Chopaka Report

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by chief, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Hillbilly Redneck wishin i was fishin

    Posts: 432
    Whitehorse Mt.
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    I learned that I probably should have made my annual fall trip to the Sinlahekin valley rather than fishing the Methow this year. Thank you for the reports and info.
  2. chief Active Member

    Posts: 365
    Portland, OR
    Ratings: +131 / 1
    Bob, I am not trying to second guess the experts but my experience is different than what you describe. When I started fishing the lake back in the mid 90's we landed fish up to 24" that were shaped like footballs, but we weren't catching nearly the numbers per day as we have since the rehab. I wish my fishing skills have improved that much, but I don't think that is the case. Maybe as the fingerling plants replace the plant of larger fish used to jump start the rehab we will see the condition of the larger fish improve. Or maybe my memory is exaggerated and the lake has never had the feed to support the larger fish............. I'll let you know next Fall............

    Karl, I don't believe expressing concern is the same as complaining. Don't make me get out my dictionary..............
  3. Rialto Member

    Posts: 230
    Seattle, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    I believe that prior to the rehab Chopaka was stocked with triploids, whereas post rehab WDFW decided to not to stock them. That may account for the absence of the footballs recently. I fished the lake the week of Labor Day for the first time and the fish did not appear snakey to me. I did catch a lot more fish in the eight-to-twelve inch range than those over twelve inches.
  4. Caveman Member

    Posts: 720
    Ratings: +21 / 0
    I would rather catch bigger fish than a bunch of smaller fish. I am sure it will get that way, jsut a matter of time.
  5. Bob Newman Member

    Posts: 144
    On the edge of ???, WA
    Ratings: +20 / 0
    Just give the lake some time. Back in the 80's you could see fish that looked like small chinook. Catching them was a different story but you could occasionally. Remember, for those that fished it back before the bass started taking over, which was about 92 or 93, if you knew how to fish the lake, catching a lot of fish a day was not a problem and that occasional fish up to 24 inches was always a potential. I've run into a lot of people that even in the glory days had a hard time cacthing fish. We did have a lot of good fish fries with bass during that time. Ahh, appetizers with cocktail hour.

    I haven't found any information that says Chopaka was ever rehabbed before and I know they stocked lots of different strains of fish in there over the years so maybe they will start stocking the longer lived fish instead of the standard put and take fish.

    My wife learned how to fly fish Chopaka after we got married, so she's spoiled. The first year she didn't catch a fish under 15 inches, the lake was already in decline but she didn''t know it. She loved those triploids they stocked at the end. We didn't catch more than 12 or 15 a day but they were all 21 inches plus. By the way we just happened to find the right spot out of the whole lake, you couldn't find them anywhere else, we know, we fished the heck out of the lake that year, and it's still a good spot.

    Those eight to twelve inch fish are last falls plant, by next spring they will be ten to fourteen inches. Those eighteen inchers will be pushing twenty.

    There are a couple of terms that you might want to know about the fish biologists use. One is fishing mortality, those fish lost from any fishing action, whether it is taking the fish for dinner, to poor handling on the release (it can happen to any of us), to poaching. Then there is always natural mortality, which can be old age or the skill of the ospreys and eagles up there, or disease, and the list goes on.
  6. Caveman Member

    Posts: 720
    Ratings: +21 / 0
    Good info, thanks for the knowledge.