Biology Question

Discussion in 'Conservation' started by River Pig, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. River Pig

    River Pig Active Member

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    Calling on the combined knowledge of the boards to help me with a project. Besides the sea-run cutthroat, coho, and steelhead that are listed in the fishing regs, what other native fish make their home in the Hoquiam River? Wondering specifically about bull trout and sturgeon, but also chums, kings, and lamprey. Anyone got any insight or suggestions where to find this type of info? @Don Freeman @Salmo_g @Smalma
     
  2. River Pig

    River Pig Active Member

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    Also, any idea where I could find out about hatchery plantings or if there are any? I think I read somewhere about releasing cutthroat into the river, which I'd never heard about anywhere else, but the info was definitely dated.
     
  3. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    I think you will find that there are a wide range of species that live or occasionally use the Hoquiam River. Everything from Sturgeon (species), lampreys (3 species) the various salmonids, minnows (redside shiners, pike minnow, pea-mouth). various sculpins, and some estuary marine species (starry Flounder, stickle backs) and others.

    A good place to start in complying your list would get a copy of "inland Fishes of Washington". In each species section there are distribution maps. Flip through the book and comply your species list. Once that draft list is in place it might be a good idea to visit the regional WDFW staff and ask for the local biologist (meet in person or sent an email) and share your list and ask if it is complete and whether they would have additions or deletions.

    Curt
     
  4. River Pig

    River Pig Active Member

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    Awesome, I will definitely check that book out. Is it safe to say, generally speaking, that there are more sea-run bull trout in PS river systems than in coastal rivers? Or maybe that they prefer a higher gradient system than is typical of most of Grays Harbor. I just never seem to hear about them down there. Maybe I'm just not talking to the right people.
     
  5. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    For successful spawning bull trout need very cold water to maximize the survival of their eggs. Typically the needed cold water is found during the late fall/winter in upper portions of higher gradient streams. On the west coast of Washington that type of habitat is found in the upper reaches of the Hoh, Quinault, Queets, and Sol Duc (resident life history). The anadromous life history of bull trout leave those streams would forage up and down the coast to forage and at times can enter Grays Harbor. I don't know whether they have been documented in the Hoquiam.

    Curt
     
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  6. River Pig

    River Pig Active Member

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    Right on. As I was typing that I realized that it wasn't that I hadn't heard of them on the coast, just hadn't heard of them in the harbor. Thanks again
     
  7. Gyrfalcon2015

    Gyrfalcon2015 Wild Trout forever

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  8. Squamishpoacher

    Squamishpoacher Active Member

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  9. River Pig

    River Pig Active Member

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  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    RP,

    There are no known populations of spawning bull trout in Grays Harbor tributaries. Bull trout do make foraging runs into those rivers though. I caught a bull trout of about 4 pounds once in the Humptulips River and have heard of them being caught in other GH tributaries. It's possible, but not documented to my knowledge, that bull trout may inhabit and spawn in the upper WF Humptulips. Bull trout are associated with streams that have permanent snow fields or glaciers in their headwater areas in WA. I don't think any GH trib meets that criterion.

    Sg
     
  11. River Pig

    River Pig Active Member

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    Thanks Salmo, pretty cool fish. Stuff like that makes me love living on the coast. They can keep Montana.
     
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  12. Gyrfalcon2015

    Gyrfalcon2015 Wild Trout forever

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    I think the Canyon River closure (upper Satsop drainage), is the one that sticks out as likely the best shot for spawning grounds-atleast historically. I was up there 30+ years ago and it really is a different type of water than most of the tributaries of Grays Harbor-anything down south on the upper Chehalis is not at all like the Olympics.

    I agree with Salmo-the upper Humptulips is the best bet from my take on having a shot at water a Bull Trout could find suitable to spawn.

    The feeding runs by big Bulls into the rivers such as Chehalis is an interesting thought. As kids in the 70's, we plunked worms for a good decade and caught everything possible in the lower/tidal Chehalis river..and never once caught a Bull Trout. I do understand that a large picivorous Bull in the river just to feed would not stop and look for a nightcrawler, but would eat the numerous fish in the river.
     
  13. Gyrfalcon2015

    Gyrfalcon2015 Wild Trout forever

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    also, C River also had the only decent population of resident Coastal Rainbow I ever found on a GH Stream.

    The study I saw above in the link I added, said that the WF Satsop had a large amount of Bull Trout in the 60's or so-I suppose they were feeding on smolt? Hard to say..and that is the highway to Canyon River..so..some may have gone up and spawned?

    Logging killed that
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  14. Gyrfalcon2015

    Gyrfalcon2015 Wild Trout forever

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    I have always wondered what the nets brought in on the Chehalis/Quinault/Queets etc..

    Back to the conservation angle, I wonder how many delicate/fringe unique local fishery populations were lost for good via netting/destroyed watersheds/natural occurrence before ever studied or even noticed??

    To get totally carried away, if one looks at local bird rarities such as Snowy Owls and Gyrfalcon (yep, I am a bird nerd), and how birds fly out of normal ranges.. were there ever some WA coastal Grayling, vagrant breeding Cherry Salmon population in one creek in this state? And, ofcourse, a true wild Pacific Atlantic Salmon run? Fun to ponder..

    Back to reality. I love to think about the sadly extinct Stellar Sea Cow up north-a huge coldwater manatee- we think about Manatees living only in warm coastal waters. What if we never knew about them??
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
  15. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    G-falcon,

    The most probable of extinct, or nearly extirpated, populations would be spring Chinook in the Grays Harbor tributaries. From what I know of the basins, it doesn't make ecological sense that spring Chinook inhabit them, but I think they may have been relic populations from an era that was historically cooler. That would have allowed them to prosper in the upper Chehalis and Newalkum Rivers, where they are still found, and in the Skookumchuck and upper Wynoochee, where anecdotal and some historical records indicate they also occurred. If bull trout spawned in GH tributaries, the WF Humptulips, upper Wynoochee, and Canyon River seem like the most likely candidates. However, their headwater elevations are between 500 and 1,000' msl. I think the rivers would have to be accessible to well above 500' msl to meet the temperature requirements of bull trout, even in a past, cooler era.

    It's doubtful that Cherry salmon occurred on the east Pacific coast. Cherry salmon evolved in and around Japan to Kamchatka. Expansion of their range likely was stopped by competition with pre-existing populations of coho and other species all along the eastern Pacific coast.

    It would have been even more difficult for Atlantic salmon to establish a population in the Pacific because the Arctic Ocean would have been an even greater obstacle during a cooler era, and if it were warm enough for passage, the Atlantics would have faced immense competition from the many species of Pacific salmonids. I'm not saying it's impossible, but is highly unlikely at best.

    Sg
     
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