Sky Steelhead

cmann886

Active Member
The same could be said about trout stocking. Small percentage of the population per expense.
The bottom line is WDFW is there to provide fishing/hunting opportunities. Among other things. We pay for it so plant as many as possible. No one seems to get all worried about how many Salmon we plant so plant as much as possible.
Opportunity, opportunity. Let’s have as many choices as possible. there always seems to be money for sockeye or trout or stupid wolves than there IS money for Steelhead. Which brings in Way more dollars to the economy.
Rant ended.
You state that "WDFW is there to provide fishing/hunting opportunities" which is incorrect. Supposedly they are there to manage the resource. Providing fishing/hunting opportunities only makes managing the resource more complicated for them.

I personally don't believe that they care much about providing hunting/fishing opportunities and I also believe that they do a very poor job managing the resource. The reality is the pinnipeds kill more fish than all the fisheries and killer whales combined. That part of the food web seems to be out of balance and I don't think that providing more smolts will result in more adults returning and will not until we improve the food chain/web balance, including increasing the carrying capacity of the estuaries and increase the number of bait fishes for the salmon and steelhead to feed on.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
WFF Supporter
Maybe their long term plan is to stop planting salmon and steelhead smolts and starve out the pinnipeds
Stop planting hatchery steelhead, quite possibly. But stop planting hatchery salmon? You've got to be kidding. This is the WA Dep't. of Salmon we're talking about! Even if all the salmon were caught in Canada, with no harvestable return coming back to WA waters, they would keep on keeping on. Doing the same thing over and over an hoping for a different result isn't just the definition of insanity. It's also the definition of government bureaucracy. The status quo is always the best alternative because it doesn't require making a decision. And making a decision is how a bureaucrat can get in trouble.
 

skyrise

Active Member
You state that "WDFW is there to provide fishing/hunting opportunities" which is incorrect. Supposedly they are there to manage the resource. Providing fishing/hunting opportunities only makes managing the resource more complicated for them.

I personally don't believe that they care much about providing hunting/fishing opportunities and I also believe that they do a very poor job managing the resource. The reality is the pinnipeds kill more fish than all the fisheries and killer whales combined. That part of the food web seems to be out of balance and I don't think that providing more smolts will result in more adults returning and will not until we improve the food chain/web balance, including increasing the carrying capacity of the estuaries and increase the number of bait fishes for the salmon and steelhead to feed on.
Is there Any proof that pinniped kill the most fish ? Think I read that it was the smolts not making it out of Puget Sound that is big problem ?
We should be continually campaigning for more Hatchery plants so We all have something to fish for.
Opportunity, Opportunity is what we need not Shutting fisheries down. Cause it seems to me the WDFW is more than happy to shut any or all of it down these days.
Keep hounding them bugging them banging on their door. Or we will all be sitting at home wondering what happened to our fishing.
 

GSIEGEL

Active Member
Is there Any proof that pinniped kill the most fish ? Think I read that it was the smolts not making it out of Puget Sound that is big problem ?
We should be continually campaigning for more Hatchery plants so We all have something to fish for.
Opportunity, Opportunity is what we need not Shutting fisheries down. Cause it seems to me the WDFW is more than happy to shut any or all of it down these days.
Keep hounding them bugging them banging on their door. Or we will all be sitting at home wondering what happened to our fishing.
IIRC ongoing studies have pointed at pinnipeds as the single biggest reason for smolts not making it out of the Sound. There are other factors, but it's been clear for years that the farther south you go, the poorer the returns. Realize every program south of the Snohomish had the plug pulled years ago, as simply no (very very few fish were returning). I'm a standing member of the bitter and crotchety Green and Puyallup old-timers' club.
 

skyrise

Active Member
IIRC ongoing studies have pointed at pinnipeds as the single biggest reason for smolts not making it out of the Sound. There are other factors, but it's been clear for years that the farther south you go, the poorer the returns. Realize every program south of the Snohomish had the plug pulled years ago, as simply no (very very few fish were returning). I'm a standing member of the bitter and crotchety Green and Puyallup old-timers' club.
To me that explanation raises more questions than answers. Like why would Steelhead be hit harder than say any of the Salmon stocks? Because the returns of Wallace Hatchery summer kings is doing pretty darn good with 4-5000 plus adults every year even if they are piss poor biters. And a darn good return count on upper sky coho in one area counting 10,000 adults back. But then again the Reiter Hatchery plants are so little these days that any negative factors just blows the returns for a year ?
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
To me that explanation raises more questions than answers. Like why would Steelhead be hit harder than say any of the Salmon stocks? Because the returns of Wallace Hatchery summer kings is doing pretty darn good with 4-5000 plus adults every year even if they are piss poor biters. And a darn good return count on upper sky coho in one area counting 10,000 adults back. But then again the Reiter Hatchery plants are so little these days that any negative factors just blows the returns for a year ?

Steelhead smolts are considerably larger than salmon smolts making them better prey for pinnepeds. The higher Wallace returns could be from not much mixed stock fisheries in the salt.. Those 10k coho once reached over 30k not that long ago. That same river had less than 800 pinks in 2019 where in 2009 it reached over 98,000.
 

Jakob B

Washington Native and college age angler
I know quite a few fishermen that do very well for them, conditions are a huge factor on how well they bite!
I know it’s very condition based. This past summer I couldn’t buy a bite if I tired and I was fishing in the right areas. Must’ve never been there on the right days... I’d throw flies big flies, small flies, bright flies, dark flies. Bobber and jig, bobber and jig with shrimp, bobber and shrimp, bobber and eggs. Bright spoons and dark spoons. Nada. On rare occasion a steelhead.
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
I know it’s very condition based. This past summer I couldn’t buy a bite if I tired and I was fishing in the right areas. Must’ve never been there on the right days... I’d throw flies big flies, small flies, bright flies, dark flies. Bobber and jig, bobber and jig with shrimp, bobber and shrimp, bobber and eggs. Bright spoons and dark spoons. Nada. On rare occasion a steelhead.

Every few years they bite exceptionally well and will be fly friendly, but for the most part they are egg biting fish, bright red eggs. Think boondoging for steelhead as they tend to be more in the runs than deep holes until low and clear. Also temperature can be a huge factor for them.
 

Jakob B

Washington Native and college age angler
Every few years they bite exceptionally well and will be fly friendly, but for the most part they are egg biting fish, bright red eggs. Think boondoging for steelhead as they tend to be more in the runs than deep holes until low and clear. Also temperature can be a huge factor for them.
That’s what I’ve heard. They like to hold below that big rock on highway side in front of the houses. Bobberdogging eggs is definitely the move. Mid summer I bring the Spey rod just to work on my cast if the gear bite isn’t red hot, I know they aren’t too fly oriented. But very temperature dependent. Multiple cloudy days in a row provides a decent bite.

I have a gear fishing buddy who’s egg cure is fantastic, will hook coho when no one else does. Will get picky bottom hugging king to bite etc. That being said I hate fishing eggs. I haven’t cured eggs in probably four years. Spoon fishing or fly fishing for me, must be why I don’t do catch too often in that particular fishery. Have hooked them on spoons on random occasions though, but that was some time ago.
 

the_chemist

Active Member
Being a piss poor/fickle biter is simply a measure of Skykomish salmon in general.
I seem to remember a king being taken on a spinner about 100 yards up river from me. The only way I know this is because the guy walked the fish down to me to take a picture of them before releasing it.
;)
 

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