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Although I understand the term, I am never really sure what I catch are tules. The lower fish I caught, while the other a buddy caught. Both came below Bonneville Dam. What do you guys think? The meat was bright in color.
 

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They don't look like tules to me.

If you want to see tules, head on up to Bonneville and check out the viewing window.
 

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Not Tules.:food:
 

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Nope, Tules are either black (hence the term boot), or show a Bronze color instead of silver. They also typically have a much larger adipose fin.
 

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Stickfish hit it right on the button, you see chrome your good, you start to see a golden bronze color or darker you got a Tule! lets not forget the SMELL! those nasty sons of guns put off, :passout: But anywho nice fish!! :food: :applause:
 

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tules are usually brown when they hit fresh water...very quickly.....definitely not tules:cheers:
 

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Yes, those are tules. Terrible table fare and you want nothing to do with them. You should have put them back. But, since you did'nt I'd take them off your hands. They would probably smoke up okay. Just give me a buzz and I'll be right over.:wave:
 

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HECK NO! Those are a couple fatties
 

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yeah those are nice fish, a tule would typically have an adipose about 2-3 times the size those have.........do a search for tule and take a look at the pics
 

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Now,

THATS A TULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Check out the drip on that one...:sick:
 

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All the Tule's I've caught and seen caught seem to have about a 5lb. adipose fin attached to their back!! Nice fishies :food:
 

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All right, how's this? We got this one Friday night while (legally) trolling after sundown on a WA trib. It fought like crazy and came in bright, and we high-fived and bonked it and brought it aboard. Then I said... uh-oh, smell like a tule! Took a closer look and sure enough, big adipose and a strong whiff of tule. At first glance I thought the fish was a hen, and even got the ziploc out when I went to cut the fish for my buddy. To my surprise it was a big buck (34.5 lbs by the way) and it cut up a consistent, firm pink (not deep red/orange but not at all bad). It's in the smoker right now and I think my buddy is going to be plenty happy with the results.
Here's the fish... unfortunately in the dark I couldn't see the viewfinder and cut off part of the frame:


And here's a smoker rack full of the results ready to go on the smoke:
 

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The bottom fish is an upriver bright hands down.

The top fish is on the fence with the large and heavy spots along the back, moderate tail spots, large caudal peduncle (the area directly in front of the tail fin) and some indications of advancing sexual maturity.

Tule is a CR fall Chinook stock not a meat color or specific stage of sexual maturity. Some representative individuals do enter the CR in a less sexually advanced state than the Tule majority. Some Tule stock fall Chinook are what some might refer to as "in betweeners".

When it is all said and done, if you were satisfied with the fish it really doesn't matter if it was Tule or URB.
 

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Ok, help me out. Hopefully I'm not the only one here but what exactly is a tule? I see the pics and hopefully now I can tell them apart but what are they and how far up the river do they run?
 

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RH,

With the exception of the bright stock CR fall Chinook population that spawns below the Merwin Dam on the Lewis River, fall Chinook on the CR can be put into two major races. Tule stock and upriver bright stock (URBs). The Tule stock is a primarily hatchery origin lower Columbia River fall Chinook that has a geographic spawning range from Big Creek to Spring Creek (across from Hood River and the upper limit of their adult run distribution). The Big Creek, Elochoman, Cowlitz, Lewis, Washougal and Spring Creek hatcheries produce this stock.

The distinguishing feature of this stock is primarily the fact that it has such an early spawn time (September) relative when it’s members enter the CR in August. They are already well on their way to sexual maturity. By the time we are catching them in early and mid August, during the B10 and LCR fall Chinook fishery, most have well developed ovaries and testies and exhibit many of outward morphological characteristics one finds on all Chinook when they are in their spawning areas. Dark body color, enlarged adipose fins, hooked upper jaws and paled out meat color are all common.

The upriver bright stock fall Chinook on the CR peaks in abundance at the mouth of the CR in mid to late August but has a significantly longer journey to travel before it arrives at spawning areas in the Hanford Reach, Snake River and upper CR. We catch them in August and early September well before they spawn (late October-Mid December) and they offer us a much higher quality salmon for table fare.

CR tule stock fall Chinook was once a massively produced hatchery stock. In the early and mid 1990s when ocean fisheries from SE Alaska to the CR area began to have much tighter harvest regimes a large component of our Tule stock production capacity was mothballed. These hatchery fish were meant to be harvested and they were not being harvested to full potential because of other depressed stocks began to severely limit fisheries. There was no reason to continue massive production if the fish couldn’t be harvested so the overall production was reduced.

CR Tule stock today still provide a major contribution to Alaska, BC, Washington commercial and recreational fisheries. When Tules are harvested in the ocean they look just like all other ocean phase Chinook, silver with red meat. The 2002 Big Creek Tule boodyear alone provided a number approaching nearly 10,000 harvested adults over the course of two years for BC commercial troll and recreational fisheries. Lately Canada has figured out spatial and temporal fishing strategies to fish for Tule stock and stay away from other more depressed stocks. The result for us this year is a Tule stock adult return that has finally become a limiting factor for CR adult fisheries both commercial and recreational.

All Chinook stock adults eventually arrive at the Tule stage of sexual maturity but only one particular stock on the west coast is bestowed the honor of being called the Tule.
 
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