"I used to be one who defended CCA for the beneficial projects carried out. Perhaps I need to do some research on the status of gill-net removal."
To date, 87 derelict nets have been removed from the Nooksack river because of local efforts and CCA's willingness to apply pressure. This has spawned significant awareness throughout Washington state relating to this significant problem.
There were people removing derelict gill nets long before CCA arrived. http://www.derelictgear.org/Our-Program.aspx They may have helped with a little PR but they did not invent net removal. One of the things I dislike the most about CCA is they like to take credit for what others have been doing for a long time.
What "credit"? And how many "credits" does it take to get a cup of coffee at Starbuck's?
It's about advocacy. It's about doing good work, telling others about it, and creating critical mass. It's about hard work on the stream, in the commission meeting room, in senate and house hearings, in department offices and advisory meetings, in courtrooms and having highly competent staff doing excellent work. It's easy to Monday morning quarterback, it's more difficult to do the good, hard work, and have others criticize you for doing it, for no apparent reason.
The statement about nets being removed stands on its own, and makes no comment about anything others may have done or may yet do. Through that effort and associated press, many more people are now aware that gillnets litter their rivers, and are thus better educated. Now what, exactly, is wrong with that?
Whatever. My post was in response to hookedonthefly's post. I don't have the time nor the inclination to verify what he stated. As far as I am concerned CCA is more than willing to take credit for other people's hard work. It is nothing new for them. The Northwest Straits Derelict Gear Initiative has been here long before CCA and has done far more work removing nets than all other entities combined. CCA doesn't make a pimple on their ass when it comes to net removal.
You might ask Ginny Broadhurst about CCA and their help in getting the $4 million federal funding for the NW Straits Commission's net removal efforts. She and Jeff June (now retired) think CCA does OK.
Of course derelict net removal is not new. Ginny Broadhurst is a friend. She and her staff (www.derelictgrear.org) at NW Straits Commission do an outstanding job. CCA has certainly helped raise awareness about the issues with derelict gear and helped NW Straits obtain funding for projects. They've never taken credit for the idea or the efforts of NWSC. That's ridiculous.
This derelict net issue on the Nooksack river was found and a solution was pursued...period. I think we can agree derelict nets aren't super great.
There are several tribal river fishers within the Nooksack tribe; and, the Lummi Nation fishes the river aggressively during certain times of the year. The concerned group on the Nooksack that took the derelict net project on began in 2006. Long term Nooksack resident fishers tell me derelict gear on the Nooksack is a chronic problem. They see 'em all the time.
The usual stretch where 10-15 derelict nets in 2006 were regularly identified was on about a 14 mile stretch of the Nooksack. It appeared that these fishers' who lost their nets were tribal given marked buoys in many cases; although, some certainly could have been poachers.
The information gathered originally in 2006 was provided to Officer Valentine and Officer Jones at WDFW enforcement who worked with the Nooksack tribe to remove nets within their usual fishing areas. This was an ongoing effort.
The larger effort ran from the US bridge to near the mouth identifying 34 derelict nets in November 2009. This was provided to one of the local WDFW staff members who in turn referred the information to the tribes as well as a WDFW supervisor. The Nooksack tribe again removed +- 10 derelict nets in their usual fishing area. It was assumed that the other 24 remained.
In February 2010, after river closure and at very low water, GPS and photographs were obtained identifying 62 derelict nets on the Nooksack between the US bridge and near the mouth.
This information was provided to Bryan Irwin, Executive Director at the time, of CCA-PNW who in turn contacted Phil Anderson, director of WDFW. It is my understanding given the magnitude of the situation NMFS became involved at some point as well.
Following contact, efforts were made which have ultimately resulted in the removal of 87 derelict nets to date. Not all of these derelict nets were fishing or would fish. It is my understanding that there were about 21 of the original 62 derelict nets that were fishing or would fish at higher flows. The Nooksack tribe was again cooperative; and, Officer Washington, past Nooksack tribal enforcement, was significantly involved and is a hell of a good guy.
Given the current returns of the various species, any derelict net fishing or potentially fishing is too much.
I feel fairly safe in saying that without these efforts nothing would have ever been done.
There's no taking credit for anything that CCA didn't do (btw, there's nothing that pisses me off more) here. I don't agree with CCA's position on every front. That's the case with every conservation group I support.
CCA certainly got it done this time; and, they can take every bit of credit in helping get these derelict nets out of the Nooksack.
BTW, I was really just glad to have that clarification from Tyler on CCA's view on the Gene Bank deal.