Steelhead fishing in the Upper Yakima

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Paul Huffman, Nov 29, 2006.


Would you like to see steelhead rebound in the Upper Yakima?

Poll closed Dec 13, 2006.
  1. Yes

    56 vote(s)
  2. No

    22 vote(s)
  1. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

    We've been debating what the angler community wants, so I thought I'd put the question here as a poll. Would you like more steelhead and better steelhead passage at Roza so that there would be a viable steelhead fishery in the Canyon and up to Easton?
  2. WT

    WT Member

    Good question though it's a tough one. If it doesn't adversely effect the trout fishery and the regs stay the same (selective gear) I'm all for it.
  3. JS

    JS Active Member

    Why so we can turn it into a hatchery run kill fishery and have another million idiots up there not understanding the regs and "unintentionally" poaching resident trout. I dont fish the Yak that often, maybe 6-8 times a year, but I have a good idea what happens if they put in a hatchery for steelhead up there. Bad Idea in my opinion, but Im not a gamey or a biologist so hay what the hell do I know.
  4. jabseattle

    jabseattle jabs

    HELL NO!!!!!!!!
  5. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    I'd dig it if it were a wild steelhead fishery, and they kept the regs the same.....
  6. Wild fishery, C&R only, and selective gear rules - Yes!
    Otherwise, NO!

    In the best of (almost) all worlds, I would like to see the Yak kept +/- the way it is and see the Wenatchee opened to steelhead fishing. I realize your question wasn't an either or, but the Wenatchee seems to have a lot of classic steelhead water, due in part to the natural flow regime (whereas the Yak is much more suited to the contemplative art of casting tiny dries to rising fish...). ;)
  7. JS

    JS Active Member

    That is it in a nutshell, keep the yak the way it is and improve on already established runs of fish.
  8. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    A couple points. One as previously mentioned, the only way of having a fishery fast would be to institute hatchery management, and I think we can all agree thats not desirable. Second, those who worry that it would hurt the trout fishery to have steelhead in higher numbers are totally missing the boat on what's important for Northwest Rivers, especially those in the endangered upper columbia. Richard, while we'd all like to go fishing on the Wenatchee, I'm not sure its the responsible thing for those fish right now (not that the hatcheries are helping).

    A couple things to consider, assuming you support improving fish passage for steelhead and trying to stack the deck in favor of wild steelhead rebounding. a.)currently the numbers of fish going over Roza are under 200 a year. This is a really small starting population and even if we assume decent ocean survival over the next 15-20 years, it could take that long (or longer) for steelhead to rebound to fishable numbers. b.)The yakima habitat complex is very comprimised, as it is essentially a glorified irrigation ditch, this would mean much of the spawning/juvenile production would have to come from tributaries which are severly impacted by irrigation as well (ie Teanaway, Swauk Creek, and others). c.)The yakima has alot of Deschutes like characteristics, and for anyone who's ever fished the 'chutes they know that it could be great steelhead water.

    So I guess in conclusion, I want to see steelhead rebound in the Yak. But I dont think there's any reasonable chance that we'll be skating steelhead dries any summer soon.

  9. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Just thought that I would ask. But don't they have a salmon season on this river now? And how did that affect the resident trout?

  10. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    Well it least it would something else I couldn't catch!
  11. TomB

    TomB Active Member

    as long as the efforts dont involve hatcheries, i am all in favor.
  12. Josh Benjamin

    Josh Benjamin Member

    I don't know much about below roza dam trout, but i am pretty sure not much happens down there, and thats where the salmon fishing happens.
    i think the lower river is less conducive to trout with warmer water temps, etc. somebody knows more about this than me i'm sure
  13. greyghost

    greyghost Member

    I agree with what has been said.... I think we all want steelhead populations to rebound, we want more opportunities to fish for steelhead, but hatcheries have failed us and we don't want to spend more money on something that is proven to be detrimental to our wild fish. Spend money on better passage and habitat improvement and I'm on board. But I'm with Will on this, without supplementation I can't see the Yak's steelhead population being fishable anytime soon.

  14. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

    Amen on the call to create a fishery out of the wenatchee! We have a good thing with the Yakima, why fool with it.
  15. Jason Rolfe

    Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    I have yet to fish the Yakima, but we never hear the end of the fact that it is a great trout fishery, right? Why not leave the Yakima the way it is, and keep managing it to be the best trout fishery that it can be, and move the steelhead focus to some other systems that maybe need more help to have any fishery at all.
    Like I said, I don't have any real working knowledge of this stuff. But this would be my layman's take on it. It seems like there are plenty of other steelhead (or not) elsewhere that could use the attention.
  16. razorback

    razorback New Member

    hell yes!!!!!! It put more fish on my wall
  17. TomB

    TomB Active Member

    it is shocking to me that anyone would argue against restoring the native steelhead in the upper yakima. Evidently some people value their personal play over the existence of a native species.

  18. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    yeah dude thats garbage. A good thing on the Yak? Its a dam raceway, with artificially high primary productivity and a bunch of over fished rainbows. That seems like a selfish copout to me. Also, everyone blathers about caring about conservation and then they rail on the state about not opening the Wenatchee, the fish in the wenatchee are listed right? it would be negligent and self interested to advocate opening the fishery under the current conditions.
  19. docstash

    docstash Member

    Should they improve the ladder? Yes. Should there be a fishery above Rosa Dam? There already is, selective fishery.

    In 2005 2022 wild Steehead and 15 hatchery over Prosser dam, 208 wild over Rosa but they only counted a couple of days in Nov. and none in Dec.

    In 1996 450 wild and 54 hatchery over Prosser dam, and 91 wild over Rosa but only counted 22 day in Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. and March.

    After they did studies on the river above Rosa dam planting hatchery Steelhead and found that the size of the resident population declined because they inhabit the same water they quit planting hatchery fish and stopped the local Steelhead Ass. from planting fish. They then planted a bunch of Chinook and the resident trout population size did not decline so the river is being planted for the Salmon. 1600 Chinook over Rosa in 1996, 6300 in 2005 over Rosa.

    Hatchery fish would not improve anything above Rosa in my limited opinion. It would hurt the resident trout population. Craig
  20. TomB

    TomB Active Member

    docstash- nice info....i agree about planting hatchery if only they could make habitat/passage improvements that would encourage more frequent exhibition of the anadromous life history in the O. mykiss species complex in the upper river...well..that would be good.

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