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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 12:28pm - Mar 13,10
Posts: 68
Location: Hammond, IN

Post Posted: 04:49pm - Nov 23,10 
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Just got back to LA from a trip to see my cousin in Oregon. I was in search of giant salmon and numbers, but perhaps I didn't do my research. I guess the big kings go to Snake River Idahoe. Then there are kings running all year. I guess the spring Chinook are big too. I don't know. Anyway, in a nut shell I found a lot of fish that just seemed average size to me. The coho's were extra big. The terrane was very rough and steep. I was mostly in Hood River in the Columbia River Basin Gorge. It was hard to find places to fish without killing yourself to get to the river only to find them very fast and white water rafting material. Then there are the rules......

Only single hooks in some streams
Leader length have to be so long and not too short
Hatchery fish only can be kept identified by a clipped adapose fin, but this does not apply to hatchery chinooks for some reason.
Washington State does not clip their hathery fish and there are a lot of strays so you might catch a hathchery but not know it
Some rivers are open and some are closes
Rivers that are open have rules where you can only fish certain sections at certain times of the year.
All fish that are kept must be documented on a hatchery tag, you have to write the fish type location, and size, but you have to enter certain codes for the type of fish and river.
If you fill a tage then you have to buy another for 17 dollars
Regular licences cost 110 for the year 60 or 60 for a 7 day.
No live bait
The list went on and on.

I was so upset and confused. I caught 19 fish on the trip and was only allowed like 3 out of the 19 because everything else was wild. What a rip off! The penalties are outraggeous too. I am so turned off to that damn state. So what about The Columbia? Oh the main Channel is on The Washington side according to my cousin so that was not a place able to be fished grrrrrr. He was arrogant in his techniques and kept saying what I did only works back home. I prooved him wrong on the last day when I caught 12 fish in 1 hour and 45 min on a 1/16 oz black jig and a 1/32 white jig. In any case unless you really want to go to the Pacific Northwest, be forewarned of the regs. I knew they would be bad but boy was I in for a surprise. Never saw that 5 ft Chinook either, supposedly they went over the damn a week before I got there and were not heaed to the rivers I was fishing. I got a 38 inch Chinook there, but I have caught those back home so nothing exciting as in high 30s or 40 or 50 lbers for me. We also had no running water so that made thinsg annoying too. Anyway, been there done that, ready to go abck home where there are lost fo friendly people and less annoying rules.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 11:42pm - Nov 21,05
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Location: Batavia & Coal City, IL; 17' '85 Ranger 335-V Bass Boat w/ 115hp Evinrude. Let's go fishin'

Post Posted: 05:16pm - Nov 23,10 
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Sorry to hear ya weren't able to enjoy your trip. I'd encourage ya to not give up on it. Based on my experience there, I'd go back in a heartbeat.

We fished with a guide for salmon and a guide for walleye. I highly recommend them (their info is in this post)...

viewtopic.php?f=97&t=33501

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 12:28pm - Mar 13,10
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Location: Hammond, IN

Post Posted: 05:58pm - Nov 23,10 
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Ya I guess in different conditons it could be better. I wanted to try the Columbia, but my cousin who is a fisheries biologist gave me the old yeah well that's something else. But it sounded great. Good smallmouth bass too and in May according to the calendar at Bonneville Dam the American Shad run I guess May or June would be a better time to go there. Maybe I should delete this post, since maybe my experience was not a good reflection of the state, it was just my opinion of how I saw things, but regardless there are a lot of stipulations that can turn anyone off lol.

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Joined: 12:03pm - May 9,06
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Location: Lake County

Post Posted: 06:48pm - Nov 23,10 
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Wait, so you caught how many fish in an hour and 45 minutes? HOW big was your biggest King? And you're dissappointed because you couldn't keep most of them? Your cousin is a fisheries biologist and you still didn't know the regs or fishing situation before you got out there? And it's the state's fault?

Guess I'm just confused as to the point of your post...

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Joined: 12:35pm - May 30,07
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Post Posted: 07:20pm - Nov 23,10 
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The north west has a lot of regs for a good reason. It is much different over there salmon is threatened, water in general is.

Actually, minus the confusion on regs, sounds like you had a great trip. Then I again, I don't mind rough terrian to fish in and I wouldn't keep dinner unless it was lunch that day.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 11:53pm - Aug 29,06
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Location: Burbank, Ill

Post Posted: 09:58pm - Nov 23,10 
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$8 Billion dollars has been spent in the Pacific Northwest to try to recapture salmon numbers that were present before the final 4 dams were installed on the Snake River in Eastern Washington/Idaho.

Salmon used to swim backward, (faces pointing upstream) all the way to the sea in one to three weeks. The Coulmbia/Snake is now simply a series of slow moving, WARM impoundments that take the fish as much as three months to navigate to the sea. Each dam kills 15 to 20%.

That $8 Billion dollars represents the largest expenditure for any Endangered Species in America to date, and no end in sight. They actually spend hundreds of millions trucking and barging salmon downstream to the sea each year to mitigate the survival rate issue.

THAT also causes problems. Salmon need the natural journey for imrinting and return knowledge.

The fish had been holding their own in spite of the 4 massive dams on the Columbia. Those are the ones that create huge amounts of electricity and were also designed for flood control and irrigation.

The smaller 4 on the Snake were added in the late 60's, early 70's as an afterthought to make Lewiston Idaho an inland seaport to remove the regions grain. That grain had been effectively transported for years by rail. The Corps or Engineers, Congress and even President Eisenhower weren't eager to do this but, the grain lobby won.

None of these small dams were made for flood control. Only one provides irrigation for farming; a very paltry 37,000 acres that could be accomplished without the dam. All 4 are small energy producers that generate most of their power in early spring when that power is NOT needed and is usually sold to California/Nevada and arizona.

Inside one salmon life cycle, the returning numbers of salmon crashed and have been that way since. Three strains of salmon/steelhead have been rendered extinct, and ALL the rest are listed endangered.

These are the fish that make the longest and highest migrations on earth to spawn and continue their species. They travel as far as 800 miles inland from the sea and 8,000 feet to their birth streams.

The grain shipped to the coast is subsidized at about $4,000 per barge (2002 figures) and 90% of the grain heads to Asian markets with little benefit to us, the taxpayers who paid for and continue to operate/maintain them.

The dams collectively have destroyed 90+% of salmon spawning habitat. The exception is the "Hanford Reach", where salmon can make a left turn north, in front of the dams to the Hanford region.

Remembering that the same strains return to their birthplace, guess why 100 pound salmon are gone! Many of those strains are in areas that are dammed.

Whole seasons of salmon fishing have been halted in California, Oregon and Washington in the last four years because of poor returns. I'm surprised that none of this was pointed out to you by your knowlegable relative. There is good reason for their regulations.

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Joined: 12:49am - Feb 14,10
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Post Posted: 12:23am - Nov 24,10 
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19 fish and a 38 incher???

I'm with Tiny on this one!!!

Sounds good to me.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 06:35am - Apr 18,10
Posts: 33
Location: Winthrop Harbor

Post Posted: 06:14am - Nov 24,10 
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Looks like Lake Michigan is heading in the same direction

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Joined: 11:42pm - Nov 21,05
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Location: Batavia & Coal City, IL; 17' '85 Ranger 335-V Bass Boat w/ 115hp Evinrude. Let's go fishin'

Post Posted: 07:10am - Nov 24,10 
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Jayson, thanks for leaving the post as it is. If you had deleted it, I for one probably never would have had any idea of the issues they are dealing with there. I simply hired a couple guides and was oblivious to all the regulations as they had it covered. You did it the hard way. You went to a place you have not fished before and figured out how to catch fish.

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Joined: 10:33am - May 14,08
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Post Posted: 10:08am - Nov 24,10 
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There is a little state a bit farther north called Alaska where I've had pretty good luck on most of my trips there.

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Joined: 05:58pm - Jul 3,04
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Location: Wood Dale

Post Posted: 11:29am - Nov 24,10 
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When I was working out in Seattle in 1999-2000, I took a charter, to see what I could learn. What I learned is how AWESOME the Lake Michigan fishery is. On Puget Sound, the limit was one fish per person. You are limited to one rod per person, with one bait per rod, and that bait can only have one, barb-less hook. You have to contend with sea lions and orcas that want to steal your fish, and you have to be careful when pulling up your rigger balls, in case a jellyfish got snagged on the cable.

The Sound was also divided up into "zones" that have open and closed seasons. To put it in terms we would understand, imagine if you could fish for salmon from May 1st to May 21st, between the IL/WI border and Great Lakes Navy Base. The rest of the water is closed season. Then, from May 22nd thru June 15th, you could fish from Navy Pier to the R-4 and all other water is closed season. That is how it works.

If you do not hit the "run", there are no fish to be had and, if you do hit the run, then there are so many boats that fishing is almost impossible. Add to that the cost of an out-of-state license. I also learned that, even with all the hills (mountains!), they do not salt the roads in the winter. The reason is that the salt would create run-off that kills the salmon streams. We are so spoiled here. I just hope we can hang on to what we have and not lose it to invasive species, industrial pollution and governmental neglect.

Jerry
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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 09:03pm - Jul 29,03
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Location: SWWashington

Post Posted: 10:01pm - Nov 24,10 
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You missed the Columbia run that is really large Aug and Sept. As for the regs yep they suck. Washington hatchery's clip all fish some tribal hatchery's don't. Lake Michigan has a put and take fishery.
Where do you think that rivers in mountains should be easy to get to. I use great lakes fishing tactics all the time. I would love to fish 2 rods but there is a lot of state that only one rod can be used.
Most guys that catch 19 fish on one trip are happy. As for fish size I've had fish up to 38 lbs landed and lost one that I seen over 60 and many that tore me up that I never seen and Coho to 19 lbs.
Sorry you had a bad trip but you weren't skunked and had a little rock climbing added in for free. The big fish here and now are in Tilamook Bay and they get chinook there in the 50 lbs range every year.
Noodlerod Waukegan native now Vancouver Wa. is home.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:59pm - Jun 3,03
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Location: N. Side Chicago

Post Posted: 04:00am - Nov 25,10 
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The grain shipped to the coast is subsidized at about $4,000 per barge (2002 figures) and 90% of the grain heads to Asian markets with little benefit to us, the taxpayers who paid for and continue to operate/maintain them.

Little benefit? Helps pay back the trillions in debt from all the fiasco's that those Asians are holding.

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Location: Batavia & Coal City, IL; 17' '85 Ranger 335-V Bass Boat w/ 115hp Evinrude. Let's go fishin'

Post Posted: 08:12am - Nov 25,10 
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What is the status of the stergeon there?

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Location: SWWashington

Post Posted: 12:07pm - Nov 25,10 
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The sturgeon fishing can be Hot. And yep there is a slot limit on them to. my biggest is just over 11' long and helped land a 12+ footer.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 05:36pm - Mar 30,08
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Location: Highland, IN

Post Posted: 03:13am - Nov 26,10 
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Jay, I knew a guy once who was only happy when he ws mad. Did you fish any steelies while you were out there? I have freinds who fish the clearwater and grande ronde that show me pictures of some awesome fish. I personally dont mind the rules out west the water and fish are better quality even if the numbers aren't as high. From my experiences out there each river has its own fish- -Ive fished rivers where the average coho was under 8lbs and Ive been places where 16lbers were common. I will agree that its fun to beat up on fish using midewestern techniques when the locals are getting skunked. When cohos shut off in the river, I've seen small jigs out fish spinners and eggs by huge margins. I can't believe you couldnt find some old timers "plunkin" below the dams or somewhere to hang out with. Or try hoglining some time. Its a bunch of boats gunnel to gunnel strung across a hole fishing plugs, a lot like pier fishing.

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Post Posted: 08:39am - Nov 26,10 
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Well said southshore

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Location: Batavia & Coal City, IL; 17' '85 Ranger 335-V Bass Boat w/ 115hp Evinrude. Let's go fishin'

Post Posted: 06:35pm - Nov 26,10 
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Noodle Rod wrote:
The sturgeon fishing can be Hot. And yep there is a slot limit on them to. my biggest is just over 11' long and helped land a 12+ footer.


A 12 ft sturgeon! That'll tip the canoe. :D

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Joined: 12:28pm - Mar 13,10
Posts: 68
Location: Hammond, IN

Post Posted: 03:13am - Dec 13,10 
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Thanks for all of the interesting comments guys. I am in Malaysia again....don't ask me why I came back here...that is another story. Sick n trying to get well, and these posts were fun to read. Um yeah, I have to hit Alaska some day like how some of you guys do. I will be psyched for crazy regs there too lol. I only went to Oregon cause my cousin lives there. I guess I was just mad about the restirctions cause of the cost of the trip. I can catch and release just fine. I didn't go on that trip with that mind set though. I didn't know the regs would be so bad. Yes, my cousin knows all the regs, but he is one of those people that just assumes you know things lol, like how he assumed I knew all the roads there when he would mention this and that place. Yes, looking back it was a great trip. We did fish for steelhead, infact that was all my cousin wanted to fish for. He would be mad to use his hatchery tag on a salmon that isn't as silver. One day when the steelhead would not bite, I threw on a big J9 rapala. My cousin said, "yeah that might work" but, the experession on his face was that of; what the heck are you doing? He grew up fishing Lake Michigan, but relocated out there. As it got dark, bam I got a steelhead right at the shore. I couldn't even see! I thought it was a small trout and then there was that hard thumping. Then there was the bobber fish. My cousin said you had to float the bobber with a perfect drift. I understand that...but I cracked up when a big steelhead hit as I was reeling the bait in. Then I hit one on spawn with a split shot, and one on a blue fox number 4. That's it for now. Just wanted to send a quick reply back here. Hope to get back soon for powerlining season! Until then good luck with those winter browns! Merry Christmas!

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Location: west Burbs

Post Posted: 06:14pm - Dec 15,10 
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having previously lived in the NW for 8 yrs, I can tell you that when conditions are right, the fishing is astounding. I have told the story of monster salmon in a tiny creek just east of Gresham in Portland's burbs, I could have just reached down and scooped one up on the spot. Not a zombie fish, either. But like I said... burbs. The waters there are much more threatened than ours. They are salmon-crazy there, spending hundreds of billions of Federal bucks on a run that might total anywhere from 60,000-300,000 fish. I do not envy anyone having to try and administrate that crazy quilt of various laws from multiple jurisdictions and tribal treaties. The control over sturgeon fishing is even more intense.

Lake Washington is improving for smallmouth, the largemouth are nearly ignored (no lunkers there anywhere)... yeah, I like IL fishing much better, personally.

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