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Old 01-03-2008, 07:02 PM
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Default The Ultimate Poacher???

No, it's not bait guys, or spin guys or fly guys...

it's not human

It's birds!

I put a post over on the blog with the details and a link to the USDA article, but the bottom line is that birds who prey on fish can chomp away on up to 4 fish an hour. And the 4 fish chomper is a Mallard! Geez, how many of those are around! There's even a formula:

Average number of birds seen per hour
x
Bird feeding rate (fish taken per hour)
x
Hours birds are present per day
x
Days birds are present per year
=
Fish consumed per year

Add that to the record low water levels this year because of the drought and the fish don't have a chance! It's the fish who are sitting ducks. :-)

On my last couple of trips, I know I have had to skip over a lot of stretches of water because the levels are so low that they would not hold anything. That same low level is making it easier for the birds and other predators to snatch fish.

Nothing we can do about it. It's just interesting.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: The Ultimate Poacher???

thats mother nature for ya. mallards gotta eat too. I would of figured a heron would be the one to eat the most fish. they are always hunting for the fishies around where we fish
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:10 PM
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Default Re: The Ultimate Poacher???

I know what you mean. I wish there was something we could do about it. I was up in erie a few weeks back and as i walked up the stream i came upon a steelhead lying on its side with a bird actually perched right on top of it. Im normally all for nature running its course, and natural selection, but ran up to the scene and the darn bird flew off leaving the steelhead behind. I picked up the fish and it flopped so i saw so i knew it had some potential still. So i let it into some deeper water. A few seconds of revival and it took off.

AHHH a warm feeling overcame me at that moment.
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Old 01-03-2008, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: The Ultimate Poacher???

u r a hero my friend. now some guy will prolly come catch it and cut it open for its eggs and leave it there for the bird. you never know nowadays. I have seen fish around here with the stomachs cut out but I believe it was white sucker fish a fish whos eggs the steelhead love to eat also. even tho its not a sport fish it still made me mad to see that.
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Old 01-03-2008, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: The Ultimate Poacher???

I was fishing a large tailwater pool in Maine last year & heard a splash behind me. I jump turned around & watched a mature bald eagle coming off the water after missing a fish. He went into a tree, perched for a bit & tried twice more in the next 15 min. or so & the second time he nabbed a good size salmon. You guys from out west probably take stuff like that for granted, but you don't see to many of them up here in the N East.. Naturally I didn't have my camera with me.


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Old 01-04-2008, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: The Ultimate Poacher???

fyshn50,
How was the fishing that day? Eagles are supposed to bring good luck with them.

And yes we do see alot of Bald Eagles, Goldens(my favorite), along with Osprys, they are amazing hunters and exciting to watch.
We probably do take it for granted, thanks for reminding me of them, it's been a couple months since I have seen them.

The Southfork of the Snake is a wonderful place to see them all.
Speaking of the Southfork, has anyone ever seen the geese nesting in the cliffs along the river there? another cool thing to see.


When did Mallards become fish eaters?
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:14 AM
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Default Re: The Ultimate Poacher???

Have to disagree with you. They are just getting a meal the way ma nature intended. Now their is a animal that I would consider a poacher, the sea lion/seal. Use their mammalian smarts to take advantage of humans daming up rivers to poach salmon/steelhead, or steel a fish from your hook! Now those guys are poachers, bet they even know they are in the wrong

Quote:
Originally Posted by switchfisher View Post
No, it's not bait guys, or spin guys or fly guys...

it's not human

It's birds!

I put a post over on the blog with the details and a link to the USDA article, but the bottom line is that birds who prey on fish can chomp away on up to 4 fish an hour. And the 4 fish chomper is a Mallard! Geez, how many of those are around! There's even a formula:

Average number of birds seen per hour
x
Bird feeding rate (fish taken per hour)
x
Hours birds are present per day
x
Days birds are present per year
=
Fish consumed per year

Add that to the record low water levels this year because of the drought and the fish don't have a chance! It's the fish who are sitting ducks. :-)

On my last couple of trips, I know I have had to skip over a lot of stretches of water because the levels are so low that they would not hold anything. That same low level is making it easier for the birds and other predators to snatch fish.

Nothing we can do about it. It's just interesting.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:16 AM
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Default Re: The Ultimate Poacher???

poacher = humor.

I was wondering why I was not seeing as many fish lately - especially with the water getting skinnier and stumbled across this set of facts.
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Old 01-04-2008, 08:08 AM
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Default Re: The Ultimate Poacher???

Steely, the other way the seals/sea lions "poach" is by hanging out around the offshore salmon farms. They pretty easily can chomp through the nets that contain them, and then catch all the "food" that swims out the hole they made.

On top of that, the survivors that make it away from the seals are fertile salmon that have been bred to grow as fast as possible (rather than develop into a upstream running super athlete) that then can breed with the real salmon. Then babies hatch that are genetically inferior and can't make the spawning run. This is having a BIG effect on wild salmon populations.

Moral of the story: don't support the farmed salmon industry that is watering down the genetics of the magnificent fish we call wild salmon. (not to mention disease issues News: Killer Salmon (Seattle Weekly) )
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Old 01-04-2008, 10:55 AM
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Default Re: The Ultimate Poacher???

Well you can't blame the seals/sea lions for taking advantage of the situation. Who built the dams and fish farms? They, like the birds are just trying to survive.
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