Wells Dam fish counts

#1
According to the Wells Dam fish counts, they've had 2100 unclipped steelhead go over the dam, and 4500 "hatchery" fish this year. (Both down from any of the past 4 years it has been open, it was over 15,000 total in 2001).

The question is, where are all the clipped fish? Everyone I have talked to has gotten mostly unclipped fish, myself included. We should be catching clipped fish at a 2:1 rate.
 

CaddisMadness

Fly Fishing in Patagonia: A Trout Bum's Guide
#2
Hatchery fish don't seem to bite as well in general, at least on a swung fly. While Nymphing I seem to catch more hatchery fish. That just my anecdotal experience.
 
#3
Not sure I buy that one. The clipped and unclipped fish are supposed to be genetically indistinguishable, and many of the unclipped fish you catch are clearly "hatchery" fish based on the appearance of their fins.

Also, both the steelies I took skating dries were clipped. Three of the 4 I got nymphing were unclipped.
 
#5
100% of the hatchery fish released in the Okanogan and Similkameen rivers are ad-clipped while the proportion is quite a bit lower in the Methow releases.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#6
Sageman said:
The question is, where are all the clipped fish? Everyone I have talked to has gotten mostly unclipped fish, myself included. We should be catching clipped fish at a 2:1 rate.

Not all of these fish end up in the Methow. There are several othere streams that have hatchery fish planted in them.

Jim
 
#7
Granted. So you are suggesting that the majority of the clipped fish are heading up to the Okanogan and Similkameen, and the unclipped ones are heading up to Winthrop and points beyond?
 
#8
Last year the proportion was about 10 - 1 unclipped vs. clipped on my scorecard and those I fished with, but that could easily be a function of where and how I was fishing. It wasn't easy to get one for the bbq.