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Author Topic: NISQAULLY STEELHEAD!!  (Read 2386 times)

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"

Online 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 »

 

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