Posts tagged: Dworshak Dam
FISHING — Fisheries biologists made an educated guess earlier this month that kokanee fishing at Dworshak Reservoir and other regional waters would be in top form this season. See story.
Now Idaho Fish and Game Department biologists have finished trawling surveys that confirm their optimism.
Joe DuPont, regional fisheries manager in Lewiston explains:
IFG completed its spring trawl survey on April 10. The 2-year old kokanee (the ones we mostly catch) ranged from about 9 to 11 inches in length and were fat and healthy looking. These fish were as big as we’ve ever caught this time of year, and were about a half inch longer than what we caught last year at this time.
For this survey, we sampled from the Dam to Evans Creek (halfway between Dent Bridge and Grandad Bridge). Interestingly, the lowest catches were near the Dam, and catches tended to increase as we moved up reservoir, especially upstream of Magnus Bay. So, if you are having troubles catching kokanee this spring, you may want to try farther up reservoir then you typically do.
Based on trawl counts, it appears that kokanee abundance will be on the low side again this year, so it should shape up to be another year of fewer, but bigger fish.
If you’re a bass fisherman, it’s almost time to start looking for smallmouth bass on the lower end of the reservoir. Smallmouth bass tend to get active when water temperatures reach 50°F. During our trawl, the surface temperatures on the lower end ranged from 48 to just below 50°F and a thermocline has already developed in some areas. So get ready, bass should be getting hungry any time now.
FISHING — Dworshak Reservoir’s kokanee fishery surprised anglers in 2012, as notoriously small kokanee finally showed some size. The fish were growing to the 13-inch range in response to the nutrient enhancement project Idaho Fish and Game and the Corps of Engineers have been conducting since 2007 to make up for the lack of feed in the reservoir’s deep waters.
This year – depending on overwinter survival that has yet to be determined — biologists expect twice as many two year-old fish in the fishery reaching even heftier sizes.
“The fish anglers are catching right now are running about 10-11 inches long,” Andy Dux, IFG biologist, said last week. “Those fish should be 12-15 inches long by this summer and be abundant enough to provide good catch rates.”
Here’s some science anglers can sink their teeth into: “Past research shows that as kokanee get larger, they are easier to catch,” Dux said.
The water fertilizing project was stalled in 2011 because of a lawsuit a citizen brought regarding its impacts on water quality. That resolved, the nutrient project resumed in 2012 and the fish appear to be responding.
Dworshak’s kokanee fishery picks up as water temperatures warm, with good fishing from spring through summer.
The trick at Dworshak is to follow the fish, which progressively move farther up the 54-mile reservoir during summer toward their fall spawning areas, Dux said.
In spring, most anglers launch at Big Eddy near the dam since the fishing is best in the lower reservoir upstream for about 10 miles.
As summer progresses, more anglers will launch at Dent Acres recreation facility 13-miles upstream from the dam to get into the good fishing.
BOATING — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir says the Dent Acres Campground has been opened for the season and campers are reserving sites for spring and summer using the www.recreation.gov reservation system.
The smallmout bass fishing can be good, and Idaho Fish and Game biologists predict this will be a great kokanee fishing season at the reservoir.
Reservations can be made for camping dates May 23 or later, though the campground opens on April 11 on a first-come, first-served basis.
FISHERIES — In an effort to improve the kokanee fishery in Dworshak Reservoir, the U.S. Corps of Engineers and Idaho Fish and Game are experiementing with “fertilizing” the waters.
This is a popular idea with some people, but not by others, including those who've filed a lawsuit claiming the nutrient supplementing has caused algae blooms.
The Columbia Basin Bulletin had an interesting dialogue on the issue. Click here to see two sides to a report the CBC had the previous week.
FISHING — Pigs.
That's the best way to describe the North Fork of the Clearwater rainbow trout that have tuned in to the feast of kokanee that come over and down through Dworshak Dam.
Read on for the story by Eric Barker of the Lewiston Tribune.
CAMPING — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will rely largely on volunteers and dramatically reduce services to keep many of its recreation sites open, including Dent Acres Campground on Dworshak Reservoir.
The agency’s Walla Walla District is facing a 9 percent cut in its recreation budget and will close some of its sites, convert others to day use only and eliminate services like trash collection and bathroom cleaning, according to a report by Eric Barker of the Lewiston Tribune.
The money-saving measures won’t affect any of the agency’s sites along the Snake River in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley. But other sites on the lower Snake River and on Dworshak Reservoir will feel the pinch.
Read on for more of Barker's story.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is offering a unique opportunity see the view and drive across the top of Dworshak Dam – the tallest, straight axis, vertical, concrete dam in the United States – on Saturday (Sept. 17), from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Dam Cruise 2011” begins at the Dworshak Dam Visitor Center. Read on to see the rules and restrictions:
OUTDOORS PROGRAMS — Free nature-themed movie presentations are being presented this month, starting Friday at the Dworshak Dam Visitor Center near Orofino, Idaho.
Read on for the list of Friday and Sunday programs, ranging from bugs to grizzlies.
BOATING — Dworshak Reservoir is within 5 feet of full pool today. That's lower than normal for the Fourth of July holiday, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is still leaving room for the unusually high, late snowpack to pour out of the mountains.
Officials flew the headwaters Tuesday and determined about 10 percent of the area was still snow covered.
“We’ll be at about 1 foot from full pool (1,600 feet) on July 5, and anticipate reaching full pool by July 10,” said Steve Hall, Corps reservoir manager.
All campgrounds and boat ramps are open.
Info: Dworshak Dam Visitor Center, (208) 476-1255.
Dworshak Dam Visitor Center is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
FISHERIES — Managers at Dworshak National Fish Hatchery say they have destroyed 332,000 juvenile summer steelhead since April to protect the rest of the hatchery’s fish from a deadly virus.
In April, 240,000 steelhead were destroyed after IHNV was confirmed in some rearing tanks by the Idaho Fish Health Center.
Officials say they still expect to have enough fish to meet their requirements for mitigating the impacts of Dworshak Dam on wild fisheries.
Read on for details.
FISHING — Water discharge from Dworshak Dam near Orofino, Idaho, will temporarily decrease starting Saturday, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operations officials announced this afternoon.
Discharge flow through the powerhouse will be decreased from approximately 11,000 cubic feet per second to 6,200 cfs on Saturday and Sunday.
Peaking flows through the powerhouse will fluctuate Monday through Friday between 2,500-8,600 cfs, with the reservoir levels lowering about one-quarter of a foot each day, based on currently expected inflows.
Corps officials advise boaters and other persons using waterways both in Dworshak Reservoir and below the dam on the Clearwater River to be alert to changes in water elevation and volume of flow.
Water-management conditions can be viewed on the District website at www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nww/rreports.htm— click on “Hourly” and look in the “TOTAL” column under the “OUTFLOW” heading on the reservoir report. Reservoir elevation is found in the “FOREBAY” column under the “EL AT POWERHOUSE” heading.