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Author Topic: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!  (Read 1862 times)

Offline jackmaster

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NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« on: February 25, 2018, 10:47:25 AM »
Can someone tell me why the nisqaully is shut down to sportsmen but not the tribe? From what I see is the numbers in there are amazing , I know a couple guys that would take steelheadn over you know what and they are the ones that told me but they can't find any reason that sportsman can't be allowed to fish it!! Back in the 80s before I left for the army the fishn had got pretty bad but was still good for steelys and now from a recovery effort the numbers are some of the best on the west coast!! Does ANYONE have some legit honest to God info so I ain't just getting hear say? Thank you
my grandpa always said "if it aint broke dont fix it"

Offline teanawayslayer

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2018, 10:54:25 AM »
Can someone tell me why the nisqaully is shut down to sportsmen but not the tribe? From what I see is the numbers in there are amazing , I know a couple guys that would take steelheadn over you know what and they are the ones that told me but they can't find any reason that sportsman can't be allowed to fish it!! Back in the 80s before I left for the army the fishn had got pretty bad but was still good for steelys and now from a recovery effort the numbers are some of the best on the west coast!! Does ANYONE have some legit honest to God info so I ain't just getting hear say? Thank you
the tribe says it all. It’s not the only river closed
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Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2018, 11:01:15 AM »
WDFW avoiding any kind of confrontation would be best guess, seems to be their way.

Offline Crunchy

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2018, 11:44:45 AM »
I have fished that river for about 10 years and have never seen a steelhead caught.

Offline Bullkllr

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2018, 11:52:25 AM »
Like most things fish related these days , it's complicated.

Short story- starting in the late 80/90's the population crashed from around 6,000 to a low of 200.
This trend happened in rivers all over Puget Sound pretty much simultaneously.


Population graph.
https://data.wa.gov/w/sv8y-v2ea

I don't believe the tribe has had a targeted steelhead fishery for about as long as we've been shut down. They have netted for late chums, which certainly takes some steelhead. Chums are not doing so well lately either.

There's been a ton of discussion on this. I would like to see current estimates on run size, but from the graph above it was still around 200 fish in 2011. I'd actually be shocked to see numbers recovered to allow a season. If they did open it (with all the other closures in place) it would get swarmed anyway.
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Offline jackmaster

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2018, 12:15:18 PM »
Like most things fish related these days , it's complicated.

Short story- starting in the late 80/90's the population crashed from around 6,000 to a low of 200.
This trend happened in rivers all over Puget Sound pretty much simultaneously.


Population graph.
https://data.wa.gov/w/sv8y-v2ea

I don't believe the tribe has had a targeted steelhead fishery for about as long as we've been shut down. They have netted for late chums, which certainly takes some steelhead. Chums are not doing so well lately either.

There's been a ton of discussion on this. I would like to see current estimates on run size, but from the graph above it was still around 200 fish in 2011. I'd actually be shocked to see numbers recovered to allow a season. If they did open it (with all the other closures in place) it would get swarmed anyway.
thank you for the info, that helps me understand things a little better, I wonder what caused the crash, I heard at one time the puyallup along with the stuck were world reknowned steelhead rivers but that was way before my time!! As for the nisqaully I would like to see the actual numbers now!!
my grandpa always said "if it aint broke dont fix it"

Offline jackmaster

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2018, 12:16:32 PM »
I have fished that river for about 10 years and have never seen a steelhead caught.
hiw are you fishing it? It's closed  :dunno:
my grandpa always said "if it aint broke dont fix it"

Offline spoonman

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2018, 12:37:58 PM »
I have fished that river for about 10 years and have never seen a steelhead caught.

You aren't fishing it when the run of steelhead are in the river. At least in any numbers. Later run on that Nisqually.

Offline WSU

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2018, 01:28:13 PM »
Here’s some info

https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01856/wdfw01856.pdf

Looks like around 2000 in 2016 and has been down for a while.

Offline Jake Dogfish

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2018, 01:41:46 PM »
Nisqually Steelhead are a Endangered Species, even with no targeted fisheries since the 90’s.
Just recently historic Steelhead strongholds in B.C. were listed “Critically endangered”.  Upper Columbia river Steelhead had there lowest return ever.  Olympic Peninsula streams are also declining despite a end to Wild Steelhead harvest.  I suspect in a few years the ESA listing will be expanded, possibly Coastwide.
If you really want to catch a Wild Steelhead you should fish the upcoming Skagit reopening.Fly fisherman have been fighting to get a fishery on the last river that has a few Wild Steelhead left.  I don’t expect this fishery to continue once this run gets hammered into shape like the rest of them. 

Offline Crunchy

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2018, 01:44:23 PM »
I have fished that river for about 10 years and have never seen a steelhead caught.

You aren't fishing it when the run of steelhead are in the river. At least in any numbers. Later run on that Nisqually.


True that I am not targeting them but I fish it from July through October.  Used to fish the chums until about 2 years ago.  I just figured of the hundreds of people fishing someone would catch one.

Offline lokidog

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2018, 01:48:24 PM »
I have fished that river for about 10 years and have never seen a steelhead caught.

You aren't fishing it when the run of steelhead are in the river. At least in any numbers. Later run on that Nisqually.


True that I am not targeting them but I fish it from July through October.  Used to fish the chums until about 2 years ago.  I just figured of the hundreds of people fishing someone would catch one.

Unless the fish are not there during that time period....   :rolleyes:   :chuckle:

Offline jackmaster

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2018, 01:56:56 PM »
Knew off topic but we drifted the satsop a couple of weekends ago and got 3 all around 14 pounds and all wild , but that goes without saying, any fish I catch, salmon or steelhead always seem to be wild fish  :chuckle: everyone else catches hatchery fish except me.. haha, I heard the sol duck is going pretty good incase any of you were interested, a girl I know went and drifted it a week ago and caught 5 all of them hatchery fish but she released everyone !!
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Offline jackmaster

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2018, 01:57:35 PM »
Here’s some info

https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01856/wdfw01856.pdf

Looks like around 2000 in 2016 and has been down for a while.
thank you :tup:
my grandpa always said "if it aint broke dont fix it"

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2018, 02:08:29 PM »
Nisqually Steelhead are a Endangered Species, even with no targeted fisheries since the 90’s.
Just recently historic Steelhead strongholds in B.C. were listed “Critically endangered”.  Upper Columbia river Steelhead had there lowest return ever.  Olympic Peninsula streams are also declining despite a end to Wild Steelhead harvest.  I suspect in a few years the ESA listing will be expanded, possibly Coastwide.
If you really want to catch a Wild Steelhead you should fish the upcoming Skagit reopening.Fly fisherman have been fighting to get a fishery on the last river that has a few Wild Steelhead left.  I don’t expect this fishery to continue once this run gets hammered into shape like the rest of them.
There wasn't an end to the harvest of wild steelhead.  The state gave up its 50%, of which usually only about 5% or so was ever kept anyways.  Lots marked it down on the catch cards but actually released their fish to buy them time in the river.  By around May or so when the state determined they didn't get their full share or there was higher than normal escapement and the tribes could net the remainder, it was kind of late to do much damage and springers are a bigger deal anyways.  Now, they get 100% of wild steelhead harvest.  The other thing is with no or reduced hatchery plants, the nets now focus on wild fish.  They used to really net a lot end of December and early January and then chill until blackmouth fishing, now the netting is more for February and just do more elk hunting in Dec/Jan.  Only having a handful of rivers open for all the state's fishermen isn't really helping.
Sorry for the sidetrack jackmaster.

Offline spoonman

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2018, 02:17:17 PM »
I have fished that river for about 10 years and have never seen a steelhead caught.

You aren't fishing it when the run of steelhead are in the river. At least in any numbers. Later run on that Nisqually.


True that I am not targeting them but I fish it from July through October.  Used to fish the chums until about 2 years ago.  I just figured of the hundreds of people fishing someone would catch one.

Unless the fish are not there during that time period....   :rolleyes:   :chuckle:

Great time to fish summer runs  :fishin:  but there is not any of those in there to speak of.

Offline Jake Dogfish

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2018, 02:49:45 PM »
Nisqually Steelhead are a Endangered Species, even with no targeted fisheries since the 90’s.
Just recently historic Steelhead strongholds in B.C. were listed “Critically endangered”.  Upper Columbia river Steelhead had there lowest return ever.  Olympic Peninsula streams are also declining despite a end to Wild Steelhead harvest.  I suspect in a few years the ESA listing will be expanded, possibly Coastwide.
If you really want to catch a Wild Steelhead you should fish the upcoming Skagit reopening.Fly fisherman have been fighting to get a fishery on the last river that has a few Wild Steelhead left.  I don’t expect this fishery to continue once this run gets hammered into shape like the rest of them.
There wasn't an end to the harvest of wild steelhead.  The state gave up its 50%, of which usually only about 5% or so was ever kept anyways.  Lots marked it down on the catch cards but actually released their fish to buy them time in the river.  By around May or so when the state determined they didn't get their full share or there was higher than normal escapement and the tribes could net the remainder, it was kind of late to do much damage and springers are a bigger deal anyways.  Now, they get 100% of wild steelhead harvest.  The other thing is with no or reduced hatchery plants, the nets now focus on wild fish.  They used to really net a lot end of December and early January and then chill until blackmouth fishing, now the netting is more for February and just do more elk hunting in Dec/Jan.  Only having a handful of rivers open for all the state's fishermen isn't really helping.
Sorry for the sidetrack jackmaster.
Good point Hoffa I should of said sport harvest.  I’ve seen pictures recently of totes full of Tribal caught Wild Steelhead.  :bash:

Offline Bullkllr

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2018, 03:09:18 PM »
thank you for the info, that helps me understand things a little better, I wonder what caused the crash,
Different groups have been studying it. Smolt survival leaving Puget Sound is not good. Water quality and predation seem most likely causes.

 I heard at one time the puyallup along with the stuck were world reknowned steelhead rivers but that was way before my time!! As for the nisqaully I would like to see the actual numbers now!!
Don't get me started.
For some interesting numbers go to this link: https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/pub.php?id=00150 You can click on the area links to see historical data. Some rivers have data that goes back farther, and it's kind of spotty.

The heydey for the Puyallup was the late 50-60s. Mostly before my time as well. My dad used to take me plunking late 60s/early 70s and it was productive.  When I have time, I'll look through some of my personal resources for older catch data, but here's a tidbit of what catch record data from the link shows from the Puyallup:
1984/85- 8,536 steelhead sport harvested (that was a good year!)
     2015- 7     


« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 03:22:06 PM by Bullkllr »
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Offline Alchase

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2018, 03:31:46 PM »
thank you for the info, that helps me understand things a little better, I wonder what caused the crash,
Different groups have been studying it. Smolt survival leaving Puget Sound is not good. Water quality and predation seem most likely causes.

 I heard at one time the puyallup along with the stuck were world reknowned steelhead rivers but that was way before my time!! As for the nisqaully I would like to see the actual numbers now!!
Don't get me started.
For some interesting numbers go to this link: https://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/pub.php?id=00150 You can click on the area links to see historical data. Some rivers have data that goes back farther, and it's kind of spotty.

The heydey for the Puyallup was the late 50-60s. Mostly before my time as well. My dad used to take me plunking late 60s/early 70s and it was productive.  When I have time, I'll look through some of my personal resources for older catch data, but here's a tidbit of what catch record data from the link shows from the Puyallup:
1984/85- 8,536 steelhead sport harvested (that was a good year!)
     2015- 7     



1995 there was an article in Fishing and Hunting news rating all the steelhead rivers in Puget Sound. The Puyallup was number 2. Hardly any steelhead in the river yet any day you can go down the river through the tribal land and buy wild "net" caught steelheed, incidental of course  :bash:
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Offline fish vacuum

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2018, 04:00:33 PM »


From what I see is the numbers in there are amazing ,

What are you seeing?

Offline jackmaster

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2018, 07:22:50 PM »


From what I see is the numbers in there are amazing ,

What are you seeing?
what I should have said was from what I am hearing, a couple guys I know that seriously choose steelheading over ANYTHING it's what they are seeing, but neither of them get why sportsman can't fish it, that's why I asked all the experts on here  :tup:
my grandpa always said "if it aint broke dont fix it"

Offline fish vacuum

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #21 on: February 25, 2018, 11:28:21 PM »


From what I see is the numbers in there are amazing ,

What are you seeing?
what I should have said was from what I am hearing, a couple guys I know that seriously choose steelheading over ANYTHING it's what they are seeing, but neither of them get why sportsman can't fish it, that's why I asked all the experts on here  :tup:
Then what are THEY seeing?

Offline spoonman

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2018, 07:29:19 AM »
There is nothing to see. The fact is the state made the Nisqually a wild gene bank river. Which means no hatchery fish are allowed in the system and if there is not a enough fish to meet escapement then there will be no fishing. The estimated escapement for 2015/2016 was 1411 fish. Now I could be mistaken but I believe that is right at or close to the goal but it has to be consistent for more than just one year.

Offline jackmaster

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2018, 01:06:43 PM »
There is nothing to see. The fact is the state made the Nisqually a wild gene bank river. Which means no hatchery fish are allowed in the system and if there is not a enough fish to meet escapement then there will be no fishing. The estimated escapement for 2015/2016 was 1411 fish. Now I could be mistaken but I believe that is right at or close to the goal but it has to be consistent for more than just one year.
so what your saying is as of right now between 2015 and 2016 they only counted 1411 fish? That don't seem like to many especially because they come in over a course of time correct?
my grandpa always said "if it aint broke dont fix it"

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2018, 01:35:26 PM »
That would specific to winter run/spring run fish which generally start entering the system mid January and end by mid May. Most all spawning is completed by the first week of June with a few stragglers hanging on for another week or so.

That might not seem like much, but if you look at historic data for most Puget Sound rivers of that size, they usually didn't have a ton of winter fish. Maybe 4 or 5 times that number? Systems like the Skagit are the exception, which were up in the 30k range and are now in the 8-10k range.

I believe the Puyallup at it's height was getting 15k+ back, but they also put a TON of hatchery fish in the Puyallup.

The Puyallup and the Nisqually are textbook examples of how sportfishing CAN ruin fisheries. I'm sure there was Native harvest in there too, but 20+ boats a day killing 4-6 a day for a months every year will kill a river quickly. Especially when half or more of those fish killed are big fat egg wagons heading for spawning beds.

 :twocents:
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 02:18:55 PM by 7mmfan »
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Offline WSU

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2018, 01:40:16 PM »
Steelhead, and especially wild steelhead, are too good of biters to take that much pressure.  From the looks of it, the OP streams are headed the same direction. 

I love fishing for wild steelhead.  As much as I love it, I've made a conscious choice to avoid fishing in streams that have only or predominantly wild fish present. 

Offline jackmaster

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2018, 02:11:44 PM »
I am far from an expert but a couple weekends ago I caught a beauty of a wild steelhead but now reading some of these posts how do I know itwasnt a hatchery fish that wasn't clipped? It fought like mad on light gear but that's nothing unusual, how do you guys tell the difference between a non clipped hatchery to an honest to god native fish?
my grandpa always said "if it aint broke dont fix it"

Offline BigGoonTuna

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2018, 02:19:43 PM »
there's no 100% way to tell, but generally wild fish will have sharp pointed fins and tails and no deformities on their snout from rubbing against concrete rearing ponds.

i fished the nisqually for steelhead for the last 2 or 3 years it was open, when i got my first steelhead rod at 6.  before that, my dad would take me down there and plant my brother and i in the sand while he fished.  he caught some nice ones out of there, but it was a different time.   as much as i would like to fish that river in march and april again, i can only imagine the cluster it would be if it was reopened.  every hack guide coming out of the woodwork, as well as the "look at me" social media addicted turds that fish for likes on facebook.
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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2018, 02:20:28 PM »
If you want to get a decent understanding of what we had, and what happened, resulting in what we have now for wild fish, watch the "Steelhead Country" series put together by Wild Steelhead Coalition and Bill Herzog. Visit their Facebook page and check out their videos, 5 of the 6 are in there. You can find the first episode with a google search.
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Offline spoonman

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2018, 02:20:53 PM »
I am far from an expert but a couple weekends ago I caught a beauty of a wild steelhead but now reading some of these posts how do I know itwasnt a hatchery fish that wasn't clipped? It fought like mad on light gear but that's nothing unusual, how do you guys tell the difference between a non clipped hatchery to an honest to god native fish?


What river did you catch it on? Only reason I ask is if it was the Nisqually it was closed. Also if it was the Nisqually the way you know it's a wild fish is because there is zero hatchery fish as far as winter runs are concerned released.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2018, 02:29:02 PM by spoonman »

Offline JimmyHoffa

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2018, 02:22:53 PM »
I am far from an expert but a couple weekends ago I caught a beauty of a wild steelhead but now reading some of these posts how do I know itwasnt a hatchery fish that wasn't clipped? It fought like mad on light gear but that's nothing unusual, how do you guys tell the difference between a non clipped hatchery to an honest to god native fish?
For coastal fish, some like to say if the adipose fin is smaller than about an inch high it is likely a hatchery fish.  Hatchery fish also might have rounded off fins.

Offline spoonman

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2018, 02:26:02 PM »
I am far from an expert but a couple weekends ago I caught a beauty of a wild steelhead but now reading some of these posts how do I know itwasnt a hatchery fish that wasn't clipped? It fought like mad on light gear but that's nothing unusual, how do you guys tell the difference between a non clipped hatchery to an honest to god native fish?
For coastal fish, some like to say if the adipose fin is smaller than about an inch high it is likely a hatchery fish.  Hatchery fish also might have rounded off fins.

Per the park regs in the oly pen if the adipose fin is shorter than a credit card that it is a hatchery fish.

Offline 7mmfan

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2018, 02:26:54 PM »
as much as i would like to fish that river in march and april again, i can only imagine the cluster it would be if it was reopened.  every hack guide coming out of the woodwork, as well as the "look at me" social media addicted turds that fish for likes on facebook.

This is my worry for the Skagit system, as they talk about re-opening the spring catch and release season. It's gotten so much publicity the last few years that it will be an absolute disaster. Steelheading has become a fad, and a cool thing to do. I can't wait for the day that it runs it's course and is no longer trendy. I think people are figuring it out though, and social media posts are fewer now than even last year. 75 boat days on the Wynoochee will force people to keep their mouths shut.

This is coming from a guy who guided for a living for 10 years, and grew up fishing that river. I used to log 100+ days a year targeting winter run specifically, I now get out maybe 5 or 6 days a year. It's really sad.
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Offline 87Ford

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2018, 02:34:31 PM »
Didn't buy a fishing license this year for the first time in almost 40 years.  I guess I fished in the good old days and it really wasn't all that long ago.  Sure, you can travel to find some fishing, but the days of hitting my local rivers after work are gone..  People getting excited these days fishing for escaped Atlantics, good grief, sad.


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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2018, 02:35:13 PM »
I am far from an expert but a couple weekends ago I caught a beauty of a wild steelhead but now reading some of these posts how do I know itwasnt a hatchery fish that wasn't clipped? It fought like mad on light gear but that's nothing unusual, how do you guys tell the difference between a non clipped hatchery to an honest to god native fish?


What river did you catch it on? Only reason I ask is if it was the Nisqually it was closed. Also if it was the Nisqually the way you know it's a wild fish is because there is zero hatchery fish as far as winter runs are concerned released.
the satsop, we were gone fish the wynoochie but holy sheet, talk about combat fishn !!
my grandpa always said "if it aint broke dont fix it"

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #35 on: February 26, 2018, 02:35:47 PM »
as much as i would like to fish that river in march and april again, i can only imagine the cluster it would be if it was reopened.  every hack guide coming out of the woodwork, as well as the "look at me" social media addicted turds that fish for likes on facebook.

This is my worry for the Skagit system, as they talk about re-opening the spring catch and release season. It's gotten so much publicity the last few years that it will be an absolute disaster. Steelheading has become a fad, and a cool thing to do. I can't wait for the day that it runs it's course and is no longer trendy. I think people are figuring it out though, and social media posts are fewer now than even last year. 75 boat days on the Wynoochee will force people to keep their mouths shut.

This is coming from a guy who guided for a living for 10 years, and grew up fishing that river. I used to log 100+ days a year targeting winter run specifically, I now get out maybe 5 or 6 days a year. It's really sad.

 :yeah:

I never guided but I did get out on the rivers on a very regular basis. I still get out a lot but come in contact with far fewer fish. I enjoy fishing because of the peace and quiet and the time to myself. It's never been about the amount of fish or the photo shoot like a lot of the look at me idiots. To them it's how many different photos can we get and oh yeah.....let's see how long this beautiful fish can breath out of water?!?!it's definitely not the same!

Offline spoonman

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #36 on: February 26, 2018, 02:42:41 PM »
I am far from an expert but a couple weekends ago I caught a beauty of a wild steelhead but now reading some of these posts how do I know itwasnt a hatchery fish that wasn't clipped? It fought like mad on light gear but that's nothing unusual, how do you guys tell the difference between a non clipped hatchery to an honest to god native fish?


What river did you catch it on? Only reason I ask is if it was the Nisqually it was closed. Also if it was the Nisqually the way you know it's a wild fish is because there is zero hatchery fish as far as winter runs are concerned released.
the satsop, we were gone fish the wynoochie but holy sheet, talk about combat fishn !!

So in a system that has hatchery fish and wild fish there will be a overlap in the runs. Its not easy to tell exactly weather it is one or the other. I've volunteered at a hatchery or two and have clipped thousands of fish, if you take your time and it means something to you, you clip them all but there was a few and i mean just a few that slipped. Make your best educated guess but dont keep a fish with a fin.

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2018, 04:06:52 PM »
I wish someone here would buy my sled so I don't have to read this crap anymore.

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #38 on: February 26, 2018, 04:55:52 PM »
as much as i would like to fish that river in march and april again, i can only imagine the cluster it would be if it was reopened.  every hack guide coming out of the woodwork, as well as the "look at me" social media addicted turds that fish for likes on facebook.

This is my worry for the Skagit system, as they talk about re-opening the spring catch and release season. It's gotten so much publicity the last few years that it will be an absolute disaster. Steelheading has become a fad, and a cool thing to do. I can't wait for the day that it runs it's course and is no longer trendy. I think people are figuring it out though, and social media posts are fewer now than even last year. 75 boat days on the Wynoochee will force people to keep their mouths shut.

This is coming from a guy who guided for a living for 10 years, and grew up fishing that river. I used to log 100+ days a year targeting winter run specifically, I now get out maybe 5 or 6 days a year. It's really sad.

 :yeah:

I never guided but I did get out on the rivers on a very regular basis. I still get out a lot but come in contact with far fewer fish. I enjoy fishing because of the peace and quiet and the time to myself. It's never been about the amount of fish or the photo shoot like a lot of the look at me idiots. To them it's how many different photos can we get and oh yeah.....let's see how long this beautiful fish can breath out of water?!?!it's definitely not the same!

 :yeah: I pretty much lived for winter run steelhead fishing for like the middle 30 years of my life. Things have changed so much in the last 10 years...to say I'm sad about it is an incredible understatement. I reckon it to basically living on a different planet.
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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #39 on: February 26, 2018, 05:11:50 PM »
Check out the podcast with John McMillan, Andy Danylchuk, Bruce Hill, John Hazel, Greg Osburn, Dave McCoy, Dylan Tomine, and Bill Bakke.  All of these are super-interesting and give a ton of insight to the steelhead fisheries, hatcheries, native fish, and current studies on saving the steelhead fisheries.  I also enjoyed her podcast with Gary Loomis and Gary Woolridge, among others.

http://www.aprilvokey.com/podcasts/
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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #40 on: February 26, 2018, 05:13:11 PM »
I use to fish almost every weekend for the winter run on the Sky, and Snoqualmie. I quit most steelhead when the combat fishing caught on in the mid 90s. I still went out to the Snoqualmie on occasion during the summer run, just to get away and enjoy some time on the river without the crowds.
I turned to trout and Kokenee, aloud me to still have the quiet enjoyment fishing is all about.
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He trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle.
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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #41 on: February 28, 2018, 09:02:49 PM »
I am far from an expert but a couple weekends ago I caught a beauty of a wild steelhead but now reading some of these posts how do I know itwasnt a hatchery fish that wasn't clipped? It fought like mad on light gear but that's nothing unusual, how do you guys tell the difference between a non clipped hatchery to an honest to god native fish?
For coastal fish, some like to say if the adipose fin is smaller than about an inch high it is likely a hatchery fish.  Hatchery fish also might have rounded off fins.

  It is not the adipose fin. If the dorsal fin is shorter than a credit card or about 2-1/4" , cliped adipose or ventral it it a hatchery fish.

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Re: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!
« Reply #42 on: February 28, 2018, 09:12:21 PM »
Hatchery fish that aren't clipped have fairly beaten up dorsal fin from growing up in net pens.  Wild fish will not.

 

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