Boooooyaaa!!!

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#46
I thought the central issue has everything to do with opinion and nothing to do with facts. Is it ethical or sporting to fish beads on the SF CW for surplus hatchery fish trucked there because they are excess to hatchery needs and may provide some recreational value and possibly contribute to natural steelhead production? Oh, and the fish are tired, staging, pre-spawners. Is there more to it?

Sg
 

Panhandle

Active Member
#48
According to the fish counter, 75% of the fish being caught this year are nates, as were 3 of the 4 fish we caught. But ya, the CW is an eroding hatchery fishery.
 

Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
#50
According to the fish counter, 75% of the fish being caught this year are nates, as were 3 of the 4 fish we caught.
This is what really kills me about the idaho fish and game. I've heard this claim many times before. Those "wild" fish are Nez Pierce hatchery fish with an unclipped adipose fin. I've only seen a few fish in the SF that I would consider wild. Without looking genetics there is no way of knowing for sure how ever. Grab the top of the dorsal and lift the fin so it is erect, look at the rays along the fin. Almost invariably you will see bent rays on those sf fish with a full adipose. Often it will be more obvious in the form of a mutilated dorsal. These trails were incurred in the hatchery. Another telling trail is body proportions. The SF never had a native "b" run, before it was dammed and mined to extinction it received a modest run of a-run steelhead, which averaged 3-8lbs from what I've read. These fish (similar to true wild fish on the mf) are sleek, toned fish, missing the blocky characteristic that the dworshak B-run fish are known for. I also feel that wild fish on that system usually have large and sparse spots.

Here are pictures of two fish, both of which i would consider to be truly wild clearwater steelhead. I wish there were more of them. I'd say currently they make up 5% or less of the population.



I'm not ruling out the possibility that there are some wild B-runs there in the sf, as the river has been loaded with 250,000~ smolts per year for the last 15 seasons. But hatchery fish haven't shown the ability to naturalize anywhere across the inland PNW so why would this river be any different. I understand the tribe doesn't have to clip their fish because they can harvest wild and hatchery, but I think the program is giving people a sense that there is "a ton of wild fish" on the clearwater, which is sadly far from the truth.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#51
Pan,

What do you mean by, "eroding hatchery fishery?"

Zen,

Good info, but hatchery fish apparently do naturalize in some inland environments. Let me preface this by noting that at least a couple western WA summer steelhead populations have been created from hatchery summer runs spawning naturally. Wild steelhead runs became functionally extinct in the Methow and Wenatchee Rivers due to logging splash dams in the early 1900s. Runs later re-established. The most common source was Ringold hatchery summer runs, but there could have been residual native steelhead left in the rivers downstream of the dams. And then there were the resident rainbow trout still in the river systems, and more likely than not, they contributed significantly in re-establishing runs. It's probably impossible to say for sure what the most casual factor was, but I understand that there is a lot of Ringold DNA in those fish.

The upshot I suppose, is that at least some of the wild CW steelhead are descendants of hatchery steelhead spawning in the natural environment. But it's not likely 75%.

Sg
 
#52
Zen, I can't stop looking at that first photo you posted. Gorgeous fish, reminiscent of an atlantic with those spots and the body lines. Was that your catch?
 

Panhandle

Active Member
#54
Beautifully fish andy and mark. Salmo, many people believe the CW is exclusively a brat fishery, and based on the past four year's numbers I wouldn't call it a degrading fishery either, as Someone earlier referenced it. Is there a lot of work to be done with netting and perhaps bait bans? Yes. Andy, even with tribes purposely neglecting clipping, why would F&G continue to count those as wild fish? In other words, what's their motivation?
 
#55
Because the adipose fin is the only way they count wild or not. That's how the regs read and that's the policy in act by the fish and game. Pretty simple. And the tribes are separate sovereign nations acting on there own set of laws. Communications and consistencies between the agencies are not always established.
 

BDD

Active Member
#57
for surplus hatchery fish trucked there because they are excess to hatchery needs and may provide some recreational value and possibly contribute to natural steelhead production?

Sg
I don't know this fishery at all but I assumed the fish get there on their own. Does IDFG truck adult steelhead to the SF CW? I know they do that on the Boise River but I didn't know fish passage was blocked on the SF CW. Now I'm confused.

Yeah, Pan can be pretty opinionated but if we were all the same, this site would be pretty boring. I'm glad to see someone admit they may have been wrong.
 
#58
or surplus hatchery fish trucked there because they are excess to hatchery needs and may provide some recreational value and possibly contribute to natural steelhead production?
LOL....I wonder what that does to the homing instinct...I can't get rid of this picture in my mind of a bunch of hatchery fish queuing up in a pool holding bus tickets...
 

Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
#60
I caught neither of these fish but couldn't help showing them off. The first fish, caught be Emergence (I call him Steve) is one of the most beautiful steelhead I've ever seen. I know i left you a drunken phone message back in October but let me re-iterate, nice fish you bastard.