I agree. I'm not trying to solve problems, change how things are done, or have any illusions that an internet forum discussion changes anything. I am just curious because I don't know the history around all these issues that might seem obvious to those that have been here for years.
Feelin it. That was not directed at anyone. I left out the word "my" in my post, which I just now went back and inserted.
I had originally posted a comment about netting, and then decided it was just worthless venting, and then I deleted it. My 2-cent post was basically just a "bah humbug" post-deletion filler. Not worth a plug nickle, which is what low-lifers used to slip into vending machines back in the day, hoping to get a deal! That would just jam 'em up, so when you or I came along, our coin would jam in there and not come out when we hit the "coin return" lever. Having been denied, and worse yet, by a worthless piece of scrap, we'd have to rock and slam the evil machine around, maybe even turn it upside down and shake our coin back out, and then scram real fast! We were afraid that maybe it was illegal to beat up on a piece of junk that had just attempted to mug us out of our coin. That was inconvenient. I still hate vending machines.
Hatchery fish are little more than a salve for society's consceience for what we have collective done to the rivers of the region. The ability of the rivers of Puget Sound to produce anadromous salmonids has been largely compromised for other society benefits. Depending on the river system the degree of prouctivity loss ranges from 50 to 95% of the historic potential.
Historically one of the first uses of that productivity was to support tribal needs (food and trade) and later commercial fishing to the new settlers to the region. As land was cleared and water resources developed for other uses the ability to support those fishing needs were reduced -ergo hatcheries were born. It remains the position of many in the tribal community (and elsewhere) regard that hatchery production as mitigation for that lost habitat/productivity. For many complicated reasons I do not see hatchery production going away any time soon. That does not mean that production can not be modified but it is important to realize how we got to where we are so that we can make progress towards moving to alternate paradigms.
It has been relatively recently that recreational fishing has become an additional signicant use of that productivity. For us recreational fishers it seems obvious that recreational fishing is not only a legitimate of that productivity but a wise use of it. However to effectly argue that we are not just a self serving user group we need to realize we are competiting in arena where the currency is economic value. If what we want is that a significant portion of that productivity and any increased productivity from restoration activities we have to be prepared to make are case that it is a wise economic use of that resource. While that may be a cynical view it is my assessment of the situation we find ourselves in.
The tribes have been netting the mouth of Big Beef Creek in Hood Canal for the last month or two............constantly. Do you really think there is anything left of the run there???!! Dream on. Think about it. A small creek. There isn't a chance the runs will survive. This is one example of tribal greed and disregard for the fishery. There isn't a commercial fisherman out there that gives a shit about sustaining the resource for food or recreation. Last week I was fishing on the beach right near a tribal fisherman with his net hooked to the beach. He was landing coho after coho after coho. Of course the fish had lockjaw for me this time of year.
To modify the commercial fishing paradigm is going to require a lot of work to change the enabling legislation policies requiring a lot of ground work and self education on the details and processes of the current paradigm.
Or perhaps a single, or few, precisely worded Referendums. People do not seem to be deeply troubled by thinking about referendums. An emotional appeal about disappearing fish stocks might move many non-anglers to vote for a commercial fishing ban.
Don't get me wrong, I think there would be TONS of unintended consequences. My guess is some of the commercial fishing $ make it back to WDFW, and lopping another chunk off their budget might not be a hot idea. I'm just playing Devils advocate.
The street value (parking along the side of the road and selling your catch) of 75 coho (10 pounders) @$2.50 a pound equals $1875. A little bit more than an ounce of gold. Pretty good for a days pay. No wonder the fish are being thrashed. Damn easier than gold mining!! Don't forget to watch "Gold Rush" tonight on TV!!
Hey, I didn't see you Nick. I was there this afternoon. Hardly a fish in sight. I won't be back until it pours. Serious, I wouldn't plan on being there this weekend, but who knows. All I can say is, it was almost EMPTY this afternoon.