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Author Topic: Skykomish Steelhead  (Read 508 times)

Offline Ironhead

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Skykomish Steelhead
« on: April 28, 2021, 07:58:40 AM »
https://nwsportsmanmag.com/new-local-steelhead-strain-released-into-skykomish-as-wdfws-quicksilver-portfolio-also-receives-funding-in-state-budget/?fbclid=IwAR0RDz6WmkE0nnS9ZIgAzczpOMTTj53UhkG6yyRJ4y8a8s0R3HyjMCKktWU

I am personally pretty excited about this. We have been talking about it for 30 years. Its now in the works.
 The Skamania strain is being weeded out and Native Brood stock are being used at the hatchery instead. This should be a game changer for the Summer Runs. I hope to see the Winter Runs go the same direction. Finally a positive for the SKY!
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Offline 7mmfan

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Re: Skykomish Steelhead
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2021, 08:20:19 AM »
I agree completely. This is how all steelhead hatchery programs, hell all hatchery programs, should be run. Use native stock from the system you're planting fish in. Only pull what is needed for brood stock and let the rest spawn in the system. It's a win win situation for everyone. I hope to see riverside holding tubes or pens like they do in OR in the coming years so anglers can participate as well.
I hunt, therefore I am.... I fish, therefore I lie.

Offline WSU

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Re: Skykomish Steelhead
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2021, 08:59:41 AM »
The funny part is the "native" stock is, I believe, just Skamania fish that were passed over the falls and eventually spawned.  I'm certainly not against it, and hopefully they've adapted well enough that the returns are worth fishing.  It was fun back in the day to be able to catch summers and kings in decent numbers.

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Skykomish Steelhead
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2021, 09:26:16 AM »
Steel head on the South Fork of the Sky have been trapped at Sunset falls and hauled to Reiter Ponds and Wallace Hatchery for egg extraction for 30+ years. When I was a kid I was a volunteer for the steelhead feeding and releasing on the South Fork.

Offline Barebuck

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Re: Skykomish Steelhead
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2021, 09:31:42 AM »
The funny part is the "native" stock is, I believe, just Skamania fish that were passed over the falls and eventually spawned.  I'm certainly not against it, and hopefully they've adapted well enough that the returns are worth fishing.  It was fun back in the day to be able to catch summers and kings in decent numbers.

Exactly this. The broodstock is not native but may be considered wild since it evolved from the passing of Skamania hatchery fish above sunset falls. In all reality they are still hatchery fish. The true native summer runs in the system are from the Tolt and NF sky. Both of those runs are very depressed which is why those stocks are not being used. Aside from that, they are small 3-4 lb steelhead.

The SF wild fish which are being used are struggling. About 10 years ago they stopped trucking hatchery fish above the falls, since then the wild counts above the falls have been in decline. Those hatchery trucked above the falls were supplementing the wild which kept wild fish numbers up.

So......they are still hatchery fish which will be used to brood more hatchery fish. The skamania summer runs are a pretty robust fish for being hatchery unlike the chambers creek winter runs. I do hope the new “plan” is successful. 30 years ago I was in the upper water shed from June till February. It was worthwhile back then since there were lots of hatchery fish, now it’s just barren.

Offline 2MANY

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Re: Skykomish Steelhead
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2021, 09:34:34 AM »
PLANT FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline Barebuck

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Re: Skykomish Steelhead
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2021, 09:43:18 AM »
PLANT FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I new this was coming. Ha.   :tup:

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: Skykomish Steelhead
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2021, 09:53:16 AM »
There was a time when they used to plant trout on the upper South fork and it tributaries. It was nice to go catch some fish after school to take home and fry. When I asked the WDFW the reason they stopped planting trout it was told to me that they conflicted with the salmon and steelhead runs that were trucked up there. I also asked why the trout that could be kept had to be over 12 inches. They said that people might mistaken a juvenile steelhead for a trout and hurt the steelhead run. They said the smolt steelhead typically head to the ocean at about 10 or so inches. Steelhead on the upper S. Fork are pretty much all catch and release native fish now. The run is a mere shadow of what it once was weather that's because a lot of the fish are taken to Reiter or a combination with diminished runs.

Offline Ironhead

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Re: Skykomish Steelhead
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2021, 10:06:33 AM »
It was a thing of beauty to see 25 to 30 Steelhead sitting in a single 3 foot deep hole awaiting the spawn. Those summer fish were big back in the day, I hope to see them again in the near future.
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