Worst Returns on Record for Puget Sound Winter Steelhead?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Courtesy Flush, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. Courtesy Flush

    Courtesy Flush aka Sean

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    It's been a weird summer where I've fished fewer days than in the winter. And I was just starting to get excited with the change in seasons (back to winter) until I read this blog post today.

    Osprey Steelhead News

    ~ CF
     
  2. doublespey

    doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

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    That's not news to anyone that fished the Skagit last spring. I've been doing it for quite a few years and the lack of steelhead this last season was very sobering to us all.

    Brian
     
  3. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    I didn't find anything in the article but speculation and opinion.

    The steelhead numbers in the Skagit this past season certainly appeared to be low but I have only personal experience to judge this with. I did see fish in the system and there very well could have been more arrive after the river closed.

    I would like to see what the "official" response is as far as returning numbers of wild steelhead were to the Skagit.
     
  4. byrdland

    byrdland New Member

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    I read recently that Whole Foods Market has sold wild steelhead. They're one of my favorite stores. I'm boycotting them. I live a long way from Puget Sound.
     
  5. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Just because they are selling wild fish, if doesn't mean they are from Washington. This seems to be the only state that none return to.

    Being that you are in Kentucky, they could be Great Lakes fish.

    Jim
     
  6. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    In all liklihood the Steelhead being sold in Washington regional markets are coming from the coastal rivers and tribal fisheries like the Hoh, Quinault and Quillayute and others.
     
  7. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Depressing news indeed!

    Kerry -
    While I have not seen the official escapement estimates word has it that the Skagit and many other Puget Sound systems saw modern day low escapements this past spring. The 2009 Skagit escapement will almost certainly be less than 3,000.

    Doublespey -
    A quote from the article -

    "...the magnitude of the failure is startling and should have managers raising serious questions about how to save Puget Sound wild steelhead before its too late."

    What do you think the State should going about saving those wild steelhead?

    A decade ago the "silver bullet" to say wild steelhead was advertized as wild fish release and now it seems it end hatchery programs. Harvest management issues have been aggressively addressed over the last 25 years and the state is well into hatchery reform yet the fish continue to slide towards the edge. At some point folks may have to face the fact that other factors are in play.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  8. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    My season was startling shite on the Skagit/Sauk this spring despite a lot of time on the water, more than ever before for me..................:(
     
  9. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Smalma,

    Brett said 2,000 + or -, probably - for the Skagit. Lowest escapement ever recorded for what is supposed Puget Sound's strongest steelhead population.

    Other factors are at play, but what the heck are they? By the best accounts, it isn't in freshwater in recent years.

    Sg
     
  10. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Close the river to all steelhead fishing; wild, hatchery, sport and tribal.
     
  11. Daniel Nelson

    Daniel Nelson BAMF

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    coming from an outisders prosepective.....I totally agree with this. shut em down for 10 or 20 years. The only problem i see with this is that some other species will be thrown into the fire and would eventually face the same fate.
     
  12. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Go ahead and close it all and then you all will be fishing in small ponds for planted fish
     
  13. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    Just a thought. If they are surviving when they hit the fresh water, and one of the theories is that thier demise is in the salt. I think that closing the rivers for 10-15 years will just divert people attention from the real problem. It will give people and the state an excuse to not look into the problem further. That being said, I would support closing the rivers, if the state was going to look further into why ocean survival is so poor.
     
  14. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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  15. ChrisC

    ChrisC Active Member

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    While I don't disagree with the harmful impacts of hatcheries, the posting implies that hatcheries are the primary factor behind the reduced returns. As Curt mentions, there are other factors at play that should at least be mentioned.