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Steelhead @ Lower Granite

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Steelhead @ Lower Granite
(Update @ 3 pm 8/1812) We are real tired of writing about the Halstead Fire so we took a break and messed with the steelhead run numbers at four dams. The Lower Granite run numbers actually are pretty close to mirroring the percentages of the run numbers at Bonneville. Yeah, Lower Granite is low, but so is Bonneville. Meanwhile, Ice Harbor continues to be so low it's pathetic. Anyway, all the stuff I posted is too long to post here. It's in the Fishing section of the website:

Happy Fishing, jp

(The update below was put up 8/17/12)
The steelhead numbers across Ice Harbor Dam are so low they aren't worth reporting. The thermal block continues.

You've probably heard all about the Mustang Fire and the Halstead Fire and how they are both affecting The Salmon River. The Mustang Fire in particular is the biggie. It has closed the Salmon River Road from North Fork on down and is wrecking havoc with river runners and local residents.

The "back story" about the evacuation of the stranded river runners came out in today's "Post-Register in Idaho Falls. Seems the Lemhi County Sheriff played a trump card on the Forest Service and put together a convoy to get them out. VERY interesting story! Here's a link to it: Note that it is Copyright 2012 by the Post-Register and may not be used without express permission from them.

Well, we've been thinking about this thermal block thing. Maybe it's a good thing the steelheads are holding up in the Columbia. Even if they arrived early, it wouldn't do anybody any good since you couldn't get down river of North Fork anyway.

Likewise, they say the smoke and ash are so bad from the Mustang Fire it sounds like a real dicey place to be right now.

Now. meanwhile, these fires are progged to burn until it snows, which could be October. If I was a bettin' man, I'd betcha there's going to be problems with the Salmon River Road for weeks to come and it might even slop in the areas up river from North Fork.

Soo..maybe that thermal block isn't such a bad thing afterall. The longer they hang down there in Lake Wallula, the later they come up river and maybe, just maybe, their arrival might be timed for when the fire goes into remission. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Just thinking out loud.

Happy Fishing! John Parsons
(This post was edited by SalmonRiverID on Aug 18, 2012, 1:52 PM)
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Re: [SalmonRiverID] Steelhead stalled by Snake R. thermal block In reply to
As always, that is a tremdous compilation of data, and graphics John! I always enjoy your analysis as well as those included. Thanks for all the time and trouble you went through to produce that, and share it with us. However, I am not as optomistic.

Since I started steelheading back in the Spring of '96 (summer '95 steelhead run), there have only been 3-7 years (depending on which dam you look at) that have looked worse than this. Both the total dam passage as well as the respective Salmon/Clearwater PIT tags look pretty bad to me. Water temps are always an issue this time of year during the steelhead run, and the fish always find their spots to hold up in the Lower Columbia and wait for that warm water to subside before making their big push into the Snake and over LG.

Its the Bonneville numbers that are most troubling to me. I only hope that their "thermal block" has been delaying passage at Bonne to boot. Hate to be a Debbie-downer, but when I look at an article like that, the headline looks more to me like "Don't Not Buy a Fishing License and Steelhead Permit."

Since I live right on the border, I buy a nonres season combo license, S&S tags, and make several trips every year regardless, so it doesn't affect those decisions for me either way. But it doesn't take too much of a mental giant to see that they have taken more of a selling-a-product approach to informing us about the state of our anadromous fisheries in recent years, and consequently, seem to be able to put a positive spin on anything.

Oh, I should probably add the disclaimer that my intent here is not to criticize you John, or anything you said. I am primarily referring to the officials that were quoted. Like I said, I think it's great of you to gather and synthesize all of that information from various sources, and share it with the group. I'm sure everybody will interpret it in slighlty different ways.
(This post was edited by Got_Bait on Aug 9, 2012, 2:55 PM)
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What's the longest block you can remember? In reply to
Hey there, Got_Bait, that was an awesome reply and thanks for the PM's, too. I am posting a reply here on the thread because I'd like your opinion about what's the longest thermal block you can remember. You keep great records and it sure will be great to hear your perspective. The Ice Harbor numbers continue to be truly dismal and downright depressing. It feels like there is no end in sight. The NWS says the heat is going to continue and some think the temps might go 5-10 degrees above normal soon. That can't be any good for the steelhead coming up the Snake. ANyway, just wondering about your ideas and thoughts. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!!! Happy Fishing, jp