The upper Wenatchee River is opening under selective fishing regulations!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Dipsnort, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Dipsnort

    Dipsnort New Member

    You wish! ;) And so do I. Have you people noticed how beautiful that river looks above Leavenworth and can you imagine how good the fishing must be? Why have we not pushed for catch & release selective fishery? Any thoughts? :dunno
  2. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

    I was just over there this weekend at my Mom and Dads and knew that was not true. I see that whole system a hundred times a year from the confluence on the Columbia, all the way up to twin lakes which is all off limits.

    The WDFW will never open it because they couldn't manage a daycare center. We need the Oregon fish and Game to take over and then we would see some real changes.

    Matt Burke
  3. ray helaers

    ray helaers New Member

    The Wenatchee gathers runs of spring chinook salmon and steelhead that are listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The upper river and its tributaries harbor populations of bull trout, listed as Threatened. Those designations represent an official determination that these fish are likely to become extinct if current trends continue (the difference between Endangered and Threatened is the timeline for extinction).

    The Wenatchee doesn't have a single spring chinook or steelhead to spare, not a returning adult poached by an unscrupulous local using a "catch-and-release" season for cover, or a smolt that subsequently dies from being hooked and well-intentionally released by a concientious if over-eager fly fisher angling for "trout." Those fish, so perilously close to oblivion, already have to negotiate a gantlet of commercial fishing nets, a half-dozen dams, abnormally high water temperatures, agricultural, industrial, and municipal runoff and water-withdrawal, and a host of exotic species invading their habitat. Do they really have to accomodate my desire for entertainment too? After all, I CAN fish the Yakima, or the Clearwater, or the Deschutes, or the Grande Ronde. Heck, if I want to take my wack at Endangered chinook and steelhead, I can fish the catch and release season on the Methow for pity's sake.

    Those seem to me good reasons not to push for opening fishing on the Wenatchee.

    Call me buzzkill. :thumb
  4. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

    The upper Wenatchee River is opening under selectiv...

    At my last SCPAG meeting we were told that the Wenatchee may opened next year for steelhead fishing much like the Methow. The WDFW has been working with the Feds to get a season and is asking the Legislature for the funding to manage river.

  5. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

    The upper Wenatchee River is opening under selectiv...

    You know, this is really a sore subject with me. My Mom and Dad have owned land on Lake Wetsnatchee since the 70’s and I practically grew up on that river system. The Wenatchee, Lake Wenatchee, Nason Creek, Chiwawa River, Little Wenatchee, White River, Napeequa River, Twin Lakes and a hundred other spots that were ingrained into my being as I grew up.

    As a kid I used to ride my quarter horse all around up there with my fly rod strapped to my saddle. I know every hole on every waterway. I know where the Osprey and the Golden eagles have nested for generations. I have used deer trails because they are more reliable than the forest service trails. I can find water in the heat of summer because I know which streams dry up and which run all year. In 30 years, I know how badly we have all screwed that place up.

    The WDFW shut down that fishery and it hasn’t improved the counts one bit. Those guys at the fish ladder in the canyon between Cole’s Corner and Leavenworth will tell you. Hasn’t improved one bit. The WDFW tried to build some temp ponds next to the Wenatchee and a few other streams around The Lake. In their infinite wisdom, they were to rear some cutthroat and trout. The Osprey, coons and other varmints gutted those ponds in two weeks. The WDFW didn’t even think of putting up nets.

    But it’s not all the WDFW. They used to stock the Little Wenatchee, but people would pull 20 fish out at a time. A lot of abuse by locals and 206ers. The solution was to stop planting. Then after that they shut it all down. They don’t have the man power to bust people anymore. Budget constraints and trying to please everyone all of the time, including who ever may be in power down in Olympia at the time, has bankrupted the entire fishery.

    But it’s not that way in Oregon. Why is that? But, it’s just the way it is. By the time those fish get upstream, they have been through hell. Those that do make it deserve to be left alone. I say that, but if it does become C&R, I will be there. Not with the crowds though, I’ll be on my old spots.

    The worst part about this is my kids. I can’t show my kids what I did as a kid. I’ve enclosed a photo of my two youngest with Lake Wenatchee in the back ground. We drove up on the ridge line next to Dirty Face. There are some old abandoned logging roads up there that I can access even before the gates open up on the forest service roads in the spring. There is nothing like getting up there before anyone else.

    Matt Burke
  6. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    I used to like fishing that river. Big trout,yes trout. Not steelhead. But like they all said they closed it down to protect what is left(like they are trying to do on the OP). Also Nason Creek also had big trout in it. As for some of the others that were closed down.But what burns my ass is the amount of hatchery fish that they are planting in those river.

    Who gets those fish???????????.

    I think that a CnR season would be good and no bait of any kind and single barbless hooks would be a good thing. But away from the roads is where you can't stop the poaching. But wish as we may I don't think that those river's will be open in the little time I have left to fish.(about another 10 years).

  7. Dipsnort

    Dipsnort New Member

    It's a sad situation, but I tend to agree that poaching would become more prevalent than it (probably) already is if they opened the system. :(
  8. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

    The upper Wenatchee River is opening under selectiv...

    A case can be made that when a river is opened to C&R fishing, the vigilance is increased. Has the poaching increased on the Methow or decreased since it's opening? Does anybody know?

    An interesting article was quoted in the last SCPAG meeting about the incidence of poaching decreased significantly due to the requirement of openly displaying of fishing licenses while fishing.