Tag Archives: steelhead

It’s Official: Two-rod Rule Back In Effect On Lower Willamette, Clack As Of March 1

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Effective March 1 through Aug. 15, 2018, anglers who have a two-rod validation will be able to use two rods while fishing for all species except sturgeon in the Willamette River downstream of Willamette Falls and in the Clackamas River. 

ON A SHAKEDOWN PADDLE ONE RECENT MARCH, JEFF ANDERSON NAILED THIS WILLAMETTE SPRING CHINOOK. HE WAS TROLLING HERRING BEHIND A FLASHER IN THE SELLWOOD AREA. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

The use of two rods provides additional opportunity for anglers pursuing hatchery salmon and hatchery steelhead, but may also be used for trout and warmwater species, including shad.  Anglers fishing for sturgeon will still be limited to only one rod.

The new rule applies only to waters already open to fishing and all other Willamette Zone rules and regulations remain in effect. After Aug. 15, rules will revert to those published in the 2018 Sport Fishing Regulations, and use of two rods will no longer be allowed.  

Anglers remain limited to one rod in areas upstream of Willamette Falls, though allowance of two rods for later in the spring season is under consideration. No decisions have been made on potential use of two rods in Oregon coastal streams at this time. As a reminder, anglers remain limited to one rod at all times when fishing in the Columbia River.

Two-rod validations have been available to Oregon anglers for several years. For $24.50, licensed anglers can purchase a validation that allows them to use a second rod in certain locations of the state, primarily ponds and lakes. If you have already purchased a two-rod validation in 2018, it is valid for any waters open to the use of two rods. Kids under the age of 12 do not need a validation to use a second rod in these locations.

Because the Willamette spring Chinook fishery is managed under a strict quota and Endangered Species Act limits, ODFW will closely monitor the effect of this rule change and may make adjustments if necessary.

McNary, Hanford January Steelhead Fishing Wrap-up

THE FOLLOWING ORIGINATED WITH PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND WERE TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

McNary Reservoir Steelhead Sport Fishery

The Columbia River from McNary Dam to the Tri-cities reopened for the harvest of hatchery steelhead on December 1. Angler effort declined a bit in January. There were 529 angler trips for steelhead in January, down from 1,588 in December.

WDFW staff interviewed 110 anglers.  Anglers averaged 19 hours per steelhead, unfortunately most of the fish caught were wild, 80 of the 95 fish caught were wild and had to be turned back. For the fishery (August 1 – January 31) 135 steelhead have been harvested and 354 wild steelhead have been caught and released from 4,308 angler trips.

Effective January 1 the daily limit is two hatchery steelhead per day (see Washington Sport Fishing Rules for additional information).

Hanford Reach Steelhead Sport Fishery (Hwy 395 – Hanford)

Steelhead fishing continues to be slow in the Hanford Reach.  Effort has been light.  WDFW staff interviewed 300 anglers in January.  Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 24 hours of fishing.  Boat anglers are doing a little better at 18 hours per fish. An estimated 44 steelhead were caught in January and 26 were harvested. Since the fishery opened on October 1, 312 steelhead have harvested plus an additional 172 steelhead were caught & released from 2,114 angler trips.

This year’s return to Ringold Springs Hatchery is estimated at ~900 steelhead

WDFW Bumping Steelie Limits On SE WA Rivers Back To 3, Extending Tucannon Season

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

WDFW announces steelhead fishery changes on some Snake River tributaries

Action: WDFW is rescinding emergency rule changes on the Grande Ronde, Walla Walla, and Touchet rivers that limited steelhead retention to two hatchery fish. Beginning Feb. 1, the daily limit for hatchery steelhead in those rivers will increase to three fish, as listed in the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.

WASHINGTON ANGLERS WILL BE ABLE TO RETAIN THREE HATCHERY STEELHEAD A DAY STARTING FEB. 1  ON THE WALLA WALLA, TOUCHET, GRANDE RONDE AND TUCANNON RIVERS. (BRIAN LULL)

Locations:

Walla Walla River from the mouth to the Oregon state line.

Touchet River from the mouth to the confluence of the North and South Fork Touchet Rivers and all tributaries.

Grande Ronde River from the County Road Bridge (approximately 2.5 miles upstream from the mouth) to the Oregon state line and all tributaries.

Dates: Feb. 1, 2018

Species affected:  Steelhead

Reason for action:  Lagging steelhead returns during the summer of 2017 led fishery managers to close, or reduce bag limits, for steelhead fisheries in most of the Columbia River and its tributaries. Increases in the abundance of migrating steelhead over Bonneville Dam and the Snake River Dams allowed fishery managers to provide for some increases in harvest opportunities during the Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 in the Snake River and select tributaries to the Snake River. Fishery managers now feel it is appropriate to further increase limits within tributaries to remove excess hatchery steelhead.

Other Information:  Anglers should refer to the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for regulations.

Emergency rules remain in effect on the Snake River. More information is available at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=2073.

WDFW did not put emergency rules in place on the lower 2.5 miles of the Grande Ronde River, so anglers should continue to refer to the 2017/2018 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for regulations.

 

WDFW makes changes to Tucannon River steelhead and other gamefish fisheries

Actions and locations:

Tucannon River, downstream of the Tucannon Hatchery Bridge

Extend the fishery for gamefish, including steelhead, through April 15. The fishery previously was scheduled to close Feb. 28.
Increase the daily limit on hatchery steelhead to three (from two) fish.

Mandatory hatchery steelhead retention is required.
Barbless hooks are required while fishing for steelhead and gamefish.

Release all other species.

Tucannon River, from the Tucannon Hatchery Bridge upstream Is closed to fishing.

Dates: Feb. 1 through April 15, 2018.

Species affected: Hatchery steelhead (with clipped adipose fin) and all other gamefish.

Reason for action: Lagging steelhead returns during the summer of 2017 led fishery managers to close or reduce bag limits for steelhead fisheries in most of the Columbia River and its tributaries. Increases in the abundance of migrating steelhead over Bonneville Dam and the Snake River Dams allowed for some increases in harvest opportunities during the Fall 2017 and Winter 2018 in the Snake River and select tributaries to the Snake River. Fishery managers now feel it is appropriate to increase limits within tributaries to remove excess hatchery steelhead.

Other Information: Anglers must stop fishing for steelhead for the day once they have retained three hatchery steelhead. Hatchery fish, marked with a clipped adipose fin, must have a healed scar at the location of the missing fin.

All wild steelhead, those with unclipped adipose fins, must be immediately released unharmed.

In addition, anglers cannot remove any steelhead from the water unless they plan to retain the fish as part of the daily bag limit.

Anglers are reminded to refer to the 2017/2018 Fishing in Washington sport fishing rules pamphlet for other regulations, including possession limits, safety closures, etc.

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (1-10-18)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br. downstream:  5 bank rods had no catch.  Upstream from the I-5 Br:  5 bank rods released 4 cutthroats.  No boats were sampled.

YAKIMA BAIT’S JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM PASSED ALONG THIS PHOTO AND REPORT THAT TOBIE STEVENS CAUGHT THIS WINTER STEELHEAD AS WELL AS A LATE COHO USING A MAG LIP ON A SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON STREAM RECENTLY. (VIA JAROD HIGGINBOTHAM)

Bonneville Dam upstream to McNary Dam – No effort was observed for steelhead.

Sturgeon

Bonneville Pool – Including fish released, about 10% of the boat anglers caught a legal size fish.  Fishing was slow from the bank.

The Dalles Pool – Boat anglers averaged a legal kept per every 7.7 rods.  Bank anglers also caught a few legals.

John Day Pool – Slow for legal size fish.

Walleye and Bass

Bonneville Pool – No effort was found for either specie.

The Dalles Pool – A bank angler caught a couple walleye.  No boat anglers were sampled.  No effort was observed for bass.

John Day Pool – Including fish released. Boat anglers averaged 0.7 walleye per rod.  No effort was observed for bass.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size to 10 pound rainbows released into SW WA waters.  No report on angling success.

Catchable Trout Plants in the Last 30 Days

Last Updated: January 4, 2018

Lake/Pond

Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

* BATTLE GROUND LK (CLAR)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=BATTLE%20GROUND%20LK%20(CLAR)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 02, 2018
Rainbow
1,500
2.1
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

* ICE HOUSE LK (SKAM)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ICE%20HOUSE%20LK%20(SKAM)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 02, 2018
Rainbow
10
0.1
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Jan 02, 2018
Rainbow
20
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* KLINELINE PD (CLAR)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE%20PD%20(CLAR)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 02, 2018
Rainbow
1,500
2.1
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

* LTL ASH LK (SKAM)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LTL%20ASH%20LK%20(SKAM)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 02, 2018
Rainbow
20
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Jan 02, 2018
Rainbow
10
0.1
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

* TUNNEL LK (SKAM)<https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=TUNNEL%20LK%20(SKAM)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>

Jan 02, 2018
Rainbow
20
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Jan 02, 2018
Rainbow
10
0.1
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

NSIA Lauds Judge’s Decision On Increased Dam Spill: ‘Vital’ For Fish, Industry

THE FOLLOWING IS A JOINT PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NORTHWEST SPORTFISHING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION, SIERRA CLUB, SAVE OUR WILD SALMON COALITION AND EARTHJUSTICE

Today, United States District Court Judge Michael Simon (Portland, OR) approved a plan for increased spill at eight federal dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

This plan for Spring 2018 dam operations was jointly submitted to the Court last month by plaintiffs and defendants in the long-running legal case to protect wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia Basin. It was developed in response to the Court’s April 2017 Order requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide more voluntary spill (water released through the spillways) to protect salmon and steelhead at risk of extinction.

WITH WATER SPILLING OVER THE SNAKE RIVER’S LITTLE GOOSE DAM, A SPOKANE ANGLER SHOWS OFF A NICE SPRING CHINOOK FROM A FEW SEASONS BACK. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Todd True, lead attorney for the plaintiffs: “There is no real scientific dispute that voluntary spill to the level required by the Court will avoid harm to juvenile salmon. In addition, this spill order has been carefully crafted to avoid any unintended negative consequences to navigation and other resources. In fact, it is very likely that spill at higher levels would afford additional salmon survival improvements.”

Plaintiffs include conservation organizations, fishing associations, the Nez Perce Tribe and the State of Oregon. Defendants include the Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and NOAA Fisheries.

Voluntary spill was first required during the spring and summer months at the eight federal dams in 2006 under the order of Judge James Redden after he had invalidated a plan from the federal agencies in 2004. The new spill plan approved by the Court today requires as much spill as is allowed under current state water quality rules for total dissolved gas (or “TDG”) unless there are compelling reasons to reduce it. Higher levels of spill help juvenile salmon migrating to the ocean in the spring and summer move past the dams more quickly and safely, and results in higher adult returns in the years that follow.

Liz Hamilton, executive director of the Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association: “Increasing the proportion of spill is vital for the protection of salmon and steelhead, and for fishing businesses and communities across the Northwest. This order for additional spill will divert baby salmon away from powerhouses, increasing the survival of juvenile fish migrating past dams to the ocean, enhancing the numbers of adult fish returning in the years that follow.”

Rhett Lawrence, conservation director for the Sierra Club in Oregon: “Increased spill levels in 2018 will provide a much-needed boost for our struggling salmon and steelhead populations. Conservation and fishing groups are grateful for our partnership with Oregon and the Nez Perce Tribe – working together for the Northwest’s iconic fish and holding the federal agencies accountable to the law and the people of the region.”

Joseph Bogaard, executive director of Save Our wild Salmon: “This order for additional spill in 2018 is a near-term life-line for our region’s endangered wild salmon and steelhead until we have a legally valid, science-based plan in place. This order gives our fish and the communities that rely on them some breathing room in 2018 while our region comes together on a long-term plan that improves the health of these rivers and recovers our struggling fish populations.”

Last fall, Washington State also clarified how it applies its water quality standards relating to total dissolved gas in the lower portions of the Snake and Columbia Rivers. This clarification by the state will allow incrementally higher levels of spill to occur in the spring and summer, leading to higher juvenile and adult returns than would have occurred previously.

In May 2016, Judge Simon ruled the federal agencies’ 2014 Columbia Basin Salmon plan is inadequate and illegal. This is the fifth consecutive federal plan (Biological Opinion or “BiOp”) deemed illegal by three different judges across two decades. Over this period, despite the federal agencies spending more than $10B on a series of ineffective, illegal plans to protect salmon and steelhead from a deadly federal hydro-system, not a single at-risk population has recovered.

While the federal agencies jointly submitted this proposed plan with the plaintiffs to increase spill, they also filed an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last fall challenging the court’s decision to further expand spill. The appeal is on an expedited schedule and is expected to be resolved before the official beginning of the juvenile out-migration in early April of 2018.

You can read the signed order requiring more spill from the Court here:
http://www.wildsalmon.org/images/factsheets-and-reports/2018.District.Ct.spill.order.pdf

 


Possible Skagit Basin Winter-spring Steelhead Fishery Subject Of 2 Meetings

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled meetings to discuss with the public a proposed recreational steelhead fishery in the Skagit Basin, where rivers have been closed to steelhead fishing for several years.

TWO STEELHEADERS FISH THE SAUK RIVER UNDER WHITEHORSE DURING A PAST SEASON. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The public meetings are scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. and include the following dates and locations:

Mill Creek: Jan. 12, WDFW Regional Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek

Sedro-Woolley: Jan. 16, Sedro-Woolley Community Center, 702 Pacific St., Sedro-Woolley

At the meetings, state fish managers will discuss a proposal to allow fisheries for wild steelhead in the Skagit, Sauk and Suiattle rivers. These rivers have been closed to steelhead fishing since 2010 due to low numbers of returning fish.

WDFW is proposing catch-and-release recreational fishing for wild steelhead.

“In recent years, we’ve seen more steelhead returning to the Skagit Basin than before we closed the rivers to fishing,” said Edward Eleazer, WDFW regional fish program manager. “Given the low number of steelhead mortalities associated with this sport fishery, we don’t expect it will harm efforts to recover steelhead populations.”

The Skagit Basin steelhead proposal, developed by state and tribal co-managers, is pending approval from NOAA Fisheries.

The federal agency is seeking comments through Jan. 8 on the proposal, which can be found on NOAA’s website at
http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/…/skagit-steelhead_….

If the proposal is approved, the state could allow a sport fishery within the next few months. During public meetings, WDFW will gather feedback on timing for the proposed fishery as well as discuss gear regulations.

McNary Pool, Hanford Steelheading Update (1-3-18)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED FROM PAUL HOFFARTH, WDFW, AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

McNary Reservoir Steelhead Sport Fishery

The Columbia River from McNary Dam to the Tri-cities reopened for the harvest of hatchery steelhead on December 1. Angler effort has been steady averaging 9 boats and 16 bank anglers per day. There were 1,588 angler trips for steelhead in December.  WDFW staff interviewed 303 anglers in December.  Anglers averaged 14 hours per steelhead, unfortunately most of the fish caught were wild.  321 of the 407 fish caught were wild and had to be turned back. For the fishery (August 1 – December 31) 120 steelhead have been harvested and 346 wild steelhead have been caught and released from 3,779 angler trips.

LIZ BUTOWICZ SHOWS OFF A MCNARY POOL HATCHERY STEELHEAD CAUGHT SEVERAL SEASONS AGO NOW. SHE WAS HER DAD, HOWARD, AND “COUSIN IN LAW” JERRY HAN. (FISHING PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective January 1 the daily limit will increase to two hatchery steelhead per day (see Washington Sport Fishing Rules for additional information).

Hanford Reach Steelhead Sport Fishery (Hwy 395 – Hanford)

Steelhead fishing continues to be slow to fair in the lower Hanford Reach.  Effort has been light.  WDFW staff interviewed 123 anglers in December.  Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 13.5 hours of fishing in December.  Boat anglers are doing a bit better at 9 hours per fish. An estimated 115 steelhead were caught in December and 92 were harvested. Since the fishery opened on October 1, 286 steelhead have harvested plus an additional 154 steelhead were caught & released from 1,814 angler trips.

Effective January 1 any hatchery steelhead may be harvested.  Daily limit is one steelhead per day.  This year’s return to Ringold Springs Hatchery is estimated at ~900 steelhead.

Columbia, SW WA Fishing Report (12-19-17)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED FROM ODFW AND WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

ODFW Columbia River Angling Report

Salmon, Steelhead and Shad

The salmonid creel program on the lower Columbia has ended for the year and will resume February of 2018.

Bonneville Pool (Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam): No report.

The Dalles Pool (The Dalles Dam upstream to John Day Dam): No report.

John Day Pool (Columbia River above John Day Dam and John Day Arm): Weekly checking showed one steelhead kept, plus four steelhead released for two boats (three anglers).

STURGEON

Lower Columbia River (below Bonneville Dam):  Closed for retention.  No report.

Bonneville Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.

The Dalles Pool: Closed for retention.  No report.

John Day Pool: Closed for retention.  Weekly checking showed three sublegal sturgeon released for two boats (seven anglers).

WALLEYE

Bonneville Pool: Weekly checking showed no catch for one boat (one angler).

The Dalles Pool: No report.

John Day Pool: Weekly checking showed 11 walleye kept, plus nine walleye released for eight boats (18 anglers).

…………………………………………..

Washington Columbia River mainstem and its tributaries sport sampling summaries for Dec. 11-17

Under permanent regulations, December 31 is the last day to fish for steelhead and salmon in Mill Creek (Cowlitz River tributary) and salmon in Abernathy, Blue, Cedar, Coal, Germany, Goble, Mill (Cowlitz Co.), Mulholland, Rock Creek (Skamania Co.), Salmon (Clark Co.), Skamokawa creeks, the Elochoman, Grays (including West Fork), Coweeman, East Fork Lewis, and Washougal (including West/North Fork) rivers plus Drano and Mayfield lakes.

Cowlitz River – From the I-5 Br. downstream:  8 bank rods had no catch.  Above the I-5 Br: 14 bank rods kept 3 adult coho and released 1 adult coho, 1 steelhead, and 5 cutts.  1 boat angler had no catch.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 653 coho adults, 11 coho jacks, one fall Chinook adult, six cutthroat trout, one summer-run steelhead and 11 winter-run steelhead during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 50 coho adults and two coho jacks into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and they released 60 coho adults and one coho jack at Franklin Bridge, located in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 152 coho adults, three coho jacks, one winter-run steelhead and six cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and released 116 coho adults, two coho jacks and five winter-run steelhead into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 12,300 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, December 18. Water visibility is five feet and water temperature is 46.4 degrees F.

Lewis River (including North Fork) – Starting January 1, the adult salmon daily limit will be one hatchery Chinook. All other permanent regulations are in effect.

Columbia River mainstem – Starting January 1, anglers may retain up to two hatchery adult Chinook per day on the mainstem Columbia from the I-5 Bridge downstream. Upstream of the I-5 Bridge will close to fishing for salmon.

Sturgeon

Bonneville Dam upstream to The Dalles Dam including adjacent tributaries – Starting January 1 until further notice, retention fishing for sturgeon will be open seven days a week. The daily limit will be one white sturgeon per person. Minimum size is 38 inches fork length; maximum size 54 inches fork length.

The Dalles Dam upstream to McNary Dam including adjacent tributaries – Starting January 1, retention fishing for sturgeon will be open seven days a week until harvest guidelines are reached. The daily limit will be one white sturgeon per person. Minimum size is 43 inches fork length; maximum size 54 inches fork length.

Trout

Recent plants of catchable size and brood stock rainbows up to 10 pounds each.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes

* ICE HOUSE LK (SKAM)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ICE%20HOUSE%20LK%20(SKAM)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Dec 07, 2017
Rainbow
1,500
2.54
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

* KLINELINE PD (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=KLINELINE%20PD%20(CLAR)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Dec 07, 2017
Rainbow
2,000
2.54
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

* LACAMAS LK (CLAR)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=LACAMAS%20LK%20(CLAR)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Dec 11, 2017
Rainbow
5,000
2.45
VANCOUVER HATCHERY

* ROWLAND LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=ROWLAND%20LK%20(KLIC)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Dec 08, 2017
Rainbow
50
0.1
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Dec 08, 2017
Rainbow
75
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Dec 07, 2017
Rainbow
50
0.1
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Dec 07, 2017
Rainbow
100
0.2
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

SW WA, Hanford Reach Fishing Report (12-4-17)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ORIGINATED FROM WDFW AND WAS TRANSMITTED BY JOE HYMER, PSMFC

Salmon/Steelhead

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br. downstream:  7 bank rods had no catch.  Upstream from the I-5 Br:  54 bank rods kept 8 adult coho and released 7 adult coho and 1 cutthroat.  No boat anglers were sampled.

BUZZ RAMSEY REPORTS THAT BLACK FRIDAY RAINBOWS ARE STILL ON THE LOOSE AT ROWLAND LAKE. HIS SON BLAKE AND FRIEND CHRIS SESSIONS PICKED UP THESE LAST FRIDAY BY TROLLING A MAG LIP 2.5. (BUZZ RAMSEY)

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 2,187 coho adults, 41 coho jacks, four fall Chinook adults, 12 cutthroat trout, five summer-run steelhead and one winter-run steelhead during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week, Tacoma Power employees released 265 coho adults and five coho jacks into the Cispus River near the mouth of Yellow Jacket Creek and they released 284 coho adults and six coho jacks at Franklin Bridge in Packwood.

Tacoma Power released 531 coho adults, 16 coho jacks, three fall Chinook adults, and four cutthroat trout into the Tilton River at Gust Backstrom Park in Morton and released 376 coho adults and three coho jacks into Lake Scanewa near Randle.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 12,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Monday, December 4. Water visibility is two feet and water temperature is 47.5 degrees F.

Kalama River – 7 bank anglers had no catch.

McNary Reservoir Steelhead Sport Fishery – Report from Paul Hoffarth, WDFW Fish and Wildlife Biologist in Pasco WA – The Columbia River from McNary to the Tri-cities reopened for the harvest of steelhead on December 1. There was a large flurry of anglers that came out to fish over the weekend. There were 338 angler trips during the past three days.  Anglers averaged 16 hours per steelhead, unfortunately most of the fish caught were wild, 71 of the 80 fish caught had to be turned back. For the fishery (August 1 – December 3) only 37 steelhead have been harvested and 93 wild steelhead have been caught and released from 2,564 angler trips.

Hanford Reach Steelhead Sport Fishery (Hwy 395 – Hanford) – Report from Paul Hoffarth – Steelhead fishing continues to be slow to fair in the lower Hanford Reach.  Bank anglers averaged a steelhead for 20.1 hours of fishing.  Boat anglers continue to do considerably better at 1.5 steelhead per boat (9.6 hours per fish). An estimated 226 steelhead were caught in November and 132 were harvested. Roughly 80% of the fish caught in November were Ringold Springs origin (adipose + right ventral fin clipped).

Since the fishery opened on October 1, a total of 194 steelhead have harvested plus an additional 131 caught & released from 1,397 angler trips.  Daily limit is one steelhead per day and the steelhead must have both an adipose and ventral fin clip (through December 31). This year’s return to Ringold Springs Hatchery is estimated at ~800 steelhead.

Recent releases of surplus hatchery steelhead and brood stock rainbow into SW WA waters.  No report on angling success.

Lake/Pond
Date
Species
Number
Fish per Pound
Hatchery
Notes*

Adult WintersNov 20, 2017
Rainbow
1,000
0.92
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY
* SPEARFISH LK (KLIC)<http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/search.php?searchby=LakeStocked&search=SPEARFISH%20LK%20(KLIC)&orderby=LakeStocked%20ASC,%20StockDate%20DESC>
Nov 29, 2017
Rainbow
79
0.1GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

Nov 27, 2017
Rainbow
100
0.1
GOLDENDALE HATCHERY

WDFW Gets 933 Comments On Freshwater Reg Simplification Ideas

Simplifying Washington’s fishing pamphlet might not be so simple.

When state fishery managers asked for feedback on their first round of proposals — making lake and river regulations more uniform and easier to understand — they snagged a ton of comments, 933 to be exact.

Everybody had an opinion. Many were for the tweaks, many others were against them.

(Who knows how many comments the agency will get when they tackle salmon and saltwater rules in the coming years.)

It’s a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t deal.

With fishery managers acknowledging that their regs “are complex and can be difficult to follow” — it’s been stated by more than one angler they need an attorney by their side to interpret things — the review represents an effort to make them more user-friendly, which I think we can all appreciate, even if it also flies in the face of what anglers also want: rules tailored to their specific fishery or style of fishing.

With this go-around, just four subjects accounted for more than half of all the comments, with eliminating special limits on panfish at select lakes receiving a griddle-sized 29.1 percent, mostly against.

According to a presentation prepared for a public hearing before the Fish and Wildlife Commission at its meeting next week, 247 of 272 who expressed opinions on the idea were opposed.

Many said that reservoirs such as Banks, Potholes and Moses should be excluded and that species like crappie and bluegill would be wiped out and other fish species would also lose out on dinner, according to the WDFW summary.

“Numerous eastern Washington resorts, sport fishing clubs, local guides, and warmwater anglers have expressed concerns over eliminating bag limits on major waters,” the agency stated.

A proposal to allow chumming on all waters also saw strong opposition, with 59 shooting holes in the chum bucket while 31 filled it up.

“This is a bad idea and will lead to unnecessary overfishing and collateral damage to other species,” one cogent argument went, according to the agency.

On the flip side, others said, “I am in favor of being able to chum, and don’t think it has any negative impact on the water quality,” and “I believe it increases opportunity for anglers, especially when pursuing stocked trout.”

Another proposal that saw strong negative response was scrapping the requirement that trout caught with bait but released be counted towards the daily limit of five.

Forty-six bonked the idea, arguing, “Bait should not be considered acceptable for catch-and-release situations,” while 23 want it added to their stringer, saying it “Would allow more flexibility and opportunity for anglers” and “This rule was always unenforceable anyway.”

But the tape measure had to come out for several subjects with much closer splits among commenters:

Removing duplicate landowner rules had nine comments for (“If these restrictions are not set by the department then they should not be listed in the pamphlet”) and nine comments against (“The rules set by the landowners or managing authorities may not be readily available or easily known”).

Different daily and size limits for steelhead and trout had 21 comments for (“Separating steelhead from trout should make reading and understanding the fishing regulations much easier” and 19 comments against (“Allowing retention of ‘trout’ in waters containing steelhead would pose another unnecessary risk to steelhead populations).

Standardized seasons and regs for stillwaters had 30 comments for (“Fewer rules, and the fewer exceptions, avoids confusing anglers”) and 26 comments against (“Why not simply reduce to a year-round season in some fisheries and a March 1st (or last Saturday in April) through November 30th season?”).

As for standardized regs for rivers and creeks, it had support from 27 (“Simple is better, when exploring a new water having to remember a whole new set of rules is a burden”) but opposition from 35 (“The current approach of having waters closed unless listed as open is the best approach. Puts a number of species of conservation concern at risk”), especially bass and walleye clubs worried about dropping daily and size limits.

However, there were some proposals nearly everybody could admire, such as:

Standardizing whitefish season to Dec. 1-last day in Feb. (18-1);
Standardizing language for juvenile waters to allow seniors and disabled anglers (15-1);
Consistent terminology for possession limits (26-5);
Eliminating daily and size limits on brook trout (30-6);
Retention of incidentally caught hatchery steelhead (23-5);
Ending mandatory hatchery steelhead retention (34-10);
And opening game fish season in rivers, streams and beaver ponds from the start of Memorial Day Weekend through Halloween (25-9).

After the Dec. 9 public hearing in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building on the grounds of the state capital complex, the Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to make final decisions at its Jan. 18-20 meetings in Vancouver, with any changes they make coming out in the new pamphlet that goes into effect July 1, 2018.

Next up in WDFW’s rule simplification drive will be salmon, followed by shellfish and saltwater species in 2019.