COLDWATER Lake Report

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Woodcanoeguy, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. mgamby

    mgamby Active Member

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    Please leave this lake alone.... I, for one, would not like that beautiful place to turn into another Merrill....
     
  2. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Cranberry Country...a glorified coastal swamp!
    I wouldn't even waste my time dreaming about that. Not that its a bad dream, or anything. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the regs for retention changed if it resulted in maintaining a "better(?)" fish population. Seeing how its under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, anything like your proposal/dream of introducing a non-native trout ain't ever gonna happen, anymore. Now they are more interested in keeping the Nat'l Parks wild, discouraging the introduction of any non-native species. They stocked non-native species in the past, but I don't think they do that any more. The introduction of brook trout and mountain goats in ONP sure was a mistake.

    I'm good with what Ma Nature serves up. :beer1:
     
  3. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Just an fyi. While there have been some proposals to transfer Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (which include Coldwater, Spirit, and Castle Lakes) to the Park Service, it is still managed by the U.S. Forest Service. [The perceived advantage is that the monument is likely to have more financial resources if under the Park Service and not just an appendage of Gifford Pinchot National Forest; a suggested disadvantage is that hunting might be restricted.] According to the Monument's web site, fishing regulations are set by WA DFW.

    Steve
     
  4. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Why not stick some Brown's in there. They will eat the smaller fish when they get bragging size.
     
  5. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Thanks! I wasn't aware of that.
     
  6. Matthew Kaphan

    Matthew Kaphan Active Member

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    I'll be at Coldwater tomorrow (Thursday) morning at around 8 AM if anybody wants to do some fishing...

    M
     
  7. Woodcanoeguy

    Woodcanoeguy Active Member

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    I hooked 18 and landed 12 fish this morning at Coldwater. Two fish broke me off, however I do use light, long leaders. While I lament the loss of the bigger fish of the past..... took three over 15" and the 17 incher I got this morning fought better than the 22 inch triploid I got last year at Merrill. They are really beautiful, spirited fish. Maybe a limited harvest of smaller fish would help though.
     
  8. Gorgefly

    Gorgefly Member

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    There are plenty of other lakes to fish for stockers in that also have the big nasty brooders in them as well. This is a unique and beautiful lake and it would be a shame to see anything stocked here at all. This lake is much more about the experience and quality of fish than the size. SIZE DOESN'T ALWAYS MATTER. I had a blast catching wild cutties yesterday in a lake that is still surrounded by several feet of snow, several miles from ther nearest dirt road and probably hasn't seen another person since last summer. The biggest was probably 9 inches. Great day!
     
  9. Strike Zone

    Strike Zone Member

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    You're all entitled to your own opinions. That's what makes this country great. And I happen to enjoy catching wild fish that are large-not brooders that hatcheries release into lakes- . And if it means increasing the limits on the smaller fish to increase fish size because of the limited food supply then so be it. Or whatever else that might be necessary to return the lake to it's glory years. Small fish are ok, but if you have watched a lake go from having a large majority of 18-19 inch fish down to an average 11-14 fish avereage there is something wrong here. Something is causing that. And the problem is that the food supply can only support so many pounds of fish, and the number of fish has gotten to the point that they are all getting stunted. MY OPINION
     
  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    There is no "right" or "wrong" size of the fish in Coldwater. It's been about managing a wild trout fishery, and we don't have many of those in lakes. If the trout population is increasing, resulting in a smaller average size, then adjusting the catch limit to remove more smaller - pre-spawner - fish should move the population size upward, if that is part of the fish management goal. If a few anglers, or better yet, organized fishing clubs, make that suggestion to WDFW during a regulation setting year (this year, I think) then they'll probably make the regulation change if it's biologically and socially justified. That's way better than rotenone or stocking triploids.

    Sg
     
  11. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    One wonders if the decline is big fish is directly related to its harvest situation. At present, one can keep one fish over 16". That has got to crop the top of the size distribution; perhaps the abundance of larger fish previously were the product of the years when the lake was closed entirely. The fish that I have caught there have been healthy, frisky and show no evidence of a lack of food or stunting; I read a report last year on another board of a fisher and his wife who had a fabulous day with a truly trophy fish (picture only). One needs age / weight studies as one strategy to investigate potential stunting. Actively managing a fishery based on anecdotes is not a wise policy IMO.

    Steve
     
  12. Strike Zone

    Strike Zone Member

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    Cabezon;
    Hello, Thanks for your input. I value all opinions. All I'm saying is that my experience of being able to catch alot of 18-19 inch trout back when they opened it and a few years after that isn't happening anymore. It has definately been on the decline in the last few years. And I'm not the only one who has noticed this. I feel I have the lake pretty well figured out as far as being able to catch fish is concerned. I'm not saying the report you read was misleading at all. I do think tho that a a trophy fish to some is a normal size fish to others. I'm not saying that there isn't a very few large fish left in the lake. That might be the case. But in my many years of fishing it, the size of trout has definately gotten alot smaller. Sure, the ones you catch are all frisky, healthy, pretty much wild. etc. but they mostly are all alot smaller than they used to be. And as one who's fishes it quite regularly over the years, I'd love to see the fish size get back to the way it was a few years back. As I said before, the food supply will only support so many pounds of fish. And the number of smaller ones has gotten way out of balance so that the fish can't get enough food to get large like they once did. If they increased the limit on the smaller fish then there would be fewer fish in the lake which would allow those that remain to have more food avalible and thus get larger. I am going to try to get ahold of the fish/wildlife dept. and give them my two cents worth and see if I can at least get the catch size/limit changed to taking more little ones out of the lake. In my opinion this will help some.
     
  13. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    I have been a part of regulation changes on a local river before . first thing is you need support , signatures , emails . these can come from anywhere . beings it has a native population trout unlimited members could be notified and send emails , along with fly fishing clubs in state and out of state . one person just calling DFW i'm sorry to say wont do much . also you need to know who will be against you at the rules meeting - and yes there might be groups against you and knowing in advance how much support they have can help to see what work needs to be done . like mentioned a club helps out big time because of member numbers .

    My experiance was with changing a regulation to be able to fish out of a boat in oxbo park on the sandy river . we had some 30 people their and many signatures and sandy river chapter of steelheaders behind us . the only people to oppose us was the people that ran the park (metro) but they had signatures and emails from all over california and other states including oregon so they won the first time . back then the rule change year was every 2 years and we won the second time we took it to ODFW .

    Lets face it there are many people who could care less about conserving trout , they see them as a kill and eat and nothing else . our state (oregon) went to every 4 years to be able to change regulations on fishing and the state meeting is next feb. or so , and we have a group trying to stop the killing of native crane prairie rainbows , even when the brood stock rainbows go to 15 pounds there will be plenty of people fighting this . these fish are even the famous redside rainbows of the deschutes river that are very well protected in the river but people just don't give a shit about lake trout , even when their are at least 10 other lakes withing say 30 miles to kill and keep - I know it will be a battle because of the fisherman that for 50 years have used dragon fly nymphs as bait . no one wants to lose that because it works so well to fill there coolers with bland tasting meat .

    I guess what i'm trying to say is do your home work and a lot of it !
     
  14. chief

    chief Active Member

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    Found on the internets:

    "New reservoirs are much more productive than old ones. The recent flooding of standing vegetation causes its organic decay to be released into the food chain. This enhanced situation provides a temporary boomtown for aquatic weeds, insects, and fish. After a few years this organic matter is used up and the reservoir loses much of its food chain causing the fishery’s decline. Hence, new reservoirs are hot spots which inevitably fade."

    Maybe what we're seeing in Coldwater is part of a natural cycle. Yes the fish tend to run smaller than they used to, but I'm still pretty happy with the total quality experience Coldwater provides. Wild fish, wild scenery, minimal crowds...... I don't think calling in Dr. Frankenstein is necessary. Let it be.
     
  15. Strike Zone

    Strike Zone Member

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    fish central- Thank you for your advise and comments. They are much appreciated. I wish you the best on your efforts at Craine Prarrie.

    chief- I can see you are fine with catching small fish at Coldwater. I'm happy for you, and I wish you the best.
    As for me, I also enjoy the wild scenery and minimal crowds up there, but I have a hard time accepting the way Coldwater Lake, Spirit Lake, Castle Lake, and a few others are going since this is the area I fish in mostly.
    I know there are exceptions, but there also has been some success stories of lakes going down the same road as Coldwater that have been rehabed and managed differently for trophy sized trout instead of the way they are doing now.
    And as far as telling me to "let it be" is like the south telling the north to "let things be" with their slavery ideas weather it was right or wrong. Sort of get my feathers ruffeled if you get my drift.
    Also, I think it isn't right to call those making the laws "Frankensteins" or anything else. It is totally disrespectful to call anyone names and it dosen't solve anything. It only makes things worse.