Tag Archives: NASELLE RIVER

2018-19 Winter Steelhead Season Smolt Release Figures Out

The latest smolt release data for Western Washington rivers shows three you might want to put on your radar this coming winter season.

IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START THINKING ABOUT WINTER STEELHEAD SEASON, AND THE LATEST SMOLT RELEASE DATA FROM WDFW BEGINS TO PAINT A PICTURE ABOUT WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE COMING MONTHS. ONE THING YOU CAN COUNT ON IS THAT HUNTER SHELTON WILL BEAT A PATH TO THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA FOR A SHOT AT CHROME-BRIGHT BEAUTS LIKE THIS PAIR FROM LAST NOVEMBER. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

They doubled on the Elochoman and Naselle in 2017 for return this season, and were up sharply on the Quinault system as well, according to state figures.

Now, whether the fishing’s twice as good as last year on them is anyone’s guess, as ocean conditions play a strong role in returns, but they will be ones to watch for reports in the coming months.

On the Lower Columbia trib, releases jumped from 66,000 in 2016 – a year-class that produced a “phenomenal” return that allowed managers to recycle and even surplus fish – to 139,000 last year.

According to a WDFW hatchery tech’s report, last season’s fish were the first smolts at the Elochoman’s Beaver Creek facility protected from predation by netting and fencing since 2009.

A bit further west on Highway 4, the Naselle jumped from 37,000 to 73,000, bringing it back up to where it’s been in recent years, outside of 2015 when Puget Sound smolts were let loose here due to a court settlement.

And releases into Lake Quinault and Cook Creek climbed by 73,000 over 2016 and previous years, to 488,000. You’ll need a tribal guide to fish the system.

The one major blip is that Cowlitz stocking dropped by 161,000, but the number of late-returning smolts that went out is still nothing to shake your fish stick at – 437,000 from Blue Creek, 13 percent of all the winter-runs released in the state.

Elsewhere on the Westside, the number of young steelhead turned loose in most waters didn’t vary all that much from the prior year.

But for the record, they were up slightly on the Nooksack (+13,000), Salmon (+10,000), Wynoochee (+7,000) and Willapa (+7,000) and down somewhat on the North Fork Stillaguamish (-20,000), Bogachiel (-20,000), Satsop (-17,000) and Skookumchuck (-13,000).

Most Willapa Bay Tribs Opening For Coho; Siuslaw’s Lake Creek Closing to Salmon Fishing

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE AND A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Action:  Opens salmon in Willapa Bay tributaries with scheduled salmon seasons, except the Naselle River. Salmon daily limit is 6 fish, up to 2 adults may be retained, and no more than 1 adult may be a wild coho. Release all chinook.

WILLAPA BAY TRIBUTARIES EXCEPT THE NASELLE WILL OPEN FOR COHO FISHING OCT. 1. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective date: Oct. 1 until further notice.

Species affected:  Salmon.

Location:  Bear River; Fork Creek; Middle Nemah River; North Nemah River; South Nemah River; North River; Smith Creek; Willapa River; Willapa River; South Fork.

Reason for action:  WDFW previously closed these areas to salmon fishing to protect fall chinook, which were returning in lower numbers than expected. Over the past week, active brood stocking efforts conducted by hatchery staff and volunteers have been significantly increased, making it likely that hatchery production goals for fall chinook will be met on the Willapa and Nemah river systems. Additionally, the proportion of females in the broodstock collected in these systems is higher than expected.

Returns of fall chinook needed for hatchery production in the Naselle River system are still short of the production goal. The Naselle River will remain closed to salmon fishing.

Retention of fall chinook is prohibited in all fisheries in the Willapa Bay watershed as a conservation measure in order to focus harvest opportunity on coho.

Additional information: Gamefish seasons remain as scheduled in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

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Lake Creek (Siuslaw River tributary) closed to salmon fishing Oct. 15-Dec. 31

SALEM, Ore.—Lake Creek, a tributary of the Siuslaw River, will be closed to salmon fishing from Oct. 15-Dec. 31. No salmon fishing will be allowed from the mouth of Lake Creek to Indian Creek.

The closure is due to this year’s low stream flows, which will concentrate fall Chinook salmon in just a few locations, making them more vulnerable to harvest. The forecast for Chinook salmon is poor this year, and Chinook in the Siuslaw basin are not expected to meet Pacific Salmon Treaty escapement goals.

“Lake Creek is the largest producer of fall Chinook in the Siuslaw basin, and it’s important we conserve these fish during low stream flow and low return years,” said John Spangler, ODFW District Fish Biologist.

For more about regulations and fishing opportunities in the Northwest Zone, see the Recreation Report, https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/northwest-zone

 

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WDFW Closes More Sections Of Willapa Tribs, But Reopens Bay For Coho

THE FOLLOWING ARE EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICES FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Salmon fishing to close in Willapa Bay tributaries 

Action: Sections of Willapa Bay tributaries will remain closed for salmon fishing until further notice.

WILLAPA BAY TRIBUTARIES LIKE THE NASELLE, WHERE THIS COHO WAS CAUGHT, ARE BEING CLOSED DUE TO A LOW CHINOOK RUN, BUT NOW THAT FALL STOCKS HAVE CLEARED THE SALTWATER STATE MANAGERS HAVE REOPENED MARINE AREA 2-1. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective dates: Oct. 1 until further notice

Species affected:  Salmon.

Location: North Nemah River from Nemah Hatchery barrier dam to N700 Rd.; Willapa River from Fork Creek to Hwy. 6 Bridge; Fork Creek from Forks Creek Hatchery rack upstream 500’ at fishing boundary sign; North River from Hwy. 105 Bridge to Fall River; and Smith Creek from mouth to Hwy. 101 Bridge.

Reason for action: These sections of Willapa Bay tributaries were scheduled to open Oct. 1 for salmon fishing. WDFW previously closed the lower stretches of these tributaries to protect returning fall chinook.

Fall chinook are returning to tributaries of Willapa Bay in significantly lower numbers than preseason predictions in all fisheries. Closing the salmon fisheries will increase the number of hatchery fish available to make egg take goals at this time.

Additional information:  Managers will continue to assess Chinook returns and re-open if warranted. 

The following sections of Willapa Bay tributaries remain closed to salmon fishing until further notice:

Bear River from mouth to Lime Quarry Road; Naselle River from mouth to Naselle Hatchery attraction channel; Middle Nemah River from mouth to Middle Nemah A-Line; North Nemah River from HWY 101 to bridge on Nemah Valley Road; South Nemah River, from mouth upstream; Willapa River from mouth to Fork Creek; and South Fork Willapa River from mouth to Pehl Rd. bridge.

Salmon fishing to re-open in Marine 2-1 and the Willapa Bay Control Zone 

Action: Marine area 2-1 (Willapa Bay) and the Willapa Bay Control Zone to re-open for coho and chum salmon fishing. The daily limit is six salmon, up to two adult salmon may be retained. Release chinook.

Effective dates: Sept. 27 until further notice

Species affected:  Salmon.

Location: Marine Area 2-1, Willapa Bay Control Zone.

Reason for action: Fall chinook returns to tributaries of Willapa Bay have been significantly lower than preseason predictions and hatchery returns are lower than needed to make egg take at this time. Historic run-timing and stock composition data suggests minimal fall chinook encounters are likely to occur in marine area fisheries.

Additional information: Anglers must stop fishing for salmon after the adult portion of the daily limit is retained.

Managers will continue to assess chinook returns and species composition of marine area fisheries in order to determine if additional actions are warranted.