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12 - Priest Rapids Reservoir Report
Washington

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Details

07/05/2017
96° - 100°
Trolling
Sockeye Salmon
Shrimp
Red
Sunny
Spinner
Morning
61° - 65°
07/08/2017
5
2707

With rumors floating around of a sockeye closure, I wanted to get one trip in this year to fill the freezer. As a guide, I rarely get to keep or put any fish in my freezer! Sockeye is one fish I make sure I make time for each year because my family loves eating them! I was able to gather a few buddies up and head to Wanapum Dam and fish early Wednesday morning. We trolled traditional sockeye gear, Columbia basin bait coon shrimp, and hutchie smile blade rigs. The fishing was hot and heavy from daylight until about 8 am, before it slowed way down. Typical of sockeye fishing, the sun comes up and the bite dies! We were 2 sockeye short of our 3 man limit, so I had the guys drop the gear a bit deeper in hopes of getting a few kings to bite! Sure enough on our next pass, we hit our first of two kings to fill the limit! Sure enough, the notice came out shortly after that the sockeye fishery would be shut down, so I was glad I made the 3 am drive to get our fillets!

I know there are a lot of people out there that are angry at the management of this years sockeye run. I am not going to get into the politics of this process, but I understand both sides! For most of the state agencies, it is a no win situation, where no matter the decisions made, some group or party will not be happy. I am of the feeling, though, that the biologist, tribes, public constituents, and all other agencies involved truly want what's best for fish, but have to mitigate through hundreds of other agendas and issues. With that in mind, try to be understanding of the process.....believe me, it is not a job you want! In the end, the closure, whether you believe it was soon enough, not soon enough, should have never opened, etc. etc. was put into place to protect the remainder of the run in hopes of building numbers and strengthen the run in the future. Again, no matter what side of the table you are on, we will ALL benefit from having a large sockeye run. Lets hope that in years to come, we see those numbers grow and can enjoy the great fishery in the future.



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Comments

Fisheries24
7/8/2017 9:21:22 AM
Thanks for the commentary! You are absolutely correct.
rmrauscher
7/8/2017 9:17:26 PM
Absolutely right on the money commentary.
Yakfish
7/8/2017 4:32:58 PM
Well said, thank you. The effects of the 2015 drought on smolt outmigration are to blame. Pray for good water conditions for all - people and fish.
Omkfishing
7/8/2017 6:01:45 PM
Most Sockeye return at age 4 or 5 years old as the spend the 1st year and a half in freshwater before outmigrating and spending 2 or more years in the salt. We won't realize the negative effects of the 2015 drought until 2019 or 2020.
Yakfish
7/8/2017 9:17:48 PM
While sockeye spend 1 to 3+ years in lakes rearing, their stay in the ocean is closer to 2 years, but can be 3 years. Sockeye smolt that outmigrated in the 2015 drought would have spent that, and the next year, 2016, in the ocean feeding. Their migration upstream as adults, with 2 years at sea behind them, is this year's low adult return in 2017. I work with sockeye for work; so am pretty confident that I am telling you, Omkfishing, accurate information. The 2015 drought provided a very early runoff and worsening conditions later in the outmigration when sockeye emigrate from their natal lakes, down their tributary streams to the Columbia River. I hope this is helpful information.
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Available Guide

Available Fishing Guide:
Website: Rising Son GS

Phone: (509) 492-8852