Tag Archives: steelhead

SW WA, Columbia Fishing Report (7-18-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River mainstem

During Saturday’s flight, 79 salmonid boats and 213 Washington bank anglers were counted from Cathlamet upstream to Bonneville Dam.

Shad:

Monday’s (7/15) count was just over 5,910 fish, which pushes the season total to 7.4 million shad passing Bonneville Dam.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 8 bank rods had no catch.

Above the I-5 Br – 30 bank rods kept 14 steelhead.  32 boats/93 rods kept 71 steelhead.

ANNA RUNYARD SHOWS OFF A COWLITZ SUMMER-RUN STEELHEAD CAUGHT IN 2014 DRIFT FISHING A CORKY AND YARN. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 20 spring Chinook adults, five spring Chinook jacks, 155 spring Chinook mini jacks, and 172 summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released three spring Chinook adults and one spring Chinook jack into the Cispus River located near Randle and they released one spring Chinook adult, and one spring Chinook jack at the Franklin Bridge release site in Packwood.

To date, Tacoma Power employees have recycled 220 summer-run steelhead to the lower Cowlitz River.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,430 cubic feet per second on Monday, July 15. Water visibility is 15 feet and the water temperature is 52.5 F.

Kalama River – 8 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 9 bank anglers kept 2 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.  3 boats/7 rods kept 4 steelhead.

Drano Lake – 3 boats/5 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – No anglers sampled.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway- No anglers sampled.

  •       Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

Pikeminnow Sport – Reward Fishery Program:

The program operates from May 1 to September 30 in the lower Columbia River (mouth to Priest Rapids Dam) and the Snake River (mouth to Hells Canyon Dam).  http://www.pikeminnow.org/

Lower Columbia Mainstem Sport July 8-14

Salmon and steelhead:

Bonneville bank: 40 anglers with 9 steelhead, 1 adult Chinook, 1 jack Chinook and 3 “other”
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
I-5 area bank: 2 anglers with nothing
Vancouver bank: 20 anglers with 4 steelhead and 2 sockeye released
Woodland bank: 46 anglers with 1 steelhead released
Kalama bank: 42 anglers with 1 kept steelhead and 4 steelhead, 2 adult Chinook and 1 sockeye released
Longview bank: 166 anglers with 11 steelhead kept and 12 steelhead and 1 jack Chinook released
Cathlamet bank:  16 anglers with nothing
Private boats/bank: 5 anglers with nothing

Bonneville boat: No report
Camas/Washougal boat: 3 anglers with nothing
I-5 area boat: No report
Vancouver boat: 9 anglers with 1 steelhead released
Woodland boat: 4 anglers with nothing
Kalama boat: 4 anglers with nothing
Cowlitz boat: 7 anglers with 1 jack Chinook and 1 steelhead released
Longview boat: 38 anglers with 13 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook and 6 steelhead released
Cathlamet boat: 47 anglers with 16 steelhead kept and 6 steelhead and 1 sockeye released
Private boats/bank: 4 anglers with nothing

Shad:

Bonneville bank: 2 anglers with nothing

Sturgeon:

Kalama boat: 9 anglers with 14 sublegals released
Longview bank: 2 anglers with 2 sublegals and 1 legal released
Longview boat: 2 anglers with nothing

Walleye:

Vancouver boat: 4 anglers with 8 kept and 7 released

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2,000 Upper North Fork Lewis Smolts Die In Mishap

“Human error” was unfortunately to blame when a steady stream of dead and dying smolts began drifting past Dan Moir and his wife early last month.

A JUNE 1 VIDEO TAKEN BY DAN MOIR SHOWS DOZENS OF DEAD OR DYING SALMON AND STEELHEAD SMOLTS FLOATING DOWN THE NORTH FORK LEWIS RIVER. (DAN MOIR)

They were fishing the North Fork Lewis just below Merwin Dam on June 1 when they noticed dozens upon dozens of the young fish float by their boat.

“They are kinda trying to wiggle, but I think they’re not going to make it,” Moir narrates in the 80-second video he took and shared with Northwest Sportsman magazine. “Some of them made it, but most of them, it looks like they’re dead.”

A tanker truck can be seen just upstream, and according to a report submitted by PacifiCorp to federal fishery overseers 11 days later, some 2,000 smolts died as a result of low oxygen levels in the vehicle’s holding tanks.

The rig was transporting 5,725 coho, spring Chinook and winter-run steelhead — part of an ongoing effort to reseed the upper North Fork — from the utility’s Floating Surface Collector at Swift Dam to a release site on the mainstem Lewis near Woodland.

According to a June 12 letter from PacifiCorp’s Mark Sturtevant, vice president of renewable resources, to National Marine Fisheries Service biologist Josh Ashline, the loss was attributed to oxygen volumes that weren’t adjusted by the driver as the tanker was being loaded with more fish.

Catching his mistake before leaving Swift, he checked on the fish twice en route. The first time they “looked fine,” according to the letter, but down the road at a weigh station pulloff, he “noticed that some of the fish had died and others were distressed.”

Once in cell phone service, he called a manager who advised him to drive to the Merwin Boat Ramp just below the dam, and there they “observed numerous fish mortalities and stressed fish” in the tank.

“(The manager) then directed the truck driver to release the fish into the river,” the report states.

Those were the smolts that the Moirs saw floating downstream.

A check of the rig’s oxygen and water aeration mechanism’s found it to be “functioning as designed.”

“It is something we feel terrible about and don’t want it to happen again,” said PacifiCorp spokesman Spencer Hall yesterday afternoon.

The report details proactive steps taken with drivers and loading protocols to prevent another mishap.

Hall describes it as the “only incident of this nature” since the utility began operating its $63 million surface collector on the uppermost of the three North Fork Lewis impoundments.

It’s part of a federal dam relicensing agreement to open up more than 100 miles of stream habitat in the watershed above Swift Reservoir.

Moir worried in the video that the dead and dying smolts had come from a hatchery release gone very wrong. While it’s likely that most of the fish’s parents did come from a production facility, these young fish were spawned in the wild.

All but 95 of the salmon and steelhead in the tanker truck that day were coho.

The truck driver and manager initially collected around 300 dead fish at the boat ramp, with PacifiCorp biologists recovering another 1,700 in the following days.

It’s primarily a potential setback for the utility’s bid to get a steady stream of 9,000 silvers back to the headwaters, according to a 2012 article in The Daily News that also noted the goal includes 2,000 springers and 1,500 winters.

In its 2018 annual report, PacifiCorp stated that last year it transported 7,060 adult late and early coho, 1,225 winter steelhead and 700 spring Chinook into Swift.

The utility also reported moving 55,336 smolts — 73 percent coho, 14 percent steelhead, 12 percent spring Chinook and 2 percent cutthroat trout — from the FSC to the lower Lewis last year.

Lewis springers have been identified as being among the most important feedstocks for struggling southern resident killer whales.

“While this event is extremely unfortunate, PacifiCorp is proud of the Lewis River Fish Passage Program and its continued success in operations and its contribution to establishing salmon and steelhead populations upstream of Swift Dam,” said Hall.

Editor’s note: The last name of Dan Moir was misspelled in the original version of this blog. Our apologies.

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (7-9-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River mainstem

During Saturday’s flight 66 salmonid boats and 203 Washington bank anglers were counted from Cathlamet upstream to Bonneville Dam.

WHILE PLUNKING FOR STEELHEAD AROUND THE MOUTH OF THE COWLITZ HIGHLIGHTS THE CATCH IN THE LATEST WDFW SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON FISHING REPORT, HUNTER HIGGINBOTHAM LANDED THIS LANDLOCKED COHO A LITTLE HIGHER IN THE SYSTEM. HE WAS TROLLING AT RIFFE LAKE. “THE GEAR OF CHOICE WAS THE #000 FAST LIMIT DODGER IN THE GLO/PL COLOR TAG TEAMED WITH A TIGHT LINES KOKANEE RIG IN GLITTER PINK TIPPED WITH A SALAD SHRIMP COLORED UP WITH PRO-CURE’S BADAZZ PINK DYE AND BLOODY TUNA OIL. SPEEDS WERE FROM 1.2 TO 1.5MPH AND FISH CAME BETWEEN 40 TO 80 FEET,” REPORTED HUNTER’S DAD JAROD, WHO GAVE A NOD TO BILL HERZOG FOR TIPS ON THE FISHERY. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Shad:

Sunday’s (6/30) count was just over 80,000 fish, which pushes the season total over 7.0 million shad passing Bonneville Dam.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries 

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 12 bank rods kept 1 steelhead.

Above the I-5 Br:  12 bank rods kept 2 steelhead.  32 boats/108 rods kept 34 steelhead and released 1 steelhead, 2 Chinook and 2 jacks.

Kalama River – 11 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 16 bank anglers had no catch.  4 boats/9 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 5 jacks.

Wind River – 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Drano Lake – 1 boat/1 rod released 1 steelhead.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – No anglers sampled.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

 

  •       Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

 

Lower Columbia Mainstem Sport July 1-7

Salmon and steelhead:

Bonneville bank: 11 anglers with 1 steelhead kept
Camas/Washougal bank: 0 anglers with nothing, obviously
I-5 area bank: 12 anglers with 1 steelhead released
Vancouver bank: 37 anglers with nothing
Woodland bank: 70 anglers with 5 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook and 4 steelhead released
Kalama bank: 81 anglers with 1 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook, 5 steelhead and 1 sockeye released
Longview bank: 320 anglers with 28 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook, one jack Chinook, 11 steelhead and 2 sockeye released
Cathlamet bank: 45 anglers with 5 steelhead kept and 2 steelhead released
Private boats/bank: 5 anglers with 1 steelhead released

Bonneville boat: Nothing
Camas/Washougal boat: 5 anglers with 2 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook, 2 steelhead and 2 sockeye released
I-5 area boat: 2 anglers with nothing
Vancouver boat: 28 anglers with 1 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook and 2 steelhead released
Woodland boat: 2 anglers with nothing
Kalama boat: 19 anglers with nothing
Cowlitz boat: 4 anglers with nothing
Longview boat: 63 anglers with 11 steelhead kept and 1 adult Chinook, 1 jack Chinook, 12 steelhead and 3 sockeye released
Cathlamet boat: 11 anglers with 5 steelhead kept and 1 steelhead released
Private boats/bank: 4 anglers with nothing

Shad:

Bonneville bank: 18 anglers with 38 kept and 3 released

Sturgeon:

Bonneville bank: No report
Bonneville boat: No report
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
Camas/Washougal boat: No report
I-5 area bank: No report
I-5 area boat: 2 anglers with 5 sublegals and 1 legal released
Vancouver bank: No report
Vancouver boat: No report
Woodland bank: No report
Woodland boat: No report
Kalama bank: No report
Kalama boat: 6 anglers with 20 sublegals released
Cowlitz bank: No report
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview bank: No report
Longview boat: 2 anglers with 3 oversize released
Cathalmet bank: No report
Cathlamet boat: No report
Chinook/Elochoman bank: No report
Chinook/Elochoman boat: No report
Ilwaco bank: No report
Ilwaco boat: No report
Ilwaco charter: No report

Walleye:

No report

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Salmon Recovery Board Announces $45 Million In Grants For Puget Sound Habitat Work

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON RECREATION AND CONSERVATION OFFICE

Efforts to restore Chinook salmon, a critical food source for endangered southern resident orcas, and other Puget Sound salmon populations just got a boost thanks to more than $45 million in grants announced today.

AMONG THE $45 MILLION IN PUGET SOUND-RELATED SALMON GRANTS ANNOUNCED BY THE STATE IS $160,000 TO COME UP WITH FINAL DESIGNS TO PLACE LOGJAMS IN JIM CREEK, A TRIBUTARY OF THE SOUTH FORK STILLAGUAMISH RIVER, TO IMPROVE HABITAT FOR CHINOOK AND STEELHEAD. THE STILLY IS ONE OF THE WORST OFF RIVERS IN TERMS OF FISH HABITAT, AND ITS CHRONICALLY LOW RETURNS OF KINGS IMPACT PUGET SOUND FISHERIES, AND TRYING TO INCREASE THE SYSTEM’S HABITAT CAPACITY TO PRODUCE MORE FISH IS ONE WAY OF EASING CONSTRAINTS. (RCO)

The Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, in partnership with the Puget Sound Partnership, awarded 64 grants in counties surrounding Puget Sound, Washington state’s biggest estuary. The grants focus on improving salmon habitat and conserving pristine shorelines and riverbanks.

“When we invest in salmon recovery, it’s not just salmon that we’re saving,” said Governor Jay Inslee. “Whether you live near, love to play in, or simply care about Puget Sound, this funding is a cornerstone of doing that—and investing in that habitat kick starts a suite of other benefits. We’re also preserving our Pacific Northwest legacy, our way of life, our jobs, our neighborhoods, and our communities.”

“We know that restoring salmon to levels that support our environment, other wildlife, and people, takes time, effort, and of course, sustained funding,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, which houses the Salmon Recovery Funding Board. “That’s what makes this continued investment so important, and we’re looking forward to seeing it play out in the shovel-ready projects teed up across Puget Sound.”

“The Puget Sound Partnership is committed to recovering salmon populations in this region and we are thrilled to see this funding come through,” said Laura Blackmore Puget Sound Partnership’s executive director. “Salmon are integral to the identity and traditions of the Pacific Northwest and are a vital part of the Puget Sound food web. This funding will support projects that help recover salmon populations and feed our struggling southern resident orcas.”

Grants were awarded in the following counties (click to see project details):

Clallam County………………………. $6,498,354

Island County……………………………. $342,815

Jefferson County………………………. $601,529

King County…………………………… $7,850,587

Kitsap County………………………… $1,560,967

Mason County……………………….. $3,829,757

Pierce County………………………… $2,254,211

San Juan County………………………. $333,253

Skagit County………………………… $3,771,928

Snohomish County…………………. $4,029,908

Thurston County…………………….. $1,376,658

Whatcom County………………….. $12,953,156

Multiple Counties………………………. $397,969

In 1991, the federal government declared the first salmon in the Pacific Northwest endangered under the Endangered Species Act. In the next few years, 14 additional species of salmon and steelhead and 3 species of bull trout were listed as at-risk of extinction.

By the end of the decade, wild salmon had disappeared from about 40 percent of their historic breeding ranges in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. In Washington, the numbers had dwindled so much that salmon, steelhead, and bull trout were listed as threatened or endangered in nearly three-fourths of the state.

Recovery efforts in the past 20 years have started to slow, and in some cases, reference the declines. Puget Sound steelhead populations are showing signs of recovery but Chinook salmon populations continue to decline.

The grants awarded today include projects that will remove a diversion dam to open 37 miles of habitat on the Pilchuck River, reconnect nearly a mile of the Dungeness River with 112 acres of its historic floodplain, and open up 16 miles of habitat on the Nooksack River.

Projects are prioritized by local watershed groups, called lead entities, as well as regionally ranked by the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council. The Puget Sound Partnership, the state agency responsible for leading the Puget Sound recovery effort, coordinates project ranking.

Funding comes from the legislatively approved Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund, supported by the sale of state bonds.

Since its inception in 2007, the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund has leveraged $78 million federal and other matching funds and created more than 2,600 jobs. Fund investments have protected more than 3,000 acres of estuary, 80 miles of river for migrating fish and 10,000 acres of watershed habitat.

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Catch And Fun Both Up At Kids Steelhead Days II On The Sky

A trout pond added to the fun as young anglers also hooked and fought more summer-runs at the second Kids Steelhead Days on the Skykomish this past weekend.

Saturday’s event on the Reiter Ponds side of the famed North Sound river saw just under three dozen girls and boys attend, with Ava Kinder once again landing a chromer, just as she did during the inaugural event on June 1, the only one then.

AVA KINDER, DYILEN KENNEDY AND WESLEY CANNON SHOW OFF THEIR SUMMER-RUNS, CAUGHT AT JULY 6’S KID STEELHEAD DAY AT REITER PONDS ON THE SKYKOMISH. (MATTHEW KENNEDY, SKY VALLEY ANGLERS)

“We finished the day with about 10 fish hooked, three landed and a few of the lost fish were lost right at the bank just moments from the net,” reported Matthew Kennedy of Sky Valley Anglers.

Dyilen Kennedy and Wesley Cannon were the other two lucky steelheaders, while the trout pond proved to be a hit the whole way around.

“Nothing but happy kids and parents and lots of smiles and good memories for the kids,” Kennedy said.

ADDING A TROUT POND AT THE EVENT MADE FOR LOTS OF SMILES, ORGANIZERS REPORTED. (MATTHEW KENNEDY, SKY VALLEY ANGLERS)

His group along with the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club organized the series of events, with the final one for the summer set for the morning of Saturday, Aug. 3.

This second one combined angling with a fishing seminar for parents in hopes of inspiring the next generation of anglers.

“One the coolest parts of the day, besides the kids catching a few more and the hookups, was that with a little bit smaller of a crowd we were able to work more one on one with the kids and actually spend time teaching them and engaging in conversation with them while teaching,” said Kennedy.

MATTHEW KENNEDY (SECOND FROM LEFT) AND OTHER STEELHEAD SHARPIES VOLUNTEERED THEIR TIME AND SKILLS TO TEACH THE NEXT GENERATION. (MATTHEW KENNEDY, SKY VALLEY ANGLERS)

He said he’s looking forward to making next month’s finale the biggest and best yet.

“So far we are extremely happy with the way the event is going and our missions have been successful,” Kennedy stated.

For more, contact him at (206) 876-0224 or Elementmasonry@gmail.com.

AT A TIME WHEN THE FISH RUNS AREN’T AS BIG AS WE’D LIKE, IT’S GREAT TO SEE EVENTS LIKE THIS. (MATTHEW KENNEDY, SKY VALLEY ANGLERS)

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SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (7-2-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River mainstem

During Saturday’s flight 66 salmonid boats and 203 Washington bank anglers were counted from Cathlamet upstream to Bonneville Dam.

Shad:

Monday’s (7/1) count was just over 60,000 fish, which pushes the season total over 7.1 million shad passing Bonneville Dam.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 12 bank rods kept 1 steelhead.

Above the I-5 Br:  12 bank rods kept 2 steelhead.  32 boats/108 rods kept 34 steelhead and released 1 steelhead, 2 Chinook and 2 jacks.

SOME STEELHEAD ARE BEING CAUGHT IN THE COLUMBIA AROUND LONGVIEW — WHERE JASON LUCAS AND ADAM DADDINO TEAMED UP TO LAND THIS ONE SEVERAL SEASONS AGO — BUT PRIMARILY FROM SHORE. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Tacoma Power employees recovered 22 spring Chinook adults, three spring Chinook jacks, 71 spring Chinook mini jacks, and 62 summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released five spring Chinook adults into the Cispus River located near Randle.

To date, Tacoma Power employees have recycled 130 summer-run steelhead to the lower Cowlitz River.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,970 cubic feet per second on Monday, July 1. Water visibility is 10 feet and the water temperature is 50.8 F.

Kalama River – 11 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 16 bank anglers had no catch.  4 boats/9 rods kept 1 steelhead and released 5 jacks.

Wind River – 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Drano Lake – 1 boat/1 rod released 1 steelhead.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – No anglers sampled.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

 

  •       Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

Lower Columbia Mainstem Sport June 24-30

Salmon and steelhead:

Bonneville bank: 12 anglers with nothing
Camas/Washougal bank: 1 angler with nothing
I-5 area bank: 23 anglers with 2 steelhead kept, and 1 steelhead and 2 sockeye released
Vancouver bank: 32 anglers with 1 adult Chinook and 1 sockeye released and 1 steelhead kept
Woodland bank: 14 anglers with nothing
Kalama bank: 17 anglers with 1 steelhead kept and 2 steelhead and 1 sockeye released
Longview bank: 140 anglers with 1 adult Chinook, 9 steelhead, 1 sockeye and 1 “other” fish released, and 26 steelhead kept
Cathlamet bank: 26 anglers with 1 jack Chinook and 1 steelhead released, and 3 steelhead kept
Private boats/bank: 11 anglers with 1 steelhead kept

Bonneville boat: 2 anglers with nothing
Camas/Washougal boat: No report
I-5 area boat: No report
Vancouver boat: 4 anglers with 1 steelhead kept
Woodland boat: No report
Kalama boat: 5 anglers with nothing
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview boat: 19 anglers with 2 steelhead kept
Cathlamet boat: 12 anglers with 1 jack Chinook and 3 steelhead released and 10 steelhead kept
Private boats/bank: 6 anglers with 1 steelhead kept

Shad:

Bonneville bank: 76 anglers with 151 kept and 12 released
Bonneville boat: 9 anglers with 13 kept
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
Camas/Washougal boat: No report
I-5 area bank: No report
I-5 area boat: No report
Vancouver bank: No report
Vancouver boat: No report
Woodland bank: No report
Woodland boat: No report
Kalama bank: No report
Kalama boat: No report
Cowlitz bank: No report
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview bank: No report
Longview boat: No report

Sturgeon:

Bonneville bank: No report
Bonneville boat:
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
Camas/Washougal boat:
I-5 area bank: No report
I-5 area boat:
Vancouver bank: No report
Vancouver boat:
Woodland bank: No report
Woodland boat:
Kalama bank: No report
Kalama boat: 2 anglers with nothing
Cowlitz bank: No report
Cowlitz boat:
Longview bank: No report
Longview boat: 3 anglers with 6 sublegals and 6 oversize released
Cathalmet bank: No report
Cathlamet boat: No report
Chinook/Elochoman bank: No report
Chinook/Elochoman boat: No report
Ilwaco bank: No report
Ilwaco boat: No report
Ilwaco charter: No report

Walleye: No report

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NWIFC’s Loomis Pans Patagonia’s Anti-Hatchery Movie

A major voice in Western Washington’s salmon fishery management world says that Patagonia’s new Artifishal movie is a “misguided documentary full of misinformation about the role hatcheries play in salmon recovery.”

Lorraine Loomis, chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, adds that it doesn’t use “accurate science” to back up its claims that Chinook, coho and other stocks reared at state, tribal and federal facilities are the reason why wild stocks are declining, and because of that production at them must end.

LORRAINE LOOMIS, CHAIR OF THE NORTHWEST INDIAN FISHERIES COMMISSION. (NWIFC)

“What we know for certain is that eliminating hatcheries would be the end of salmon fishing for generations. More than half of all the salmon harvested in western Washington come from hatcheries,” writes Loomis in her monthly “Being Frank” column distributed around the region.

It comes as backers of the 75-minute movie screen it across the Northwest and elsewhere, and it appeared in early June at the recent Seattle International Film Festival.

I didn’t go see it, but an article in The Guardian describes it as not just about salmon production but also is “a swerve into the metaphyscial (sic), framing the salmon emergency as a question about the human soul, about what it needs – about what we need – to survive.”

But even as the movie “explores wild salmon’s slide toward extinction, threats posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature,” Loomis writes that hatcheries not only produce fish for harvest, including tribes’ reserved by federal treaties, but help reduce pressure on weak stocks and serve as gene banks for imperiled ones, and that all facilities are operated with management plans to protect unclipped salmon.

The release of the movie comes as efforts ramp up to save Puget Sound’s orcas, which are suffering in part because there’s no longer enough Chinook for them to eat.

That’s in part due to massive habitat degradation, from the mountaintops all the way down to the estuaries, that has reduced waters’ capacity for adults to spawn and young fish to rear, but possibly also the longterm decline of releases of fin-clipped Chinook at particularly state facilities due to hatchery reforms and budget issues.

While hundreds of millions dollars’ worth of work is going on to bolster rivers and the inland sea for salmon, it will take decades if not centuries to really boost numbers of wild fish, time that the southern resident killer whales may not have and which means they’ll be dependent on robust, well-executed hatchery production for the foreseeable future.

A PUGET SOUND ADULT CHINOOK SALMON SWIMS THROUGH THE BALLARD LOCKS. (NMFS)

To that end, a Washington Fish and Wildlife Commissioner has called for the release of 50 million additional Chinook smolts.

Meanwhile, even as Loomis does find common ground over farming Atlantic salmon with the outdoor apparel company that’s made environmental issues a core concern, she disagrees that hatcheries are just like the floating sea pens.

“Patagonia could be doing a real service to the resource and all of us by advocating for habitat protection and restoration so that we are no longer dependent on hatcheries,” she states.

Instead, they appear to want to pick a fight on a bridge, burning it in the process.

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2nd Kids Steelhead Day Coming Up At Reiter Over Long Holiday Weekend

The second of three Kids Steelhead Days on the Skykomish is coming up Saturday, July 6, and this one will feature a trout pond.

“We hope to see an equal turn out if not a bit greater than the 67 kids last event,” says Matthew Kennedy of Sky Valley Anglers about June’s inaugural kids day.

RIVER WALGAMOTT WATCHES HIS BOBBER CAREFULLY DURING THE FIRST KIDS STEELHEAD DAYS AT REITER PONDS IN EARLY JUNE. TWO MORE EVENTS WILL BE HELD THIS SUMMER ON JULY 6 AND AUGUST 3. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

The bank on the north side of the river from the Reiter Ponds outlet downstream several hundred feet will again be set aside for anglers from 5 to 14 years old from 6 a.m. to noon to try their hand at hooking summer-runs.

Kids do need a license and catch card, but those are available at dealers for free.

While there should be more steelhead around than earlier this month, when Ava Kinder landed the sole catch of the day, adding the trout pond should increase the success and fun for everyone.

It’s being provided by Sky Valley Trout Unlimited.

Kennedy’s organization will also hold a salmon and steelhead seminar, and he says that one of the goals is to “educate parents who are not active fisherman to not be afraid to take the kids fishing more often by teaching them rigging techniques and appropriate setups, etc.”

YOUNG ANGLERS FISH BELOW THE REITER PONDS OUTFALL IN HOPES OF HOOKING RETURNING HATCHERY SUMMER-RUN STEELHEAD. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Reiter Ponds (45300 Reiter Road) is located off Highway 2 east of Gold Bar. Take Reiter Road for 2.5 miles and turn right onto a narrow paved road that leads to a long parking area, then walk down past the ponds to the river.

This season’s three kids days (Aug. 3 is the final one) are cohosted by the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Club.

They are sponsored in part by tackle shops such as Three Rivers Marine in Woodinville, Ted’s Sports in Lynnwood and Triangle Bait in Snohomish, as well as Beau Mac, Gibbs Delta, Ray’s Baits, John’s Jigs, Pure Fishing, Element Outdoors, Dead Lead, Conti’s Custom Rods, Seaguar and Holy Moly Outdoors.

“Our goal is if even one kid takes a interest and becomes a fisherman or a biologist and makes a career out of it, our mission was a success,” says Kennedy. “After all, they are the future and we depend on them to carry on our legacy and keep fish in our rivers for future generations.”

AVA KINDER SHOWS OFF HER SUMMER-RUN CAUGHT DURING JUNE 2019’S INAUGURAL KIDS STEELHEAD DAYS AT REITER PONDS ON THE SKYKOMISH RIVER. (JADE KANZLER)

To register contact him at (206) 876-0224 and elementmasonry@gmail.com.

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (6-26-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Lower Columbia Mainstem Sport June 10-16

Salmon and steelhead:

Bonneville bank: 21 anglers with 1 adult Chinook released
Camas/Washougal bank:  No report
I-5 area bank:  7 anglers with 1 adult Chinook released
Vancouver bank:   34 anglers with 1 adult Chinook released
Woodland bank:   39 anglers with 1 adult Chinook, 1 steelhead and 1 sockeye released
Kalama bank:  33 anglers with nothing
Longview bank:  161 anglers with 12 steelhead kept and 2 released
Cathlamet bank: 68 anglers with 5 steelhead kept and 3 released
Private boats/bank:  7 anglers with nothing

ANGLERS ARE FINDING SOME STEELHEAD TO KEEP ON THE LOWER COLUMBIA IN THE LONGVIEW AREA, BUT ALSO RELEASING SOME OFF-LIMITS HATCHERY AND WILD SUMMER KINGS. AN UNCLIPPED CHINOOK HEADS BACK TO THE RIVER IN THIS JULY 2012 IMAGE. (CHRIS SPENCER)

Bonneville boat:  5 anglers with 1 adult Chinook and 2 steelhead released
Camas/Washougal boat:  5 anglers with 1 adult Chinook released and 1 steelhead kept
I-5 area boat: 3 anglers with nothing
Vancouver boat:  6 anglers with nothing
Woodland boat: 5 anglers with nothing
Kalama boat:   6 anglers with nothing
Cowlitz boat:  No report
Longview boat:   72 anglers with 23 steelhead kept and 1 Chinook jack and 7 steelhead released
Cathlamet boat:  11 anglers with 4 steelhead kept and 4 steelhead released
Private boats/bank: 8 anglers with 2 steelhead kept

Shad:

Bonneville bank:  244 anglers with 1,136 kept and 57 released
Bonneville boat:  10 anglers with 68 kept
Camas/Washougal bank:  No report
Camas/Washougal boat: 2 anglers with nothing
I-5 area bank:No report
I-5 area boat:  No report
Vancouver bank:  No report
Vancouver boat:  3 anglers with nothing
Woodland bank: No report
Woodland boat:  No report
Kalama bank:  No report
Kalama boat:  2 anglers with nothing
Cowlitz bank: No report
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview bank: No report
Longview boat: No report

Sturgeon:

Bonneville bank: No report
Bonneville boat: No report
Camas/Washougal bank:  No report
Camas/Washougal boat:  2 anglers with 2 legals released
I-5 area bank:  No report
I-5 area boat:  3 anglers with 1 sublegal, 1 legal and 1 oversize released
Vancouver bank: No report
Vancouver boat:  No report
Woodland bank:  No report
Woodland boat: No report
Kalama bank:  No report
Kalama boat:  9 anglers with 43 sublegals, 2 legals and 3 oversize released
Cowlitz bank:  No report
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview bank:  No report
Longview boat: 3 anglers with 12 legals and 1 oversize released
Cathalmet bank:  No report
Cathlamet boat:  No report
Chinook/Elochoman bank:  No report
Chinook/Elochoman boat:
Ilwaco bank:  No report
Ilwaco boat:  No report
Ilwaco charter:  No report

Walleye:

Camas/Washougal boat: 2 anglers with nothing
Vancouver boat: 4 anglers with 4 kept and 2 released

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River mainstem

During Saturday’s flight 121 salmonid boats and 203 Washington bank anglers were counted from Cathlamet upstream to Bonneville Dam.

Shad:

Just over 150 shad anglers were counted on the Washington shore just below Bonneville Dam during Saturday’s flight (6/22).  Yesterday’s dam count was just over 133,000 fish, which pushes the season total over 6.5 million to date.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 5 bank rods kept 2 steelhead.

Above the I-5 Br:  10 bank rods had no catch.  38 boats/110 rods kept 42 steelhead and released 1 Chinook and 3 jacks.

Tacoma Power employees recovered 17 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack, 40 spring Chinook mini jacks, 19 summer-run steelhead adults and one winter-run steelhead adult during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released five spring Chinook adults and one spring Chinook jack into Lake Scanewa located in Randle.

To date, Tacoma Power employees have recycled 130 summer-run steelhead to the lower Cowlitz River.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,970 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 24. Water visibility is 10 feet and the water temperature is 50.7 F.

Kalama River – 15 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 14 bank anglers had no catch.  2 boats/2 rods had no catch.

Wind River – 1 boat/2 rods had no catch.

Drano Lake – 3 boats/9 rods had no catch.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 3 bank anglers had no catch.  3 boats/3 rods had no catch.

 

  • Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

 

Pikeminnow Sport – Reward Fishery Program:

The program operates from May 1 to September 30 in the lower Columbia River (mouth to Priest Rapids Dam) and the Snake River (mouth to Hells Canyon Dam).  http://www.pikeminnow.org/

SW WA, Lower Columbia Fishing Report (6-19-19)

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

Lower Columbia Mainstem Sport June 10-16

Salmon and steelhead:

Bonneville bank: 5 anglers with 1 released adult Chinook and nothing else
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
I-5 area bank: 1 angler with nothing
Vancouver bank:  17 anglers with nothing
Woodland bank:  36 anglers with nothing
Kalama bank: 17 anglers with 1 jack Chinook and nothing else
Longview bank: 171 anglers with 1 adult Chinook released, 14 steelhead kept and 3 steelhead released
Cathlamet bank: 11 anglers with 2 steelhead kept and nothing else
Private boats/bank: 15 anglers with 2 steelhead kept and 1 steelhead released

Bonneville boat: 4 anglers with nothing
Camas/Washougal boat: No report
I-5 area boat:  No report
Vancouver boat:  10 anglers with 7 adult Chinook released and 2 steelhead released
Woodland boat: No report
Kalama boat:  3 anglers with nothing
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview boat:  72 anglers with 3 adult Chinook released, 19 steelhead kept and 6 steelhead released
Cathlamet boat:  4 anglers with 8 steelhead kept
Private boats/bank:  5 anglers with 2 steelhead kept

THE BIG RUN OF SHAD CONTINUES, WITH NEARLY 5.7 MILLION OVER BONNEVILLE AS OF JUNE 18, AND 1.23 MILLION AT MCNARY DAM SO FAR. THE LATTER AREA IS WHERE RENEE MORTIMER AND HER DAD PAUL CAUGHT THIS TRIO, PLUS A WALLEYE EARLIER THIS MONTH. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Shad:

Bonneville bank: 272 anglers with 1,758 kept and 151 released
Bonneville boat: 9 anglers with 97 kept and 15 released
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
Camas/Washougal boat: 5 anglers with 3 kept
I-5 area bank: No report
I-5 area boat: No report
Vancouver bank: No report
Vancouver boat:  1 angler with nothing
Woodland bank: 1 angler with nothing
Woodland boat: 4 anglers with 5 kept
Kalama bank:  No report
Kalama boat:  No report
Cowlitz bank: No report
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview bank: 1 angler with nothing
Longview boat: 6 anglers with 14 kept

Sturgeon:

Bonneville bank: No report
Bonneville boat: 4 anglers with 2 sublegals released
Camas/Washougal bank: No report
Camas/Washougal boat: No report
I-5 area bank: No report
I-5 area boat: No report
Vancouver bank: No report
Vancouver boat: 5 anglers with 20 sublegals released and 1 legal released
Woodland bank: No report
Woodland boat; No report
Kalama bank: No report
Kalama boat: No report
Cowlitz bank: No report
Cowlitz boat: No report
Longview bank: No report
Longview boat: 7 anglers with 2 sublegals released, 2 legals released and 1 oversize released
Cathalmet bank: No report
Cathlamet boat: No report
Chinook/Elochoman bank: No report
Chinook/Elochoman boat: No report
Ilwaco bank: No report
Ilwaco boat: No report
Ilwaco charter: No report

almon/Steelhead:

Columbia River mainstem

During Saturday’s flight 58 salmonid boats and 122 Washington bank anglers were counted from Skamokawa upstream to the I-5 Bridge.

Shad:

Effort is holding steady with nearly 400 shad anglers counted on the Washington shore just below Bonneville Dam during Saturday’s flight (6/15).  Yesterday’s dam count (June 17) was just over 200,000 fish, which pushes the season total over 5.4 million to date.

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream: 4 bank rods had no catch.  2 boats/4 rods had no catch.

Above the I-5 Br:  7 bank rods had no catch.  19 boats/65 rods kept 15 steelhead and released 1 steelhead.

Tacoma Power employees recovered 51 spring Chinook adults, 10 spring Chinook jacks, 15 mini jacks, and 36 summer-run steelhead adults during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

During the past week Tacoma Power employees released six spring Chinook adults and five spring Chinook jacks into Lake Scanewa located in Randle.

To date, Tacoma Power employees have recycled 130 summer-run steelhead to the lower Cowlitz River.

River flows at Mayfield Dam are approximately 2,940 cubic feet per second on Monday, June 17. Water visibility is 11 feet and the water temperature is 50 F.

Kalama River – 15 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 1 bank angler had no catch.  2 boats/3 rods had no catch.

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 1 bank angler had no catch.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 1 bank angler had no catch.

 

  •      Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

 

Pikeminnow Sport – Reward Fishery Program:

The program operates from May 1 to September 30 in the lower Columbia River (mouth to Priest Rapids Dam) and the Snake River (mouth to Hells Canyon Dam).  http://www.pikeminnow.org/