Re: 52 lb Columbia River Striper...in perspective.


[Bulletin Board]


Posted by Peter Patricelli on 2013-06-19 05:14:28 in reply to 52 lb Columbia River Striper posted by Raymo on 2013-06-18 23:15:11

I have a long history with Oregon stripers...including the somewhat embarassing reality that it was the Umpqua striper fishery (now defunct) which caused me to settle in Oregon in the first place. If fact, I started the Oregon Striped Bass Association, which swelled to a total membership of three (3) but successfully lobbied for the first striped bass regulation EVER in Oregon on size and catch limit in an attempt to save the Umpqua fishery, which had been gillnetted into oblivion....lacking any regulations to the contrary.

I often thought, if they could just establish themselves, that the Columbia estuary obviously represented the greatest potential for stripers....more so than the Umpqua or Coos bay estuaries, but the numbers there have for my 40 years in Oregon have remained in the "incidental" category.

By all accounting, if fry were planted, they would probably do very well. In the NW, the problem is that spawning conditions are so marginal that they successfully spawn maybe only every 50 years or so, but there is slow, continuous seeding from the CA population. But, in dyed-anadramous salmonid country, with the populations struggling, that is not going to happen. During the downstream smoult run.....stripers eat smoults....like about everything else....and there is already a bounty fishery on Northern Pike Minnow (AKA Squawfish), a plan to KILL cormorants, active culling of sea lions, and harassment of Caspian Terns to drive their breeding colony off the Columbia mouth. Adding another predator is out of the question.

That fish is a fat cow. She might have been in the river looking to spawn OR, more likely, followed the shad run, on pace to shatter all records at 6 M over Bonneville Dam this year....or both.

I am on cape Cod right now....catching stripers. A Striper fishery in the Columbia?? I can only hope and dream.

Peter Patricelli


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