HOOK AND FUR
By Bob Brown
Last December, it was decided the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) would no longer plant hatchery-raised trout in Skate Creek and Tilton River to be incompliance with new state regulations that prohibit the releasing of hatchery raised trout in anadomous waters. Skate Creek and Tilton River are classified as anadomous waters, and both are part of the department’s ongoing salmon and steelhead reintroduction program for the upper Cowlitz River. Prior to the construction of the Mossyrock and Mayfield dams, Skate and Tilton were inherent salmon and steelhead runs to the upper Cowlitz River and its tributaries.
WDFW has been trying for years to restore those runs which the dams blocked, using adult salmon and steelhead caught at Barrier Dam and trucked upstream without much success. The stocking of rainbow trout in Rainey Creek, located near Glemona, was a partial replacement for lost opportunity in the Tilton and Skate Creek.
On June 4, the department released 5,000 catchable-size fish into Rainey Creek, and while that sounds great, public access to Rainey is very limited, and so is parking. It is not a fishery for handicap anglers or for anglers with mobility issues and even for anglers in good physical condition it could be a tough safari because of the walk-in distance to Rainey Creek from Smithbrook/Rainey Creek Road or from Glenoma County Park or off Champion Haul Road, Fishing Rainey Creek would be a challenge even for the most dedicated of anglers and definitely a poor substitute to Skate Creek or the Tilton River.
In other fishing news
* The Columbia River Technical Advisory Committee met June 6 and updated the 2013 upriver spring chinook return…The committee projects a minimum return of 115,000 adults to the Columbia River mouth. The pre-season forecast was 141,400.
* WDFW hatchery crews will be stocking 10,000 triploids in 20 lakes just before Fathers Day weekend, June 15-16. “This is second year we have stocked trout before Father’s Day, and this year we have doubled the number of fish and added six more lakes to the list,” said Chris Donley, WDFW Inland Fish manager. Locally, Clear Lake will receive a plant of 250 triploids; Hicks Lake 250 and American Lake 1,500 triploids. The fish average 1.5 pounds each.
For the ladies
Women can learn the basics of fishing, hunting and other outdoor skills taught by WDFW experts and other certified instructors at a weekend workshop Sept. 13-15. The workshop will offer 20 classes on archery, freshwater fishing, fly fishing, kayaking, big-game hunting, wild edibles, map and compass reading, wilderness first aid, survival skills and outdoor photography.
Located in North Bend, the Camp Washkowitz workshop is coordinated by Washington Outdoor Women WOW is a non-profit program dedicated to teaching women outdoor skills and natural resource stewardship. In its 16th year, WOW is an educational outreach program of the Washington Wildlife Federation. Workshop participants must be at lest 18 years old and have a current Washington recreational fishing license to participate in fishing and fly-fishing sessions.
The fee of $250 includes lodging, meals and equipment. Partial scholarships, provided by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, are available for first-time participants. More information is available at the WOW website or (425) 455-1986.