Clear Lake Kokanee?

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swan_derek
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Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by swan_derek » Mon May 21, 2018 1:29 pm

IS anyone having luck getting Kokanee in Clear Lake Pierce County? The past few years all I get are trout. Anyone else having much luck?

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Toni
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Toni » Wed May 23, 2018 6:32 am

2016 they were few and bigger than they have been. 2016 was the year that they gave a 10 kokanee limit starting in July. In 2017 hardly any caught. 2018 seem nonexistent.
I would ask Tara Livingood-Schott WA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Area Fish Biologist – Pierce County
(360) 628-4223 cell or Tara.Livingood@dfw.wa.gov
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He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

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Sideburns
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Sideburns » Sat May 26, 2018 8:28 pm

Sadly, similar story and timeline for some small lakes in south king county too.
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by hewesbob » Sun May 27, 2018 12:03 pm

It's not just the westside lakes, here in eastern Washington we are seeing similar results. A couple years ago when WDFG stared cutting back on the limits of Salmon and bottom fish in the ocean and closed down rivers for Steelhead I predicted that more and more folks would start fishing inland lakes for Kokanee, Walleye and anything else they could catch and that prediction has come true. Last year there were folks bragging about taking over 2,000 Kokanee out of Lake Chelan. At the 2017 Kokanee Derby on Lake Chelan over 600 Kokanee were donated to a bird sanctuary for bird food, this year some folks are catching limits now and then but most folks can't hardly get a fish. In my 50 plus years fishing Moses Lake I have never seen over 4 or 5 boats at a time in the mouth of Rocky Ford Creek during Walleye spawn, on one trip there this spring we counted 27 boats in that area all fighting for position. Three years ago my wife and I could go out here on Banks Lake and have our 16 Walleye in 2-3 hours, last year we were lucky to catch 8 or 10 fish all day, this year it has been 3 to 4 fish per day and most folks we talk with can't seem to get a fish. Five years ago you might see a dozen boats any given day on Banks (except holiday weekends) now it's common to see 50 to 75 boats any given day 7 days a week. People seem to think there is an unlimited supply of fish in every lake, I think that is just not true. Most of our lakes are being overharvested and as long as WDFG can sell licenses they really don't care. Well that's my opinion and I'm sure somebody will disagree but that's ok.

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Mike Carey
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Mike Carey » Mon May 28, 2018 7:04 pm

There's no doubt your thoughts reflect the migration of anglers from salmon and steelhead to other fish, in particular walleye and kokanee. Unfortunately it likely won't get better unless salmon and steelhead make a big rebound. and people stop moving to this state. As to changing limits. I can't say if WDFW intentionally don't care, it's not for me to say. I was surprised when they talked about upping the limit to ten kokanee in all lakes. Some lakes that would be fine, others I'm thinking like you it could cause a lot of pressure and decreased catches.
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Toni
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Toni » Mon May 28, 2018 7:22 pm

I know someone on that lives on Clear Lake and the pressure has diminished over the last 2 years and into this year.
The limit for kokanee on this lake was raised to 10 but the lack of kokanee was already in progress when that limit went up. There were already less fish and much bigger. Bigger than they had been in anyone's memory. It was always a "constant" producer, as the fish biologist at the time told me. 2015 brought the lowest level at this lake in 30 years.
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He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

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Sideburns
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Sideburns » Tue May 29, 2018 2:04 am

2015 was also the super hot summer, and equally hot water temps. There were massive algae blooms in my local Kokanee lakes, one nearby private lake even went dry. The last kokanee I caught in Meridian (oddly large fish) was April 8 2016. Thick blobs of algae still floating around the lake from the previous summer. (I also caught a catfish on the surface in 50 FOW) I am wondering if maybe most all of the juvenile Kokanee in Meridian died in the 2015 heat wave or after due to related water quality problems, including the 65,000 fry stocked in July. If Kokanee take 3 years to mature to catchable size, and the 2016 kokanee plants survived, next year's gonna be great! This theory could work for Clear Lake too! I spent a lot of $$$ on kokanee gear, downriggers, sonar, trolling motors etc after the great 2014 and 2015 seasons.... Happy thoughts.....
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Fishin'Daze » Tue May 29, 2018 7:09 am

Yep. Fishing here in western Wa is declining and probably won't get any better any time soon if it ever does.

Soooooo, I thought I would share what has helped me to deal with our current fishing situation.

First of all I'm an avid fisherman - or at least was. I still cherish a good day of fishing but those days are getting fewer as time goes by. I've gotten bored of catching the cookie cutter size trout that for the most part don't taste very good - not that I kept much of them anyway. I now get most of my "fill" of great fishing experiences when I visit SD once or twice a year. Other than that I don't fish as much to the extent I'm thinking about selling my boat.

Here's what I'm doing instead.

Hiking and biking. Since I've started hiking and biking fishing is a low priority - by far. On a nice day I'll take biking over fishing any day. I've quit smoking, lost weight, blood pressure is way down and I just feel way better. Fishing doesn't give you any of these. Plus, to be honest, the lack of fish really doesn't matter as much to me anymore because I've found other more fun activities that has improved my health as I age.

Do I enjoy fishing - yeah- but there are other things in life to do. Go find it other activities you'll be amazed on how little fishing matters. I never thought I would feel this way but hey I now do.

One other thought. Share your techniques and such but don't advertise your fishing areas on sites like these. If you do your basically putting a bullseye on your spots. [thumbsup]

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Mike Carey
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Mike Carey » Tue May 29, 2018 6:49 pm

To each their own.
When I think of all the amazing places I've learned about from other anglers over the past twenty plus years I couldn't disagree more. Life is short and my personal belief is to share knowledge, not hoard it. There's plenty of places to go and explore - if you're willing to be flexible and open to new possibilities. Washington has well over 5,000 lakes in it. Finally, I think we sometimes focus too much on quantity, not quality. I'm happy exploring a new lake and catching 11-12" kokanee. They taste just as good and it's relatively easy to find lakes that aren't over-run with anglers. I invite readers to look back over my reports and check out some of the great places I've fished that had virtually no one fishing on.
Cle Elum...Kachess...Rosinger...Cavanaugh...Sutherland...Spectacle... the list goes on.

BTW, they're not "your spots", they're "our spots".
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Sideburns » Tue May 29, 2018 7:02 pm

My newest Kokanee replacement program has been learning to target Black Crappie in several local lakes (Ive been lazy about reports lately and one small lake Ive decided to keep to myself, because it is likely a fragile fishery and i'm like that) Lake Washington is next in the learning curve. Ive been researching old posts from this site to study up on those monster slabs!
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Fishin'Daze » Wed May 30, 2018 6:08 am

Mike,

As usual your reply is bias (money, kickbacks). If you read my post correctly I was giving other alternatives to fishing. Whatever makes you happy when fishing is great. I for one am not happy just catching 10-12 in. kokes or trout.
That's part of the problem - some are just happy with cookie cutter size fish to catch and call it a "quality" day.

C'mon Mike. Don't see how you think fishing in western WA is a quality fishery anymore. SOOOO.... yeah I totally disagree with your bias response.

Do the rest of you think 10-12 in. fish are "quality"?

Outta here gonna go biking. OH...quit reporting your fishing spots.

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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Toni » Wed May 30, 2018 6:27 am

Maybe we should get back on tract. So no. They are hard to come by. Clear Lake's lack of kokanee isn't from over fishing. Crowds are down. Opening day use to be boat to boat. Not so any more.
Look for Wannafish A Lure on FaceBook
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Mike Carey » Wed May 30, 2018 6:52 am

Love being lectured and insulted all in one post.

The truth is out, WDFW is giving me kickbacks for promoting Lake Kachess...

I don't even understand your term "bias". I didn't say I prefer 10-12" kokanee. I said I'm perfectly happy enjoying a day on a lake and if that's what is available that is fine. Having fished enough lakes now for kokanee on both the west and the east side I understand that at any given time some lakes will produce bigger koks and some smaller. It's not IMO even a function of angler pressure. Anyone that has been fishing kokanee long enough should have that figured out. Case in point - Chelan. For years it put out dinky kokanee, then for whatever reason a few years ago the size exploded. And now the sizes are again going to the smaller range. Meanwhile, Lake Cavanaugh had been putting out dinks and last year some quality 16" fish came out of it.
Good luck finding your Nirvana of lakes that only hold 16-20" kokanee.
Sounds like you're more happy riding your bike. That's great, enjoy what you enjoy.
Here's some more kokanee lakes for members to check out: Rosiger, Mason, Alta, Conconully (both), and oh, Riffe (silvers) is again putting out bigger fish in it's cycle. Enjoy!
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Toni
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Toni » Wed May 30, 2018 7:45 am

Like I said back to Clear Lake kokanee. I got a reply from the fish bio for Pierce County "Thanks for the insight on Clear Lake. I talked with the hatchery guys and they don’t seem to think that the broodstock or rearing conditions have changed in the last few years as all the fish they have released are healthy and look great at time of planting. I also talked with our bio up north covering Skagit, Snohomish and King counties and he is experiencing the same decline in kokanee as we are so climate change would definitely be top on my list."

I pointed out the increasing bass population as well, for predation, but that was ignored
Look for Wannafish A Lure on FaceBook
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by jd39 » Wed May 30, 2018 12:24 pm

I also emailed the wdfw, their Mill Creek and Montesano offices. Sounds like they gave me basically the same response they gave Toni. Pointed at the hot weather in the past changing the food web in local lakes, kokanee are specialists and apparently can't cope when their primary food source is not available, so they starve and die. Trout on the other hand are generalists, will eat something else and live.

I have noticed this year that recently planted trout are getting fat and big fast, just my laymen's observation. I think it's due to not really competing with kokanee for zooplankton/daphnia this year, at least not competing with mature kokanee for this food source.

Little Angle lake in SeaTac has also declined, don't think that little lake gets over-pressured. American lake was a parking lot when it was kicking out limits of 11-12" fish and unbearably crowded like Stevens (in my opinion) when it started producing 14-16" limits. Point being though it kept producing, same with Clear. Pressure is noticeably down at American this year and I've caught 1 kokanee so far this season there and I started fishing regularly in March. I don't bother going all the way to Clear anymore. Don't think pressure is doing it, there'd be more reports and limits being taken over the last few years. These are put and take fish anyway, wouldn't bother me if anglers took every last one from lakes. Otherwise they try to spawn as best they can and die anyway, rather it be in somebody's smoker then rotting at the bottom of a lake or shoreline.

Agree with Mike, get out and explore and I'd rather catch 10-12' kokanee over no kokanee at all. To each their own. Hope recent kokanee plants have found their lakes more hospitable and we get back to good fishing soon, at this point I don't care what size the fish are.

Hope you all have good times catching something this Summer and Fall! Kokanee are my first love but there's other "fish in the sea" so to speak.

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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Sideburns » Wed May 30, 2018 3:35 pm

**Joining a discussion on Kokanee decline and blaming the fisherman for overfishing, telling people to get a life and do something better with there time, pointing the finger of blame at the fishing reports (on a fishing report site), then slamming Mike on his own website would be considered "trolling" in my book. No sense on arguing at this point.

JD39 Thats about as good of an explanation as Ive heard. I too have noticed the resident trout are fat and happy in the small Kokanee lakes.
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Mike Carey » Wed May 30, 2018 6:05 pm

Thank you sideburns...

Toni, did the Fisheries Guy really blame it on "climate change"? If that's the case, check out the recent report from Alta lake. The kokanee there are thriving and bigger than ever.
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Toni » Wed May 30, 2018 6:52 pm

It was a direct quote " " from the email Mike.
Clear Lake kokanee were bigger than they had ever been before it fell to next to nothing.
Clear Lake had always been consistent!!!
Look for Wannafish A Lure on FaceBook
He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

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Mike Carey
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by Mike Carey » Thu May 31, 2018 5:50 am

Toni wrote:It was a direct quote " " from the email Mike.
Clear Lake kokanee were bigger than they had ever been before it fell to next to nothing.
Clear Lake had always been consistent!!!
seems unlikely that a change affecting all the state only impacts certain lakes on the westside. Maybe the kokanee on the east side don't believe in climate change. :fish: :fish: :fish: :fish: [blink] [blink] [blink] [blink]
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Re: Clear Lake Kokanee?

Post by swan_derek » Thu May 31, 2018 6:13 am

Game dept got back to me, very nice lady replied to me. Pretty much said environment is what is possibly causing it, plus some unknowns. They are confused why it is happening in so many lakes.

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