NFR Emergency closure on the Nooksack!!!

#1
Here's the post from WDFW


Fishing to close on the Nooksack River

Action: Close the Nooksack River


Effective dates: Jan. 9 through Jan. 31, 2014.

Species affected: All species.

Locations:

The Nooksack River from mouth to the confluence of the North and South Forks.

The South Fork Nooksack from mouth to Skookum Creek.

The Middle Fork Nooksack from mouth to city of Bellingham diversion dam.

The North Fork from mouth to Nooksack Falls.

Reasons for action: The Kendall Hatchery has been unable to collect enough returning hatchery winter steelhead broodstock to meet egg take needs. Closure of the fishery is necessary to collect sufficient fish to meet egg take needs.

Other information: On Feb. 1 the fisheries will re-open to fishing as listed in the 2013-14 Fishing in Washington sport fishing pamphlet.
 
#2
Well, I thought we might get a reprieve this year when they announced the stilly closure and the Nookie wasn't on the list, but I never dreamed they would shut the whole river down. I guess when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. (0(&suckers!
 
#3
So you'll get to fish from the confluence to the hatchery in the n. fork for 15 days in feb. Whoopie, I hope the fuckin river is blasted.
 
#6
Apparently, to waste money. An absolutely pathetic display.

For Kendall Creek Hatchery on the Nooksack (data for 2001-2009):



1) The worst hatchery steelhead year was 2009 with a cost of $2,485 per harvested hatchery steelhead

2) The best hatchery steelhead year was 2001 with a cost of $89 per harvested hatchery steelhead

3) The average cost per harvested hatchery steelhead for all nine years was $754
 
#8
Bill McMillan. Bill did a fine job in researching and collecting all the necessary data that shows just how ridiculous these hatchery programs are in some cases.

Not to digress but here's the Skagit.

From Marblemount Hatchery on the Skagit (data for 1999-2010):
1) The worst hatchery steelhead year was 2003 with a cost of $942 per harvested hatchery steelhead

2) The best hatchery steelhead year was 2002 with a cost of $148 per harvested hatchery steelhead

3) The average cost per harvested hatchery steelhead for all 12 years was $488
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#9
Don't you just love fishing in Washington. First they close down the river because there isn't enough natives coming back. Now they shut down river because not enough hatchery fish come back. Maybe they ought to look into why their zombies aren't coming back home.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#10
Keeping some of these hatchery programs open makes no sense.
The Puyallup was my home river as a kid. I had lots of fun days on that river, including my first steelhead.
It is now another system that gets very few hatchery steelhead returns.
I really don't see the benefit of the 25-30K smolts they dump in there. The costs are to high to get back 10 fish or so every year.
SF
 
#11
If they're going to put a hatchery on the river, they should put enough smolt in to get a decent return. They know that their stock has crappy numbers, they need to adjust accordingly. The better option would be to just stop putting fish into a system that doesn't work. The steelhead program is a waste of money. End of story. Pick a river for hatchery fish, and leave the rest of the pathetic rivers alone.
 

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
#12
If they're going to put a hatchery on the river, they should put enough smolt in to get a decent return. They know that their stock has crappy numbers, they need to adjust accordingly. The better option would be to just stop putting fish into a system that doesn't work. The steelhead program is a waste of money. End of story. Pick a river for hatchery fish, and leave the rest of the pathetic rivers alone.
Funny you should say that. Bill McMillian has a section in a new book discussing this. Interestingly, increasing smolt plants have REDUCED hatchery returns, and as a result plantings have been scaled back (i think Mr. McMilan was discussing the Skagit).

I agree wholeheartedly that stocking should cease in some places. I think more people are beginning to come to terms with this.
 
#13
If they're going to put a hatchery on the river, they should put enough smolt in to get a decent return.
Each of the S-rivers, plus the Nooksack, were each planted with more fish than the Bogie. The return on the Bogie is down this year just like the PS rivers, but it's still getting about 10x the fish back. The 226k smolts dumped in the Skagit were more than twice what the Bogie got. Is the Skagit getting twice the return of the Bogie? No. It's getting a fraction.
In 2003 the Skagit got around 500k smolts. Are people still talking about the awesome steelhead fishing from '04-'05? No. Because it was the same old fishery.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
#15
CB has a good point. More plants doesn't guarantee better returns.
I've always wondered what the returns would look like if they planted hatchery steelhead as fry rather then smolts.
Might be worth a try, as things can't get much worse return wise then they are now.
Perhaps growing up in a river rather then a concrete pond would make those that do survive more likely to return at a better rate?
SF