Activity on Lake Sammamish at midnight?

Dawg

Active Member
We live on the lake and last night about midnight I observed two boats working along the shoreline of West Lake Sammamish, about 1/2 mile north of Vasa Park. One boat looked more like a large platform, outfitted with spotlights around it. It had several people working on the deck of the boat as it nosed in to each spot along the lake, mostly on one side or another of docks. The boat nosed in close to shore in each location, and had a number of what looked like metallic attachments on the bow. They almost looked like they were lowered into the water to disturb the lake bottom or try and grab and hold something. Some of the guys on the boat were carrying nets. After less than a minute in each location they backed out and moved south along the lake to the next dock. The other boat stayed offshore but close to the docks and moved along with it. My guess is that this was tribal activity (Muckleshoots most likely?), and that they were either taking samples of something, or they were moving along the lake to destroy as many of the bass spawning beds as they could. Wish I had a video, but I was not able to shoot one before they moved on. Any thoughts?
 

long_rod_silvers

WFF Supporter
Muckleshoot did a night electrofishing study on lake washington a many years back. They were looking at predation on juvenile Chinook. Wonder if they're doing something similar.
 

Bruce Baker

Active Member
We live on the lake and last night about midnight I observed two boats working along the shoreline of West Lake Sammamish, about 1/2 mile north of Vasa Park. One boat looked more like a large platform, outfitted with spotlights around it. It had several people working on the deck of the boat as it nosed in to each spot along the lake, mostly on one side or another of docks. The boat nosed in close to shore in each location, and had a number of what looked like metallic attachments on the bow. They almost looked like they were lowered into the water to disturb the lake bottom or try and grab and hold something. Some of the guys on the boat were carrying nets. After less than a minute in each location they backed out and moved south along the lake to the next dock. The other boat stayed offshore but close to the docks and moved along with it. My guess is that this was tribal activity (Muckleshoots most likely?), and that they were either taking samples of something, or they were moving along the lake to destroy as many of the bass spawning beds as they could. Wish I had a video, but I was not able to shoot one before they moved on. Any thoughts?
I can tell you that WDFW was on Pine Lake on Tuesday night conducting a fish survey using an electrofishing boat.
 
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cdnred

Active Member
What's the purpose of doing it at nite, no one to disturb them or less traffic in the water to disturb the fish for a more accurate count..? Doing it at nite like that could give some people the idea that someone could be out there poaching..
 

Dawg

Active Member
Thanks for the replies. I assume the electrofishing boat sends a shock into the lake and they count the number of fish that float up after they do this? For a big lake like Sammamish, would the purpose to just get a count of predatory fish (bass, etc), that are hanging around near shore?
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Thanks for the replies. I assume the electrofishing boat sends a shock into the lake and they count the number of fish that float up after they do this? For a big lake like Sammamish, would the purpose to just get a count of predatory fish (bass, etc), that are hanging around near shore?

I’d think if it is the tribe doing the work, they are likely culling rather then counting fish like bass.
SF
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Pike minnow maybe?

Maybe.
It does mention them in the article about the tribal netting on the lake.
I hate how they throw cutts under the plethora of piscivores bus.
Sure, flush a shit load of hatchery fish down the creek all at once and expect the cutts not to eat them.
SF

 

quilbilly

Big Time Hater
Used beat up on cutthroat at the mouth of the creek in May back in the 70's, mass smolts mass cutties.
Never really kept a lot because without a boat we could only catch the smaller Cutts, but with a boat you could get nice ones as I remember.
Lots of big Carp used to be south of Vasa when I was a kid...my old stomping grounds along the west side of the lake and down to the park.
:)
 

Gyrfalcon21

Active Member
One of the coolest jobs I've had was electroshock sampling on the Pend Oreille River many years ago.

Fun stuff! Very effective.

Prior to that job, the basic ichthyology class class at my college had weekly field trips to sample lakes and a few small streams in eastern WA with shocking boat or a backpack zapper. Sprague Lake and Rock Lake were a couple. Rock had Grass Pickerel. Miniature muskies. I think they max out at about 12 inches.


Maybe Redfin Pickerel now?

One memorable boat trip was at night below a small dam that had big Walleye and Burbot.
 
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Northern

It's all good.
WFF Supporter
Maybe.
It does mention them in the article about the tribal netting on the lake.
I hate how they throw cutts under the plethora of piscivores bus.
Sure, flush a shit load of hatchery fish down the creek all at once and expect the cutts not to eat them.
SF

That cutthroat eat smolt is simply a fact. I don't think anyone is proposing removing them, as they're both native and a valuable fishery which is also put at risk by the invasive spiney rays.
I love bass fishing, but aside from impacts on the somewhat questionable salmon hatchery, there's also the very threatened native and unique kokanee populations in Lake Samm to consider.

Perch and rock bass populations in Sammamish have exploded, also, and are potentially a bigger problem than the LM/SM.
 

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