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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I still consider myself new to the PNW (1y 5 m). My brother in law was out here a few weeks back. He is an avid fly fisherman, mostly fishing Michigan rivers (as I was).

He posed a question I have not thought about all that much..... Why are there not trout in most of these SW WA streams and rivers. For example, Washougal, EFL, Kalama, etc, You get the picture. In theory these rivers should be a perfect sanctuary for Browns, Rainbows, etc...... I know trout are fair picky about their waters, but what gives?
 

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In a nutshell - steelhead and salmon.

A long time ago, rainbows found that migrating dowstream into the salt, they would grow larger and stronger. Same with salmon. Browns are non-native. If you are hooking small salmonids, stop and go find a lake.

If you want more and specific information do a little research which, I think you should have done in the last five years.

Also, the steelhead your brother-in-law has been catching, if he fishes for them, in Michigan are from your SW rivers.

Leland
 

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Joshua,
Because of our consistently wet weather and the relatively high gradient of most of them, nearly all of our westside rivers (including the lower Columbia tributaries) are relatively sterile. Low levels of dissolved minerals don't allow the growth of large numbers of invertebrates which would be necessary to maintain populations of large trout. As Leland points out, resident trout operate at a distinct disadvantage to to those which have evolved to seek larger and richer pastures and only use the rivers for reproduction. Even in the rivers, residents have to compete for food with some anadromous species which may rear for a period a year or more in fresh water before beginning their journeys to the sea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Leland-

I dont understand the last 5 year part, but the rest makes sense...... I am well aware of the great lakes SH originating from the region. I am actually going back to MI in 2 weeks to hopefully hit kings and some summer steelies.

Thanks for the info.
 
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