Steelhead Smolt

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Rory McMahon, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. Rory McMahon

    Rory McMahon Active Member

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    When are the smolt in the stillaguamish. Not so i can catch them but so i know when not to try and fish in the river. And when do the sea-run cutts go up the river?
     
  2. Randy Knapp

    Randy Knapp Active Member

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    They are both there now.

    Randy
     
  3. Rory McMahon

    Rory McMahon Active Member

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    does anyone know the season of both?
     
  4. Randy Knapp

    Randy Knapp Active Member

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    Get a copy of the regs anywhere they sell licenses and read them including the Statewide Rules, Selective Fishery Rules, Fly Fishing only rules, Freshwater Rules, Definitions, hook limitations, etc. The following applies to the Stilly but you need to periodically check the WDFW web pages for updates, special regs, etc.

    STILLAGUAMISH RIVER (Snohomish
    Co.) and all sloughs downstream of
    Marine Drive (south of Stanwood)
    (876)
    ALL SPECIES - night closure and non-buoyant lure restriction Aug. 1-Nov. 30.
    TROUT Year-round Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.
    Other Game Fish Year-round Statewide min. size/daily limit.
    SALMON Sept. 1-Dec. 31 Min. size 12”. Daily limit 2. Release CHINOOK and PINK.
    Marine Drive upstream to forks
    (876)
    CLOSED WATERS - from water control structure/barrier dam (downstream of I-5) downstream 200’ .
    ALL SPECIES - night closure Aug. 1-Nov. 30. Selective gear rules except motors allowed June 1-Nov. 30.
    All Game Fish June 1-Nov. 30 Catch-and-release except up to 2 hatchery STEELHEAD may be retained.
    TROUT Dec. 1-Feb. 28 Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.
    Other Game Fish Dec. 1-Feb. 28 Statewide min. size/daily limit.
    SALMON Sept. 1-Dec. 31 Min. size 12”. Daily limit 2. Release CHINOOK and PINK.
    STILLAGUAMISH RIVER, NORTH
    FORK (Snohomish Co.)
    from mouth to Swede Heaven Bridge
    (872)
    ALL SPECIES - night closure and non-buoyant lure restriction Aug. 1-Nov. 30. Fishing from any fl oating
    device prohibited upstream of the Hwy. 530 Bridge at mile post 28.8 (Cicero Bridge). Fishing from any fl oating
    device equipped with a motor prohibited downstream from the Hwy. 530 Bridge.
    All Game Fish May 1-Nov. 30 Catch-and-release except up to 2 hatchery STEELHEAD may be
    retained.
    TROUT Dec. 1-Feb. 28 Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.
    Other Game Fish Dec. 1-Feb. 28 Statewide min. size/daily limit.
    All Game Fish Mar. 1-Apr. 30 Catch-and-release except up to 2 hatchery STEELHEAD may be
    retained. Flyfishing only Apr. 16-Nov. 30.
    STILLAGUAMISH RIVER, SOUTH
    FORK (Snohomish Co.)
    from mouth to Mt. Loop Hwy. Bridge
    (above Granite Falls)
    (874)
    CLOSED WATERS - from 400’ below fi shway outlet upstream to Mt. Loop Hwy. Bridge (above Granite Falls).
    ALL SPECIES - night closure and non-buoyant lure restriction Aug. 1-Nov. 30.
    TROUT June 1-Feb. 28 Min. size 14”. Daily limit 2.
    Other Game Fish June 1-Feb. 28 Statewide min. size/daily limit.
    from Mt. Loop Hwy. Bridge (above
    Granite Falls) upstream
    (874)
    ALL SPECIES - night closure and non-buoyant lure restriction Aug. 1-Nov. 30.
    All Game Fish June 1-Nov. 30 Statewide min. size/daily limit.

    Randy
     
  5. Rory McMahon

    Rory McMahon Active Member

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    I appreciate you taking the time to type all the regs and everything but i mean like whats the season for the fish example: (sea runs are from june to late september) just an example i have no idea what the actual times are.
     
  6. ChrisC

    ChrisC Member

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    At any point in the year there are juvenile steelhead in the river (others, pls correct me if my mistaken), so if I apply your logic, then you wouldn't be fishing in the river at all.
     
  7. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    ChrisC is correct- there will be juveniles year-round, Cutts will be more common from about now through december in the mainstem north fork.
    -Thomas
     
  8. Rory McMahon

    Rory McMahon Active Member

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    and i assume the smolt aren't above deer creek
     
  9. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    this-has-been-answered-about-4-times.-there-are-smolt-all-through-the-river.-so-quit-asking-the-same-question.-they-are-in-the-river-from-the-mouth-to-the-headwaters

    please-forgive-the-dashes-as-my-keyboard-is-screwed-up,it-won't-space-or-let-me-capitalize.

    jim
     
  10. Big Tuna

    Big Tuna Member

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    Jim, relax a little, huh? There are a lot of questions that get rehashed. Often it's because people weren't part of the previous discussions. The guy is wanting to avoid catch SH smolt if possible, so he should be commended not given an online spanking.

    BTW- I like the dashes. It communicates your irritation :D
     
  11. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    There are steelhead (as well as salmon and cutthroat) fry, parr and smolts in most of our rivers year-round. A smolt is a salmonid which has reached that point in its life when it is undergoing the physiological changes that will enable it to survive the switch from a fresh to a saltwater environment. Typically, a smolt can be identified by its blue or green back and its bright, silvery appearance. Steelhead and cutthroat usually smoltify at an age of two years and length of six to eight inches. Steelhead fry, parr and smolts will be found above Deer Creek on the North Fork Stilly, the progeny of naturally spawning wild steelhead (winter runs) and of hatchery origin summer runs which may have spawned. The majority of smolts will have left the rivers by this time of the year
     
  12. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Trout990 (the rest of you can skip this is you please).
    Steelhead smolts are juvenile steelhead that are going through the physiology process of changing to be able to live freshwater to being able to live in slat water or in the process of migrating to the ocean for additional rearing (growing to that size that appeals to all of us). Locally they migrate to sea in the spring (April to June), at a size of 5 to 8 inches and at an age of 1 to 4 years (most are 2 year olds). Obviously they have to spend one or more years in freshwater rearing to reach sufficient size prior to migrating. During that time they can be called fry (young fish newly emerged from the gravel during the summer and 1 to 2 inches long), parr (by the fall they have grown and are now a couple inches to as many as 5 or 6 inches long). Sometimes the large parr late in their freshwater rearing stage are called pre-smolts. So strictly speaking what you encounter were parr/pre-smolts and not smolts.

    These juvenile steelhead are found throughout the anadromous reaches of the basin (those area where anadromous salmon and trout return to spawn and rear). On the forks of the Stillaguamish that means that in the North Fork they are found up the North Fork to just above that area behind the Darrington Rodeo grounds and on the South Fork upstream to the area of the Sunrise mine road (just above the mouth of Palmer Creek) and the lower reaches of nearly all the tribs.

    The sea-run cutthroat season - first the sea-runs have a biology much like steelhead though the smolts often are a little older. The juvenile cutthroat are more typically found in the smaller creeks. The returning fish that so many of use so enjoy are returning to the river/freshwater for a couple reasons. The younger/sexually immature fish are just coming in the rivers to over-winter. These fish are typically 9 to 14 inches long and come back into our rivers from late August through November. The second group of fish are those that are spawners - typcially 11 to 18 inches (rarely larger) - and they come into the rivers July into November. (a side not the cutthroat returning to small streams that enter the salt directly the run timing is much later and in the case of the immature fish they may not return to the creek at all).

    The cutts remain in the system until the following spring. The immature fish drop back to the salt to feed beginning in March (continues into May) while the mature drop back into the estuary/salt areas once they have completed spawning. In North Puget Sound large streams (Skagit, Stillaguamish, Snohomish, etc) spawning typicallys begins in Jaunaury and extends into May. The timing is some what depend on freshets that facilate the migration of the adults into the small spawning streams.

    As a result the potential sea-run "season" could extend from mid-summer through the following spring. As a practical matter Tom B was more or less correct. My observation is that I can find good cutthroat fishing as long as the streams flows stay on the low side. Once we start seeing what would be normal winter type stream flows. Over that last 40 years I have seen that occur as early as mid-September and at least once we never had high daily flows. In the first case the "cutthroat season" lasted only about 6 weeks and in the later it lasted 8 or 9 months.

    Don't let some of these guys scare you off - there isn't a such thing as a "dumb question". Hope the above simple biological discussion was helpful. If not there are others here that could provide additional info

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  13. Desmond Wiles

    Desmond Wiles Sir Castaline

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    I kinda like the "new" Old Man.... that's an oxymoron isn't it?
     
  14. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Sorry-if-I-stepped-on-a-few-toes.-But-it-looked-like-he-was-asking-the-same-question-over-and-over.And-was-looking-for-an-answer-that-he-was-happy-with.

    Jim
     
  15. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Jim, you post the same fishing report over and over, why can't he ask the same question over and over?? :)
     
  16. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Yeah,but-I-throw-in-some-other-junk-like-different-places-to-get-skunked :p :p :p :p :p

    Jim
     
  17. Rory McMahon

    Rory McMahon Active Member

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    Thanks to everyone who answered my questions, even oldman. I am not even old enough to drive so i rarely get to go fishing, plus the times a do get to go are divided between bass fishing, panfish fishing, and fly-fishing. So i just try and get as much info as i can off this website. I dont even fish for steelhead so if i injured smolt it would not effect me, I only avoid catching them to save the fish for you guys. Anyway, heres a report, sort of. I went up to the Stilly today and was only able to fish for about 10 minutes. The bees and flies were unbarable. I probably got stung about 3 or 4 times. This was after i joggged to the ice caves and back so the sweat might have had something to do with it. The water was crystal clear and i saw no surface activity but i did see a lot of caddis cases.
     
  18. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Trout, next time fish first, jog second. Repeat that over and over. After all, are you trying to be a jogger or a fisherman? Fish first, jog second. After a while you'll be an out of shape fish bum like the rest of us ;) Careful though, it gets addictive: fish first, school work second; fish first, friends second; fish first, job second, etc etc
     
  19. Banzai

    Banzai FFing and VWs...Bugs & Bugs

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    Does this mean I'll have to seek out some kind of 12-step program?
    "hi, my name is Gene and I have an addiction..." :rofl:
     
  20. Rory McMahon

    Rory McMahon Active Member

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    I wish i could have fished first, but i was with my family none of them fish either. My dad use to do bait fishing tho. I had to jog to the ice caves and back because they said that i could fish on the way back, but jogging kinda backfired on me.
     

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