Yakima Steelhead run breaks 6000

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Paul Huffman, May 10, 2012.

  1. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,007
    Likes Received:
    988
    Location:
    seattle, wa
    If the ESA checkers start noticing that people are poaching as heavily as they are, then they are going to close down the Yakima for ALL fishing during the sensitive run times.

    I consider this to be a foregone conclusion and am just waiting for the day when it happens. This is going to be really bad news for a great winter trout fishery and the shops that rely on winter fishermen.

    Poaching steelhead in the yakima is about as low as it gets.
     
    McNasty likes this.
  2. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,449
    Likes Received:
    226
    Location:
    Yakima, WA.
    Home Page:
    Until the 2009 regs, the reach 3500 ft. below Roza to Parker Dam was open June 1-Mar. 31 for trout, year-round for "Other Game Fish". I used to really like to fish down there. No westsiders or guides in their boats. BWO in November, and Skwala in March was my best trout fishing for the year. But there was too much concern about the impact on steelhead. Strange that there could be much impact, because I didn't see much fishing at all down there. But I did hook a steelhead there one March on a tiny PT.
     
  3. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,449
    Likes Received:
    226
    Location:
    Yakima, WA.
    Home Page:
    This last season, WDFW finally did something about the big problem of poaching steelhead on the Satus Bar during the winter whitefish season by closing the whole thing down by emergency regulation.
     
  4. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,449
    Likes Received:
    226
    Location:
    Yakima, WA.
    Home Page:
    That's a interesting question. Take the 2010-2011 season, 6140 over Prosser, but only 343 over Roza. Where'd the rest go? Well, many people don't know that the streams on the Yakama Reservation still have healthy steelhead runs. The redd counts for 2011 were 293 in the Satus drainage, 100 in the Toppenish drainage, Ahtanum 28. So does that mean 6140 - (2*(293+100+28))-343 = 4955 went up the Naches? Seems like a lot. How many get lost to poaching? How many spawn in the Yakima below Roza? The YN, USFS, and WDFW walk a lot of streams in the Naches system, trying to get a handle on the escapement up there, but a lot are missed and some years the flow gets high and muddy just at the wrong time.

    This year, there's a different approach. YN tagged almost 500 steelhead with radio tags at Prosser. There's already some interesting observations coming in.

    The first time I borrowed the radio tracking gear, I was driving way up Cowiche Creek past Snow Mountain Ranch, up where the locals live in old school buses. We were bumping along, hadn't heard anything from the receiver for a while, then got a code, backtracked to where the signal got the strongest, put on the directional antenna, walked down to the stream, and in a few minutes, located two steelhead on a redd, female digging, two trout participating! Cool!

    Not so cool was we later got stuck in the snow up Rattlesnake Creek.
     
    Luke77, JesseCFowl, KerryS and 2 others like this.
  5. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Messages:
    7,361
    Likes Received:
    2,676
    Location:
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Cool info Paul, thanks.
     
  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    8,635
    Likes Received:
    2,982
    Location:
    Your City ,State
    Cool info Paul. Do you think any of those fish over Prosser could be dip ins that drop back out and head to other tribs?

    Sg
     
  7. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    357
    Location:
    Klickitat, Washington
    Paul, is the assumption 1 pair is responsible for 1 redd only? From my recollections a hen could and usually did excavate several redds in the vicinity, sometimes very difficult to differentiate one from another. If we assumed a single pair were responsible for 1.5 or 2 redds then the mystery (or the poaching or both) becomes even more significant doesn't it?
     
  8. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    8,635
    Likes Received:
    2,982
    Location:
    Your City ,State
    Klickrolf,

    Don't mean to speak for Paul, but yes. Generally the value of 1.2 redds per female steelhead is used when estimating escapement unless site specific data suggesting another value is available.

    Sg
     
  9. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,449
    Likes Received:
    226
    Location:
    Yakima, WA.
    Home Page:
    correct, Rolf. I was just making a quick calculation to illustrate the discrepancy.
     
  10. CurtisS

    CurtisS Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2011
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Amanda Park, WA
    Thanks for the education Paul! great info.
     
  11. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Messages:
    882
    Likes Received:
    357
    Location:
    Klickitat, Washington
    This could be evidence of progress for steelhead in the drainage below Roza. Alot of steelhead are unacounted for and I'd assume most will/did spawn. I doubt many out of basin fish would "stray" above Prosser...maybe there's good stuff happening in the Yakima, I hope so.
     
  12. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    2,355
    Likes Received:
    1,190
    Location:
    Skagit River
    Did you not get the last bulletin? This is now known as the 'Skagit Management Plan' or SMP for short.
     
  13. fifafu

    fifafu Guest

    Does anyone have any idea how many fish went up the North Fork of the Stilly this winter? Is there a count?
     
  14. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    102
    Location:
    Olympia, WA.
    I am pretty sure that they (WDFW employees) are still counting redds inthe NF Stilly, and will continue doing so into the month of June.
     
  15. Paul Huffman

    Paul Huffman Lagging economic indicator

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,449
    Likes Received:
    226
    Location:
    Yakima, WA.
    Home Page:
    That's another question that the radio tags can help answer. If you go to DART, you'll find quite a few hatchery steelhead counted at Prosser, even a few at Roza, and none of these fish would have originated in the Yakima Basin, except for the few accidentally occurring adipose clips. From PIT tags, we occasionally see amazing wanderings, like way up the Yakima or Klickitat, then ending up in Idaho. Kinda makes you wonder why ESA is so interested in preserving distinct genetic population segments when the steelhead are mixing it up on their own.

    One of the radio tags this spring was detected in an alley in a small lower valley town. There's an amazing migration for you!