Saturday Shoutout / Buster in the Days of Old

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Before Everything Was Made Of Plastic


This weeks we thanks “Buster Wants to Fish” and David Rice for this great slideshow of steelheading on the Toutle River from 1965 to 1970. It takes me back to a place I’ve never been. And what a place it was.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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4 thoughts on “Saturday Shoutout / Buster in the Days of Old

  1. I fished the Toutle (and Spirit Lake) many times in this period, and before. They both were magical places, the Toutle was the clearest river imaginable, and had a hell of a fall run.

    I saw the Toutle two days after St. Helens blew, a gray mud flow with trees and debris. It exists only in memory now, and for many years to come.

    My dad knew Harry Truman up at Spirit Lake, we rented boats from him. I never saw him without a bottle of RC cola, and later dad told me it was half filled with Old Crow.

  2. Those are great photos. As a lifelong resident, I love seeing historical photos of everything from the area. Makes me a little sad for the “olden days” and appreciative of what we have still. The Toutle looked amazing before the mountain blew. I was just a little boy, but I do remember it clearly. There’s plenty of amazing footage out there to show what happened to the river when it was washed out. Good news is that the area has been making an amazing and beautiful recovery.

    From the FS Website:
    The 1980 eruption created two new large lakes, Coldwater and Castle, which had no fish for several years. In the early 1990s, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife stocked rainbow trout in Coldwater Lake. Two years later, fish appeared in Castle Lake, presumably originating from fish that swam from Coldwater Lake through the river connecting the two lakes. Once established, fish populations in both Coldwater and Castle Lakes have grown well. Biologists have confirmed that rainbow trout have successfully spawned in streams associated with each lake and the populations appear to be self-perpetuating. Thus, no additional stocking has occurred.

  3. Thought all of you would like to know this news. I think this is great, maybe a chance for the Toutle and the Lewis to rebound.

    WDFW Proposes Ending Steelhead Hatchery Releases In Three Columbia Tributaries To Boost Wild Fish
    Posted on Friday, December 06, 2013 (PST)

    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking public comments on a proposal to formally end releases of hatchery steelhead in three tributaries of the lower Columbia River as a means of supporting the recovery of wild fish there that are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

    That approach, recommended by three WDFW advisory groups that have been meeting over the past two years, would eliminate the release of all hatchery-raised steelhead on the East Fork Lewis River and the North Fork Toutle/Green River watershed as early as next year.

    It would also prohibit future releases of hatchery steelhead in the Wind River, which has not been stocked with hatchery steelhead since 1997.

    The East Fork and North Fork feed into the Columbia downstream of Portland; the Wind River streams into the Bonneville Dam reservoir at about Columbia river-mile 154.5.

    The Lewis River, which takes in fish and water from the East Fork, joins the Columbia at about Columbia river-mile 87.5. The Toutle – of Mt. St. Helens eruption fame, flows out of the Cascades and into the Cowlitz River about 2 miles upstream from Castle Rock, Wash. The Cowlitz continues for 20 miles before entering the Columbia River about 68 miles from its mouth on the Pacific Ocean.

    Cindy Le Fleur, WDFW regional fish manager, said the proposal would create several “wild stock gene banks” in the lower Columbia River, where wild steelhead populations, including both summer and winter runs, have been listed for protection under the federal ESA since 1998.

    “The goal of this proposal is to preserve key wild steelhead populations by minimizing interference by hatchery-produced fish,” LeFleur said. “Research has shown that those interactions can range from interbreeding to competition for food and habitat.”

    Since early 2011, WDFW has been working to develop regional steelhead management plans for watersheds in the lower Columbia River. These plans are designed to reflect the goals and strategies expressed in the “Statewide Steelhead Management Plan,” addressing such issues as hatchery production, natural production, fishing regulations, habitat conditions, enforcement and other key management considerations.

    The statewide plan, approved in March 2008, is designed to guide state fish managers as they work with tribal co-managers and local fish-recovery groups to develop management strategies for steelhead populations in seven specific areas of the state.

    Identifying steelhead gene banks is a key component of the plan. As stated in the SSMP, “at least one wild stock gene bank will be established for each major population group in each steelhead Distinct Population Segment,” including those populations that fall within the regional planning area on the lower Columbia River.

    The “threatened” lower Columbia steelhead DPS includes all naturally spawned anadromous O. mykiss (steelhead) populations below natural and manmade impassable barriers in streams and tributaries to the Columbia River between the Cowlitz and Wind Rivers, Wash. (inclusive), and the Willamette and Hood Rivers, Ore. (inclusive), and 10 artificial propagation programs: the Cowlitz Trout Hatchery (in the Cispus, Upper Cowlitz, Lower Cowlitz, and Tilton Rivers) Kalama River Wild (winter- and summer-run) Clackamas Hatchery Sandy Hatchery Hood River Hatchery (winter- and summer-run) Excluded are populations in the upper Willamette River Basin above Willamette Falls, Ore., and from the Little and Big White Salmon Rivers, Wash.

    While hatchery fish are listed they marked an available for harvest. The take of unmarked fish, most of which are presumed to be wild, is limited.

    The WDFW held a public meeting Thursday at the WDFW Region 5 office in Vancouver to discuss the proposal. Comments will also be accepted through Dec. 13 at , where the advisory groups’ recommendations are posted for review.

    WDFW established the state’s first official steelhead gene bank last year in the Sol Duc River on the Olympic Peninsula.

    Under the recommendations for the lower Columbia, WDFW plans to plant 35,000 steelhead smolts that had been earmarked for the East Fork Lewis River into the Washougal River and 20,000 in Salmon Creek. The department is still looking for a place to relocate the 25,000 smolts currently scheduled for the North Fork Toutle/Green River watershed, Le Fleur said.

    Final recommendations on the plan to create gene banks in the basin will be forwarded to NOAA-Fisheries, which oversees salmon and steelhead recovery on the Columbia River

    Following public review, those recommendations will receive consideration for inclusion in the regional steelhead management plans for the lower Columbia River, scheduled for completion by mid-2015.

    The WDFW also plans to include those recommendations in consultations with NOAA Fisheries on several steelhead hatchery programs, currently under review for compliance with the ESA.

    The state agency believes the recommendations to establish gene banks in the three rivers identified as part of the regional planning process will further protect and enhance wild steelhead populations in these key watersheds, while still providing a diversity of fishing options.

    The SSMP can be found at:

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