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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off I know the tolt is closed to all steel fishing above the forks and salmon fishing in general. Im reading old reports from Bill McMillian and I am curious if anybody has any reports on the current status of steelhead in these forks? I want to snorkel the SF but know access if fairly limited without putting in some long river miles. Anybody know if it's possible to bike in to the forks by the American water facility? I was thinking with the depleted access to the forks the summer run may have increased significantly. Any information is greatly appreciated. Tight lines
 

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First off I know the tolt is closed to all steel fishing above the forks and salmon fishing in general. Im reading old reports from Bill McMillian and I am curious if anybody has any reports on the current status of steelhead in these forks? I want to snorkel the SF but know access if fairly limited without putting in some long river miles. Anybody know if it's possible to bike in to the forks by the American water facility? I was thinking with the depleted access to the forks the summer run may have increased significantly. Any information is greatly appreciated. Tight lines
Contact Jamie Glasgow at Wild Fish Conservancy. They have been snorkeling the Tolt on and off since about 1989. I think they still snorkel the Tolt several times a year in summer and fall. They would probably welcome volunteers on the snorkel surveys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did many of those Tolt snorkel surveys in the 90s. Lots of fun seeing steelhead up close.
Thats Awesome. Ive been snorkeling the upper part below the forks a few times and ran into a fair amount of chinook. Even saw one bull trout in a deep pool this summer which I heard is very rare for this system. Still haven't run into any steelhead. Snorkeled the mainstem this january also and there was a substantial coho run. Did you only snorkel the upper forks? Thanks again!
 

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Thats Awesome. Ive been snorkeling the upper part below the forks a few times and ran into a fair amount of chinook. Even saw one bull trout in a deep pool this summer which I heard is very rare for this system. Still haven't run into any steelhead. Snorkeled the mainstem this january also and there was a substantial coho run. Did you only snorkel the upper forks? Thanks again!
Snorkeled both forks and the mainstem many times over about 6 years. Saw a few Chinook in the mainstem and lower South Fork and a lot of steelhead in both forks. Used to see about 50:50 ratio of hatchery:wild steelhead in the north fork, but about 90% of the steelhead in the south fork were wild. I collected some blood samples too for chromosome counting by WSU and we found 60 chromosome fish (native Puget Sound karyotype), 58 chromosome fish (Skamania hatchery karyotype), and 59 chromosome fish (F1 native/Skamania hybrid karyotype) in a very small sample size. Never saw any bull trout. That is a very rare but valuable observation. Did you let USFWS or WDFW know about that? I did find one redd in the South Fork in late August, just downstream of the falls in the canyon. I puzzled over that for a long time. Thought maybe bull trout but it seemed too low in elevation, a tad too early and the water was too warm for bull trout. Might have been an anadromous Pacific lamprey? Still don't know what made that redd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Snorkeled both forks and the mainstem many times over about 6 years. Saw a few Chinook in the mainstem and lower South Fork and a lot of steelhead in both forks. Used to see about 50:50 ratio of hatchery:wild steelhead in the north fork, but about 90% of the steelhead in the south fork were wild. I collected some blood samples too for chromosome counting by WSU and we found 60 chromosome fish (native Puget Sound karyotype), 58 chromosome fish (Skamania hatchery karyotype), and 59 chromosome fish (F1 native/Skamania hybrid karyotype) in a very small sample size. Never saw any bull trout. That is a very rare but valuable observation. Did you let USFWS or WDFW know about that? I did find one redd in the South Fork in late August, just downstream of the falls in the canyon. I puzzled over that for a long time. Thought maybe bull trout but it seemed too low in elevation, a tad too early and the water was too warm for bull trout. Might have been an anadromous Pacific lamprey? Still don't know what made that redd.
Wow thats amazing. I hope there are still plenty of steelhead in the forks. I didnt let WDFW know about the bull trout I saw snorkeling. The bull trout I saw was below the public access point at the end of tolt river rd. Im going to try and hike into the forks soon, I read on some whitewater forums about people accessing the forks by foot which is legal. Did you guys hike all the way in to do the snorkel surveys? Is it difficult to hike up and down the forks?
 

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Wow thats amazing. I hope there are still plenty of steelhead in the forks. I didnt let WDFW know about the bull trout I saw snorkeling. The bull trout I saw was below the public access point at the end of tolt river rd. Im going to try and hike into the forks soon, I read on some whitewater forums about people accessing the forks by foot which is legal. Did you guys hike all the way in to do the snorkel surveys? Is it difficult to hike up and down the forks?
We had access permission and keys from Weyerhauser back in the day, so we could drive in and make shorter hikes to the river. Different landowner now. Don't recall if hiking upstream would be tough or not. That was a long time ago. The canyon reach on the south fork would be a bit of a scramble, but doable.
 
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