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rainbow fishing in lake roosevelt

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:39 pm
Went out today after a long while and the fishing was slow but was able to catch two nice size rainbows. One was a native aka wild fish which was hooked in the jaw and easily removed. the fish was released and was in good shape as it swam away , it was 20 in and approx. 4lb fish. The second fish was a fin clipped 18 in and went into the cooler. The second fish was hooked very deeply and required extensive surgery to remove the hook. Now if the first fish had been hooked like the second fish I would not have released it in that shape,it would be like throwing it away for nothing....What would you do?

Re: rainbow fishing in lake roosevelt

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:20 pm
by SeaDawg
Depends on what the regs were for that area. But also.... I really don't totally buy in on the whole clipped fin process for trout or salmon. I'll bet that a whole lot of "fin-on" fish caught are really hatchery fish that just didn't get clipped. But then...… I'm a firm believer in conspiracy theories!

Re: rainbow fishing in lake roosevelt

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:35 am
by HaweaterHal
This certainly true in Canada as only about 10% of hatchery fish are clipped.

I think that catch and release of any kind of endangered fish stock is dumb as a large % of the released fish will die.
On the BC coast people will catch 20 Coho on a good day looking for 2 hatchery fish.
The result is a lot worse than if they kept the first two and stopped fishing.

Re: rainbow fishing in lake roosevelt

Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:25 am
by SilverFox
The rule in Roosevelt is any rainbow trout (kokanee are excluded in Roosevelt), native or not, with an intact adipose fin must be released. This change was enacted Dec 2016 by way of "pamphlet change" aka poor dissemination of the change.

Yes, there are non-native rainbow trout with intact adipose fins, but per the rules, they cannot be retained. Roosevelt is not stocked in the sense most lakes are, instead, the fingerlings (actually larger), are obtained from the hatchery and reared in suspended net pens throughout the reservoir before being released in early spring. I spoke with representatives from the net pen project last year and they told me the mis-clip rate is about 2.5% which seems pretty good considering fin clipping at the hatchery is done by hand.

Can be a tough ethical call for an angler when you know the fish won't survive. The upside is, this scenario isn't all that normal since the majority of trout are caught by boat anglers trolling 2mph or better, but it does still happen.

The pamphlet covers general guidelines for hook removal that may or may not be effective. I use a knotless net, try my best to quickly remove the hook (in the water if at all possible) and get the fish back in the water. Even with best intentions and effort some will be lost. The eagles quickly take care of that.

I very rarely have a situation where a trout is hooked badly because very rarely troll under 2.5mph. Can probably count on one hand the number of times in 13yrs fishing Roosevelt where I've experienced that situation.

Re: rainbow fishing in lake roosevelt

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:00 pm
by Jim Dandy
As I don't kill a lot of hatchery fish, release most especially on the Columbia if their not bleeding, except summer chins, so the whole hatchery/wild thing is not a normal concern.

On my first tuna trip this summer I was actually looking for adipose fins.....force of habit.... :doh: (Their all wild btw)

What we see are a lot of are partial clips, now if I kept more hatchery fish it would bother me more, fins cut by a laser as the fry are shot thru a tube, not an exact science I guess.

It just gets old playing fish, like during my summer Chinook fishery, and instead of enjoying the moment your just focused on whether it has a fin or not.

I'll tell you what, you keep an illegal fish and your asking for trouble. You might get away with it, but is that little 3lb trout worth losing your boat.

This happened to my Uncle.....about 15 years ago.

We have a big winter-run fishery on the Chehalis R (The Chehalis watershed is huge).... its mostly a muddy water on anchor egg show, as most of the fish come on the big freshets...and we're targeting the lower river... now I'm talking 20 plus fish days at times, really big numbers...lots of fun. Some monster 20 plus pound red stripe wild SH in the mix
during Jan thru early Mar too. Most fish are 7-12 ish lbs.

Anyway, we were straight up legal at all times, only keeping a hatchery bleeder or a few hatch females most trips just to keep us in fresh cured sodium sulfite eggs day to day. So that's how it went season after season, fish the high waters on.down, big numbers, yada yada.

Hardly ever see another boat.....paradise.

Well paradise, was about to go to hell.

One year there was a lot of killing of wild fish, locals were doing it....finally the FnG started watching the river closer, including the area we would run our jet boats and anchor up. Some plunking shacks in the area too....this area has an access road due to the Nuke plant water pump houses, the cooling towers for the nuke plant, was never finished, you can see from the highway headed to Aberdeen. So this area does have a few bankies...the ones that were killing wild fish.

So one day my two Uncles made a trip, I didn't go on that one, but it was a normal trip, good fishing, but at the end of the trip they caught a little wild SH that was bleeding out and for some asinine reason they decided to keep it....(only fish they kept, released about a dozen other hatchery and wild fish that trip as shown on FnG videos.... ;) )

Bad Things are about to happen.

So with their illegal fish onboard they ran back up to the Fuller Bridge ramp, and there was 3 Fish n Game rigs waiting for them.

What they didn't know was they were being watched that whole trip, including video taping.

As soon as they hit the ramp FnG immediately swarmed the boat, they ask one question, did you keep any wild fish. Long story short, my Uncle's explained why they kept the fish, ect. IT DID NOT MATTER. "But....We released a dozen SH....including Wild SH.."..IT DID NOT MATTER....My Uncle that caught the fish was put in handcuffs, his boat and tow rig were seized.

Keeping that little bleeder SH cost my Uncle over 10k in legal fees and fines. He lost his license for a year, he didn't even get his boat back for 6 months.

I trust my Uncle, he has never lied to me, I'm also a big supporter of Law Enforcement, but, according to my Uncle, those arresting Officers made up some BS about what they did at the hearing, they set out to make an example of him and they fabricated some things to make things seem worse. This hung over his head for 10 years. This guy is a Saint on the river, just made a stupid choice. time anyone has thoughts of keeping that little bleeder, is it worth losing your boat and thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees.

I'm no angel, forget to pinch barbs sometimes, whatever, and I look
long and hard sometimes at those big 30lb plus wild summer chinook, but you'll never find an illegal fish on my boat, just not worth it.

Re: rainbow fishing in lake roosevelt

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:50 am
by SilverFox
I hear you Jim, and since the rule went in effect, not one single "native" trout has been retained on our boat. I put quotation marks around "native" because there's no doubt when you catch a net pen fish, especially early in the season, as the pectoral fins are well worn from rubbing against the net. Sometimes the pecs are nubs, most appear stunted or half the normal size. I've caught several in my time fishing Roosevelt, but since Dec 2016, even though I can determine with >90% certainty I'm looking at a non-native trout with an intact adipose (mis-clip) they go back.

You catch a native trout, do everything possible to protect it, revive, and get it back in the water, and it still goes belly up. I've chased 'em down, slid them in the net and idled along trying to resuscitate, then gently remove the net and hope they swim away. Think I've only lost one since 2016, and the eagles are there in a flash (edited my prior post because I left eagle out of a sentence). Cycle of life.

Suppose if one were badly hooked and knew I couldn't remove lure or fly, I'd cut the line at the mouth and let it go. Can't be held responsible doing that as that's what the handling rules say to do. I have to keep reminding myself these aren't bull trout, dolly varden, salmon, or steelhead. :roll:

The triploids are much better table fare and I'd just as soon not catch a native for that reason alone. :reeling:

Re: rainbow fishing in lake roosevelt

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:05 am
by RFT
SeaDawg wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:20 pm
Depends on what the regs were for that area. But also.... I really don't totally buy in on the whole clipped fin process for trout or salmon. I'll bet that a whole lot of "fin-on" fish caught are really hatchery fish that just didn't get clipped. But then...… I'm a firm believer in conspiracy theories!
I completely agree with you on this Dawg

Not up on the regs for Roosevelt but if its the whole clipped unclipped B.S. fiasco then technically you would of had to throw it back. I would have. Doesn't make sense in that situation but not worth the hassle.

I could just picture fishing with my wife in this situation. I'm sure we would have had a "disagreement" :cussing: :biggrin: over this :rofl: with me trying to explain the logic behind why I released a dying fish when there really isn't a logical reason except that we want to keep our boat and the "the man" is watching. (picture her head popping up and looking around) :rofl:

Re: rainbow fishing in lake roosevelt

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:51 am
by SilverFox
To add fuel to the fire, I head a rumor late last year the rule might be lifted. Haven't seen or heard anything more since. Oh, and salmon reintroduction above Chief Joe and Grand Coulee dams will soon become reality.

Re: rainbow fishing in lake roosevelt

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:33 am
First I would like to say I,m a firm believer in rules and regs, when the speed limit says 60 I do 60....I have not knownly kept a native fish after the rule change...but with having to chose between letting a terminal fish go with or without a hook still in it (eagles beware of hook) I think I lean towards terminating the fish , removing the hook then let the eagles or whatever deal with the fish overboard and I know that regs say. Yesterday we went bank fishing( 15 min and line in the water where we are) and caught 3 three rainbows 16-18 in and the first thing the wife asks is ;is it clipped? All 3 were hatchery fish and had swallowed the fishing mortality on native fish must be near 90% .

Re: rainbow fishing in lake roosevelt

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:55 pm
by Jim Dandy
If I find myself in a high mortality fishery I don't fish. I could CnR Steelhead all summer long on the Columbia if I choose to do so. I choose not to fish due to fish recovery in warm water, and just playing fish in general in warm water stresses them too much, even in cold water for that matter.

We use to use light noodle rods, 4lb test and small chunks of pink dyed prawns for summer SH back in the day. We never handled the fish, simply cut the line to release fish. Until one day on the upper Toutle in cold clear water, we found several dead SH with our leaders hanging out of their mouths on a gravel bar on our walk back downstream. Those fish were never takin out of the water, just line clipped when they got close. That ended our light line C n R fishing, the stress of a long fight was killing some of those fish.

If you want to see a REAL waste of resources take a salmon charter off the coast for Silvers when its hatchery only and the mark rate is 25%.

Time for my Cowlitz R. Silver fishery, they will not be released.