Think before you bonk

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Bad Tuna

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This time of year, every year, on all the different outdoor forums people are posing with pics of dark wild fish. I'm not singling anyone out anywhere, if you're already uptight reading this, you're probably part of the problem.
On most rivers, you can keep some sort of wild (unclipped) salmon or steelhead, if it's legal, bright, and you want to kill it, by all means, have at it. If you happen to catch a dark fish, close to spawning, please consider letting it go to make more babies. The dark fish are poor eating quality, even in the smoker, and nobody is impressed with your native spawner. I, for one, am more impressed that someone released a spawner to help keep runs going, than a pic of a dead fish with milt running down it's tail. Please think before you bonk.
 
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Throbbit _Shane

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Hmmm the last fish i bonked was a tad dark but ate great...
 
troutdude

troutdude

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I agree with you BT. Many years ago--when I didn't know any better--I bonked a darkie (also known 'round here as a "soreback"). It was in the smoker for DAYS and never ever cooked up properly and never tasted any good.

Thanks for encouraging peeps to think before bonking! They are NO GOOD TO EAT. And if you release your catch...there will be MANY more bright fish to catch in the years to follow.
 
B

Bad Tuna

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When I was 16 I caught a huge bronze chinook on the Wilson. This thing was a pig! I stopped at Harrys in valley junction, for those who remember him. Gutted and gilled the fish weighed 58lbs, Harry estimated it to be 62lbs live. I remember him asking me why I killed the dark buck. I told him it was too big to let go. As I was loading it in the truck, he gave me the "scoop" on removing large fish genes from the gene pool, especially when a dark fish. As I left he said "enjoy that 60lbs of catfood!". He busted my chops for a year, asking "how did that catfood smoke up?". Never forgot it, and feel bad to this day about killing that fish for no reason than to stroke my ego. I suppose people will always defend the killing of spawners, saying they taste good, anyone who's actually eaten a bright, fresh fish, know better.
 
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TTFishon

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What's funny to me is that the bright fish that one catches and keeps eventually would've became that dark fish that you don't want to keep. In essence it's the same frickin fish! Just sayin. lol
 
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FishFiddle

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What's funny to me is that the bright fish that one catches and keeps eventually would've became that dark fish that you don't want to keep. In essence it's the same frickin fish! Just sayin. lol
I think what they are saying is that the bright fish is at least not a total waste as 'cat food'. I would take it a step farther and encourage the release of all wild steelhead, salmon, or trout. It just feels good knowing that maybe you have contributed to future generations of fish and people being able to catch them. Doc
 
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adambomb

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Most guys probably wouldn't have kept this legal native coho buck. As you can see it ate great!! 004.jpg 006.jpg
 
B

Bad Tuna

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I think what they are saying is that the bright fish is at least not a total waste as 'cat food'. I would take it a step farther and encourage the release of all wild steelhead, salmon, or trout. It just feels good knowing that maybe you have contributed to future generations of fish and people being able to catch them. Doc

Exactly. A bright fish is edible, a dark spawner is of better use back in the stream. Adam, there are always a few dark fish that cut well, your hatchbox origin, Tualatin river Wild fish is an example of that. Also, your fish has a white belly, so its dark, but not a spawner Some springers/summer steelhead might be exceptions to the rule also. The point is to think twice before bonking a wild fish. MOST are not worth eating, but worth a lot on the spawning beds.
 
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metalfisher76

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There may be SOME streams in the NW that you can kill a nate on. Rogue, Umpqua come to mind. MOST is not accurate and hopefully new fisher folk that read this also read their regs before assuming they can kill even 1 native salmon or steelhead.
 
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plumb2fish

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Actually, wild steel is open 1 a day and 5 a year on nearly every major system south of the Coquille for winter steel, as well as above willamette falls at certain times of the year. Wild Fall chinook are legal on all but a handfull of streams on the coast. Wild springers may be retained on the rogue and umpqua. Wild coho may only be retained on a couple of Quota fisheries on the coast and above willamette falls. Don't take my word, read the regs. If its legal to do so, and is with-in your realm of moral judgement, bonk it. My personal opinion is exactly that, personal.....If I am fishing streams with native stocks in them, it is pretty hypocritical for me to say don't kill nates when there is a good chance I have done exactly that incidentally by hooking one.....
 
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metalfisher76

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Actually, wild steel is open 1 a day and 5 a year on nearly every major system south of the Coquille for winter steel, as well as above willamette falls at certain times of the year. Wild Fall chinook are legal on all but a handfull of streams on the coast. Wild springers may be retained on the rogue and umpqua. Wild coho may only be retained on a couple of Quota fisheries on the coast and above willamette falls. Don't take my word, read the regs. If its legal to do so, and is with-in your realm of moral judgement, bonk it. My personal opinion is exactly that, personal.....If I am fishing streams with native stocks in them, it is pretty hypocritical for me to say don't kill nates when there is a good chance I have done exactly that incidentally by hooking one.....

Still, nowhere near MOST of the streams in Or.
 
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Bad Tuna

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I'll stand by my statement, and elaborate. MOST streams open to salmon and steelhead retention, have at least one season that wild fish can be retained. Please consult the regulations before fishing.
 
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JAFO

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You guys are fortunate to have a Steelhead that is even edible. All of the Steelhead and Salmon that we get here are dark, beat to sh!t and not even worth smoking let alone trying to cook one. A 900 mile swim up river is pretty hard on them. It cracks me up to hear the locals talk about how good they are. Believe it or not by the time they get here the meat is actually white. Nasty!
I guess my point is you guys have a choice in how fresh of a fish you can kill. Be greatful and Bonk whatever you think is right.
 
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Mad dog

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I believe every stream in the SW zone is open to some sort of wild fish retention with the exception of the Applegate river. I don't think there is a stream that is open to salmon fishing in the SW zone that you can't keep wild fall chinook on.
 
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metalfisher76

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Just as long as we all look it up ourselves. With the exception of fall chinook, in some streams( can`t keep`em at all, no releases, on my Sandy R.), every section of the book reads a lot like your,
SW zone- -Only adipose fin-clipped steelhead may be kept, except as noted
under Special Regulations for the mainstem Illinois, Chetco, Elk,
Pistol, Rogue, Sixes and Winchuck rivers and Hunter and Euchre
creeks.
• Where allowed, no more than a total of 1 per day and 5 per year
nonadipose fin-clipped steelhead may be taken per year statewide.-

And yep, you guys down south are BY FAR the leader in spots to retain wild fish.
 
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Mad dog

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The Umpqua might soon be going back to the 1/5 wild steelhead limits. Had dinner with a F&W wildlife bio thursday, he had some interesting insight to fish populations in the Umpqua and south coast area's. This years return for the Umpqua basin is estimated to be 40,000-45,000 steelhead! The harvest of wild steelhead on the Umpqua was taken away primarily by 3 or 4 guides that complained to the ODFW about too many large wild steelhead being harvested in the Umpqua system, most of these fish were being harvested by clients of guides from outside of the area. No one showed up at the meeting in favor of keeping the steelhead retention....of course lot's of people are pushing for it now!

I know a bunch of guys that have no problem filling a 20 fish card with wild salmon and Steelhead!
 
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markasd

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Thank BT for bringing this up.. You'll probably get pmed all sorts of BS, but I couldn't agree more with this topic. I used to get upset at dudes on the river walkin' with darkies on there clip - now I just ask if the cats were hurtin' for dinner? Whatever - I think more folks are catching on though.
 
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Throbbit _Shane

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Why does it matter if a person chooses to retain a legal fish?
 
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