Coho are in the Santiams Now!

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bigfootfish

Took this video yesterday over near Stayton, a little ways below the Stayton Bridge on private property. This dam in the video is at the mouth of the Stayton Power Canal and it is a fish barrier dam built a few years ago to keep migratory fish from swimming upstream into the Stayton Power Canal. It works, as you can see if you watch the upper part of the screen. You can see a Coho trying to swim up the pad, almost all the way across the water, on the other side. I only videoed that one as my battery died very shortly after the fish slid back downstream into the pool.


[YOUTUBE]tqPgggvsCRU[/YOUTUBE]

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Mike123

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Can you fish below this dam?? lol. Im serious.
 
troutdude

troutdude

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If I'm not mistaken, I think that you can fish farther down stream...up to the bridge that was mentioned. But, you might want to double check w/ ODFW regs.
 
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bigfootfish

Yup ODFW doesn't want them up there.


That's right exactly, BF. The ODFW doesn't want the fish to go above the dam 'cause they will all die if they did. That barrier dam is on the Stayton POWER Canal. Off limits. There's no spawning gravel upstream and the fish would just die later. The dam was built to prevent fish loss. The fish would swim up to the turbines and go no further.


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beaverfan

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No I meant ODFW doesn't want the Coho above the falls on the Willamette, proven by the fact that last year above the falls was open to 3 Coho a day, clipped or not. They insist that Coho aren't native above the falls and they're smolts compete with native winter Steelhead smolts. I say that at least "some" Coho have been going through the locks at the falls since 1873 I think, when the locks were first built. That's almost 140 years, IMO that's pushing the envelope to say they aren't native.
 
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steelhead1

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not trying to hi jack, but does that mean odfw doesn't believe there were ANY anadromous fish above the falls?Why only the concern over coho?
 
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beaverfan

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When I spoke to them last year they told me that due to when the Coho come in there wasn't enough water over the falls for the Coho to get over. In the high flows of winter the Steelhead were able to get over the falls. In regards to why they believe they compete with the native Steelhead is because the Coho spawn first and hatch first so they are considerably larger than the Steelhead when the Steelhead hatch. So basically they out-compete the Steelhead. At least this is what I was told last year when they opened it up to 3 cipped/unclipped fish.
 
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bigfootfish

I've actually seen Willamette Falls during high flood events during the 60's and 70's, and the Willy below the falls was so backed up that the falls disappeared. I couldn't tell where the falls actually were. So during flood events like that Coho and other searun species would probably have know problem going up, in the far past before the locks and ladder was built. So Coho could make it upstream, but before the locks and ladder maybe not every season. Hard to say. I LIKE Coho in the upper Willy. Yah.

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beaverfan

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I like Coho in the upper Willy too! They contend that the high flows in winter come too late, that the Coho are too close death at that point to make it to they're spawning grounds. Usually the Willamette doesn't get really high water like that until mid to late December and more commonly it's in January and February when most of them have been dead for quite a while.
 
B

bigfootfish

No I meant ODFW doesn't want the Coho above the falls on the Willamette, proven by the fact that last year above the falls was open to 3 Coho a day, clipped or not. They insist that Coho aren't native above the falls and they're smolts compete with native winter Steelhead smolts. I say that at least "some" Coho have been going through the locks at the falls since 1873 I think, when the locks were first built. That's almost 140 years, IMO that's pushing the envelope to say they aren't native.

Well.........the reason we have Coho in the Santiam's and further upstream(all the way past Eugene) is because the ODFW indeed DOES want the fish above Willamette Falls. Just not WAY PAST The Falls! The ODFW planted Coho in the upper Yamhill and Tualitin Rivers about ten years or so ago, according to the ODFW. The adult Coho returning years later found the water at the mouths of the Tualitin and Yamhill Rivers, which are located ABOVE Willamette Falls upstream from Newberg, a tad too warm(just like now). So the fish wait until rains lower the water temperatures of those two streams(an increase in the flows doesn't matter too much to the Coho until they reach the upper sections of those watercourses, as they are slow moving and easy enough to swim through).
Anyway, it was not known to the ODFW(imagine that)at that time how good Coho are at infiltrating new riversystems for spawning purposes. An unknown number of Coho waiting for the Yamhill and Tualitin Rivers to cool down had cooler waters from upstream dam releases reach them and some headed upstream for "greener pastures" which they found in the Molalla and Santiams. So wahla! Coho are where they are now.
What do you think, beaverfan? This makes lots of sense to me. Explains a lot.

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B

bigfootfish

I like Coho in the upper Willy too! They contend that the high flows in winter come too late, that the Coho are too close death at that point to make it to they're spawning grounds. Usually the Willamette doesn't get really high water like that until mid to late December and more commonly it's in January and February when most of them have been dead for quite a while.

That makes more sense than anything else I've heard or read. You must be a college student or graduate, beaverfan. You got a good handle on all this stuff!


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