Summer Vs. winter Steelhead at Willamette Falls counting station

L

Letemgo

New member
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
23
Location
Canby, Oregon
This is for anyone who can coroborate my theory or knows the correct answer as to how they tell the difference between summer and winter steelhead at the Willamette Falls counting station. I'm guessing that fin clipped steelhead are considered summer fish due to the time they are released into the river and winter fish are not clipped because they are wild and winter runs are not enhanced with stockers any longer. Am I close? Other than timing, I don't think there is any way to tell a native winter steelie from a summer native steelie. My new fishing partner asked me that question and I have to admit that I did not know the answer for sure. Steve
 
P

plumb2fish

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
1,079
Location
20 sq. miles surrounded by reality
Nov. 1st through May 15th if it has an adipose odfw counts it as a winter. Since odfw believes that historically there were no native summers above the falls they have now decided to allow harvest of the hatchxhatch wilds that exist during the "summer"run
 
L

Letemgo

New member
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
23
Location
Canby, Oregon
That makes sense. So when the progeny of hatchery fish return, they are counted as winter fish because they still have the magic fin? The folks at the counting station record winter and summer fish at the same time. It's becoming slightly more clear than mud. Thanks, Steve
 
P

plumb2fish

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
1,079
Location
20 sq. miles surrounded by reality
Until May 15th that is correct, from may 15th until nov 1st all steelhead are counted as summers.I believe they watch video and have some extrapalation formula i don't think they even do an "ACTUAL" count. This is how they do Bonneville for sure.
 
C

crusty old fisherman

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
95
Location
Eugene
its always nice the way they decide something like that .. ok lets see if we decide there was no summer steelhead in this river then we dont have to plant them wow we save a ton of money look at all the people we can hire to push paper around and do basically nothing.

there are strays in wild populations as well as hatchery populations so any system that had steelhead or salmon in it was bounde to have a small population through out the drainage. as you can tell I am against the wiping out of the native summer steelhead on the willamette and mckenzie systems. let us not forget these rivers were dead rivers in the 50s because portland harbor was so caustic it didn't support life so in reality there are no native salmon or steelhead runs above oregon city falls. what we have are actually a run of native fish started by hatchery plants in the 50s and 60s. even though they arent historic willamette gene pool fish they are still a wild fish population that self sustains it and should be protected. our runs are all thanks to tom mc call and a couple other people that were avid fishermen and went out of their way to write laws that made possible the return of fish populations to the valley

but as for telling the difference between the 2 clipped or no clip the winter steelhead look physically different then the summers also summers are usually long and slender and winters are shorter and thicker
 
P

plumb2fish

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
1,079
Location
20 sq. miles surrounded by reality
Actually according to historic counts at willamette falls, there has been no less than 14,400 springers passing the falls anually 1946-present...The Mckenzie springers are indeed "native". According to the corps of engineers anyway.
 
C

crusty old fisherman

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
95
Location
Eugene
hmm I was told by ODFW that there were never any native steelhead in the mckenzie and in fact the wild fish never went any higher then the calipooia , but then again you can never get the same story twice out of anyone from ODFW or the corps


BTW that story of no wild steelhead above the callipooia is the reason the mckenzie fly fishers are trying to get all steelhead removed from the mckenzie and also the reason they are letting people keep wild fish on the willamette.....supposedly they arent native even though they have a small self sustaining run of wild fish up both rivers
 
Last edited:
P

plumb2fish

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
1,079
Location
20 sq. miles surrounded by reality
I have heard the same thing as far as steelhead go. I was also told that the reason there is a small run of winters in the middle fork is from surplus fish dumped at dexter in the 70's for 2 years that are now self sustaining...
Apparently they have strayed too as there are always a few native winters in the trap at the Leaburg Hatchery in late winter/early spring...
 
Last edited:
P

plumb2fish

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
1,079
Location
20 sq. miles surrounded by reality
Odfw claims that coho are not native but prior to us, the indians painted coho on rocks in the santiams...its all about $ and what people will believe personally I find it hard to believe that springers were the only fish that would travel over the falls...
 
C

crusty old fisherman

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
95
Location
Eugene
well like i said before its hard to gat a straight answer from the corps or ODFW and you will never get the same answer twice from either one.

frankly I believe your right it is all about money. just think of how much they would have to spend to bring back al the runs up the valley that got decimated by the dams in the 40s. I seen an article once that said through eugene there were abundant runs of summer and winter steelhead, spring and winter chinook ,plus coho.

think about how much money they would have to spend to bring back the runs we had historically.

you know the less fish they plant the less money they have to shell out to the tax payers our state is just way to over loaded with non essential employees:with the computer age we shouldnt need 5 secertaries for every managers position and we shouldnt need 5 managers for every bioligist or field workers position, and when you factor in all the unpaid interns and step volunteers ODFW is wasting 80% of their budget on salaried employees that do nothing but shuffle paper around. there is no reason that bioligists can not enter their data straight to the main frame and delete the need for paper shuffelers.

crusty
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom