... and to think the record previously was something like 212,000. Does this mean all the shad are out of the lower river? or does it mean the big-boys won't be hungry? or will they gorge themselves in the gorge? or is the shad run going to be over?
The introduced fish are sure doing well. Wouldn't it be great if the indigenous fish populations were as healthy!?
That is a couple of amazing days. The other encouraging thing is the Jack counts for Chinook. Looks like next year should be another good springer year if the theory holds up about the Jacks indicating next years run.
I wanna know how they can physically count that many fish in a 24-hr period. I realize they use videotape, but somebody stil has to count. 520,664 keystrokes. :shocked: And that's just for one species.
I talked to the Manager of the Fish Passage Center yesterday to find out what the deal was ... like "did someone goof"? ... he said the numbers are automated and they will be reviewed on Monday morning to verify them. The counting is done by sampling ... not every fish is counted ... not sure if it's 10 minutes an hour or what, but I'll find out and report back.
We were up there yesterday fishing just below the spillway with 50 or 60 of our best frinds. I think we spent 3 hrs releasing 25 to 30 fish each. Decided to check out the fish viewing window afterwards and what a sight. :shocked: I figured that to get to 1/2 million fish it would average 350 a miniute. I saw an easy 200 a miniute for close to 10 min. The wierd thing was no one saw a single chinook while we were there. :shrug:
:whazzup: I have a friend fishing TOMORROW in the Columbia for Shad. He's putting in at Chinook. I personally have caught all the shad I need in the WIllamette with 200-500 of my closest friends (sic). I actually haven't fished the Columbia for the shad experience...Where can I tell him to go to get the best shad action??? Does he fish the Columbia the same as the Willamette??? :whazzup:
Did someone verify the shad counts? Are they for real? (What can we do to curtail this introduced species? ) [I was joking about this, but only because I have this nagging concern about the biological carrying capacity of the Bonneville ecosystem. It isn't based on science or even theory, just mere idle speculation and a curiosity about what kind of response I'd get.]
What's the deal with the differential between the L and the R ladders?
Is the L the Washington side?
Response from the Fish Passage Center Biologist:
1. I was assured by the COE fish field unit that shad numbers were real. How they count that many is beyond me; I know that they used to tally 10 for each push of the button rather than smacking the button 10 times. At the rate shad were passing, they were probably estimating by 100s. I check on that this Thursday when I see the fish count supervisors at the FPOM mtg.
2. To curtail fish numbers means that there must be a market for shad (commercial) that would be profitable to the fishermen. So far that has been unsuccessful. The sport fishery is fairly active below Bonneville Dam, but how many can you take to make a dent in millions.
3. The fish ladders at any project are labeled as if you are looking downstream so at Bonneville, the L bank would be the Oregon shore and the R bank, the WA shore. Generally, the R Bank fish ladder will have higher counts of fish passing the Bonneville project because more flow is being pushed through or generation is greater through the WA shore powerhouse than the OR powerhouse.
Hope this answers a few of your questions.
The Left side is as you are facing downriver from the dam. At McNary Dam, most of the steelhead swim up the left side, (Oregon side). You can go back year after year and see the actual travel routes. It doesn't usually change. :cheers:
Its moments like these that make me realize how much I miss the northwest. :depressed: I have to get back there. To think that I missed out on another good springer year and now a HUGE shad run?... What next? :shrug: Now it looks like the summers are coming and in pretty good numbers. Not to mention plunking for steel in the columbia should start picking up as well... Its a good thing I am making the trip on up in a couple of weeks. Finaly some real fishing. :grin:
Save a fish for me.