Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Breck, Aug 13, 2014.
Whatever the fly is, it hooks SRCs like heroin.
You posted a couple times that there are "hundreds of thousands" of SRC in the Cowlitz. Just to bring this topic a little closer to earth, let's go for a little more accuracy. Hundreds of thousands almost over-states the number of SRC smolts that are reared and released. The program has released more in the past, but it was reduced to around 200,000 or less (we could look it up) a few years ago. There was discussion about terminating the SRC program at the Cowlitz hatchery, but some of the cutthroat anglers protested, so it was reduced instead of being eliminated. As for the number of adult SRC in the river, I think I've read that 25,000 would be a good year.
I think it's worth noting that smolt to adult return rates for Cowlitz stocks are generally atrociously low. The reason large adult returns sometimes occur is because of the incredibly huge numbers of smolts that are reared and released annually.
And you're absolutely right in that there is nothing wrong with retaining a limit of ad-clipped SRC from the Cowlitz. I think the reason it raises such a tizzy among so many is that the Cowlitz has the only hatchery SRC program left in the state. They used to operate a hatchery SRC program on the Elochoman River and Hood Canal, but those ended a long time ago. So most fishermen associate SRC fishing with wild trout.
That must have the WFC folks near apoplectic and the Cowlitz square in their bulls-eye as the next litigious opportunity to fuck up yet another great fishery.
JesseC you forgot, "Did you use a ladder?"
I've tied them true to Mike's pattern as well as tied in soft hackle form, with minor variations, and will also report that it's the motion, not necessarily the orientation. Of course the SRC's that I chase in the fresh will attack just about anything stripped.
So will I
Little hope of restoring the Cowlitz to a "wild run" river- keep it hatchery
I'm more a proponent of eliminating hatchery fish on rivers where they obviously aren't doing any good, and run the risk of further impacting native runs
End hatchery fish on the NF Stilly.
Keep hatchery salmon on the Samish
Give the "meat fishers" a place to congregate, and let those interested in CNR have their wild only rivers
Strategically chosen rivers where plantings continue COULD theoretically make a point for the end of hatcheries on all rivers, if the rivers that are the recipients of plantings continue to decline, while those without hatchery plants improve.
Likewise, if wild runs on rivers with sustained hatchery activity fare as well, or better than those without, it makes a stronger case for minimal impact of hatchery fish.
But shut down Reiter
Let the MMA guides fight it out on the bows of sleds on the Cowlitz
That was my assumption which is why I mentioned I wasn't familiar with the river in case there was something more to the story - which there was. Didn't meant to derail the thread in that direction. Thanks for some history to the fishery.
I guess I shouldn't bitch about what happens in Washington State. I did live there for over 50 years, so I could call it my home state. But I'm not there anymore and will probably never fish there again. So I guess I spouted off to much again.
This is all I'm going to say on this subject.
For the record there are unclipped SRC in the Cow. Handle these fish carefully til you determine it's a hatchery fish.
I'm aware of that fact and act accordingly. I don't condone the killing of wild fish, even when legal.
This is great info. Thank you. I had read in Northwest Fly Fishing magazine a while back that the SRCs return to the river in numbers like 300,000. That's where I came up with the "hundreds of thousands" estimate. It's been my experience that the fishing (catching) has improved over the past 2 years or so than other years past. It seems that the fish are larger on average and more abundant in recent years.