Idaho's Redfish Lake

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Steve Buckner, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. sharpshooter223

    sharpshooter223 Member

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    im not against taking dams out, i just think we should find a better energy source to replace them with than wind turbines. or, if its possible to improve the dams so the same effect is made, rather than destroy them, why not. find a better source of energy that is a reasonable replacement for the dams and im all for it, however if that were to happen i think we should create some nice sized lakes somewhere by where the old dam created lakes were in order to provide some nice smallmouth/walleye lake fishing.
     
  2. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Nah..."We" should move to the other side of the Rockies (where these fish should have been left) and not drag the non-native fish over here.

    I know this is an aside, but if it were up to me the WA warm water hatcheries would all be closed and I'd make sure every lake with bass/walleye/sunfish on the West coast was "rehabilitated." Sure I enjoy fishing for big smallies, but I wouldn't miss them.

    It makes me sad to think the location where some suspect the Cutthroat first appeared (confluence of the Snake and Columbia) is used for Bass tournaments.

    Ugh.
     
  3. sharpshooter223

    sharpshooter223 Member

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    well then i would call you a fly fishing purist/ almost extremist. not every lake with warm water species had been a lake with trout. and if the lake is man made then who cares what the hell is in there. i enjoy fishing for trout but i like variety in species and i dont mean different types of trout, i mean different types of fish.
     
  4. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

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    Not so fast on the trigger sharp...
    Some lakes are closed systems - (*systems that do not allow fish to leave) and while one may or may not approve of someone stalking trout in them, they are a completely different situation than what we're discussing in regards to the Snake river. Introducing non-native species (bass, bluegill, spiny rays) into the waters (Snake, Columbia, etc.) of migratory fish puts a natural system out of balance and may wreck it entirely. Not only are the dams wreaking havoc, the steelhead/salmon fry/smolts are preyed upon by non-natural numbers (Pikeminnows) of other predators and/or non-native warm water species. Read up on invasive species, you'll learn a ton!

    It's a function of evolution. Over the eons, the species native to these waters have "learned" to cohabitate with other species native to this geographic zone. And likewise, may not be able to defend themselves against diseases or predation brought on by the non-native species. Not to sound condescending, but you should pick up and read a biology/zoology book sometime.

    I think the gist of this thread is that the alternative energy source is staring us in the face - it's simply to just use less. We don't really need those dams. We may need to make some sacrifices, but reducing our need by either changing our lifestyles and/or using more efficient devices isn't really asking that much is it? Especially to save those precious wild fish that used to swim in these waters? I mean when it comes down to it, wouldn't you really rather catch a steelhead than a crappie?...
     
  5. sharpshooter223

    sharpshooter223 Member

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    i understand ecology just fine. the point is warm water species are just as desired as a sportfish as the native species of washington. keeping warmwater fish in man made lakes isnt going to hurt the trout any unless some beaner transports them to other places and overloads a different lake. but with as popular of fisheries as the bass on the columbia and snake are, do you really think they are ever going to go away?
     
  6. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

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    I certainly hope so!:thumb:
     
  7. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    I don't think you do. Most of the staments you have been making are biologicaly wrong and ignorent.

    Cold water species (fish that evolved here) bring several-fold more dollars to the region than warm water fish that have been introduced here and for the most part these introduced fish have not adapted well to our region (i.e. poor largemouth bass survivial on the columbia system and small average size of walleye).

    Also man, tossing out a word like beaner is not going to stand anywhere. It's no better than any other racail slur. The only thing it shows is racism, which always spawns from ignorence due to lack of education. Please, for the sake of everyone, kick that type of attitude. I lived in eastern Washington for 18 years and have never had a negative run in with a mexican person. They make up doctors, lawyers and buisnessmen in my community.

    I wanted to point out to you that it is well documented that the smallmouth bass fishing on the columbia and snake was far better before the dams ruined much the avalaible spawning/feeding habitat. Talk to any old biologist who has worked in this state before the 70's and the will re-iterate this to you.

    Sharp, every statement you have made in your last post has been blatantly wrong. It is now your time to sit back and listen to what is being discussed here. There are some great minds at work on this issue.

    -Andy
     
  8. Allison

    Allison Banned or Parked

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    Hear hear. The native fisheries are income generating (less so, but they are) and I may be labeled a fish racist here, but Bass are just nasty.

    Forgive my ignorance, but are they native anywhere around here?
     
  9. gt

    gt Active Member

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    my favorite summer time fishery was small mouth bass at the gravel bars around almota on the snake. going down into the canyon when it was 100 up top and walking down the rail line to the well worn path out to the gravel bar was a summertime regular event. the SMB were always there in the current edges, hungry and ready to take a fly that came even close. what great fun that was as we dreamed about the snow and cold which would usher in the B's.

    only memories now, nothing i could share with the grandkids 'cause 'we the people' have destroyed this part of our environment without a credable rationale. sad to say the least.
     
  10. BFK

    BFK Member

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    Zen-- While your heart is in the right place, your research apparently isn't. The remarks you made on walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass aren't accurate. I don't mean this as an attack, but your statements don't represent the reality for these species or really apply to the dams on the Snake.

    Walleyes in the lower Columbia are far above the "average" size for the species over much of its range-- with the exception of lakes Erie and Michigan. Besides which, walleyes and dams coexist quite well.

    The Columbia and Snake never have been largemouth bass habitat, except for some of the sloughs in the lower river. As for smallies-- they're much like walleyes, and the idea that dams "destroy" habitat is ludicrous, especially spawning habitat and especially in the river-run reservoirs on the Snake. The slowing down of a river provides more spawning opportunities for smallmouth bass. Their spawning preference is for slower water that is oxygenated but not fast or swift. If you don't believe me, take a trip to the Hanford Reach when it opens and look at the places you'll find spawning and post-spawn smallies: it's in the sloughs and not the mainstem. The same applies to the Columbia: you'll find more fish spawning in the off-channel areas than in areas with moderate current.

    As for the population of smallies in the Snake and Columbia--they're doing quite well. Hundred-fish days are common enough if you know the drill, and those are good-sized smallmouth in the two to six-pound size range.
     
  11. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    I second Zen on the inappropriate nature of the word beaner. Three of my kids are Mexican/Guatemalan and I personally take offence.

    Anyhow...

    As for warmwater fisheries. LMB do exceptionally poorly in the Columbia and Snake when compared to their natural environs. Its too cold for the sustained year 'round growth they achive in thier native environs.

    Smallies fair much better, but Zen is 100% spot on about the smallies and Dams, at least on the Snake (which is the Dams of question for the most part in this thread). The Corps habitually fluctuates river levels at exactly the right time, exposing smallie nests to dry air for days at a time after the spawn. This same kind of "water jiggling" (by the BPA) left stranded, native and ESA listed, Chinook fry below Priest rapids. I remember speaking to the WDFW biologist counting stranded and dead fry in the puddles left in the bushes by Ringold.

    In the Snake, there are few spawning tribs between Clarkston and Ice harbor. And most of those that are dry in the summer. The only innundated portions are the lower reaches which dewater with the reservoir draw downs. Ironically the mandated draw downs have provided some of the best smallies spawn in decades on the Snake.

    I have family that has obsessively fished the Snake from Clarkston to LoMo for 40 years and they say the same thing Andy did, with regards to continued decline of smallies on the Snake.

    That being said, much of the Columbia River and Hells Canyon are literally blue ribbon smallie fisheries.

    Walleye, on the other hand, are a goddamn plague. I loved fishing for them in North Dakota, but they don't belong here. Sure enough they are certianly here to stay. One more reason to remove the dams.

    It's all well and good that warmwater fish are popular. That doesn't mean I would trade one native steelhead for 10,000 bass.

    I'm not a bass bigot or anything. I flyfish for smallies. And warmwater fish aren't the only ones. Folks have transported Brook trout, Brown trout and Rainbow into all kind of places they don't belong. And it was just as stupid.
     
  12. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    BFK,
    My research is coming from the snake river arm and I believe its spot on, unless the biologists are not :D . Seems it has been backed up here. The point is the main warmwater draw to this area is smallmouth bass and the smallmouth bass fishing on the Snake River would be better if the dams were out. More importantly, the steelhead and salmon populations would benifit hugely from the removal. Instead of using all the knowlege to attempt to prove me wrong, why don't you throw it towards dam removal, even if just for the smallmouth's sake.

    Its not like the walleye fishery would take a huge hit because the snake river never was a great producer of walleye, rather much stronger populations are seen in the cooler cleaner waters of the columbia arm of the system.
     
  13. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    who cares how good smallmouth fishing was/is. They're non-native period. They have detrimental impacts on the native fauna and should go. Unfortunately thats not a reality, but the bottom line is this...there is ALOT more to a watershed than what a small group of sport anglers want.
     
  14. inland

    inland Active Member

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    BFK and sharp,

    Will beat me to it...considering what is at stake...why should anybody care about non-native introduced warm water fish in the Columbia/Snake? These feral fish are a disease to the ecosystem. They DO NOT BELONG and are only hindering what is left.

    Do either of you REALLY care about the few remaining wild salmon/steelhead of the snake basin? Based on your comments it appears you do not. While it is certainly your choice to bury your head into the ostrich hole...it doesn't change what has and is happening to them.

    William
     
  15. BFK

    BFK Member

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    Interesting the way this seems to be going-- Zen, I'm not trying to prove you wrong, but I seriously doubt the bios who are claiming that the LMB fishery was hurt by the dams going in because the fishery, if it did exist, was pretty much infintisemal...and the same for the walleyes. Twenty years ago, the limited population of walleyes in the Snake was concentrated around Ice Harbor and not upstream. They are still establishing themselves in the system, so the claim that the dams have affected the average size is really confusing as the dams have been in the Snake longer than the 'eyes. As for smallies, you said the bios said the dams "destroyed" the spawning habitat, when in reality the increase in littoral zone increases the potential spawning habitat for this species. Whether the dams are operated or not to benefit smallmouth bass spawning is something else again.

    Inland- You are way off base in your statement. The few who have shown concern for the bass and walleyes in this thread are Zen, David Dalan, and gt...I think that's the list.