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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 1 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-23-2004, 12:50 AM
rich_simms's Avatar
rich_simms rich_simms is offline
Holdout
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Rivers of North Sound & Oly Pen
Posts: 319
Skagit River Hatchery?

Interesting article in the Skagit Valley Herald regarding the proposed hatchery on the Skagit River, what are your thoughts, pros or cons?

http://www.skagitvalleyherald.com/news/
__________________
Rich

-Lost poor realitive of the Simms family fishing fortune
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 06-23-2004, 03:07 AM
roballen2 roballen2 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Washougal, East Lewis, Klickitat
Posts: 176
I have a blanket opposition to any new hatchery programs anywhere in the state of Washington.We shouldn't be wasting money on a new hatchery program when
1. WDFW is supposidly strapped for cash
2. WDFW hatchery programs are notoriously unsucecessful in provioding reasonable numbers of fish for harvest.

3. I oppose the creation of terminal fishing areas because they are provide for the abuse of sportfishing regulations and poor angling ethic

4. You cannot put hatchery steelhead on top of wild steelhead and expect the wild fish to do well. Hatchery plants and wild restoration are absolutely at odds with one another it is impossible to do both at the same time and i challenge anyone to provide references to specific locations where this the wild run has been restored where hatchery programs were created orallowed to persist.

I think the proposed GrandY creek facility is a waste of time , a waste of money, a waste of sport fishing ethic and a waste of wild fish resources.

WDFW exemplifies stupidity in pursueing this program or any new hatchery program in the state.

Hey Plunker i know you'll read this.. here is a fact.. you and the wildcat steelhead club are wrong! Any group supporting the Grandy creek project is no friend to wild stelhead or the future of steelhead fishing in the state of Washington...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3  
Old 06-23-2004, 04:08 AM
Plunker Plunker is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Once a Guamish Still a Guamish
Posts: 30
Rich,

There is no proposal for a new hatchery on the Skagit River system. The Marblemount and Baker hatcheries and Barnaby Slough rearing ponds provide all the hatchery facilities needed here.

The proposal on the table is for an "acclimation pond" for the purpose of imprinting smolting steelhead to a spot lower on the River than the current facilities to help separate some of the returning hatchery steelhead from the wild stocks to reduce the likelihood of interaction.

Another innovation in the proposal is to allow the young steelhead to smolt more naturally by leaving the facility upon their own volition when they are ready in hopes that they might provide higher return ratios.

--- --- ---

roballen2,

Wrong about what?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4  
Old 06-23-2004, 06:40 AM
juro's Avatar
juro juro is offline
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,593
Thanks for the clarification Plunker.

I read the full article and had mixed feelings. As Kraemer says "They're just completely inept fish" without a doubt. And this is the Skagit, not some put and take fishery.

So the dillema is more "natural" hatchery fish (if that is possible) smolting and interacting with the Skagit ecosystem verses the current isolation of wild fish from yet another threat, the hatchery "dumbass who'd just as soon eat every wild fry it could get it's jaws onto".

This is a lot like a correctional institution that 'incarcerates' criminals out in society for better integration in everyday life verses locking them in a cell. Hmmm. There are plusses and minuses BUT dear God, anywhere but the Skagit. At least in the incarceration there is a required tracking device worn by the criminal and they can't victimize the young'uns in the neighborhood.

Why don't we try this on the Cow or Green or Bogachiel first to see what the effects are, and if positive results are undeniable then (and only then) play games with the Skagit. If all of a sudden we note a significant increase in survivability of wild fish as a result of better integrated hatchery fish then why not produce the same number of more educated fish in these systems. But otherwise, moving the problems of the hatchery into the river only makes things worse.

Will they feed the fish pellets?
Will they treat the water with pesticides as they do in hatcheries?
will wild fry be able to enter, and will smolts be able to exit?


Where does one find some details on this plan? thanks
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5  
Old 06-23-2004, 10:23 AM
KerryS KerryS is offline
Skidrow Woolley Fly Club
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Skagit system
Posts: 661
According to the article this “rearing pond” is to improve the survivability of inferior hatchery clones. Why does this seem wrong? Why would you want to improve the survivability of a fish that is by all accounts is stupid and inferior? Why would you want to improve the survivability of a fish that will compete with the native wild fish? Why would you want to create an artificial fishery that will increase pressure on a system that some claim should be closed to protect the native wild populations? I hear talk of closing the C&R fishery because of incidental mortality but the very same people support the introduction of an inferior fish which would increase the incidental catch and mortality of wild, native fish. Again nothing but hypocrisy coming from the supporters of this facility.

One more thing. Once the rearing facility is built what is to stop them from turning it into a full blown hatchery?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6  
Old 06-23-2004, 10:45 AM
roballen2 roballen2 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Washougal, East Lewis, Klickitat
Posts: 176
Kerry you are absolutely correct in everything you said... Regardless of what anyone wants to think it's a new hatchery program. it may be the same fish that get planted but it's a brand new program... it's an extremely bad idea..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7  
Old 06-23-2004, 12:29 PM
jjohnson's Avatar
jjohnson jjohnson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Sky, North Umpqua
Posts: 138
This is a hatchery site Plunker no matter what they call it. It was recommonded that they change the name to sound better by Larry Wasserman of Skagit Coop I believe it was. They will bring parr (from Marblemount) down let them smolt release them into the skagit collect them as adults. The only thing they won't be doing is hatching them there. So call it what you want.

There appears to be a study coming out of the Kalama that is now showing that rearing ponds have a high residualization rate. The same thing is being observed out on the OP. Males are residualizing at a high rate and having a lot of interaction with wild fish trying to spawn. The state had to back off there statement saying it would reduce residualization to it MAY because they don't know. That is the problem that I have with all of this stuff they just don't know and there is a lot of hand waving.

This site has failed at least 2 times before because of bad water quality and poor returns. Is this where we should be spending our money. Here is some data I got from the department web site on hatchery plants and returns for the whole skagit system.

754 2860 417600 3614 0.87% 2002
339 1572 365,400 1911 0.52% 2001
96 497 562,700 593 0.11% 2000
364 561 328,400 925 0.28% 1999
449 347 289000 796 0.28% 1998
The first column is how many fish they say they got back at the hatchery from http://wdfw.wa.gov/hat/escape/escape.htm
The second column is how many marked fish were tagged from http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/harvest/harvest.htm
The third colum is smolts planted two years earlier then that from http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/harvest/harvest.htm
Fourth column is "total run size"
Fifth colum is return rate from smolt planted to returning adults.
Sixth is year.

So in a good year you get .87 percent back but in most year is it appears to be less them half a percent. Is that worth the envestment? Could the money be spent better else where to ge the wild fish back? The department is strapped for money and have had to lay people off yet a couple of legislators have squirreled away money for this? Does that make sense?


The Department goal of "increase hatchery harvest over a broader area of the basin while meeting the goals of reduced wild steelhead interactions" are in opposition. They really don't know how that mid river section is being used. They have only done one redd count in that section each year (except one) usually in March or April and that is it. No May or June count and being a little lower in the water shed wouldn't it make sense that the lower river would be used later in the year. So if they are dumping smolt on top of some of the extremely late winter runs (I know people that have caught bright winter runs in June) is that going to help those fish? Also what is the predation rate on the 90 day chinook migration. That could be high to and maybe it is addressed as I only have gotten through the first 20 or so pages of the report.

The department right now is dumping fish at places they don't have collection facilities and to say well we need to build it to collect them is reverse thinking how about stop doing the offsite planting. How about cutting hatchery production and growing stronger better fish so you don't have to plant as many and actually get some returns. Kraemer said it best when he call them inept fish. We keep investing in fish that are inept. Something is wrong here.


I will give the department credit on trying to move the facility lower in the river as this would be a good thing but the Marblemount facility isn't going to be shut down and if you think the overall hatchery production won't increase as now they will have more capacity I have a bridge to sell you.

JJ
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8  
Old 06-23-2004, 02:52 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
Pullin' Thread
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NW Washington
Posts: 3,346
I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here.

The Bellingham Chapter of Trout Unlimited has a steelhead rearing facility on the Middle Fork Nooksack. In fact, it has been in operation for over 12 years. The folks in the Trout Unlimited Chapter get fry from the state hatchery on the North Fork Nooksack and raise them to smolts. There is a difference from the state facility on the North Fork in how the smolt are released by the TU rearing ponds. The smolt in the TU rearing ponds are not flushed out into the Middle Fork, instead, the rearing pond gate is simply opened and the smolt leave as they feel like leaving.

It takes up to 6 weeks for all the smolt to decide to leave the TU rearing pond. In other words, the fish leave when they are ready to leave and there is not the large immediate number of smolt in the river as is done at the North Fork facility.

Interestingly, the TU project has a much higher return rate of adults than the North Fork hatchery does eventhough the fish are the same stock, from the same adults, and the same eggs. Based on what has happened on the Middle Fork Nooksack, I think you will see a similar increase in adult returns from the use of acclimation ponds at either Grandy Creek or the Baker on the Skagit. Therefore, it seems to this simple fisherman that building and using acclimation ponds at Grandy would be a cost-effective way to increase adult returns while helping to keep the wild and hatchery fish separated since the information I have been told is the vast majority of wild fish spawn above Concrete; but below Bacon Creek or in the Sauk along some in the Cascade. Since Grandy is several miles below Concrete, it seems to this simple fisherman that this would help prevent spawning interaction between wild and hatchery fish.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9  
Old 06-23-2004, 03:25 PM
jjohnson's Avatar
jjohnson jjohnson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Sky, North Umpqua
Posts: 138
So Flytyer

How many of those fish that are released from the TU Nooksack project residualized?

So what makes you think that the mid Skagit isn't used by wild steelhead? If it is the WDFW data I saw this last week and as I stated earlier they did 1 redd count between March and April with the exception of one year they did two. What about all the fish that spawn in May and June? Do late arriving fish from the End of April through June maybe spawn lower in the river after the redd counts have gone on?

What about this site has failed twice before? To this simple fisherman learning from history it seems like a no brainer.

Are you saying that having more Hatchery fish will help wild fish?

With the dismal return rates is this economically a good use of money when the department is having budget short comings?


JJ
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10  
Old 06-23-2004, 04:15 PM
Brian Simonseth's Avatar
Brian Simonseth Brian Simonseth is offline
Jolly Buddha
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: CHROME TRIANGLE !
Posts: 589
Thumbs down

Folk’s one thing you have to remember is there is a RUN of WILD STEELHEAD in late December that goes to the Sauk River!

__________________
Brian

THE NEWER CHIEF of E.P.

Real Steelhead Don't Eat Pellets!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11  
Old 06-23-2004, 06:21 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
Pullin' Thread
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NW Washington
Posts: 3,346
JJ,

I never said wild fish don't spawn in the middle river, those are words you ascribed to me, not words I uttered. For that, I thank you since it makes your argument sound so much more forceful. I did say that the majority of wild fish spawn above Concrete as per WDFW.

I have no idea how many of the Middle Fork Nooksack fish residualize. I do know that both hatchery and wild fish do residualize, so it is safe to assume there is some going on. How much is an unknown because as far as I know, it has never been studied nor determined.

I never said increased rate of return of hatchery fish will help wild fish. I simply said that an increased rate of return of hatchery fish will mean there will be more adult available for harvest, nothing else.

To play the Devil's advocate once again, an increase in the rate of return of hatchery fish would be an economically good use of money because the number of hatchery smolt will be the same as now. Only the number of adults returning would change for the better.

Brain,

There is also a run of early returning wild fish that goes to the Cascade River. And right now there are a lot of hatchery fish being released into the Cascade. There are a lot of fisherman hitting the Cascade for the hatchery fish. These two things certainly increase the probability of hatchery/wild interaction and the mortality of wild fish much more so than acclimation ponds would at Grandy because Grandy if miles downstream of either the Sauk or Cascade.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12  
Old 06-23-2004, 07:05 PM
Brian Simonseth's Avatar
Brian Simonseth Brian Simonseth is offline
Jolly Buddha
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: CHROME TRIANGLE !
Posts: 589
Question

Fly tired

When did you join Wildcat Steelhead Club?
__________________
Brian

THE NEWER CHIEF of E.P.

Real Steelhead Don't Eat Pellets!!

Last edited by Brian Simonseth; 06-23-2004 at 07:19 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13  
Old 06-23-2004, 07:31 PM
Brian Simonseth's Avatar
Brian Simonseth Brian Simonseth is offline
Jolly Buddha
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: CHROME TRIANGLE !
Posts: 589
Smile

Fly tired


“I did say that the majority of wild fish spawn above Concrete as per WDFW.”

The studies seen by myself others show they haven’t done studies but once a year in the middle part of the river and that time they did the study wasn’t prime time for WILD Steelhead.
__________________
Brian

THE NEWER CHIEF of E.P.

Real Steelhead Don't Eat Pellets!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #14  
Old 06-23-2004, 08:01 PM
jjohnson's Avatar
jjohnson jjohnson is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Sky, North Umpqua
Posts: 138
FT sorry for putting words in your mouth. You are right. You are stating facts.

I will state them too. As I said twice they don't know with any reliablity how many fish use the mid river they haven't studied it in May and June.


So here are a couple of other questions to ask. I don't know the answers.

Are you sure that there will be more hatchery fish returning?

Economically is it better to build this facility rather then help cover some of the budget short fall in the department? Especially since I don't believe there was any funding mechanism for long term opperation of this facility.

Do you honestly believe that the department will will keep the stocking levels right where they are now or is this a precursor of things to come. Maybe I am becoming too cynical.

Are there any rivers where Hatchery fish are pumped into the system at around 500k and the wild fish are thriving?

Is it better to have more returning hatchery adults or more wild adults?

There are some good points to this type of facility but there are a lot of unanswered questions. I actually do know one way that i would back this facility almost completely but that would require something I doubt the department would do.

JJ
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #15  
Old 06-23-2004, 10:58 PM
Smalma Smalma is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 168
Gentlemen -
It is important to remember that is proposal is not to increase steelhead hatchery production (the production target will remain at 534,000) but rather it is to raise the fish that are currently truck from Barnaby to the middle river as smolts at a site for 6 months or so prior to release. It has been demostrated that trucking steelhead when they are smolts reduces their survival when compared to fish released directly from the rearing site. Having those fsih imprinting to the mid-river site for 6 months should increase their homing (reducing "shotgunning" through the system) as well as facilitating their capture at the release site for brood stock purposes or to remove uncaught fish from the system.

Juro-
Check the following site for answers to your questions:

http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/sepa/lower_skagit_deis.pdf

JJ -
I'm not sure where you are getting your information but I'm pretty sure that WDFW has a pretty good idea of where and when steelhead spawn in the Skagit (including the middle river). When the conditions allow all the main Skagit and Sauk stem sections are surveyed several times a spring including May and June. The middle river (downstream to just below highway 9) is surveyed as frequently as the others except for the times like this spring when conditions (dirty water) prevent seeing the redds. However over the last 25 years the middle river has been surveyed dozens of times after April. In addition the following middle river tributaries are surveyed annually - Alder, Hasen, Sorenson, Cumberland, O'Toole, Jones, Day, and Finney. These surveys begin in early March and are repeated every 10 days or so until spawning is completed (early June). Despite what many anglers may think agency bios do know alot (often more than those same anglers) about Skagit and other steelhead.

The stomach sampling of hatchery steelhead smolts after release (Skagit, Deschute, Nooksack) to date have found little or no evidence of predation on chinook fry. Folks are still looking.

Brian-
I don't see how this proposal would have any different effect on those early wild steelhead than the current program. By the way I have seen wild winters in the Sauk as early as November 4. Those early fish are still very green fish with their spawning timing much the same as the later fish.

I see several comments about hatchery residuals and the implied potential interaction with wild fish. There are a number of anglers posting/reading this topic that spend a large amount of time angling the Skagit. I would be very interested in how many adiposed clipped fish of between 10 and 14 inches we have collectively seen in the Skagit. Fish of that size would have survived in the system. Given that they would be in the river year-round we should find them in our fishing for summer-run steelhead, Dollies, cutthroat, trout, various salmon and winter steelhead so they should be caught more frequently than say winter steelhead that are only available for a limited time. I would be further interested in what % those clipped fish represent of all the wild rainbows and steelhead caught. My guess is that they are very rare at something less than 1%.

Tight lines
S malma
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Fly Fishing Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Skagit River natrix Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum 10 01-23-2007 10:54 AM
Skagit River: STEELHEAD? Skycries57 Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum 4 10-13-2004 09:43 AM
Skagit River drainage flytyer Our Environment 0 12-06-2002 01:46 AM
Skagit river flows KerryS Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum 6 10-12-2002 02:18 AM
Skagit River Report Doublespey Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum 1 03-20-2000 10:18 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:00 PM.



Copyright Flyfishingforum.com (All Rights Reserved)