Dan, are you talking about the “full size” rearing tanks for the salmon? The small tanks which I think they are “reared” in once they are past the fry/egg yolk stage are circular. The big ones outside are rectangular, and I wasn’t sure which you were referring to.
They need warmer water earlier in their development. When they are growing in the winter the lake water is frigid. If it was warmer they would grow faster. A recirculating system would get this done I think.
For your #3 response on the WP yoy, I think you are spot on that the salmon are just taking advantage of the abundance of smelt. The last two years ice fishing I have seen more smelt than the past 10 years combined.
I sadly have not been out much this year, but I have the last week in September off. Hoping to spend a week up there chasing some fish. The few fish we ha e caught this year have been unclipped fish as well, and really nice specimens.
I do wonder if the different age classes are just spread out and focused on other forage? Maybe, hopefully, the patterns are changing for the fish with the abundance of smelt? I know a 20” salmon probably isn’t going to become lake trout candy, but a 7-12” fish is bite sized for them. Maybe there is enough food they have moved to different patterns?
Yes, they need full size heated circular rearing tanks to replace the current rectangular ones.
I do not believe the different age classes are spread out.
This year they stocked 55,000 salmon in Winni alone all at once and All in one location. I believe that is approximately 25,000 more than last year yet no one is catching them. As I stated above, in years past I had to make efforts in order not to catch the fingerlings....something is not right. Also if what I am hearing is correct that the current quantity to weight ratio of the smolt salmon is 17 per lb, that is ridiculously small....much smaller than years past!