IFish Fishing Forum banner

21 - 40 of 94 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
967 Posts
I’m always suspicious of what ODFW claims as are many others. Look at Jagman’s post. River was filled with outgoing steelhead smolts in the spring. Not so any more. If they’re being released, where are they?
Are you suggesting that the various people involved in working at the hatcheries and running the programs from Salem are conspiring to artificially inflate (lie) about the numbers of smolts being released?

Maybe it is possible that river physical conditions from year to year affect how long smolts hang around and are visible to anglers ... or maybe the hatchery managers adjust rearing and feeding practices from year to year in order to encourage faster outmigration and less residualization.

I am pretty sure that both natural and management factors affect the rate of smolt migration. I am less sure that there is an ODFW conspiracy to falsify smolt release data, though that could be ready for some investigative journalism. I did see with my very own eyes a crap-ton (official unit of measurement) of smolts this weekend on the mainstem Willamette, a bit upstream of Salem. They were tiny shiny salmonids of some sort, feeding actively on bugs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,188 Posts
Here’s some data on smolt releases, no real changes from 2003 to 2016. The adults return 2 yrs later.

View attachment 954697

So no real changes in smolt releases over this window. However, Willamette Falls passage numbers that we all can find online show that adult runs of summer steelhead tanked in 2015 (i.e., the 2013 smolt releases), rebounded ok in 2016, tanked again in 2017 (i.e., 2015 smolt releases), and has remained very low ever since.

I’ve only been fishing it since 1999 but am friends with some of the guys who started the program and fished it early-on. There were smolt releases changes in the 1990s when ESA listing happened. But more recently, I am not sure that the low numbers of adult fish can be clearly attributed to lower numbers of smolt releases
Any ideas of what it could be other than sea lions at W Falls?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38,071 Posts
SSPey... See the word, “suspicious.” And the other part, “where are they?” I don’t think the valley streams are exclusive as my experience is on the coast and the question remains the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
967 Posts
steelhead SARS routinely varies by 5-fold or more across years, enough to explain Santiam run size variation. As to the cause, I don’t know, but like most fisheries is likely a mix of things - perfect storm trending down right now
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,949 Posts
  • Like
Reactions: Steely Slayer

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,521 Posts
steelhead SARS routinely varies by 5-fold or more across years, enough to explain Santiam run size variation. As to the cause, I don’t know, but like most fisheries is likely a mix of things - perfect storm trending down right now
It's because we turn the lower willamette into a lake about the time the smolts out migrate..

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: Smj

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Summer steelhead are not native to the Willamette Basin.
Show me one person on this thread that is native to the Willamette Basin, then I’ll give 2 Fs about whether or not summer steelhead are native. They don’t compete with native fish, period. So why can they not be planted? It makes no sense, unless the goal of ODFW is to eliminate stakeholders by eliminating consumptive and memory making opportunities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Are you suggesting that the various people involved in working at the hatcheries and running the programs from Salem are conspiring to artificially inflate (lie) about the numbers of smolts being released?

Maybe it is possible that river physical conditions from year to year affect how long smolts hang around and are visible to anglers ... or maybe the hatchery managers adjust rearing and feeding practices from year to year in order to encourage faster outmigration and less residualization.

I am pretty sure that both natural and management factors affect the rate of smolt migration. I am less sure that there is an ODFW conspiracy to falsify smolt release data, though that could be ready for some investigative journalism. I did see with my very own eyes a crap-ton (official unit of measurement) of smolts this weekend on the mainstem Willamette, a bit upstream of Salem. They were tiny shiny salmonids of some sort, feeding actively on bugs.
If it's a lack of money that the ODFW is saying is the problem why don't a sportsman all get together with the guides and raise some money and volunteer to raise more summer steelhead for our Rivers like the santiam and the Clackamas I just don't understand I went to a meeting several years ago and I told them that they closed the upper Clackamas River for native spring Chinook but there was never a native spring Chinook run up there and the guy that was running the meeting told me that after 10 cycles of fish spawning in the river they consider those offspring native I said huh okay so why not do that with the summer steelhead they they have been proven to be in no direct competition with the wild winter steelhead or the spring Chinook that go above North fork because the wild winter steelhead only go up to about fish Creek whereas Summers go clear on up the Clackamas beyond Austin hot springs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
967 Posts
There is demonstrable competition between summer and winter fish. 10-15% of winter steelhead in the Santiam system are hybrids between introduced summers and native winters.


It is hard to imagine that this genetic introgression is the main limiting factor for ESA listed winters - and it certainly isn’t the cause of poor summer returns - but let’s get the facts straight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
There is demonstrable competition between summer and winter fish. 10-15% of winter steelhead in the Santiam system are hybrids between introduced summers and native winters.


It is hard to imagine that this genetic introgression is the main limiting factor for ESA listed winters - and it certainly isn’t the cause of poor summer returns - but let’s get the facts straight.
Thank you for the information.

A winter that fights like a summer - sign me up!

Do people on this site actually fish? With the hatchery bashing that goes on, I wonder what fish these folks are chasing. Harassing and torturing wild fish to exhaustion, then releasing them, seems inhumane, at the least.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38,071 Posts
SSPey: Wonder why the 10%-15% hybrid thing didn’t happen on rivers like my home river the Wilson? Could it be those fish come back as late March and April native winter run fish? I’ve looked into it a bit and I can’t find anyone who ever caught what appeared to be a native (unclipped) Summer fish in the Tillamook system. Maybe I haven’t asked the right person. Or it could be the planted Summers dump their eggs etc. the last week of November and don’t mix with Winters at all during their spawning period.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38,071 Posts
Garyk: I’ve watched the Wilson evolve since I was a kid back in the 50’s, it is not the same river it once was. Back then it was a living fertile river with abundant life due to the Tillamook Burn providing an enormous supply of nutrients. As the trees grew up, the fertility plummeted along with the fish numbers. It simply can’t support the life it once did. Every watershed has it’s own unique characteristics and some are naturally better at supporting life than others. Planting fish can’t fix that.
 

·
Registered
retired
Joined
·
181 Posts
All my old Summer haunts are catch and release and barbless artificial. That's where Spring Chinook spend the Summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
967 Posts
DogZilla, I don’t know whether genetic work has been done on the Wilson, to know whether Siletz hatchery summer plants and Wilson winters are mixing and producing viable offspring. The work linked above on Santiam fish was prompted by their ESA status.

However, I might expect some mixing where Siletz hatchery summers are planted on the coast. Summer fish do mature a little earlier, but they all come from coastal watersheds, and share many adaptive traits. An experiment in the 1970s deliberately interbred Siletz summers and Alsea winters. Male/female mixes. Small sample size, but hybrids from summer females (Siletz origin) produced more returns than from winter females (Alsea-origin). Kinda getting off track here ...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
633 Posts
Scientific American Frontiers - Season 13 Episode 6 (2003) Title "Deep Crisis" Hosted by Alan Alda say's smolts face into the current and are carried backwards to the sea. No can do at 6' river level on the big willy Salem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38,071 Posts
Boatman: I drove by Youngs Bay a few days ago and it looked like Cormorant convention taking place. They were thick!!! Must have been putting a real hurt on smolts of some kind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
967 Posts
Harassing and torturing wild fish to exhaustion, then releasing them, seems inhumane, at the least.
No disagreement here. The majority of cases where this happens are regular fisher-folks trying to fill their tags, and having to sort through wild fish as they hunt for a keeper (in fisheries where wilds are off-limits). There are also times where the bite is on, and people using highly effective fishing methods will play and release multiple fish for fun, until they’ve scratched their itch and decide to bonk a keeper and finally put down their rod. Often these, too, are just avid anglers. I think the argument you’re making about harassing wild fish applies across the board and would make PETA even angrier with the average angler. Still, I do think there is a good case to be made for managing some fisheries like hunts - kill the first of the day and call it quits.
 
21 - 40 of 94 Posts
Top