Sandy steelhead stats falling off

So i was checking out the sport catch statistics at odfw and noticed that the sandy river catch went down from over 1000 winter steelheads in both 2008 and 2009 to around 100 in 2010. I know it's old news as of this point, but it seems to have been really slow out there this year too (for hatchery stock a least).

What are some theories on why so few steelies caught last year, and if/why that might impact this year.

I think a big part of that drop is they haven't had time to update the 2010 statistics yet. I bet if you check back in September there will be many more showing. In fact as I look at the data it is for the 09/10 season and every other river has the same drop off I don't think they have any of the numbers from '10 in there at all. Just the last few months of '09
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Thanks beaverfan and that makes sense...these stats are just what had been reported to odfw as of Nov 2010 (which is when the page said it was last updated). It's my first year out, so i don't know how it works.

I guess what I'm getting at, has fishing slowed down enough on the Sandy in the past couple years that wading anglers efforts are better spent on the Clack, Wilson, Willamette or elsewhere within an hour of PDX? I've hooked a couple natives (been fishing the Sandy exclusively, 'pretty hard" a couple times a week since mid-December) and wondering if this is typical.

Should I get a Washington license and go to the mouth of the Cowlitz where the catch is like 16000 a year from what I gathered?

Thanks again OFF.
Ya no problem. I'm also not trying to say there hasn't been a significant decline in the hatchery fish in the Sandy this year because it's obvious it's been pretty crappy so far. You could definitely go fish the mouth of Cowlitz but there's one heck of a lot more people fishing there so I'll stick to the rivers down here.
If I was going to hop back to my home state I would fish the klick or the lewis before I would fish the cow...a ton of people pack that river, and the state is starting to lower the smolt releases.
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