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#1019387 - 12/31/19 10:42 AM Winter Steelhead Escapement
Steelheadman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/15/99
Posts: 3690
Loc: Poulsbo, WA,USA
I've been monitoring the escapement reports, https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2019-12/weekly_escapement_12-26-2019.pdf

Looks like the winteruns are in dire straights in Washington this season. Not sure what the returns are for other rivers like the Quinault, etc. Comparing against other years this has to be the worst run. Pretty pathetic.

WHITEHORSE POND Whitehorse Ponds
Hatchery Stock- H
11 - - 11 - - - -- - - 12/23/19
TOKUL CR HATCHERY Tokul Creek Hatchery
Stock- H
14 - 12,600 9 - 5 - -- - - 12/24/19
WALLACE R HATCHERY Wallace River Hatchery
Stock- H
3 - - 3 - - - -- - - 12/23/19
REITER PONDS Reiter Ponds Hatchery
Stock- H
2 - - 2 - - - -- - - 12/16/19
DUNGENESS HATCHERY Dungeness River
Hatchery Stock- H
1 - - 1 - - - -- - - 12/24/19
BOGACHIEL HATCHERY Bogachiel River
Hatchery Stock- H
276 - 202,200 25 - 139 - - - - 112 12/23/19
HUMPTULIPS HATCHERY Humptulips Hatchery
Stock- H
73 - 35,000 50 - 23 - - - - - 12/18/19
FORKS CREEK HATCHERY Forks Creek Hatchery
Stock- H
50 - 55,950 20 - 30 - - - - - 12/23/19
NASELLE HATCHERY Naselle River Hatchery
Stock- H
5 - - 5 - - - -- - - 12/16/19
BEAVER CR HATCHERY Beaver Creek Hatchery
Stock- H
39 - 28,000 22 - 17 - - - - - 12/23/19
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY Kalama Hatchery StockH 8 - - - - - - -- - 8 12/23/19
LEWIS RIVER HATCHERY Merwin Hatchery StockH - - - 2- - 12/19/19 Shipped to Merwin Hatchery. 3 - - - 1
MERWIN HATCHERY Merwin Hatchery StockH 77 - 57,200 47 - 26 - - 1 - 3 12/23/19
MERWIN DAM FCF Merwin Hatchery StockH - - -7 - 5 - 12/23/19 Shipped to Merwin Hatchery. 78 - - - 3
SKAMANIA HATCHERY Skamania Hatchery
Stock- H
35 - - 6 - - - -- - 29 12/23/19
WHITEHORSE POND Stillaguamish River- W 4 - - - - - 4 -- - - 12/22/19
LK ABERDEEN HATCHERY Wynoochee River- H 3 - - 3 - - - -- - - 12/16/19
FORKS CREEK HATCHERY Willapa River- W 1 - - - - - 1 -- - - 12/17/19
COWLITZ SALMON HATCHERY Lower Cowlitz River- H 3 - - 1 - - -- - 2 - 12/24/19
COWLITZ SALMON HATCHERY Tilton River- W 3 - - - - - 3 -- - - 12/23/19
COWLITZ SALMON HATCHERY Upper Cowlitz River- W 1 - - - - - 1 -- - - 12/23/19
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY Kalama River- H 8 - - 6 - - - -- - 2 12/23/19
KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY Kalama River- W 4 - - - - - 4 -- - - 12/13/19
MERWIN DAM FCF Lewis River- H 2 - - - - - 2 -- - - 12/21/19
MERWIN DAM FCF Lewis River- W 1 - - - - - 1 -- - - 12/01/19
_________________________
I'd Rather Be Fishing for Summer Steelhead!

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#1019392 - 12/31/19 12:37 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
Spoonfedhead Online   content
Spawner

Registered: 01/29/19
Posts: 657
You figure the state would be doing something to solve this problem.

Makes me sad.

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#1019394 - 12/31/19 01:00 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5665
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
They are. Getting rid of those pesky hatchery steelhead and their programs.

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#1019397 - 12/31/19 01:10 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
Spoonfedhead Online   content
Spawner

Registered: 01/29/19
Posts: 657
We all know that in some areas its too late for that.

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#1019399 - 12/31/19 02:27 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
bushbear Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 4642
Loc: Sequim
No fish added to the Dungeness total. We had 7 coho and one dolly varden/bull trout when we swept the holding pond this morning.

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#1019400 - 12/31/19 03:47 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
RtndSpawner Offline
Parr

Registered: 12/10/09
Posts: 48
Loc: Mason
It would be interesting to see the numbers from Oregon and BC. Could this be just a Washington problem or more of a regional concern?

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#1019402 - 12/31/19 04:37 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: RtndSpawner]
cobble cruiser Offline
~B-F-D~

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 2208
Originally Posted By: RtndSpawner
It would be interesting to see the numbers from Oregon and BC. Could this be just a Washington problem or more of a regional concern?


Buddy that fishes the Lower Mainland Rivers in BC said he wanted to come down here because their runs up there were pretty much a no-show so far. I told him not to bother.
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#1019404 - 12/31/19 06:45 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
Smalma Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/25/01
Posts: 2775
Loc: Marysville
While it is easy to blame the State and especially WDFW for the demise of our steelhead the real blame should be placed squarely on each of our shoulders. We as a State and a society do not value our steelhead (or Chinook and orcas for that matter) enough to demand meaningful actions be taken to reverse the freshwater and marine features that are limiting our fish.

I guess the good news is that with the end of steelhead hatcheries and all fishing in few years there will hardly anyone invested in steelhead to decry our irresponsible actions that allowed our state fish to slip to extinction.

By now it should be clear that for the citizens of this state the motto should be "extinction is now the preferred option".

Happy new year!

Curt

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#1019405 - 12/31/19 07:45 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5665
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Hmm, Smalma, back in about 2001 I wrote an article for NW Science. "Washington Salmon. Extinction is not an option but may be the preferred alternative". We knew then..............

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#1019406 - 12/31/19 10:40 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
DrifterWA Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 04/25/00
Posts: 4610
Loc: East of Aberdeen, West of Mont...
Well here is my take on the demise of steelhead.....

Gregoire: Merge state agencies that oversee parks, fish and wildlife, 1994/95

It has been down hill since that time......Upper management of the new agency were from a Salmon background and were pro commercial. Steelhead were a sports fish, just didn't fit in with a commercial philosophy.

NT fishermen couldn't gill net on a sports fish, steelhead, so over the years hatcheries produced more salmon and less steelhead.....got to feed the commercial interests.

Steelhead, might have had a chance....but tribal increased gill netting, hatchery and native steelhead were just a "fish". OP rivers, Hoh, Queets, Quinault, Humptulips, Wynoochee, Satsop all have seen decreased runs of steelhead, native steelhead have suffered the most.

North of Falcon allows sportsmen to have a say during the process on Salmon......THERE ARE NO STATE RUN MEETINGS WHERE SPORTSMEN HAVE ANY SAY ON STEELHEAD.....so the State/WDFW has dropped the ball on steelhead in Washington State......lots of hatchery space for salmon, not so for steelhead......commercial vs. sports.....

Glad I lived and fished before the Bolt Decision, before the merger of Wildlife and salmon, before there was a dam of the Wynoochee....my sons got some good days fishing but my 5 grand kids will not have the same chance...…...grrrrrrrrrrrrrr


Edited by DrifterWA (12/31/19 10:42 PM)
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"I thought growing older would take longer"

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#1019408 - 01/01/20 12:08 AM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: DrifterWA]
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12488
Originally Posted By: DrifterWA
Well here is my take on the demise of steelhead.....

Gregoire: Merge state agencies that oversee parks, fish and wildlife, 1994/95

It has been down hill since that time......Upper management of the new agency were from a Salmon background and were pro commercial. Steelhead were a sports fish, just didn't fit in with a commercial philosophy.

NT fishermen couldn't gill net on a sports fish, steelhead, so over the years hatcheries produced more salmon and less steelhead.....got to feed the commercial interests.

Steelhead, might have had a chance....but tribal increased gill netting, hatchery and native steelhead were just a "fish". OP rivers, Hoh, Queets, Quinault, Humptulips, Wynoochee, Satsop all have seen decreased runs of steelhead, native steelhead have suffered the most.

North of Falcon allows sportsmen to have a say during the process on Salmon......THERE ARE NO STATE RUN MEETINGS WHERE SPORTSMEN HAVE ANY SAY ON STEELHEAD.....so the State/WDFW has dropped the ball on steelhead in Washington State......lots of hatchery space for salmon, not so for steelhead......commercial vs. sports.....

Glad I lived and fished before the Bolt Decision, before the merger of Wildlife and salmon, before there was a dam of the Wynoochee....my sons got some good days fishing but my 5 grand kids will not have the same chance...…...grrrrrrrrrrrrrr
WORD!
_________________________
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." (Zane Grey)

"If you don't kill them, they will spawn." (Carcassman)


The Keen Eye MD
Long Live the Kings!

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#1019409 - 01/01/20 12:27 AM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: DrifterWA]
Larry B Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2776
Loc: University Place and Whidbey I...
Drifter:

Good observations except Parks remains a separate agency with its own Commission. And being it is now the new year I have taken off my party hat and put on my cynical old guy hat and opine that any input citizens have on NOF is an illusion.

Otherwise, Happy New Year.
_________________________
Remember to immediately record your catch or you may become the catch!

It's the person who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. (Ewing)

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#1019410 - 01/01/20 07:14 AM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5665
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
I think Drifter hit quite a few nails really squarely. While I may see the detail a bit different, the overall view was the same; steelhead (actually anything not a chrome cod) are secondary species at best.

There were a lot of fiscal issues that merger exacerbated.

What needs to be remembered, too, is that the political power of the Tribes has grown while that of the hook and bullet crowd has shrunk. Unfortunately, the resources go down with their users.

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#1019413 - 01/01/20 10:53 AM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
Salmo g. Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 12698
If these winter storms don't significantly increase the numbers of hatchery steelhead showing up at hatchery racks, none of the hatcheries in the entire system is going to meet broodstock requirements this season. This has got to be the worst returns every by a very long country mile. A complete cycle like this and the Chambers Creek hatchery steelhead program in WA state is over. I can't believe I'm typing this.

Take a look at Cowlitz, no less. 3 hatchery steelhead and 4 wild steelhead. They are all one stock now, with the Chambers Ck stock eliminated a couple cycles ago. I think over a half million hatchery smolts were released, and the number of wild smolts is a small fraction of that. Yet more wilds have returned so far than have hatchery stock. I know that wilds generally survive at a significantly higher rate than the hatchery smolts, but this is beyond weird to me. I can't figure this out.

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#1019420 - 01/01/20 12:14 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
cobble cruiser Offline
~B-F-D~

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 2208
Thought the Cowlitz fish are later B run type fish that return beginning in late february and peaks around April 1st these days, no?
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http://www.wooldridgeboats.com

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#1019421 - 01/01/20 12:17 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
cobble cruiser Offline
~B-F-D~

Registered: 03/27/09
Posts: 2208
Didnt want to say this but for the sake of the conversation, we did quite well 2 weeks ago on the Salmon River (OP) when we had that last big rain. Thought it was encouraging that those later fish were fairly early.
_________________________
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#1019423 - 01/01/20 12:29 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
Hanker Offline
Spawner

Registered: 03/16/19
Posts: 546
That’s not early.

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#1019424 - 01/01/20 12:44 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
large edward Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 12/17/10
Posts: 249
Loc: Brier, WA
I'm trying to have a little new year's optimism here, at least on the Cowlitz.

Last spring I saw more late winter run smolts (3-4") and summer run smolts (5-6") released on the river than I have in years. I'm hoping we are beginning to climb up from the bottom of the steelhead fishing we've seen the last few years on the Cowlitz. Count me among the many who've been slinging mud at WDFW the last couple of years for their previous ineptness running the Blue Creek trout hatchery (pens wide open to bird predation, out of cert fish counters, etc.), but I saw the smolts with my own eyes, and there were lots in the river.

I'm involving myself in the Cowlitz River Advisory Group and seeing a major challenge to improving the relationship between the WDFW, TPU, and the sport fishing public, but just the same, I have reason for optimism when I see the passion by the sporties for restoring some if not all of the runs on that river. It's going to be a long slog, but nothing will happen if we don't make ourselves heard.

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#1019428 - 01/01/20 01:48 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: RtndSpawner]
Steelheadman Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/15/99
Posts: 3690
Loc: Poulsbo, WA,USA
Originally Posted By: RtndSpawner
It would be interesting to see the numbers from Oregon and BC. Could this be just a Washington problem or more of a regional concern?


I can't find hatchery escapement reports on the odfw site. I think they only have counts from major dams. You can look at past catch estimates but not sure how accurate because they have a low rate of tag returns. They do have stocking reports. The Alsea had a poor year last year and not many around according to the recreation reports. The rivers I've fished on the central coast and Columbia tribs peak later in winter.
_________________________
I'd Rather Be Fishing for Summer Steelhead!

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#1019431 - 01/01/20 02:29 PM Re: Winter Steelhead Escapement [Re: Steelheadman]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 5665
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Hmm. When I was trapping/marking wild steelhead smolts (winters) they were at east 150mm, more like 180. That's 6-7". Releasing 3-4" smolts is not likely to return many.

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