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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It appears that the Wollochet Bay resident silver program will resume this year, putting out 500,000 fish according to a state fish and game employee working in the Point Defience area. This is Awesome news for anyone who fly fishes South Puget Sound. Adding these fish back to the fishery should make for a much more productive and consistant fishery on top of the current Squaxin island fish. I am definately excited for an influx in resident silver numbers. Hopefully the state continues the program for a very long time. During a period when virtually all of Puget Sounds hatchery production has been cut dramatically and the fishing has dropped off as a result, this is a small and very needed push toward increasing the fishiery in my home waters and my favorite place to fish.

fly18
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I dont see how it could be bad news considering there are no more native coho or chinook left in South Puget Sound with possibly the exception of a few spring chinook. And I don't pay a licence fee for nothing, I enjoy catching fish and as much as I would like to see thousands of returning wild fish every fall and no need for hatcheries that is not going to ever happen again. So I say bring on the hatchery fish. And just becuase they have an adipose fin does not make them wild, if that was the case there would be no threatend or endagered salmon in the state because everywhere I go 30% to 90% of the silvers or kings I have caught have an adipose fin and are according to the state a wild fish. BULL SH$T!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I dont know. If thats the case the only solution is to close all the hatcheries, close fishing and convice everyone in the greater Puget Sound area to move and then restore the sound and streams. If we accomplish this than maybe in fifty years we can fish it agian oh yeah that is if we can get alaska and canada to cut back on there fishing as well. Better make it 100 years.

Im probably coming accross as incensitive to the wild fish issue and that is not true I would love to fish exclusively wild fish and have a self sustained fishery but it just is not in the cards any more. Plus how do you determine a true wild fish anymore with all the cross breading between originally wild fish and hatchery fish over the last eighty years? You can't. And if you let hatchery fish go up the river and spawn they are still not native wild fish but just a hatchery fish with an extra fin.

sorry if I am venting its just sad to see such an awesome resource as puget sound go totally to hell and then be under utilized be cause there could posssibly be a handful of native fish left with no way of knowing for sure and that the state does not want to spend the money we pay for licences to produce hatchery king and coho salmon like they used to.
 

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I have to agree with D3Smartie:

great news for those that like chase resident coho in south Sound but not so good news if you are concern about wild salmon.

Potential concerns those delay release coho present for wild salmon include:

The uncaught returning adults shotgunning through the area looking for a spawning tribuatry and potentially interacting with the wild coho stocks hanging by their fin tips.

Mop-up terminal gill net fisheries.

Predation by the maturing adult resident coho on the next spring smolt releases. Over the years I looked a fair number of those summer residents and at times the number of small salmon in their diet has to be a concern. Say on a five year period I see virtuall no salmon "smolts"
in 2 years, consistently find a "smolt" in a significant portion of the fish for a couple of the years and the fifth year for 4 to 6 weeks virtually every fish has one or more salmon "smolts" in its stomach. Like the fish we catch most of those smolts are hatchery fish ( clipped) but wild fish are in the mix.

Tight lines
Curt
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah your right D3Smartie salmon are not the only fish species in the sound and it looks like they will be closing rockfish fishing with in the year which is very unfortunate. I don't know, there is no easy solution to the Puget Sound king and coho fishery. All I know is that the fishing has steadily gotten worse since the cut backs on the hatchery production and wild salmon have definatley not filled that spot. It just looks like a self sustained fishery of truly native king and coho salmon is impossible with the growing population and other factors. I hope I am wrong though!
 

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We deffinally need to focus more on our wild fish than any hatchery resident fish. All the money spent on the resident fish should be focused more on the wild runs. It will be a long process for shure but it will never happen if it we never get started. I have to agree with D3Smartie on the gill net thing which will also set our native fish back even ferther. I hate hearing people who would rater have hatchery fish now and no natives later, when it should be the opposite. Few hatchery fish now, more natives later.


Clint
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah the only problem is if you cut hatchey production your basicaly going to have a fish population so small that it will most likely force the state to close fishing all together. Then you have to convince the tribes to not fish these wild fish we are protecting. The problem is that to get every one on board to say hey we are going to stop fishing and hope these native fish can make a come back. The only way I can see that the money could be spent better for wild fish is to restore habitat which should be done any way. I don't think there is a lack of food for hatchery and wild fish so why only produce a fraction of silvers and chinook that Puget Sound can sustain? Because for the last twenty years they have cut hatchery production to a tiny fraction of what it was and I don't see any improvement in the native wild salmon population filling that gap. Just an overal decline in king and silver numbers. So the question is why are these wild fish not taking advantage of less competition for food and habitat?
 

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I don't think there is a lack of food for hatchery and wild fish so why only produce a fraction of silvers and chinook that Puget Sound can sustain?
How do you know?

In a relatively closed system like Puget Sound it seems logical that there is a carrying capacity like there is for any system. Wild fish are certainly competing directly against residualized hatchery fish. Also with all those hatchery smolts around for predators there could be an artificially high predator level for the amount of wild fish left which could also reek havoc on their recovery.

I am not sure of the reasons why, but steelhead smolt survival out of Puget Sound is abysmally low. The large number of hatchery fish being released esp. residualized hatchery fish could be part of the reason for this.

All I am saying is that you appear to think that hatcheries are the answer when clearly the contrary has been shown over the last several decades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Then if the hatcheries are the problem lets get rid of them. If we can get rid of the hatcheries and the wild silvers and kings will thrive than why not get rid of them. Im sure the state would be all for this, think of all the money they would save not having to maintain and operate all of those hatcheries. Which makes me wonder why they have not completely stopped the hatchery process if there are wild salmon out there just waiting to thrive and return to there original numbers withought the competition of hatchery fish. Im all for it, shut those hatcheries down and hand me my 3wt, i'm going trout fishing.
 

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Help me out here. I do not ever recall net pens in Wollochet Bay. Were these RS raised somewhere else and released in the Bay? I do recall hatchery fish returning to the cove near Sullivan Gulch a few times, and being quickly netted. This was in the early 80's maybe.

Robbi
 

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Then if the hatcheries are the problem lets get rid of them. If we can get rid of the hatcheries and the wild silvers and kings will thrive than why not get rid of them. Im sure the state would be all for this, think of all the money they would save not having to maintain and operate all of those hatcheries. Which makes me wonder why they have not completely stopped the hatchery process if there are wild salmon out there just waiting to thrive and return to there original numbers withought the competition of hatchery fish. Im all for it, shut those hatcheries down and hand me my 3wt, i'm going trout fishing.
And it's that simple...
 

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Help me out here. I do not ever recall net pens in Wollochet Bay. Were these RS raised somewhere else and released in the Bay?

Robbi:

Good to see and talk to you several times on Puget Sound this Winter. I got stopped again for an on the water safety check in Jan. This time it was by WFW unstead of Pierce County Sheriff's boat. Found a few resident coho in Jan. close to home.

To answer your question WFW use to have net pens on the west side of Tanglewood Island in Hale Passage from the early 1990's until about 7 to 8 years ago. These pens were high tech with solar panels for automatic feeding of the fish. Coho and blackmouth salmon were raised there. The coho(100,000 or so) were raised there for 1 year and were releaed in late April/early May when the coho were 15 to 17". I am not sure what the situation was with the blackmouth. I talked to the WFW individual who periodically checked on the net pens and he would tip me off when the fish were going to be released but it didn't help out much as the fish took off from the area pretty quickly. The fish releases probably helped out the summer coho fisheries around Tacoma but I didn't fish that area much in the summer months.

Hope to see you out there this summer somewhere!

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes the resident silver fishing used to be pretty darn good and very consistant in the Tacoma area back when they raised fish in wollochet bay. From mid to late June through early August used to be very productive for 3 to 8 pound silvers.There are still decent numbers of these fish if you hit it just right, but definaelty not like it used to be. Hopefully the increase of fish being raised will bring the fishery back to where it was. The only thing better would be the revival of the blackmouth program in the Tacoma area. My father who has worked at the Point Defience Boat House for over thirty five years said that in the eighties during the peak of the blackmouth program they would catch upwards of twenty, 5 to 14 pound blackmouth on a single tide change. That was fishing with conventional gear but he and others said that fish could often be found in shallow water or near the surface in the mornings out in the rips chasing bait. Which in my mind means that some of these fish could have been caught on fly gear fairly regularly, and nothing fights harder than a blackmouth, especially one weighing in the double digits.
 

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Roger, good to hear from you. I well remember the net pens at
Tanglewood, just did not realize that some folks referred to them as
"Wollochet Bay" pens. I have spent most of my life living on the bay
and was confused, but no big deal.
Will look for you on the water. And thanks again for that great fly.
 
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