View Full Version : Squid VS. Salmon???

01-20-2010, 12:14 PM
I've noticed an up tick of articles lately that are trying to make the case that we should be blaming the Humbolt Squid for the decline of the our salmon stocks. It's true that squid eat most anything, including each other, but I think this is just another distraction from the major problem.

The major problem is, our federal government declared war on California's salmon stocks. If fishermen and businesses were better organized, we'd declare a class-action suite against NOAA to make them explain why they chose to cause all of this unnecessary damage. They "determined" many years ago that our hatcheries had created a hybrid salmon run a.k.a. our fall salmon run. In order to correct this problem, they set arbitrary dates and any fish that showed up between these dates were considered to be "bad" fish and were ALL destroyed without being spawned. It just so happens that these bad fish were part of the largest salmon run we had. We should all feel so much better now that these evil fish are gone from our presence.

I'm not saying that other factors, i.e. water diversions, don't have a large impact that need to be fixed but let's also look at the ones that set out to and intentionally killed salmon. Then, they kept the program going on for years even after the devastation was known. Where we're at today was planned more than a decade ago...

Just one fisherman's opinion.

01-21-2010, 12:03 AM
What* you state as a reason is, as I see it, a lesser problem than how our WATER is managed in CA.

Are you aware that the water in the Klamath was diverted in the year 2000 into Oregon for the BIG Ag farmers in that state.

That lowered the flow to a point where the water warmed up,* causing the die off of MILLIONS of smolt.

Now get this. Ten years later our Govenrnor is pushing the peripheral canal which will ship even more of our NorCal water to SoCal and the central valley.

01-21-2010, 01:16 AM
Squid are smoke and mirrors...Squid are aggressive feeders, but most research done on Norcal squid indicates that they eat primarily candlefish like herring, anchovies and the like....Plus let's face it if they relied on salmon for food, they'd likely starve because there simply aren't that many salmon in ocean waters these days....

There seem to be a number of factors at work behind the salmon decline, but water diversions are certainly near the top...With ever increasing population, I'm not sure what the answer is or if there is an answer...I know at this point anglers are out gunned in terms of cash and outnumbered so this is the time to support the organizations that are fighting for our fisheries.....

01-21-2010, 02:03 PM
Hey Cal, to what research are you referring? Are you saying that scientific surveys of the contents of squid stomachs have been performed? They don't eat larger fish whole but they do kill and eat larger fish; they rip off pieces with their beaks. I've opened them up and it's just mush. I think that it would be difficult to determine stomach contents without doing some serious tissue analysis. Humboldt Squid have depressed fish populations in the Gulf of California in a cyclical manner for decades. I don't see why that's not possible off our California coast now that we have a large population of this type of squid.

I understand that water mismanagement is a big problem and that the politics is very complicated. Are you disregarding other potential factors in order to keep the focus on water mismanagement? I can appreciate that, but it isn't wholly productive toward the scientific solution to the problem. We could miraculously solve the water management problem and still not solve the "salmon" problem. Anyhow, if it is the squid, I'm not sure there is much we can do about it but wait for them to go away as they've done in the past.

Just my 2 cents. Thank you for caring.

01-21-2010, 03:12 PM
All of the different factors amount to a certain % of the global problem and my concern is that we tend to get easily distracted by lesser issues IMO. It's all a matter of degrees.

When our hatcheries intentionally kill off the largest salmon run that we had, that tops my list of issues.

01-22-2010, 01:35 PM
Yes, mismanagement of the hatcheries by bureaucrats appears to be a large part of the problem. Why they don't spawn as many smolt as they can, and from a more varied sample of time, just boggles the mind.

01-25-2010, 11:27 AM
sturgen also suck up salmon aggs. started with a size limit on sturgen.

01-28-2010, 10:48 AM
I have heard government bureaucrats and environmentalist claim that hatchery fish are some how different then wild spawned salmon. I have never heard a rational argument to support this view. Sounds to me like another argument that is manufactured to support one point of view and establish rules but with little real scientific proof, more junk science.
I have fished for many years on the Sacramento River and don't see much difference one fish to the next. They all fight hard.

01-28-2010, 11:49 AM
I have heard government bureaucrats and environmentalist claim that hatchery fish are some how different then wild spawned salmon.

Due to generations of interbreeding between the two, they are genetically identical. If they want to make the case that hatchery fish are inferior, that can be remodied through restructuring the hatcheries and introducing obstacles for the fry to encounter. Our hatcheries should be making fish to their full capacity, like they were built to do, to mitigate the construction of the dams. Rather than doing this, they'd rather spend our money trying to bring back salmon on a dry river.

01-28-2010, 12:19 PM
But didn't the hatchery fish come from the same genetic strain as the wild fish? The difference is how they were raised until the hatchery fish were released. The difference is not genetic, it is environmental.
I agree that there could be changes made to create obstacles for the fry and that they should be producing as many fish as their capacity allows.

01-28-2010, 03:05 PM
My info on what squid feed on comes from Capt. Tom Mattusch of the Hulicat in Half Moon Bay...Tom takes out researchers and they catch squid and fish for scientific purposes....

I asked Tom what the squid ate based on what the scientists found and he told me that the diet was mostly candlefish....

Once again if we look at the total number of squid and the total number of squid it is clear that salmon could not be an important food source for them...There just aren't enough salmon off the California coast to feed them all....

02-18-2010, 11:49 AM
Sure, there aren't enough salmon NOW to sustain the humboldt squid population. However that doesn't logically prove that salmon population numbers haven't been suppressed by the humboldt...as you're trying to claim. Humboldts will eat whatever they can get, including each other when injured.

02-19-2010, 09:26 AM
It was my understanding, albeit a novice one, that the squid are in the area due to El Nino creating a change in ocean currents. Perhaps squid prefer warmer water? Salmon probably keep the herring and anchovie population in check. Perhaps the lack of salmon has boosted the herring population, in turn boosting the squid population that just happens to be around due to El Nino.

But, I still do blame the water beurocrats for the salmon decline. Alright, let's have it. I've got a big target on my forhead. Shoot me down... :).

02-23-2010, 03:11 AM
I see a lot of squid issues, I do think that the squid may have a small impact on the salmon population but I also think that the large number of seals/sea lions in the SF bay may have a small part of it as well.
The salmon that enter the bay are there to go up river and spawn, these are the fish that produce the future fish. With the large number of fur bags in our system what are they eating.... I have seen them munching on stripers and sturgeon. I am sure they have some sort of impact on the spawning salmon. As far up the river system as the seals go I would think they cause some issues. Maybe not, I am just thinking out loud. Curious to see what others think of this.

I would agree that the water diversion is a major factor as well as the goverment hatchery issues. Not sure what the answer is but something ha got to change...... :(

02-24-2010, 12:51 PM
I caught a hatchery Steelhead last year on the Russian River that had three round healed over scars* and some scrapes on its side that were a little bigger than a quarter. Everybody that seen it and my self said it could have only been a squid that did the damage.

03-10-2010, 11:16 AM
Could gill nets be part of the problem? Follow the link below for a pretty good read on what is happening to our salmon population in the Trinity and Klamath.


Gill nets + no fishing license required + huge quotas, = Few fish for licensed fisherman, no revenue for hatcheries, large amounts of fish exported from the area for monetary gain.