Native run personalities and behavior

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skunk

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Here's a topic to throw around awhile, if any of you care to share knowledge. Let's pick a river, doesn't matter which one, can even be unnamed but here's the rules. It can't have any man made barriers on it, and no impassable fish barriers ie, tall falls, too low spots, fences etc in the majority of its length. And its mostly native steel, except for a few strays. My question is on steel behavior. From what I understand with hatchery runs they generally return to where they are dumped, if I'm correct, or reared. But what about natives? Do the majority head as high on the mainstem river as possible? or branch off to tribs, or just find redds that suit them along the river? Is spawning water level based? as in lower levels are better? I'm just wondering if I am learning a river with natives for catch and release am I looking at the majority of the river as where they will push through and only the upper reaches as suitable for spawning? I don't want to fish over spawning grounds, but also don't want to end up to0 high and fish where there are no fish. Any past experience on native run rivers that anyone cares to share?
 
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RunWithSasquatch

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Spencer Creek, Fool.
Most spawning redds are going to be high in the system, often times small tribs at the top of the system are where they come from. I live on spencer creek, which is a tributary of the North Fork Alsea, im about 5 miles up from the NF, and it is often times no more than 8-10' wide, and ankle deep, i see steelhead and salmon spawning in here every year. Ive read that as far as where they go, some people believe they can tell as much as which redd they were spawned in, and return to that redd. If there is an extreme low water year, some fish will spawn in the lower river, due to that they became just too ripe from the amount of time it took them to run the system. Which hatchery fish do from time to time. Most of the time a systems deadline is set so that you wont interfere with the main portion of spawning water.


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skunk

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Thanks, I forgot about the system deadline. That makes sense why the river would be closed above that. These fish are so amazing, just love learning about them!
 
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Mad dog

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Roseburg, Oregon
50% of all native steelhead in the Umpqua system spawn in tributaries of the main Umpqua river. Steelhead destined for the North Umpqua spawn in all the tributaries from Sutherlin creek on up to Soda springs dam, Little river and Steamboat creek would be 2 major spawning tribs for the North. It's the same for the south Umpqua, they hit every little tributary from the forks to Galesville dam, I live near a tributary that feeds Champagne creek, the lowest possible tributary of the south Umpqua and it is alway full of steelhead smolts! I guess the ability of the river to provide adequate spawning habitat would determine how high the fish travel. This said, if you are looking for native fish and can figure out what tributaries the fish spawn in, fishing the mouths or near the mouths of these streams can be very effective, especially during low water periods when steelhead start stacking around the tributary mouths waiting for the water to come up.
 
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steelhead1

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willamette valley
interesting behavior

interesting behavior

This has nothing to do with spawning or destinations,but did you know that steelhead will actually lay vertically on underwater structure when spooked? I have also observed them actually hiding down in the holes between boulders. I love diving/snorkeling with pooled up summers, and watching their interactions with me and each other. These fish are so powerful you can hear and feel them rocket by (it almost sounds like a jet). I need to get an underwater camera....:D
 
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RunWithSasquatch

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Spencer Creek, Fool.
This has nothing to do with spawning or destinations,but did you know that steelhead will actually lay vertically on underwater structure when spooked? I have also observed them actually hiding down in the holes between boulders. I love diving/snorkeling with pooled up summers, and watching their interactions with me and each other. These fish are so powerful you can hear and feel them rocket by (it almost sounds like a jet). I need to get an underwater camera....:D

Please do, I'd like to see that.
 
S

skunk

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Joined
Oct 28, 2009
Messages
822
Location
Knee deep in it
This has nothing to do with spawning or destinations,but did you know that steelhead will actually lay vertically on underwater structure when spooked? I have also observed them actually hiding down in the holes between boulders. I love diving/snorkeling with pooled up summers, and watching their interactions with me and each other. These fish are so powerful you can hear and feel them rocket by (it almost sounds like a jet). I need to get an underwater camera....:D

I've thought about going in the water to check them out, but I'm more of a on the water guy. A vid of that would be cool to post though.
 
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