Hatchery brats: To bonk, or not to bonk?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Mingo, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. wet line New Member

    Posts: 2,313
    Burien, WA, King.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Gordon, thanks for making my point. You attack with no knowledge of my views on the issue. So scientifc and so well thought out on your part.

  2. gordon New Member

    Posts: 102
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    uh okay. didn't attack you , just suggested you read.
  3. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,584
    Your City ,State
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    Sure, it’s only an internet bulletin board. It can be taken down to the least common denominator, which appears to be your interest. Or it can be a constructive place to exchange information that is useful to many people. We each have a choice to make, which contributes to the outcome. Go ahead and make yours one that aims for the bottom. Some of the rest of us value the potential of bulletin boards that are “only internet forums” to acquire and exchange valuable information.

    Since you’re a person who, by self admission, doesn’t care, it’s probably consistent with your style to attribute the status of PS steelhead to Curt’s single-handed contributions to their management. You write like you think you know a thing or two, but if you do, then you also know that no single fish manager, Curt or otherwise, nor even a single agency, such as WDFW, is responsible for the status of PS steelhead. If anything like that were remotely the case, I’d certainly expect you to be singing the praises to Curt’s insightful management of PS pink and chum salmon, and Snohomish coho, since they are at near historic levels of abundance.

    Another thing, not every scientist conducts experiments and writes articles for peer reviewed journals. You may be aware that most peer reviewed journals exist for the sole purpose of publishing the work of academicians who live in the world of “publish or perish.” The vast majority of scientists are applied scientists who work in a myriad of businesses and industries, including management of natural resources.

    Next, what makes you think that PS steelhead status would be any different if Curt and WDFW had managed differently? It’s a lot easier to take pot shots than to provide substantive answers. WDFW doesn’t allow unsustainable harvest levels on wild PS steelhead, and hasn’t since 1984, that I’m aware of, with some specific conservation efforts dating to 1976. It may be WDFW’s job to preserve and perpetuate fish and wildlife resources, but WDFW is a reflection of the society it serves. That society doesn’t sufficiently value those resources to totally fulfill the legislative mandate. Society demands utilization. So WDFW provides hatcheries to partially fulfill that demand, and protects other resources, like wild PS steelhead, to the extent practicable while still fulfilling what society demands. I don’t know Curt all that well, but I know him and many other fish managers well enough to know that none deserve neither all the blame nor all the credit for what has gone well or ill. Your posts have amounted to flame bait trolling, and you’ve been successful. Nonetheless, maybe a constructive discussion can still ensue.

    Your comments on management models are off the mark. MSY is a flop, most of us will agree. Two points however. First, MSY isn’t used to manage all WA state stocks. Second, MSY is the court-approved management strategies where treaty fisheries are concerned. WDFW can’t do anything about it. Another point, antiquated or not, most models used by WDFW, or other agencies for that matter, are the models that are best supported by available data. The caveat, of course, is that all models are wrong. Some models are better than others. WDFW has no reason to use models that do not serve it, or its constituents’, interests.

    Finally, you can make your points that support the position that the presence of hatchery fish is harmful to wild fish without attacking anyone. Your attitude undermines your credibility.

    In furtherance of the discussion, I usually kill a bright hatchery steelhead. There are exceptions. Like, if it’s not bright. Last winter one day I caught five hatchery kelts and released them all. They would have been poor table fare. What should the response be? They had already spawned, having done their environmental and ecosystem damage, so to speak. On the other hand, in ecosystem terms it might be hard to justify my having been fishing there at all, since I was looking for a bright wild steelhead, which I would have been obligated to release.

    So Gordon, why don’t you tell me how to do it right? And as you should know, when you do what is right only for the wild steelhead, you’ll be ignoring movers and shakers who have conflicting interests and who have the ear of the governor, the legislature, and the WDFW Commission. Ignore them only at your peril, as you’ll be managing nothing if you do.


    Salmo g.
  4. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 4,034
    Olympic Peninsula
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    All: Find a way to discuss things here with civility and NO personal attacks!
  5. willieboat Member

    Posts: 444
    Lacey, WA
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    Okay, my two cents. I think that we forget that this is all just fishing. It's not deep mystical stuff. It's fishing. Kill the fish or don't kill the fish. Either way, we don't become better humans because we trick a fellow creature with a pea sized brain, to eat our lures, flies, bait, or we catch them in a net. It's just fishing!
    I love doing it because it takes me to another place. I'm still reminded of when I was a kid and my grandmother would take me to cool places on lakes and rivers.

  6. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Bonking brats is fine by me. I'll bonk any bright brat if the hatchery has isn't having return troubles.. I'll toss back dark fish, spawners, snakes, ...

    Killing hatchery smolt?? Not going to go there. I'd rather give the fish a chance to return and catch it when it's 12lbs, a great fight, and great eating.
  7. gordon New Member

    Posts: 102
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    we can agree to disagree. i think i have had my fill on this and i stand by my replies. i do understand my path reduces credibilty in the eyes of some, but i imagine others see where i am coming from too.

    while certainly most scientists do not publish, publication is the only means of furthering credible scientific understanding and those who don't publish often have a difficult time comprehending the literature. that is one reason people who publish are important. i would rather have people who publish making decisions rather than people who don't, thats because i believe they understand the science better than folks who don't go through the rigorous process.

    sure society wants to utilize natural resources, but while society is the wind that sails the flag of democracy, it is up to those hired with knowledge to shape those desires into a sustainable and lasting level of usage. every poll i have observed over the past four years says that most anglers support catch and release of wild steelhead, yet wdfw ignores their supposed "societal responsibility" to these consituents and institutes the age old theory of harvest until it crashes, then close the river. to this day that has not changed with wdfw. for example, the Hoh has not met escapement the past three years, due to tribal and sport fishing overharvest. the same is expected this year, and now wdfw may restrict fishing. the hoh is relatively intact, 65% of the basin is in pristine condition in the Park. habitat is not the problem. the demise of this strong run is due to harvest and the continued support of wdfw allowing harvest. considering the aforementioned knowledge hte past two years that the run was not going to meet escapement, and that mos steelhead anglers support catch and release, while wdfw continues to promote unsustainable levels of harvest, suggests that wdfw is not following the wishes of society but is instead following their own mantra of manage to depletion and inevitable closure.

    the right way to do it salmo is to be plastic and don't rely on simplified models. the right way is for wdfw to spend less of its budget on hatcheries and more of its money on monitoring and improving data collection so preseason run forecasts can improve. the right way to do it is to implement restrictive fishing regulations on all wild steelhead rivers that still support some level of angling so that the level of angling is more sustainable. considering the increasing population of the PNW, the increasing fishing pressure on important places like the OP, the right thing to do is for WDFW to active promote foresight by understanding that harvest should not continue because the level of exploitation is going to continue to increase there fore WDFW should do all in its power to sustain those last remainign runs.

    Sure the Tribes can claim foregone opportunity harvest rights on those fish that the anglers don't harvest, so essentially the harvest levels might remain the same. however, all tribes are willows in the wind to public perception and once runs started to decline due to their extensive overharvest, the tribes would buckle under the disappearing public pereception of the sustainable harvesting native american. the tribes would buckle just as the seattle times reported on their overharvest of stranded salmon in the quileute in 2002 when they quit fishing because of massive public complaints. if the public understands tribes are the ones killing steelhead into depletion, they will pay the price economically and eventually quit harvesting at that unsustainable rate.

    in other words, the right way to do it is to take care of ones own collective management efforts before you blame habitat and ocean conditions, because there are four H's and harvest and hatcheries are two big ones. because, as we all know, salmonids have survived far worse and more dramatic habitat alterations than humans have exposed them too, and they survived just fine and exploited other freshly available- and relatively empty river niches- that were not filled with hatchery fish, but now are, leaving source populations nowhere to occupy. i dont' want to belittle the influence of habitat, it is critical, just put it in perspective to what salmonids have survived before. and finally, i wonder how many people realize that washington state is the biggest hatchery factory in the lower 48 and almost the world. despite the relative health of rivers in washington compared to those in other areas, 70% of all the smolts entering our marine environment are of hatchery origin. no other state comes close to that unbalanced ratio. that many hatchery fish, from adults to juveniles to increased angler pressure, are assuredly affecting our salmon runs, and that is in the hands of wdfw.

    much love brotha
  8. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,767
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,785 / 0
    I must agree with Gordon. I doubt I would ever fish with him either.
  9. Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

    Posts: 3,076
    Missoula, MT
    Ratings: +13 / 0

    Gordon, as i said in the pm, you have good stuff to say most of the time, but people will only listen if you present it in a civil mannor. We could all learn alot from you, if you let us. You could also learn equaly from what others have to say. That also goes for anyone else, myself included.
  10. Porter Active Member

    Posts: 6,474
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +532 / 0
    Whats a doobie?

    Correct me if wrong...remember I put that there.....after a little research you are right since 1997 they (gov't) have spent millions of dollars investigating and studying the probabilties to try to reintroduce the timber wolve back to the OP. They once lived there 1930's. I guess I read a Montana project in conjunction with the Olympic Pennisula Proposals. Enough of this and enough of _ _ _ _ _ _.
  11. Big Tuna Member

    Posts: 1,965
    Wenatchee, Washington
    Ratings: +44 / 0
    Okay, my two cents. I think that we forget that this is all just fishing. It's not deep mystical stuff. It's fishing. Kill the fish or don't kill the fish. Either way, we don't become better humans because we trick a fellow creature with a pea sized brain, to eat our lures, flies, bait, or we catch them in a net. It's just fishing!

  12. Davy Active Member

    Posts: 2,021
    SIlverton, OR
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Just to weigh in here, I usually don't "Bonk" them, I just cut the gills and let them bleed out while they flop around. Catching and playing the fish isn't the only entertainment in town out there you know.
  13. Davy Active Member

    Posts: 2,021
    SIlverton, OR
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  14. John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

    Posts: 2,142
    Ratings: +183 / 1
    iagree :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

    Just kidding.

    Wow after making my eyes go crossed reading all this slander and down right gear head mandality, I think I will start carrying my gat to the river. You never know when you will have to throw down. I think that it would be great to corden off about a 1/4 mile of the yak and make everyone wear a big sign with their WFF name on it. Let's turn the WFF into the WWF. Body slam! body slam!
  15. Methow Active Member

    Posts: 326
    Twisp, Wa.
    Ratings: +36 / 0
    Hmm after reading everything said, I can see that we all want a self sustaining wild steelhead population in our rivers. I agree with that. We want it the way it was in the old days. Well lets look at some solutions.
    1. No more building close to any river that has a steelhead run.
    2. The removal of all homes and businesses that currently are along these waters.
    3. The redution of the population of Washington state, back to the levels that we had when wild steelhead florished in this state.
    4. With a populaion reduction we will need less power, therefore some of the dams can be removed.
    5. With population redution we can lower agriculture prodution, which in turns lowers the amount of water used for irrigation.
    6. We wont need to drill anymore wells for domestic use because we will have less population.
    Go back and look at the numbers before the state's population increased and see what our steelhead runs were.
    So who's moving? Who's going to do their part to help our wild steelhead runs?
  16. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    "down right gear head mandality"

  17. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,796
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,724 / 0
    I'll move. How about I move to a state where there are fish to catch. Like Montana.

  18. Davy Active Member

    Posts: 2,021
    SIlverton, OR
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    California is currently enjoying some of the best steelheading they have seen in decades, but then again the population is fairly sparce there.
  19. windtickler Member

    Posts: 508
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I haven't waded through all of this, but I think one issue not raised is that the decaying fish in the rivers bring needed nutrients from the ocean back to the land. I was reading in the TU magazine that local chapters are actually picking up dead fish at the Wallace hatchery and trucking them up to streams off the N. Fork to make up for the paucity of recent salmon runs (and their nutrients) in that water system. They moved 100,000 lbs (50 tons) last year! So in the big picture, letting that fish go might actually benefit the environment.

    I also think about all the people who make their living guiding on the river. If you let that fish go, that is one more fish a guide can put a client onto and one more person who can share in the sport.
  20. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,841
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +718 / 0
    Windtickler -
    If any it takes is a substantial increase in salmon carcasses we should be see a lot large run of steelhead to the Snohomish system. Takes to the increase abundance of natural spawning salmon in that system the total pounds of carcasses has increases substantially.

    For the period of 1970s through the 1990s the average biomass contributed to the ecosystem from salmon carcasses was a litte less than a million pound. For the period 2000 to 2004 that has increased to more than 2 million pounds or an increase of more than 500 tons.

    Unfortunately even though the smolts of the adult wild winter steelhead that returned to spawn in the spring of 2005 had the full benefit that increase in salmon biomass there was no increase in their abundance. While it is undoubtly true that the nutrient input that biomass represents has to help having more carcasses alone does not seem to be enough.

    I suspect that in part the lack of increased production may to due to the loss of habitat functions that trapped and recycled nutrient input from that biomass. I think it is pretty clear that recovering our streams productivity will require restoration on multiple fronts.

    Tight lines