Steelhead fishing in the Upper Yakima

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Paul Huffman, Nov 29, 2006.

?
  1. Yes

    56 vote(s)
    71.8%
  2. No

    22 vote(s)
    28.2%
  1. razorback

    razorback New Member

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    hell yes!!!!!! It put more fish on my wall
     
  2. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    it is shocking to me that anyone would argue against restoring the native steelhead in the upper yakima. Evidently some people value their personal play over the existence of a native species.

    -t
     
  3. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    yeah dude thats garbage. A good thing on the Yak? Its a dam raceway, with artificially high primary productivity and a bunch of over fished rainbows. That seems like a selfish copout to me. Also, everyone blathers about caring about conservation and then they rail on the state about not opening the Wenatchee, the fish in the wenatchee are listed right? it would be negligent and self interested to advocate opening the fishery under the current conditions.
     
  4. docstash

    docstash Active Member

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    Should they improve the ladder? Yes. Should there be a fishery above Rosa Dam? There already is, selective fishery.

    In 2005 2022 wild Steehead and 15 hatchery over Prosser dam, 208 wild over Rosa but they only counted a couple of days in Nov. and none in Dec.

    In 1996 450 wild and 54 hatchery over Prosser dam, and 91 wild over Rosa but only counted 22 day in Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. and March.

    After they did studies on the river above Rosa dam planting hatchery Steelhead and found that the size of the resident population declined because they inhabit the same water they quit planting hatchery fish and stopped the local Steelhead Ass. from planting fish. They then planted a bunch of Chinook and the resident trout population size did not decline so the river is being planted for the Salmon. 1600 Chinook over Rosa in 1996, 6300 in 2005 over Rosa.

    Hatchery fish would not improve anything above Rosa in my limited opinion. It would hurt the resident trout population. Craig
     
  5. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    docstash- nice info....i agree about planting hatchery fish....now if only they could make habitat/passage improvements that would encourage more frequent exhibition of the anadromous life history in the O. mykiss species complex in the upper river...well..that would be good.
    -T
     
  6. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Seems to me that fixing the access for the upper canyon would facilitate better access to all anadromous species. Having a reasonable Chinook passage and (if I remeber my history correctly) a sockeye fishery would only *help* things. Just putting one species in over another seems to be a very limited way of management, and IMO doomed to fail in the long run.
     
  7. JS

    JS Active Member

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    It is a hatchery kill fishery that I am against, not regaining the native run of fish.
     
  8. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    cool, im right there with ya
     
  9. jabseattle

    jabseattle jabs

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    Tom what makes you think this will be not a hatchery @#$%^ fest?

    Yes my buddies have caught Steelies in the Yak but WDWF will screw it up..I'm all about better passage for our fish, but your comment above is out of your ass
     
  10. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    I stand by my comments. If you read everything i have written in this thread, I make it very clear that i do not condone a hatchery "@#$%^ fest," nor would i consider the introduction of hatchery fish as "rebounding steelhead."

    I don't really see where we disagree. All i want is for the native fish to recover.
    -T
     
  11. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    So a few questions! (and is meant to stimulate discussion, not piss anyone off!)..

    If the hatchery stock were used to "jumpstart" the river, would you have issue with it? How long in your eyes would it take for an introduced strain of fish to become "native" to the Yakima river drainage? Are the genetic characteristics you're worried about something that in your opinion dooms the population, or will time correct it?

    Are there ways to "coerce" the current wild population of trout (which I assume harbor the genetic traits of the original steelhead population) to start to go anadromous?

    Finally, as for wild fish, if the Yakima were go to "the wilds" so to speak, how long until the currently resident fish get wind of this, and take advantage of the now available ocean?
     
  12. docstash

    docstash Active Member

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    The Yakama Indian Nation is doing all the planting, paid for by BPA and WDFW. They could care less about a hatchery Steelhead program. Look at the Klickitat which they now control. Headwaters are on Yakama Nation Reservation, Yakama Nation now controls 100% of the operations of the hatchery with plans for another hatchery on the lower river to supplement the fall Salmon runs. No more non native hatchery Steelhead plants. Meaning Skamania and Wells Dam plants, which is fine by me. But according to the papers I have read they would need 100% of the native fish to support a hatchery program. So now they plant two non native Salmon species, Upriver Fall Brights from Ringgold, and Coho and in their papers these are for 100% harvest by either us below the fish ladder at the Fisher Hills Falls or them. Craig
     
  13. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    James-

    evolution is a process that occurs over geologic timescales, not years or decades....yes an introduced run of hatchery fish would be immediately subject to selection favoring fish well adapted to the system, but generally this selection comes as the result of incredibly low survival...in my opinion the genetics do "doom the hatchery population." This gets to your second question.

    O mykiss is a single species, and especially in a system with historical anadromy, the yakima would have summerruns if it werent for the comparatively low survival of anadromous individuals....in other words, anadromous individuals would be more greatly represented in the o mykiss popylation than they are now if there was no survival problem. Hatchery fish would only feel the effects of this survival problem more profoundly.

    To get to your last to questions. By improving habitat, and identifying the factors limiting anadromy, steelhead could once again be present in large numbers. With such an intact O. mykiss population present in the upper basin, it probably wouldn't take too long either. It may be though that the factors limiting anadromous life histories are things we wont be able to change any time soon though, like modified flow regime (agriculture, hydropower), warm water (from land use practices), non-native species (bass and such in the lower river), and the dams which create and exacerbate the above problems.

    Keep in mind that the yakima system already supports one of the healthiest native wild steelhead populations in the upper columbia (or is it considered mid columbia?). Ahtanum (sp?) creek has many native wild summerruns. The difference though is that it joins the yakima very low down, and thus its fish are not subject to the habitat problems that plague the rest of the system.

    Hope this helps.
    -T
     
  14. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Well, this is where I wanted to target the discussion, as I have a *ton* of questions... I was under the impression that the life cycle of wild populations of fish are measured in the scale of 5-6 years. Given this, how long does it take (in generations, not years) before selection really starts to get going? There will be some residual genetics for quite some time, I understand that, but for random mate selection of traits for a majority of the genes you are talking about, won't they predominate rather rapidly? I can't remember enough of my college days, but I though there was a general formula that described (at least in fruit flies) the number of generations it took to breed towards a specific trait? I know that these fish are more complex creatures and they don't live in a lab, but isn't the formula still valid for natural trait selection?
     
  15. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    selection is perpetual....how long it takes in generations for a hatchery stock to be well enough adapted to survive on its own depends on many factors.

    -how well adapted was it to begin with
    -is its gene pool sufficiently heterogenous to allow for rapid selection of better alleles
    -how productive is the ecosystem to which it is being introduced

    the list goes on and on. I think the point is though that unless you have ecosystems where a species is extinct, nature will do a better job with whatever tattered remains of a native population it has than we can with hatcheries (i can send you a genetics paper on this). Even where a species is locally extinct, it is likely that repopulation from natural straying will be more successful on a per-fish basis than non-native introductions.

    -T