“The Blob” No not that terrible horror movie of my childhood, but the warm mass that engulfed the west coast for nearly two years, has created quite a path of destruction.
We all know warm water is a terrible thing to deal with as a steelhead smolt, add in the dams that help create the warm water and we have additional issues.
MOST of these issues are of the predatory kind, warm water predators thrive and they have a taste for little smolts. As if “millions” of displaced artic terns was not enough. The returning adults have increased sea lion issues on less fish. And the unwillingness for the tribes to reduce there pressure, not stop but just reduce to what the runs can sustain. SUSTAIN there’s a pesky word for the commercial kill industry. All these factors are inhibiting this seasons steelhead run.
Cool Water, is the key in the freshwater environment its a huge part of the habitat theory and the Klickitat River on the Washington side is doing its best to provide. The steelhead have noticed and are running the Klickitat dipping in so to speak as they once did on the Deschutes river in Oregon.
The big D, what a travesty of intentions, changing the system that worked under the disguise of wild salmon protection. we are noticing that the big D may have had a lot more influence over the survival of Columbia River fish than ever thought. SO much for fisheries Science, apparently it can be bought too..
So as a testament to WILD fish we are finding the majority of successful returns are wild fish. This is just my little observation but it rekindles the pride and hope I have long had for these fish. I know they will survive they have the genetics and the testament of evolution to overcome all that we as humans can throw at them. My service this season will be limiting our fishing pressure, we will be reducing our presence, our time and our take, we will be on the ZERO kill philosophy as usual but extend that to any hatchery fish we may catch as well.
Thanks for subscribing, Jeff Brazda
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