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Sculpin
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 7:37 am 
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80skeys wrote:
So really what you're saying is that they screwed up by ever stocking the lakes in the first place.

Some of the high lakes most likely had fairy shrimp at one time, not sure any do now.  So there was definitely some loss associated.

Note Brian Curtis' personal image, a Trailblazers insignia.  I used to work with Brian's uncle Don, a member of the Hi Lakers.  The Hi Lakers and Trailblazers stocked the lakes mostly before there was a National Park, by carrying up buckets of minnows in their backpacks.  Back then, these were the only folks going to the off-trail lakes.

I'm not going to stand in judgement of any of this now.  It all gets reset in the next ice age anyway.   biggrin.gif

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Between every two pines is a doorway to the new world. - John Muir
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Brian Curtis
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 12:34 pm 
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That's a logical surmise, Sculpin, but in the case of ONP neither the Hi-Lakers nor Trail Blazers had anything to do with the fish. Trail Blazers did pre-date the park (formed 1933, ONP formed 1938), but didn't stock any waters in what is now the park. The TBs were only operating in the Cascades during that era. I have an old article somewhere that was clipped from the Port Angeles paper that profiled a local horse packer who stocked some of what are now park lakes in the early 1930s. A lot of the EB that are still there are from fry plants in that era and that is probably how most of the lakes were stocked. The NPS themselves were regularly stocking fish through at least the 50s and into the 60s but I don't have the old ONP records so I don't know how extensive the program was there.

Hi-Lakers weren't formed until 1963 and they don't stock fish.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Jul 29, 2020 12:46 pm 
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Same story in High Sierra lakes were originally stocked by miners and Shepard’s  for fresh food. Rangers have been trying to get rid of them for decades.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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80skeys
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PostSun Aug 02, 2020 9:15 am 
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You guys know much more about it than me, but if I had to guess I would imagine that any of the alpine lakes that feed into downstream rivers all had native fish in the past. Those downstream rivers have native steelhead, right? This means those lakes at some point had to have native rainbows.

Anyway, looking at a map of the northern part of the area (west of Port Angeles), it looks like several of those rivers have steelhead. So perhaps we'll do a little catch-and-release steelhead fishing the first day, before heading into the Park.

Once we're in the park I'll guess we'll try to do a little trout fishing along the SolDuc River, and at Hoh Lake and Deer Lake. Now, if they're trying to eradicate the trout in the lakes, then that means we would be encouraged to keep everything we catch, right?
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Brian Curtis
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PostSun Aug 02, 2020 1:14 pm 
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80skeys wrote:
You guys know much more about it than me, but if I had to guess I would imagine that any of the alpine lakes that feed into downstream rivers all had native fish in the past. Those downstream rivers have native steelhead, right? This means those lakes at some point had to have native rainbows.

No, that is incorrect. Steelhead populated the rivers from the ocean, not high lakes. How do you think they would have gotten into the high lakes in order to populate the river? They have to come from the ocean and that is why the high lakes never had any native fish.

Yes, it is fine to keep fish in ONP high lakes.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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80skeys
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PostSun Aug 02, 2020 4:12 pm 
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Brian Curtis wrote:
No, that is incorrect. Steelhead populated the rivers from the ocean, not high lakes. How do you think they would have gotten into the high lakes in order to populate the river? They have to come from the ocean and that is why the high lakes never had any native fish.

I have a hard time believing this. Steelhead are the same thing as rainbow trout. It seems to me that where you find the one, you'll find the other. Meaning that if there are steelhead in a river - regardless of whether they arrived there from downstream or from upstream - then there are also rainbows which eventually will make their way into any lakes that that rivers are connected to.

You see what I'm saying? Any bodies of water that are connected are eventually going to get populated with fish if any of them have fish to start with.
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80skeys
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PostSun Aug 02, 2020 4:15 pm 
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Brian Curtis wrote:
Yes, it is fine to keep fish in ONP high lakes.

Cool. Although maybe I'm being overly optimistic. Maybe there's none left in the lakes. And maybe the steelhead population in the rivers is so decimated that it's not worth trying to fish.

Which would be terribly sad if that's the case.
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Brian Curtis
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PostSun Aug 02, 2020 4:58 pm 
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80skeys wrote:
I have a hard time believing this. Steelhead are the same thing as rainbow trout. It seems to me that where you find the one, you'll find the other. Meaning that if there are steelhead in a river - regardless of whether they arrived there from downstream or from upstream - then there are also rainbows which eventually will make their way into any lakes that that rivers are connected to.

You see what I'm saying? Any bodies of water that are connected are eventually going to get populated with fish if any of them have fish to start with.

All the rivers in ONP eventually get too steep or have falls that are too high for fish passage. After the last ice age fish were only able to colonize as far upstream as the first fish passage barrier. All the high lakes in ONP are above fish passage barriers so trout had no way to get to any of them.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Ski
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PostSun Aug 02, 2020 6:05 pm 
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^ correct.

80skeys wrote:
"...maybe the steelhead population in the rivers is so decimated that it's not worth trying to fish...."

The resource has been hammered almost to the point of non-existence.
The Queets right now is running at 808 CFS, which is almost "normal" for this date based on previous records. It's a bit low, but not as bad as some previous years.
The summer-runs won't start moving up until they smell the rain hitting the river, though, so with the lack of any significant rainfall over the last three or four weeks, it's doubtful you will see a lot of action
I rarely even bother to pack a rod up there any more - I prefer to leave them alone and hope that the few that do return manage to survive long enough to get farther up and spawn.

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timberghost
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PostSun Aug 02, 2020 7:03 pm 
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Brian doesn't the direction of fish inhabitating NCNP depend on the direction of the Superintendent? Of which it seems to have changed direction couple of superintendents.
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Brian Curtis
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PostSun Aug 02, 2020 7:52 pm 
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timberghost wrote:
Brian doesn't the direction of fish inhabitating NCNP depend on the direction of the Superintendent? Of which it seems to have changed direction couple of superintendents.

In NCNP some fish stocking is allowed and that makes the situation very different from ONP or MRNP. There was an EIS that guides the process and a law passed so that fish can be stocked there and that should take it out of the hands of the superintendent. As a practical matter the superintendent must have some influence. For instance, this year no fish will be stocked in the park because the pandemic has caused so many issues.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Pyrites
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PostSun Aug 02, 2020 11:19 pm 
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Back to original question. There are fish to catch in some of the lakes. Not in others. In a few lakes easily visible fish are near impossible to catch, at least by me. At others you can quickly catch a few fish.

Remember Lake Quinault is on the Reservation, not the Park.

My rule. Never plan on fish for dinner.



Good luck.
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Ski
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PostMon Aug 03, 2020 1:46 am 
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Pyrites wrote:
Never plan on fish for dinner.

no way!  dizzy.gif


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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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80skeys
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PostMon Aug 03, 2020 6:24 am 
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Pyrites wrote:
My rule. Never plan on fish for dinner.

It seems this has been the case on the west coast U.S. for the past two to three decades at least? I first became aware of this in 2007 in Stanley, Idaho, where the locals said there had been no salmon runs in the river for many years, due to construction of dams along the Columbia river and other rivers on the west coast. Then I became further aware of it moving to California ten years ago, trying to fish the state, going to lakes, rivers, streams, and eventually realizing that any local fish populations that once existed here are pretty much all but gone.

This was a shocking awakening to me. Coming from New Mexico and Colorado which still are good for trout fishing. But the human population in those two states, especially New Mexico, is far less than it is in the West Coast states.

I don't bother fishing California at all anymore.
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timberghost
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PostMon Aug 03, 2020 8:52 am 
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Well you can thank the TBer's for the ability to catch alot of the fish in the the high mtn lakes along with some lowland lakes.
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Forum Index > Trail Talk > questions about fishing Olympic National Park/Forest
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