Sunday, August 23, 2015

THE 'FINAL FINALLY'!... SUMMER STEELHEAD RUN OF 2015 , H20..and other scary thoughts!

( The 'skinny' subtitle on this blog outside of the pontificating blog side of me likes to do IS: My clients hooked 7 summer steelhead yesterday- best of the year so far!- so I proclaim  it has finally started!- better two months late than never, eh?)

No single participant in the chase for the bizarre summer run of 2015 has been more confused than the fabulous summer Skamania steelhead themselves! Eight years ago I predicted that global climate change ( note: not global warming!, because the Great Lakes, Northeastern North America and other parts of the globe have seen 'cooling/ice age' conditions , while the western global basks in droughts, wildfires, brutal heat all the way to Alaska), will wreak more havoc on fishing conditions/migratory run timing, which affect guides, outfitters/lodges, vacations travel plans, airlines and our daily lives in so many small incremental ways that creep into our lives unnoticed. 

Meanwhile floods devastate other areas, the stock market is tanking.( good news is gas prices might fall below 2.00 by next week!- more fishing road trips folks that we don't have to give windfall profits to fat cat billionaire oil moguls and  Muslims, which all lands in ISIS hands eventually). 

However the most bizarre , but totally understandably since our country has been so screwed over in the last 8 years of an administration that hadn't a clue how to run domestic and world affairs , is that the U.S. is rallying around Trump ( who I actually find to be a breath of fresh air from the  career family legacy Bush/Clinton garbage politicians that are in the running today.  But is this a" somewhat eerie" rise in popularity that Trump is escalating to as he is filling stadiums with 30,000 like in Nuremberg late 1930's to the likes of chilling reminiscent  dictators like Hitler, who appeared out of nowhere and mesmerized through a fanatical frenzy a nation that was so desperate for change from corruption, moral decay and a depression/recession/joblessness, similar to the current state of our union-nevertheless, it will be an interesting year ahead. The fact that he wants to somewhat eradicate ( ship them off/out) a certain ethnic minority also scares me- will it be America's holocaust ? many positive and yet bizarre crazy notions from this man is a creepy twist! Trump is reflection of how desperate and disgusted Americans are with the political correctness, bizarre transgender/liberal religious and ethical desecration we are forced to swallow which was not what and how this country was founded on and "was once" a great nation ? Having experienced a Polish Communist school when I was 9 years old , the frightening future of the USA given the wrong socialistic  government leaders scares the living hell out of me!..let alone the debt we owe China and Japan.

Sorry for my Sunday soapbox rant- its my blog!.

Back to my topic, the entire ecosystem of the Great Lakes is in a state of major ecological upheaval - so the apex predators: salmon , steelhead and other trout , also the parasitic/opportunistic predators:, lamprey eels , are most affected.Besides the falling bait fish population dilemma : collapsing populations in Michigan/Huron, too much in Lake Ontario which caused a massive die -off of steelhead last fall and spring from Thiamine deficiency, has biologists looking into their unknown crystal balls that are not calibrated for proactive methods but panic! 

So since steelhead and salmon don't have calendars and 30 year "normal flow charts", they are the ones totally confused. This spring on the Muskegon and many Michigan/Ontario tributaries we had spring steelhead spawning until June 22.We had a cold July- an August of somewhat cool weather- probably one day that "maybe!" hit 90?. 

The summer Skamania are two months late, but starting to trickle in- just as confused as the fishermen and biologists. 

BUT!....the big question is "where is all the water going, how is it being managed?"-H20. HERE ARE FOUR SCARY FACTS! , that we , the fish and our futures are held at bay.

The Big 1.Nestle /Perrier-corporate greed. Just returning from the St Joe that was so flooded May/June/July. it is now low and starting to look "drought like "again. The Muskegon had some of the most record rainfalls this spring and early summer and it is low and dropping again for weeks. I floated the Pere Marquette a week ago and never recall the water being that low in decades. On a conspiracy note, is the dark world order-"Illuminati", sucking out all the water through massive siphons storing them in 100 mile subsurface reservoirs for the final days?...fiction but interesting.

IMHO,the culprit is not the dark world order , not global climate change but the way we live, consume and rape the environment .Out of control greedy profits from Nestle /Perrier  are and will continue destroying our Michigan rivers. Americans are drinking more bottled water than ever before in history. Due to droughts in areas we are subliminally exporting water to these areas- the consumption is absolutely SCARY!- increasing by 10-15 % yearly for the past 20 years. We are sucking so much water out of the aquifers that bottled water is dirt cheap- for a 24 bottle pack 4.00 bucks?-insane.Nestle /Perrier have two gigantic bottling plants at the largest aquifer in Michigan which feeds the world steelhead/salmon/trout utopias of the Muskegon, White, Pere Marquette, Manistee micro capillary subterranean aquifers. Since these plants have been in operation we have "no baseline' flows- we go from flood to drought in a snap of the fingers which is not the normal

The Big 2.Is it Climate Change- or the new norm? -NEVER before has the Great Lakes frozen over completely in two "back-to back" years like it did in 2013/14...and 2104/15. The impact on plankton production due to lack of light penetration through the thick ice , bait fish mortality, massively cold water temperature regimes spread out throughout the Great Lakes - not just the normal clusters that never recovered from the first ice age 2013/14, can be staggering on how the entire ecosystem performs and operates. Since the mid 1900's and the salmon/steelhead invasion, along with exotic invaders, we now have no benchmark to judge how all these effect the timing of runs, overall health of the fish and growth rates and how exotic and indigenous flora and fauna will perform in the mix. The delayed runs of Skamania in 2015  is the "canary in the coal mine" of how dysfunctional the system is.

The Big 3. The US Fish and Wildlife- federal government incompetence has been "pulverizing" our Michigan Rivers like never seen before treating them with green Lampricide "TFM"- meant to kill parasitic lamprey larva . Last year they "poisoned" the Muskegon , killing brown trout, rainbow trout, walleye...But most importantly the food chain- "aquatic" insects: mayflies, caddis, stone flies etc.-there are studies on this- we are seeing lesser bugs lately though the hatches are still there but nowhere in intensity of the past.. Last week they treated the Bigelow creek tributary and other Michigan rivers. The big ???...IS, why are we seeing more steelhead and salmon returning with lamprey than ever before????... despite the millions being spent?- the treatments which are not eco-friendly and always end up with a responses when they kill fish by accident  like' maybe we used too much chemical in the saturation mix "!..bullshit !!! There is one certainty. Corporations revolve around greed and predation- flip side<  state and federal government- apathy, corruption and total incompetence.  

The Big 4. Consumers Power- corporate greed, continues to mismanage  flows on FERC licensed  hydro dam rivers - Muskegon , Manistee, Au Sable) which nobody is holding them accountable for. Four major "shut downs" that killed fish/insects and the ecosystem components this year alone has occurred. Their only response is " glitch in the computers tripping" . They have become so greedy in corporate profits that they can't hire one staffer to sit and monitor a computer screen and prevent a glitch in water flows that are devastating. The DNR tolerates it!...conservation agencies have given up. Total apathy and impotence is now the "new normal".Sad!...and we wonder why a 'Trump'  comes along and and has a cult following?...seriously?  

Finally, on the lighter side and the good news, summer steelhead are coming in! The next three weeks will be awesome fishing along with a potential massive bumper crop of coho's ready to assault the St .Joe any day!...I'm excited. Schools are starting, summer is a memory, nobody will be on the rivers but me, my clients and the fish- could be epic!- Come out and experience the future and the new normal- or is there one?...cheers!- go fish!