Occupy the Klickitat?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Klickrolf, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    I ran numbers and typed an lucid post that concluded, with many assumptions, that there are probably few, if any WR fish on the Klick. Then I "swiped" the mouse pad on this Damnable Apple computer and went "back" and lost my post.

    Being too lazy to type it all again, here is the short version...
    - SWAG is needed (Scientific Wild Ass Guessing).
    - Assume KR wild fish would be late returning like the Hood.
    - I assume some fish are not counted.
    - Hood escapement/Harvest is estimated at 1351 fish.
    - Passage over Bonneville for Steelhead (10yr ave) from Jan 1 to May 15 4705 fish, some are summer fish, but for the sake of argument I assume all are WR.
    - Passage over The Dalles at the same time is 2648 fish.

    Math give us 4705 - 2648 - 1351 = 706 fish. This is based on AVERAGES.

    2009 estimated Wild escapement for the Hood (866 fish) is almost the exact number of wild fish that cross over Bonneville (I didn't even subtract the wild fish crossing The Dalles during this time). Which (with the overall math) leads one to believe that the average escapement to the Klickitat during this period is, for all practical purposes, 0 fish.

    I would guess what is encountered during the late winter on the Klick is mostly Summer fish. Fish from the previous fall and late arrivals who stayed in the columbia river. PIT tag data shows these late arrivals show up in almost all of the rivers of the Snake and Columbia.

    So a fishery on the Klick, mandatory bonker retention, wild release seems to make sense to me. Maybe close it on T-day and open Feb 1. Water is bad, let the Kings go away and finish spawning, let the Steelies settle in.

    Bonneveille Link: http://www.cbr.washington.edu/dart/wrapper?type=php&fname=adultdaily_1396717135_284.php

    The Dalles: http://www.cbr.washington.edu/dart/wrapper?type=php&fname=adultdaily_1396717557_50.php

    Hood Estimates: http://www.hatcheryreform.us/hrp_do...orge-hood_river_winter_steelhead_01-31-09.pdf
    Klickrolf likes this.
  2. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    And color can be very deceptive. I have seen fish, especially hens, with barely faint pink markings (almost chrome-ish...trout with no stripe) at the end of March on the GR.
  3. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    No thanks...the whole "occupy" thing seems a bit overused.
  4. BDD

    BDD Active Member

    I would support a C&R fishery on natural origin fish with a kill season on hatchery fish in the winter on the Klick...IF and ONLY IF WDFW imposed some serious restrictions for the rest of the year to somehow minimize the current pressure this system receives from anglers. Even though this is one of the closer steelhead rivers to my home, I often don't bother fishing it as much as I should because of the pressure. And yes, I understand that I can be part of the problem too. But after seeing the explosion of two-rod bobber drifters pounding that river all season long for the past decade, (not just guides but they are a big part of it) I would feel better for the fish if somehow pressure could be reduced before extending a steelhead season.
    Brett Angel likes this.
  5. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    These situations should not surprise us. As more and more rivers are closed (or severely restricted), those remaining become the places to go. Like the Klickitat, the Hoh and Bogachiel are busting at the seams. This is a concern I have for the Skagit. It's much easier access to the core Seattle basin population makes it ripe for the same situation you cite. Some are now suggesting a special permit, like that for the Columbia basin, but that does not address the very real issue of enforcement and monitoring...which I'm guessing is a problem on the Klickitat as well?
  6. Sean Beauchamp

    Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Freestone do you currently or have you ever fished the hoh, bogi, klick or skagit? The permit would hypothetically pay for monitoring/creeling/etc just like upper col tribs. That's literally what it addresses.
    Jason Rolfe likes this.
  7. TomB

    TomB Active Member

    Quick response here Rolf...sorry for the delay. Short answers/comments:
    1)PTAGIS queries I ran (actually through DART), indicated we have very little data, as you alluded to, to infer run timing using unbiased methods. Lyle falls counts are not a reliable indicator since flow, temperature, and the presence of other species, may affect the percent of steelhead entering the trap, not to mention that during the summer there are strays including wild fish that cannot be distinguished from klickitat wild fish in the field. A simple solution to this would be for the YKFP to representatively tag large numbers of smolts as is being done in other Columbia tributaries including gorge tribs like the Wind and Hood.
    2) The limited data i did look at included a handful of fish tagged as smolts in White Creek over the years. All returned to BON during the summer. I did not count the timing as repeat spawners of adults tagged at lyle since they are unlikely to be a representative as discussed above.
    3) other sources of information to think about klickitat timing:
    a) 95-98% of Wind R adults are summer runs based on timing at BON (very few fish between november and april).
    b) upstream of the Klickitat, all populations are ~100% summers (even 15 mile creek which had bean assumed to be a winter run, is now known to be a summer run based on PIT tags).
    c) Above BON, the only winter run of any size at all is the Hood, and it also has a summer run of size.
    d) so which is the Klickitat more likely to be like, the Wind or Hood, or rivers upstream?
    -The Hood with its mixed run, has no barriers to migration on the mainstem or east fork, but a falls on the west fork at the mouth (punchbowl) that defines the transition to summers in that basin--mostly summers upstream and mostly winters downstream.
    -On the wind, Shipherd falls at rkm 3 denies passage to most steelhead most years except in summer and fall, meaning winters, and summers that come back at the wrong time or sit in the BON pool too long, would likely have been historically forced to spawn in the limited habitat below shipherd falls (now can pass upstream through a ladder).
    -since the Klickitat, like the Wind, has a falls just above the mouth that was historically thought to block all but spring chinook and steelhead (no coho or fall chinook naturally in the upper Klickitat!), I think it is reasonable to assume its run timing is more like the Wind's---not necessarily 95-98% summers, but probably very dominated by summers with a smaller winter component.
    -In reality, we won''t know until the quality of monitoring data is improved.

    Klickrolf likes this.
  8. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

    Tom's and David's input forced me to do more searching and I became less confident in the numbers. The Dalles dam counts are useless since everyone agrees winter fish don't pass the Dalles, though I think Rock Creek gets a few. Data (for the Dalles Dam) between 1/1 and 3/31 don't exist in most years, the only exceptions are 2012 & 2013 but those numbers are entirely dubious because any number of those fish may have passed Bonneville months earlier. Same as the overwintering we see in the John Day Pool.

    My attempts at finding Hood River wild winter escapement counts (estimates) weren't any better (help me David?) My searching only found very few wild winter fish (assuming 1/1- 3/31) passing Powerdale dam, are they counted somewhere else downriver? Or maybe it's based on PIT tags which I didn't check. I used Jan 1 to March 31 because I'm convinced alot of the mid to late April and May fish are spring steelhead and won't spawn for nearly a year.

    Barring the assumptions of similarity to the Wind, Lyle falls has always been passable for steelhead and passage was easier prior to the dynamiting done when the original ladder was installed. Steelhead don't jump Lyle Falls, they swim it. Lyle Falls is not Shippard Falls.

    Here's a little SWAG, everything I see suggests the wild winter run on the Klickitat is much stronger than suggested.
  9. JohnB

    JohnB Member

    I only have a little experience with PTAGIS, but one thing to keep in mind is that some hatcheries tag a fairly significant portion of their smolts that are being released, while there may only be one smolt trap on the river that is only sampling a small fraction of the out migrating wild origin smolts. Getting the info to figure out what estimated proportion of the river's population was sampled is a whole other bag of worms.
  10. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    I do (or have) fished those rivers. I think the "hypothetically" part of your response is what is most concerning...and likely most accurate. Still, special pay to play fees may very well be the future of this sport.
  11. PT

    PT Physhicist

    We haven't been able to tax our way to a better educations system, transportation system, welfare system, or any other system/program to make our life's better. Fees aren't going to make our fishing any better, either.
  12. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    That depends on how you measure the results... or perhaps more accurately, devise ways to manipulate the data to achieve the desired outcome. That fact that we keep doubling down on taxes and fees suggests that it must indeed be yielding results. In the case of the Skagit or Hoh, maybe special user fees should be added to cover the cost of increased enforcement.
  13. The Klick is my favorite river. Fished it nearly my entire life. Regardless of how many fish we think are in the river, like every living thing it needs to rest. I don't agree with the theory that keeping a river open longer will dissipate angler traffic. If you fished it three times a year now, would you still limit yourself to three times next year when you could fish several more months than before? Maybe I've just fished it so long I'm used to saying goodbye in November and catching up with my old friend in June.
  14. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

    This thread was probably better off dead but I was presented with more data so here's a revival.

    Thanks to a couple other forum members I've found a little more data.

    Bonneville counts for wild winter steelhead don't exist prior to 2001 (the dates I chose for winter fish were 12/15 to 3/31). Wild winter steelhead counts for the Hood are tough to find, with help I've ID'd numbers for 2001, 2009 and 2010, wild winter fish numbers are assumed correct.

    The 2001 number of 954 for the Hood doesn't work (numbers come from here, http://people.oregonstate.edu/~blouinm/pdf_files/BPA contract 9245 final report 5-03.pdf ), but they don't work since only 517 wild winter fish passed Bonneville between 12/15/00 and 3/31/01. Dates might the problem here...don't know the dates wild winter fish might pass Bonneville.

    Hood River numbers for 2009 & 2010 are found here, the last two years for Powerdale Dam. http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/fish_counts/powerdale_hoodriver/index.asp

    The numbers suggest a majority of WILD winter steelhead over Bonneville went somewhere other than the Hood. For 2009 the missing fish number is 291 and for 2010 the missing fish number is 726.

    If the dates are reasonable and counts are correct then the majority of wild winter fish over Bonneville go somewhere other than the Hood. Any ideas?