Yet another set of assaults on the WDFW Commission


Well-Known Member
Upon closer reading, I see that gt obtains his legal and scientific advice from a comedian named Marx. His long odds position isn't making any more sense, but it is more understandable now. Still, he hasn't presented any plan that passes legal or technical muster, but if he had a plan, I bet it would keep Marx in stitches.

I'm pleased to read a number of posts that corroborate my feelings about the Commission. A pluralistic political system like ours is not Burger King (something gt hasn't figured out). You CAN"T have it your way. Pluralism requires compromise. You can take, or leave it as gt has left it.

Amidst federal ESA and treaty fishing right issues, state RCWs that place commercial fish harvest and recreational fishing on an equal level with conservation and preservation, an organized commercial fishing lobby, and state politicians that are routinely bought off, our narrow interest that combines the most cautious recreational use of a sustainable natural resource and conservation of that resource is up against some very heavy hitters. I'm reading that Gt would have us align ourselves with the strategy that has accumulated a higher than 90% losing track record. Actually I'd expect Marx to give gt better advice than that.

Whatever natural resource management system we have for our fisheries will be the outcome of politics. Since a benevolent dictator isn't in the cards, the Commission system first created by citizen initiative in this state does the best job of spreading out the political influence of both the governor and legislature. As I mentioned previously, the fact that governors and legislators alike don't like this system is a testament to its responsiveness to us, the ciitizen constituents. I hope all readers of this forum will lend their support to maintaining a citizen WDFW Commission that has the decision-making authority not only for hiring the Director, but for approving all fish and wildlife regulations. Otherwise these decisions will be orchestrated to the political whims of the Governor and Chair of the Senate Natural Resource Committee, whose allegiance goes first to treaty fishing and non-treaty commerical fishing, with recreational fishing and conservation as afterthoughts.

Cabezon, I know they are independent - I work for one. I think you have me mixed up with someone elses comment. I have several friends from different tribes. As far as drying them out for trade and elders - do you really think it was in the same number as today? And do you think they just threw away what they couldn't trade?

My point is simple however you choose to interpret; The system is being abused. And as far as seeing the long term affects....this may sound harsh, but one of the main problems with the tribe I work for is that "they cannot see the forest for the trees". Like I said before, and I know you're right about some, just because of a few bad apples....

Unfortunately, those tribes that are not doing the right thing, probably have a long history of poor decision making. In my experience, enabling them by continuing on the same tracks just makes it easier to continue to abuse it. I believe harsh restrictions should take place, after showing them the data.

Yet then, you start treading on treaties an such. I don't have any political experience, but I'll tell you what I'd do. I'd get the backing of the other tribes that are doing it right (cause if they are doing it right, they probably understand) and go after the tribes that are abusing the system.
That is the biggest misconception out there. I work for a tribe, I get all the salmon, steelhead I want. They bring their catches to work and give thousands upon thousands away, and that's just where I work. How many other places are the doing this? - A BUNCH!!! They drive trucks all around "speading the wealth". What they don't give away, they throw away. They sell them on the side of the street for cash, what they don't sell, they throw away - cause as they do this the nets are full again.

You call that getting in touch with their cultural past? I call it @#!*% !

I have a few native friends that I go toe-to-toe with on this subject, telling them that it's @#!*% . Know what they say? They don't say a thing, they just laugh at me. I'm still their friend, and they are mine. But can you blame them for abusing a system that we enable them to do so?

I also have native friends from the same tribe, and two others from two different tribes, that think it's @#!*% too. A few bad apples don't spoil the entire bunch. Any demographic of people, if given the chance to abuse any system, will do so. It's a "grab what you can" mentality out there.

Plain and simple: The netting has to change. There needs to be a limit on what they can catch. I don't care if it's in the thousands, as long as "unsold" fish aren't just thrown away. And here's a novel idea: You can't catch fish for other tribes and truck them clear across the state. Last time I checked a history book, there weren't any freezer trucks taking fish to other natives that lived hundreds of miles away.

P.S. No I will not mention which tribe this is. Why? Because without me defending my stance and whom I've talked to, it's neither fair to them or me.
I call bulls#*t to this statement! No tribal fisher will be giving or throwing away thousands of fish at will with a market value we see today. To give the benefit of the doubt, this sound like something that "may" have occurred a decade or so ago when the value of fish went south and buyers abandoned the fisheries. Or maybe these were all hatchery surplus giveaways. As a member of a Tribe, and a fisherman, I sit in my boat, not catching a fish,maybe finding an artifact left behind by a fishing ancestor, thinking about who they were, what life must have been like in that time period, etc. Just being on the water brings us in touch with our culture then and now. Probably no different than what drives you to want to fish. If this wastage is truly happening, turn the sum-biches in!
Well Bill, call it what you want. I've got two Coho, three steelies, and four Sockeye salmon in my freezer. Let me go check.....oops, forgot that I gave the Coho to a family in need. The others are still there. And as far as turning them in? To who? They can use them for fertilizer if they want. That's why I get all up in their business though.

Yes, there are several hatchery leftovers as well, but I'm sure those nets don't differentiate between native and hatchery brats.

I commend you on being conscientious fisher. Most Natives are, some are not. We need to stop wasteful fishing, the nets need a trimming.
Well kudos to the fisher thats gives fish to friends. I make a point to supply my non-tribal co-workers with fresh fish for the freezer, along with church fundraisers,WDFW fundraisers etc. I know we have a fairly stiff fine for wastage, I believe it to be $500 per carcass. Make the Tribes law enforcement aware of the wasting. Unlike the bs posted regarding Tribal enforcement being a joke, they work hard to monitor and police fisheries etc. Regarding the net trimming remark, I might be inclined to say the same could go for the non-tribal fleet that seems to go unnoticed, not to mention their by-catch encounters. I am not a conscientious fisher, I am a treaty commercial fisherman that fishes under regulations set and agreed to by the managers. As a commercial fisher, I choose to make conscientious decisions regarding how I fish,gear fished,etc while keeping in mind the effects I may have on wild fish, even though they are all of hatchery decent.
Uh, you are a conscientious fisher if you are fishing within the rules. That's a good thing! As far as the tribal police go.....I'm not going to touch that one. Let's just say they would be the last folks that I would turn to.

My comment of trimming the nets was for those on the river. It was a "tongue-n-check" remark. It seems like the poor fish don't stand a chance. Like I said before, I'm no politician and don't know exactly how to go about it.
A conscientious fisherman would probably not fish at all. The bashing of Tribe's fishers, their management roles,etc and lumping them as one by all parties, including the bios hiding behind the screen, is not the approach.
A conscientious fisherman would probably not fish at all. The bashing of Tribe's fishers, their management roles,etc and lumping them as one by all parties, including the bios hiding behind the screen, is not the approach.
So....we can't hold accountable those who are not treating the fisheries with respect? I suggest you go back and read my post. I did no "lumping" together of any kind. As far as bashing any tribe, I make no apologies. I did nothing of the sort, simply pointed out that some do not follow the rules. If that's bashing, then I guess I don't understand what bashing means by your definition.

P.S. If you didn't fish at wouldn't be a fisherman, you'd just be boring. :clown:
The bashing comment was a general statement, and happens to frequently. Comments, posts, and facts get stated that could not be further from the truth. Your earlier post says we must be limited to what we can catch-we are limited,we have regulations to follow etc. I would agree everyone needs to be accountable for their actions, but remember one persons view may be different than the other as to the meaning of respecting a fishery. OK, I am a boring fisherman. :)
I'm curious, what is the actual catch limit for those nets I see down on the Columbia river near The Dalles? Are they individually owned? Meaning, that one net per native? How many can they net in a day, year...whatever?
Most Tribal nets are individually owned. Most fishers would be allowed to fish one gear type meaning I cannot fish a beach seine while having a gill or drift net employed. I would not venture to say what the Tribe's or commercials would or could catch in a day on the Columbia R.


Piscatorial Engineer
I am somewhat amazed at the philosophical discussions that seem to suggest it isn't a good idea to act on your conscience. I would offer one additional bit of information. The tribes and commercial fishers want the commission gone, and are actively lobbying for these bills. Need I say more?
I am somewhat amazed at the philosophical discussions that seem to suggest it isn't a good idea to act on your conscience. I would offer one additional bit of information. The tribes and commercial fishers want the commission gone, and are actively lobbying for these bills. Need I say more?
Wow, big surprise.....not! :beathead:


Sen. Ranker, who happens to be my Senator, has family in the commercial fishing business and he (and they) are not happy with how WDFW pays attention to the concerns of sportsfishermen. That is why he would like to see control of WDFW given to the governor. The commercials have not been happy with WDFW as it was set up by a vote of the people, they want to return to a commission and director appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate because they rightfully see that as the way to get more of the harvetable fish for commercial fishermen.

Me, I don't want our system changed for exactly the reasons Salmo-g laid out.
Well, Senator Ranker's term expires in 2012. Something to be noted by those recreational fishing and hunting voters who I assume vastly outweight the nubmers of commercial folks.

While not exactly in his district, I know him well, unfortunately.