Ban On Steelhead Fishing From Boats?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Bob Triggs, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. If you ban boats there will be more wading. Redds would suffer too. If you ban wading then more will crowd the very limited bank accessible spots. The pressure on those spots would result in more riverside habitat damage as people tried to make more space, faster access, etc. I'm all for bait bans. If a river or whole system must be shut down to allow a few years of recovery to happen that might be the best method. Interesting subject Mr. Triggs, interesting comments have resulted.
  2. iagree YEAH!
  3. Ok, now we have an interest in banning boats altogether, well jet boats anyway. If you are interested in getting jets banned on the Skagit might I suggest you join up with the eagle gawkers. They hate jet boats and they have a bit of political muscle. Well, at least they are very visible and can honestly say they have little impact on the resource. They need your support also since they had to cancel their festival this year because of money problems. Until then I will continue to run my jet up and down the river as many times as it takes.
  4. Salmo G,
    Sorry, I was talking about fish in a whole. As far as steelhead goes between 6-12 Steelhead in the last 5 years. Some where flyfisherman and some gear guys. I have seen more salmon and trout then anything else. Coho and kings would be the most common. 8 years ago out in a flyout camp I use to work at, we got a lot of fly guys from Scotland and England and they killed more Silvers then I have ever seen before or since. I had to get all the guides together and had all the clients watch the guides fight some fish to show them how they can still have fun with a battle, but they needed to bring the fish in quickly. During dinner they talked to us about why they took their time. Where they were from they only land a few salmon a year and how expensive it was to fish the prime water in Europe. They just wanted to enjoy the fight and didn't understand that they were going to land alot of fish in their week. (Didn't have the Experience) I have lots of my clients each year loosen the drags on my reels and wear out fish. They normally hear a speach as I am reveiving the 1st fish from shore or from a boat.
  5. Regarding a bait ban, I agree with Salmo that the biggest impacts of using bait are usually seen with juveniles. I would rather see more restrictions on hook size. Some of the huge hooks I see people using (barbless or not) inflict a lot of damage. The juvenile fish get it the worst. Not sure what the current regs are, but I would support limiting the max hook size to about a #4 or 2 and implement year-round barbless restrictions in fisheries with wild steelhead.
  6. Some form of bait ban makes more sense to me. I would think the biggest beneficiaries of this would be the juvenile fish. Any statistics out there on the juvenile fish loss in the CnR seasons?

    Build a big tent to effect change. Alienating groups won't accomplish this.
  7. I agree with Evan, at certain times on each river system you want to harvest the brats.

    I am not an advocate of making more rules (enforcement issues) but cut off times for boat-bait fishing vs selective gear- walk wade rules could be an effective management tool for the fisheries. Promote hatchery harvest - protect native runs.

    Is there enough run timing data for each river to reach affective targeting dates?
  8. What about fishing from a boat in big water? Some runs I fish on the clearwater are slots in the middle of the river, and I can't cast 300 feet with a skagit head yet.
  9. Did a quick qooqle search, but couldn't find anything on the positive or negative affects of fishing from a boat for steelhead. Can anybody find something related to this topic that would shed some light on the subject? After looking some more I still couldn't find anything.

    Bob, would you mind passing on some referrences so I can make an informed decision based on scientific results?
  10. That's the first time I've ever agreed with anything you've said here. We'll be on the Yakima Friday if you want a seat!
  11. I dont see anything bad about drifting rivers, no more than the guy tredging through 4ft tailouts stepping in redds along the way. I see no issues with the steelhead laws we have except for the wild fish retention deal the state still allows on the Penninsula. As far as ethics on fighting fish and bait mortality on adults, I think it comes down to the experiance of the fisherman. A good steelhead fisherman would know not to overplay a fish just for self satisfaction. Or take a 100pics of the same fish in different shots only to come brag about it on such boards... If the state were to ever ban the use of driftboats when steelhead fishing, to me it would be ridiculous.
  12. i agree with the hook size limits. there should also be minimum tackle limits: rod sizes (though i realize difference in brands and rod types make this difficult), leader/tippet minimums, etc. I shudder every time I hear someone say a 5-6wt rod is plenty for summer steel. I've seen columbia river summer steel turn 7wts in to wet noodles with experienced fly fishermen. A 6wt is just going to put that fish in jeopardy
  13. Apparently you have never fished the Skagit during the hump or chum spawn. I can show you places where you can watch the people wading on redds. In many places the fish are spawning within a few feet of the bank. Chum readily spawn in areas that can and do become dewatered during low flows. Now I know this thread is about steelhead but are we to place a higher value on a particular species' survival over another just to please our desired way of fishing? I wonder how many potential surviving salmon are killed when a wader steps into the middle of a redd? Could it be more or less than the number of fish that die due to hooking mortality from a boat?

    And the truth be known when a ban on fishing from a boat was proposed for the Skagit the Wildcat Steelhead Club of Sedro Woolley did propose a bill in the state senate or the house to ban wading in retaliation. It was defeated but the bill made it to a vote if I remember correctly and yes I said the state senate and/or the house. They didn’t even bother going to WDFW.
  14. convenient, but I digress.

    Boat vs. Wade or Walk In does not have to be the focus of the thread Jason. It also does not have to break down to bait vs. fly. Perhaps it can be an ongoing and potentially positive discussion on what can be done to improve the sustainability / slow the decline of the steelhead population. As others have said this will take a multiple group approach for any success in steelhead recovery, maybe a ban on fishing altogether. What will ensure the erradication of steelhead is us all not willing to look beyond a Walk In Guide taking a position that is directly opposed by a Drift Boat Guide. Both seek fish, for themselves, or clients now. Both are likely responsible and mature enough to realize that fishing tomorrow is dependant upon there being fish to target tomorrow. My question, for the survival of steelhead, is there any way that fishermen/women of all gear practices and all methodologies can get our collective heads together to make a positively impacting difference? If we practice division by tactics employed, such as has been the case for the past decade I've lived here, then we'll all be fishing for carp and northern pike minnow and telling stories of how it used to be. Don't we all read enough stories of how it used to be from those more experienced in the forum already. Are we destined to continue to :beathead: with little hope of accomplishing anything else.

    {off to pop more popcorn}
  15. I would agree with banning fishing from a boat while under power, a total ban is unrealistic. No bait single barbless is some thing I'd like to see, along with state wide wild release. Lack of enforcement is a big problem, I got checksd this weekend for the first time in years! I know a number of people who fish the nooksack after it closes every year, no one there to see them.
  16. I think that it is pretty easy for everyone here to jump on a bash Bob ban wagon. Most of you have never held a conversation with the man and have no clue as to what he stands for or not. He is a very strong advocate for our native Steelhead populations. And does more work for them than many of you na sayers ever will. I think that sticking to the discussion as was introduced by Mr Triggs would be best.

    Decker, go find a few fly shops to throw money at.

    As for the topic of the thread, I personally like the ban on fishing from a boat on the Deschutes as it gives many people an opportunity to fish a run without having someone cast their gear/flies over your line. I don't know enough about the mortality rates to speak about that so I wont. But as for just pure fishing enjoyment it is nice to not fight with a boat load of guys drifting through your run.
  17. Again I ask are we to sacrifice the lives of a certain species to satisfy our desired way of fishing. It is easy to say statements to the affect "but do you honestly think Skagit Pink and Chum salmon and being reduced in number because of careless wading?" after a record return of pinks. But, two years ago the Skagit pink season was closed due to low returns. Do you think that it would be right to allow people to walk on the redds in such years or should wading be banned on low return years and people allowed to wade on high return years?
  18. And what is wrong with that?

    Fishing is about exploiting a resource period. The state is the primary regulator of this exploitation. Not an easy job, nor has it always done a good job.

    Just because one may dislike a certain fishing style or technique, that alone is not a reason to limit its use.

    Blaming boats seems to be a specious argument, but I am open to any empirical evidence, not some anecdotal story.

    You want fishing as good as it was back in the 1800's? Cool, everyone fish the way it was done back then...ride your horse to the river, wade if you want, but no Gortex allowed, it might get chilly in the fall. No graphite, boron, fiberglass, and make sure you properly dry out your line when done to prevent mildew.

    Stupid hypothetical? Yes it is, but it would work. Is it practical? Heck no.

    Quixotic ideas will not work. Find away to restore the resources that balances the interest of the recreational and tribal fisherman and you will be on to something!


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