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A question about fish migration


Devan S.

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I have a question for someone smarter than I. 

How does a fish know which river to run up for spawning. For example: I assume a fish at Beaver town run up below the dam; fish at say sweet water run up kings. 

Where and how does a fish at say Shell Knob know where to go and what is their determining factor? What keeps them from stopping at say owl creek or Roaring river, Rock creek or keep it from going up the Kings?

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Not all run up rivers.

For example on several lakes, walleye spawn on the rocked dam walls. For them, and for sauger, they need and sense flow and wave action and are looking for gravel.

Others know better than I about trout or salmon, but I would imagine their needs determine their actions as well.

The really interesting behaviors are that of steelhead trout. They are rainbows who choose to go to the ocean to feed, and come back to their rivers to spawn.

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For years there have been walleye spawning along the rip rap at the Stockton dam.  That is about as far from a stream migration as you can get but with southernly winds there is lots of wave action.

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I know many and even a certain percentage of fish will spawn main lake but I assume river fish are always river fish. 

Off the top of my head paddle fish and walleye in TRL. 

I ask because I have been doing well up the white on walleye and ventured over to Kings today. Nothing. nada. zilch. Its like a totally different fishery. Fishing the same depth and types of areas and water temps are similar.

The thing is....on the white....its shallow enough I can see them when I tried the same type areas of the Kings I don't see anything. I have to presume they are behind....by weeks at this point.....or something changed...maybe the frozen lake situation and low water input has made the white a better draw for these types of fish? 99% of the time I would say confidence is my problem....but if I cant see them then I cant see them. 

Just a question and thought to ponder. 

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I am guessing that the current is stronger and more consistent in the white coming out of Beaver but that is just a guess.

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That is my thought.....water is low and not tons of flow down Kings....however Beaver isn't generating a lot but when they do its quiet a bit more than Kings.....

One things for sure....I'm no longer a fan a daytime fishing. Way to many people out for my liking. 

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I don't necessarily believe that individual fish migrate up the same watershed on purpose.   And certainly don't ONLY run up a certain river because that's the one they were born in.   That's all just more nonsense sold by people who were paid to know such things....and nobody has seen fit to debunk it.  

For instance:.  White bass and walleye run up every tributary of an impoundment in great numbers.....Yet before the river was dammed, and the impoundment formed they only ran up the major ones that had decent flow.  

Stripers and Hybrid stripers, that were born in a hatchery far-far away, run up every single tributary of the lakes they are stocked into. 

Likewise with spoonbill.   

Fish (all fish) recognize water movement.....and they travel in THAT direction unless (and until) something impassable prevents it. 

 

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I think that if  you look up fish migration, that you will find it is applied to fish that travel from salt to fresh to spawn or in some cases those that travel from fresh to salt to spawn. I don't think that travel within an impoundment and it's tributaries constitutes migration, and I tend to think fresh water  fish within the impound/trib system will  use most or all of the impoundment as forage and temperatures dictate and that at spawning time   they will simply seek out the appropriate conditions nearest to their current location  in the lake. 

I don't think I've ever seen a study on this, pertaining to impoundments and warm water fishes.

 

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