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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My fishin` and working pard was up at Detroit :shocked: a few weekends ago fishing off the dam and spotted a huge Chinook swimming on the surface next to the dam. Now I`ve heard stories, myths, legends of monster "nookies" in there when I grew up in the area, but never gave it much thought or credit. I heard that a bunch of them were trapped when they built the dam. Has anyone else heard these stories, or caught any of these monsters? Did someone dump one in there as a joke? Maybe the legends are true! I`ve heard that people while trolling very deep for trout or koknee, have hooked into them before and after a big fight always had them break off. Anybody have any input? Kinda curious. Fishft. (Bob).
 

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I'm not sure they're THAT big, but the state stocks chinook fingerlings..They tend to stay in deep water near the dam and are occasionally caught from the dam. Most are less than two feet long, but once in a while a real lunker sets tongues wagging.
Unfortunately, boats aren't allowed to troll down that far so the fish aren't really targeted.
 

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It's possible, but very unlikely. landlocked
planted chinook are probably up to 5 pounds. The idea of a 30lber there is hard to believe. Maybe it's a huge carp?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanx all for the replies. My pard has caught a lot of "nooks" in his life, so he usually recognizes one, but.... No he`s very adamant about what he saw! Maybe America`s answer to Loch Ness? :shrug: :grin:
 

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What's to keep a landlocked chinook from getting huge? There's plenty of food in there.
 

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I was up flyfishing up above the damn on the river and noticed a white spot moving in front of me, while i was out in the river. I watched it for a min, and it started swimming up river. I quickly realized it was a sore head salmon making it's way up to spawn. It practically swam into my leg making it's way up! Was nice to see!

It was probably 5-10 lbs.
 

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I have seen several large chinook 15-25 lbs or so in the Brietenbush river <last fall during deer season>. They were dark springer boots and was told ODFW put then above the dam to let them "spawn naturally". :shrug: I saw about 15 or 20 of them.

Jon :smile: :grin: :smile:
 

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I had a friend that was hunting the high cascade buck hunt this year up near Brietenbush and watched ODFW dump about a hundred large salmon in the Brietenbush river. He stopped and talked to the guy working and was told they are trying to establish a naturally spawning strain of salmon out of Detroit.

JK
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
:grin: Thanks all! Now that makes sense! Who`d a ever thunk! Do you call these URD`s or what? :laugh: :laugh: Thanx again, Bob. (fishft.)
 

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That is just plain weird. I always assumed that the fish HAD to go to saltwater to get big.

Hmmm. Like I said: Weird.

--spud-- :smile:
 

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I took steelhead fishing class at OSU and had a biologist come talk to us about it. He said they were trying to re introudus a run of Salmon in the upper santiam river and that many of the smolt they let go made it over the damn and were caught in some traps below it. I dont know how they would get back up the damn. Im not sure if there is a fish ladder there but I dont doubt for a sec. that there are nooks in the lake.

-Blake
 

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I took steelhead fishing class at OSU and had a biologist come talk to us about it. He said they were trying to re introudus a run of Salmon in the upper santiam river and that many of the smolt they let go made it over the damn and were caught in some traps below it. I dont know how they would get back up the damn. Im not sure if there is a fish ladder there but I dont doubt for a sec. that there are nooks in the lake.

-Blake
 

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There are no fish ladders, but trapping them and moving them upstream is a good theory.

--spud-- :smile:
 

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That is weird. Are they hatchery fish that they hope will live their life cycle in the reservoir, or are they trying to reintroduce native fish to be carted around the dam selectively, like native steelhead on the upper clackamas?
 

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In recent years ODFW has been putting excess hatchery chinook above Corps of Engineer dams in the Willamette Valley that have no passage. Initially this started on the McKenzie River above Cougar Dam on the S. Fk. to provide additional food for the small bull trout population that historically relied on chinook juveniles for a big part of their diet. A secondary bonus realized from this stocking was productive rearing in the reservoir creating larger than average smolts (meaning higher survival to adults) and higher than expected levels of survival through the turbines and regulating outlets of the dam. End result = more adult chinook coming back to the McKenzie. With the good chinook returns to the Willamette the last few years, the program has expanded and now excess chinook are transported above Fall Creek, Lookout Point and Hills Creek dams in the Middle Fork, and above Detroit in the North Santiam. There is no comprehensive program yet in place to determine how much successful natural production is occurring from these fish, nor any real effort to determine how much they're contributing to overall returns to the system.
Chris
 

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Biggest I've seen 10 lbs, biggest I've caught 2.5 lbs. Have some friends who target them and are really sucessful.
The big one I saw was back in the 80's and a F&W biologist was taking pics, and scale samples. He told me they put in excess springer smolts from the santaim in there. Think about there is a very good salmon fishery in the great lakes, not a ocean but very large bodies of water, so they dont have to be in the ocean to grow big. My pals have told me some of the secrets but swore me to secrecy. Now that I have a bigger boat I will try out some of their techniques.
MM
 

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I have heard an (rural)urban legend that in the deep pool Below Big Cliff Dam(above the cut off line) there are huge trout that feed off torn up fish that go thru the turbines and have grown huge.

[ 10-03-2003, 07:02 AM: Message edited by: Gary Wolfer ]
 

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There is some way for Chinooks to get upstream of the dam. I was golfing at Black Butte in October of last year and on the way home my friends and I decided to stop at a restaurant by the river about 20 miles upstream of Detroit. I was drawn to a window table that you could see the river and it was beautiful. We sat there talking and eating lunch and I was staring at this perfect fishing hole when I saw something large moving around. So I stood up, looked hard and saw not one but several spawners moving around in that hole. They were definately chinook.
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey Gary W. There are some huge Rainbows in Big cliff res. My uncle from Mill City caught one 27 inches long in there several years ago. He was plunking an inflated nightcrawler up near the cutoff. On the lower side of the dam there should be some pretty nice Steelies. Fishft. :wink:
 
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