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#1059791 - 06/02/22 06:22 AM Willapa Springers ?
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3994
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
From: Willapa Bay (DFW) <willapabay@dfw.wa.gov>
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2022 2:02 PM
Subject: Spring Chinook in Willapa Bay

Good afternoon,

Willapa Bay fishery managers wanted to provide you a brief update on an upcoming fishery. In May of 2019, the Fork’s Creek Hatchery on the Willapa River released 567,560 spring Chinook salmon in an effort to increase prey abundance for Southern Resident Killer Whales. Fishery managers this year have conducted in-season monitoring and determined there is a limited opportunity for in-river harvest of this species. We plan to open the river for retention of one hatchery (adipose-clipped) spring Chinook salmon effective tomorrow.

Should you have questions or concerns please email us at willapabay@dfw.wa.gov

Thank You,
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#1059793 - 06/02/22 04:03 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
I was under the impression that there were no (native) (wild) Spring Chinook in Willapa Bay. That being the case, what non-clipped Chinook are they protecting in the river NOW? Just wondering.

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#1059794 - 06/02/22 06:48 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Carcassman]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3994
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

I was wondering the same thing, little strange.

June 2, 2022
Willapa River to open for hatchery spring Chinook retention
Action: Opens retention of hatchery Chinook.
Effective date: June 3 through July 31, 2022.
Species affected: Chinook salmon.
Locations and rules: Willapa River (Pacific Co.):
1. From the mouth (City of South Bend boat launch) to WDFW access at mouth of Ward Creek/Wilson Creek: Min. size 12". Daily limit one hatchery (adipose-clipped) Chinook. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook. Night closure in effect. Anglers may fish with two poles with Two-pole Endorsement.
2. From the WDFW access at mouth of Ward Creek/Wilson Creek to second bridge on Camp One Rd.: Min. size 12". Daily limit one hatchery (adipose-clipped) Chinook. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook. Night closure and stationary gear restriction in effect.
3. From second bridge on Camp One Rd. upstream to mouth of Mill Creek, approx. 0.5 miles: Min. size 12". Daily limit one hatchery (adipose clipped) Chinook. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook. Night closure and stationary gear restriction in effect. Fishing from a floating device prohibited.
4. From Mill Creek to Hwy. 6 Bridge near the town of Lebam: Min. size 12". Daily limit one hatchery (adipose clipped) Chinook. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook. Night closure and stationary gear restriction in effect.
Reason for action: In an effort to increase prey abundance for Southern Resident Killer Whales, 567,560 spring Chinook salmon were released in May of 2019 from the Fork’s Creek Hatchery. WDFW anticipates a limited number of returning 4-year-old Chinook from this one-time release will be available for a targeted fishery. This is a unique harvest opportunity that won't occur again and fishery managers encourage anglers to harvest those hatchery-origin Chinook that are encountered.
Additional information: Anglers are asked to be respectful of private property along the river. Anglers are reminded to check the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for additional rules and seasons.
To stay up to date and receive immediate notification of emergency rules you can sign up for WDFW email notification at: wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists.
Information contact: Region 6 (Montesano office); 360-249-4628
_________________________
Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#1059795 - 06/02/22 07:39 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Glad I am not the only one who is bewildered. Then, again, it is R6...

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#1059796 - 06/02/22 08:05 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Thumbburner Offline
Eyed Egg

Registered: 05/31/19
Posts: 8
The eggs for these fish came from Kalama River stock.
Anyone know why WDFW only did this for one year?

I suppose the Orcas now have enough food.


Edited by Thumbburner (06/02/22 08:06 PM)

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#1059797 - 06/02/22 09:16 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Variety of possible reasons. Lack of available eggs, lack of tribal agreement, perhaps something the Leg required.

An out of basin transfer is difficult, requiring a lack of pathogens in the eggs.

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#1059798 - 06/03/22 08:27 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
cohoangler Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 12/29/99
Posts: 1588
Loc: Vancouver, Washington
This program seems a bit confusing, as has been mentioned. However, here are a few potential answers based on my limited knowledge (and some speculation).

Spring Chinook are not native to the Willapa Bay watershed (duh), but WDFW likely got some $$’s from NMFS to raise additional spring Chinook for SRKW production. (As a side note, several Federal/State/Tribal agencies got $$’s from NMFS for the same reason (SRKW’s) over the past couple years.) If WDFW had space and water at the Willapa State hatchery, they could raise springers without affecting native spring Chinook elsewhere. So they took spring Chinook eggs from the Kalama River, and shipped them to Willapa (thus avoiding any problems within the Columbia, particularly for harvest of Snake Rv springers in the Lower Columbia).

I agree the fish health protocols for moving fish between major watersheds is a concern, but it’s not insurmountable. And since springers aren’t native to Willapa, they’re not creating any problems with fish genetics.

The reason they’re marked (ad clip) is that they were raised with Federal dollars (NMFS appropriations). Recall that 15+ years ago, Federal appropriations law requires all fish raised on Federal dollars to be marked (e.g., ad-clipped) before being released (thanks to Rep Norm Dicks). This is a requirement regardless of whether there is a mark-selective fishery, or not.

And once the adult fish have returned to Willapa, they’re no longer needed as SRKW prey (unless SRKW’s enter Willapa Bay, which seems unlikely), or as broodstock since WDFW might not have gotten any Federal $$’s this year.

Thus, WDFW opened a fishery on them.


Edited by cohoangler (06/03/22 09:09 AM)
Edit Reason: typo

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#1059799 - 06/03/22 02:22 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Thanks for the additional info. But the question still is why there is a mark-elective fishery when there are no wild Springers to protect?

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#1059803 - 06/03/22 11:46 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Krijack Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 06/03/06
Posts: 1446
Loc: Tacoma
Could they be worried about early fall fish that might come in the river at the end of the season? Is that a restricted / Hatchery only fishery?

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#1059804 - 06/04/22 08:20 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Thumbburner]
DrifterWA Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 04/25/00
Posts: 4941
Loc: East of Aberdeen, West of Mont...
06/04/2022

Originally Posted By: Thumbburner
The eggs for these fish came from Kalama River stock.
Anyone know why WDFW only did this for one year?

I suppose the Orcas now have enough food.


Like your use of humor, "I suppose the Orcas now have enough food."

IMO. they're probably more concerned about the turmoil it would cause WDFW...if there developed into a yearly "sport fishing" for springers in a new area, HOW ARE WE GOING TO GET A GILLNET FISHERY INTO A WORKABLE SCHEDULE????
_________________________
"Worse day sport fishing, still better than the best day working"

"I thought growing older, would take longer"

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#1059805 - 06/04/22 08:52 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
That would be a problem if they had "too many" fish come back. That would also mean that the salmon aren't being eaten by the target predators.

But, given the water supplies and temperatures in WB I think they would annually need to import eggs (water too warm to hold adults from arrival to spawning) which would mean (for example) that the Kalama would have to be managed for WB egg needs. I don't think that plane would even get off the ground.

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#1059807 - 06/04/22 09:15 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
DrifterWA Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 04/25/00
Posts: 4941
Loc: East of Aberdeen, West of Mont...
06/04/2022

Carcassman..... I realize that, just keep looking for ways to have a "springer fishery" without have to drive 75-100 miles to be able to partake and maybe catch one of these fine eating fish.

Lost chances of a "Wynoochee springer fishery", when the hatchery in the Dam area never got built because of "politics in the mid 70's", grrrrrrrr

"Coulda, shoulda", would have been great water, temperature wise but oh, well!!!
_________________________
"Worse day sport fishing, still better than the best day working"

"I thought growing older, would take longer"

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#1059808 - 06/04/22 03:05 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Well, yeah. WDFW drops more balls than the '62 Mets.

If they really wanted to have a springer fishery in WB, and feed the whales, they could install enough chillers at the Forks Creek Hatchery to use when the water warmed too much in summer. Cost some, yeah. Offer a we don't have to share, we don't **ck up ESA Springers. Yeah.

As I have noted, I was in on the design of that hatchery and had plans ready to go. Then......

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#1059810 - 06/05/22 05:31 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Carcassman]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3994
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
CM if you recall it was the lake's very cold water that made it advantageous. Not for incubation but returning adults to hold up in and the Nooch is perfect for that. River is cool enough for returning adults but critical time is in summer waiting to spawn and the lake at the dam could have provided that tool.

You know the only hatchery that can fully support fall Chinook and do it well around here is Forks Creek. The agency instead wants to put out 10 million or so at Naselle to rebuild it. The Naselle is a bad location for a hatchery let alone pour good money after bad to fix it. You cannot fix stupid sometimes.
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#1059811 - 06/05/22 08:31 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Well, yeah. Nemah and Naselle were, if memory serves, originally for chum. They seem to enjoy putting lipstick on pigs.

Wynoochee would work well for Springs but would conflict with the wild ones in the watershed. Get into the whole protection issue for non-target stocks. WB, with none, would be perfect for producing a spring run for harvest (or whales) only because it would simplify management.

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#1059812 - 06/05/22 08:47 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Carcassman]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3994
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

Yup Chehalis Springers are the key. Small run that cannot support harvest impacts most importantly a net fishery. Things that can be done are not because of harvester marriage to gill nets. So we do the same things over and over again looking for a different outcome. Ya know what Albert said about that.
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#1059813 - 06/05/22 09:59 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Streamer Offline
No Stars for You!

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 2233
Loc: T-Town
I’ve heard a couple of reports so far of people giving the fishery a try. Everyone reported the same thing. Slow, and not even a fish seen.


Steamy
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Space Available! Say something idiotic today!

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#1059827 - 06/06/22 08:53 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Carcassman]
cohoangler Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 12/29/99
Posts: 1588
Loc: Vancouver, Washington
Originally Posted By: Carcassman
Thanks for the additional info. But the question still is why there is a mark-elective fishery when there are no wild Springers to protect?


Not exactly sure but it's likely it was one of those 'strings' attached to the funding. That is, if WDFW takes funding from NMFS for spring Chinook production to help SRKW's, and if there were enough returning adults to open a fishery, NMFS required any subsequent fishery to be mark-select.

But again, that's speculation on my part. I'm not in the loop on this.

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#1059828 - 06/06/22 09:31 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: cohoangler]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3994
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
In the old Willapa Fall chinook fishery it was thought that the fish were mostly Willapa origin. It was later found to be GH & Columbia fish were present in substantial numbers. I imagine Springers from streams farther down the coast dip in and caution dictates you manage that way with C&R to reduce any wild impacts on the southern bound fish. My two bits.
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#1059830 - 06/06/22 10:53 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
It's a river fishery. Having said that, the Cowlitz Hatchery folks told me (while I was still gainfully employed) that they had recycled an ad-clipped Springer. Apparently they also tagged it so it could be identified in the catch. It was recovered at a hatchery in BC and when the tag was read it was found to have been from that hatchery. So, I guess they do into FW, but no springer in its right mind would go up the Willapa unless it had a death before spawning wish.

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#1059832 - 06/06/22 01:18 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Carcassman]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 3994
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
Talking the late summer Chinook dip at the bar in Willapa that gillnetters had up to the airport. Willapa R water stays good until after August.
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#1059846 - 06/07/22 08:33 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Salmo g. Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13342
". . . WDFW anticipates a limited number of returning 4-year-old Chinook from this one-time release . . ."

WDFW anticipates a lot of things that don't come to fruition. What with ocean survival rates being so poor of late, have any of these "anticipated" Chinook shown up at Forks Ck hatchery yet?

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#1059850 - 06/07/22 09:58 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Lifter99 Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 12/01/18
Posts: 196
I know guys who fished it recently and saw nothing in the river.

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#1059852 - 06/07/22 11:43 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Much as I love to defend WDFW, if they forecast a return of fish, didn't offer any fishing, and showed showed up they'd be crucified (at least online). Their numbers may be suspect, but its what they have and what they need to use. A little monitoring would help.

And, if nothing comes back was that wasted money to feed SRKWs?

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#1059853 - 06/07/22 11:45 AM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
steelhead59 Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 01/09/07
Posts: 151
Loc: Olympia, WA
I fished the river on Saturday, Upper river, Mid river, and Lower river, not even a bite. Fish good eggs with tuna soaked overnight and coon shrimp under a float. I fished good holes that would hold a springer if one existed. If the fish were not imprinted to the water before release hard telling where they returned. I fish beside other fishermen and talked to several others that had the same results, Notta.


Edited by steelhead59 (06/07/22 11:46 AM)

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#1059855 - 06/07/22 01:32 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
WDFW X 1 = 0 Offline
My Area code makes me cooler than you

Registered: 01/27/15
Posts: 4494
If you're looking for a springer head up in Capitol Hill.

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#1059856 - 06/07/22 01:38 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 6682
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
They were reared at Forks Creek; that's where they are imprinted to and will head for if they exist.

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#1059858 - 06/07/22 03:16 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
cohoangler Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 12/29/99
Posts: 1588
Loc: Vancouver, Washington
Salmo g askes the correct question. Are there any springer adults at the hatchery?

If not, WDFW is likely estimating based on expected survival, rather than actual returns. And if they don't need any adults for future broodstock, all returning adults would be considered excess.

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#1059861 - 06/07/22 04:40 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: cohoangler]
darth baiter Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 04/04/10
Posts: 142
Loc: United States
They collected a total of 5 adults and 2 Jack's last year. Nothing yet this year. There have been 0 CWT recoveries in fisheries or escapement from the ~100k release group in 2019 of 2018 brood. Seeing few 3yr CWT recoveries from spring Chinook is common. But there is usually a few...... Don't get your hopes up for a bonanza.

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#1059863 - 06/07/22 05:32 PM Re: Willapa Springers ? [Re: Rivrguy]
steely slammer Online   content
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 02/24/00
Posts: 1463
they figured that it would get some to buy a licenses
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