Sea-Run Cutthroat Above Gold Ray Dam –
Jay W. Nicholas
This five-Part article based on a simple question posed by my friend Todd Ostenson: Are there Sea-run cutthroat in the Upper Rogue?
Todd’s question nagged at me for the last two years. I couldn’t imagine why there wouldn’t be Sea-run cutthroat above Gold Ray Dam. http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/fish_counts/gold_ray_dam.asp
Finally, I decided to dig into the dirt, the science, the personal experience of anglers and biologists, and try to answer Todd’s question. May I be forgiven if I misunderstood elements of the scientific literature or exaggerated my friend’s observations. I’m just tellin’ it like I see it. I learned a lot doing the research to write this article. I’m sure that I have much more to learn.
Before we get started, I need to make two disclosures: 1) I love to fish for Sea-runs and 2) I have only fished the Rogue above Gold Ray on two occasions, so I am no expert on the Rogue.
The article will be presented in five parts:
1. Biology, Distribution, & Life History of Coastal Cutthroat.
2. Feeding Habits, Homing, Age & Growth of Coastal Cutthroat.
3. Fisheries for Sea-run cutthroat.
4. Where are anadromous cutthroat populations officially recognized in Oregon? and Sea-runs above Gold Ray Dam – if not, why not?
5. Closing thoughts about Sea-run cutthroat in the Rogue.
References that were especially helpful:
These authors provided hours of entertaining and informative reading: Robert Behnke, Richard Geiger, Kitty Griswold, Michael Hudson, Les Johnson, Patrick Trotter, and Christian Zimmerman. I had a wonderful time talking to my friends Frank Moore, Dale Greenley, and Stanley Davis about their lifetime experiences fishing for Sea-run cutthroat. I also learned a lot about Sea-runs in Alaska from conversations with my friend and fellow-scientist Gordie Reeves, who has made many arduous research trips up North to study coastal cutthroat. It was nasty work, no doubt, but somebody had to do it. Finally, I had several fascinating conversations with ODFW biologists about Sea-runs and coastal cutthroat; Dan VanDyke graciously browsed this article to see if he could save me from any obvious bloopers. Thanks Dan.
About the Author: Jay Nicholas has been flyfishing since 1954; tied flies in 1964 for the original Norm Thompson’s in Portland; and was inducted into the Wild Salmon Hall of Fame in 2006. http://www.pnwsalmoncenter.org/x2110.xml A fisheries scientist with 30 year’s experience working for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, he is now employed by the Wild Salmon Center. http://wildsalmoncenter.org/ The opinions expressed in this article are solely the author’s
CONTINUE TO PART 1 OF "SEA WHAT?"
CONTINUE TO PART 2 OF "SEA WHAT?"