Angler Preference Survey-Rules Proposal

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Rich Simms, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. Rich Simms

    Rich Simms Active Member

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    Dear Friends of Steelhead,

    In Appendix 2 - Proposals Not Supported or Modified by Staff - of its 2010-2012 Sportfishing Rule Change Proposals, the WDFW staff responded in an identical manner to each person who proposed mandatory wild steelhead release year round in WA State with no exceptions. Their "Justification" column reads as follows:

    "No - Angler Preference Survey (scientific survey) shows significant support for wild fish harvest. Will still evaluate run strength on a case-by-case basis."

    This Angler Preference Survey (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/papers/2002_survey_resident_anglers/2002_survey_resident_anglers.pdf) is not a scientific study, as implied here. Rather, it is a public opinion poll using statistical measures commonly used in such surveys The Department appears to have missed the important distinction here. Further, this survey was clearly designed to elicit the answer received by those surveyed on this question. The specific question asked (Q157) reads: "Current regulations allow keeping one wild steelhead per license year from 1 of 11 specific rivers that meet or exceed spawning requirements for wild fish. Do you support or oppose the regulation allowing anglers to harvest wild steelhead on these rivers?" Asked in this manner, 57% of licensed fishermen replied that they strongly or moderately supported wild steelhead retention. Yet only 23% of licensed fishermen surveyed even fish for steelhead and only a portion of the overall survey group could be expected to have any knowledge of the status of steelhead runs and whether they are or are not healthy enough to ensure the continued viability of the fishery.

    Our wild steelhead fisheries are in serious decline throughout the entire State and we have repeatedly requested that science, not public opinion, form the basis for WDFW policies and practices. The Statewide Steelhead Management Plan asserts that this is now Commission policy. I encourage you to review the attached survey to judge for yourself whether it is a suitable guide for making such an important decision and write to the Department by its December 1st deadline if you would like to comment.

    Marianne Mitchell
     
  2. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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  3. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator Staff Member

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    That survey is outdated and bogus!

    I emailed them regarding the survey after all the rule proposals for Wild Steelhead mandatory release were denied based on this Survey.
     
  4. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    iagree
     
  5. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

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    Should be a rule, but responsible fishers recognize the need to release wild fish unharmed, and bonk hatchery fish. Both are important. Spread the word.

    Survey = scientific investigation...??? Not so much.
     

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