Skagit 2021?

GOTY

9x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
To WW's point.

As I recall WDFW designed a fishery for this season that was to be limited by a 76 impact/harvest or 760 fish handled (released).

If indeed as Goty reports there were 153 fish caught in February just 100 encounters/a 4 day week would last to just about the 4/13 closure. The real kicker will be what the river conditions will be over the next 6 weeks. Historically it has not been uncommon to loss significant fishing time on the Skagit/Sauk in the spring.

Hopefully WDFW will soon be posting updated results of the 2021 creel info for this fishery on their web site.

Curt
Thanks Curt. The 153 number was from a creel checker yesterday. Obvioislu more fish were caught yesterday, so the # is now above 153.

My understanding from the meetings years ago was a run of 4-6k fish allows 10% harvest. Rec anglers get half of that, so 5% of the run. Given assumed 10% CnR mortality, this would imply 50% of the run could be CnRd by rec anglers.

Has the math changed or was my understanding incorrect? Or both?
 

Smalma

Active Member
Goty -
I think both your memory and math are correct based on that last meeting.

However the forecast method has change to deal more with some of the uncertainties in forecasts resulting in a product with a curve of run size forecasts which will have a pretty wide range of estimates. The point estimate was the point at which 50% of the forecast were below that point and 50% above that point.

With the run size estimate so close they clearly opted for a season (or allowable impacts) that would reduce the chances of harvesting below that 4,000 trigger point. Buffering the harvest if you will. A little bit of a belt and suspenders approach that will err on the side of the resource.

I don't pretend to understand all the math that went in the run-size estimate or how that buffer was chosen - well beyond my fossilized brain. That said it looks like the combined recreation and tribal exploitation is 3.6% or 36% of the modeled allowable harvest. That 3.6% looks suspiciously like the long term exploitation rate pre RMP.

Hopeful some one much smarter than me can explain how this new forecast method works and how buffering levels were chosen.

Curt
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
Man, this is interesting. So if 760 can be caught between both user groups, that leaves 380 for the rec fishery, and the current count stands at a bit over 150 with 22 fishing days remaining in a 40 day season (minus weather interruptions). It would take a pretty significant increase in catch rates to end the season early.

An increase in inept fishing pressure just reduces the quality of the fishing experience, but has no impact on the catch rate for effective, knowledgeable anglers. That about does it in for any bitching I might have aired otherwise, since I’m definitely in the camp of inefficient anglers. Thanks for the reasoned discussion, all!
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
WFF Supporter
Man, this is interesting. So if 760 can be caught between both user groups, that leaves 380 for the rec fishery, and the current count stands at a bit over 150 with 22 fishing days remaining in a 40 day season (minus weather interruptions). It would take a pretty significant increase in catch rates to end the season early.

An increase in inept fishing pressure just reduces the quality of the fishing experience, but has no impact on the catch rate for effective, knowledgeable anglers. That about does it in for any bitching I might have aired otherwise, since I’m definitely in the camp of inefficient anglers. Thanks for the reasoned discussion, all!
It's important to keep in mind the distinction between 'caught', 'impacts', and 'mortality rate'. These things are all different numbers.
 
I know this is a dumb question seeing as how no one even knows what the hell next week looks like in our world.

That said, does anyone think the Skagit will actually open for 2021? I'd like to get the F out of Michigan this spring and it would be very nice to have something to look forward to.
holy crap why would you want out of MI? i see nothing but monster browns and steelhead on IG. Unless it's just too cold. I hear that
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
I guess it’s been a spring of low and clear water on the Sauk and Skagit. I gotta say that all the wonderful weather has torpedoed my confidence in fly fishing for steelhead this spring.

Most of what I’ve heard has indicated that it’s been a gear party of getting down in the deepest, darkest water due to the pressure and conditions.

Anybody here looking at fishing these rivers today or tomorrow? I’ve lost the drive.
 

jfilip85

Active Member
I was fortunate enough to make it out there last weekend and fish.

Beautiful weather but very tough conditions for fly fishing. Other than first/last light, I didn't have much confidence swinging a fly. Saw a few nice fish pulled from the deep holes from gear anglers.

Always great to wade those rivers and use the big rods.
 

Hillbilly Redneck

wishin i was fishin
I hit solid Sauk gold (chrome?) this last week. I havn't been fly fishing much because of the low water conditions, but I have been fishing with gear every chance I get. In all my bank fishing outings and 4 or 5 floats in the boat, I had hit hit one fish which I lost.
That changed last Tuesday morning. I have been eyeballing this spot that a friend told me he hooked a fish in from his boat gear fishing. I made the short walk from my car to the gravel bar at 7:00am hoping to beat the boat parade. Not one boat floated by me while I fished for a couple of hours there. I landed a nice hen half way through the run and that was that.
This Saturday, I figured there was no beating the boat pressure, so I hit the same spot about 12:30-1:00pm. I walked down to the gravel bar as 3 boats are floating through with more on the way. I watched the boats as I was rigging up. Every boat came down, and like moths to a flame they all fished the opposite side of the river. I waited for the other boats to come down. They did, and not one of them made a cast even remotely close where I hooked the fish last week. So, you guess it, I hit not one, but 2 fish in that slot on my first pass. The first was a really nice buck with shoulders and a little color. Jumped a bunch of times. The second looked to be a big bright hen that jumped a bunch of times and then came unbuttoned.
Even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while.
 

Brandon

Floatin'
I have spent one day every weekend on the Sauk since about late Feb.

Landed a beautiful 15 or so pound buck that was bright as can be a few weeks ago. I would have been satisfied had I not even hooked one, just having the opportunity to be out on this river is a blessing.

Although its been slow with this low and clear water, it sure is beautiful out there when its 60 degrees and sunny.
 

moon1284

Active Member
I hit solid Sauk gold (chrome?) this last week. I havn't been fly fishing much because of the low water conditions, but I have been fishing with gear every chance I get. In all my bank fishing outings and 4 or 5 floats in the boat, I had hit hit one fish which I lost.
That changed last Tuesday morning. I have been eyeballing this spot that a friend told me he hooked a fish in from his boat gear fishing. I made the short walk from my car to the gravel bar at 7:00am hoping to beat the boat parade. Not one boat floated by me while I fished for a couple of hours there. I landed a nice hen half way through the run and that was that.
This Saturday, I figured there was no beating the boat pressure, so I hit the same spot about 12:30-1:00pm. I walked down to the gravel bar as 3 boats are floating through with more on the way. I watched the boats as I was rigging up. Every boat came down, and like moths to a flame they all fished the opposite side of the river. I waited for the other boats to come down. They did, and not one of them made a cast even remotely close where I hooked the fish last week. So, you guess it, I hit not one, but 2 fish in that slot on my first pass. The first was a really nice buck with shoulders and a little color. Jumped a bunch of times. The second looked to be a big bright hen that jumped a bunch of times and then came unbuttoned.
Even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while.

Sure, I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I'm not. I honestly just feel that swinging flies is the best way to catch steelhead and the other ways aren't as good. That used to be called being a flyfisherman.
 

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