Kokanee numbers will remain low at Dworshak Reservoir for at least the next two years. Last springís high water flows caused the kokanee to go over the dam. In addition, the high water flows in the tributaries where they spawn blew out their nests. Plus, kokanee die after they spawn, wiping out a year-class of fish. The estimated 1,300,000 kokanee in the Reservoir was dropped to 37,000 by October.
The low number of adults that will be spawning this fall will not be enough to bring back the populations. Letís hope the spawning beds will not be washed away this season.
As with most fish species, though, when there are fewer fish, the ones left get larger. And, larger kokanee are easier to catch, though they will still be few and far between.
Remember too, the state record smallmouth of 8 1/2 lbs, 22 inches long, was caught in Dworshak two years ago by Dan Steigers. The smallmouth bass fishing should not be affected by high water flows, and there are more big ones waiting.