Great News for Wild Steelhead!!!

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Jay Allyn, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Jay Allyn

    Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

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    Got this off another forum:

    "Just got word that the WDFW Commission has imposed a two-year moritorium today on the kill of wild steelhead in all Washington waters with no exceptions!!!!!!!!!"

    As many of you know, many special intrest groups and fishermen have been trying to get WDFW to ban the few catch-and-keep seasons for wild steelhead as on many rivers you can still keep wild steelhead. Looks like WDFW finnally listend for once. If this is successfull, we might get this to be perminant. Wild steelhead might just have a chance!

    I'll post latter with more official details.
     
  2. Jay Allyn

    Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

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    NEWS RELEASE
    Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
    February 6, 2004
    Contact: Craig Bartlett, (360) 902-2259

    Commission adopts two-year moratorium
    on wild steelhead retention statewide

    OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today adopted new sportfishing rules for the 2004-05 season that include a two-year moratorium on retaining any wild steelhead caught in state waters.

    The moratorium, adopted on a 5-3 vote, will require anglers to release any steelhead caught from April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2006 that is not marked as a hatchery fish by a missing adipose fin and a healed scar.

    Drawing from a list of 463 proposed changes - 336 of them submitted by the public - the commission also adopted new handling requirements for releasing salmon and steelhead that cannot be retained, additional protection for Columbia River sturgeon and fixed starting dates for recreational crab fishing.

    Commissioners also declined to take action on several proposals, including one to ban treble hooks in saltwater fisheries and another to prohibit the use of motorized vessels on the Satsop and Wynoochee Rivers.

    Commissioner R.P. Van Gytenbeek of Seattle initiated the discussion about requiring the release of wild steelhead by calling for a permanent ban on wild steelhead retention. When that motion failed, the commission considered and rejected the idea of a six-year moratorium before scaling it back to two years.

    "In this case, I think a half a loaf is better than no loaf at all," Van Gytenbeek said. "A lot of people in this state are concerned about the decline of our wild steelhead stocks and I think a moratorium gets us started down the right path."

    Commission Chair Will Roehl of Bellingham did not share that view, noting that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is currently working on a new comprehensive plan for steelhead management, tailored to specific stocks.

    "I can't support banning retention of wild steelhead on rivers where stocks are healthy and returns are strong," Roehl said. "I don't think this broad-brush action is warranted, but that appears to be the will of commission."

    When releasing steelhead or salmon that cannot be retained under state law, anglers will have to follow new handling procedures approved today by the commission. Measures adopted by the commission prohibit completely removing salmon or steelhead caught in lakes or streams from the water or pulling them into a boat in Puget Sound prior to release.

    To provide greater protection for Columbia River sturgeon, the commission extended the closed area below Bonneville Dam approximately two miles downstream to Marker 85 from May 1 to July 31. All sturgeon fishing - whether from a boat or from the bank - will be prohibited in the expanded closure area, where the fish tend to congregate.

    In addition, the annual harvest of sturgeon for personal use was reduced from 10 fish to five statewide, and sturgeon seasons recently developed in conjunction with Oregon were adopted as permanent rules for the 2004-05 season.

    Recreational crabbers, meanwhile, can expect greater certainty in the timing of their seasons in the coming year. For the first time since 2000, the commission set opening dates for each marine area rather than relying on tests to determine when the crab have finished their molt.

    Improved data on molting periods provided by WDFW allowed the commission to set opening dates this year for crab fisheries in all 13 marine areas of Puget Sound and the Washington coast, Roehl said.

    "We're pleased that we've reached this point," Roehl said. "Now we have the data we need to protect the resource, while allowing people to plan their vacations."

    In other matters the commission:

    · Clarified rules prohibiting snagging, making it illegal to hook and retain a fish (other than forage fish) to the rear of its gill plate.
    · Adopted a three-month catch-and-release fishery for trout and other gamefish on the Cedar River in King County.
    · Adopted permanent regulations banning retention of canary rockfish and prohibited spearfishing for any species of rockfish.
    · Set new daily hours (9 .m. to 1 p.m. on days open to shrimp fishing) for designated Puget Sound shrimp districts such as Port Angeles Harbor and Discovery bay. It also extended the Port Townsend Shrimp District north of the Port Townsend ship canal to include Kilisut Harbor.
    · Extended the Octopus Hole Conservation Area in Hood Canal to include the adjacent tidelands.
    · Set new hours for harvesting clams and oysters on a number of beaches and set new bag limits and seasons for rivers and lakes throughout the state.

    These and other measures adopted by the commission will appear in WDFW's 2004-05 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet.
     
  3. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    :thumb :smokin :beer2 :D ;-) :) :7 You have made my day ff15
    -tom
     
  4. Brian Simonseth

    Brian Simonseth Banned or Parked

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    They saw the light
    It's about time they did!:thumb :beer2
     
  5. Backyard

    Backyard SANCHO!

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    sweet :beer2
     
  6. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't mind. I never keep the nates, even in some of the rivers I fish that are nate retentive (have released quite a few over 20's on lower Hoh/Duc with tadpollies). But, hopefully they don't give the state quota over for "forgone opportunity". Then it's still a loss.
     
  7. Awesome - next step maybe a few dams can be removed,
    there is hope!:thumb
     
  8. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    Savor the victory boys. Next we move to make it permanent!

    Leland
     
  9. Jay Allyn

    Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

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    Now that we will be releasing wild fish, we might be able to gain some ground and point a finger at other 'groups' that don't release wild fish. Think this is possible?
     
  10. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    YES! Maybe the meeting in Port Townsend had some effect. It was hot, stuffy, boring, lasted forever but maybe all those little three minute speeches including mine were worth it.
    I went away very discouraged, mumbling, desconsolate, etc. But hey!..things are changing. Damn this is good news!
    Bob, the Perked Up.:professor :beer2
     
  11. ibn

    ibn Moderator Staff Member

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    Woot!
     
  12. luv2fly2

    luv2fly2 Active Member

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    we need to invent catch and release nets. the natives will be allowed to somehow pass thru. wouldnt that be sweet.
     
  13. Randall Bryett

    Randall Bryett New Member

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    "In this case, I think a half a loaf is better than no loaf at all," Van Gytenbeek said. "A lot of people in this state are concerned about the decline of our wild steelhead stocks and I think a moratorium gets us started down the right path."

    Thanks Pete:thumb You are the man! Happy Birthday Big Fella !!!

    Your Son in Law
    :beer2
     
  14. CatchEm

    CatchEm New Member

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    Great news!!!!!!!!


    :thumb :thumb
     
  15. Jay Allyn

    Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

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    They have them. I seem to remember something that was passed a few years ago that banned gill nets or something like that. I believe everybody was supposed to change of to them. Well, it hasn't happend yet. It would be nice if they did since gill nets kill everything they touch so there are lots of accidental catched in gill nets. Does anybody know more about this?
     
  16. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    Two years is not a very long time in the life history of a species that has evolved over hundreds of millions of years. But for us humans, that's a decent chunk of the clock. Let's take a few moments of time now to thank the Washington Dept. Of Fish and Wildlife Commissioners for their courage in moving forward to protect these fish. Emails are not very noticeable. Go get a nice card and write a real personal thank you note and send it to the WDFW Commissioners, at their office in Olympia. Address info is in the regulations pamphlets. It's the least we can do. And don't forget that the work is not done.

    Pete Van, if your listening; a heartfelt thanks for all you have done. Happy Birthday! And many happy years to come for you.
     
  17. JRSly

    JRSly Oncorhynchus clarki clarki

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    Thanks for the news. It is great to here. But like some one else mentioned two years isn't really much time, so over these two years lets try to get it to stay. That is really good news, that is all I can say about it.

    I also loved hearing the news about the handling of fish that are going to be released. I think that is something they should have done a long time ago. I think with this people will learn to handle fish right, and that means not handling them at all. Many people I have seen on the river have good intentions of catching and releasing, and they do, but by the time they get the fish back in the water the fish doesn't have much of a chance, so I think this is great, it will help to inform people how to actually release a fish with little as harm.

    There is something I didn't like to here in your post. Why did you have to put the part in about the Cedar? You don't have to tell everyone where to fish. Oh I am just playing, but I can't wait, I love that river, I grew up right by it (I am in Bellingham going to Western right now), and I think it is the most beautiful river I have ever seen, you just have to know where. It is a great place. Summer time will be great, no school and the Cedar a walk away.

    Well thanks again for the good news.
    JRSly
     
  18. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    The stars must have aligned for this one.

    We now have mandatory statewide wild steelhead release and also a way through "Streamwatch at Eyes in the Woods" to help with enforcement. If you are serious about your love for the resource, now is the time to commit. So far these discussions on this and other boards amount to "preaching to the choir." The release of wild steelhead needs to forced onto the masses. It doesn't do us any good to pass laws without the means to enforce them. So get with your fishing clubs (I know I will with my club) and learn to report and prosecute poachers. If you don't belong to an organized club, I'm sure Eyes in Woods would accept this group as an organization.

    We won, now let's make sure it works.

    Leland.
     
  19. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    And let's remember to give his due to Chairman Will Roehl, one of the great conservation minds of the 19th Century.}(
     
  20. Teeg Stouffer

    Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

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    Bob - I guarantee the meeting in Port Townsend had effect. It's all those drops in the bucket, including e-mails, phone calls, one-on-one interactions with commissioners and WDFW staff, internet campaigns - after time, they do what they're supposed to do, and they've done it. I'm grateful to you and all of those like you who have put in your time and energies, rather than standing idly by or throwing up your hands.

    I got a very discouraging e-mail from WDFW last week suggesting that nothing would be done about this issue, so this news comes as a very happy surprise!

    Other great news in that e-mail too, keeping wild fish in the water to release (I'll miss the grip-and-grin a little, but happy to miss it!) lower sturgeon retention - lots of other tighter regs in this round of changes - sweet! :thumb

    Teeg.


    -------------------------------------------------
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    www.recycledfish.org
     

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