Skagit River, Grandy Creek - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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Old 05-28-2004, 04:35 PM
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Brian Simonseth Brian Simonseth is offline
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Post Skagit River, Grandy Creek

Last night there was a meeting in Sedro Woolley about Grandy Creek Rearing (sp) Ponds.
The Director of WDFW was there with top people (10) from Olympia and Skagit County.
A lot of the night was spent on Grandy Creek; the Director said it was going to be done.
EIS report would be open to public comment June 14th. There will be more on EIS in a press release coming out soon.
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:00 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Brian,

I wanted to be at the meeting; unfortunately, my 7th grader had a science fair last evening and that took precedence. Thanks for mentioning the meeting.

Was there any mention of whether WDFW is still planning on using Grandy Creek only as a winter steelhead hatchery, or are they looking at using Grandy as a hatchery for other fish such as chinook?
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Old 05-28-2004, 05:30 PM
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Thumbs down

Just winters for now.

Down the road there will be Summers
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Old 05-28-2004, 06:11 PM
KerryS KerryS is offline
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Cowlitz north?

A sad day for the Skagit.
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:21 PM
Plunker Plunker is offline
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The Introduction of Summer Steelhead was not affirmed.

Brian,

There was considerable discussion about summer run fish and some strongly advocated reintroducing them but my recollection is that the WDFW people only granted that if the idea was properly submitted then they would evaluate it.

There was some misconception among those present about the origins of the few wild summer steelhead in the Skagit in that some in the audience proposed that they were remnants of previous hatchery programs.

The SASSI reports that there are several native summer stocks although each is quite small and it is my thought that possible interactions with these native populations will prevent a new summer hatchery from happening.


With the proposed acclimation ponds use for imprinting winter steelhead to the Grandy Creek area there seems to be very strong opposition from many in the fly-fishing community and I am hoping that someone might discuss the disadvantages and possible advantages of building and operating the facility?

Anyone?
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Old 05-28-2004, 08:42 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Plunk,

I am a fly fisherman who is not opposed to the Grandy Creek site for winter fish. This is because there is not much chance of spawning interaction between hatchery fish from there and the wild winter fish in the system. Summer fish is another matter though because of the possible interactions with the wild summer stocks from the stream upriver a few miles from Grandy Creek. The other wild summer fish (from the upstream Cascade and Sauk rivers, or downstream from Day Creek) would not be threatened by summer fish being put in at Grandy.

The only real concern I have about the Grandy facility is the possible huge increase in fisherman numbers in the area from Grandy to Hamilton. That is a something that I can easily avoid though by simply fishing furthur down or upriver from Grandy. I am equally sure that the number of guides working the river will increase quite a bit because of the ease of driving to the Grandy area from Bellingham and Everett and the boat launches just upstream and downstream of Grandy providing easy and convenient boat access to the arrea.

I have a strong suspician that when the Grandy facility comes on-line, the number of fishers in the Rockport to Marblemount area will decrease and that fisherman will concentrate near the Marblemount hatchery and the Grand hatchery.
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Old 05-28-2004, 10:12 PM
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Not to sound to dumb on this matter. With all the Steelhead hatcherys that are closing or that they want to close and with the Hatchery at Barnaby Slough. Why do they want to open another one on the Skagit. To me it doesn't makeany sense. But what the hell do I know,I'm just a grumpy old man.

Jim
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Old 05-28-2004, 11:38 PM
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Plunker
When the plan comes out it sounded to me that they where going to have summers in the future. With the three proposals they had. We will have to see what “PSE” does with the Baker River Dams. It hard to get all those people together in one spot and ask those questions. We only had WDFW there.


Jim
This is going to be Rearing ponds (raceways) not hatcheries. There already up and down the river.
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Old 05-29-2004, 11:05 AM
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I don't understand the word "Reining Ponds" or do you mean rearing ponds. Even if you do that doesn't that put an imprint into the fishes brain on where to return to. And could that little creek hold all them fish at full size.

Some day if we ever meet up on the river or someplace where the water is flowing down hill you can explain this to me.

Jim
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Old 05-29-2004, 05:57 PM
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Smile

Jim
My bad, your right. (sp)
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Old 06-01-2004, 12:43 PM
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So my issue with the site is that no one seems to know what the impact will be of the hatchery fish on the wild fish. My understanding is that Grandy creek has failed three other times in trying become a hatchery. So why don't we learn from the past? What is the success rate of the current skagit hatchery? It is very low so is this money well spent for something that no one seems to know the impact of. In fact the orginal ESA got the project shot down because it wasn't good enough to show no impacts on the wild fish.

JJ
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Old 06-01-2004, 12:51 PM
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Here is a little history on the Grandy creek failures of the past. It has only failed twice before not three times sorry.

Thus the choice of Grandy Creek, which has a long history of long ago failed hatcheries (the old foundations are still on the site). Around 1911 it was first constructed as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hatchery. However, the hatchery had increasing difficulties bringing back fish and had water source difficulties as well. It was subsequently abandoned by them in I believe the 1940s. But it was then purchased by Washington Department of Game as it was called at the time (must have been a realtor with a silver tongue to be able to sell a failing hatchery). WDG used it streictly as a steelhead hatchery until sometime in the 1960s or early 70s. They also abandoned it due to failing returns and water quality problems.

JJ
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Old 06-01-2004, 01:27 PM
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JJ,

From conversations I've had with Steve Stout, the manager of the Marblemount hatchery and Barnaby Slough raising ponds over the last 5 years, I have very few concerns about the impact of Grandy Creek hatchery fish on wild fish (remember this will be imprinting, raising ponds like those at Barnaby Slough with fish hatched at the Marblemount hatchery). The studies on hatchery/wild interaction in the Skagit/Sauk/Cascade rivers has found there is no interaction between the wild and hatchery stocks. The DNA studies in the Skagit system have shown there is a 0.01% probablity of interaction between the wild and hatchery fish. This is less than the genetic diversity found within either wild or hatchery fish.

Steve has also told me that the vast majority of wild fish spawning occurs above Concrete (much of it in the Sauk). Not that there is no spawning in the mainstem Skagit below Concrete, just that there is not a lot of it. Thus there is not a lot of chance for hatchery/wild spawing interaction. Addtionally, Grandy Creek has been a release site for hatchery steelhead for the last 10 years with approximately 40,000 smolt released into Grandy Creek at the hatchery location each year. This has been done for two reasons accordind to Steve. 1) to provide a way to evaluate the amount of wild-hatchery interaction in the middle Skagit; and 2) begin the establishment of a return to Grandy Creek for the future raising ponds.

Although it is true that the feds had a hatchery at Grandy Creek that was considered a failure, it was primarily for the raising of chinook and sockeye, both "high value" commercial fish. We must remember that the hatcheries of the early and mid 1900's were not very good at producing returning fish. It is also true that WDFW's forerunner purchased the feds Grandy Creek operation, which was abandoned after the construction of the new, larger hatchery at Marblemount. Marblemount had the advantage of water from a spring, which Grandy Creek does not have. The springs at Marblemount provide water temps that fluctuate very little throughout the year, unlike the freestone water in Grandy Creek, and this consistent temperature at the Marblemount hatchery is very conducive to incubating eggs and raising fry to smolts. This is also why Barnaby Slough is used for raising ponds instead of as a full hatchery.

In other words, the "water quality" issues that lead to the demise of the original Grandy Creek hatchery had little to do with it "purity" or polution and nearly everything to do with the freestone nature of Grandy Creek and its widely fluctuating water temps. This is why the hatchery was built at Marblemount, it has springs to provide nearly ideal water temps for egg incubation and fry growth.
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Old 06-01-2004, 05:02 PM
KerryS KerryS is offline
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A lot of info on the interaction of wild and hatchery fish after they return to the river. Does anyone have any information on the interaction of wild and hatchery fish while in the river before smolting or thier interactions after they leave the river while in the salt? Do hatchery fish and wild fish use the same feeding areas in the ocean? Do hatchery parr and wild parr compete for food in the river?
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Old 06-01-2004, 07:16 PM
beau purvis beau purvis is offline
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Kerry,
your getting to the stuff planted fish advocates dont like to discuss.Also,what does increased fishing pressure to harvest the planted fish mean to wild fish survival?In the end do we just subsitute expensive[inferior] fish for wild fish?Beau
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