thought I'd revive this thread since the recent thread surfaced about Yakima steelhead. Perhaps they're already rebounding a bit in the upper Yakima. Les when was it you said you were fishing the Yakima for steelhead? Was it in the lower river?
I read in the local paper where the Yakamas have purchased some water rights to Manashtash Creek so that it won't become completely dewatered in the lower stretches. Now to identify and fix passage blockages within the watershed to allow the steelhead to "seed" spawning habitat. I think the irrigation districts should be responsible for bringing their projects up to "fish passage code" (whatever that means). Efforts like this would be more beneficial to restoring wild steelhead than planting hatchery fish in the system, in my opinion.
Anybody know anything about adult passage at Roza? I heard that only fairly recently (last couple decades) that they improved their fish ladders to meet acceptable standards.
One of the big issues is the poor water quality the fish must negotiate between the mouth and the city of Yakima. Between the predators, elevated water temperatues, pollution, and de-watering, I would imagine mortality to be relatively high. Of course the chinook and soon to be sockeye would have to migrate through the same corridor.