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Strawberry Kokanee planting in 2014

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Strawberry Kokanee planting in 2014
The Kokanee catching at Strawberry this past season was fabulous. I think we even steered some folks over to Strawberry from Flaming Gorge. I was curious about why there were more fish to catch and even more curious as to how they got so big. What an awesome year. I took some time today to review the Stocking Reports to see if there was anything different. First I looked up the average life cycle for Kokanee and many of the publications would not give a specific year. Most of what I read said 2-5 years. There were a couple that came up with an average and that was
4 years. So I pulled up the 2014 and notice something was very different.

First of all there was the 412,000 3 inch fish stocked in the Spring. Then they put in another 267,000 very young fry in December. That was a total of nearly 680,000.

STRAWBERRY RES WASATCH KOKANEE 278300 3.12 04/28/2014
STRAWBERRY RES WASATCH KOKANEE 134200 3.12 04/28/2014
STRAWBERRY RES WASATCH KOKANEE 267432 0.94 12/09/2014

In reviewing most of the other years they usually only plant around 300 K to 400 K of the 3 in fish every Spring. So here is what I am thinking as the wheels start turning. Is there something different about the survival rate of those young fry that were stocked in December vs the 3 inchers in the Spring? Or was it just a better year because twice as many fish were planted that year? Would those baby fry not have as many predators coming after them in December? Seems like a lot of those bigger fish leave the shallows for the deep right before the ice forms in December. I would think the 3 inch fish would be easy prey in the Spring at ice off and I know the big cutts head for the shallows and the creeks in the Spring for their spawn.

After seeing the stocking report this year, I am a little worried for our 2022 season. They barely planted 300K this year.
Does anybody have an email for the DWR manager of Strawberry? I would like to pass this info on to them. I really think the December planting that year may have been the reason for this years great success. Maybe we could have them plant another 300 K this December and see how things are in 2022.
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Re: [fryman1] Strawberry Kokanee planting in 2014 In reply to
fryman1 wrote:

Does anybody have an email for the DWR manager of Strawberry?

Here you go have at it:

Alan Ward <alanward@utah.gov>


"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago."
- Zane Grey
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Re: [fryman1] Strawberry Kokanee planting in 2014 In reply to
Great observations. I too would be interested in seeing what Alan says about it. In my past dealings with him he has been great. Let us know what you find out please. Thanks!
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Re: [fryman1] Strawberry Kokanee planting in 2014 In reply to
I'd like to know what the DWR believes the percentage of them are lost to predation.

Strawberry is a very unique lake in the fact of the size that fish grow there. I don't believe you get the same growth rate in other lakes that have Kokes in them. Smith & Morehouse comes to mind in that comparison. They have been planting Kokes in S&M the last 4 years and the largest one I've caught so far was only 13 inches. Starting in 2015 they have planted a total of 37,763 Kokes with a average size of 3 inches. Also the only other trout in S&M are planter size Rainbows and fingerling Grayling. I doubt very much the planter size Rainbows are feasting on the planted Kokes. It's hard to tell what year the 13 inch Kokes I caught were planted.

It will be interesting to see what the DWR has to report.
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Re: [lovetofish] Strawberry Kokanee planting in 2014 In reply to
Thanks for the contact info.

The fish I catch at Porcupine are 10 - 12 inches and most of the fish at Electric Lake are 12-15 inches. I haven't caught any yet at S&M, Jordanelle, Starvation or Fish Lake but I have heard of some big ones being caught at Fish Lake. I made one trip to Fish Lake and we couldn't keep the tiny 6-8 inch bows off the hook. Didn't even get one KoKe. It will sure be good to eventually figure out where the Kokes are on Fish Lake and Jordy so we can take pressure off of Strawberry. Part of another theory of why the Kokes are so big at Strawberry has to do with the heavy pressure. With the schools being thinned out, there is more food available to gorge on. So maybe we need to help each other out on those other lakes with some GPS locations to thin the herd.

Seems like they have plenty of good plankton to feed on at Strawberry.
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Re: [fryman1] Strawberry Kokanee planting in 2014 In reply to
It has to do with the size of the lake, not how well they are thinned out. All smaller lakes never have any bigger kokes in them, few ever get over 13', not sure how lakes like Jordanelle, Starvation or Fish lake will turn out but the rest like Porcupine, Causey, S&M and others are doomed to only producing those smaller fish. This of course is a general statement, there could always be exceptions but they will be few in number.


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Re: [fryman1] Strawberry Kokanee planting in 2014 In reply to
here is a old post, I made this bar chart it could be updated
I would think millions of eggs are being dropped in the lake are where they go.
http://www.bigfishtackle.com/...%20stocking;#1004833


I would think if you catch a red 24" koke he is 4 yrs old
I think they grow about 6" a year
(This post was edited by liketrolling on Aug 24, 2018, 6:36 PM)
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Re: [fryman1] Strawberry Kokanee planting in 2014 In reply to
And don't forget that the annual spawn is adding about the same #'s as the hatchery raised young...(per Wes Pierce, Fisheries Biologist at Strawberry)....he also said the cutthroat #'s had been down the last couple years, so less predation from them on the young kokes for awhile, but now cutt #'s are being increased.....remember all the 9, 10, and 11" cutts we were catching all summer? Hope that doesn't bode too bad for Kokes for the next couple years......tks for your good post....Guluk..