Wenatchee River, Help!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Sage6, Aug 28, 2001.

  1. Sage6

    Sage6 New Member

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    Help! I am going on a family trip in a couple of weeks. We are staying on the Wenatchee River about 1/2 mile north of the Beaver Valley Road bridge over the Wenatchee.

    Is there any fishing in this area? Even minor stuff is fine for the kids.

    Any hints would be much appreciated.
     
  2. ray helaers

    ray helaers Active Member

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    [font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Aug-28-01 AT 03:07 PM (PST)[/font][p]I believe the Wenatchee is (or should be)closed to all fishing to protect endangered chinook and steelhead. I think there is fishing in Lake Wenatchee, and nearby Fish Lake is supposed to be hot for browns in the fall, though it might be a little early. I've also heard rumors of good beaver-pond fishing in the Little Wenatchee above the Lake (cutthroat and brookies). I have no idea how hard or easy it is to get to.
     
  3. Jonduke

    Jonduke New Member

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    I have looked into the Wenatchee area before, and Ray is right about pretty much everything being closed to protect steelhead and salmon. The only rivers open are the extreme upper reaches above barriers, that you have to hike a long distance to get to anyway. So, lakes are your best option. If you like to hike, there are tons of alpine lakes that I have flyfished successfully. Just get a map and find a lake.
    Jon
     
  4. rgf

    rgf New Member

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    >Help! I am going on
    >a family trip in a
    >couple of weeks. We
    >are staying on the Wenatchee
    >River about 1/2 mile north
    >of the Beaver Valley Road
    >bridge over the Wenatchee.
    >
    >Is there any fishing in this
    >area? Even minor stuff
    >is fine for the kids.
    >
    >
    >Any hints would be much appreciated.
    >
    crssmith@home.com
    Just got back from Wenatchee, stayed there about a month.
    The wenatchee river has been closed for the past three or four years.Each year I hope it opens.
    Floated the river from Cashmier to the camp ground at Monitor
    a few times and couldn't believe all the steelhead and springs in the river also large trout.
    It's beyond me what the state is thinking , I'd like to see it opened for fly only and C&R
    There is a good lake there, Beehive Lake, also check with the Blue Dunn in East Wenatchee. Good luck,
     
  5. ray helaers

    ray helaers Active Member

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    What the state is thinking is that Upper Columbia Steelhead and spring chinook are listed as endangered under the ESA. A big run of hatchery fish doesn't change the fact that the wild fish are facing extinction. The consequences of even incidental mortality to wild steelhead and chinook from C&R flyfishing are not worth the entertainment of anglers.

    As flyfishers and stewards, if we want the moral high ground on commercial salmon-harvest, land-use, and hydro-dam issues, we have to be willing to do a little climbing. Our wild-fish resources are in trouble, and we'll all have to sacrifice a little if we're going to save them. There are plenty of places left to fish besides the Wenatchee.
     
  6. emasterj20

    emasterj20 New Member

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    Ok, question then. Will the Wenatchee River/Entiat river/Methow river and their tributaries be open to fishing again in my generation(I'm 27)?

    Are there any biologists out there that could give us a lesson on wild fish recovery? Can we speculate on how long it would take the wild fish to recover to a safe, sustainable level? And if the fish made a recovery to that point, is it possible that that rivers may still not be opened for fear of this happening again?

    Just curious.
     
  7. ray helaers

    ray helaers Active Member

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    Those are all good, fair questions. I'm not a biologists, but I work with a few who are looking into these issues. I beleive that in oreder to give these populations a fair chance to rebuild, it would probably take 2-3 generations. Thats the good news. The bad news I guess is that 2-3 generations equals 12-15 years. The worse news is we haven't even started to get serious yet about starting. Of course many scientists might be reluctant to make any kind of predictions. I'd love to hear from some too.

    It's not that sport fishing is the real problem of course (though it's not completely innocent), it's that things have gotten so bad that fishing restrictions have to be part of the solution. If the populations can recover, I don't see any reason why fishing couldn't resume. Of course that assumes that the other players -- commercial fishers, farmers, loggers, dam operators -- do their parts. I suppose it's conceivable, even likely, that we could get screwed on that account. I don't think that would be any reason to screw the fish though.
     
  8. rgf

    rgf New Member

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    crssmith@home.com
    While I was in Wenatchee and floating the river There was a mechanical fish counter at the onelane bridge,Mechanical meaning there had to be someone operating it. I talked to some of the locals and acording to them, it hadn't been manned since April.
    Without an accurate count,how do they know how the run is doing?
     
  9. guest

    guest Guest

    This is a question for Ray Helaers. You mentioned hatchery fish. If the river is closed to all fishing. Why did they plant the Wenatchee and Chiwawa with 172,100 steelhead smolts in the summer of 2001. Also the Twisp with 127,500 smolts. If one were to read between the lines,one would think that they might reopen these rivers. Maybe I might be dreaming. Jim S.
     
  10. ray helaers

    ray helaers Active Member

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    Sorry I didn't reply earlier; I've been saltwater flyfishing fishing in BC. Lots of big coho. That's another story.

    My short answer is I don't know. But I can tell you that due to some wierd twist of regulatory logic (oxymoron?), upper Columbia hatchery-steelhead were included with the listing of the wild fish. So continuing hatchery plantngs are likely some sort of "supplementation" program. It's also concievable that the Columbia tribes are also still being allowed some harvest opportunities downstream.

    NMFS and WDFW are currently negotiating de-listing the upper Columbia hatchery-steelhead. If that happens, it is possible that the river could reopen for hatchery fish. I don't know how many people on this forum would agree, but I think that would be a mistake. It would be better to just stop planting hatchery fish, which are one of the major reasons for the decline of the wild stock.
     
  11. guest

    guest Guest

    Well I just had to ask that question. I've fished the Wenatchee river a few years ago. I think that all we were fishing for at the time was Trout. You used to catch good sized trout out of the river and Nason Creek. The last time I was there was before it closed and caught nothing. In fact I didn't even see any fish.