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Disagree on them being nice visitors. They are awful, dont belong over here, and wreck ridiculous numbers of smolts. In fact, some guys at a hatchery have seen pelicans eating the occasional adult steelhead, said you can see them thrashing in their necks for awhile.
 

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fly fisher
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White Pelicans are native to Eastern Washington, and therefore shouldn't be considered "nice visitors" but "nice natives." I'm pleased to have witnessed a slow return to their native breeding range in the mid-Columbia/Moses Lake basin.

FYI: From Seattle Audubon Society:

Conservation Status
The American White Pelican is listed as an endangered species in Washington. Colonies have disappeared from historical breeding areas around Moses Lake. American White Pelicans are extremely sensitive to human disturbance of breeding colonies. Disturbance may cause adults to expose eggs and young to predators and temperature stress or to abandon nests altogether. Habitat destruction has also contributed to population decline.

When and Where to Find in Washington
American White Pelicans have a very localized distribution in eastern Washington. They nest on Crescent and Badger Islands in the Columbia River, and at Sprague Lake. Non-breeding birds can be found locally throughout the Columbia Basin. Wintering concentrations occur along the Columbia River from the mouth of the Walla Walla River to Priest Rapids and increasingly farther north.

Diet
American White Pelicans eat mainly small 'rough' fish with little commercial value. They also take salamanders and crayfish.
 

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FUBAR
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Disagree on them being nice visitors. They are awful, dont belong over here, and wreck ridiculous numbers of smolts. In fact, some guys at a hatchery have seen pelicans eating the occasional adult steelhead, said you can see them thrashing in their necks for awhile.
Man kills far more than anything else out there.
 

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dirty dog
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One of those "nice natives" eats multi times their weight in fish.
Those "nice natives" will wolf down those big RF trouts till there is none.
I went out to RF early in July and there were a dozen or more of those "nice natives".
Those 'nice natives" can go somewhere else, somewhere I don't go fish, and eat a ton of fish. Just my .02
 

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Disagree on them being nice visitors. They are awful, dont belong over here, and wreck ridiculous numbers of smolts. In fact, some guys at a hatchery have seen pelicans eating the occasional adult steelhead, said you can see them thrashing in their necks for awhile.
Word.

I dont know anything about pelicans being native to eastern WA, but they arent good for any fisheries.
 

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Long Lost Member
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20,209 Posts
It seems they fly from winter non breeding grounds (blue) to summer breeding grounds (brown) over their normal range (yellow), which appears to include eastern washingtion.

View attachment 34193
 

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Physhicist
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Is there any greater narcissistic sportsman than a fly fisherman?

well yea that would be steelhead fly fishermen...but that's a subset anyway.
You can include all of us. Cutthroat flyfishermen are loving them to death because most seem to post pictures of every fish they catch, inland flyfishers are spreading the dreaded zebra muscles by way of boats and wading boots etc, highland lakes are being traveled to more than ever due to decreasing lowland opportunities destroying foliage native to certain elevations, etc.

Chum salmon have been returning in fewer numbers these past few years leaving less nutrients in the rivers and on the banks which feed the youngen's, etc. Point your fingers in any direction and you'll find something to blame our lack of fish runs on.

Lower Columbia should have a 12 month per year open season on all predatory birds with no limit on harvest. That might help more fish make it to sea.
 

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still an authority on nothing
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Is there any greater narcissistic sportsman than a fly fisherman?

well yea that would be steelhead fly fishermen...but that's a subset anyway.
Damn, dude, I was having a good day here, for chrissake.:beer1:

now my leetle gurlie sulf esteem iss croshed.
 

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Scott- Yes many things have coexisted for eons. Of course, there are a lot of rivers and environments that did great for eons that are now ruined thanks to a changing world. So, the predator prey relationship in systems with dams, and fish passages facilities, juvenile bypasses, and rivers drained low for irrigation, and warmer than they should be, and with few cold water refugees where fish get stacked up, and all sorts of stuff that has changed... ya, its not what it was for eons so it seems silly to use that a justification to just assume everything will stay nice and balanced.

Skysoldier- Yes- man kills more stuff, good point, that really brings a whole lot to the table in this discussion... nope.

And to Dan, you are right, it is said they are native to here, my comment "they don't belong" should have had a disclaimer that it was opinion, and in no way fact. Perhaps they have a localized breeding location, but I see them far and wide when they are looking for food. They've gone from hardly ever being seen around here (walla walla river, snake @ places like lyons ferry) to being all over the place in flocks in recent years. As far as being native, I must admit I've not looked into it personally, but those that I've talked to that have looked into it (still not experts, just people that have looked up more than I) aren't convinced they were ever around in significant numbers historically. And native or not it doesn't change the fact that Pelicans are able to take advantage of man made situations to decimate fish. Another native species, pike-minnow, also have a leg up thanks to man made issues such as dams, and we have a bounty on them. Obviously I've already formed an opinion so can't claim to be looking at it from a neutral point of view, but the people I've run into on the water that have talked about it all dislike them as well, and none can remember them ever being around prior to recent years.
 

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One of those "nice natives" eats multi times their weight in fish.
Those "nice natives" will wolf down those big RF trouts till there is none.
I went out to RF early in July and there were a dozen or more of those "nice natives".
Those 'nice natives" can go somewhere else, somewhere I don't go fish, and eat a ton of fish. Just my .02
Yeah Gary... I would definitely agree that you deserve to play with the RF hatchery freaks more than the native predators deserve to eat them "till there is none". Riiiiiiight!:beathead:
 

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Is there any greater narcissistic sportsman than a fly fisherman?

well yea that would be steelhead fly fishermen...but that's a subset anyway.
Mens ice dancing!
 

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It seems they fly from winter non breeding grounds (blue) to summer breeding grounds (brown) over their normal range (yellow), which appears to include eastern washingtion.

View attachment 34193
Its a conspiracy! Notice the breeding area in the Canadian Okanogan? Then notice no yellow around it...hmmm how did they get there? I don't think they fly...cause there is no yellow! Somebody is driving them...and stopping by Rocky Ford to let them eat all of Gary's fish! I'll bet its the Mexican Illuminati!
 
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