Elwha River reopening

wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
WFF Supporter
I would LOVE to fish the Ranch Section of the Elwha again at some point for trout before I'm too decrepit.
Last thing I caught on the Elwha was a bat near the Altair campground. I think I may have caught a small rainbow or two in the Ranch section, but it wasn't write-home good so much as the river itself was spectacular and looked like there should be fish in it. Altair camp- I think- has since washed away.

I view the Elwha like Spirit lake on Mt St Helens, a place for fishery and other biologists to test hypothesis unmolested by fishermen. It would be cool to have one last wild place in the lower 48.


Damn that hatchery and the minds that approved it.
 
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gt

Active Member
the entire 'experiment' was flushed when the lower Elwha S'Klallam decided it was 'too much work' to operate the fish weir. we spent millions on their new hatchery in order to get them to sign off on dam removal and a part of the agreement was their operating the weir. keeping any marked fish for sale or their own uses while releasing all unmaked fish. now, instead of a nice clean experiment in natural selection and repopulation, we have unmarked as well as hatchery fish upriver. makes me want to demand they repay us taxpayers the money we invested in their hatchery.
 
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bigtroutchaser

Active Member
Unfortunately, once the new hatchery was built the “let’s see what Mother Nature can do on her own” went out the window in my opinion.
I predict it will open again once fish populations reach a point when it is deemed there are harvestable numbers.
That hatchery wasn’t built without the intent of fish to be harvested at some point.
SF
Exactly.
 

Porter

Well-Known Member
They might use a lottery system, X number of special fishing permits for Y number of residents per season and will get Z number of day(s) to fish the river. Caught fishing the Elwha w/o permit and/or Wa St fishing license is a $5000.00 fine 3 year suspension from acquiring a Wa St. fishing license and any other permits...shell fishing/hunting/US forest pass, etc. After three years if not paid red flag next time that resident tries to get their WSDL. Fine must be paid (or hire lawyer, fill out forms, make automatic payment plan) in order to renew their WS drivers license.....Make it sting! Make it such a PITA that people will be scared to fish the Elwha unless legal....wishful I know.
 
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mjb

Member
I'm with Porter. Use the Elwha to demonstrate new models of limited access that's fair, transparent, and conservative. It's the future - or should be unless we're happy fishing rivers and runs until we fish them out and they are closed.
 

Gyrfalcon21

Honoring Vets
Wonder how they would ever open the upper river again? You'd have to have enforcement scattered for 25 miles+ without roads?

I'd be against even catch and releasing in the upper playground. No need for any mortality on a recovering system. Would make no sense. There is a time and a place to play with fish.
The Elwha is not such a place, atleast not beyond the lower reaches to clean out hatchery fish.
 
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mjb

Member
Good point - I was thinking about the lower river where oversight and enforcement are possible. Of course in the future they could stick chips in us and monitor our location remotely...
 

gt

Active Member
you folks need to come on over and take a look at the lower river before posting impossible fishing opportunities. starting at the lower bridge and working downstream, river right is first a fish hatchery, state, and the water intake for PA. continuing down, river right, tribal land all the way to the strait and then E on the beach, no access. river left includes steep banks and virtually no access, all private property, until you get to the river mouth gravel bar. now once you look at this, you tell me how in the world you intend to present a fly in this rushing water. more blovation about this potential fishery is really not needed...
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
Last thing I caught on the Elwha was a bat near the Altair campground. I think I may have caught a small rainbow or two in the Ranch section, but it wasn't write-home good so much as the river itself was spectacular and looked like there should be fish in it. Altair camp- I think- has since washed away.

I view the Elwha like Spirit lake on Mt St Helens, a place for fishery and other biologists to test hypothesis unmolested by fishermen. It would be cool to have one last wild place in the lower 48.


Damn that hatchery and the minds that approved it.

Do you know of the monsters that swim in the Spirit? A friend of mine gets to fish it for research purposes with a spoon.
 

MGTom

Living at the place of many waters
WFF Supporter
The mill creek watershed for walla walla has been closed to people for like 100 years. I've done some surveys up there and there are lots of nice fish. Unlike anything else around.
 

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