Steelhead fishing in the Upper Yakima

Would you like to see steelhead rebound in the Upper Yakima?

  • Yes

    Votes: 56 71.8%
  • No

    Votes: 22 28.2%

  • Total voters
    78
  • Poll closed .

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
#1
We've been debating what the angler community wants, so I thought I'd put the question here as a poll. Would you like more steelhead and better steelhead passage at Roza so that there would be a viable steelhead fishery in the Canyon and up to Easton?
 

WT

Active Member
#2
Good question though it's a tough one. If it doesn't adversely effect the trout fishery and the regs stay the same (selective gear) I'm all for it.
WT
 

JS

Active Member
#3
Why so we can turn it into a hatchery run kill fishery and have another million idiots up there not understanding the regs and "unintentionally" poaching resident trout. I dont fish the Yak that often, maybe 6-8 times a year, but I have a good idea what happens if they put in a hatchery for steelhead up there. Bad Idea in my opinion, but Im not a gamey or a biologist so hay what the hell do I know.
 

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
#5
Paul Huffman said:
We've been debating what the angler community wants, so I thought I'd put the question here as a poll. Would you like more steelhead and better steelhead passage at Roza so that there would be a viable steelhead fishery in the Canyon and up to Easton?
I'd dig it if it were a wild steelhead fishery, and they kept the regs the same.....
 
#6
Wild fishery, C&R only, and selective gear rules - Yes!
Otherwise, NO!

In the best of (almost) all worlds, I would like to see the Yak kept +/- the way it is and see the Wenatchee opened to steelhead fishing. I realize your question wasn't an either or, but the Wenatchee seems to have a lot of classic steelhead water, due in part to the natural flow regime (whereas the Yak is much more suited to the contemplative art of casting tiny dries to rising fish...). ;)
 

JS

Active Member
#7
Richard Olmstead said:
Wild fishery, C&R only, and selective gear rules - Yes!
Otherwise, NO!

In the best of (almost) all worlds, I would like to see the Yak kept +/- the way it is and see the Wenatchee opened to steelhead fishing. I realize your question wasn't an either or, but the Wenatchee seems to have a lot of classic steelhead water, due in part to the natural flow regime (whereas the Yak is much more suited to the contemplative art of casting tiny dries to rising fish...). ;)
That is it in a nutshell, keep the yak the way it is and improve on already established runs of fish.
 
W

Will Atlas

Guest
#8
A couple points. One as previously mentioned, the only way of having a fishery fast would be to institute hatchery management, and I think we can all agree thats not desirable. Second, those who worry that it would hurt the trout fishery to have steelhead in higher numbers are totally missing the boat on what's important for Northwest Rivers, especially those in the endangered upper columbia. Richard, while we'd all like to go fishing on the Wenatchee, I'm not sure its the responsible thing for those fish right now (not that the hatcheries are helping).

A couple things to consider, assuming you support improving fish passage for steelhead and trying to stack the deck in favor of wild steelhead rebounding. a.)currently the numbers of fish going over Roza are under 200 a year. This is a really small starting population and even if we assume decent ocean survival over the next 15-20 years, it could take that long (or longer) for steelhead to rebound to fishable numbers. b.)The yakima habitat complex is very comprimised, as it is essentially a glorified irrigation ditch, this would mean much of the spawning/juvenile production would have to come from tributaries which are severly impacted by irrigation as well (ie Teanaway, Swauk Creek, and others). c.)The yakima has alot of Deschutes like characteristics, and for anyone who's ever fished the 'chutes they know that it could be great steelhead water.

So I guess in conclusion, I want to see steelhead rebound in the Yak. But I dont think there's any reasonable chance that we'll be skating steelhead dries any summer soon.

Will
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#9
Just thought that I would ask. But don't they have a salmon season on this river now? And how did that affect the resident trout?

Jim
 
#12
Old Man said:
Just thought that I would ask. But don't they have a salmon season on this river now? And how did that affect the resident trout?

Jim
I don't know much about below roza dam trout, but i am pretty sure not much happens down there, and thats where the salmon fishing happens.
i think the lower river is less conducive to trout with warmer water temps, etc. somebody knows more about this than me i'm sure
 
#13
I agree with what has been said.... I think we all want steelhead populations to rebound, we want more opportunities to fish for steelhead, but hatcheries have failed us and we don't want to spend more money on something that is proven to be detrimental to our wild fish. Spend money on better passage and habitat improvement and I'm on board. But I'm with Will on this, without supplementation I can't see the Yak's steelhead population being fishable anytime soon.

Pete
 
#15
I have yet to fish the Yakima, but we never hear the end of the fact that it is a great trout fishery, right? Why not leave the Yakima the way it is, and keep managing it to be the best trout fishery that it can be, and move the steelhead focus to some other systems that maybe need more help to have any fishery at all.
Like I said, I don't have any real working knowledge of this stuff. But this would be my layman's take on it. It seems like there are plenty of other steelhead (or not) elsewhere that could use the attention.
Cheers,
Jason