Friday, July 31, 2009
So far 111,116 fish have been counted at Bonneville as compared to the 10 year average of 94,759.
The Sockeye return has also been over double the 10 year average. 177,645 fish have been counted this year in comparison to 78,439 for the 10 year average.
Cross your fingers for an above average andro year on the other side of the mountains.
On another note. Here is one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Couple guys cycling and fishing from Prudhoe Bay to Tierra Del Fuego to raise awareness about the Pebble Mine. Check it out and get involved!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Lake Wenatchee sockeye fishery to open Aug. 5
Action: Lake Wenatchee opens for sockeye salmon fishing.
Effective date/time: Aug. 5, 2009 (one hour before official sunrise) until harvestable fish numbers have been caught.
Species affected: Sockeye salmon
Daily limit: The daily limit per angler is two sockeye 12 inches in length or greater.
Location: Lake Wenatchee (Chelan Co.).
Reason for action: The 2009 return of sockeye will be sufficient to provide for the Lake Wenatchee spawning escapement goal, and additional fish will be present to provide for sport fishing opportunity. While the sockeye run is relatively late throughout the Columbia River, a very robust Lake Wenatchee run is predicted.
Other Information: Single point barbless hooks required. No more than three hooks may be used. No bait or scent may be attached to the hooks. Knotless nets are required. A night closure will be in effect. Legal angling hours are one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Bull trout, steelhead, and Chinook salmon must be released unharmed without removing the fish from the water.
Release sockeye with one or more holes (round, approximately ¼" in diameter) punched in the tail of the fish (caudal fin). These fish are part of a study and have been anesthetized; the FDA requires a 21 day ban on consumption of these fish.
Information contact: Art Viola, (509) 665-3337 (Wenatchee District Office) (509) 662-0452, Jeff Korth (509) 754-4624.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Bring water, gatorade, powerade, vitamin water, orange juice, apple juice, tea, lifewater...ok you get the drift, I hope. Lots of fluids if you are floating or wading. Just because you are wading knee deep in water does not mean you are hydrating. You actually have to ingest a liquid to keep hydrating and hydration keeps you cool. Drinking from rivers, especially when it is this warm is not recommended as bacterial and parasitic counts go up, such as Giradia aka Beaver Fever. And no, as much as I wish it were true, beer, alcohol, and soda do not hydrate you, they actually dehydrate you, so think about that before you fill the cooler full of Rainier.
Along the same lines, when it is this hot outside, skin protection is key to keeping the ability to stand upright. Heat stroke, sunburn, and heat exhaustion can happen quite quickly, especially in high heat/high humidity days. So sunscreen is a good idea, but cover yourself with a long sleeved shirt, wide brimmed hat and yes, even polarized sunglasses, will prevent such things from happening. Sunscreen can only do so much and in the long run a long sleeved shirt will actually keep you cooler and save on days of pain, trust me.
Lastly, check water temperatures to the places you are going. If you care about fish like we do, anything with a water temp above 65 degrees it's probably a good idea to leave the water dwellers alone. Higher water temps equate to lower dissolved oxygen content in the water and puts extra stress on them. Simply put, a fight on the end of a fly-rod could just plain kill them.
Best bet this week. The salt water if you want to fish. The rivers are for rubber hatches and staying cool, among other things. Have a blissfully hot week.
Friday, July 24, 2009
"You know that one time the short four mile bike ride near Mt. Rainier turned into one of the stages from the Tour de France? And you said we weren't lost the entire time, eventhough we ended up somewhere near Mt. Baker when we were finished." Yeah, my dad....he's one of those guys.
Here is a list of places to get lost this weekend. Unfortunately, Evangeline Lily will not show up when you do get lost, screaming, "OTHERS! RUN!" But hey...at least you can still fish.
Place 1: Olympic National Park. Follow the trials up the Hoh, Queets, Quinault or Sol Duc Rivers. You'll feel like you're lost on the set for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, but no worries the Trees aren't Ents and they won't crush you for intruding on their land. This has some of the best nearly, untouched steelhead/salmon/trout streams in the state. Plus stepping into the world beyond the short nature trail hikes, emerses you in a wilderness that is completely devoid of the calamity that has become the everyday life of the Northwest.
Place 2: Winthrop and the surrounding areas. Plenty of rivers, creeks, and lakes to hike/bike/horseback ride into around this quaint little town. Pull out the Greentrails map and set a course into the heart of the mountains. Ever seen the movie "Last of the Dogmen" ? That's what this place is gonna feel like, once you get back into the North Cascades, minus the hidden tribe of Cherokees...I think. The lakes and rivers are absolutely amazing to fish in the back country here and the setting...well the setting will make you want to get lost on purpose.
Place 3: Mt. Adams Wilderness Area. Home of the upper reaches of the Lewis River, West Fork of the Klickatat, and numerous other lakes and creeks. Oh, and also the infamous Rainier beer toting Sasquatch. Getting lost here is definately a good idea, you could explore and fish for years and still not exhaust the possibilities. Did I mention that it's also quite stunningly, beautiful? Maybe more so than Ms. Lily (that's right I said it! Hey! Put down the shoe!)
Place 4: Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. Either get in from the west side, which has some more demanding hikes, or from the Cle Elum side, which has the easier hikes, but also more people. The best fishing lakes are Marmot, Spade, Venus, Spectacle, Micheal, Ann and Jade. Note how I chose the hardest ones to get to. None of these are easily reached and you most likely will get lost at some point as two of them, you need to bushwhack to get at the monster fish in them. (Well Jade you need to bushwhack, Venus...is more of a talus sloped scramble.)
Bring the normal things. Waterproof gear, mosquito repellent, bear repellent (again, not for spraying on yourself), toilet paper, and the normal assortment of flies/gear depending on where you decide to get lost. Sorry, kidnapping Evangeline Lily, while she would make an excellent person to get lost with, is against the law. So pursuede/beg/bribe some people to go with you and as always, enjoy and Feed Fish Flies.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Lewis Street boat launch in Monroe
to close July 20 for repairs
OLYMPIA – Beginning July 20, the Lewis Street boat launch in Monroe will be closed to public access as crews install a new boat ramp and make other improvements to the site, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
The water access site, which is located near the Skykomish River Bridge on Highway 203 in Monroe, will be closed through July 30, said Kye Iris, WDFW regional lands supervisor.
Funded with a grant from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, the improvement project includes paving a portion of the access site and adding ADA parking.
Iris said two alternative boat launches are nearby. Those sites are located in Sultan off Highway 2, and off First Street in Snohomish.
Here is the link to the article about helping GI's recover from the war via fly-fishing.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Here are some places that could be haunted by spirits and are definately haunted by fish and the anguished echoed screams of a fisherman who lost a lunker because he/she thought it was a submerged log...
Place #1: Cooper Lake. Not exactly secluded, but there may be minimal people fishing as most camp there to hike into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. Mostly effective from a boat or even a float tube, but fish can/have been caught fishing with flies from the shore. Beware the evil water spirits, they have been known to cause fisherman to fall out of the boat, flip a float tube/canoe, raise anchor and paddle furiously towards shore while screaming at the top of their lungs, and in extreme cases levitate, grabbing their flotation device and water walking to shore. And by evil water spirits I mean the jumbo brown trout that reside in the lake along with the normal rainbows, cutty's and brookies. Fish anywhere around the lake, but focus on shelves near the edges of the lake and where the river comes in and out. Fish white/olive BH Buggers, moal leeches and egg sucking leeches on a sink tip/fullsink line. Or fish an elk hair caddis, green drake, bumble bee, ant or hopper pattern on floating line and cast into shore. Please remember that huge splash leaving a small tidal wave where your fly was, it is not an evil water spirit...it's just a fish...I think.
Place #2: Waptus Lake/River. This is secluded and requires the ability to hike and camp. It is an eleven mile hike but the good news is, it is basically flat and follows the river. Remember to bring a can of Deet or steal your partners bug gear and use them as living mosquito/fly attractant. A flamethrower could work as well, but is highly frowned upon by the forest service. The Waptus River is excellent from it's mouth at the lake to about a mile downstream. The Lake itself is absolutely gorgeous and filled with fish, some being large Bull trout. I recommend camping near where the lake turns into the river and fishing sculpins, buggers or even some steelhead type leeches. Make sure they are white, white/yellow, olive, or flesh colored. Typical high alpine dry flies will work in the evenings and ants/bees as well. That crunch outside the tent at night by the way, most likely not a spirit of any type, but could be a bear, so remember to have your food tied up and high up in a tree away from the sleeping quarters and make sure your partner is sleeping between you and the said crunch.
Place #3: Rocky Ford Creek. Won't be secluded whatsoever, but hey, it's terrestrial time so you may not care. Violence is not the answer when that one dood comes crashing through the brush about 25 feet to your left and begins frantically impersonating a spasmic rendition of whisking eggs for an omelet with his fly-pole as he affectionately calls it. The triploids are feasting on hoppers, ants, beetles, and mice (yes mice, don't believe me? Go out after dark and toss a mouse pattern up against the bank. Go on...I'll wait). Whatever terrestrial you are fishing, beetles and hoppers land with a splash, so make sure you do the same with your fly. This is the best place to get your child addicted to the same thing you are and perhaps actually learn what things those crazy kids do these days. No water spirits here (that I know of), but beware of the rattlers. They do exist out there and one must be careful where they stick their foot.
Place #4: Skykomish River. The Reiter Ponds Hatchery has met it's brood stock needs, so the Reiter Ponds open to all game fish tomorrow morning at 8am. This means, no one will be fishing anywhere else on the river, and could be fair game for you to get out and fish for chromies. Just you and those pesky river spirits. Don't worry about them all they do is put a log on the riverbed where your fly is drifting or a tree that jumps 50 feet downstream to interfere with your backcast. Other than that...the only other thing you should have to worry about is anyone on a rubber floating device drinking and screaming obscenities at you. Floating lines with the traditional Summer wets are the name of the game nowadays. For a more detailed description on what I mean, check out our Fishing Report.
Place #5: Naches/American/Bumping River. The spirits here abound so beware. This lonely stretch of mountain water east of the sleeping hulk of Tahoma is excellent place to escape but not be far away from civilization. The woods are a bit creepy but the fishing is amazing, especially if you have a little 3/4 wt rod and some smaller dry flies and the fishing could be epic. Shifting light, twilight dark recesses of river channel and the whistling of a light breeze through the trees are some of the things that will greet you here along with the splash of a trout hitting the ejection seat after your size 16 red humpy. When camping that moaning you hear at night, followed by the drag-step, drag-step, sound you hear could be one of those prospector's ghosts...But as you hit high gear running for the car, tent dragging behind you, remember that you hung your waders up to dry on a tree branch, blowing in the wind....
As always. Please have a safe weekend and be respectful of others, even if they don't reciprocate.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Here's a link to the article.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Based on a book. The first major documentary on the effects of overfishing our oceans and if you think this doesn't affect you, you're dead wrong. The management plan that is going to allow up to a 50% harvest on our ESA protected Chinook runs is part of this issue. The movie is also discussing the other issues at hand, including the iminent extinction of the Bluefin Tuna and how, at our current rate, the oceans could be fishless by 2048.
Along with opening the discussion of this iminent threat to our environment, it is also giving you ways to be proactive in helping curb the problem.
The Seattle Screening is July 14th from 6pm to 10pm at:
Studio 7 & 8, 3rd floor
1112 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
For more information on the documentary go to this website:
The book can be found here or at your local bookseller. Totally worth the read.
Time to get proactive and start to fix our environment so the little ones can fish like we do now and our fathers did before us. (Steps off soapbox)
Friday, July 10, 2009
Sturgeon fishery extended
in Columbia River estuary
OLYMPIA – Anglers will get at least six more days to catch white sturgeon in the Columbia River estuary, beginning July 10.
Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon announced the joint decision July 7 after assessing catch data for the fishery.
By the states’ action, anglers will be allowed to catch and retain legal-size white sturgeon Friday through Sunday from July 10-12 and July 17-19 between the mouth of the Columbia and the Wauna powerlines near Cathlamet.
Those additional fishing days are designed to give anglers an opportunity to catch 4,100 sturgeon still available for harvest by the recreational fishery when the regularly scheduled season ended July 5, said Brad James, a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The catch guideline for that season was 15,529 fish.
“The sturgeon catch was a little below average for the season,” James said. “That left room for some extra fishing days.”
As during the regular season, the daily catch limit is one white sturgeon, with a fork-length measurement of 41 inches to 54 inches. All green sturgeon must be released. Fishery managers will review the catch data after July 19 to determine if additional fishing opportunity is available under the catch guidelines.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
According to some Internet chatter from California-based website calfishing.com, this bass, caught by angler Manabu Kurita, has already been certified as weighing 22 pounds, 5 ounces.The fish was supposedly taken from Lake Biwa in Japan, the same lake where a 25-pound bass was reportedly netted earlier this year.But here's the potential hitch: George Perry's world-record bass weighed in at 22 pounds, 4 ounces. By IGFA rules, any fish under 25 pounds that is a contender for world-record status must top the current world record by two ounces. It seems all this bass may do is tie. Stay tuned to F&S.com for more info as it unfolds.
If the weight of this catch is accurate, it wouldn't be the first bass to top Perry's record. Click here to see our coverage of a 25-pounder caught in California 3 years ago.For now, tell us what you think.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Salmon fishing heating up, but weather is a downer off the coast
Posted by Mark Yuasa
Just got back into the office and I'm playing catch up after spending a week with a bunch of great kids from the Seattle Buddhist Church Boy Scout Troop 252 at Camp Parsons in Hood Canal. We even got some of them their fishing or Fish and Wildlife management merit badges.
But, now I've got all the reports in order and the saltwater salmon fishing scene has been good in some places and well lousy in others with bad weather being the main factor.
The much anticipated inner-Elliott Bay salmon fishery opened last Friday with 115 boats and 260 anglers catching just 19 chinook and one coho. Now in terms of kings caught that is downright slow, but the good news is that 80 percent of those fish were adult kings.
"It is pretty slow except for Friday when there was a little perk of fish," said Pete Sergeef, a state Fish and Wildlife sampler at the Don Armeni ramp in West Seattle. "The good signs is that we are seeing more adult fish and not the blackmouth clearance fishery that usually happens when it first opens. The biggest fish were 18 and 20 pounds. It will only get better later this month."
The inner-Elliott Bay salmon fishery is open Fridays to Mondays of each week.
On the coast, the strong winds and bad seas continue to wreak havoc on the fisheries, but coastwise charter operators and private boat anglers say the fish are our there it's just a matter of getting to them.
"It was snotty and windy [Sunday], and many of the boats headed south and got their limits of mostly coho before the winds picked up," said Mark Cedergreen, the president of the Westport Charter Association. "A few boats who stayed up at the South Bowl area didn't have the limits like the folks down south but they had more kings in catches."
Cedergreen said charters averaged about a fish and half per rod, and most were coho. The kings were closer to Westport and most were fishing a true west line of Grays Harbor.
"There is a lot of fish in the ocean and once things settle down and we get some consistency we are going to have some good fishing," Cedergreen said. "The water has changed color at least once, but by Wednesday we should see a more gentle current and no wind so the fish may drift this way, plus there is a lot of feed out there."
Up north at La Push, Eric Crust, a state Fish and Wildlife technician was fishing and couldn't keep a fish off her line, and said the coho were everywhere.
"They were surface fishing and using downriggers, and just got tons of coho," said Wendy Beeghly, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. "Neah Bay fishing is really good for small coho [3 to 4 pound average] and they are catching them everywhere, and the pinks are just starting to show up."
Beeghly said anglers are Ilwaco are nailing the coho too, but they to have suffered from the bad weather blues.
In the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Larry Bennett, the head state Fish and Wildlife creel sampler, reported some good king fishing at Sekiu.
"It was pretty close to a chinook per boat average, and a few small coho are showing up but very few pinks," Bennett said. "I saw a few nice chinook up in the 20 to 25 pound range."
"It was foggy on the Fourth of July, and that messed things up," Bennett said. "It is weird with Coho Resort being closed down, and unless they buy the permit out there and I only four campers. That has pushed all the effort to Van Riper's and Olsons's resorts. Overall effort was down from what I thought it would be for the weekend, and it seems like people kind of held off some and are waiting to come out."
A check from July 5, at Olson's Resort showed 90 boats with 220 anglers catching 81 chinook, 34 coho and 11 pinks.
Locally, the hottest spot for kings is the San Juan Islands.
"I've limited the boat everyday and we haven't fished past noon," said Jay Field, owner of Dash One Charters in Anacortes. "It sure has been special and I've put five kings in the boat over 20 pounds, and [Sunday] I fished alone and got a 28 pounder, plus we are sorting through fish and getting plenty of chances."
Rosario Strait has been the place Field says, and "I see the all the island guys over here so I know there is nowhere else to fish in the islands, and I haven't heard anything from up north."
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
Monday, July 6, 2009
Skykomish River king fishery ends today
Posted by Mark Yuasa
The Skykomish River king salmon fishery will comes to an end today (July 5), and anglers will now need to release them.
The new rule covers areas from the Lewis Street Bridge in Monroe upstream to the Wallace River, the only portion of the Skykomish River currently open to salmon fishing.
The rule change does not affect fishing for hatchery steelhead and other gamefish on the Skykomish River.
Chinook returns are low to the Wallace River Hatchery thus state Fish and Wildlife decided to close the river to chinook retention to make sure spawning escapement is achieved.
If it later appears spawning goals will be met at the hatchery, the chinook directed fishing season could reopen.
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
Thursday, July 2, 2009
If you want to avoid bumper boat guiding, drunken rafters, intense firearm shooting displays of unprecedented inaccuracy, and/or just people in general this fourth and enjoy some fishing. Here are some recommended places that could be devoid of all of the above and more.
Place #1: Your own house. Yep I said it. Probably the best place to avoid all of the above, unless of course you live on one of the rivers, lakes, streams that these people frequent. Then renting a hotel in downtown Seattle or driving to Timbuktu may be the best choice. At least in Seattle you can witness the hoopla at Gas Works Park...
Place #2: The Upper Yakima River between Lake Easton and Lake Keechelus. You will not find a whole lot of people and the mosquitoes may be quite voracious and the size of a small transport plane, but hey the fishing will be good. You can camp in the woods off the Stampede Pass or Cabin Creek exits and find access points along the river from either one. The fish hardly get fished and will most likely attack your Olive Elk Hair Caddis with the ferocity of a rabid squirrel. Speaking of rabid squirrels...
Place #3: The North and Middle Forks of the Snoqualmie Rivers. With all the people preparing for a mass exodus over the mountains to whip the Eastside rivers into a frenzy with their fantastic displays of "old woman swatting flies with a broomstick" casting method, the best place to stay and fish may be on this side of the mountains, in your own backyard. With the smell of napalm (ok maybe it was woodsmoke) filling the I-90 Corridor this morning, the more hidden parts of the river may be a better choice. Try getting up to the Taylor River Rd. on the Middle Fork and finding a nice place to fish with smaller stimulators or caddis's.
Place #4: With Everyone focusing on the Cowlitz for Steelhead this weekend you could try the South and North Forks of the Toutle River. Just remember all tributaries to the two rivers are closed waters, but the rivers themselves are open game, check the regs as I am lazy and will not post them here. There should be plenty of places to camp and/or stay and that smoking mountain in the background should be fine, don't pay it any mind. Use some sink tip fly-line and some moal/egg sucking leeches for the summer run steelies. Keep your Rainier or Schmidts locked up though, that damn Sasquatch is a crafty little bugger.
Place #5: Anyplace you have to hike, horseback ride, pack in more than a mile. High alpine lakes, rivers and streams are a good place to escape the legalized explosive devices that are going to be tossed everywhere and the generalized stereotypical drunken debauchery performed in droves this weekend. Best hikes with young children, include Pete Lake, Hyas Lake, and some of the small lakes up by Winthrop. Hikes for adults without children, are Waptus Lake, Rachel Lake, The Ramparts, Escondido Lake and Lake Ann. All of these are within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area just out of Cle Elum. There will be more mosquitoes the size of transport planes in these areas, so remember to bring heavy duty insect repellent. Also, just because the can says Bear Repellent it does not mean you spray it on yourself or others.
Places to avoid this weekend: Any large river that can hold boaters, rafters, moving flotillas, etc. The Yakima River in both the upper and lower canyon areas as they will be filled with drunken rafters and the aforementioned bumper boat guiding vessels. Any popular campground you can think of, for example, Salmon La Sac, Fish Lake, Cooper Lake, Beverly on the Teanaway, 29 Pines, and so on and so forth. Also, anywhere near my house, is a bad idea. Just kidding, but no seriously.
Have a fun, safe, and good fishing weekend. And remember to avoid rabid squirrels and beer stealing sasquatches.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Ok, so first we have radioactive wasps and now these giant worms. Now if someone could just find that Rainier Beer toting Sasquatch we could have the trifecta in wild and crazy animals and some Rainier.....
Protection sought again for giant worm found in Washington, Idaho
Fans of the giant Palouse earthworm are once again seeking federal protection for the rare, sweet-smelling species that spits at predators.
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS
Associated Press Writer
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SPOKANE, Wash. —
Fans of the giant Palouse earthworm are once again seeking federal protection for the rare, sweet-smelling species that spits at predators.
They filed a petition Tuesday with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting the worm be protected as an endangered species.
"The giant Palouse earthworm is critically endangered and needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act to have any chance of survival," said Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity.
The center filed the lawsuit along with Friends of the Clearwater, Palouse Prairie Foundation, Palouse Audubon and Palouse Group of Sierra Club.
The worm has been seen only four reported times in the past 110 years, but supporters contend it is still present in the Palouse, a region of about 2 million acres of rolling wheat fields near the Idaho-Washington border south of Spokane.
Decades of intense agriculture and urban sprawl have wiped out much of the worm's habitat, said Steve Paulson with Friends of the Clearwater. Only about 2 percent of the Palouse prairie remains in a native state, he said.
The worm can reach 3 feet in length, is white in color and reportedly possesses a unique lily smell, said Greenwald, who is based in Portland, Ore. It is the largest and longest-lived earthworm in North America.
During the Bush administration, the agency rejected a similar petition from the groups, saying there was not enough scientific information about the species to prove it needed protection. The groups hope to have better luck with the Obama administration.
Officials for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Portland, Ore., did not immediately return telephone messages seeking comment.
In 1897, the giant Palouse earthworm was described as "very abundant" in the region, but sightings are rare. The last confirmed sighting was made on May 27, 2005, by a University of Idaho researcher. Before that, the worm had not been seen since 1988.
Most earthworms found in the Northwest originated in Europe, arriving on plants or in soil shipped to the New World. The giant Palouse earthworm is one of the few native species.
In previously rejecting endangered species protection, the Fish and Wildlife Service said there was too little information in the scientific record. That prevented the assessment of population trends.
The agency concluded that while the Palouse prairie has experienced a dramatic conversion of native habitat to agriculture, it was not clear if that hurt the worm. The agency also found no information on predation or transmission of pathogens by other earthworms to the giant Palouse earthworm.
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