CRelease

 

Steelhead Run 2017 - 2018

How many steelhead will make a “run” during 2017-18?   

What will be the number of steelhead running your favorite tributary?

Those are two great questions. 

Dated research and the advice of fishery professionals provide a general idea of what to expect. 

The seasonal run total depends on 2 key variables.  First is the number of smolts stocked during the year-class that will have reached maturity during the season 2017-2018. Second is the estimated post-stocking smolt to adult survival rate [SAS].

After 2-years growth time in Lake Erie, the 2015 age-class will represent the majority of steelhead entering the tributaries this season. Research studies have determined the SAS to be 5%. 

Those are the hard facts for this season.

A more complicated and less accurate point is the addition to a run by jacks/skippers stocked as smolts in spring 2016.  You also get returning runners from the 2014 age-class that managed to survive angling pressure, return to the lake and run a second time.

In both cases, I have added a factor of 10% of the respective SAS for the 2016 age class for skippers and 2014 age class for returning runners.  Yes, it does sound confusing, and the final total is merely an estimate so don’t shoot the messenger.

Some anglers suggest that low water flow on one tributary and high water flow on another will draw fish away from their respective stocking waters.  That makes sense, but I am told that research says the number of strays is minimal.  You decide.

Now for the second question, how may steelhead will you find in your honey-hole?

If you accept my premise, I estimate that this “season” 14,637steelhead will enter my favorite tributary, Elk Creek.

Does any of this make sense to you?

Feel free to send me your comments – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I will post and credit to the author all replies as a post script to this article.  

   

    Annual Stocking Totals

Pennsylvania Tributaries

2017-18

Run Estimate

2016

2015

2014

1,002,763

1,004,507

1,006,318

Conneaut Creek

4,500

73,624

75,100

75,333

Crooked Creek

4,442

74,000

74,047

74,000

Elk Creek

14,637

240,510

244,640

240,500

Four Mile Creek

2,205

37,000

37,000

34,000

Godfrey Run

1,121

18,500

18,720

18,500

Presque Isle Bay

5,016

87,378

83,250

83,250

Racoon Creek

2,220

37,000

37,000

37,000

Seven Mile Creek

2,220

37,000

37,000

37,000

Sixteen Mile Creek

1,110

18,500

18,500

18,500

Trout Run

2,820

46,250

46,250

55,235

Twelve Mile Creek

2,220

37,000

37,000

37,000

Twenty Mile Creek

6,660

111,001

111,000

111,000

Walnut Creek

11,100

185,000

185,000

185,000

         

Run Formula ( 2015 stocking # X .05 + 2016 stocking # X .05 X .10 + 2014 Stocking # X .05 X .10)

 

*** Information drawn from 2016 Report of The Lake Erie Coldwater Task Group published 24 March 2017 used to create the run estimate.