CnR Wild Steelhead Mortality and NOAA 4%

Chris Bellows

Your Preferred WFF Poster
#76
I've thought about this issue myself in the past and came to the conclusion that SPORTfishermen are unable/unwilling to organize into a powerful lobbying force because the activity that unites us is just...sport. Other groups with overlapping fisheries interests are in it for work and money. It's not play time for them, and thus they have greater incentive to pursue their interests in an organized and aggressive fashion. That's just my theory based on intuition about human nature.
and yet the majority of people involved in wild fish protection have no financial interest. agree that is why the commercial lobby is so strong. the sport lobby is divided due to real differences in how we want things managed. someone who thinks the cowlitz is the way to manage fisheries isn't going to find much common ground with someone who wants wild fisheries.

chris
 

gt

Active Member
#77
and as a result, the sport angling community represents the low hanging fruit anytime, and everytime further restrictions are to be imposed.
 
#78
I think more and more the state, local communities and our Fish and Wildlife are understanding that we as the sport angling community bring more economic value to the state then the commerical fisherman. I hope we see more of a trend of departments "self funding" their programs. I hope our DFW look to ID and how that wildlife agency does not depend on the general fund as much as our DFW does - thank you Gary Locke.

While I agree with points from both Topwater and gt in this regard - we as anglers should support a change to more of a self funding approach. It will bring up fees and we will not be able to support the whole program - but 60 to 70% would be a nice goal to shoot for over time. With that we could demand more in the form of management and have much more "skin in the game" with the Co-managers and our friends in the Commerical community. It would be nice to see thier fees double or triple for the amount of resource they comsume.

Pipe Dream maybe - but who knows

Man it would be so nice to discuss who hit fish with last weeks drop, where and see how a nice nate looks in April - instead of going over this stuff over and over. Oh well you have to eat your crust to get to the pie I guess
 

Chris Bellows

Your Preferred WFF Poster
#79
I think more and more the state, local communities and our Fish and Wildlife are understanding that we as the sport angling community bring more economic value to the state then the commerical fisherman.
i think you are right. change comes slowly but the department has moved quite a long ways in the past 30 years. wild fish management and hatchery reform are being seriously discussed within the department... where 30 years ago they really weren't even on the department's radar. we've seen very conservative closures put in place over the past couple years (puget sound tributary closures, strait of juan de fuca steelhead season closures). it's too bad that often conservative management requires a crisis, but there has been some decent decision making for wild fish in some instances.

the change is too slow imo because the fish are in imminent danger of being functionally extinct in many drainages, but progress has been and continues to be made. the head banging against the wall has started to create cracks.

chris
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#80
Chris,

Before the 1996 merger, there was a separate WDF (fisheries) and a WDW (wildlife, and formerly WDG, game). The old WDG got no state general funds. It was fee funded with hunting and fishing licenses, vanity license plates, federal fish and wildlife funds, and mitigation funds. That department had a lot of autonomy. However, because the Gov and Legislature had little control over it, they wouldn't do much for it either. So that part wasn't so good.

WDF was financed by state general funds, with license fees (what little there were) and landing taxes on commercially caught fish going to the general fund. WDF always got a lot more from the general fund than the department generated for it and was the better funded of the two agencies, with hatcheries invariably more up to date and better equipped. And WDF existed primarily to service the commercial fishing industry, even though sport fishing for legislatively labeled "food" fish had been steadily growing since the end of WWII.

The upshot is that there are problems and advantages both ways. I like the fee funding, commission based model that is more responsive to its constituency, but it's pretty obvious that it's critical for a state agency to have friends in the Governor's office and in the Legislature (that makes the laws and establishes the agency's mandate). And an agency that is deemed "too" independent assuredly won't have friends in government offices. There is no avoiding politics. Finding and maintaining balance is what it seems to be about.

Sg
 

Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
#81
I really appreciate that perspective Mr. DeLeone. I would never have viewed it in that manner. I would pay more in license fees. Hell, I am happy to pay much more to fish BC. If that bough political clout it'd be well worth it. Of course we all know that campaign donation bring political clouts along with a well organized voting base. It seems as though we have groups that can provide the organized voting base. Maybe a PAC is in order.

I do believe that commercial fishermen should pay a lot more than they presently do for their privaledge to profit off this public resource. How much is a guide license these days?

3-1 Rays (6th),
cds
 

Brazda

Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge
#82
License fees are not even the half of it, it should be much more sophisticated of a licensing process, weed out the Temps and part timers. Washington does not even require insurance on drift guides.

As for profit,,,,, whats that?
 

Smalma

Active Member
#84
Topwater -
I agree that the importance and value of wild steelhead has increased dramatically over the last 30 years. I think it would be fair to say that the ball started rolling in regards to wild steelhead began in 1972 with the report prodcued by Lloyd Royal for the old Game Department where many of the issues that we consider key in hatchery/wild discussion were first layed out. In the later half of 1970s the foundation and startup of several key studies were begun by the Game Department (the Skagit studies, Snow Creek life history work, the Kalama hatchery/wild interaction work). It was that work that help lay the ground work for the changes we have seen the last 3 decades.

I'm sure that as I have grown older both my memory has become more addled however it is my recollection that at least here in Puget Sound the Department of Game/Wildlfie/Fish and Wildlife drug we steelhead fishers kicking and screaming into wild steelhead management. At the time of the Royal report steelhead management stool was supported by 3 legs of management - 1) the recreational fishery could not over fish steelhead, 2) a steelhead was a steelhead (hatchery and wild fish interchangeable), and 3) steelhead escapements were not all that important (see 1 & 2) and only a redd/mile was needed to seed the avaiable habitat. By the mid 1980s we saw wild steelhead release (selective fishery), establishment and management for wild steelhead escapement objectives, Catch and Release fisheries, recognizing the need for and the onset of fledging hatchery reform, etc.

While today we recognize all the above changes as no brainers the fact is during the 1980s there was little support for those changes and in some cases significant opposition (WSR etc). All those changes started with agency staff and I would agrue that without such actions as clipping hatchery fish (took a two year battle with PFMC to get approval) and spring CnR seasons (which intially had virtual no support from the anglers) we steelhead anglers would have little appreciation or understanding of what wild steelhead are all about. It would not be much of a reach to say that those changes in the 1980s were key in the formation in wild steelhead advocacy we see today.

Tight lines
Curt
 

Chris Bellows

Your Preferred WFF Poster
#85
I'm sure that as I have grown older both my memory has become more addled however it is my recollection that at least here in Puget Sound the Department of Game/Wildlfie/Fish and Wildlife drug we steelhead fishers kicking and screaming into wild steelhead management.
interesting perspective curt. it does fit with what i still see, that the majority of sport anglers are not concerned with wild fish.

one reason why fully funding wdfw from license sales is a serious double edged sword. the pressure to manage solely for license sales and the revenue will likely not be favorable to wild fish management.
 

gt

Active Member
#86
we will know when actual, real progress is made if: the sport angling community is put on an equal footing with the tribal and non-tribal fisheries regarding quota cuts by %age as well as fee increases. what i see today is cuts to sport angling while harvest quotas for the other two groups are maintained or barely reduced. that is a clear indication that the sport community is not an equal consideration in the deliberations of WDFW and simply further reinforces their goal of MSY. the same sort of 'logic' seems to flow each and everytime there is discussion of raising fees for the sport community. i can't remember when raising fees for the commercials was included in that same discussion.

the sport management issues are all over the map simply because the sport angling community is all over the map. there is a significant sport constituency who simply wants to kill more fish which in their minds means more hatchery releases. so far as i can tell, this lobby has taken control of the debate.

but, unless the WDFW takes some reasonable and prudent action, we won't have much to discuss in the near term.
 
#87
one reason why fully funding wdfw from license sales is a serious double edged sword. the pressure to manage solely for license sales and the revenue will likely not be favorable to wild fish management.

Chris
With the over spending that we have seen from our elected officials over the past decade or so - Not fully funding but gaining a higher percentage of "self funding" may be the only avenue we as sportmen have of not seeing such huge budget cuts. We all know when we put fishing or hunting funding up against education, single moms, school lunch and many other entitlements - WE LOSE.

I think we have seen more of a shift (not a total shift) of the angler supporting wild fish and wild fish management. I talk to many young gear anglers that are like me and love to fish for our wild steelhead and have no problem with CnR - From my discussions they enjoy/support that type of fishery over the cookie cutter hatchery fishery - like many fisherman they may be looking for the 20 pounder that they will not get in our hatchery runs here in PS. As the old gaurd dies off and stops fishing we need to start the process of education of younger anglers on the up side of being able to fish for our wild steelhead. It will be a long process and but over time we could make a real dent in how and what fisheries our anglers would support.

Lets hope.
 

gt

Active Member
#88
As the old gaurd dies off Lets hope.



hey, i resemble that!!! :)

my very first steelhead was a 'B' fish of 26#, haven't seen one that big since. some of us old timers have had our licks over decades of supurb fishing. what many of us see, right now, is the demise of the last remaining stocks. so while we can argue that we need time to make a change, i would counter that we don't have much time left. the difference here is i have catch records of an embarasing number of steelhead simply because they were there to persue. i have stopped fishing for steelhead at this juncture but do my very best to kill every hatchery salmon i can lay my hands on!