Do you like catching Wild Coho?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by d. rose, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Next meeting in Lacey is March 17th from 9am to 3pm. I wish I could go, but I will be working and also am on call and restricted to being in Kitsap County. I'm glad that more posts are here to get us more aware, thank you all for those. Regretably that date and time, mostly the time of day is not workable for me.
     
  2. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Hell, I'm unemployed... I should go... If I don't have an interview that day or some other thing pop up (unlikely) you will find me in Lacey on the 17th. First year on the salt (with a flyrod, that is...), but that doesn't matter, I'm interested in improving returns of all our wild fish. Should be interesting.
     
  3. toadthedry

    toadthedry Member

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    I would like to thank Dylan for posting and all who will be able to be at the meeting to help support the intrests of the coho and individual fisherman, including fly fisherman. Unfortunately lets face it- though it should not be- I think alot of what happens with fishing (and it seems almost everything now a days) is political. In order to get something of value, people are going to have to go to these meetings where policy is made and in a constructive way speak up. (And then probaly hope someone was actually listening) Otherwise the intrests of fly fisherman will be ignored.

    I can't personally go to the meeting due to work but I hope enough people can go to help out.

    Mike Metzman
     
  4. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Member

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    Advocates in this process are generally competing for distribution of impacts. Be careful that we don't loose sight of our conservation goals.

    For example, the resident coho fishery a lot of fly fishers covet is in many cases largely an artificial situation with potential significant impacts on the wild fish we all seek to conserve. So if we rally to influence allocation decisions to benefit our specific fly fishing interests, we need to make sure the resource we are seeking to conserve is the wild fish, not just the allocation of our share of fish that benefit our particular fishery.

    If the S Sound net pens and other hatchery production of millions of coho were not in place to support the supplemental harvest for all users' share of the harvest beyond what the wild population can produce there would be thousands fewer wild adults removed from the spawning beds in the non-selective fisheries targeting surplus hatchery fish that also intercept wild fish returning as adults. Without that huge hatchery component present, the overall coho fishery and associated wild fish impacts would no doubt be greatly reduced. Yet would fly fishers as a group lobby to give up their share of hatchery harvest opportunity (and incidental wild fish impacts) - or even advocate an end to the hatchery programs in an effort to support increased escapement and conservation of wild fish? Or do we just want our share of the pie?
     
  5. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Milt, I have absolutely no scientific basis for this but my gut feeling is that with the level of consumption hatcheries are just a necessary evil. And, oh, I wish it were not so. Just too damned many people love to eat the salmon, just tastes so good... I'll go have a listen there and only speak if I feel I can really add something. I think there is a lot to consider, as you very well put, and a newb to this process would likely do better to listen and learn.
     
  6. d. rose

    d. rose Live to fish, fish to live.

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    I am by my own admission a newb in the politics regarding these issues. I certainly do not want to pretend to have all of the answers. I too believe hatcheries are likely a necessary evil, and I as much as anyone else enjoy an occasional hatchery resi slay fest.

    The distribution of impacts seems a very appropriate concern. The state and Governors office has slashed the WDFW budget by 30 million dollars this year for obvious concerns. We need to pick our battles certainly.

    It's completely understandable that people cannot make this meeting. It just may be enough to know that this forum exists and that there are fly fisherman attending it, hopefully to represent a complete sample of the Puget Sound angling population.

    D
     
  7. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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  8. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    Good points Topwater. I'd certainly support banning 2 hook rigs for bait, but that would be controversial to say the least among the bait fishermen. From what I've seen, wild fish are a "disappointment" for many anglers looking to limit out on keeper hatchery coho, and some (not all) vent their frustrations on the wild fish with a harsh release. Another example I've seen is the wild coho or chinook beached, coated in sand, and kicked back into the saltwater when told it can't be kept. By the way, when are you coming back from Colorado to do some real fishing again? I fished in CO for several years during graduate school for bows, browns, and cutts, but didn't know what I was missing until I moved to Washington.
     
  9. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    For those in the Seattle area that wish to get their toes wet (waders not required) in the NOF process, have questions, or wish to throw some ideas in the mix there is a NOF regional meeting tonight; March 3/11 at Mill Creek - From WDFW's web site

    "6 p.m.-8 p.m., WDFW Mill Creek Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek.
    Public discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Puget Sound marine and freshwater sport fisheries "


    Maybe we'll some new folks there.

    It probably should be stressed that if folks are really interested in seeing improves in the wild coho abundances in South Puget Sound much more than wild fish release will likely be needed. I would suggest that selective recreational fisheries are only a fisheries management tool that can be used to help achieve conservation objectives while providing some fishing opportunities. However the real foundation for increased wild abundance is the establishing the stocks of concern as primary stocks were achieving escapement objectives and fishing within established allowable fishing impacts are management priorities. If those steps were taken for the South Sound stocks there is little doubt in my mine that those coho would be a weak stock where in mixed stocks fisheries those allowable impacts would constrain coho fishing through out Puget Sound. Which in turn would open up some interesting discussions/debates about how best to use those impacts to support various fisheries - what areas so recieve what share of the impacts? Should those impacts be used to catch returning adults or shakers? etc.

    Coho fishing could be come much more complicated and those users not involved in the seasons setting process may well find themselves on the outside.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  10. Dale Dennis

    Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

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    That sounds like a worth while meeting, unfortunatly I have a prior committment tonight.
     
  11. Edgecove Al

    Edgecove Al New Member

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    Here in the South Sound in the fall the Native Americans do a lot of beach seining for salmon. Silvers are targeted in Sept. & Oct, then Chums later. The vast majority of the returning silvers are harvested. All of the salmon netted are kept. There is no distiction made between marked and unmarked fish - all are killed. The numbers of silvers caught by sports fishermen is a tiny fraction of what this huge commercial take is, with its no regard for wild vs. hatchery fish. Why aren't the fisheries and wildlife management people addressing this obvious and tremendous loss of native fish? I understand that the majority of returning silvers are pen-raised, hatchery fish, and that they theoretically should be harvested; however, I know that from my own experience, a significant percentage of the silvers I catch are unclipped. I also am fully aware that virtually all of these fish which I release are going to eventually end up in a net!!! The native fish down here are essentialy not allowed to spawn. It's a wonder that there still are any unclipped silvers!!
     
  12. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Member

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    Not to mention the wild sea runs that get tossed into the plastic bins along with the wild coho. This is truly a fishery that the tribes could manage selectively as we do. And I suspect that their clip rate is a bit lower than you think- My guess is that most of the un-clipped fish are not wild down there as they wander in the small bays together like carp.

    I don't have a problem with the seine fishery other than they keep the wild fish that we have to turn back and want to conserve. This could really be an example of how to manage a highly exploited fishery if they wanted to do it. When it comes down to it, if the hatchery fish weren't there they would not have a fishery. We pay for those fish. That's the only leverage the sportsmen have. People need to realize that if you shut off the hatcheries, the tribal and commercial fishery largely goes away.
     
  13. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    south sound coho stocks are getting so thin they could end up ESA listed too, and then it would be game on...
     
  14. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Member

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    I'd rather see a big emphasis on selective harvest west of CQ and avoid the listing BS. Nothing all that good ever seems to come from a listing, and the existing chinook and steelhead listings pretty much cover anything politically possible for a coho listing as far as habitat issues go. So does anyone see a big change with a coho listing other than species specific management emphasis by selective fisheries and emphasis on wild fish escapement? If not, the hatchery and harvest rate cards still sound good ones to play.
     
  15. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    I'd support banning 2-hook rigs - I know from my experience fishing as a kid they have a tendency to get into the gill rakers. Back then the take limit was 5 coho, and towards the end of my early-teens fishing, 3 coho.

    Question though, topwater, how do you rig a cutplug with a single barbless hook in a way that it does that slow rotation (all wounded looking). I only ever learned to use two hooks with the top hook on a sliding knot so it could be tensioned to torque the herring body just right. Not that I would fish bait ever again, just curious. That would be my major concern if I used such rigs.
     
  16. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Didn't notice folks from the fly fishing community at the Mill Creek meeting last nite or much interest from those there in extensive wild coho release regulation except where necessary to get exploitation down to guidelines.

    Edgecove Al -
    The real issue with the south Sound coho is that the wild coho in that region have long been considered a secondary stock with the fisheries managed to maximize the catch of the hatchery fish returning to the area with the wild escapement being an after thought. Any wild coho release regulation on those stocks without a change in the management status of those wild stocks in largely symbolic in my opinion. While it is doubt that the tribal community will accept that change if the State wish the angling community to support reduced impacts from the recreational community on those stocks I would like to see meaningul action on their part to treat the south Sound Coho as viable; that is a primary stock; doing such things as review hatchery programs and make needed changes to be compatable to wild fish production, establish or at least recommend escapement objectives for the wild population with some sort of time line for sunsetting this archaic practice of declaring wild stocks secondary to increase access to hatchery fish.

    Regarding two hooks -
    Is the issue with the two hook herring rig the back hook? Do folks feel that having that hook far back in the bait increases the frequency of deeply hooks. That hasn't really been my expereince but that is what folks are thinking I guess I can go with it however do you think we should also consider the hook placement in our flies -

    Maybe banning flies where the hook is back 1/2 of the fly examples flies tied with hooks hung to the back of the fly by the use of cords/line, tube flies, long shank hooks, etc.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  17. wolverine

    wolverine Member

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    Curt,
    I had a prior or I'd have made the meeting. I'm getting old enough and have the time that I should participate more.

    Being a long time salmon fisherman with a lot of gear fish experience, let me put my 2 cents in on the 2 hook issue. If the hooks are tied close together there is very little secondary damage to the fish. The problem is when the hooks are tied a few inches apart. The top hook is basically what holds the herring on. The trailing hook is often pulled through and is free swinging at tail length, or as a lot of fishermen ( me included) let it trail an inch or 2 behind the herring tail to catch the short biters as coho often just nip at the tail rather than go for the head or body. If a fish takes the head end the tail hook often finds its way into eyes, gills, etc. If it gets the extended hook the top hook often gets eyeballs as the coho goes into the coho spin. In past years when we didn't have to sort fish we'd often use a small treble as the tail hook to deal with the short biters. More times than not the top hook would usually be outside the mouth stuck somewhere in the head. As long as there is only one hook there is little issue other than a kamikaze fish that engulfs the bait and gets it in the gills.
    On flies I don't think we need to worry about anything other than the 2nd hook.
     
  18. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    I wrote in on this issue as I support Wild Coho Release. I also support single point barbless hook flies, (lures) , on a normal short shank hook. I can not get to many of the meetings. But I am under the impression that writing in does count for my testimony on fisheries issues.

    I will add here that I have personally witnessed many cutthroat trout being killed by double hook baited rigs during salmon season, the fish being kicked or shaken back into the water like annoying garbage. Selective gear rules that state " to be released with unavoidable injury" need to be supported with sensible tackle rules that limit the hooks and rigs to less damaging configurations. A single barbless hook rig, artificial lures and flies only, would be a better option when you are protecting other wild salmonids as well. Bait fishing kills too many fish.
     
  19. Ryan Smith

    Ryan Smith r smith

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    Thanks for the info Dylan. Can't make it next week. But will post the info on the website and spread the word about the upcoming meeting. Thanks for opening this can of worms! I don't want to be talking about the good 'ol days when we used to catch big bad migratory Coho off the beach. Friends don't let friends... kill wild fish!

    As far as the two hook rigs. I agree that one is enough. Also agree with the notion of using normal or short-shanked hooks to prevent deep hooking. The hook point should be underneath the eye on your baitfish pattern. Since fish engulf the whole fish or attack the head of their prey. Either way, your good. If your getting short strikes, then use a smaller fly (or smaller herring).

    -Ryan
     

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