Status of Native Summer Runs in the Region? - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 05-16-2000, 07:24 AM
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Status of Native Summer Runs in the Region?

I know BC has got it going in the native summer run department... but how about Washington and Oregon?

The native summer fish were faring well on the Sky, one of the Tolt forks, the Toutle (Green), Peninsula has it's share, Chehalis tribs (Wynoochee, Satsop, etc), etc - but what's the status of the Kalama, Washougal, Wind, I wonder.

Hey I actually know a WA state biologist. I'll see if I can find his email addr.
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Old 05-17-2000, 01:14 PM
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RE:Status of Native Summer Runs in the Region?

I too would love to know the status of the native summer-runs in the Snoqualmie, North Fork Skykomish, and Skagit/Sauk. Not much on any but the famous North Fork Stilly (Deer Creek) and Tolt River (Snoqualmie)runs. The Deer Creek run was reported by Evergreen Flyfishers (I think that was the club mentioned) to be back above 1000 returning adults last year.

The Deer Creek run is easy to track because they all spawn in an easy-to-monitor creek. Ditto for the Tolt River fish - Washington Trout's been keeping tabs on them for quite a few years and probably has good stats on returns (anybody out there from WT??)

Not many people target the native runs on the other rivers, so there's little available data (other than guesstimates) that I'm aware of.
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Old 05-17-2000, 03:50 PM
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RE:Status of Native Summer Runs in the Region?

Did a little more checking on the Kalama and Washougal after that last post. Both are considered Endangered. I heard a report that the DFW's thinking of closed the fly-only water on the upper K because there's almost no native summer fish going up there (now that they have the weir they get an exact count of the natives traveling to the upper runs).

I'm also told by an occasional member of Clark-Skamania Fly Fishers that the native summers on the Washougal are a thing of the past. There are a few native winters, but catching a native summer fish is cause for serious celebrations!

Anybody have any GOOD news out there?
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Old 05-17-2000, 04:09 PM
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RE:Status of Native Summer Runs in the Region?

I think there needs to be some serious review of the impact of hatchery operations on native stock. Let's say we conduct this impoundment test -

1) hatch eggs from spring brood and place tiny fry in control area with biomass of nutrients similar to natural glacial stream

2) release pellet-fed smolt into control area as would be done in hatchery operation (density, size, etc)

3) count survival of hatched fry after typical smolt period

Even if direct predation were not a problem (which I believe is a BIG problem) the burden of territorial competition, depletion of food source, introduction of disease and/or unnatural biological or chemical influences from the operation, and in the end the hybridization of the river's indigenous strains all contribute to the demise of the real steelhead of the system.

Someone needs to get a handle on the reality behind this and promote legislation to manage wild strains as wild strains IMHO.
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Old 05-17-2000, 06:35 PM
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RE:Status of Native Summer Runs in the Region?

My "take" on this is that good ol' American Pride is part of what's stopping the DFW from taking this common-sense approach to hatchery management. After all, BC has been doing this for years (yeah, Tyler . . I hear you snickering)and there's practically no anti-hatchery sentiment there. Also, the hatchery fish take a fly better and are considered almost as sporting as the wild fish.

The WA guides know this - Bob Ball and the other Peninsula guides started the Snyder Creek project on the Sol Duc - taking native fish and using their spawn to further supplement the winter returns. They mark them in a way unique from that of the State plants, and early guesstimates have shown that either (1) there are a much higher percentage of the Snyder Creek fry plants surviving to return to the river or (2) that the returning adults are much more Aggressive than the State's hatchery plants. Or it could be a measure of both.

One of the things I like about their approach is that they select for Aggressive Fish - after all, every one that is used has been caught by a guide or angler participating in this project. Hatchery fish are the exact opposite - the ones that aren't aggressive (assuming near 100% mortality on hatchery fish caught by anglers) are selected.
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Old 05-30-2000, 10:37 AM
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RE:Status of Native Summer Runs in the Region?

<font size="1">Kurt Beardslee replied: </font><!--1-->

<font color="0000ff">
The most comprehensive and most current information I know of on this subject comes from a Technical Memorandum (NMFS-NWFSC-27) from
NMFS entitled:

"Status Review of West Coast Steelhead from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and California"
dated August 1996.

It is available thru the National Technical Information Service, US Dept of Commerce, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield VA 22161

I hope this is of help to you.

Kurt </font><!--color-->

<font size="1">wildfish@washingtontrout.org
to replace watrout@eskimo.com
all individual accounts will remain the same </font><!--1-->
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