You May be Killing Steelhead and Not Know It

Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
#31
C&R mortality is an imaginary problem. Very few die from C&R angling. It is little but a diversion of energy from real issues. I'm truly amazed at all the energy devoted to the topic when the data is so clear and accesable showing what a limitted impact it is.

PT is correct in that Sparkey's law is a fine law. It's both unneccesary and fine. Just having the law should stop the discussion, but it won't. People will still go around thinkin and saying that C&R angling has a meaningful impact on fish runs. They'll try and outlaw gear types or methods all based on a false assumption that it will help. In fact these discussions have the negative effect of splintering conservation minded anglers.


Go Red Sox,
cds
 

PT

Physhicist
#32
all thats needed is a simple test to find out if you have read them
We didn't need a course, class, or test to change the saltwater (from a boat) handling rules and it's worked just fine. Not all agree with that new reg either but it's keeping fish from flopping around on the bottom of peoples boats.

TEST: "Is it lawful to completely remove a fish from the water that is unlawful to keep?"
ANSWER: "No."

Wow, that helped.


I'm with Charles, let's keep talking about things that have almost no impact on the fish.
 

hydrological

beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto
#34
C&R mortality is an imaginary problem. Very few die from C&R angling. It is little but a diversion of energy from real issues. I'm truly amazed at all the energy devoted to the topic when the data is so clear and accesable showing what a limitted impact it is.

PT is correct in that Sparkey's law is a fine law. It's both unneccesary and fine. Just having the law should stop the discussion, but it won't. People will still go around thinkin and saying that C&R angling has a meaningful impact on fish runs.
cnr mortality is not an imaginary problem. but, in a way you are correct. that in the grand scheme of things, it is only killing a fraction of the fish that gill nets, dams, over harvest by our native neighbors, etc... does. think of it this way, just for arguments sake, if all the nets kill 90 out of 100 of wild steelhead at the mouth of river X, and 10 of those fish enter the river, but, without sparkys law, 2 of those wild fish handled by the meat fisherman, and the uneducated masses, are accidently killed. thats only a 2 percet of the original 100 right? sounds like an insignificant number. but you have just reduced the # of fish that made it up the river, and might have spawned successfully by 20 % now add sparkys law to that equation, and again, FOR ARGUMENTS SAKE, lets say half as many succumb to cnr mortality, you now have 9 instead of 8 that might spawn. thats alot more significant than 2 out of the hundred. so you really should say "of all the fish that MIGHT have made it up to spawn, cnr mortality only kills a fraction of what all the nets do" but it kills a much larger percentage of the fish that actually make it into the river. BUT, statements like yours , when read by the ignorant masses, and the vast majority of uneducated anglers, will lead them to beleive that wild steelhead are bulletproof, and its perfectly ok to handle fish carelessly, and drop them on rocks, etc. and they are only killing 2% do you really think they always survive that ? and its ok? you have to remember many of those reading this shit, actually think you know what you're talking about, and why should they bother to be more careful ? thats the whole point of sparkys law, to prevent those ignorant masses from adding, however insignificantly (IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS) to those mortality numbers.

and sparkys law is unnecessary ? you give people way too much credit. and even if they are not killed every time, do you prefer to catch beat up fish ?

now i dont claim to be an expert, but if the ignorant masses beleive that I know what i'm talking about, where is the harm ? so what, is it a bad thing that people are more careful? or should they beleive that YOU know what you are talking about? and even if you can prove to them that you can bash a fishes head on the rocks, or finger fuck their gills, and they will survive to spawn succesfully, you have done what? shown them that they dont need to be careful? and that is good how?

so on to the big picture. as a small group, us fly anglers can only do so much in getting bans on nets etc... that will take a majority of the population, not a majority of anglers. but we can make alot more of a difference by educating anglers that wouldnt otherwise know any better. and as far as wasting energy, why waste it telling people here that they dont need to be careful. where was the harm in the report that started this post, telling people they should be more careful. so why would you want to try and divide a group of anglers, except to justify mishandling fish? it is only diverting people from the real issues, when you argue that its ok to be careless, that it doesnt matter anyway?
the big picture problem remains, and will for a long time to come.
have you ever heard of the phrase "think globally, act locally" i think, true or false, the creator of the report was acting locally, and either way, thanks to him/her for actually caring enough. and you have, with your post here , attempted to help wild steelhead how?
 

Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
#35
cnr mortality is not an imaginary problem. but, in a way you are correct. that in the grand scheme of things, it is only killing a fraction of the fish that gill nets, dams, over harvest by our native neighbors, etc... does. think of it this way, just for arguments sake, if all the nets kill 90 out of 100 of wild steelhead at the mouth of river X, and 10 of those fish enter the river, but, without sparkys law, 2 of those wild fish handled by the meat fisherman, and the uneducated masses, are accidently killed. thats only a 2 percet of the original 100 right? sounds like an insignificant number. but you have just reduced the # of fish that made it up the river, and might have spawned successfully by 20 % now add sparkys law to that equation, and again, FOR ARGUMENTS SAKE, lets say half as many succumb to cnr mortality, you now have 9 instead of 8 that might spawn. thats alot more significant than 2 out of the hundred. so you really should say "of all the fish that MIGHT have made it up to spawn, cnr mortality only kills a fraction of what all the nets do" but it kills a much larger percentage of the fish that actually make it into the river. BUT, statements like yours , when read by the ignorant masses, and the vast majority of uneducated anglers, will lead them to beleive that wild steelhead are bulletproof, and its perfectly ok to handle fish carelessly, and drop them on rocks, etc. and they are only killing 2% do you really think they always survive that ? and its ok? you have to remember many of those reading this shit, actually think you know what you're talking about, and why should they bother to be more careful ? thats the whole point of sparkys law, to prevent those ignorant masses from adding, however insignificantly (IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS) to those mortality numbers.

and sparkys law is unnecessary ? you give people way too much credit. and even if they are not killed every time, do you prefer to catch beat up fish ?

now i dont claim to be an expert, but if the ignorant masses beleive that I know what i'm talking about, where is the harm ? so what, is it a bad thing that people are more careful? or should they beleive that YOU know what you are talking about? and even if you can prove to them that you can bash a fishes head on the rocks, or finger fuck their gills, and they will survive to spawn succesfully, you have done what? shown them that they dont need to be careful? and that is good how?

so on to the big picture. as a small group, us fly anglers can only do so much in getting bans on nets etc... that will take a majority of the population, not a majority of anglers. but we can make alot more of a difference by educating anglers that wouldnt otherwise know any better. and as far as wasting energy, why waste it telling people here that they dont need to be careful. where was the harm in the report that started this post, telling people they should be more careful. so why would you want to try and divide a group of anglers, except to justify mishandling fish? it is only diverting people from the real issues, when you argue that its ok to be careless, that it doesnt matter anyway?
the big picture problem remains, and will for a long time to come.
have you ever heard of the phrase "think globally, act locally" i think, true or false, the creator of the report was acting locally, and either way, thanks to him/her for actually caring enough. and you have, with your post here , attempted to help wild steelhead how?
You are a saint hydrological, I'm not sure how you managed to stop fishing for stellhead all together to protect them from any possible miss handling, my hat is off to you. I on the other hand don't have quite the same fortitude.
 

Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
#36
Hydrological,

3-5% mortality from generally uneducated anglers would be a more accurate depiction of whats been shown scientifically. 20% is wildly high. So your for the sake of argument, argument, is designed wrong from the start. I understand it was designed so that you could win an argument, but like the article that started this thread, you lose credability when the science is mis-stated.

I am not advocating poor fish handling. I doubt you'll find anyone who handles fish lesss than I do (insert dig here). I am saying that in the grand scheme of things, C&R mortality has no effect on steelhead populations.

I don't think that giving accurate information to the general public tends to lead to poor behavior, nor do I think that legality generally dictates peoples behavior. Give people the truth and your better off. That's what I say.

Go Red Sox,
cds
 

Pat Lat

Mad Flyentist
#37
I've always wondered about whether or not sick or injured fish are more likely to bite. it could be that many of the fish that die after cnr were also desperate,weak fish to begin with. That being said, there are other lurking variables in the equation. For instance, how far up river were the studies done, if they were low in the system is expect fresher,stronger fish. Where as higher in the system a higher mortality may be the case after traveling many miles,converting to freshwater and having a gauntlet of fishing pressure since step one.
No real point to make here, just pointing out the fact that there are variables that can't always be calculated. I tread the fine line of trying to gently catch a fish, even though that doesn't always work. And I appreciate sparkys law.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#38
You might as well drop the Indians out of the conversation also. As far as steelhead go they have little impact on them. On the Skagit, for example, the few that net the river for steelhead take less than 500 fish and likely more around a few hundred. Out of a run of 8500 fish those few hundred fish are not going to push them to extinction. Also, believe it or not the tribes are likely our best allies when it comes to management decisions on current runs. They are currently doing far more studies on steelhead than our own WDFW is. So instead of pointing fingers at them you might try to figure out how to work with them. I guarantee you the tribes are not going away and whining about them is not going to stop them from fishing.
 

Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
#40
I've always wondered about whether or not sick or injured fish are more likely to bite. it could be that many of the fish that die after cnr were also desperate,weak fish to begin with. That being said, there are other lurking variables in the equation. For instance, how far up river were the studies done, if they were low in the system is expect fresher,stronger fish. Where as higher in the system a higher mortality may be the case after traveling many miles,converting to freshwater and having a gauntlet of fishing pressure since step one.
No real point to make here, just pointing out the fact that there are variables that can't always be calculated. I tread the fine line of trying to gently catch a fish, even though that doesn't always work. And I appreciate sparkys law.
I think you may find that the inverse is true. Fish caught very low in hte system would be likely to have a higher mortality rate. That is if the scales hadn't "hardened".

Go Sox,
cds
 

PT

Physhicist
#41
Giving people factual information is much more important than making up numbers to prove a point. The study this thread is based on is bogus. It is admittedly bogus.

The people that actually catch a lot of fish handle fish better than those that don't. You can't become proficient without the experience of actually doing it. We have a course that puts hundreds of new drivers on the roads every day but those people have absolutely no idea how to actually drive a car until they have tens of thousands of miles under their belt. Lets control what we can control but leave the bogus information out of that equation.

There's a big difference between 2% and 20%. And, just for clarification, what the hell is a meat fisherman? Someone who fishes gear rather than the fly?

I don't see a whole lot of casual, bash them on the head fisherman on the water during the wild runs. I see people who care about the resource out enjoying that resource. Look at what the pink runs bring out. Now, look at who is on the water during our spring steelhead runs. 2 completely separate user groups.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#42
Hi Hydrological,

Well well, so why don't you tell us how you really feel? That was a pretty good lambast of Charles' post you did there. Neither he nor anyone else is advocating careless handling of the fish we catch and release. Fish handling gets a lot of exposure on this forum. However, over the top remarks or rants probably don't help any. It's important to note that, as has already been posted in this thread, that the "study" describes in the OP was bogus and the alleged high incidental mortality rate is no more real than this study that didn't occur.

I think it's far better that our forum members read accurate information. In fact I'm beginning to think that this forum ought to have a section for scientific reports on topics like CNR mortality since the subject comes up so often. The further thought occurs to me that a person should have to read the reports before being allowed to post in any thread about CNR mortality. But where would be the fun in that, eh?

Sg
 

Pat Lat

Mad Flyentist
#43
I think you may find that the inverse is true. Fish caught very low in hte system would be likely to have a higher mortality rate. That is if the scales hadn't "hardened".

Go Sox,
cds
Very interesting, i didn't realize that was such a factor. It does still reflect the point that morality rates vary due to a number of factors that arent always obvious
 

Smalma

Active Member
#44
In interest of providing full information the issue of increased handling mortality on fish whose scales have not yet "set" is a very real problem with Chinook; especially those early stocks (springs and summers) who tend to enter rivers as relatively immature fish. The handling mortality is much higher on those Chinook while they are "shedding" scales then once those scales have "set". It is of interest that those elevated mortalities seem to the greatest for those Chinook with shedding scales once they leave the salt. That sort of handling mortality seems to be the greatest for Chinook and less so for the other salmon species and especially the various "trouts" -steelhead, cutthroat, bulls,etc..

However there are other conditions which can result in elevated handling mortalities for steelhead; the most common of which are high stream temperatures.

Curt
 

FinLuver

Active Member
#45
"Hardness of scales" or "setting in" causing mortality... now that's a new one on me.

Guess, that's why I've seen the banks littered with all the dead "early river runners"...??

Must be all the bears are getting to them before I do...or.... it makes as much sense as them banging their heads on the rocks from jumping the falls. ;)