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#1061823 - 05/04/23 07:18 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET *** [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7211
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Before we figured out that this wasn't European VHSV but was native I was working on a proposal to sanitize the whole watershed at the Makah Hatchery. I helicoptered over the whole watershed and was pretty sure that would be pissing in the wind to try and get all the bugs, if they were there.

Yeah, there were a couple of Ops who did whatever they wanted, regardless of what was agreed-to or set out.

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#1061832 - 05/05/23 06:44 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Salmo g. Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13472
The fish disease policy is likely a model of co-manager cooperation. I don't think that can happen now, given that the treaty tribes effectively run WDFW's anadromous fish programs. I'm supportive of treaty fishing rights, but I don't care to have the tail wagging the dog. Some of the tribes (at a minimum) have a very different view of hatcheries than I do. I'm not anti--hatchery, but I'm enough of a realist to accept that hatcheries cannot deliver the recruit performance that they did in the past. This makes them uneconomic, but we're still ripping off taxpayers to continue hatchery programs that don't pencil out. I oppose that, and that makes me a bit of an outlier. I would have the co-manager hatchery policy inject a reasonable dose of economic reality into the equation. Along with the disease policy, of course.

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#1061840 - 05/05/23 10:44 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7211
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Couple things I have seen with the Tribes, and lots of folks here, is that a fish is a fish is a fish. The ecosystem knows differently, but it doesn't vote. If you look north of the border you will see some FN's saying that steelhead conservation needs should not constrain their salmon fisheries and it appears DFO rather agrees.

I support a triaged approach where watersheds reasonably intact are kept that way and managed for ecological levels of wild fish. Other (compromised) watersheds, like the Columbia, are managed with "replacement" fish.

The big "but" in my idea is that fisheries are still terminal as the wild fish have shown they can't absorb marine mixed stock fisheries.

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#1061858 - 05/07/23 06:25 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: Carcassman]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 4283
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
Everyone should read Court Chinook thread just started. SE Alaska were modeled to harvest 7928 Grays Harbor Chinook so this means the preseason forecast is now incorrect. Did I get this right? anyone? So now what do WDFW & the QIN do. Should be interesting.

The Columbia and Willapa would be in the same boat.
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#1061880 - 05/11/23 07:22 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7211
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Remember that the way things go now, every fish listed in the pre-season plans as "catch" must be killed. If the Co-managers take a shot at what his saved by the closures we will add more must-kill fish to the mix. I suspect there will be lots of pressure from users to catch those fish.

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#1061899 - 05/17/23 06:05 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: Carcassman]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 4283
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope

Some of us have been comparing notes on the river conditions this year. To be honest other than the one high water event last fall the river flows have mostly stayed below average CFS. The weather was awful though in fact this winters weather was just ugly cold windy and wet. We did get a bump in flows about the time the salmon out migration happened which helped as low clear water is to the predators advantage not the fish.

So now we have summer at last which is great but the fish are likely to have a difficult time of it. Flows are already well below average at about half way between record low and average. You can take a look at it here https://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/rfc/. How much of an effect it will have on the juvenile rearing areas is yet to be seen but just normal rainfall from this point on means trouble for the fish.

I imagine if the extended weather forecast holds one should be prepared for the usual panic on flows in Sept. and fishing. One should keep in mind that the low flows have little effect on adults other than slowing upstream movement unless it does not rain in the first part of Nov then it can create difficulties for the returning adults.

So I imagine it will be the usual routine and inland fishers will want the Sept rain river bounce bring the adults upstream. Tidewater and bay will want not to have a river bounce but the fish will do what they want as the massive early movement last year showed us.

All that said one should be prepared for the usual fire drill over flows out of Olympia such as last year. The reality is for the juveniles in the rearing areas this summer looks to be just plain difficult. For the fall returning adults it will be most likely just business as usual unless it does not rain at the end of Oct. or first week of Nov. Now what all the government agencies do should be interesting to say the least!
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#1061900 - 05/17/23 08:07 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: Rivrguy]
RUNnGUN Offline
Repeat Spawner

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 1321
Interesting analysis RG. As far as outward spring smolt migration goes, I have always tried to note the spring weather conditions for future reference of return survival. Whether it be rain, or early spring melt runnoff, I alway hoped for one of the 2 to dirty up the rivers to help the smolts out.
My home river, the Puyallup, has a large cormorant problem. They show up around the 1st of April and stack the lower river, anticipating the smolt migration. They leave when the river gets turbid. The lower Puy. is like freeway. Man made dikes, no or little cover, and staight as an arrow to Puget Sound. The cormorants capitalize on this, are smart visual hunters, and smolts have little chance in low clear water. I have watched them in action. I don't know for sure, but logic tells me if the water gets dirty it is more difficult for them to see to hunt, aiding smolt survival.
I remember reading the early pit tag tracking results for Winter Steelhead on the Puyallup and other South PS rivers. Results displayed missing fish at the 1st PS pit tag reading station. I think that station is located in Seattle? A large majority of tagged smolts went missing before this 1st station, and were all missing by the time they got to the last station in the Straits. Obviously, and it makes sense, is they got eaten or died before then. Researchers probably could find those pit tags in cormorant and pinniped feces.
Anyway, this spring the Puyallup got turbid early from rain and now is puked from glacial melt, cutting short the slaughter.
I never got a correlation between early spring turbidity and greater fishing success years later. Currently, the South PS rivers are closed for Winter Steelhead and it's been years since I've fished them.
I know lots of factors are at play for smolt survival, but I think the cormorants and pinnipeds are guilty more than researchers think.


Edited by RUNnGUN (05/17/23 08:17 AM)
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#1061901 - 05/17/23 09:08 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: RUNnGUN]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 4283
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
It is interesting to say the least. The thing is the Chehalis is mostly rain fed run off and not snow which makes it nearly totally different than snow fed streams for out migrants. This bit of hot weather shows how. Hit the link I provided and look for the yellow and green dot streams and they are at beginning flood stage from the snow melt. As you said RG water conditions make a big difference and in the snow fed streams warm weather speeds up the melt which reduces the normal flows later on. Everything is connected one way or another it is just the same but different everyplace. Either way if the long range forecast holds this will be a bad year for juvenile salmon in the rearing areas.
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Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#1061903 - 05/20/23 08:30 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7211
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Back when WDFW was looking at Cedar River sockeye and releasing fry from the hatchery at Landsburg they got much higher survivals on release during high flows. They blew past the the sculpins and other predators.

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#1061932 - 05/26/23 10:07 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: Carcassman]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 4283
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
This and more is likely coming. The fact that the Feds and states have managed for marine harvest is coming home to roost big time. As to the Chehalis WDFW provides the prior intercept for Fall Chinook and Coho but every time I have asked I was told the information on AK & BC harvest of Chehalis Spring Chinook was not available.

From Daily World:

Fed protection sought for coast spring Chinook

Center for Biological Diversity and Pacific Rivers files petition to safeguard salmon in the Chehalis, Quinault, Queets, Hoh and Quillayute river basins

The Daily World

The Center for Biological Diversity and Pacific Rivers filed a petition Tuesday to protect Washington coast spring-run Chinook salmon under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The safeguards would apply to salmon in the Chehalis, Quinault, Queets, Hoh, and Quillayute river basins on the west coast of the Olympic Peninsula, according to a news release. Spring-run Chinook, who are distinct from fall-run salmon, return in the spring from the ocean to freshwater rivers, staying for many months in deep pools until fall to spawn.

“Spring-run Chinook are truly king salmon, magnificent fish prized for their size and taste and impressive for their arduous migrations into upper river reaches,” said Jeff Miller, a senior conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “But early returning salmon are in trouble all along the West Coast, and it’s clear they require protection under the Endangered Species Act to stop their slide toward extinction.”

Washington coast spring Chinook have declined significantly and are now at a fraction of their historical abundance, with an average of only 3,200 adult spawning fish returning annually to Washington coast rivers.

Remaining spring Chinook runs are threatened by habitat degradation due to logging and roads, water diversions and migration barriers that block suitable spawning habitat and prevent upstream and downstream migration. They’re also threatened by existing dams and a proposed new dam in the upper Chehalis River, harvest in ocean commercial fisheries and climate change, according to the



Center for Biological Diversity and Pacific Rivers.

“It’s clear that spring Chinook salmon, treasures of the Pacific Northwest, are in serious trouble in many of their home rivers,” said Pacific Rivers Board Chair Mike Morrison. “Springrun salmon numbers on Washington’s West Coast have declined steeply over decades and are now perilously low. We did not take the filing of this petition lightly, and carefully considered the facts and science before making the decision to seek legal protections.”

Spring-run Chinook have unique habitat requirements for migration, spawning, juvenile rearing and adult life in the ocean. Suitable spawning habitat is in mainstem rivers and tributaries and requires cold water, cool resting pools, clean spawning gravels, and optimal levels of dissolved oxygen, water velocity and turbidity.

Deep cold-water pools are essential to spring run fish survival because of their early entrance to freshwater and dependence on cold water through the heat of summer. Adult Chinook migrate upstream in a stressed condition and rely only on stored energy to complete their journey, leaving them highly susceptible to additional environmental stressors.

Several Washington coast hatcheries propagate fall-run and spring-run salmon, and hatchery raised salmon are released or stray into every major river basin on the Washington coast. Hatchery fish can harm wild spring Chinook by competing with them for food, preying on them and transmitting disease.

They also interbreed, producing hybrid spring run and fall-run Chinook, often called summer-run fish. Hybrid salmon are not fit for long-term survival in natural habitats and are likely contributing to the disappearance of spring Chinook.

History of springrun Chinook

The Chehalis River basin historically supported an estimated 27,000 spring-run Chinook, but adult spawning returns from 2011-2020 averaged just 1,600 fish.

Over the past decade, the Hoh River basin averaged around 1,000 springrun, the Queets River basin around 500, and the Quinault River basin only around 100 fish.

Early return salmon and steelhead in Oregon and California are also imperiled, leading to Endangered Species Act listing petitions for populations in the Upper Klamath-Trinity Rivers, Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast, and Oregon Coast.

In 2021 the California Fish and Game Commission unanimously voted to list Upper Klamath-Trinity spring-run Chinook under the state Endangered Species Act. In January 2023 the National Marine Fisheries Service determined that Oregon Coast and Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Chinook salmon populations may warrant Endangered Species Act protection.

Traditional ecological knowledge acquired by the peoples who are indigenous to the Olympic Peninsula over thousands of years made distinctions and identified differences between spring-run and fall-run Chinook salmon. Recent scientific studies show that spring-run fish are genetically distinct from the more abundant fall-run Chinook.

The evolution of early returning fish occurred in both salmon and steelhead millions of years ago; this difference in spawning-run timing is highly unlikely to occur again if these distinct populations are lost.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists.
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#1061933 - 05/26/23 11:06 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7211
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
About time. I would add, though, that the listing of any species is the result of failure/choice by the designated managers.

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#1061935 - 05/26/23 06:34 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: Carcassman]
OLD FB Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 09/05/14
Posts: 196
Loc: Stanwood WA
Originally Posted By: Carcassman
About time. I would add, though, that the listing of any species is the result of failure/choice by the designated managers.


You are 100% correct!

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#1061938 - 05/27/23 06:32 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: OLD FB]
Rivrguy Offline
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 4283
Loc: Somewhere on the planet,I hope
"The Chehalis River basin historically supported an estimated 27,000 spring-run Chinook, but adult spawning returns from 2011-2020 averaged just 1,600 fish."

I was waiting to see if anyone else caught this soooo, 27,000 Chehalis Springers? Maybe pre settlers but not in my 75 years or my parents. One should always remember that everything you read is not necessarily true. The Chehalis Spring Chinook escapement goal is 1400 so I find the 27,000 number problematic but not the over harvest issue. That I believe resides with the AK and BC fisheries but lacking any information from WDFW it is only my opinion.
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Dazed and confused.............the fog is closing in

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#1061939 - 05/27/23 08:00 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7211
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Want me to generate an Ecosystem-based Escapment Goal for those Springers? Think I did once and it was pretty high. 27,000 could easily get lost in the watershed. The 1,400 "goal" is a crime against the ecosystem but is obviously higher than the managers are willing to reach. I include here all the managers.

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#1061942 - 05/27/23 09:14 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Salmo g. Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13472
If 27,000 spring Chinook in the Chehalis was ever real, it could never happen again because the environment of the springer spawning areas is forever changed. Skookumchuck, Newwaukum, and upper Chehalis are all commercial tree farms. Springer habitat needs old growth forest ecology here on the west side of the state.

The 1400 escapement goal looks like those Chinook escapement goals set by WDF in the late 1960s, early 1970s, where they took the average escapement of the preceeding 10 years and set that as the goal. Talk about a system that never set the bar too high, that one is perfect!

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#1061944 - 05/27/23 12:54 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7211
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
In the document that set PS Chinook escapement goals WDF noted that the goals they set did not come close to providing fish for the available habitat but that it was ridiculous to try and fill the habitat.

I another documnet, from the late 70s, they noted a "problem" with excess fish at Soos Creek hatchery because they couldn't harvest the hatchery fish without overharvesting the co-migrating wilds. The solution? Lower the wild goal. They called it "good management" to do this as they reduced the surplus.

Don't tell me did fish were ever a priority.

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#1061955 - 05/28/23 10:50 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Salmo g. Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 13472
WDF certainly didn't want to do anything ridiculous. So they adopted the entirely rational action of over-harvesting nearly every single wild salmon population to avoid the embarrassment of hatchery surpluses.


Edited by Salmo g. (05/29/23 07:44 AM)

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#1061958 - 05/28/23 11:23 AM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7211
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
Bingo. And called it "Good Management". Did keep them out of negative press though. What surprised me a bit is what they wrote down and published.

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#1061983 - 06/05/23 12:42 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
eyeFISH Offline
Ornamental Rice Bowl

Registered: 11/24/03
Posts: 12750
And yet more than 10 years later, somehow this GD project still has legs... YGTBFKM, right?

https://www.chronline.com/stories/lewis-countys-concerns-funding-continue-hand-in-hand-for-pe-ell-flood-retention-proposal,320175?

W T F ?
_________________________
"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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#1061984 - 06/05/23 02:41 PM Re: FISHINGTHECHEHALIS.NET [Re: eyeFISH]
Carcassman Online   content
River Nutrients

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 7211
Loc: Olema,California,Planet Earth
There is more money and votes in the areas impacted by floods. Who amongst them really cares about fish? Heck, we can build a hatchery as mitigation and harvest at hatchery rates. A win win. If you're not a wild fish or reasonably dependent on an intact ecosystem.

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