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Caught a nice 36", 19.5# Adipose Clipped Steelhead today on the Nooch with both Ventral fins missing/clipped and healed over. First time I have seen this, any particular reason for it?
 

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Re: Steelhead with Clipped Ventral Fins?

I dont know if they are doing an enhancement program on the Nooch. But on the Green we have clipped the ventral fin on smolts to mark them as a fish that came from Wild fish. The state fisheries go out and recover wild Steelhead and then spawn them in the hatchery. Then they release them at a larger size. They should have only clipped one fin. The left or the Right will tell them what year this fish is. They want you to take a scale sample (about 20 scales) and write down as much info on the fish that you can. length, hen or buck where you got it .....and so on. send it to the state. The workers at the fin clipping got to happy with the sessors. I'll post pics of a fin clipping when I get home. Nice work on the fish where are the Pics?
 

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Re: Steelhead with Clipped Ventral Fins?

They do it on the Cow as well, but there you have to release the ones that are missing a ventral fin I do believe.
 

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Re: Steelhead with Clipped Ventral Fins?

I've cnr'd Cow fish with 1 clipped ventral fin over the years, until yesterday had not seen one with both clipped. Of course, I haven't fished the Nooch more than a handful of times either. I was tearing through the regs because of the Cowlitz rule though...
 

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Re: Steelhead with Clipped Ventral Fins?

Loctite said:
I dont know if they are doing an enhancement program on the Nooch. But on the Green we have clipped the ventral fin on smolts to mark them as a fish that came from Wild fish. The state fisheries go out and recover wild Steelhead and then spawn them in the hatchery. Then they release them at a larger size. They should have only clipped one fin. The left or the Right will tell them what year this fish is. They want you to take a scale sample (about 20 scales) and write down as much info on the fish that you can. length, hen or buck where you got it .....and so on. send it to the state. The workers at the fin clipping got to happy with the sessors. I'll post pics of a fin clipping when I get home. Nice work on the fish where are the Pics?
Just thought I'd add that the PSA/Save Our Fish chapter and the Green river Steelhead and the Muckleshoot tribe are the groups along with WDFW responsible for this exciting program to establish a late season sports fishery in the Green. We capture wild fish with rod and reel, transport them in a large PVC tube, truck them to the hatchery and propagate them. In addition to the ventral fin, the adipose is also clipped for identification as being a propagated fish, meaning, non-wild. We are lobbying hard to get the river open through March, but are having a problem with one of the groups involved.
Good post Loctite. clap:
 

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Re: Steelhead with Clipped Ventral Fins?

Could that mean it had come through twice? Where is the ventral fin?
 

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Re: Steelhead with Clipped Ventral Fins?

the kid 2 said:
Loctite said:
I dont know if they are doing an enhancement program on the Nooch. But on the Green we have clipped the ventral fin on smolts to mark them as a fish that came from Wild fish. The state fisheries go out and recover wild Steelhead and then spawn them in the hatchery. Then they release them at a larger size. They should have only clipped one fin. The left or the Right will tell them what year this fish is. They want you to take a scale sample (about 20 scales) and write down as much info on the fish that you can. length, hen or buck where you got it .....and so on. send it to the state. The workers at the fin clipping got to happy with the sessors. I'll post pics of a fin clipping when I get home. Nice work on the fish where are the Pics?
Just thought I'd add that the PSA/Save Our Fish chapter and the Green river Steelhead and the Muckleshoot tribe are the groups along with WDFW responsible for this exciting program to establish a late season sports fishery in the Green. We capture wild fish with rod and reel, transport them in a large PVC tube, truck them to the hatchery and propagate them. In addition to the ventral fin, the adipose is also clipped for identification as being a propagated fish, meaning, non-wild. We are lobbying hard to get the river open through March, but are having a problem with one of the groups involved.
Good post Loctite. clap:
Let me get this straight. They are taking Wild Steelhead to the hatchery, breeding them, and then marking both the ventral AND the adipose??? So what happens when Average Joe Fisherman who is trained to bonk Hatchery fish catches them?
I guess I must be totally missing the point, unless this is just a way for fishermen to harvest Wild steelhead...
 

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Re: Steelhead with Clipped Ventral Fins?

Let me get this straight. They are taking Wild Steelhead to the hatchery, breeding them, and then marking both the ventral AND the adipose??? So what happens when Average Joe Fisherman who is trained to bonk Hatchery fish catches them?
I guess I must be totally missing the point, unless this is just a way for fishermen to harvest Wild steelhead...Jake Dogfish


Well yes Jake, it is a way to increase sportsmen opportunity but not kill wild Steelhead. The extended season will allow for bonking, (your words), these hatchery enhanced wild fish. This is nothing new, tribes on the coast have been very successful with type of program for quite some time now. Ask those who have had fantastic fishing/catching on the salmon, cook creek, Queets, Quinault.
Just to clear this up for you. Unclipped wild/native fish will still be in the river, right along with these clipped fish but they (the unclipped) will not be legal to retain and must be released. This is an effort to extend angler opportunity and allow for increased angling opportunity. I see it as a win, win, do you not see it the same?
Tup: :)
 

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Re: Steelhead with Clipped Ventral Fins?

Kid2. That is fantastic. Really a fantastic idea. So these fish are released so that they return later in the year like the natives, right? Also, which area do these fish return to. Is it Soos or up at KP? Those are the only two I know of.
 

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Nice! I've never seen that before either. I guess now it's time to get the info to whatever group did the clip. It's kind of fun to be able to contribute to the data base.
 

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Re: Steelhead with Clipped Ventral Fins?

Vikingsteel12 said:
Kid2. That is fantastic. Really a fantastic idea. So these fish are released so that they return later in the year like the natives, right? Also, which area do these fish return to. Is it Soos or up at KP? Those are the only two I know of.
We appreciate your enthusiasm for the program. I'm unsure of what brood year we are in as of now, but I believe it is the second year of returns. We should be seeing some fish in February and we would like to know if you should happen into one so let me know if you do via PM or this forum. Get scale sample from around the dorsal, length, girth and weight if you will please and take it to the Soos Creek Hatchery or contact me via this site and I'll pick it up from you.
As far as out plantings concerned I'm not really sure but I believe it to be high in the system at the head works. I will find out for sure tonight at our meeting
 

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Re: Steelhead with Clipped Ventral Fins?

Vikingsteel12 said:
Kid2. That is fantastic. Really a fantastic idea. So these fish are released so that they return later in the year like the natives, right? Also, which area do these fish return to. Is it Soos or up at KP? Those are the only two I know of.
We appreciate your enthusiasm for the program Vs. I'm unsure of what brood year we are in as of now, but I believe it is the second year of returns. Yes they are intended to mimic the wild/native return times and we should be seeing some fish in February. We would like to know if you should happen into one so let me know if you do via PM or this forum. Get scale sample from around the dorsal, length, girth and weight if you will please and take it to the Soos Creek Hatchery or contact me via this site and I'll pick it up from you.
As far as out plantings concerned I'm not really sure but I believe it to be high in the system at the head works. I will find out for sure tonight at our meeting

And /BTW, pressure from everyone on WDFW to extend the season to March 31st is badly needed. Call the Mill Creek office and bug them about it. Steve Foley is the bio and he is being pressured not to allow the extended season. Pressure on him from one of the co-ops in the program is influencing his decision and he needs to hear from the other side. Thanks.
 

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"Well yes Jake, it is a way to increase sportsmen opportunity but not kill wild Steelhead. The extended season will allow for bonking, (your words), these hatchery enhanced wild fish. This is nothing new, tribes on the coast have been very successful with type of program for quite some time now. Ask those who have had fantastic fishing/catching on the salmon, cook creek, Queets, Quinault.
Just to clear this up for you. Unclipped wild/native fish will still be in the river, right along with these clipped fish but they (the unclipped) will not be legal to retain and must be released. This is an effort to extend angler opportunity and allow for increased angling opportunity. I see it as a win, win, do you not see it the same? "

Maybe we see things differently, but removing the original wild steelhead from the gene pool, taking their eggs and sperm, and making hatchery fish out of them that can be harvested is exactly the same as killing those original wild steelhead...they are not allowed to contribute anything the the wild stocks in the river, and are instead converted into hatchery fish.

The hatchery fish created by broodstock programs are much higher quality than the Chambers Creek hatchery duds, no doubt, but they don't come for free...they come at the expense of the eggs and sperm used to make them are not allowed to become the wild fish they were intended to be...and to make it worse, until they get around to opening the Green River later in the season, there won't be anyone fishing there to even fish for the broodstock fish.

Ironically, the reason it doesn't open late is due to low wild fish populations...yet we're actively removing wild fish from the run to make hatchery fish that mostly return after the river closes to angling.

This makes very little sense to me, especially on the Green. I can at least appreciate the broodstock programs on rivers where you can go and catch them...rivers like the 'Nooch and Satsop, Kalama or the Sol Duc, but you can't do that here.

I'd sure prefer to catch broodstock hatchery fish...they're bigger, bite better, fight better, and return over a broader range of time than the Chambers fish...but those benefits, like I said, come at the expense of removing wild fish from the system to do it, and on those other rivers you can actually go and fish for them.

Fish on...

Todd
 

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I don’t know one way or the other what is the right thing to do but I have a question.

When eggs and sperm are taken from the wild fish do the eggs have a higher hatch or survival rate than they would have if they were left in the wild? I would think they would have a better survival rate and that would put more wild fish genes in the water over the long run.
 

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And the Indians will start netting more days on the green once the broodstock fish start coming back in good numbers.And the wild fish will suffer.
 

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Ken,

That is exactly what happened with the 'Nooch and 'Sop broodstock runs...the tribe wanted their share (which they are entitled to), so they started netting later in the year to get them, since that's when the fish returned.

Major, they do seem to return at a better rate than Chambers fish, but that's not the point...they don't return at as good a rate as the wild fish, and that shortcoming is exacerbated over several generations...plus, the fish are available for harvest, and any that are killed are completely removed from the gene pool, lower reproductivity rate or not.

I know it will hit those who participate in these programs right in the heart, as they have a visceral and fatherly attachment to them, but the fact of the matter is that they have never been shown to improve a single thing, other than increasing the harvestable fish by turning wild fish into hatchery fish. For the most part, evaluation of these programs seem to show that overall, they produce less fish than if the wild fish were just left in the river to do their thing. Perhaps it's obvious, but leaving them in the river to do their thing costs exactly "zero" dollars, too.

Fish on...

Todd
 

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I caught this Nooch fish a couple years ago, it was missing its adipose, dorsal and right pectoral fin, guys at the hatchery went to town on this dude. It was also 1 of the best fighting hatchery fish I've ever caught.
 

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This is a very interesting debate with good points brought up on both sides. As a sportfisherman I am also faced with ambiguous feelings about catch and keep and the wild fish issue. For me, I love to keep a fish every now and then and definitely feel frustrated by the lackluster quality of the Chambers Creek stock. Like Todd mentioned, they don't bite nearly as good or fight as good as wild fish, I would imagine that wild fish taste better too, but I've never eaten one and am not about to go down to Pike Place market in February to try them.

I am infuriated by the condition of the wild stocks of fish in the state, it is nothing more than a colossal coordination failure and just plain bad ideas by many actors. I want nothing more than to increase the wild stocks to the point where they are self sustainable at a harvestable level, but I don't see that happening for a long time....unfortunately. So now we are faced with this situation...poor returns of inferior hatchery fish and poor returns of wild fish which are not harvestable.

In terms of this discussion, the broodstock idea is exciting, but there are many variables that need to be considered. The project would seem reasonable if the wild fish eggs and sperm could be used effectively enough to secure a much higher survival and return rate of fish. In that sense, its good for everybody. The wild fish stain would grow at a greater pace than by wild spawn. Some of these fish would be harvested, others would return to the hatchery to continue the process. Logically, the returning broodstock fish would eventually return in numbers large enough to self sustain the program, erasing the need to kill more wild fish. This way, the hatchery strain in the river would be of the wild variety, which is a good backup if the wild fish continue to decline. This is good for the river and the sportsmen who want to keep a fish for all of their money and time spent in the frigid cold of February.

As for the netting of the later fish, that is definitely a problem...The only solution I can think of would be new netting techniques that allow for the release of wild fish. In a perfect co-managed world, the tribes and the state could allocate money to fund research into new netting techniques, perhaps made of rubber that do not kill the fish, but encircle them, like a seine. The hatchery fish could than be retained while releasing the wilds. This would probably have to be done in the waterway and could pose an issue to navigability and would be $$$$, but its a thought. This co-managment thing is tricky business. Nice FISH Tup:
 
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