Methow

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by eJohn, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. bentrod2

    bentrod2 New Member

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    Just got word this morning the Methow river will not open for steelhead fishing at this time. Check the WDFW web site for details. The word is they are short the count of wild fish.

    Carl
     
  2. Methow

    Methow Active Member

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    I remember reading something about a commer. fishery in late spring or early summer for steelhead off the mouth of the Columbia this year. Did anyone else see this. Funny thing is this yrs return should have been the offspring of the big run that we had up here in 2001. almost 20,000 fish over Wells that yr. Back in August I had herad our return should have been good because of the run of 2001. Makes one wonder about if there was a commercial fishery how many of our fish were taken.
     
  3. pearguy

    pearguy Member

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    I couldn't find any info on WDFW site regarding not opening -- are you saying they (WDFW) have made a public statement about keeping it closed?

    a link would be handy. Thanks

    -john
     
  4. Beckler

    Beckler Member

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    I just spoke to a representative out of the Ephrata office and he said it is still very much up in the air. Because it involves an ESA listing it is very complicated. He did say that he is not as optimistic today as he was a couple of weeks ago. I inquired as to what date I could assume that it just isn't going to happen this year and he was going to try to find that out for me, if possible.
     
  5. flyfis4fun

    flyfis4fun New Member

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    It's possible we won't get a season this year but I think the fish are just slow coming up river. All the Eastern,WA streams are at near record level low flows this summer and fall. We just got our first good rain over the weekend with more expected today. If this continues, the rivers will rise and the cool water should start pushing the fish IF they are there. A few years ago they didn't open the river until Nov. 1st so there is still plenty of time to get the fish in the system. However, I think I will wait on buying that new steelhead rod until the news is more encouraging.

    If the the Methow doesn't open that is really going to hurt. The Tucannon was effected by the fire so I am not sure if it is going to be open for fishing etc. and now the Methow is in question. That leaves the extreme S.E. rivers as the only option for chasing some steelhead tail this fall/winter. Not cool. :mad:
     
  6. Curtis Williams

    Curtis Williams Wandering but not lost

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    Email I received from WDFW:

    Thank you for your email correspondence to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Fish Program.

    Unfortunately the number counts over the dam did not prove to be enough to open a fishery on the Methow. However, we will continue to monitor them, and hopefully we will have an opening in other area rivers in October. These of course are also subject to meeting the criteria. Keep watching!

    Please make sure you check for emergency rule changes before you harvest as follows:

    Fishing Rule Change Hotline at (360) 902-2500 Shellfish Rule Change Hotline at 1-866-880-5431 Or, try our new searchable emergency rule link off our website at: https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/index.jsp

    Additionally, for shellfish, make sure to call the Dept. of Health Marine Toxins PSP Hotline at 1-800-562-5632.

    If you have further questions, please email again or call (360) 902-2700. Our Customer Service hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Sincerely,
    Fish Program
     
  7. FT

    FT Active Member

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    flyfis4fun,

    It seems to me that the fish numbers are down this year, not just slow to move upriver. The Puget Sound and OP rivers salmon and steelhead runs have been down all summer, as have the Vancouver Island BC mainland runs. And the Clearwater/Snake/Grand Rhonde and Salmon River fish numbers are down too.
     
  8. flyfis4fun

    flyfis4fun New Member

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    That is really too bad. I don't know if you guys on the wet side really understand the impact of this to us dry side guys. We wait all year long to get a crack at steelhead in the fall so to not have this season is hard. You guys are fortunate in that you get to chase steelhead and salmon all summer and the Methow is your dessert. We just get one season and to take full advantage of it requires fishing in the cold and snow.

    In NCW, this river is literally the only real opportunity. I am sure that if the Methow isn't opening then the Okanogan and its tributaries are also going to stay closed. My brother is going to be without any steelhead options which won't make him very happy. I am lucky in that I live near Spokane now so I do have some opportunities down south but I consider the Methow my home river. I will keep hoping for a late season influx of fish but it doesn't look very promising.

    Mike
     
  9. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    Does any one know how many steelhead need to pass over Wells dam before a season opener on the Methow is allowed?
     
  10. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    No more need for speculation:

    WDFW NEWS RELEASE
    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
    600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
    http://wdfw.wa.gov/

    October 5, 2005
    Contacts: Bob Jateff, Omak, (509) 826-7341
    Joe Miller, Ephrata, (509) 754-6066

    Upper Columbia, Okanogan, Methow rivers
    will open Saturday for steelhead fishing

    OLYMPIA - Fishing for hatchery steelhead is scheduled to open Oct. 8 in the upper Columbia, Okanogan and Methow rivers under special rules designed to protect wild fish, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

    Starting Nov.15, anglers will also be allowed to fish for hatchery steelhead on the Similkameen River, when most wild chinook will have finished spawning.

    The daily catch limit on all four rivers is two adipose-fin-clipped hatchery steelhead of at least 20 inches in length. All steelhead with an intact adipose fin - the small, fatty fin on the back near the tail - and those bearing a disk tag must immediately be released unharmed.

    Both wild and hatchery-origin steelhead in the region are listed as "endangered" under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), which required WDFW to obtain a permit from NOAA-Fisheries before opening the fisheries.

    A key objective of steelhead fisheries in the region is to reduce the proportion of hatchery-origin steelhead contributing to the adult spawning escapement next spring, said WDFW Director Jeff Koenings.

    "Removing hatchery-origin fish will increase the proportion of wild steelhead on the spawning grounds and improve the natural production potential in the upper Columbia River basin," he said. "Of course, we also recognize the enormous value of this fishery for anglers and local communities."

    Consistent with its federal permit, WDFW will closely monitor the fishery to ensure that enough wild steelhead reach area rivers to spawn, Koenings said.

    "If we need to modify the fishery to meet ESA escapement goals for wild steelhead, we will," Koenings said. "But I am confident we will meet those goals, as we have in previous years."

    Barring any changes necessary to meet ESA goals, the following waters are scheduled to open for hatchery steelhead fishing Oct. 8 through March 31:

    The Columbia River from Rocky Reach Dam to the Highway 17 bridge at Bridgeport. Standard gear rules will be in effect.
    The Okanogan River from the mouth upstream to one-quarter mile below the railroad trestle below Zosel Dam. However, the section of river from the Highway 155 bridge in Omak to a line across the river 500 feet above the mouth of Omak Creek will close March 1. Selective gear rules, including a prohibition on bait and barbed hooks, will be in effect.
    The Methow River from the mouth (Highway 97 Bridge) upstream to the second power line crossing, and from the first Highway 153 bridge north of Pateros to the confluence with the Chewuch River. Selective gear rules will be in effect.
    In addition, the Similkameen River will open to fishing for hatchery steelhead from Nov. 15 through March 31 from the mouth upstream to 400 feet below Enloe Dam. Selective gear rules will be in effect.

    Anglers will be allowed to use boats with motors on the Okanogan and Methow rivers, but night closures will be in effect on all four rivers.

    Additional regulations, including a full description of open and closed areas, are available on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/fishregs.htm .
     
  11. jabseattle

    jabseattle jabs

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    love those mails
     
  12. Big Tuna

    Big Tuna Member

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    Pray for rain 'cause there's not much more than rocks at 320cfs. :(
     
  13. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    I hear what you're saying Tuna, and its true enough. But the 16 year average at Winthrop this time of year is only about 250 cfs.

    Down River, it runs a lot more water than up at Winthrop from all the tribs that come into it. Granted though, some of the major tribs shut down early this year due to low water. Temps were in the low 30's last weekend, and forecast is cool with showers in the area. Come onnnn rain baby rain.
     
  14. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    How many of you can say "Similkameen"? Thought so...:clown:

    Seriously (ha!) Thanks for the heads up Brendan...:thumb:
     
  15. flyfis4fun

    flyfis4fun New Member

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    You made my year!! Thanks for the update.