A Loooong time coming

triploidjunkie

Active Member
For the first time since Grand Coulee dam was built, Chinook salmon are spawning in the San Poil river! The tribe let a few hundred go in Lake Roosevelt a couple years ago, and a few made it to their ancestral spawning grounds. Anyone who knows me, knows that the SP was my home water growing up. I remember strapping my fly rod to the handlebars of my dirt bike when I was twelve, and riding over Keller Butte and down Jack Creek to get there. Forty miles each way. It was my favorite river in our state. A rare treasure. It has probably the largest run of native redbands in the state, and enough get washed down to me at Rufus to make me happy, but I sure miss dry fly fishing the SP....
 

Mike Ediger

WFF Supporter
That’s cool!
I grew up on the Oregon coast with a creek in my back yard that held healthy salmon runs. Both the fish and I had a lot shorter commute than you; about 15 miles for the fish and 15 yards for me. Lots of fun memories with an ultralight rod and worm or rooster tail. Doesn’t get much better for a kid than a creek to play in, explore, and fish.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
Awesome, maybe in time fish passage the day will be important to someone important enough. Every step in the right direction is a good thing
 
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Reactions: NRC

Jim Darden

Active Member
For the first time since Grand Coulee dam was built, Chinook salmon are spawning in the San Poil river! The tribe let a few hundred go in Lake Roosevelt a couple years ago, and a few made it to their ancestral spawning grounds. Anyone who knows me, knows that the SP was my home water growing up. I remember strapping my fly rod to the handlebars of my dirt bike when I was twelve, and riding over Keller Butte and down Jack Creek to get there. Forty miles each way. It was my favorite river in our state. A rare treasure. It has probably the largest run of native redbands in the state, and enough get washed down to me at Rufus to make me happy, but I sure miss dry fly fishing the SP....
I'm not smart enough to know whether this is good or bad. Does this mean we are displacing the population of native trout that spawn there? Will the salmon smolt exceed the carrying capacity of the stream and eat up all the food for the native fish? Will the salmon out compete the native trout and decimate the population in the river? I hope someone looked into these and other questions before dumping a bunch of fish in the SP river.......
 

David Loy

Senior Moment
Worthy question though Jim. I’d assume Chinook are native to the stream, but wouldn’t know for sure. It’s not likely we’ll ever get it right 100% of the time playing Creator. I’d settle for 70% but so far we’re way below 50.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
Interesting experiment. Passing adult salmon upstream using existing trap-and-haul technology is relatively easy. Upstream passage addresses about 10% of the fish passage issue. Successfully passing juvenile salmon downstream past high head dams is extremely difficult, which is why juvenile passage represents 90% of the fish passage problem. Any solution would necessarily have to be extremely successful in order to be viable. There are nine mainstem Columbia River dams that have fish passage facilities, and anadromous populations struggle to survive upstream of those projects as it is. It won't be easier for a population upstream of Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee to sustain itself.
 

Greg Smith

Active Member
Interesting experiment. Passing adult salmon upstream using existing trap-and-haul technology is relatively easy. Upstream passage addresses about 10% of the fish passage issue. Successfully passing juvenile salmon downstream past high head dams is extremely difficult, which is why juvenile passage represents 90% of the fish passage problem. Any solution would necessarily have to be extremely successful in order to be viable. There are nine mainstem Columbia River dams that have fish passage facilities, and anadromous populations struggle to survive upstream of those projects as it is. It won't be easier for a population upstream of Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee to sustain itself.
On a smaller scale, this is an experiment in down stream smolt passage.


If You go to goggle maps you can see the pit for the helix near the East end of the Cle Elum Dam.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
On a smaller scale, this is an experiment in down stream smolt passage.


If You go to goggle maps you can see the pit for the helix near the East end of the Cle Elum Dam.
Since the dam is owned and operated by BOR, I wonder why state DOE is putting up half the funding. The responsible party is BOR, not the state. Maybe it's because the state has permitted the over-appropriation of Yakima River water.
 

Greg Price

Love da little fishies
For the first time since Grand Coulee dam was built, Chinook salmon are spawning in the San Poil river! The tribe let a few hundred go in Lake Roosevelt a couple years ago, and a few made it to their ancestral spawning grounds. Anyone who knows me, knows that the SP was my home water growing up. I remember strapping my fly rod to the handlebars of my dirt bike when I was twelve, and riding over Keller Butte and down Jack Creek to get there. Forty miles each way. It was my favorite river in our state. A rare treasure. It has probably the largest run of native redbands in the state, and enough get washed down to me at Rufus to make me happy, but I sure miss dry fly fishing the SP....
Dirt biking and fly fishing, does it get any better for a kid? I dirt biked from age 10 to 18, but was tossing worms back then.
 

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