Local Steelheading Is Pathetic
Without a doubt this winters steelhead season is going to be one of the worse (if not the worse) we have seen. So poor are the returns of hatchery steelhead to the Stillagumish and Snohohomish systems that WDFW has closed those waters to retention of hatchery steelhead. So far, even with the closures we are not seeing any major numbers of hatchery steelhead back to the hatcheries. Here's a little run down on what WDFW has back at local hatcheries.
Whitehorse (NF Stilly) 11 as of 12/23/19
Tokul (Tokul Creek) 14 as of 12/24/19
Wallace (Wallace River) 3 as of 12/23/19
Reiter (Skykomish River) 2 as of 12/16/19
As you can see, returns have been extremely poor and at this point in our season I don't see much hope in the season turning around. If our hatchery returns are this bleak, what does it mean to the returns of our wild fish? When looking around at other portions of the state, the returns are overall way below of expectations.