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I thought this was worth putting out there for those that haven't seen it.Get involved and join the Native Fish Society.

I was involved with a little discussion on another blog about the North Umpqua and the hatchery program there. In the discussion, people were talking about how the NU is a great river because there are no hatchery fish.Well it IS a great river but there are hatchery fish and they are in the fly water.I made the point that as long as they(ODFW)insist on putting fish in the river, why not raise them in the river? Eggs from wild fish fertilized and hatched in the river will not carry the disease of tank raised smolts and be a much healthier and stronger fish....essentially a wild fish. It is time for a change like Bill says.....I just don't think the state is willing to change very fast. Until they get rid of the hatcheries all together, we need to think about how we can help our wild fish in the presence of hatcheries. Letting wild eggs hatch in the river in real world conditions might be a way to ease out of the hatchery program. My 2 cents. Maybe not the best case scenario(which would be no hatcheries)but it is a step in the right direction and better than pond raised pellet heads. The hatchery program is not going to go away over night people. Any other thoughts?

I would love to hear your comments.

Here is the article:

Reducing Salmon to a Mere Commodity


Published: Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 9:00 AM Updated: Tuesday, August 31, 2010, 11:33 AM

By Bill Bakke

For 150 years, fish managers have assumed that hatchery fish can rebuild declining runs of wild salmon and steelhead. Little thought has been given to wild fish conservation, and hatchery fish spawning naturally in the same streams with wild fish has been considered a plus.

There are two recognized impacts from this thinking. A major concern is the genetic impact that hatchery fish will have on wild fish when they spawn together naturally. Scientific research has shown that this spawning mix results in reduced fitness and reduced reproductive success of the wild spawners. Genetic introgression can change wild fish so that they are poorly adapted to their spawning and rearing streams. Another impact that's emerging is related to the ecological effect of hatchery fish spawning naturally in streams. Hatchery fish compete with wild fish for a finite food supply and rearing space. Hatchery fish also are predators on wild fish and attract other predators, and they can introduce diseases.

It's also recognized that non-selective fisheries targeted on hatchery fish have an impact on wild fish that are mixed in with hatchery fish, a typical situation. Even when there is a selective fishery and wild fish are released, there is a poorly quantified mortality impact on wild fish.

Taken together, these impacts affect the number of wild spawners that reach their home streams and lower their reproductive success. Consequently, hatchery programs are a known constraint on wild salmonid abundance. Wild salmonids are declining along the west coast of North America, and many populations are now protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. These impacts are not effectively regulated, and for that reason there is inadequate protection for wild populations of fish.

Fish management agencies are continuing to contribute to the decline and extinction of wild salmon and steelhead, and that contribution is even more serious than that of land and water management agencies in their determined degradation of salmonid habitat. It's more serious because the fish management agencies are charged with protecting fish, recovery of wild fish and preventing their decline.

Even though we know better, the agencies resist changing hatchery programs.

By ignoring their own research on the interactions of wild and hatchery fish, fish management agencies are failing to do their job by applying the best available scientific information. State and federal fish management agencies have transformed salmonids into a commodity that is produced and harvested. Rather than maintain and protect the productive capacity of these fish populations and the habitats that sustain them across the landscape, they have reduced fish management to a simple industrial model of stock and kill.

Consequently, stray hatchery fish are beside the point. Over-harvesting wild fish is beside the point. Delivering spawners needed to fully utilize the habitat in each watershed is beside the point. These issues and many more will remain beside the point forever unless fish management institutions are accountable for the impact of hatcheries and harvest on wild salmonids.

Fish managers do not consider it in their best interest to improve management for wild salmonids when it could threaten $123.1 million in public funding for hatcheries in the Columbia River.

We've lived with this erroneous institutional commitment for 150 years. It's time for change.

Bill Bakke is executive director of the Native Fish Society.

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Bob Clay on Bamboo

Posted by Mark Saturday, August 28, 2010 1 comments

Bob Clay talking about bamboo rods and some of the newer lines.I had a chance to meet and fish with Bob and his wife on the Dean a few years ago. He floated into camp and fished the camp water with us for a few hours.What a cool dude! He told us about a time when some big grizzlies scared them out of the Giants camp in the upper river. They ended up spending the night down stream in Eagle on a gravel bar. Bob said they left everything....maybe got like one sleeping bag. He fiddled through his coat or vest and found a few matches.They lit a big fire and had a semi sleepless night. They went back to get their stuff in the am and the bears were still there.One had a face full of pancake mix. They threw rocks and scared the bears out long enough to get their things and haul ass. I think they were a little short on food for the rest of the float.......

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Good Eats!

Posted by Mark Wednesday, August 18, 2010 3 comments

Here are some old school skater takes from the Babine.Some good eats for sure.Single handers and neoprene baby! Despite the less than clear water conditions these fish seem to go after the fly with gusto. Some pretty explosive takes and some where the fish just pokes a head  up and eats....cool! Love the triple miss that turns into a full slow mo eat. I get all jittery watching these.

I Love this video. Still some of THE toughest video footage to get. Takes time and patience...and a lot of burned up film.








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Live before you die

Posted by Mark Friday, August 13, 2010 0 comments

 I took the family down to the North Umpqua for a few days and it was a blast! We have been down there with them a few times now.The kids, while still a bit young(3 and 4) to put a rod in their hands, already love the river and all it has to offer.Thus the title of my post. If I waited to take them to all the places that Debi and I know and love, it would be to late. The time is now. Live before you die.We are gonna take them out and show them the things that are meaningful to us. Weather we are rich or poor( were poor now) we are going to live and go and explore and ramble around like my parents did with me. None of us know what tomorrow brings and I don't want regrets about not bringing them up in the outdoors.Or regrets about not doing all the things you wanted to when you were still able to do them.I want them to have the appreciation for the outdoors and to see some of the beautiful places that I have come to know.

 Best buddies


Future Anglers


 My wife has become quite the steelheader and loves to fish a skated fly...on a single hander no less. Right out of the box on Sunday night after we set up camp, Debi is in one of her favorite runs fishing a skater. She makes about 15 cast and gets a solid yank from a fish that would not come back to anything else. I don't know what it is but she is fishy as all get out. She hasn't fished much at all the last few years and she just has the stuff. I can't explain it. Her fish risen/hooked per hour spent on that river is off the chart.

With action right off the bat I think it may be a sign of things to come. The weather was cooler and cloud cover hung around most of the days we were there. We fished good water well and didn't get another sniff the rest of the night.


 Debi about to get yanked in the rainbow rays(loved the lens flare on this one)
 Debi putting in time( getting to the central structure)
 Monday I fished hard all morning taking my pick of whatever I wanted. Light fishing pressure and some lingering clouds extended the session a bit. After exhausting the pools I had planned for my morning routine, I decided to fish some different stuff. I decided to fish a run that is a very hard cast from a very weird position. You are up on a rock cliff about 15 ft in the air, with rock close behind and all around you. I left the single hander in the truck and opted for the 7130 in this instance. The fish hold out at 80+ft and it's a funky off shoulder cast into the frogwater before the current picks up the fly and moves it into the tail. After getting into the very bottom of the V tail out a fish hammers my surface fly and I'm hooked up. About 15 seconds later, the line slacks and he's gone......with my fly. I reel in and look at my tippet. A nice neat clinch knot still attached and the loop that goes around the eye of the hook had broken. I had heard the sound of my fly hitting a rock down below me on one of my lifts and thought"hum, I better check that" I never did and it cost me a nice fish. Operator error on my part but hey, you live and learn right.Not the first time and certainly not the last time I will loose a fish to some sort of failure in my equipment or a mental error or both. I just like to keep them spread out you know. Up until then I had not lost a fish this summer. I haven't hooked a ton but I was batting a thousand up till then.Oh well, that's fishing.

I rose one more fish before we left and it would not come back....one time Charlie we call them. Overall fishing was tough. We had some chances but couldn't capitalize.There just didn't seem to be a lot of fish around. I looked in some favorite spots as the sun was out and did not see the amount of fish I normally would see. There is a run that I have fished for years that hasn't had a fish holding since June. It always holds fish and it is unexplainable why they aren't there.



I always try and run by and see Lee at Bend pool and see what's up. Lee said even fish in Steamboat Creek are holding in weird places. The plunge pools below the Bend pool Lee watches had more fish in them than I have ever seen. A hundred plus in one and a bunch more in some others.300 or so in Bend pool, a hundred or so below that, probably another hundred scattered on the way up. There could be 500 or so up Steamboat Creek by now. Good to see. Also some amazing specimens. Many in the 15-18lb range, yes summer fish do get that large in the NU. Maybe even 1 or two pushing 20. Kind of makes you weak in the knees looking at them swim around in the crystal clear water. Truly a unique viewing opportunity for native fish not found anywhere else in the world. I have seen a few big fish in my years on the river but that is not a fish that you see on the end of the line very often. I want to pet an 18 or 20 lb NU summer run...just for a minute.



Plunge pool below Bend Pool( hard to see but easily a hundred fish in there)



Fish holding in front of the wall in Bend Pool



A hundred+ fish in the upper end of Bend Pool nosed into the cool water coming from Big Bend Creek



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The North Umpqua/ The Jay Nicholas Interview

Posted by Mark Thursday, August 5, 2010 1 comments

I was reading this article again today and thought it would be good to bring it back to the top again. After less than a 2 years, the ODFW is again thinking of how they can harvest wild winter fish on the North. We should have been safe for 4 years before it came up again but it is an issue that will raise it's ugly head again and again. Even though the people have spoken out on the no kill loud and clear(guides and many concerned) they think that they can slip it by us again. They truly believe that they will make so much money off of license sales that allowing a wild fish kill will be profitable for them.The ODFW position is, we have a healthy run, lets kill it. Then they will be able to enhance the fishery and help it rebound by adding hatchery fish to the mix.....another bad idea. The winter run is probably the most healthy winter fishery on the coast of Oregon and on darn near any coast anywhere right now. No one in the Government can think proactively on this.They will try to open up the kill again and our run will dissapear and THEN they will say" Wow man, we better get some hatchery fish in there...that didn't work too well" Unless we all speak out.

It will be something that we will have to fight again.

The article is from 2009 but everything is still pertinent to what's happening today.
Please read this article and be ready to let your voice be heard when the wild winter kill issue comes up again....because it will!


Click here to read full interview....North Umpqua Wild Fish

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