Cowlitz wild fish

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Dan Page, Dec 24, 2013.

  1. Phil Fravel

    Phil Fravel Friendly

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    Back to the Cowletz.

    It would seem to me that if you are going to fill a river with Hatchery fish "Petting zoo" The Cow might be the river to do it in. With nothing but wild fish making it above barrier dam. And then recycle all fin clipped fish. Lots of guides work on that river along with many gear fisherman. What ever strays that wonder in to the other tribs. could also be harvested.

    It is my understanding though that the agreement with Tacoma power states something like they are committed to 650,000 lbs of fish. That includes Chinook,Coho, Steelhead, cutthroat.
     
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  2. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Mark K, in 1997 the Oregonian did a survey and asked people to give their reasons for saving salmon, the numbers may be a bit different here but it should be instructive. Here are the results:

    36%- Because Salmon are part of the Northwest history and heritage
    35%-As a gage of water quality and the environments health
    9%-For sport fishing
    8%- Just to know they are there for personal or aesthetic reasons
    6%- For commercial fishing
    2%-I don't care
    4%- Don't know or no response

    We are just above the petting zoo.

    Seriously though I don't care if I ever kill another Steelhead. My main goal is to do what I can to make sure we save these magnificent fish and where ever practical, see that they rebuild there numbers.
     
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  3. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    "Seriously though I don't care if I ever kill another Steelhead. My main goal is to do what I can to make sure we save these magnificent fish and where ever practical, see that they rebuild there numbers. "

    How many have you killed in your lifetime?
     
  4. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Quite a few, but that was another time under different circumstances. It's probably been 30 yrs. or more since I bonked a wild fish, hatchery fish are another story.
     
  5. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Just curious why you asked how many he's killed in his lifetime?
     
  6. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    Perspective
     
  7. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    "Quite a few, but that was another time under different circumstances. It's probably been 30 yrs. or more since I bonked a wild fish, hatchery fish are another story. "

    What circumstances? How are they any different from now?
     
  8. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    Yes Chris, I don't care if I ever kill another steelhead either but managing a return of 500 fish to the few seems not the type of goal I would support. I tend to think of the general population of people as a whole since I have fished with so many people for so long and have family history from back to the 30's fishing the northwest rivers for steel.

    Those numbers are interesting that you posted :)

    I'm for saving the fish and doing what it will take to do so. so I quit running rivers in both our states at least 7 to 8 years ago.

    Since this is about the Cowlitz I would like to mention also that the three rivers to the south in Washington that are being targeted for no stocking is going to be a big change in angler pressure on other rivers! I feel sorry for the Cowlitz fish but more so for the Kalama and northern Oregon fish that will get more pressure from the fisherman who used to fish those three rivers like I used to.

    I agree with the 3 rivers going wild only but would rather have them shut down completely if the counts of wild fish are far enough down, why keep pounding on them and say "WELL, I'M JUST CATCH AND RELEASING"
    The Eastfork is one of my favorite rivers to float of all time since my brother moved to Washington in the early 80's and we both had drifters. The thing is I would stop fishing them all together rather than keep pounding on them. I quit fishing the Eastfork around 8 years ago.

    The problem is that the other rivers will now see that pressure - mostly the Kalama so when will we have to shut that river down? is it next? people who have stayed away from the Cowlitz because of power boats (like me ) now will have very little choice. will now flock to it like cattle!

    Thank you for the kind response's, I was expecting to get flamed but this thread isn't over :)

    When I wrote petting zoo I was talking about 500 wild fish management for a few catch and release fisherman being the goal - you know catch a fish, pet it and let it go! like roping a bull elk and petting it and letting it go! People still wont like anyone landing fish just to release it just like they wouldn't like roping a bull elk just to let it go.

    The Cowlitz has been a blood bath fishery (calling it as I see it) for a long-long time. I like the idea of separating the fish like they used to do on the sandy before they took out the dam.
     
  9. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, you do realize quite a few champions for C&R were fish bonkers back in the day. Look at a lot of the greats from yesteryear. I have numerous books of flyfisherman in the NW up to the 70's bonking wild fish.
     
  10. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    "Well, you do realize quite a few champions for C&R were fish bonkers back in the day. Look at a lot of the greats from yesteryear. I have numerous books of flyfisherman in the NW up to the 70's bonking wild fish. "

    Yes...I know Jerry.

    And some on another thread (and "some" who are on this thread as well) thought I was some sort blasphemous heretic for saying so. Fish have been in dire straits since the late 1800s and early 1900s, hence the hatcheries which for the commercial fisheries (and only is "recent" times for the recreational fisher); but now that the "self-centered orgy" is over (for some) there is a mindset that is wantonly dictating to others.

    As was stated, it would be nice to bring the runs of "wild" fish back to levels that can recreationally harvested. My proposal on that respect would be a "harvest" of - 1 summer steelhead, 1 winter steelhead, 1 spring salmon, 1 fall salmon, 1 coho, and 15 trout per season. (There are no pink salmon in Oregon that I know of [or at least where I fish]; and ALL chum salmon would be off limits.) After all... Do we really need a freezer full of fish??
     
  11. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    I don't understand why a river needs to be shut down if it's managed for wild fish. All this does is require a hatchery in order to have fishing, making all fishermen hatchery addicts. This is fine if you want hatcheries on every river. I prefer the approach that we allow C&R when we can. I also prefer to have hatchery catch and kill oppertunities when we can minimize their interactions with wild fish and when they make financial sense.

    TomB's assesment of the Wind river was pretty darned good. The reasoning for a C&R season when escapement is met was solid. I don't see how giving an oppertiunity to C&R anglers there is anything but pro-angler, yet it's attacked by other anglers. It reminds me of the wildcat steelheader initial opposition to the old Skagit C&R season.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  12. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    I rarely get into these threads, they border on political sometimes (and pure craziness others LOL). I rarely will go back and read a complete thread to catch up. Too much work to do on here sometimes.

    Onto the freezer full of fish. It's actually kind of nice. We actually canned all ours. But I grew up subsistance living (not by choice, but because my parents refused to take WIC, welfare, or a handout growing up). So we kept A LOT of fish. Some eaten fresh of course, some frozen to smoke later, and then of course canned a ton to use for salmon patties. I'd love to go back to more of a subsistance living (by choice now since I make pretty damned good money at my job).
     
  13. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    "I prefer the approach that we allow C&R when we can. I also prefer to have hatchery catch and kill oppertunities when we can minimize their interactions with wild fish and when they make financial sense."

    No attack on your statement, but Is this not the "approach" that is being managed currently??

    How are the runs fairing?

    ODFW...is trying propose such a "management style" to the (whole of) Oregon coastal streams. (Public Input Meetings are taking place this month...for those interested)
     
  14. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    I would too Jerry, but my hometown was around 25,000 in "those days"; it's now over 50,000. I'm sure the number of anglers have grown proportionately as well in the area. ;)
     
  15. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Nope, not even close IMHO. Regs have been shut down hard for so long now, I don't see it being set to "harvest harvest harvest" like people think. I personally feel it's being managed so the netters have fish to net, not for the sportsman to harvest. Mind you, that's how "I FEEL" from what I've seen over 4 decades of fishing here.
     
  16. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    LOL. My home town only had about 800. Hell, we were a farming community back then (almost all those farmlands are under housing tracks, business developments, or new schools) and has grown exponentionally. My high school only had like 500 kids in it for a 4 year high school (and we pulled kids from a few different towns and a few big cities that were overflowing).
     
  17. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    You got a point and it makes sense...I think that's exactly who's (commercial and guides) behind the push for this style of management practice in Oregon (under the guise of "opportunities" and "wild fish").
     
  18. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    If you want to talk about me it's okay to mention me by name. For the record, this is what you said in the other thread:
    My objection was to the use of the word "ALL" and that you called them "steelhead saviors".
    The truth is that many of them were not involved in the political arena of saving fish. Some of them were well known anglers who were in fact 'asked' to write books because of some of the things they might have pioneered. Back in the day, taking a photograph was a much more involved process than whipping out your cell phone and taking a quick snapshot...which explains the many poor quality photos you see in those books.

    I would also like to point out that having known and fished with a few of those 'steelhead saviors' and having met and fished with some of their surviving relatives I can tell you that not every fish caught was killed. The fact that it would take longer to prepare for a photo than to land a fish explains why there are few photos of fish being released but plenty of the ones that were killed - dead fish allow for plenty of time to get out the light meter, set the exposure, pose the subject, and take the shot.

    Now you know the rest of the story.

    Somebody is going to be waiting for a really, really long time. We have invaded their territory and we aren't going away. The main goal is to manage the fish populations that the basins can support in this day and age of billions of people.
     
  19. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Finluvr, the circumstances were that back in the day there were a lot more fish and it was common practice to keep what you caught. I was ignorant of the impacts that were occurring at the time, like many others I'd suppose, I wish I would have come around sooner. However it is what it is, so rather than point fingers I will be " dedicated to the great task remaining before us".

    Mark K, I feel like you have the wrong idea about Tom's statement. What I get from that is that right now they feel that 500 fish will provide enough fish to seed the river and so some impacts are allowable. It is not that they are managing to only get the 500, but that that is what is needed to maintain the run, and so some impacts are ok.
     
  20. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    WW, The Sandy river has a wild returning fall chinook run that was known to have 2,500 to 3,500 fish return and I used to fish over them and take - yes, kill wild fall chinook on the sandy river. The wild fish people had it shut down citing that it wasn't enough fish to fish over. This was about 12 to 15 years ago, now the wind say's 500 for steelhead is the number to be able to catch and release over them. I myself do not like that number and believe they should be left alone for faster rebuilding of the population.

    Another problem is poaching = I used to fish a river that was fly fishing only for steelhead and have to kick gear fisherman out constantly. Poachers would go in and slaughter fish at night. Pissed off gear fisherman will still fish and kill the fish Illegally it's just history. when rivers are brought down to catch and release and now all the fish being killed illegally will be on a horrible return of 500 fish. And catch and release does kill fish period, maybe not as many as a bait fishery but does take it's toll.

    I also have a friend who lives in Washougal that checks the counts every year and and wants me to float the river when counts get good enough, he only lives 1/2 mile from the lower takeout and I used to run three different floats on the river. I haven't floated it or fished it for at least 6 years because of return numbers. A few hundred fish is not enough for me to enjoy fishing over them catch and release or not!

    And yes it will take years like 20 to 50 and I am willing to wait = but I will be dead in that time. just doing my part as I see it I guess.

    I would also like to share an experience I had at an ODFW meeting in Salem when a man brought the fact that Illegally introduced strippers were feeding on out migrating wild chinook smolt on a river system in the southern part of the state and wanted some kind of management to keep numbers down. ONE....1... member on the high panel liked stripper fishing and smacked his hammer and it was the end of all discussion on the matter. last meeting I ever went to and showed me just how ruthless fisheries management can be.

    The wild Chinook numbers is for reference to 500 steelhead numbers. Reason why I do not like the 500 number!

    So I guess we agree to disagree.....
     
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