Incident on the Green River [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Incident on the Green River

Leland Miyawaki
03-11-2003, 01:26 PM
I posted this on the Wild Steelhead Coalition Forum and am posting it here for others to read.

Does this sound right?

Last sunday, March 9, I went to Isaac Evans Park on the Green River in Auburn to get in a little speycasting practice. As I was suiting up, a gear fisherman came up to me. He first told me that the river was under an emergency closure due to the lack of wild steelhead returns. I thanked him and said I was aware of the closure and that I was only there to practice my casting.

He then proceeded to tell me that he and his friends were working with the Muckleshoot tribal biologist to catch wild steelhead, put them in a live tank and transport them to Keta Creek hatchery where they will be spawned. The smolt will then be released into the river which is good for genetetic diversity etc. He and his friends had caught six the day before, one 12 lb hen and five smaller bucks, all in the spot I had been casting since the river had closed! (He also told me that pink was the only color they had been using).

All this sounded good to me until he told me that the resulting smolt will be fin-clipped before their release. I know from Gibbons' talk the other night at the WSC meeting, that the WDFW doesn't have a program to spawn wild fish but some tribes do. My question is this: If the wild returns are so low that the Green must be closed, why are the Muckleshoots taking those few wild fish out of the gene pool and turning their progeny into fish that will be marked for "late returning hatchery fish" that could possibly be eligible for harvest?

Seems a little insidious to me that soon we'll have nothing but marked fish returning to the Green.


03-11-2003, 03:36 PM
I doubt it. This guy is alone, fishing on State land, and not a Native American?

Where is the Muckleshoot's hatchery? Do they own land along the river?

I have a lot of warning bells going off on this one, since you'd think they'd get enough eggs from their returning hatchery fish for the next generation of brats.

All the same, this is exactly what the OP guides do with their Snyder Creek project on the Sol Duc river. Only they clipp the ventral fin instead of the adipose on their smolt.

Who's the biologist for central Puget Sound rivers anyway?


Todd Ripley
03-11-2003, 05:01 PM

I responded to your post on the WSC forum...sorry, but I don't have time to type it again!!

Fish on...


03-11-2003, 11:38 PM
Leland, To my knowlege there are two clubs from the Green River area that participate in a club outting or in my opinion, "private fishing derby", under the guise of a broodstock program that hasn't really seen any benefits. The person to contact to get more information is Tom Copp, WDFW Regional Bio, he can be reached at