banning commercial fishing???

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by martyg, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    So in have to wonder... I was born and raised in the Great Lakes and salmon fishing there trounces salmon fishing here. We saw a huge turn when commercial fishing went away. The decision makers saw that it made more sense to focus on sport fishing as away to develop the local economies.

    Has there been any talk of that in Puget Sound? Any history of such discussion / direction?
     
  2. Joe Parke

    Joe Parke New Member

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    There was a voter's initiative several years ago to ban gill netting that didn't pass. The tribes would not have been effected by the ban.
    The wording on the ballet made it sound like a huge giveaway to the indians which caused it to fail.
     
  3. gt

    gt Active Member

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    when the mayor of forks goes on record as opposing '...all those damn people from the i-5 corridor...' coming to forks, you can bet your bottom dollar that she does not understand the value of live fish to their economic base. i guess she still thinks buffalo plaid and caulkboots are the order of the day in her neck of the woods. i sent her a fancy brochure i recieved from some booking crew hawking the B.C. steelhead lodges. if i remember the prices went from a low of 4k/wk to almost 8k/wk. butt, i guess that must be chump change in forks!

    we will probably never live to see the same thought process that opened the great lakes to sport fishing happen in the PNWet.
     
  4. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    trumpeting the great lakes as a good example of conservation science based fisheries management is one of the more hilarious ideas I have seen in a while. The native fish of the lakes were first driven to collapse, only to be replaced by a "meat on the table" fishery for a large array of introduced species dependant on hactheries for their survival in a highly decimated natural habitat.
    -T
     
  5. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    Tom

    I am not a fisheries biologist nor do I play one on TV. My experience comes from fishing the Great Lakes on an almost daily basis in some years.

    The fishery collapsed, if my memory serves me correctly, from pollution – mainly phosphates – although huge industry didn’t help. The Welland Canal linking the ocean to the lakes didn’t help the lake trout population. Lampreys had their way with them. They cleaned the phosphates up and industry died of natural market causes, which left the lakes without much in the way of sport fish. I do remember huge piles of dead smelt littering beaches – like two to three feet deep. So we had a huge forage base and no predators.

    Along came the salmon and trout and it was good. Initial stocking were heavy, but soon they found places to spawn and there is huge natural reproduction there. When I last lived there – in the ‘90s - I can’t say that I ever caught a clipped fish. Are they natural to the region? No. Do I care? No. A good day of fly fishing the Niagara Gorge for me was hooking into 30 kings (or as we said back there – Chinook). What’s more, musky, northerns, and large and smallmouth bass populations are very healthy.

    Is it a natural system? Far from it. Are the trout or atlantic salmon in Patagonia natural? No, but I still go down and guide there and I doubt that few would turn their nose up at the opportunity to go. Is the fishing in the Great Lakes far better than here? You betcha.

    One thing that has my mind turning is the growth of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Washington and Cabela’s looking at real estate. It would be interesting if retailers – who have a huge stake in this – spoke of one mind and rallied the sport fishermen. Government tend to listen to dollars, and if retailers spoke up, and enough of us spoke up, we might get our way at some point.

    By the way, if anyone is at Sportsman’s on Saturday look me up. I will be with the MOTHER packs in hunting clothing.
     
  6. Don't knock a region because their grandfathers were freaking Idiots and killed a fishery. At least on the great lakes this generation put a stop to being jerkoffs. What's Washingtons excuse?

    The big bows or erie steelheads are spawning naturally and you can practically walk across the rivers on them october november time. That is not bad considering it is the same lake that caught on fire, not too long ago. They stopped stocking salmon in that lake in the 80's and they are still around, even with the competition from the steelhead. If I remember correctly there are some cricks that were still getting stocked, or primered with rainbows. And yes the Bows are just as big of a PITA to get to bite there as the ones out here.
     
  7. Lucid Dreams of Fish

    Lucid Dreams of Fish Member

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    I will love to ban commercial fishing, in washington, at least in the sound.
    You will get my support.
     
  8. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    So we have some elections coming up. I am looking for action items. Any suggestions?
     
  9. Good luck finding a politician willing to do, what will be perceived as trampling on Indan rights, to the average voter.
     
  10. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    How about a rallying of sport fisherman groups and retailers, resorts and guides? We don't have to totally impact the Native Americans. I remember last year Oct 16th (I think that was the date) - the week before the purse seining season opened - there where commercial boats stacked up every mile waiting for the bell.

    It seems that we can’t rely on politicians. We have to rally as a group – gear guys, bait chuckers and fly fishermen. We have to flex our collective political and economic might. If we can’t find common ground to protect our resources then we might as well take up golf or lawn darts. Politicians may be ruled by special interest groups, but we can at least be heard.

    Does anyone know of a person in a position of influence who is a sport fisherman?
     
  11. polepole

    polepole New Member

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    I'm a little bit new to the WA sport fishing political scene, so perhaps someone can help educate me. Which groups here are active in defending my fishing rights and increasing my fishing opportunities? There is so much more to it than commercial fishing that I'd like to figure out which efforts are worth spending time, effort, and money on.

    I'm not saying your ideas don't bear any merit martyg. It's just that I don't know any better ... yet!

    -Allen
     
  12. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    As Deefree said earlier, the tribes wouldn't be effected by a net ban. They have treaty rights that guarantee their fishing. Combined those rights with our state bowing pretty much to anything they want to do, whether it is fishing, casino, keeping state sales tax and you have a fight that can't be won. We are better off to work with the tribes on fishery issues then against them.Tribal lobbying money has huge clout in Olympia.
    Although sportsmen far outnumber commercial fisherman, the commercial have done a very good lobbying job to keep their share of the pie. It goes back to the my father's father did it arguement, so I want to keep doing it (even though I don't make any money at it). Commercials will fight for the right to kill the last same just like some loggers want to cut the last tree. Couple that with the state wildlife commission that can't see the value of sport caught fish versus a commercial caught fish. Every study done shows the great value sportfishing brings to the economy versus commercial caught fish. I really can't see a time in the future where netting will be banned. We can always hope for it sometime in the future, but every effort to ban netting has failed. I've love to see places like Westport become the "Salmon Capital of the World" again. Getting nets banned would be a start, but not a total solution to our fishery problems.
    I think if we are ever to be successful in getting netting banned, we need to do it as a group effort. Sportsmen in this state are a splintered group. Flyfishers hate gear fisherman, gear fisherman hate elitist flyfisherman, some want wild steelhead harvest, others don't, etc. Until we are one voice with a common goal, the goal will be hard to achieve.
    Brian
     
  13. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    Yo Stone

    I used to work for the American Canoe Association. Usually, trout fishermen and padders are at odds, yet many times they sat around a table and spoke with one voice to remove antiquated dams.

    I don't beleive, for one minute, that this would be an easy issue. However it should be in our best interests to perhaps push some neutral organization - say like the Izaac Walton League - to be the party pushing it through. A coalition of all sport fishermen, resort owners and guides would be hard to ignore. An environmental group would proably be the kiss of death to such an effort, but a sportsman's group - that might get some attention.

    We couldn't go to Olympia as a fragmented group. If we went with one voice we might have an impact.
     
  14. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    Marty G,
    I agree that we as sportsmen should have a common goal and voice on our fishing issues. Much easier said then done. As a Washington state lifer, I hope that becomes reality someday. Unfortunately, for the 46 years I've been here that hasn't been the case.
    Brian
     
  15. South Sound

    South Sound Member

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    I heard that the commercial fishery was not allowed in Puget Sound until WWII and the concern about bombing brought them into the inner waters. Since then they have been here. I think many sport fisherman are too apathetic and or have the feeling that they can not make a difference. United we would have more power than the two other groups (native and commercial.). However divided we continue to be defeated. You should read some of Steve Raymond's essays. He brings this up constantly.
     
  16. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    Just an I had two conversations with folks running for office on the state level this fall. Both have relatives who are avid fishermen and see the logic behind the arguement.

    I am going to stay in touch with them and see if I can dig up some economic stats from the Great Lakes. If anyone has any resources, history, etc. please PM me.
     
  17. polepole

    polepole New Member

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    So let's say commercial fishing is banned. What happens next? The powers that be increase the quota for sportfishermen, extend seasons, we all get big smiles on our faces for a couple year ... and our fish stocks continue the decline.

    I know that sounds a bit cynical, but I don't think the people that are catching the fish are the problem. It's the management of the resource that I take issue with.

    -Allen
     
  18. gt

    gt Active Member

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    so how is the new listing of the puget sound orca pod going to impact this? from what i have read, the major food source of this pod are salmon. i believe this listing translates into taking steps to guarantee the availablitiy of this food source. that certainly means a different look at development and runoff. i would suppose it might also mean a new look at gill netting.

    comments?
     
  19. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    GT

    Interesting thought!
     
  20. polepole

    polepole New Member

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    I fear that an orca listing would mean rethinking all salmon fishing, not just gill netting. I worry that it would severely limit all user groups including sport anglers, commercial fishermen, and native american.

    The more I think about this, the more I am starting to believe that focusing on reducing/eliminating one user group is NOT a viable solution. It could just as easily go against the sportfishermen. Half the allowable salmon catch goes you know where right off the top ... what if the other half is split between incidental catches in the North Pacific and the Orcas??? And the sport fishermen and the commercial fishermen get squeezed out. I'm sort of just thinking out loud here ...

    -Allen
     

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