Questions about Wallowa

calamari

New member
I'm planning to fish Wallowa this summer right after the 4th of July. Can anyone give me a hint about the depth the Kokanee hold in that lake early summer, do you troll close to shore or look out in the lake for schools and if the weather is rainy/windy there early summer. I understand that last year it rained and blew every day in June with no fishing taking place.
I'm also led to believe that the average size fish is small there now with a lot of weeding through 8" fish to get even 13" fish. True or not?
This is my one big trip of the year and would appreciate anything anyone can share. It's fine to PM me as I understand how this can be.
Thanks for any help.
 

wallowafisher

New member
Wallowa Lake

Wallowa Lake

I'm planning to fish Wallowa this summer right after the 4th of July. Can anyone give me a hint about the depth the Kokanee hold in that lake early summer, do you troll close to shore or look out in the lake for schools and if the weather is rainy/windy there early summer. I understand that last year it rained and blew every day in June with no fishing taking place.
I'm also led to believe that the average size fish is small there now with a lot of weeding through 8" fish to get even 13" fish. True or not?
This is my one big trip of the year and would appreciate anything anyone can share. It's fine to PM me as I understand how this can be.
Thanks for any help.
I'm relatively new to fishing Wallowa Lake, just the last three years, a few times each year (which is kind of sad really, since I live in Enterprise). So take everything I say with a large dose of inexperience and ignorance.
What I've seen, is the Kokanee rise to about 20' sometime in spring (April/May?), and move down from there. The last couple years, after the 4th, when I've found them, they were in the 40 to 60' range, but it all depends on the weather. The marina at the state park has a good map of the depth of the lake and has good info on where the fish are, also, Doug at Joseph Hardware keeps his finger on what's happening. I'm beginning to think the bigger issue is the water skiers and other boat traffic in July and August that drives the fish deep.
As for the size of the fish, before they started catching record size fish, folks thought a 13" fish was pretty good. Now, they're all disappointed if they don't catch the new world record. Personally, I just enjoy being out on the water and the fish are a bonus, whatever size they are.
I would love to hear what other, more experienced folks have to say.?
 

calamari

New member
wallowafisher, Thank you. That's the sort of info that is helpful. I've tried the marina for info but they haven't provided much other than say it blew very hard last year during the time I plan to be there.
Here in the lake I fish kokanee on, the normal progression is that they are schooled up near a power plant outlet early in the year and then around mid June begin to move down lake as small to med schools. They move into the lake coves for a couple of weeks before congregating near the dam late in the season before they lose their scales and move up to the inlet mouths in the fall. Depths are 25'-30' in the spring and go as deep as 100'-120' at the dam/main pool later in the year. Nothing faster than 2mph and nothing slower than 1.6mph.
Wallowa doesn't have any features like that so I'm looking forward to more information too. One way or the other when I return in July I will share details of my trip so info shared now will pay dividends later.
 

calamari

New member
18406ej, I tried to reply to your PM but I can't find that it went through. Let me know if it didn't and I'll try again.
 

troutdude

Well-known member
Moderator
I'm beginning to think the bigger issue is the water skiers and other boat traffic in July and August that drives the fish deep.
Welcome to OFF Wallowafisher; that's an excellent first post!

While that may make fish scatter, temporarily due to boats and noise--the real reasons they'll go deep are due mostly to temperature and oxygen. Larger/deeper lakes stratify in the summer, into what are known as thermoclines. In other words, the fish seek out water where they are most comfortable. Here is a pic, that shows this graphically.

thermoclines.jpg

You could visit the web site below, and search their archives too. And don't forget about searching the archived threads and posts right here on OFF.



http://kokaneepoweroregon.com/
 

calamari

New member
troutdude, Thanks for the link to Kokanee power. I checked their site but didn't find an archive of articles but then I'm not a member. I've read the threads on this site and although there are a fair number of them they don't discuss what I need. I will repay information with information and will do that by PM if needed so the more I know, the more you'll know.
 

wallowafisher

New member
thanks Troutdude. Yes, you are right, the main reason they go deep is biology, I suppose I'm just whining about all the non-fishing boat traffic on the lake after July 4. I'll try to get over it... and get out earlier and more often...
Thanks for the link too, any info on kokanee helps.

Calamari - the Wallowa Lake's website (Wallowa Lake Tourism Guide - Wallowa Lake Tourism Guide) has a map of the lake that is pretty accurate for where the fishing is best for Kokanee, especially in July. Most folks troll along the west side of the lake. The deepest part of the lake is in the southwesterly part, just off the marina. Early in the spring (April) some folks jig for them just off shore from the marina. As Troutdude says, troll slow, although this next year I'm going to try being less constant in my trolling speed, changing it up some. I read somewhere that helps sometimes.
 

calamari

New member
In doing the research for the trip I found one theory for the big fish year at Wallowa to be that a landslide on the inlet river reduced the amount of spawining habitat for the fish for awhile and they had a reduction in the number of fish in the year classes that were affected by the slide. Fewer fish means less competition for the food source which equals bigger fish in the year class.
I went to the Sacramento Sports show yesterday and talked to a friend who was a supervising fisheries biologist for the Dept. of Fish and Game and the subject of year class numbers vs. the size of kokanee came up and he said that theory about Wallowa was probably correct. He said that they could manage a kokanee fishery for big fish but there wouldn't be very many of them and as a result there would be complaints about poor fishing so they dump a lot of fish in the lakes so that every body catches something but they aren't as big. Direct relationship to a lakes carrying capacity. If the carrying capacity of a lake can only can grow 10,000 pounds of fish, do you want 10,000 one pounders or 1,000 10 pounders. Every body always wants both but in reality there has to be a choice.
 

wallowafisher

New member
I hadn't heard about that theory. Everyone I talked to seemed to think it was the shrimp ODF&W planted several years before. However, the slide theory makes at least as much sense. That slide was huge! I'm going to pass your post along to a biologist friend of mine as see what he thinks.
thanks for the reply.
 

calamari

New member
The ODFW report says the ice is off the lake but fishing, as you'd imagine, for kokanee is slow. I hope the weather is nice enough for you to fish when you go. Apparently there was virtually no fishing last year in June because of the wind.
 
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