Would you stop fishing? (Steelhead)


Active Member
Hypothetical question here with certain intent:

If saving native steelhead meant closing down all river systems for 20 years, would you be willing to make that sacrifice? Look at it in terms of no steelhead fishing what so ever, not even for brats.

I ask this, because we often talk about making sacrifices for the better good, but we're also human, as well as selfish steelhead junkies. I would be interested in getting honest answers. It would be a very tough one for me. I support hatchery programs because of my selfishness, but also know that this selfishness is detrimental to native fish health. So.....


fish or DIE

I feel like you just punched me in the stones, I'm going to have to think about this one.

Great soul-searching question Adam.


Active Member
Yes with a few if's,
- stop gill netting
- have the government team up with some outside interests to make sure things are going the right direction.
- better enforcement, I so not want to stop so poachers have more fish.

Also do not think that it would take 20 yrs if the got with the program.
i would stop fishing. it would suck but if it meant that one day i could fish for a healthy run of natives or if my kids could fish for them it would be all worth it. hopefully it never comes to that but somethings got to be done.


Be the guide...
In a heart beat. But then I'm only in my mid 30s so I should be around to see the opening and I'd be happy to wait.

Some assumptions:
* salmon, trout, and other fishing wouldn't be directly impacted
* this is part a multi-faceted aproach that includes: working with the tribes on netting, closing down the sale and export of all wild steelhead from WA, habitat focus, fish passage issues, no hatchery steelhead unless part of rebuilding wild fish brood stock program.

rick matney

Active Member
No. but I could cut back if the powers at be would support my saltwater addiction. Just saying i'm selfish and we have already fubared it up so bad already 20 years wouldn't do it in my opinion.


Active Member
Did it on the East Coast for stripers with good results, would here also. The beauty with rivers is you could shut half down and fish the other half filled with brats.
My bet is the me/mines would nix it and rather fish them to extinction.

Would said rivers be closed to ALL FISHING during this period? Seems like the only way to reach the desired goal without waaaaay to much wiggle room. And is there data to say that taking such action would be significantly more effective than a 100% C&R ruling for the rivers in question?


Not to be confused with freestoneangler
Yes, for as long as it would take if it contributed to rebuilding healthy, self-sustaining populations. Sure, there are plenty of other things that also need to be done but if this is how I could help save even a few fish, I'd do it in a heartbeat. The fact that other user groups need to make changes too doesn’t mean I have to wait for them to do their part before I do mine.

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
Yes. I have already done just that. I was an avid steelheader longer than many of this boards members have been fishing let alone flyfishing. I could no longer justify contributing to the decline of native fish just because it gives me pleasure to catch them.
I was not going to wait until so and so did such and such. The buck stops here not over there.

I'd hate to see it close down for that length of time. I've always wondered about a rotating system where you divide the steelhead rivers up into 3 groups and then rotate them on a 3 year schedule. Open for 3, closed for 3, etc. Problem is that it would drastically increase the pressure on the ones that were open.

I also would not at all hesitate to agree to buy a $200 (or more) enhancement endorsement, assuming the money actually went to enhancement. Heck, I'd pay $1000 if it would improve the fishing.


Active Member
Yes. I would then direct all of the time I would have spent fishing over the next 20 years toward raising hell with managers, comanagers, and the feds to ensure that other harmful practices were stopped.