Bonneville Numbers

skyriver

Active Member
#1
Started a separate thread since the other one got just a bit nasty. I am planning on a Deschutes, Grande Ronde or Klickitat trip this fall and am concerned by the numbers, like everyone else, so I ran the numbers for some perspective. Here are the totals annually for steelhead since 1995. These numbers include all steelhead, whether hatchery or wild.
The good news? Last year was much like 1998 and we've had some great years since then so I'm going to take that as hope.
Here you go:
1995 202448
1996 205216
1997 258385
1998 185094
1999 206488
2000 275178
2001 633073
2002 483956
2003 365821
2004 313377
2005 315650
2006 339301
2007 325275
2008 357845
2009 604970
2010 416603
2011 369365
2012 235303
2013 234047
2014 325965
2015 268730
2016 188146

And here's the graph:

There was a big shot of fish over Bonneville this week. Let's hope it continues! I'm going fishing this fall unless it's actually closed.

Tight lines!
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
#4
...and walleye. I've never really tried this on the Columbia but I think, in the evening, walleye will come into the shallows to feed on whatever they can find. I'd stick with cobble/gravel substrate and fish and cast from a wading position. Since they're predators they'll likely take just about anything that presents an opportunity.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#5
Started a separate thread since the other one got just a bit nasty. I am planning on a Deschutes, Grande Ronde or Klickitat trip this fall and am concerned by the numbers, like everyone else, so I ran the numbers for some perspective. Here are the totals annually for steelhead since 1995. These numbers include all steelhead, whether hatchery or wild.
The good news? Last year was much like 1998 and we've had some great years since then so I'm going to take that as hope.
Here you go:
1995 202448
1996 205216
1997 258385
1998 185094
1999 206488
2000 275178
2001 633073
2002 483956
2003 365821
2004 313377
2005 315650
2006 339301
2007 325275
2008 357845
2009 604970
2010 416603
2011 369365
2012 235303
2013 234047
2014 325965
2015 268730
2016 188146

And here's the graph:

There was a big shot of fish over Bonneville this week. Let's hope it continues! I'm going fishing this fall unless it's actually closed.

Tight lines!
No matter if the numbers are down, all those rivers run through beautiful country and are a joy to fish. Even with low returns a fish or two can usually be found. Good luck.
 

PhilR

In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey
#6
I might have to start looking at that graph, because the graph for the Dalles sends me straight to the bottle - which is bad because I usually check it in the morning when I get to work.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
#7
...and walleye. I've never really tried this on the Columbia but I think, in the evening, walleye will come into the shallows to feed on whatever they can find. I'd stick with cobble/gravel substrate and fish and cast from a wading position. Since they're predators they'll likely take just about anything that presents an opportunity.
Three of us were camped on the CR late one summer. About dark, DK hooked something and slid a big walleye into the shallows. So I think you're right about coming into the shallows late.....
 

Joepa

Joe from PA
#8
No matter if the numbers are down, all those rivers run through beautiful country and are a joy to fish.
Very true, although sadly my hook-up rates have always very closely correlated with the dam counts in the rivers I like to fish down there. I hope we see another year like 2009 again some day. That was epic. Many great memories from that year.
 

suckegg

Active Member
#9
Three of us were camped on the CR late one summer. About dark, DK hooked something and slid a big walleye into the shallows. So I think you're right about coming into the shallows late.....
Fish techs doing surveys at night have gotten walleye to 15lbs in 8' of water below Wanapum. We have gotten them in maybe 12' during the day. There are plenty of baitfish around weed beds in the shallower water. This time of year even bass follow the same pattern... I heard of 500 bass shocked/hauled in in one night in a well know slough.
 

Yadwick

Active Member
#10
How do people feel about fishing over these numbers? I am personally thinking about not even going down to fish the Columbia system this year (maybe once...) because of the extremely poor returns. Is anyone else feeling the same way? Does anyone know if the guides down on the Columbia systems are curtailing the trips based on these returns?
 

jake-e-boy

sans caféine
#11
How do people feel about fishing over these numbers? I am personally thinking about not even going down to fish the Columbia system this year (maybe once...) because of the extremely poor returns. Is anyone else feeling the same way? Does anyone know if the guides down on the Columbia systems are curtailing the trips based on these returns?
Nope. 'Tis steelhead fishin in the PNW, look at returns for PS & OP. Only know of one guide that has quit guiding steelhead due to returns and he is a better man then me, plus I don't guide. CR guides will gladly take your money still.
 
Likes: JS

JS

Active Member
#12
Does anyone know if the guides down on the Columbia systems are curtailing the trips based on these returns?
Hell nah! They are going to keep on running the same program they have been for the passed 10 years.

What some have been doing is social media posting how conscious they are about the poor run this year, and then guiding on those same fisheries....classic!

Go fish if you feel up for it, its not going to make a difference. However, make this the year you really think about how you handle the fish you encounter, as well as your role in educating the people you know about water/wildlife conservation, in particular the mismanagement of water resources under our noses (think PGE mixing tower, the proposed Lower Col. methanol plant, dam pollution from the lower four Snake river dams, etc). These, in tandem with pressure to extremely limit certain commercial fisheries, are our only immediate hope of making positive change.

Doom and gloom isn't going to do shit for us here. Only reflection and investigation into real scientific solutions is going to get us out of this.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

Buzzy

Active Member
#13
Fish techs doing surveys at night have gotten walleye to 15lbs in 8' of water below Wanapum. We have gotten them in maybe 12' during the day. There are plenty of baitfish around weed beds in the shallower water. This time of year even bass follow the same pattern... I heard of 500 bass shocked/hauled in in one night in a well know slough.
Kind of makes you want to "fish tech" along with the guys and their fancy electroshock boat, huh?
 
#14
I'll be honest. I'm still going to fish but probably not as much. I decided to fish a dry and should I get a fish to clip the hook. I just enjoy the process.

I do a fair amount of conservation and advocacy and my time on the water fuels that energy.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
#15
How do people feel about fishing over these numbers? I am personally thinking about not even going down to fish the Columbia system this year (maybe once...) because of the extremely poor returns. Is anyone else feeling the same way? Does anyone know if the guides down on the Columbia systems are curtailing the trips based on these returns?
I have no problem people fishing in loe number years. A far bigger problem is people fishing when the water is too warm. That said both are somewhat self limiting.