Welcome back to Three-Word Thursday, where Fish Hack isn’t going to tell you where to find spring chinook salmon on the Rogue River, Hack’s home waters.
But Hack is more than ready to tell you where they ain’t.
They ain’t in Cole Rivers Hatchery, which has yet to capture it’s first springer of the season despite Shady Cove angler Mark Randolph catching the river’s first springer March 7 not 100 yards from the hatchery fish trap.
Perhaps the only guy not surprised is Dave Pease, the hatchery’s manager.
Pease says the Hatchery Hole right in front of the trap typically teems with fresh springers in April before any actually nose their way to their destiny either in the hatchery as future brood stock or slung over the shoulder of a happy fishermen.
“We’ll see salmon walk out of here a good two or three weeks before we get one in the trap,” he says.
Over the past decade, the earliest springer to show up in the hatchery’s trap was on March 30 in 2010, Pease says. The latest was June 3 in 2008.
Last year’s first spring chinook in the trap was on May 9, and it was April 19 in 2011, Pease says.
So let hatchery fish counts determine when you hit the Rogue for springers.