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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The spawning escapement report for last season is now out. MoE says there was a total of 870 spawners in the system, this is the second lowest escapement in 23 years. Deadman river had only 75 spawners and this is the lowest total ever recorded. Does not look like a very bright future for these fish in the years to come.
 

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That is not the total number of fish that travel thru the system, is it....That would be the resident fish that stayed in the river.......What about all the North Thompson fish that have to go thru the river and the lake to get to their homes, then return. Deadman's is just one location where these fish spawn...........Ortho 8)
 

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Ortho, there are 3 stocks of significance.
Nicola- largest and most important IMO, as they are fully wild stock. These fish are beset with problems as they are early returning and seem to arrive in the lower Fraser just in time for gillnets and then beach seine nets and add in canyon nets. Then there home river is severly drawn down in summer so farmers can grow grass in the desert. Cooks Ferry band mentioned they were to start spearing them with lamps at night again last year, to rekindle old tradition, not sure if they did however.

Bonaparte- these fish were bolstered by removal of a natural barrier and seeded with hatchery fish :eek:, yup hatchery fish, and I've heard they have been doing quite well considering the size of that trib. Up to 900 fish in recent years.

Deadman - I have heard this trib has some counting issues in regards to water clarity in the spring.
The local FN band there seemed very concerned about these fish at some meetings I attended, and were planning to go ahead and do some form of enhancement work on there own. I fully support thta cause in light of a sppring count of less than 100 fish. Although to be honest, counting steelhead on the hompson has been extremely difficult, this coming directly from the lips of the bio in charge of the endevour .

The one year POST tags were used to track their return down the coast and into the Fraser, approximately half the fish were found holed up in the Fraser canyon until the spring.

IMO if the MOE is not capable or lacks the desire to help these KINGS of the Steelhead world, B.C. is obviously going to lose our great runs of fish. With the gill netting of a HUGE portion of last years WILD Skeena Steelhead run to provide UI cheques for commies, catching HATCHERY sockeye no less. The same thing happening down here as there were late sockeye commercial openings, INSANE beach seining for Chum Roe, and a far too long a opening for people snagging salmon(how many steelhead were bonked as people were trying for THEIR SPRING ::). Is it any wonder our Fall run of magnificent Steelhead are facing extinction.
I don't think people truly understand the amazing genetics of these long running SUPER STEELHEAD.
Look at a map some time of the Fraser river and realize that every major river from Hope to deep into the interior once held these starins of Steelhead, known for their large size, sheer power and aggressiveness.
One side note is that Thompson Steelhead and possibly other Upper Fraser stocks are well known to have double the egg carrying capacity of their lower mainland and coastal brethren, this alone could provide a future for their kind. Unless we wait until they are gone to use these genetics.

Can't see a opening this fall with this kinda numbers, whos gonna watch for poaching now.
 

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Thanks, BR........They truly are a magnificent species and you have made some good points for the members.
I caught my first and fourth steelhead in the Allouette River where I lived as a kid. My 2nd and 3rd were Thompson fish and all I can say is I never forgot those battles.....and that was 45 years ago!!.....Ortho 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
fishortho said:
That is not the total number of fish that travel thru the system, is it....That would be the resident fish that stayed in the river.......What about all the North Thompson fish that have to go thru the river and the lake to get to their homes, then return. Deadman's is just one location where these fish spawn...........Ortho 8)
It's the total number of spawners. No fish go above the lake to spawn in the North or South Thompson rivers. Radio tagging and other tagging studies have so far proved this.Studies have shown the few bigger trout caught in the spring time in the North Thompson are Kamloops lake trout.
 

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OK just to clarify, I believe the North T. flows into Kamloops lake and the South T is below the lake and runs down to the Fraser.....There are steelhead in the North T. so I presume they do go thru the lake and up into the NT.NO?...Ortho 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the North and South Thompson join to form Kamloops lake. The river below the lake that flows to the Fraser is just the Thompson. Let's make this part clear,There is no documented proof of any steelhead going above the lake, only salmon, so that means NO steelhead in the North Thompson only rainbow trout.
 

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Does anyone know if a water use plan is being developed to provide th juvenile fish with some water over the summer.
Maybe time to shut down the fishery even though the folks in Spences Bridge will suffer..........
 

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I agree 100%. no sportsmen equals more poaching :'( :'( :'(.Those numbers suck!that explains why they we're so few and far between last season as if i couldn't guess.WTF when is moe or whoever going to make an honest effort to protect the last few great steelhead rivers .
 

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We need to close down the chum gillnet fishery and the fraser canyon gill net fishery. Studies show that close to 40% of all thompson steelhead stay in the fraser canyon past December 31 and then move into the thompson tributaries. Which means they are stuck in a pool with a gill net above them and if they swim to high they get caught. The fish that do make it into the thompson before December 31 will cruise up and down the river until spawning time comes around, then they head into they're home tributary. All this info is from tagging fish in the lower fraser that fisheries does. These fish are the biggest and strongest we have in the lower half of BC. It would be heartbreaking to loose them. We had 5000 spawners at one time and now we're down to under 1000. Something is out of wack, a combination of problems is causing these fish to disapear. And i had to suggest it but if the stocks get to low i think we need to open up hatcheries in the bonaparte, deadman, and nicola rivers. I hope it never comes to this but if it does it's better than nothing. I think all the fisheries that take place during the time when these fish return should be shut down, if u look at what they have to go through its no wonder why we're loosing them, the need to swim all the way back from alaska, down the coast, up the fraser and into the thompson. That is a rediculous amount of area to cover for 1 fish. On the way they pass the queen charlottes and that fishery then either the west or east coast of vancouver island, with another fishery, then up the fraser past commercial gillnetters, and native gillnetters, barfishers and bottom bouncers. Most thompson steelhead are 5 years old, some older, some younger, five years is a long time for a fish to survive in a heavily fished trout "stream" and in a extremely heavily fished ocean environment. If u take into consideration, that from the time they go from the thompson down the fraser to alaska back to the fraser, up the thompson and into the little tributary where they grew up, its not to hard to understand why the stocks are low. Even if we didn't have all these commercial and sport and native fisheries. if u ever hook a thompson steelhead its a once in a lifetime experience. they have so much power its rediculous, had to even explain what they're capable of. Guys these fish are not to be allowed to die, we need to do something about this. Thomspon steelies do almost double what a native lowermainland steely does in its life. Hopefully we can somehow help these fish, and let them continue to spawn and live in their native river.
 

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Well said young gun, well said indeed. A very impassioned plea, and to the point. I was glad to read it and I think that kind of attitude and respect for those fish can only help in the long run.
 

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The North and South Thompson rivers confluence right in the City of Kamloops, which then flows about 2 km and dumps in to Kamloops Lake. Below Kamloops Lake/Savona is the Thompson River. The Thompson flows through Ashcroft, Spences Bridge, and through Lytton until it dumps in to the Fraser River. A couple of friends of mine work for Fisheries and no recorded steelhead have made it to spawn in either the South or North Thompson Rivers. The problem is that the the gravel beds throughout the Thompson River starting from the mouth of Kamloops lake have so much algae and crap covering them now that eggs do not stick to the rocks or gravel. If you've ever fished any part of the Thompson you know it's slippery as hell and that every rock is covered with it. Not to mention the Deadman watershed has hardly any water in it at all, all the time. The outlet where it flows in to the Thompson is at best 6 inches in depth. The gravel beds at the outlet of Kamloops Lake used to house thousands of steelhead and was(and still is) called steelhead park for a reason. Over the past fifteen to twenty years I've fished with long time thompson anglers who have told many stories about how good it used to be and how much it has changed because of it being mismanaged for the last 35 years. I personally think it should be shut down for a couple years and have some in depth research be conducted to see if it makes a difference. Poaching occurs whether the river is open or not, but if it's closed you can't hide if you're on it. Fisheries is up and down that river all the time from September-December, it wouldn't be hard to determine a poacher if it was closed.
 

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i was talkin to a kid on my baseball team who's dad does commercial trolling and gillnetting, and he said they're gonna get another chum opening this fall. But they've shut them down for the springs most of this year. He asked me if i wanna come, i dont know if i should go and fish or if i should go and b**** at everyone that has a thompson steely in their nets.
 

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go and keep'em honest Young gun! You don't have to be a goof but just there lttle voice that makes them do the right thing!



Hotrod
 

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Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't the Chum fishery a roe fishery ? In otherwords, they net the chum for their eggs only and getting some of the Thompson steelies as bycatch ? ???
 
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