Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Sockeye Report

Decent returns so far for the sockeye. We'll see if it keeps up.

Columbia River sockeye returns still strong, and Lake Washington sockeye figures show no surprises
Posted by Mark Yuasa

The Columbia River sockeye return remains fairly strong for the second year in a row.

"It continues to rumble on, and there are still some sockeye being caught in the lower river," said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Widlife biologist. "Our forecast is pretty close to prediction [183,200 sockeye] and that is looking good."

The single day count at Bonneville Dam on June 27 was 11,404 sockeye; June 28 it was 10,114; and June 29 another 8,882 were tallied. So far this summer, 134,970 sockeye have been counted at Bonneville, and 55,737 sockeye have been counted at McNary Dam.

The Lake Washington sockeye watch also continues, but this summer's return won't generate what has been one of the most popular summer sport salmon fisheries in the Seattle area in past years.

The pre-season forecast for Lake Washington sockeye is 19,300, and well below the spawning escapement goal of 350,000.

The estimate is based primarily upon fry production from the spawning adult sockeye in 2005 and 2006. Since lake and marine survival rates are highly variable from year to year, the actual return this summer could be higher or lower.

On June 28, 864 sockeye were counted at the Ballard Locks fish ladder viewing window, on June 27, 712 more fish had passed up, and on June 26, 546 were seen. The biggest single-day count was on June 22 when 1,126 were counted.

At this point 10,279 sockeye have been counted at the locks since the tracking began on June 12.
The last time Lake Washington had a sockeye sport fishery was in 2006, which generated the largest catch since 1996.

In 2006, the sockeye run was estimated at 472,000, leaving a surplus of 122,000 for harvest, of which 59,000 were caught by sport anglers. The surplus was split between sport and tribal anglers.

Sport anglers made about 63,800 trips and averaged just under one sockeye (0.93) per rod. The fishery was open for 18 days -- the most days of fishing since 1996, when sport anglers caught about 70,000 sockeye over 23 days.

Other years when sufficient adult sockeye returns created sport fisheries in the lake was 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2004.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

Monday, June 29, 2009

Salmon Report

Here's some good news for you salmon fisherman. An article from the Seattle Times. Sounds like it is time to head out to the salt and get some.

Non-tribal commercial trollers report coho numbers off the charts in the ocean

Posted by Mark Yuasa

Those chomping at the bit for the sport ocean salmon fishing opener this weekend will like this news I got passed along by Tony Floor, the director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association.

Steve Watrous, a sport fishing advocate/representative for the Lower Columbia River and ocean area out of Ilwaco received an e-mail today from a nontribal troller friend that said the salmon are massing in the ocean off the Washington coast right now.

This is what they said: Trollers out of Neah Bay and LaPush didn't bother to fish this last opener as the coho are so thick they couldn't get their gear through them. As a matter of fact [Washington nontribal troller] Geoff LeBon indicated that the coho were from the surface to the bottom. Already many 6-plus pounders.

The ocean sport quota is 176,400 hatchery coho and 20,500 chinook, compared to last season's 20,000 coho and 20,000 chinook.

Westport will be open Sundays to Thursdays beginning June 28, then is open daily starting July 24. Ilwaco is open daily for salmon starting Sunday, June 28. Neah Bay and La Push will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays only beginning Saturday, June 27, and then is open daily starting July 18.

Westport, Neah Bay and La Push will close Sept. 20 or until the quota is achieved. Ilwaco will close Sept. 30 or until the quota is achieved.

The daily limit off the coast will be two salmon of which only one may be a chinook. Neah Bay will also have a bonus bag limit of two pink salmon, and Westport will get an additional one pink in the daily limit.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

Friday, June 26, 2009

Northwest Fly-Fishing July/Aug '09

The new Northwest Fly-fishing mag is in and with it comes an Exposure series by Creekside's own Keith Willits.

So take a gander and let Keith know what you think.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Upper Yakima

Fished the Upper Yakima yesterday, right below Ensign Boat launch. Water is crystal clear, low and the weather is perfect.

PMD's were coming off at right around noon and some fish were rising. Best luck was on a BH Golden Stone with a pink SJ worm dropper. Had two fish on a foam stone attractor pattern with a golden body.

Good Luck!


Supreme Court Precedent- Bad for Pebble Mine?

Fresh from the Spokesman Review in Spokane.

This could be bad for the Pebble Mine fight. A Coeur d'Alene mining company was given permission to dump it's mine tailing waste into a lake in Alaska. Sounds like the decision was reached trhough some changes our previous administration made to the Federal Clean Water Act.

Here is another link with more information regarding this ruling and it's effect.

Fantastic. All I have to say.

Mine can put waste into lake
High court backs CdA-based company

Tags: Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. u.s. supreme court

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court on Monday upheld a federal permit to dump waste from an Alaskan gold mine into a nearby lake, even though all its fish would be killed. Environmentalists feared the ruling could weaken protection of other lakes, streams and waterways from mining waste.

By a 6-3 vote, the justices said a federal appeals court wrongly blocked on environmental grounds the Army Corps of Engineers waste disposal permit for the Kensington gold mine 45 miles north of Juneau. The mine, which had been closed since 1928, is owned by the Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp. It has been awaiting a resumption of operation, pending approval of the waste disposal issue.

The court ruling clears the way for as much as 4.5 million tons of mine tailings – waste left after metals are extracted from the ore – to be dumped into Lower Slate Lake in the Tongass National Forest, about 3 miles from the mine, instead of being disposed of in a special tailings pond.

The court, in its majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, said the Army corps was correct in agreeing with the mining company that the waste should be considered “fill material” and not subject to more stringent Environmental Protection Agency standards under the federal Clean Water Act.

The Army corps issued the permit in 2005, three years after the Bush administration broadened the definition of fill material so that waste, including some contaminated materials, can be dumped into waterways.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said it is “neither necessary or proper” to interpret the waterway protection law “as allowing mines to bypass EPA’s zero-discharge standard by classifying slurry as fill material.” She argued the lower court had been correct in concluding that the use of waters as “settling ponds for harmful mining waste” was contrary to the federal Clean Water Act.

Environmentalists, who had sued to halt the mining company’s waste disposal plan, said dumping 200,000 gallons a day of mining waste water – containing aluminum, copper, lead, mercury and other metals – has dire implications not only for the Alaska lake, but possibly other lakes and waterways.

“If a mining company can turn Lower Slate Lake in Alaska into a lifeless waste dump, other polluters with solids in their water can potentially do the same to any water body in America,” said Trip Van Noppen, president of EarthJustice.

Reporter - H. Josef Hebert Associated Press

Monday, June 22, 2009

More Movies...

Just in case you forgot, the screen adaptation of David James Duncan's The River Why is scheduled to come out sometime this year. This is one of the best pieces of American literature that the normal world has never heard of. I can't wait to see how Hollywood ruins this one. Or, hey, maybe they'll get it right for a change.

The film is not without controversy of course. Duncan is not behind the production of the film claiming that he never agreed to a film deal and Sierra Club books sold the film rights without consulting him. Read more about it here.

"You can fish all your life never knowing- it's not fish you're after..."


Saturday, June 20, 2009

American Classic...

Sony is releasing A River Runs Through It on Blu-ray July 28th.

It will have new features including interviews with Robert Redford and some "Fly Fishing 101" pieces along with a 32 page collectible book.

So, for those of you who love this American classic it's another excuse to replace the old worn out copy you have and for the young bucks who haven't been exposed, time to pull whatever disc you have in the Blu-ray player and sit down to enjoy a masterpiece. Hell, you might even learn something.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Big Dead Brown

From the Field and Stream Blog. Juuuuuummmmmmmmmbo. Below that is an article from the Montana Standard in Butte. Keepin' the dream alive.-BW

June 17, 2009

Big Hole Gives Up Very Big Fish

The Big Hole river is known for exceptionally large fish, and the stories on trout sizes there are sometimes hard to believe. This one though, appears to be the real deal. Our friend and colleague Ben Romans sent me this article from The Montana Standard last night. The fish was caught on a five weight and measured 35 inches in length and weighed...

...slightly over 20 pounds. As Ben asked in his email, "Would you keep it? Mount it? Eat it?" Or my personal favorite, "Perform witchcraft with it?" I'm pretty sure I'd let the beast go and spread his DNA all over that river. Snap a couple of pics, take some measurements and let him live to perhaps eat another fly. What would you do?


Butte man lands Big Hole lunker
Monster brown
By Justin Post of The Montana Standard - 06/16/2009

Bob Kingston and Gary Keeler of Butte bought their first raft as teenagers and have been floating the Big Hole River ever since.

Now in their mid-50s, the longtime fishing buddies have their best fishing story yet.

On Friday evening, Kingston caught what appears to be the elusive, monster brown trout that has been the talk of many area anglers in recent years.

The beast measured 35 inches and made its way to the raft cooler following a roughly 30-minute battle between man and fish, said Kingston, who is having the trout mounted. The fish weighed slightly over 20 pounds after it was wrapped in a damp towel in preparation for the taxidermist.

"He just kept going wherever he wanted," he said of the fight.

Kingston caught the fish with a five-weight fly rod rigged with eight-pound leader and two stonefly nymphs above Mallon's, west of Wise River, after launching from East Bank. "I was just throwing my fly right by the bank and it gobbled it up," he said.

Keeler rowed the boat to shore and remembers Kingston saying he might never land the fish.

"It was a big log," Keeler said. "We've never seen one like that." A survey crew with the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks caught a similar fish while electro fishing in the same area of the 153-mile river in the fall of 2007, said Jim Magee, a fisheries biologist with the agency.

The crew snapped a photograph at the time of a surveyor mugging with the lunker, and the photograph soon was being circulated among anglers who hungered to have the fish on the end of their line.

"The size is so much different than what we normally see," said Magee, a 15-year employee with FWP. "That was an anomaly. That was a big fish." Markings on Kingston's fish are similar to the one caught and released during the 2007 FWP survey, which means Kingston — a 55-year-old optician at Big Sky Optical in Butte — may have landed the much-discussed fish.

"That's the trout of a lifetime," said Bob LeFever at Fran Johnson's Sporting Goods in Butte.

Longtime fisheries biologist Dick Oswald remembers two brutes he surveyed while electro fishing the Big Hole in the late 1980s.

He never heard of an angler claiming to have caught either one of those fish, which included a 20.5-pound trout nicknamed "Big Mamma" that lived in a deep pool above Melrose, and an 18-pound trout dubbed the "Hogback Hog" below Glen.

Oswald said those fish lived over 10 years and presumed that Kingston's fish could have been around the same age.

To reach those portly sizes, Oswald said the big browns eat other fish while also having "unique genetics" that allows them to focus on gobbling fish rather than slurping caddis and mayflies from the surface like an average brown that would likely reach a maximum length of 19.5 inches.

"These things have to be freaks," he said. "Those fish are exceptions in many ways." Kingston, who has snagged big steelhead on Idaho's Clearwater River, agreed he may have caught the fish of a lifetime when it comes to fly fishing the Big Hole River.

"I'll probably never catch one that big again in my life," he said.

The state's record brown trout weighed 29 pounds; it was caught in 1966 at Wade Lake.

Reporter Justin Post may be reached at justin.post@lee.net.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Words cannot describe...

No comment...-BW

PETA: Throwing fish is like throwing dead kittens

PETA: Throwing fish is like throwing dead kittens

By KOMO Staff & News Services

SEATTLE - A PETA protest over a scheduled fish-tossing exhibition at an upcoming veterinarians' convention in Seattle may have paid dividends.

The chief executive of the American Veterinary Medical Association says they are reconsidering the demonstration.

PETA heard that the American Veterinary Medical Association asked some Pike Place Market fish throwers to be the opening act for their July 10 convention at the convention center.

Ron DeHaven, chief executive of the AVMA says his organization thought having one of Seattle's top tourist attractions -- the fish-throwers at the Pike Place Fish Market -- come to the event would be a great "team-building experience."

But PETA sent a letter to the association saying people who care about animals are appalled fish would be treated as toys.

"We think it sends a terrible message to the public when veterinarians call it fun to toss around the corpses of animals," said Lindsay Rajt, a PETA spokeswoman in Norfolk, Va. "I think that PETA and the public would agree with us that veterinarians should be promoting compassion and not callousness toward animals."

When asked why would there be such a fuss since the fish are already dead, Rajt replied:

"Fish feel pain and fear just like dogs and cats do and I don't think the AVMA would dare take part in the dead kitten toss. Really, morally, there is no difference between throwing around dead kittens and throwing around dead fish."

PETA has offered to replace all the dead animals with rubber fish instead.

"It would be fun without supporting the cruel fishing industry," Rajt said.

Late Tuesday evening, DeHaven said in the wake of PETA's criticism, the association would explore other options, including the idea of using rubber fish.

An assistant manager at the Pike Place Fish Market says workers there respect fish because it's their livelihood and they take pride in having the best seafood.

"We respect everything you see here," Justin Hall said. "Without respect for these fish, we wouldn't exist. These people wouldn't be here having a good time."

In fact, many tourists make the market a special stop.

"We came here for the fish throwing," said Ginny and Donald Gaskamp. "We came all the way from Texas. It's cool, I'm glad we came."

Actually the same two fish are thrown over and over again. Tossing can damage the quality. Even so, Karen and Bruce Steele find the fish flap unfathomable.

"Why ever not, they are not alive any more?" they said. "And it is a food product, it is not like we are killing indiscriminately. This is Seattle. This is part of what happens here."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fairly Highly Contaminated

Not that this has anything to do with fishing but killer bees got nothing on radioactive wasps...-BW

Radioactive wasp nests at Hanford reservation

RICHLAND — Workers cleaning up the Hanford nuclear reservation are going after radioactive wasp nests.

The Tri-City Herald reports 6 to 12 inches of top soil are being dug up this month from 6 acres near the H Reactor. And, workers will dig up more individual mud dauber wasp nests over about 75 acres of the nuclear reservation in southeast Washington.

The contractor handling the clean-up, Washington Closure, says the nests were all built in 2003 when water was used to dampen dust during demolition of an H Reactor basin. That attracted the wasps that used the mud to make tube-shaped nests for eggs.

Spokesman Todd Nelson says the nests are "fairly highly contaminated."

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

Jimmy Green Memorial Flyfishing Fair

June 20th from 9am-4pm at Tye Lake in Monroe. This is the first annual event put on by your local shops and guide services. This event is designed with beginners and novices in mind. It is free to the public. That means you! Come on out and get your knowledge on!-BW

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Yakima is...

...back in shape! 4200cfs in the Canyon. Go angle! Details to follow. Look for a new email fishing report later today.-BW

Monday, June 8, 2009

20 Years Too Late...

but I suppose it's a start.-BW

600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

June 03, 2009
Contact: Heather Bartlett, (360) 902-2662

Fishing rules will change June 6 on several
rivers to protect Puget Sound wild steelhead

OLYMPIA – Beginning June 6, fishing rule changes will take effect on several Puget Sound area rivers to provide additional protection for wild steelhead, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

Fishing rules will change on portions of Canyon Creek, the Skokomish, South Fork Skokomish, Dungeness, South Fork Nooksack, North Fork Skykomish and Tolt rivers. In addition, Finney Creek will be closed to all fishing.

For details on the rule changes, check WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/fishregs.htm.

The changes are necessary to further efforts to conserve and restore Puget Sound wild steelhead, which are listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

“These conservation measures are necessary to increase protection for wild steelhead in river systems with known weak stocks and provide a more precautionary approach to the management of waters where the status of the wild run is uncertain,” said Heather Bartlett, salmon and steelhead division manager for WDFW.

Bartlett said the changes are consistent with WDFW’s Statewide Steelhead Management Plan, which was approved by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2008.

The statewide plan sets out a variety of conservation policies to guide fisheries management, hatchery operations and habitat-restoration programs, and provides a framework for regional steelhead management plans currently being developed.

More information on the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/steelhead/index.htm.

Back from the Grave

So I am going to make a real effort to keep this thing updated again. I wish I could say I'm just too busy but that's not the case. Though I tinnk I'm the busiest lazy person I've ever met.

Anyway, just about everything is open for angling right now. Lakes are fishing well, saltwater is rockin' and the rivers are mostly high but coming down into shape. Summer is early this year, abuse it.