24" SRC in Doubt

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Bugthrower, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Bugthrower Willits

    Posts: 141
    Seattle
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    I can't say I'm thrilled with taking the fish out of the water for this type of documentaion, but the golden rule doesn't lie. This is 20", now add another 4 inches? I anxiously await.
    [IMG]
  2. D3Smartie Active Member

    Posts: 1,987
    WA
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  3. Nick Andrews New Member

    Posts: 487
    Bremerton, WA, USA.
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    I am probably in the same boat at D3 as most of the big ones are in the 17 to 18 with two or three being over 20inchs and one for sure 22inch. I feel the nets get most of the ones that are mush bigger then that size and are as rare as white elephant.

  4. Nick Andrews New Member

    Posts: 487
    Bremerton, WA, USA.
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    Keith,
    Maybe if you were not sure a purest you would catch more giant SRC's. I have offered to take you out more then once, but every time you just bitch about how I fish. How is life? If you want to go out this spring you know where to find me when you want to catch some consistent monsters. Take care, Nick
  5. hendersonbaylocal Member

    Posts: 966
    Seattle WA
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    Photo doesn't show it that well, but I believe this guy was around 20. I have big hands...

    View attachment 12958
  6. Wayne Jordan Active Member

    Posts: 1,061
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    Here's the biggest one I've personally seen caught so far.

    [IMG]
  7. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
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    Since the sportsmen of Washington pushed through a regulation that cutthroat could not be killed in marine waters (1997) the cutthroat have indeed had more time to grow to maturity. In south Puget Sound they also have a rich diet primarily feeding in saltwater which helps pack on the inches and pounds. This has been stated many times in the cutthroat threads on WFF.
    I doubt very much if any gill nets used by the tribes or commercial fishermen are of a size that they will take cutthroat....not yet anyway.
    Les Johnson
  8. speyflyfisher Member

    Posts: 136
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    Les
    My thoughts are more along the lines of large cuts being netted
    with the pink runs. I tend to catch fewer large cuts on pink years in fresh water. My observation could be attributed to changes if river behavior on humpy years.
    Here's my personal best that I would estimate at 20"

    speyflyfisher

    Attached Files:

  9. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
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    Coastal cutthroat that are primarily lake dwellers (adfluvial) grow considerably larger than our anadromous coastal cutthroat. A coastal cutthroat of 14-1/2 pounds was taken from Lake Washington a few years back. It made the cover of Fishing & Hunting News. Coastal cutthroat from Crescent and Sutherland lakes on the Olympic Peninsula have been recorded to 9-pounds. I have been told by reliable sources in the BCDOF that some of the huge lakes on Vancouver Island have produced coastal cutthroats pushing 20-pounds. Most of these fish are takien by trollilng big plugs or spoons deep on lead-core line.
    Les
  10. BDD Active Member

    Posts: 2,227
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +216 / 2
    Preston,

    That record fish must have had an incredible girth; less than 20 inches but still over 6 pounds? That is amazing.

    AKPW, most of the trophy AK cutts are not anadromous. They obtain their large size by living a long life in a lake and foraging on fish, primarily sockeye fry and smolt.

    Les, I remember that fish from L. Washington. I had it on my screen saver for years. It was a beast of a fish.

    D3, Those sea lice are weird looking. They must be different than the ones that usually attach to the vent area of salmon. Cool pics though.

    There is an incredible amount of collective information on the board. From guys who target the fish pretty regularly to authors who have written extensively on the subject to bios who have spent a majority of their careers researching and catching these unique fish. I wish I had spent more time chasing them when I lived over there.
  11. ray helaers New Member

    Posts: 1,088
    .
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    While I've caught a few myself, I am no expert at all on SRC's. However, many years ago I had the pleasure and privilege to fish with Mike Croft and Captain Tom Wolf, to write an article for the venerable but now defunct NW Fishing Holes magazine. Mike and Captain Tom are two very experienced anglers who likely know as much about fishing for SRCs as anyone in the region. I say this with all due respect to our own resident experts (and I'm sure they'd agree).

    We had as I recall a pretty exceptional day, catching a bunch of big cutthroat on the morning tide, and then a bunch of staging coho through the afternoon. Those two chaps know their business. Most if not all of cutts were in the 16 to 19 inch range, at the time (and still) some of the largest SRCs I'd seen. Since I was more or less on the clock, I had the responsibilty and excuse to pester my two hosts with questions, and of course one of the things I wanted to know was why the fish were so much bigger than the cutthroat I'd been catching in my home water around Seattle.

    Both Mike and Captain Tom believed large average size of the fish was due to C&R regulations below the Narrows, which had been in effect for much longer than they had in waters north (if I remember correctly, C&R had just been instituted north of the Narrows). They also noted that they almost never caught any cutthroat longer than 20". They believed, and I have to say it sounded very reasonable, the the bigger fish were selected out of the population by the mesh size of the tribal fishing nets that target the resident coho produced in the Squaxin net pens.

    Is it possible that could as easily explain the lack of SRCs between 20 and 24 inches as hybridization? (Or at least contribute to the phenomenon?) I certainly don't doubt that mykiss/clarki hybridization occurs and is even relatively common in PS, but why wouldn't there be any 22-inchers of those? Differences in growth rates notwithstanding, the hybrids aren't born two feet long.

    I know for sure that Curt is likely to have a better grip on this than I do, but might a 26" SRC be outside the selection range of the gillnets being used to catch resident coho (which rarely exceed 24 inches)? Or might those specimens be so rare that they're as unlikely to be caught in nets as by fanatics with fly rods?

    Anyway, I thought I'd throw that out there. Nobody mentioned it and it seems reasonable to me. So does Bugthrower's original post, by the way. We are anglers after all, which makes us pretty reckless and impulsive liars. Though to be fair, bugthrower, it seems to me I've seen a photo of yours showing Captain Keith releasing a fish that has to be pretty damned close to 24".
  12. D3Smartie Active Member

    Posts: 1,987
    WA
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    I agree with this 100%. And have seen some big cutts come from the nets that used to be around here.
  13. hendersonbaylocal Member

    Posts: 966
    Seattle WA
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    I caught a large cutt last August with net marks...
  14. Preston Active Member

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    BDD,
    Please read my Trotter quote more carefully. It didn't offer a length for the record-weight fish, merely commenting that these fish "... do not normally grow much beyond 500mm in fork length." There is no length given for the state record fish, obviously it must have been over twenty inches.
  15. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,097
    Near the Fjord
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    I think beach seining has taken it's toll on SRC's at times. I had an experience in Hood Canal back in 2004, I believe, while the tribe was loading up on coho. They no doubt impact the cutthroat when their net is hooked to the beach and semi-circled back in. I watched it. Turns out they were illegally fishing within a 1000' of a creek mouth which is against the rules (at the time anyway). I spoke with the Tribal Officer about the incident and he told me he caught them doing it again. Anyway, the year prior to that I beached 7 or 8 cutthroat in the same area that ranged from 18 to 22 inches. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera but just memories. Three of the fish were over 20". It was an incredible afternoon I will remember. Since that time, I have fished the beach with a couple being 19 with a nice 18 incher about a week ago and good numbers of fish from 14-17 in November/December, It was slim pickens a couple of years ago, and I think the Tribal net may have impacted the fishery.
  16. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,097
    Near the Fjord
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    I've caught a number of fish with net marks.
  17. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,798
    Marysville, Washington
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    BBD/Preston
    Walt Jahnson's 6# cuttrhoat was reported as being 24.25 inches long.

    Tight lines
    Curt
  18. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Curt,
    24.25 inches for Walt's 6-pound cutthroat is in keeping with the big one I caught. Mike Kinney who netted my 26-incher which had a huge shoulder, estimated its weight at about 6-pounds. He also said that he'd seen them larger in the Stillaguamish River, perhaps up to 7-pounds or more.
    And, to the people who have caught cutthroat bearing net marks I stand corrected. I just haven't personally seen any with net marks.
    However, after reading this thread I can say without hesitation that I don't catch nearly as many cutthroat in the salt as most of you.
    Les
  19. Denny Active Member

    Posts: 4,046
    Seattle, WA, USA.
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    Where can a person find a list of those lakes?

    And, sounding a little naive here, but isn't there a difference between coastal cutts and searun cutts? Doesn't the coastal cutt reside in fresh water, where obviously the searun cutt resides in salt . . . ?
  20. Preston Active Member

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    Richard,
    No, they are all Oncorhynchus clarki clarki, the coastal cutthroat subspecies that ranges from the Eel River in Northern California to Alaska's Cook Inlet and along the western slopes of the major coastal mountain ranges. They exhibit a very wide range of life histories including anadromous (semi-anadromous according to Behnke), fluvial and adfluvial. Much like steelhead/rainbows, some of the fluvial fish tend to seek richer pastures and find themselves spending a part of each year in salt water.

    It's a bit of a mystery how, and at what rate, recruitment occurs from fluvial to anadromous populations. One of the reasons that ESA status was denied sea-run cutthroat populations in Southwest Washington streams a few years back was that the fluvial populations were deemed to be healthy and NOAA/USFWS felt that recruitment from those populations would restore the numbers of the anadromous populations. I haven't seen any recent numbers to show whether sea-run cutthroat populations in that region have shown any signs of recovery.

    Come on Richard, I know you've got Les' book and if you'd study it you'd know all this stuff.:thumb: