Saturday, July 11, 2015

Hoot Owl On The Spokane

Its turning out to be a poo sandwich of a water year across the Northwest.  High water temps are effecting just about every drainage.

Unless you didn't know cold water fish have a hell of a time with survival in rising water temps. Optimal temps are below 60 degrees and as you move up, there's less dissolved oxygen in the water. Catching and playing a trout in the upper 60s is a bad move and 70's can be a death sentence even with proper catch and release principals in effect

Take a look at this chart for reference

The Spokane River is no exception.  Right now there are portions of the upper river in the Spokane Valley that are well beyond the 70 degree range.

Due to the aquifer influence on this river system, trout do have some refuge in the recharge zones that are keeping the water temps in the lower 60s...but heres what you need to consider in these conditions.

If you just HAVE to fish on the Spokane River right now, get your butt out of bed as the sun comes up.  Hoot Owl restrictions should be in place but official restrictions haven't been put in place yet.  As anglers we have to be the most stanch advocates for our water and fish, and we should self regulate to fish only in the early morning.    In my opinion, the evening portion of hoot owl hours is a joke, because the water hasnt had the time to cool overnight.  

Go buy a cheap thermometer and monitor the water temps.  If you hit 65, get the hell out of the water

Dont be a trout snob and go rediscover warm water species.  Bass are amazing targets right now, as are crappie, bluegills and dont get me started on carp.  

If you're reading this, you owe it to the fish to tell other anglers what's going on.  Avista's going to drop the river to it's absolute minimum flow out of the Post Falls dam and it's going to get even worse for the fish and the watershed.  Fish are going to congregate in the the cool water recharge zones and it's just not fair.   Did I mention carp fishing is amazing?

Think about it, we have a recovering river after 100 years of mis-use.  Lets give it a break while hell's kitchen keeps it's oven blazing.

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