A Petition To Overturn Steelhead Harvest Moratorium

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Bob Triggs, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    In several shops in Forks, gas stations, and other locations on the Olympic Peninsula, I am seeing a petition, from a group called "Washington Sportsmen",that seeks to overturn the WDF&W Commissioner's recent ruling for a two year moratorium on the harvest of Wild Steelhead in Washington. It appears to be addressed to the Governor's office, or intended to be. I have not been able to find any contact information for this "group".

    Perhaps the Governor should be hearing from us as well.
  2. Rob Blomquist

    Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

    Interesting, I didn't see anything like that at the Sportsman's show in Monroe, so it can't be too pervasive.

    I can only assume that its going to be another one of those "city folks" vs. "country folks" arguments. I wonder if the OP is going to try to secede from the rest of the state....

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

    To secede from the state is OK, but just the people, not the land.}( Of course, I'm talking about the west end only.
    I believe the real issue is all smoked up by now. My gut feeling is that what we have as opposition are just a bunch of rednecks who want to kill some fish. They don't really fish all that much but they do like to kill fish every now and again and resent anyone telling them how to manage "their" rivers.

    I Spring fish for steelhead quite a bit, and I'm interested in seeing if the pressure on the rivers drops significantly because no killing is allowed after April 1, 2004.

    I also have a gut level feeling, for whatever that's worth, that we will win this one, petitions or not. We have right on our side and that's always tough to fight against.:thumb

    Bob, the Only slightly Pissed
    Off About the Petitions:beer2
  4. Preston

    Preston Active Member

  5. C/R is currently 71.71 percent :thumb
  6. Joe

    Joe Member

    Come on guys! So far only 208 people have voted, fewer than have looked at this posting, and more than 700 have looked at "Weekend Reports".

    If you care about wild steelhead release, PLEASE cast your vote.

  7. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

    The moratorium is in place and I doubt that it is going to be overturned. I believe that cooler heads will prevail once the air has cleared and Mayor Nedra Reed of Forks gets enough feedback in favor of "C&R" of all wild steelhead. She does, however need to know that we will remain faithful to the Olympic Peninsula and spend our money as well as our time in the area. She is concerned over the tourist economy of Forks, which will become increasingly important as commercial fishing and timber harvesting become a smaller part of the economy.

    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
  8. Mike Colagrossi

    Mike Colagrossi Whammo!

    When we were out there over the weekend we had several gear guys visit us at our campsite, and they fish quite often and all said that if they can not take home the fish they most likely will not be back. They understood our positions of C&R (although one guy called us Indian Lovers, not sure what the hell he ment by that) but their position is that they only account for a small percentage of the take, where as the real problem lies in the drift nets being laden accross the lower reaches of the river.

    I have never personally seen how these nets are laid out but from other people describing them it seems like the fish basically have no chance of getting through them.

    What needs to happen is to limit netting and find a alternate form of business for the native tribes such as casino's or whatever it may be.

    I am in support of the retention ban, but do believe that the root of the problem lies with the netting & retention of wild steelhead by the native tribes.

    Tight Lines,


    PS. I voted on the forks forum for you Joe
  9. Mike Colagrossi

    Mike Colagrossi Whammo!

    Just a footnote read the article on www.forksforum.com here is one paragraph that I found funny, I guess the fly fishing community is like a organized crime group now.....

    "The commission voted 5-3 for the moratorium after it was introduced by Commissioner R.P. Van Gytenbeek during the meeting. Coincidentally a number of representatives of fly fishing groups also attended the meeting which has led Reed, and others, to contend that it was a set up and led to the concern that the way the decision was arrived at was flawed and possibly illegal. If it wasn’t illegal, it was morally wrong, Reed said. This was a set up. It was an well-orchestrated event. The fly fishermen arrived at the meeting by the bus load.
    Roehl voted against the ban. "

  10. Whitey

    Whitey Active Member

    Well, excuse us for being organized!! Like its wrong or something. I look at it like this: Lots of things inhibit the fish from getting back home, commerial fisherman, nets, etc. BUT, if a fish made it through that madness, And actually got back home, i.e "the river", why not let them go spawn and some day we can fish for the offspring. this is why every single fish counts for something, every single fish counts for the future of our sport.

  11. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

    It wouldn't count my vote. When I tried - it said I had already voted (but I didn't...).
  12. windtickler

    windtickler Member

    This quote is disturbing at a very basic level: obviously Reed has no true comprehension of democracy, and feels threatened when back room dealings become public. Illegal? Morally wrong? I find that very scary, and despite a previous post about how powerful it is to be in the right, fighting such ignorance in a place of power will be a very difficult thing indeed.
  13. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    If you look at todays local news in the Forks Forum; www.forksforum.com ,you will read about some of the concerns of local politicians,businesses and fishermen in Forks, over the wild steelhead harvest moratorium.

    In that article they encourage people to write in to the state commissioners and wdfw with their concerns. I think that we should do the same.

    If you don't heed this then don't complain when the moratorium gets overturned. Save your energy for writing some solid, real letters in support of the moratorium.

    Throughout the discussion of this issue, raised here in several other "Forks" related postings, I have been emphatic in my requests that people be thoughtful and respectful in their discussion and in their letters to public officials, businesses and the Forks Chamber of Commerce. For the most part this has been the case.

    In a few instances though there have been some very ugly and inflammatory things said, here and elsewhere, regarding the people of Forks. I can not begin to describe here how damaging this has been for all concerned. Please keep a civil tounge. It is my experience that a lack of respect, sarcasm and outright abusiveness only alienates people further. My goal in raising the issue was not to burn bridges but to build them.
  14. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

    A couple things.

    The "busload" was only a dozen people that my club, The Washington Fly Fishing Club, carpooled in a small bus, over from Seattle via the Kingston ferry to Port Townsend for the public hearings. The forks forum made it sound like we took a bus to Olympia for the Commission meeting in February – not true. As I understand it, a few members of the Wild Steelhead Coalition attended that meeting.

    Also, I'm fairly certain this website is read by members of the Forks city council. It's already water under the bridge, but the inflamatory and derogative comments in past postings have only served to heat up the situation.

  15. CofO

    CofO New Member

    Bob you are right about a lot of folks in Forks being hurt by comments made on this board. Last Friday I stoped in at the Commerce building and talked with Diane for an hour. She was a very nice person with legitimate concerns about the future of Forks.

    We talked fish, science and economics for that hour then she booted up her internet and came over to this site to show me the ill feelings of some. I was a bit unconfortable with that and tried to explain that many of the posts were possitive towards Forks and that the few may have been just a little over doing it and maybe kind of young. But when your back is against the wall like Forks feel they are it is hard to see anything but the negative sometimes. I showed her other sites where everything said is possitive and where those sites are planing to put up free links to Forks Chamber of Commerce. Maybe Chris can do the same here?

    I also let her know that the mayor was wrong in beleiving that it was fly fishing groups who caused all this as the WSC I believe has more gear fishermen than fly, maybe 60/40 %. We got to stop boasting about being fly fishermen it just does not work in the real world outside of our small domain.

    We also must remember that Forks has the right to challenge anything that has been done just as we would expect to be able to challenge things we see as not right. Thank God we still have a few but fading rights left in this country. Let them challenge or go before the board and find out how proceedurs like the WSR passed.

    Nothing is easy in this world of rivers, steelhead and politics.
  16. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

    Agreed CofO. While econmics will play a part, we should keep this focused on the fish. The science is what made this decision happen, and science should be used to defend it. In the recent Forum article posted above it's easy to see that this is a cultural issue for many people on the Pen. This perception of outsiders telling them what to do. It's already been painted as Seattle/suburban fly fishers behind this, no changing that perspective at this point. Continuing to be overly aggro will only reinforce the idea that Forks got railroaded. The law is a done deal.

    Be the ball Danny
  17. If you read the article up on ForksForum.com they obvisiously don't want my kind out in Forks. I had planned an extra trip out there in April to show them that the fisherman will come and it looked like I was going to drag a buddy or two with me. But they obviously don't want my kind out there.

    They talk about facts.
    1) The Hoh is in a downward trend. Missed escapement last year (would have made it without any harvest). Te Hoh is being managed to miss escapement this year.
    2) The Quillayute system is the only one with an upward escapement trend and it has had 5 straight years of declining runs. Will it be six?
    3) The Queets is being managed below escapement for the last 10 years. I believe it has missed escapement 6 of the last 9 years but that is the one fact I have to look up.
    4)There has been no reduction of harvest since the limit was dropped to 5 fish a year.

    These are facts with science to back them up. Of their 16 points maybe 5 have science or facts to back them up.

    I have seen the facts. Forks this could be a huge win for you and there are a lot of this that will support you but if you don't want us Marblemount might. I want to support you and show you this is a good thing.

  18. CofO

    CofO New Member


    Now is not the time to get peed of at Forks. We have to show them that good things will come. If the time comes to boycott Forks then so be it it will be their loss but now and hopefully for many years to come all sport fishermen and women will be friends of Forks.
  19. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

    I believe that Mayor Reed -- and probably an entourage from Forks -- is meeting with Commissioner Van Gytenbeek this week in Olympia. A lot of facts will be presented at this meeting.
    I wrote Mayor Reed and found her to be engaging and honestly concerned about the welfare of Forks. She is responsible for maintaing the economy of the town. She and her townspeople have seen their two primary resources decline dramatically over the past several years. Until bureaucrats legalize logging in the National Park (and don't think they won't try it as another monumentally ill-conceived Band-Aid); or, our enormous salmon boondoggle is reformed sometime before the midpoint of this century; the economic structure of Forks, that has grown and fallen on these two major natural resources, will have to be radically redefined.
    As for the the treaty tribes; they received a Federal mandate in 1974 by Judge Boldt to fish for steelhead. The Boldt Decision has weathered two trips to the Supreme Court. Don't count on it being overturned. So you might as well quit trying to hang this whole mess on the tribes.
    A lot of anglers, conventional gear and fly fishers, have given up on the Olumpic Peninsula. I doubt that it will be a watershed exodus though. A lot of Washington anglers gave up fishing before the steelhead moratorium ever made it into the regulations. The most recent statistics I've seen show that fishing and hunting license sales in Washington have dropped something like 6.1% over the past couple of years across the state, steelhead fishing notwithstanding.
    There is no quick fix here. So, be patient and use the next two years to get involved. Send letters showing your concern for Forks in particular and the Olympic Peninsula in general. It remains a treasure, even in its present degraded condition. To make the steelhead fishing better I'm afraid that we will have to address a whole lot of peripheral issues presently harming our great outdoors and its resources.

    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
  20. CofO,

    I have heard of strange things going on out there. Bagpipes in the forest. Cases and Cases of wine and one camp where no one sleeps. Sounds like my kind of place I hope they can see the light.