Closures?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Eric Tarcha, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Eric Tarcha

    Eric Tarcha gear whore

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    Saw in another thread that there are some "rumors" floating around that there will be an end of Jan Skagit lower Skagit closure... Anyone else hear anything about this and the rest of the S rivers? are we looking at end of Jan for all of them or is a mid-Feb date still likely?

    this blows either way...:beathead::beathead::beathead:
     
  2. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    I wouldnt be suprised if all the puget sound rivers closed early again this season. It sucks ass, but whatevers best for the fish right? I wish they'd give us at least a month to fish after the nets come out of the water, but thats not fuckin likely is it? At least the columbia tribs and the OP will remain open longer. I predict long drives, and carpooling in my future this winter
     
  3. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Since none of the PS rivers are predicted to have wild steelhead runs greater than 80% of their escapement goals (the threshold for targeting wild steelhead even under CNR), the rivers will close when the hatchery steelhead runs are pretty much over. That varies from year to year, and sometimes between rivers. So that makes it hard to know ahead of time if it will be the first, middle, or end of February.

    Sg
     
  4. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    I got so much to say about this that I am just going to keep my mouth shut. No need giving GT an open door.
     
  5. Eric Tarcha

    Eric Tarcha gear whore

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    yes, whatever is good for the fish...BUT WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The WDFW has yet to show me they are considering anything other than their budgets, like why have a hatch season that last 4 weeks other than to keep selling fishing licenses!!! The WDFW say they want to protect the wild fish, yet they keep dumping these drones into the rivers for us to chase and then only 5 of those return every year. the mismanagement of this fishery is just criminal. so frustrating, makes me want to sell my gear and pick up fucking quilting or something.
     
  6. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

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    Sg,

    I am kind of curious as to whether or not the increasing number angling encounters with wild steelhead as the season progresses has as much to do with when the emergency closures occur on Puget Sound Rivers? For example, I realize that there are not a lot of hatchery steelhead in the Skykomish River in February. However, I have heard couple of anglers’ claim that they are still picking up a few hatchery steelhead at Reiter well into the month of February.

    Regards,

    Andrew
     
  7. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    I have caught hatchery fish in the Stilly as late as superbowl sunday. I think it depends a lot on water levels to be honest. The higher the water, the faster they shoot up the system to spawning beds. Lower water and they are more widely disbursed throughout the system
     
  8. stewart dee

    stewart dee Guest

    No bait and c/r would be nice through the month of march.
     
  9. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

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    I was kind of thinking the same thing.
     
  10. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    Ok can someone explain this to me...and I'm not trying to stir any pot etc. but I just don't understand this part of it..

    The Thompson will open IF there over 1200 fish believed to be in the system...that is on an equation from the albion test fishery which baffles me but seems to work....PLEASE NO DEBATE on this fishery..just stating what I believe to be the correct numbers etc.

    Reading WSC's report on numbers of wild fish that were caught after the season last year (and previous ? years) I believe that said they caught and sampled 4000 fish last year for this study...I have heard rumblings that there were quite a few fish in the system last year after the closing...

    So my question is, What number do you come up with (WDFG) that would warrant an opening into March with selective gear regulations? Am I missing something and 4000 fish sampled are not that many to a system that once held over a 100,000 and so we SHOULD step back and make sure they have all the space they need? Or does that seem like quite a few fish to warrant a strictly C&R fishery???
     
  11. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    What river are you talking about here? The Thompson or the Skagit? I am damn ass positive there were not 4000 fish caught and sampled from the Skagit so you must be talking about the Thompson. Also there is no way the Skagit ever held over 100,000 steelhead so again you have to be talking about the Thompson and even then I would question those numbers.
     
  12. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    golfman -
    That 4,000 number is pretty interesting - Do you a link to that report?

    Think that would have been most of last year's run - those guys must be some kind of fishers.

    Do you have a citation for the historic run of 100,000?

    Thanks
    Curt
     
  13. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Golfman,

    I believe the 4,000 number that you have seen is WDFw's post season run size estimate. It is arrived at based on the counting of reds. My understanding is that they saw little evidence of fish spawing later in the spawning season.

    WDFW juggles a different set of criteria as to whether there is a C&R season than their Canadian brethren. First, there is an agreed upon minimum escapement of around 6,000 fish that they have agreed upon with the tribes. If their forecast based on previous years run's do not meet this then there will be no C&R season. That is the case this year. There should not be any native netting targetting the nate's either.

    So, the only reason we are allowed to fish at all is the hatchery run. The decision to end the season will likely be based on when they feel that has dried up. Since the fish are listed a threatened NOAA/NMFS has a say in it as well. These are teh facts as I know them. If anyone can clarify or correct this, please do.

    The following are my thoughts:

    The current framwork requires hatcheries to allow for fishing seasons, given our low run sizes. Hatchery fish, especially winter ones, aren't worth the season. Additionally, their total impacts on wild fish within and outside the basin that they were raised in are unknown and likely higher than the impact of a full fledged C&R season. This thought is base on the known exceptionally small impact of C&R. We have genetically moved the run timing earlier for the hatchery fish to reduce the impact on the spawning beds. This is good, however a blind eye is turned to any impacts they may have in the salt, because those impacts are unknown. They could be huge given that the PS is a bottleneck that creates a fantastic location for increased interactions between the 2 types of steelhead, disease, predators , and food. I don't want to hear for a second the foolish argument that the Columbia stocks are fairing better with huge hatchery supplementation because we don't know how well the wilds would be doing without it and CR summer fish are experiencing a whole different sort of environment then are PS winters.
    The upshot is that sport angling for winter fish in the PS is dependant on hatcheries. Hatcheries also are not helping wild fish. I say shut 'em down. The fish don't bite, they don't live long, and they may have a large detrimental affect on wild steelhead.

    Go Red Sox,
    cds
     
  14. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Eric T,

    Inertia. It's complicated in a bureaucracy to start up a fisheries program. Less so to shut one down, but there is a lot of reluctance. WDFW keeps stocking the hatchery smolts because it's a long standing program, constituents expect it, and historically it has produced a lot of harvestable fish, even if the return rate on the Skagit has gone from low to extremely low. It's impossible to know what return rates will be like one and two years out, or that they will be so low that the program is no longer worth the investment.

    However, the trend is becoming clear, and closing some of the hatchery programs is becoming more likely with the budget issues added to the mix. With the wild fish release regulation, there is no indication that having, or trying to have, a hatchery steelhead run is a factor, or at least a significant factor in preventing recovery of the wild stock. WDFW doesn't do it to sell licenses. The agency is so far from having a business mentality, it's humorous whenever someone suggests that license sales motivate management actions.

    Golfman,

    It looks like you're confusing the escapement estimate (and run size) with the number of fish caught during sampling for the genetics study, but it's not really clear just what you mean.

    WDFW schedules the usual Skagit CNR fishery when the wild steelhead runsize forecast is 4800 or more, that is, 80% of the 6,000 escapement goal. Frankly, 4800 isn't much of a runsize to fish on.

    Yeah, I'd like that 100,000 runsize citation too. I've got most Skagit steelhead literature in my collection, but am missing that one.

    Sg
     
  15. Eric Tarcha

    Eric Tarcha gear whore

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    I know Sg, just me speaking out of my ass in frustration.
     
  16. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    100,000 historically for the Skagit system isnt that wild of a number when you consider the NF Stilly used to get 60,000 to 90,000 summer runs a year, and is a much smaller river
     
  17. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Stily stalker-
    Historically there was limited summer steelhead habitat in the Stillaguamish basin - the Deer Creek basin and the forks of the Canyon Creek. While I'm sure that historic habitat was nearly ideal for producing steelhead it is very hard to image that the combined summer runs ever averaging much more than 3,000 adults for any period of time.

    That 60,000 t0 90,000 steelhead number for Stillaguamish was an estimate based on the steelhead commercial catches from I believe the late 1800s. There always serious questions about the creditability of those kinds of estimates (especially for steelhead). Always questions about river of origin of the catch and even species. I think that the lack of similar "spectacular" catch estimates from the same era for the Skagit and/or Snohomish systems raises some questions. One would have thought that there would have been similar commercial fisheries on those near by basins. Golfman's estimate of 100,000 for the Skagit is the first I have heard of such numbers which is why I asked where it came from.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  18. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Curt,

    I have read that the historical average for the Deer Creek run was at 2000 fish. Is this accurate? Also I have read many estimates for the Skagit steelhead run. Some putting the historical numbers as high as 40,000 and others saying it was more like 20,000. Are either of these estimates accurate?

    Thx,

    Kerry
     
  19. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    From what I have been told ( anecdotaly) from a reliable but anonymous source with first hand knowledge The number of wild steelhead caught and released in the Skagit river is not an indicator of the number of fish in the system. Many fish caught are the same fish getting caught and released over and over again.

    Now this speaks greatly to the catch and release ethic BUT how many times do we really want to be catching and releasing the same fish in a season???

    I personally think that if a river drops below 75% escapement goal is should be closed permanently and all hatchery operations ceased as well as all harvest operations until the river has recovered to 125% of escapement goal..

    OK so the 125% of goal shows what I think about escapement goals...
     
  20. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    1st, I took the last 2 days of last year's season off and fished the Skagit. On the last day it was open I fished along side a gill netter. I didn't see them catch anything but I only witnessed one pull. I didn't catch anything either. So the idea that there was no nets targetting wild steelhead is bull shit. I doubt there were many hatchery steelhead in the lower river February 15th. Whether or not they continued to net after the sport closure I cannot tell you. Second and my memory is likely wrong but 20 years ago the escapement was 12,000 fish. A few years ago it was 8,000 fish. Now, it is set at 6,000 fish. What is driving this drop in escapement numbers over the years? I will leave this at that but there seems to be a problem with setting the escapement levels.
     

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