you can keep 1 wild steelhead

Bacon and eggs for Breakfast cost me $11. 95 with lousy service. And the people are unfriendly.

Forks. What can one say.
I loved Forks and I loved the breakfast...jeez, you get a pound of bacon. I'll happily pay the $12 when I get back to Forks.

My buddy and I spent five days over there. Thought the people were great.

The worst things was that I saw one of the guides from Anglers Guide Service aka Alaskan Kingfishers come off the river with, what appeared to be, three wild steelhead and two hatchery. I have no problem with them keeping the brats but the wild harvest made me really angry. What a JackA$$.:mad:

Now we come to the Hoh closure.

Man, things have got to change on all fronts.
Not only did they recind the moratorium on wild steelhead harvest and allow retention of one wild fish per day, but they then went on a campaign out here on the Olympic Peninsula and made sure that anyone fishing here knew that they could do it, should do it! When they had the meeting in Bremerton to reopen the harvest issue one of WDFW's examples of a sustainable MSY model system was the Hoh River. It was already in trouble, now look at it today. WDFW is an international embarrassment.
Yeah, now look at it - closing early to "protect wild fish." Good thing they allowed wild fish harvest until now, that's some smart thinking.:mad:The Hoh River as an example of sustainable anything is a joke to me, the pressure there is through the roof. Actually, having the word "sustainable" in MSY is a joke. Many fisheries biologists have known for awhile now that MSY doesn't work in many situations but, like Nooksack Mac mentioned, politics often trump science. Here's an interesting quick article about the history of why MSY was beloved in the 40's and 50's if anyone is interested:

And Les, while MSY is still taught in fisheries schools, it is now generally considered outdated and taught as a preamble to more modern concepts in population dynamics. And I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, but it almost appears that you're knocking the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. Just in case anyone is thinking that school is teaching MSY as the greatest management tool out there, I assure you it is not. SAFS at UW is unbelievably well-respected and probably the best fisheries school in the country, perhaps the world (and I never went there).
I hadn't heard that MSY is no longer taught as part of the program at UW School of Fisheries. That is enlightening and certainly welcome. I thank you for getting me up to speed. I've been meaning to check out the program requirements for some time and had best get to it. From my experience though I am convinced that WDFW leans heavily to the commercial fishery with chinook being the primary salmon. It also holds true for the sport fishery. Tony Floor who was with WDFW for years as the sportfishing manager is now a lobbiest for the Northwest Marine Manufacturing group, builders of boats, downriggers and such sport gear.
I guess that we'll just have to wait for the WDFW old-timers to retire to get completely clear of the MSY mentality.
I grew up in Aberdeen and developed an early love for the Olympic Peninsula, Forks and the people who lived there. I fished way back with Clarence Fuhs (who owned Olympic Sports) and Windy Miller who could talk the ear off of a brass monkey. Both men taught me a lot and yes, we killed steelhead back then in the 1940s through early 1960s. Embracing MSY it just seemed lilke there were so many steelhead with the hookups per day we enjoyed. This was with gear, lures and single hooks. No bait. The OP wild stocks were in decline a way back then but we didn't really know it. The annual limit for steelhead was 24 per year, wild or hatchery with a lot fewer anglers after them. And they all had to be punched.
Again, thanks for setting me straight. Never hesitate in this regard. I don't ever mind being challenged on an intellectual or educational basis.


Les, here in Montana you can get a very good breakfast for $6.99. The same as the one I had in Forks. I'm just suprised at the price of that clothing. T-shirts, plain, $25.95. Hell I can get a FTL t-shirt for under $8.00 in Montana at Wally World or the big K. Plus when I came home the price of Regular here in the greater Butte area was only $3.19.9.

I don't know how they make ends meet while living there.

Old Man, with all due respect, go back to your hole if you don't like it there. I can get the Sol Duc scramble (yum) at the Koffee Shop for less than $9, a t-shirt in town for as little as $10, a loaner 8 wt. rod at the tackle shop after breaking my own for a handshake, and gas in Seattle is $3.59/gallon.

It is what it is. A community of hard working people trying to get by on what they can. Trying to take advantage of others? Not something I've seen.

While I disagree with much of the politics out there I have more in common with those folks than I do with people living in Medina.


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
Talking about Forks is just another way to hijack this thread. Since when did Forks become the other Mega capital of the world. BOy are there prices out of this world. Bacon and eggs for Breakfast cost me $11. 95 with lousy service. There one big new store in town has a clothing line that is just Carrhart. Man is that shit expensive. Gas was $3.59.9 and that was at the cheap station. All others are into the $3.65 range. And the people are unfriendly.

Forks. What can one say.
Did you ever consider the location of Forks before you bitched about the price of everything? Last time I looked it isn't right off the I-5 corridor.
I happen to know the gentleman that owns the Thriftway, Ace and Forks Outfitters. He has invested a lot of time, energy and money to bring those facilities to the community. He took the chances and has every right to earn a good ROI.
I know if I lived there I'd be happy those shopping opportunities were available to me. Having shopped there many times, many items are actually priced lower then what you'd pay in Seattle.
As far as the people being unfriendly. What can I say, perhaps a response to the grumpy old man's attitude?
No question that making it in Forks is a hard dollar. And while the people try hard, there are some things gone that I remember fondly.
As an outdoorsman I really miss the great clothing store that was there with all the Woolrich and Pendleton woolens, C.C. Filson hunting, and fishing clothes, Frisco Jeans and the custom logging boot shop in the back. My companions and I shopped there every trip. Today it would be hip and trendy. Then however it was just a great place to get the best clothes of the time for hunting and fishing.
The Antlers Cafe is long gone and Old Man should know that they offered a great "loggers' breakfast that was terrific for filling up anglers as well. I could afford it and I didn't make all that much money back then.
Most of you you who are old enough also recall that Fuhs tackle store was jammed with high quality tackle.
I would like to see some of that old panache, the flamoyance that made it a real logging town, brought back to Forks. Ace Hardware has the appeal that I'm talking about. It is very well stocked with the equipment necessary for hunters and fishermen.
If we lose all of those marvelous steelhead though, I fear that it will never happen.
Here's a perspective on the issue of "the why" in the first paragraph, we will see how the harvest of wild steelhead comes into play as the SSMP is enacted. I can not emphasize enough that we all need to take responsibility to contact the WDFW and Commission at every opportunity to share your concerns regarding these issues. It is easier to go fishing than to fight for the fish we love to fish for:

WSC Response to State Steelhead Management Plan

As recalled, the genesis of the State Steelhead Management Plan (SSMP) was mandated by the Commission in 2004 after public testimony regarding the two year wild steelhead sport harvest moritorium, in which was overturned,due to pressure from the tribes (Compromise was enacted to 1 wild steelhead harvest for sportfishers per year on streams deemed healthy to do so. In the almost four years of development of the SSMP, The Wild Steelhead Coalition has provided input to the department, since the beginning, as one of the stakeholders through the public process. The WDFW is commended for providing us and others the opportunity to be involved in the process.

Washington's wild steelhead populations are at a tipping point. To achieve the Department's stated goal of restoring heathy wild populations before it is too late, bold new strategies and actions are necessary. While the SSMP moves in the right direction, it needs to be significantly stronger in key areas if the goal of protecting and restoring wild steelhead populations is to be realized.

The WSC is optimistic that the WDFW's overarching policy for wild steelhead conservation is now their priority in steelhead management and conservation descisions. But through that policy priorities for strong actions must take place by the department. While the SSMP is a great start, the plan needs to be stronger in key areas such as:

Habitat protection and restoration, for example we need to leverage stronger use of existing laws to protect habitat and make sure our rivers have enough water in them through instream flow protections.

Improved conservation based harvest management regimes, such as improved selective fishery techniques. The Maximum Sustainable Harvest (MSH) just doesn't cut it has a model and has a proven track record of failure. And we need improved protection for resident rainbow trout.

Major reforms regarding hatchery policies must take place. Evidence is mounting that hatcheries are working against wild steelhead recovery. For example; Released smolts are out competing wild smolts for available habitat, failing to preserve the genetics of wild stocks by introducing non native broodstock into the river systems and not capturing hatchery fish at the hatchery and allowing them to spawn wild steelhead thus creating less fit offspring.

We are looking forward to the SSMP's idea of wild steelhead genetic gene banks and sanctuaries designated for wild steelhead.

In regards to the 90% of wild steelhead stocks on the Olympic Peninsula are deemed healthy by Commission Gutzwiler is debatable and subjective. If you look at the long term trend of of the OP rivers you will see that they are, with exception of the Quillayute system, are all in a downward trend, the Hoh River itself has not made it's escapement level in the last four years and we are still allowing sport harvest and intensive tribal harvest! And the tribes and the state do not seem to come to agreement what the actual escapement level is for the Queets River.


Active Member

I agree with you entirely on your thought about Forks.

I grew up in a small village (population 185) in Pennsylvania's Anthracite Coal Mining country (the very area from which the Molly Meguires and United Mine Workers got started). I find Forks to be a virtual clone of the small towns and villages of the area I grew up in, and I find it very easy to fit in. Different natural resource based economy, but otherwise the same type of people and values. Very hard working, usually honest people who are very generous to each other. And like Forks, many of the small, local clothing, hardware (I also like the Ace Hardware Bob's tackle store in Forks), and sporting goods stores are gone. This mainly because no one amongst the kids of the owner's family wanted to keep the place open when it was only making $25,000 to maybe $40,000/year with all the time the owner needed to spend behind the counter.

Old Man,

Living where you do in southest Montana has many of the same type of people and businesses found in Forks (remember I lived up the road just a few miles in Boulder for a time). The difference is Butte is only 20 miles or so over the hill, I-90 is only 15 miles or so north, and the hwy through Silver Star is the shortcut between Dillon and Idaho from Helena and places north along I-15 because it cuts 60 miles off the distance. Therefore, it doesn't surprise me that gas is cheaper there than in Forks. Now if you lived out in Wisdom, up in Eureka, or out in Geraldine, the price of gas would be very close to or higher than Forks.
dont forget to send in your steelhead punchcards by the end of april. if you dont it is a $10 fee. you can drop them off at a game office. mike w

shawn k

Active Member
why is it that wild steelhead are treated like sacred cows . The same guys that rip somebody for killing a wild steelhead think is perfectly ok to kill any salmon they catch. Imho wild salmon populations are hurting just as bad as steelhead. For the record I release all wild fish i catch salmon or steelhead.
why is it that wild steelhead are treated like sacred cows . The same guys that rip somebody for killing a wild steelhead think is perfectly ok to kill any salmon they catch. Imho wild salmon populations are hurting just as bad as steelhead. For the record I release all wild fish i catch salmon or steelhead.
I reckon you'll get a number of different answers to this question, but I suspect that if you have to ask the question, you might not understand the answer.



Well-Known Member
Shawn K,

Generally speaking, wild steelhead are no where nearly as abundant in WA as are wild salmon. As with steelhead fishing, most salmon harvest is focused on hatchery chinook and coho. Almost all pink and chum salmon are wild, but harvest seasons are allowed only when the stocks are abundant. It's the relative scarcity of wild steelhead that makes them nearly sacred. If they were abundant, we'd be killing our limits whenever possible and not thinking anything of it - just like we used to do.



Active Member

i guess we must be talking about the 40's, 50's and 60's 'cause sure as hell MSY has doomed our anadramous fish runs. WE DON"T HAVE SUSTAINABLE FISHERIES in this century. the one and only reason there are fish out there to catch is because of concrete zombie fish. you know, throw the wild fish under the bus, substitute hatchery fish, everyone is happy. right?

actually i haven't kill a wild anadramous fish since the 70s. that said, i would never turn my nose up at anyone who kills a wild anything in this century. after all, take your one wild steelhead per year or watch the indians kill a couple of hundred a week, your choice.
The current trend of the people coming to the river is slowly changing. Since my children were little, I have always taken time to talk about wild fish and release.

Unfortunately, the issue tends to go toward the have versus the have not's. I dont think any guide has issue with wild fish release if the playing field is even. One of the major sentiments is the resentment of the tribal fisheries and the impact they have. This portion of the equation is generally over looked or quieted to prevent the all important "race card" and "what you did to me argument" from the tribes. None of us can have a real debate about any wild fish recovery with out engaging the tribes into the discussion. We have all seen the devistation of nets on fisheries and I believe that at least 75% of the fish I have hooked this year have had net marks on them.

Unfortunatley, the tribes have the most political capital in the game and have the most leverage with the state legislature and WDFW. If any real change is to happen the tribes have to be at the table. If wild fish harvest is eliminated or proposed with out including the tribes, many people will always feel cheated and generally not support the initiative.


New Member
I let go two great fish this winter and lost a fish that reminded me that I have much to learn. I will not be that guy who bonks the last fish on the head. I hold out hope.
Good luck.