look at their whole range.

Have you seen the NPR story on this?
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/02/15/585500501/-40-million-later-a-pioneering-plan-to-boost-wild-fish-stocks-shows-little-succe






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Old 04-11-2018, 06:16 PM   #8
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yes

"Have you seen the NPR story on this?"...
yes...not so nice...
PAL's story on Greg's WSB catch of the oldest tagged fish yet returned and the SAC review in the latest Western Outdoor news is pretty good...it's a very honest and "middle of the road" article. He interviewed the right people and didn't twist the info.

"The other deal is that fish released local could end up anywhere."
That's a reason they are looking at Halibut...thinking they may stay around more locally. The WSB follow the food and the conditions...
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:14 PM   #9
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Nothing comes easy and as noted in the article, research data should be considered the primary goal, as it can improve any future effort.

In particular, the knowledge gained could benefit a similar project to revive stocks of more rare species including the closely related totuava.

I wonder if they have considered a project for our black seabass, as it seems to be at even greater risk than whites. On that note maybe promoting the use of fish descenders should be considered as beneficial to fish stocks.

Either way, I'm not in the country, so I won't be able to attend. Kudos to all of you who do.
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To those that share thank you, to those that don't fine by me, to those that whine about people not posting but have no fish reports of their own to share..............GO FISH!!!!!!
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:27 AM   #10
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Nothing comes easy and as noted in the article, research data should be considered the primary goal, as it can improve any future effort.

In particular, the knowledge gained could benefit a similar project to revive stocks of more rare species including the closely related totuava.

I wonder if they have considered a project for our black seabass, as it seems to be at even greater risk than whites. On that note maybe promoting the use of fish descenders should be considered as beneficial to fish stocks.

Either way, I'm not in the country, so I won't be able to attend. Kudos to all of you who do.


Not sure if BSB are still at risk. Could be. But I catch way more BSB than WSB. Like 10:1 actually.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:46 AM   #11
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A couple points may have been overlooked since Jim/Saba Slayer's original post. First, thanks to Jim for sitting through what may be less than exciting meetings and posting detailed notes on what transpired. That's a service for both WSB and fishermen.
Next, the NPR article sheds light on this important work. It omits details, though, like how WSB survival to reproducing adults has been measured and misrepresents others. It implies that 2 million WSB released is a lot. It would be if they were all going into an impoundment rather than the open ocean. One federal hatchery aims to releases 12 million salmon every year into the Sacramento River drainage. There are a lot of hatcheries between California and Japan bolstering salmon stocks. 2 mm WSB over 20 years may not be enough to see an effect even if there is one.
There's no mention in the article of how genetic diversity, disease resistance, wild characteristics are assured with the WSB egg source. Egg to fry survival in a hatchery should be much better than in the wild. A question about whether the right eggs, over time, are being hatched is not trivial. Hatchery selection of brood stock, btw, always selects away from at least as many desirable (survival) traits as it selects for.
Rearing any fish for release to the wild is NOT like farming fish. Wild traits necessary for survival in the wild are difficult if not impossible to retain in a controlled environment. That's why scientific research may, in the long run, be a more important part of the WSB project than the absolute number of returns in any time period.
Just my opinions. Yours may differ. :-)
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:04 PM   #12
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Not sure if BSB are still at risk. Could be. But I catch way more BSB than WSB. Like 10:1 actually.
Interesting, I've seen a BSB once in person (juvinile in south bay), but I've landed two adult whites and several dozen juveniles.

In my experience the groupers are far less common, but there are a number of factors that have to do with this, time and place being the two most important.

Additionally your experience is an additional reason why I believe that more can be done on the angler's side by promoting the use of descenders.

BSB are much more likely to be encountered in certain fishing styles, so it's not unexpected that some fisherman come into contact with them with great frequency, while others not at all, same for WSB. Each is target-able.

If the accuracy of any gill-netting fish survey is to be accepted as reasonable (difficult to compare due to the mobile nature of one species versus another) then it would seem like BSB are still far more rare. That being said, different fish move through different areas and some seldom move at all, which makes it difficult to gauge stocks. Gaging stocks through personal experience should be approached with caution as well due to the nature of fisherman using a limited set of techniques to target fish.
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To those that share thank you, to those that don't fine by me, to those that whine about people not posting but have no fish reports of their own to share..............GO FISH!!!!!!
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