Kalama river... Where are the trout?

DerekWhipple

Steelhead
What's wrong with catching a few whitefish?

The Cowlitz and Kalama are your only SW WA options this time of year for trout, pretty much everything else is closed. Cowlitz is open all year for cutthroat because of the hatchery program, and Kalama is open all year for trout because... well, I'm not sure why, but it is. McKenzie and Middle Fork are the rivers on this side I would consider "good" fishing.

Also, I don't know about Washington, but in Oregon, you are effectively allowed to fish for whitefish year round because according to regs they are "open during trout, salmon, or steelhead seasons". If it's open to any of those three, it's game on for whitefish. They are always fun to nymph up when you can't catch much else.
 
Mckenzie, certain forks of Santiam and willamette, clackamas, and anything that comes off the coast range in to the willamette. Those are all really good trout streams.
I guess that makes sense, alot of the rivers that come directly off glacial sources maybe arent necessarily the best. There arent many decent trout streams that come directly off Mt. Hood for instance, I think White River being an exception and the one fork of hood that has native bulls. I guess anything that comes directly off st. helens or rainier might be similar, unless maybe its a tailwater? IDK...
Thanks for the input! All part of the learning process.
I grew up outside of Salem and still fish the Willamette zone pretty regularly with my dad. I would also note that a big difference between the Oregon streams you mentioned and any of the streams up here in Western WA is that Oregon has a pretty robust stream stocking program and puts thousands of trout in those streams every spring. As best I can tell, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, Western WA has minimal, if any, stream trout stocking.
 
I grew up outside of Salem and still fish the Willamette zone pretty regularly with my dad. I would also note that a big difference between the Oregon streams you mentioned and any of the streams up here in Western WA is that Oregon has a pretty robust stream stocking program and puts thousands of trout in those streams every spring. As best I can tell, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, Western WA has minimal, if any, stream trout stocking.
Do they stock streams in Oregon? Most of the rivers i mentioned have reservoirs that get stocked, but i didn't think they did any stream stocking.
The Cowlitz has a sea runcutthroat stocking program, from what i understand.
 

Stonedfish

Known Grizzler-hater of triploids, humpies & ND
Forum Supporter
Stocking streams with trout is pretty much a thing of the past in Washington.
SF
 

Pink Nighty

Life of the Party
I grew up outside of Salem and still fish the Willamette zone pretty regularly with my dad. I would also note that a big difference between the Oregon streams you mentioned and any of the streams up here in Western WA is that Oregon has a pretty robust stream stocking program and puts thousands of trout in those streams every spring. As best I can tell, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, Western WA has minimal, if any, stream trout stocking.
Outside of the cowlitz I'm not sure there are any trout stocked in rivers meant to be caught as resident trout for sport fishers. I think many of our rivers lack the food sources for quality trout fishing, and stocking them with catchable size trout would either lead to skinny, anemic trout or an ecosystem stretched too thin to provide for the native fish it holds.
 

rooftop

Smolt
The Cow is great for sea runs..... except this year it seems. Fished it several times between August and October and only touched 4 fish. I'm fairly certain I sweated more than that in liters in the hot sun.
 

Evan B

Bobber Downey Jr.
Admin
Moderator
Do they stock streams in Oregon? Most of the rivers i mentioned have reservoirs that get stocked, but i didn't think they did any stream stocking.
The Cowlitz has a sea runcutthroat stocking program, from what i understand.
Yeah, like you said, any stocked trout you get in rivers will either be from a reservoir (like Detroit) or hatchery steelhead plants that stay in the river (which doesn't contribute much to any fishery typically).
 

mcswny

Life of the Party
Forum Supporter
Yeah, like you said, any stocked trout you get in rivers will either be from a reservoir (like Detroit) or hatchery steelhead plants that stay in the river (which doesn't contribute much to any fishery typically).

Unless I'm reading this incorrectly, they definitely stock streams in Oregon? Not just fish running up from the reservoirs but in the stream proper.
 

Stonedfish

Known Grizzler-hater of triploids, humpies & ND
Forum Supporter
The Cow is great for sea runs..... except this year it seems. Fished it several times between August and October and only touched 4 fish. I'm fairly certain I sweated more than that in liters in the hot sun.

They have about 1K back to the salmon hatchery. I recall one year where they had 20K+ return.
When they changed to late winter steelhead I think they also changed the cutthroat plants. I don't believe they stock nearly the number that they used to, but I could be wrong on that.
SF
 
Do they stock streams in Oregon? Most of the rivers i mentioned have reservoirs that get stocked, but i didn't think they did any stream stocking.
The Cowlitz has a sea runcutthroat stocking program, from what i understand.
They do, unless I'm misreading the ODFW stocking reports. This is this years stocking report for the McKenzie above the dam. This doesn't include Leaburg or the river bellow the dam. You'll see similar stocking patterns for the Santiam forks, Willamette coast fork, Breitenbush, etc.. on top of the surrounding lakes and reservoirs that they drain into/out of.
 

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Emily27

Freshly Spawned
They do, unless I'm misreading the ODFW stocking reports. This is this years stocking report for the McKenzie above the dam. This doesn't include Leaburg or the river bellow the dam. You'll see similar stocking patterns for the Santiam forks, Willamette coast fork, Breitenbush, etc.. on top of the surrounding lakes and reservoirs that they drain into/out of.
The vast majority of Oregon rivers aren't stocked those rivers are an exception, not the rule as far as I am aware. ODFW has also been discontinuing various in-river stocking programs like those in Salt Creek and the South Santiam. If someone is coming out of Portland its pretty understandable not to have stocked rivers at the top of their mind.
 

Smalma

Steelhead
1 agree that regulation changes should be considered regarding supporting resident trout,

I also believe it is a myth that western Washington anadromous streams lack the nutrients to support at least some larger resident trout. We seem to forget at least historically those streams supported robust salmon populations which equate to substantial potential nutrients to support trout; loose eggs, carcass flesh and fry/smolts. In addition to reduced salmon abundance the angling regulations on many of our streams limit their potential to produce much in the way in resident trout. The continued allowed use of bait, over generous bag limits etc. take their toll.

Curt
 

wetline dave

Steelhead
I agree about bait and liberal limits, but I see another problem seldom addressed., Land owners along a river. I have been told by said owners along the Cedar that the river running along their property was theirs and they would do as they wished and harvested trout at will. Also on the Snoqualmie near Carnation an owner turned his dogs on me while in the river and said the river there was his and by the way he said "I catch and keep all that I can every night".


Here's the problem, WDFW will rarely respond to a land owner infraction. When they do it is like oh now you really shouldn't be doing that and yes he can wade in the river in front of your property and oh by the way you do not own the dike so you might pull down the no trespassing signs. Which never got pulled down.

The only time I saw a full blown action was when I called in a land owner with a bull dozer moving gravel in a stream. That was up on the Sammish below I-5. But 2 weeks later he was back at it with a backhoe in the river.

The lack of enforcement is a bit issue and that is due to the legislature that will not fund the department properly.

Dave
 

Lue Taylor

Steelhead
Forum Supporter
The K has been very bad fishing ever since the big Blow Out a several years ago, went with a friend about 4 yrs ago no Cutts at all and I used to catch them all the time. And the medal head fishing was great, not counting the Salmon fishing caught my first King there it spooled me too lucky to get my line back.
 
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