CnR Wild Steelhead Mortality and NOAA 4%

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Chris DeLeone, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. So if they don;t believe that harvest is the reason for P.S. steelhead decline, #1: why close CnR seasons #2: Why is there so little dfw time and money going toward habitat, and #3: is this just the easiest political route?
  2. Good morning Johnson,

    1.) The decline seems to stem from the smolts not making it out of the sound. That seems to be the most cited reason at least. It also seems at least to me that the longer the fish have to travel in the sound the worse off they do. That is the north sound rivers are doing a bit better than the south sound.

    2.) I don't know. It seems that freshwater habitat is not the reason for the most current decline though.

    3.) Yes. DFW and NOAA can easilly trim our seasons. Other actions are either hard or out of the norm. When was the last time you heard of either of them commenting on a development proposal? See that gravel pit right next to the Samish? Curious if that required SEPA and if there were comments from either group. Hell, they allow gold mining in the spring on S. Fork Nook. If SEPA was required was it sent to either group?

    I try to keep the tin foil hat on the shelf, but it often seems that WDFW has no regard for flyfishermen, especially when steelhead are concerned.

    Go Red Sox,

  3. It is my personal opinion that if it doesn't come from a concrete tank, then wdfw has no idea what to do with it! I ageree with you about Puget sound being a big factor ( like 40% of the fertilizer you put on your yard, which enters a storm drain that all end up in puget sound, along with alot of other shit) but river habitat is huge in my book. I think that Salmon are the bigger concern for wdfw and they are hooked on the hatchery drug!

    Oh, good morning Charles, sorry
  4. yes, the magic angling styles where your mortality decreases with the more fish you catch.

    mortality always increases with the number of fish encountered.

    the fact is that fishing has become much more efficient with recent developments in techniques used among both gear and fly anglers.
  5. I don't know if it is a good idea to step in here but it seems like people are throwing around percents without understaning what they mean (literally mean). When a researcher uses a percent it is not a deterministic number it is a random number. This has a very specific and technical meaning. For example if they use a catch rate of 50% they are saying that 'on average' the catch rate is 50% some years it could be as low as 10% and some as high as 70% (for example). The spread around the number is the variance and the number stated may not even be the average but an upper end estimate of the average. You can not take the 50% literally and just start crunching the numbers and then make claims. Because random numbers are so complex they most often can not be caluclated directly at all, so anyone trying to do so will likely be very wrong in their prediction.

    Researchers use simulation to answer questions like 'how many fish spaw?' I have not done any fish research directly but do in other areas and this statistical nuance plauges communication in every area. For example when you buy a two pack of light bulbs at the store the box says something like 'lasts for 3000 hours' then you put them in at home and one lasts for 2000 hours and the other for 4000 and the 3000 number you where quoted is never realized at all. Hope that makes sense so you can see in this light that when a reseracher quotes a number (though I am not vouching for the crediability of the biologist reference here) it is not straight forward.

    Biology simulation is among the most complex and is often done through a new field called 'agent based simulation' and from the looks of it there is no easy way to easily figure out what causes fish runs to increase or derease or that thing would be done. Even if you banned boats for one year and the runs improved there is still not much evidence to prove that that one change caused the increase. Here is a link to a book with some simulation done on trout populations:

    Clicky Here
  6. First I want to thank those of you for continuing to contribute input on this matter. It's nice to get real input rather than getting thrown under the "proverbial bus".

    Samala, thanks for the link. I had no idea (obviously) how much the escapements are affected by what goes on in the sound. Though semi difficult to understand, navigating through the posted link gave some great info. But I'm with you, it would be interesting to see the "up to" 2010 data.

    Thanks again! :thumb:

    isaacfab, I get the "law of averages" thing, but I'm sure that it was helpful to others. It can be sort of misleading in a way....but what else can they do really huh?
  7. OTOH, kelvin, if you go where SALMO_G goes, you can also demonstrate a complete ignorance regarding statistics and data collection, yur choice.

    and i should point out another obvious factoid. oregon closed the deschutes r. to fishing from any floating device. ever fish there? you will note the abundance of steelhead. a simple management approach pretty much guarantees that there is water that is not reachable via wading thereby sort of automatically providing shelter for fish.
  8. It has nothing to do with dip-ins and mega hatchery supplementation. Although Isupport no fishing from a floating device for most rivers, to make any claim that it is the reason for strong fish runs on the deschutes is silly.

    Go Red Sox,
  9. really!!!!! than just how do you explain the sustaining population of deschutes r. steelhead??? after all these fish run the gauntlet of various gillnets on the main stem columbia but find sanctuary along long stretches of this river where even the most agressive wader and the very best casters can't reach'um.
  10. The wild component of that run is as highly variable as any other river. Looking as the run sizes presnted in a Native fish society paper recently I saw wild run sizes similar to that of the skagit. The Skagit has boat angling. I also saw a large percentage of the fish were caught (more than 50%). Clearly many of thes wild "player" were caught several times. In spite of all this catching, they still reproduce quite well. It seems that although they may find sancuary's there, they also find there way onto anglers lines at an astounding rate and as you say they are sustaining. I think it shows how resilient wild steelhead can be. It also shows how highly variable there run sizes can be. It also shows that C&R has little to no effect on run sizes.

    In the case of the Deschutes, the native redbands may aid in spawning as it seems wild rainbows and steelhead are the same fish. The D is known for those wild redbands too. The fish also don't have nearly the amount of dams as their upriver wild brethren. What has been shown (unlike your sanctuary idea) is that hatchery fish are doing harm. Elimination of, or at least reduction of hatchery smolts could benefit the wild fish more than most anything else.

    That's what the evidence has shown me. Perhaps you have some evidence that the no boat fishing has done something. If you do, please let us know.

    Here is a location with some data:

    Go Sox,
  11. The no fishing from boats rule isn't going to solve all problems, but I think comparing catch rates on summer fish and winter fish is apples and oranges. Much of this is due to length of season. The Deschutes summer fish are under fishing pressure for almost their entire freshwater residence, which is often seven or more months (July/August thru March). Winter fish have less time in the river and often spawn after rivers close. The no fishing from boats is very productive for the resident rainbows which we now know are very important to steelhead populations. I also think the Deschutes is under a year round bait ban for trout and steelhead which I'm sure has a major impact in conjunction with a no fishing from boats rule. The Deschutes also sees a ton of pressure. It seems that without the restrictive rules, the rate would be far higher than we see on the Hoh.
  12. charles and topwater, good posts both and this goes further in expanding the discussion on eliminating fishing from floating devices. FYI, the oregon deschutes is open 12 months/year with some of those months being far better producers of steelhead than others. certain stretches of the river are hammered while other stretches, given some the the white water that is not avoidable, are less often visited.

    i also think it is important to consider that the boat rule is only one part of a longer term managment solution. the value of this fishery was recognized decades ago and just maybe the ruling went into effect while there was still a sustainable population of wild fish left to reproduce, outmigrate and return. given the well documented low return rates of all anadramous fishes, it does take more than a few spawners to continue to populate any drainage. i often wonder if that is the fatal nail in the coffin of our wild fishes, no sustainable populations of spawners, and one of the reasons why on a free flowing river like the dungeness we don't find larger populations of wild fishes.
  13. Charles,
    I would hate to see fishing from a boat on the D - you would have so many nymphers on that system it would be awaful. I fish that system a couple times a year and swing,nympher and gear fishermen are all on the same water and co-exsist better then any other river I fish - its GREAT. I do agree that the no fishing from boat gives the an area where fish are not targeted - I think it even more important to offer that to smaller systems like the Klick, Wenatchee, the Meth, John Day (they have a very good run of wild steelhead) and many other smaller WA systems - but that is another issue and is focused more on the angler experience and some other stuff - that will be another rec angler internal fight down the road. Stay tuned.
    gt never metioned that the Feds have increased the flows at the dams on the out migration and we have seen very good marine conditions off SW WA and OR - those conditions may fall a bit over the next few years and we could see a real dip in Columbia fish numbers - we will see.
    Thanks for Chimin in on this one
  14. Many of the Columbia and Snake tribs have an abundant run of steelhead and most allow fishing from a floating device. Why is that?
  15. Topwater,

    Agreed. I only mentioned the catch rates, to counter GT's silly assertion that the no fishing froma boat reg. was in some way the reason that there are wild fish in the D. What I am saying is that those fish are nearly all caught with many caught more than once. They are still succesfully spawning. Of course they also aren't caught as dime bright fish. Their scales have hardened.


    Agreed as well. As far as angler experience goes, no fishing from a boat is the way to go. It isn't much of a recovery tool though. I think it's well known how much I love to nymph.

    Go Red Sox,
  16. Chris -
    I probably should have said the recent fishing mortalities have not been the factor(s) limiting Puget Sound Steelhead. Over the last decade the averaging fishing impacts across the Puget Sound rivers has been about 4%. Since that level of impacts doesn't seem to be limiting the Puget Sound steelhead which is why NMFS is comfortable in allowing the continuation of those kinds of impacts.

    While I confident that larger impacts on a basin like the Skagit coiuld be allowed without significant increases extinction risk for that population(s). However to allow those increases a proposal must be put forward for evaluation and approval by NMFS. Given the treaty rights in the area that proposal would have to a joint co-manager proposal. Further the feds have been pretty clear that they have no desire to address that evaluation piece meal; rather a proposal covering all the Puget Sound rivers would be the preferred option. Technically it might only take a couple years to complete the necessary modeling and another 6 months to year for the feds to approve such a proposals I don't see that happening in that sort of time frame. Given the current status of most of the area steelhead it is unlikely that the some of the tribes would be willing to commit the manapower needed.

    Regarding a fishing from a boat ban - it would be unlikely that such an action would lead directly to a longer season. I 'm sure that the managers would still have to justify what sort of reduction such a ban would make in fish encounters. Not sure that anyone can currently do that.

    The perhaps best hope of seeing any increase in fishing seasons over what we saw in 2010/11 is to encourage WDFW to go it alone with developing the needed modeling and determination of potentail allowable impacts with the hope that the tribes will sign on (with that tribal agreement there is no way the feds will approve anything). The risk of course is that State may put in a lot of work and resources without any certainity it would pay off (at least in the short term).

    Tight lines

  17. now isn't that silly to believe that this is the ONLY reason there are an abundance of fish in the deschutes! i guess i will have to be more diligent in posting the obvious. to clarify, this is an important tool in the management of this fishery, it is not, by any stretch, the only tool. but by providing sanctuary to these fish, they do have an opportunity to rest, feed and recover from our intrusions.
  18. Charles
    It all depends - do you think that (if all is true in this Hoh report) that if anglers were not fishing from a boat 80% of the fish in that system would have been contacted/handled? Now you and I agree on where we think the mortaility is on CnR (about 3% on gear caught fish -no bait), but if true and 80% of the Hoh fish were handled that shows that our methods as anglers are getting good - nyphing from a boat and other grear base methods are very productive. We as anglers have to ask - would we limit our contact with these wild fish to keep fishing - that as a fishing community is going to be a very difficult question to answer.
  19. this is an important tool in the management of this fishery, it is not, by any stretch, the only tool. but by providing sanctuary to these fish, they do have an opportunity to rest, feed and recover from our intrusions.

    I agree with that gt 100%
  20. We intrude on them at an almost 100% rate in that river, with that reg. That was my point. We are providing "sanctuary" in a river where nearly every wild fish will be caught. How effective! It proves that C&R works and that wild fish are players. I don't see any evidence as to whatever it is you are trying to say.

    Now, as Topwater stated, they are different fish from our wonderful PS wild winters. Our fish move up quicker. They are in the river a shorter time. In this scenario, sanctuaries from angling caused by this sort of reg. would mean something different all together. Oddly, the skagit has a huge sanctuary, that lower hamilton/ Lyman area. The fish use it and guess what? 2000 fish last year. Maybe there are some things WDFW can't possibly manage, even if they did it your way.

    By the way, I like the reg. I think it should be that way everywhere. I just can't justify using the Deschutes as a biological example as to why it should be done. I will use the Norther BC rivers as a cultural reason why I like it.


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