Skagit to Skagit

I agree that closing the system would be hard to enforce due to lack of enforcement officers.... It is also more concerning to me that the enforcement officers are basically never seen in the waters i fish when the wild steelhead are in the river... I see them out when the millions of pinks are in the river or when the hatchery bonkers are all over the cowlitz... or other systems... but how about getting out when the wild steelhead are in the rivers and they are the ones we should be protecting right? I have heard that enforcement officers are sometimes after a quota like the you might see with city cops... i hope this is not the case.

Maybe if some hatchery programs were removed that would give more money to hire enforcement officers??? As i work for a local government and work closely with state gov't i know how money can be wasted in those agencies...but that is another story that needs to be sorted out with wdfw and not one i want to debate about.

Maybe we need to form community volunteer enforcement teams... sorta like the commuity teams that report pollution... in local drainages.. they could go out and do daily if not twice dailt patrols of local fishing spots and then if something is seen they could call the wdfw, sheriff or local police... and because everyone knows the system is CLOSED it would be much easier to enforce!


Active Member
I agree with Kerry on year round single barbless hook restriction on the Skagit/Sauk/Cascade.

I am opposed to having WA residents paying an additonal fee to fish the Skagit system. BC doesn't charge BC residents an extra fee, it charges non-Canadians the extra $20 or $40 and Canadians who aren't residents of BC half of that (or $10 and $20). We pay for enforcement and fisheries management through our taxes, should we pay a second time per day? I don't think so. Non-WA residents OK, but not WA residents.

I'd like to see the Sauk, Skagit above the mouth of the Cascade, and the Cascade above the Rockport Sauk Road be wild fish only (no hatchery plants period) conservation zones with C&R, artificial lure, single barbless hook rules for all species. In fact, I sent this in as a proposed rule to WDFW last summer.

I would also like to see fishing from boats banned on the Sauk, but not the Skagit. The Skagit is such a large river that it makes little sense to me to ban fishing from boats. I would like to see the "no fishing while under power" rule enforced on the Skagit. It has been in place for many years, but I've never seen it enforced.

Unlike Todd, I don't see banning fishing from a boat on the Sauk as stopping fishing by non-fly fishers. I spent 12 years in Montana and during that complete time nearly all of the Madison from West Branch Bridge to Ennis Lake had a no fishing from boats ban, which it stll has. And there were many non-fly fishers fishing it with spinners with good effect. All such a ban would do is provide the fish with a bit more sanctuary. Good gear fishers would still be good gear fishers and get their share of steelhead bank and wade fishing if fishing from a boat were banned.
My point about banning fishing from boats isn't that gear anglers won't be able to do it...anyone would be able to fish most of the river just fine, whether you're in the boat or not.

My point is that virtually every fish in that river is accessible from shore, or close to it, already...if you're trying to fish the middle of the Skagit River, you're not likely to be very successful.

I find plug pulling to be about as exciting as watching paint dry, so it wouldn't bother me any, but guys who do pull plugs would be pretty bummed about such a rule.

If the point of the proposed rule would be to lessen the pressure on the fish, how about a rule banning fishing unless you *are* fishing from a boat?

That would sure cut down on the fishing pressure!


Fish on...

Bhudda, I agree with you. However, for too long now, I've felt guilty in spending so much money on my fishing gear and trips, and putting so little money towards the actual fishery. I'd be happy to pay $5 every day I went fishing (which would be about $400-$500 a year) if I knew that money was going to something useful. I'd pay $10 a day if I knew I was fishing a steelhead stream that actually had some steel in it!
While I dont have a direct objection to this, it has been attempted in other states (such as CA through stamps).

Unfortuantely, without audits to ensure the money collected is going to the fisheries these funds have a tendancy to get divertied into the general fund, and god knows toward what. An art project in downtown Seattle? (case in point - the striper stamp in the Sacramento river, last time i looked, none had gone toward the fishery - this was several years ago however.)

My problem is with audit requirement is that it would require more government and more tax mony - which after paying my taxes, I think they have enough of. If we can only get smarter with that, but that is another topic... Seems like we dump a ton of money into broken systems, and the knee jerk reaction is to go to the tax payers and want more (example, our schools which last i looked we ranked 15th in 16 countries in Math). Okay, I'm back on topic now :)

While I am no biologist, I would think we could make a big difference in just being smarter in the way we manage our fisheries. Not much we can do about marine conditions, and I cringe at taking away the hatcheries (which would just mean less fish in our waters unless someone can provide me with a case study where closing a hatchery has resulted in greater fish returns).

I think getting smart about our commercial/tribal fishing is an obvious place to start... but then again these are hot topics in todays politics and government, and I dont think we are going to see any politician stand up for what is right at the risk of losing votes.

Taking a look at each of our sport fishing regulations and restricting bait/barbed hooks, daily/seasonal limits, and seasonal closures (where and when each of these are appropriate for the specific waterway) seem like a good add on in the hopes to improve the numbers of fish in our systems.
The Canadians have had pretty good results with baitless fisheries.

The theory goes that with baitless fisheries, you don't get the wild fish biting multiple times and getting caught multiple times.

This means they get their job of spawning done with less molestation and have much more energy.

I would also like to imagine that a steelhead will "learn" what a fly or lure is and be that much less vulnerable to being caught.

Bait is bait and some guys are so good with it I think they could catch the same fish over and over, if they knew where it was, but you get the idea.

I think a regulation change as simple as this coupled with the no hatcheries on the Skagit may show some improvements.
Anyone think that a Fishing Education Course requirement would be helpful least in curtailing the sportfishing impact by:
1. Teaching people what the regs are and how to read them. ( I can personnally attenst to the education I have received from this forum alone as far as understanding some of the regs)

2. Educating people in how there actions impact various fisheries (i.e using barbed hooks, or how to safely release fish, etc)

3. Bringing to the forefront the current state of our fisheries and what has been impacting them.

As far as a course, I am refering to the same as the hunting Safety course that is required prior to getting a hunting licence. Although it is more firearm safety geared, I am sure it provides first time hunters with some new info to consider while hunting. Anyone think a fishing eduction would be benificial, or would have an impact?


Active Member
Just a FYI -
Sounds like proposed regulation change # 41 passed -see

We'll probably will not know for sure whether there was a last minute "tweak" to the proposal (I did not hear of any on Saturday at the Commission meeting).

At various meetings WDFW staff thought that in areas that were to be managed as proposed under # 41 there would not be any hatchery fish. I see option of the proposal as a major step towards wild fish management on an ecosystem scale.

Looks as if we own a big thank you to FT!

Tight lines


Active Member

This is good news in my opinion. But I thought you had made the same or very similar proposal too. In fact, I got the idea for the making all three proposals from you 2 years ago instead of just limiting it to the Sauk, but didn't propose them at that time because of the huge outcry the statewise C&R on wildsteelhead was producing. You rightfully took me to task for not doing so then, so this time (as I told you then) I wasn't going to let it pass without submitting the proposal.

Thanks for you help with it as well.


Active Member

I know that having a no fishing allowed from a boat (or other floating device) on the Sauk would get many folks angry, just like many got angry in Montana when it banned fishing from a boat (or other floating device) on the Madison. People adapted pretty quickly there and I see no reason they wouldn't adapt here as well. Many of us have experience someone in a boat on the Sauk coming down, parking opposite us in the boat, and casting into the same water we are fishing. Very maddening to say the least. A no fishing from boats rule would put and end to this dispicable practice.

I'm also away that if the no fishing while under power were enforced on the Skagit, it would get a lot of folks (especially locals) mad because they like using the boat's motor for backtrolling instead of doing the work themselves with oars. And like I said previously, I have no problem with fishing from boats on the Skagit, just not under power while fishing. I'd also like to see no fishing while under power enforced on the Sky.
"Many of us have experience someone in a boat on the Sauk coming down, parking opposite us in the boat, and casting into the same water we are fishing. Very maddening to say the least. A no fishing from boats rule would put and end to this dispicable practice."

Need I even point out that this is a blatantly anti-anything that's not flyfishing reason to do this?

I promise you that for every boat that has anchored on your water, I have floated around the corner to see two flyguys standing up to their tits right where the fish would be, were they not standing there...or have them lowhole me or others just as badly as any other type of angler...not to mention the blatant snagging of chums up at Swift Creek, which seems to be predominately practiced by dudes dudded up in $1000 worth of Patagucci...with fly rods.

Fishing assholes with no respect for other anglers, or their water, show no bias for what type of gear they use...they are out there using everything from $1400 spey rods to $25 UglyStiks...

For every ridiculous reason to ban boat fishing (like the above), an equally ridiculous reason to ban shore fishing could be made...the answer is not banning legal behavior, it's continuing to educate our fellow anglers on what is proper, and what is not.

Fish on...


Will Atlas

Jbuehler, canadians continue to allow bait on the Thompson of all rivers where the escapement has been down around 1000 fish in recent years. As far as the theory of only being caught one time that sounds a little hokey to me.

Rayne Rivers, your logic is fundementally flawed. Yes if there were not hatchery fish natives would only be able to target wild fish, but it is written no where in the boldt decision that natives are entitled to hatchery produced fish. Additionally they can only harvest 50% of the allowable take. On the skagit the allowable take is extremely low on wild steelhead and consequently the state probably wouldnt let them take many more than they already are.


Ignored Member
...not to mention the blatant snagging of chums up at Swift Creek, which seems to be predominately practiced by dudes dudded up in $1000 worth of Patagucci...with fly rods.


Huh, things have changed at Swift Creek. Not that many years ago you couldn't find enough room in between the "Ugly Stick" crowd to throw some expensive cloths line out and snag a chummie.

At any rate I agree with you somewhat Todd, there are assholes out there using all types of gear but from my vantage point there are more tossing mono then PVC.
Rayne Rivers said:
This is along the lines of what I am thinking. Removing a hatchery is not going to lower the overall demand for fish. Rather, it only places more focus on an already stressed wild run. People are still going to fish, commercials and tribes are still going to net. Now, it would only be wild runs that are targeted... Sounds like a classic case of unintended consequences to me.

As for banning fishing from a floating device.... Really? Come on. This is just education of common sense. I dont need more government laws written to enforce etiquette. If there is an arguement out there that interprets that it is easier to catch fish from a floating device -then I am going to need to point to the catch limits. You can only legally fish up until you have taken your limit, whether it is 8 hours from the bank or 15 minutes from a boat... Banning fishing from a floating device is going way overboard IMHO.
Jbuehler, canadians continue to allow bait on the Thompson of all rivers where the escapement has been down around 1000 fish in recent years. As far as the theory of only being caught one time that sounds a little hokey to me.
Yes I know that.

The Thompson is only one of many rivers in BC that are all manged differently so your point is?

As far as bait is concerned, the thoery goes that steelhead will hit bait over and over until they are pretty much worthless; probably because they are trying to feed and get energy back. This isn't the case with flies because they have no scent among other reasons; steelhead get picky and pass them up, who knows why exactly but flies certainly aren't "bait".

I can believe it would be damn hard for an exhausted steelhead to pass up a sandshrimp bouncing along the river bottom and if it bites it will be even more tired.


Active Member
not being able to fish from any floating device on oregon's deschutes r. is accepted by everyone, no problem. what it does is provides scantuary areas for fish as not every nook and cranny can be reached by the wade fisherman. great idea that should be commonly adopted.

rule #41?? where is that posted in its full text version?