Saturday, January 30, 2010

Yakima Salmon Plans

Earlier this last year I wrote about Sockeye Salmon returning to Lake Cle Elum for the first time in like 100 years. We also had a decent (and by decent I mean more than 50, which technically is abysmal) steelhead count up over Rosa Dam and of course a good Chinook return due to the hatchery. Now we are getting word that they might actually build a fish passage through the Lake Cle Elum Dam so that sockeye and other salmon/steelhead can get downstream to leave and upstream to spawn in one of their native grounds. Of course when I say one I mean that Keechelus and Kachess won't be happening anytime soon eventhough they were natural sockeye holdover lakes before the dams were put in and there will be no fish passage built on either of those dams or on the Easton Dam anytime soon, but hey, 1 of 3 is good enough for baseball so it must be for the Fish and Game Dept too, right?

I also here tell that people are opposed to this because they are afraid that these returning salmon will destroy their precious trout fishery. I'm from Cle Elum, grew up there, fished before and after the current chinook fishery was put in and I will say that the upper river is more healthy now than it was before the return of the salmon. The fish are bigger and more active and omg...they are hatchery fish! So are every other Columbia River salmon/steelhead...remember those dams on the Columbia? They killed almost every wild fish we had until the hatchery systems and ladders were implemented. So I don't want to hear about how hatchery fish are ruining our wild the Columbia system...most of those wild fish are technically hatchery fish that spawned in the wild. Get over it.

Yes I understand hatchery fish spawning on wild fish and the whole genetics thing, but do you really think the genetics will be any better with 250 fish coming up the river? Mull that over.

I digress, my main point is salmon = nutrients in the system, which in turn equates to bigger trout once the initial surge is over and the system rebalances closer to natural levels. So calm down. The salmon were there before and the trout did fine, so it will be again. Anyway. Here's the article.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Plastic

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fail People are Fail

Yeah you know it. People who transport a boat from an area that is infested with Zebra Mussels (ie, Meeeeechigan) to a place that doesn't want them (ie, everywhere, including Washington) and has said Zebra Mussels on the boat they are transporting. Than when told to wait for WDFW to show up and disinfect the boat, takes off and than is arrested in Blaine trying to launch the damn thing.

Well, stupidity was never something some Americans failed at, especially this one apparently. Here's the article.

Feed Fish Flies, Not Plastic

January 26, 2010
Contact: Sgt. Eric Anderson, WDFW (360) 902-2426
Michael Boska, Kittitas County Prosecutor’s Office, (509) 962-7520

Arrest warrant issued in zebra mussel case

OLYMPIA – An arrest warrant has been issued for a commercial trucker from Michigan charged with transporting invasive zebra mussels into Washington state aboard a 50-foot cabin cruiser.

David Derderian, 44, of Fraser, Michigan, was charged in Kittitas County Lower District Court last November with unlawful transportation of a deleterious exotic species and making false statements to law enforcement officers.

The court issued a warrant for Derderian’s arrest when he failed to appear for his arraignment Jan. 13, said Michael Boska, deputy prosecutor for Kittitas County.

“We appreciate the court’s help on this case,” said Bruce Bjork, chief of enforcement for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), which sought the initial charges against Derderian. “We need to do everything we can to keep zebra mussels and other invasive species out of this state.”

Zebra mussels are small, freshwater mollusks that can quickly infest lakes and rivers, threatening native fish species and public water systems, Bjork said. Since the 1980s, when zebra mussels entered the Great Lakes in ships’ ballast water, they have spread to more than 20 states, including Michigan.

The invasive mussels often spread by attaching themselves to boats and trailers. Washington state law prohibits the transportation of aquatic invasive species on boats or trailers and allows state authorities to stop them for inspection.

The charges against Derderian stem from the delivery of a Sea Ray cabin cruiser from Lake Michigan to Washington. Derderian was hauling the boat when he was stopped Nov. 14 by the Washington State Patrol at the Cle Elum truck scale on Interstate 90.

State Patrol commercial vehicle officers found zebra mussels on the boat and alerted WDFW, which has special equipment to decontaminate boats carrying zebra mussels. But Derderian left with the boat and continued to Blaine before the WDFW officers could arrive at the scene, according to the department’s report.

Bjork said WDFW officers later intercepted Derderian in Blaine and stopped him from launching the boat. Based on Derderian’s statements and actions, they then asked the Kittitas County Prosecutor’s Office to press charges.

WDFW has also referred the case to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service for consideration of federal charges for interstate transport of the invasive mussels, which would be a violation of the Lacey Act.

“We are pressing for federal charges in this case,” Bjork said. “It’s essential that we have people’s cooperation in our efforts to keep zebra mussels and other invasive species out of Washington. Besides the risks to fish and shellfish, these invaders have already cost industry, government and private citizens billions of dollars in damage to water and hydropower facilities in this country.”

For information on zebra mussels, see on WDFW's website. To report zebra mussel sightings, call 1(877) WDFW-AIS.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dropping Acid in the Mix

You know that giant soup of plastic twice the size of Texas in the Pacific. Or maybe the overfishing that is leading to the eminent demise of multiple species of fish, including our lovely steelhead and salmon. Or the rising sea temperatures that are raising toxic sulfide levels off the coast of Africa, South America and Indonesia, killing fisheries and causing the sea to be as barren as, oh say, the Skagit River today.

What else could I tell you that could make it worse you say? Well, here ya go. I am going to throw some more metaphorical gasoline on the preverbial fire.
Feed Fish Flies not Plastic

Pacific's rising acid levels threatening marine life

A sweeping 15-year study of pH levels in the Pacific Ocean confirmed that upper reaches of the sea are becoming increasingly more acidic.

By Sandi Doughton
Seattle Times science reporter
Archive Oysters in deep trouble: Is Pacific Ocean's chemistry killing sea life?

The most extensive survey of pH levels in the Pacific Ocean confirms what spot measurements have suggested: From Hawaii to Alaska, the upper reaches of the sea are becoming more acidic in concert with rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

"If you see these changes across an entire ocean basin, you can be assured it's happening on a global scale in other ocean basins around the world," said Robert Byrne, a marine chemist at the University of South Florida and lead author of an upcoming paper in Geophysical Research Letters.

Ocean acidification is a threat to shelled creatures and other marine life, and is a leading suspect in the ongoing crash of Pacific oyster populations in Washington.

Byrne collaborated with Seattle scientists on the survey, which was 15 years in the making. The team first measured acidity along the 2,800-mile sweep of ocean between Oahu and Kodiak in 1991. They returned in 2006 aboard the University of Washington research vessel Thomas G. Thompson, working around the clock in shifts to collect and analyze nearly 1,500 water samples over two months.

It's the first time measurements have been taken across such a wide area, said co-author Richard Feely, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle.

"The fact that we saw this very significant change over the last 15 years is a reminder of how mankind is affecting the oceans at an ever-increasing rate," Feely said.

In addition to contributing to a global greenhouse effect, some of the carbon dioxide from cars, factories and power plants dissolves in the ocean, creating the same carbonic acid that gives soda pop its tang. The process makes seawater slightly more acidic, and also gobbles up carbonate, a basic building block of seashells.

The result can be an environment where shells dissolve, destroying plankton, marine snails and other small creatures that sustain the rest of the marine food web. Acidified water also can kill fish eggs and larvae.

Byrne and his colleagues developed a more precise way to measure pH, using a dye that turns from purple to bright yellow as acidity increases. On board the ship, they used instruments called spectrophotometers to measure the color change and nail pH levels 10 times more accurately than possible before.

Debby Ianson, an ocean climate modeler for Canada's Institute of Ocean Sciences who was not involved in the project, said the approach is a good one. "We need studies like this," she wrote in an e-mail.

As expected, the researchers found acidification was strongest in the top layer of water, closest to the atmosphere. Normal seawater is slightly alkaline, with a pH value of about 8. Over the past 15 years, average pH levels in the top 300 feet of the ocean dropped 0.026 pH units. That sounds tiny, but is equivalent to a 6 percent jump in acidity, Byrne said.

Working a thousand or more miles off the West Coast, the scientists took samples down to the ocean floor. They found no change yet in acidity at the deepest levels. But as carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to climb, natural mixing eventually will raise acidity throughout the water column, Byrne said.

Analysis of air bubbles trapped in Antarctic ice cores show that atmospheric carbon dioxide already is higher than anytime in the last 800,000 years, and the same is almost certainly true of ocean acidity, Byrne pointed out. Since the start of the Industrial Age, the scientists calculate that the acidity of the world's oceans has increased by 25 to 30 percent.

Under a business-as-usual scenario, Feely said, ocean acidity could triple by the end of the century.

Ianson cautions that extrapolating future rates of acidification is difficult, because the ocean and atmosphere are so complex.

Still, Byrne said, the trend is clear.

"We're seeing unprecedented rates of change in the atmosphere, and we're going to see changes in seawater in lock-step with that," he said.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Slippery Slope Gets Slipperier

In another couple years the rivers will be open all year long because there won't be anything left in them to incidentally kill. Thank you WDFW, for constantly punishing the lowest impact user group on our rivers for the sins of everyone. Better get some now if you want any at all. - BW

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

January 15, 2010

Closure of Skagit and Sauk rivers to fishing

Action: Close the Skagit and Sauk Rivers to all fishing.

Species affected: All game fish species

Location and effective closure dates:

  • Skagit River from the mouth upstream to Highway 536 (Memorial Hwy. Bridge) at Mount Vernon will be closed Feb.16, 2010 through April 30, 2010.
  • Skagit River from the Highway 536 (Memorial Hwy. Bridge) at Mount Vernon upstream to the Gorge Powerhouse will be closed Feb.16, 2010 through May 31, 2010.
  • Sauk River from the mouth upstream to the Whitechuck River will be closed Feb. 16, 2010 through June 4, 2010.

Reasons for action: The closure will reduce incidental hooking mortality on wild steelhead. The 2009/2010 forecasted return of wild winter steelhead to the Skagit Basin is expected to be below the escapement floor of 6,000.

Other information: The rivers will reopen to fishing as listed in the 2010/2012 Fishing in Washington Sport Fishing Rules.

Information Contact: Region 4 (425) 775-1311.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW "Fishing in Washington" rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

This message has been sent to the WDFW Regulatory Information mailing list.
Visit the Emergency Fishing Rule Website at:
To UNSUBSCRIBE from this mailing list:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Can You Identify This River?

If you are the first one to identify this river and the state it's in you win a dozen trout flies of your choice. Email your guesses to Creekside employees and anyone else we deem shifty are not eligible. Good luck. - BW

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Skip Morris Tying Clinic

Skip Morris, yes the galaxy wide known author and angler, is coming to the Issaquah shop for a super cool tying clinic, Lake Tying and Fishing. Skip is an expert tyer and lake fisherman. The tips and tactics will fly faster than you can think. Best to bring a pen and paper. Clinic is Tuesday Jan. 12th, 6pm-8pm+. Cost is $35, space is limited and registration is required. For more info or to sign up call the Issaquah shop 425-392-3800. Word! -BW