Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Chris Bellows, Jan 31, 2014.
That was my point...people can cherry pick statistics to make their side "right"
I didn't mean to imply that pro-wild (or anti hatchery, however you want to slice it) groups were against habitat restoration. It just seemed to me that we (meaning pro wild and pro hatchery groups) should start with the common ground which would mean truly aggressive habitat restoration programs, rather than hatcheries.
I truly believe that good natural habitat is the greatest hatchery of all, so it would seem to behoove everyone to make that the #1 priority. Wouldn't you?
i do agree that we should all work towards better habitat. it just seems like your focus (whether intended or not) was on the anti-hatchery groups and not the pro-hatchery groups who continue to push to increase hatchery plants and broodstock hatcheries (as witnessed in the movie). hell, if you read the facebook page of the movie makers you will see they are even against the lawsuits attempting to stop hatchery plants on the elwha, where we spent over 350 million dollars to restore access to pristine habitat. for me, common ground sounds great but there is little common ground if we cannot even let one river (with no guides or sportfishing for steelhead / salmon) let fish restore habitat as naturally as possible. or what about habitat that cannot be used because of hatchery harvest pressures that take away run timing that can utilize that habitat (think non-snowmelt creeks whose hydrograph favors early spawning versus late-spring spawning).
i'm sure we could find plenty of common ground, but i am not so sure about those whose only focus is on the industry side of fishing. i honestly think they use habitat as a smokescreen to do nothing about their sacred hatcheries.
Hatchery Supplementation, whether it be brood stock or not, is a short term solution to a different but very related problem. That being the lack of a resource important to sport and commercial fishery industries and sport fishing tourist economies of rural communities. This is not in total a small economy but one that runs into the billions of dollars on a global scale as well as small and more local such as guide services, bait and tackle supplies, and local community economies, etc... There is however a large and powerful component to it (government/tribal, and non-government/commercial) that being the global industry of an aquaculture based food source production whether it be salmon, tilapia, tuna, shrimp, etc in fresh or saltwater.
Hatchery Supplementation, whether it be brood stock or not, is just one cog in the machinations of problems effecting natural habitat restoration for native salmon and steelhead, i.e. human development, logging, pollution, and the typical list of suspects we are all familiar with and we all agree need to be solved. Hatchery Supplementation is just one part of the real problem and the real problem with Hatchery Supplementation, even with the use of brood stock, is the outcome of the change in genetic diversity that will be seen over time. And by "over time" I mean many, many decades where important species survival genetics will be altered or lost. Minor genetic changes good or bad, will either become recessive or they could become dominant. And since it's not Natural Selection providing the pressure for genetic changes and stability it's a pretty problematic long-term future.
Hatchery Supplementation, locally or globally is a very successful business with a great demand of a food product that will continue to increase. Yet, the 800lb Gorilla in the room will be GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) salmon, tuna, tilapia, you name it probably even catfish! That's going to happen because 1) Increasing world-wide population growth will demand more resource, 2) It's already happening with corn, wheat, rice and more and more dirt based crops, and 3) As Hatchery Supplementation fails it (GMO) will be all that we can turn to.
The battles that are happening in the rivers of the Olympic Peninsula, and your local river in the Pacific Northwest are happening all over the globe. For every local victory for pro-wild vs. Hatchery Supplementation will have an impact globally.
Ok, so I'm very much pro-wild and although I know that the science supports me (let's not even go into the science behind this film's studies!!!) I am very concerned because of the power and wealth behind the industry of Hatchery Supplementation and the financial bottom line they envision.
If we focused on what would be best for the fish now, instead of what temporary stopgap measures we can utilize to support the fishing, and the industry behind it, sucking on the hatchery tit, we could have some hope for the future of our wild fish. Many of our runs of wild salmon and steelhead should have been protected from fishing long ago.
I can't help but think every time I'm on the Hoh in the winter that there should be thousands (10s of) of spawned-out salmon carcasses feeding the river continuum ecosystem. But there aren't.
it appears that the issue here is a healthy run of fish. i live in forks and grew up on the sol duc. I'm 26 so all I've ever known is the snider creek program. There have been good years and bad years for our steelhead run, but as a kid I was able to catch fish which nurtured a passion for the outdors. the answer to save the Sol Duc and every other river, for that matter, is to allow a scientifically-based number of breeding fish into the system untouched. the problem, now, is that guiding is a primary economic facture for our small community, so we can't afford to shut down a river system for months, if necessary. Not only is there huge pressure from local guides (as seen in the movie) and out of town guides who expose our systems to thousands of fishermen, but the tribe harvests a nauseating number of steelhead (including downers nearly back to the salt during springer season). so here we are, 25 years later, after whoring out our resource, and now we want to reduce the supplementation that sustained the run while doing nothing to alter harvest (on that note, there has been a significant increase in CnR for all wild fish all year, but too many fish die at the hand of the indians, the guides (intentionally or otherwise), and other sportsman who kill every fish they catch).
as mentioned above this is a crutch. ideally every river would run unobstructed or abused, but that is no longer a reality. As a sportsman and having grown up with the sol duc in my back yard (literally), I vote for shutting the system down until a unanimously determined run is restablished. Stop all harvest of wild fish (which is all run in the sol duc now). The tribe won't let that much money swim away from them, so the only way to get nets off the river is to subsidize the fishermen at a huge financial cost. Supplement guides, if the need be. Because we have built an economy around the fisheries we have to be willing to continue on the path we know, which is the supplementation, or throw enough money at the problem and hope the people who make money via the system will cooperate. the problem with that is it takes 'the experience' of our system to birth the pasion, so without fishing you will have no advocates.
I think the only option we truly have to continue without a broodstock program is to immeidately implement CnR or the system. All wild fish in the quillayute should be released. We know it is a pipe dream to get the nets off the river, and the same with the boats, so the least we can do is let definately hundreds, potentially thousands of fish a least have the opprotunity to make it to the spawning grounds.
Finally, There is contempt between fly guys and gear guys, guides and locals, indians and everyone else. the state follows the all mighty dollar, and we all want the same thing. get more fish, make or save more money, and go about our business worrying about which fly of riggin to use. we all want more wild fish, that has been determined, now we just need to find more than that as common ground and go after it. habitat won't matter if you don't have fish coming back to spawn, and the run won't matter if we can't offer the experience to a little kid so that the passion is ignited and cultivates a resource-centered outdoorsman who will advocate for the resource. This is a huge problem, and a huge topic. as mentioned in the video, every river and run is different. I need to be passionate and advocate for my home rivers, nurture the mback to health , and learn about conservancy here before I can advocate for any other system. I thin kif we all start in our back yards where we gew to love our wild steelhead runs then before long we can come together as steelheaders acroos state lines to advocate for our sport. I know my opinion is differnet than a lot of other peoples, and my motivations vary as well, but I dream of the day when i can float the sol duc with my little girls and catch thier first steelhead. we all have those goals or memories that bring us to these sites, that keep us up an night thinking about fishing, and keep us tying gear and flies.
whew, that got out of hand, but it is difficult to articulate why I (we) are so passionate but so divided on this. I will continue to educate myself and others about my river, and hopefully this is resolved before my river is dead.
The scientist from the hood river study said they tested EVERY steelhead ( 20,000 samples), pretty comprehensive. In the Johnson Creek study the dude didn't tell you anything except we didn't see much difference
A bunch of anecdotal evidence and a concerted effort to convince you that wild fish advocates are going to sue away your
fishing opportunities. Russell, come on bro.
They call me The Dentist for a reason