Hatchery or wild?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Kaiserman, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. I love it when I can only see one side of an argument. The funny thing is I know who the other side is even when I can't see it. Wonder why that is?
  2. There we go, now we're having a reasonable discussion. One downside to killing all hatchery fish is that it reduces the number of fish in the system available for catch. I'm sure many of us have enjoyed catching a fish that another angler released...be it marked or unmarked.

    I agree with you about re-thinking steelhead management. As I stated earlier, I'm in favor of selecting several of our rivers as pilot projects, that have the best returning number of wild stock, and stopping hatchery production, stopping tribal netting, and closing the river to fishing for a long enough period of time to see if stocks will rebuild. I think this offers a way of seeing if natural spawning/return can happen while still keeping other fisheries open and not alienating everyone.

    Again, no intent to insult with the comparison. Also, stated earlier, the science associated with fisheries is far less understood than physics such as Newtons Laws...simply too many dynamic variables to account for...most of which are likewise not razor sharp. Hence, in a way, there is perhaps more faith involved than not.
  3. I will selfishly admit that I like the idea of releasing hatchery fish so I can keep fishing. I also like the idea of catching a fish that someone else released. I will maybe one day make it to the point where I realize the best way to help this situation is to not fish at all period and ultimately it is the only logical argument that makes any sense.

    As for the fish in the picture, I will state once again, regardless of your believe structure, it was extremely wise to release it. Much better to be safe then sorry.
  4. I agree. One fish isn't worth the possibility of a fine, and confiscation of my fishing stuff until the fine is paid.
    Irafly likes this.
  5. Not fishing would be the leaast impactful choice.

    I'm selfish--I love nothing in this world more than fishing for steelhead.

    The next best/next-least impactful option is to catch and release wild steelhead--while killing every hatchery fish I encounter.

    It's not all or nothing--Not fishing or release everything. I'll take the option that gives me the best chance of catching wild steelhead in the future. I accept the fact that there's a chance I will kill wild steelhead while fishing for them. I just choose the lesser of the two evils and cull hatchery fish. Yes, I recognize the hypocracy here--but I'm human--that's what we do. Leaving hatchery fish, alive, in the system does unneccesary damage to wild fish (there is little real argument about this--the argument is over how MUCH damage).

    Furthermore, the money that we put into hatcheries v. restoration work in unconscionable.


    The argument that "you'll alienate people!" falls flat. What's keeping YOU from killing hatchery fish--you should look a little deeper and decide what your real reason in. You clearly aren't leaving hatchery fish alive for the sake of sportsfisheman unity. Also, just beacuse you have " have enjoyed catching a fish that another angler released" doesn't count as a good reason. I'm sure a lot of people enjoy bonking wild steelhead. But that's not a good reason to allow it.

    We engage in a brutal bloodsport. We have a responsibilty to do a little harm as we can while doing so. I fight or steelhead because I love to steelhead fish, I do damage, but I do my best to keep that damage to a minimum.
  6. I release them because it's legal to do so, the wife and I don't have a craving for them as table fare and because it does afford another angler (maybe me) another chance to catch them...God knows, it's like the rivers are overflowing with them these days. At this point in time, YOU haven't been placed in charge of deciding which reasons are or are not good...when that changes, be sure to shoot me a PM. And, bonking wild fish (of which the vast majority are hatchery origin) should be no more an issue than dispatching hatchery fish if their populations have been determined sufficient to allow harvest.

    There is a big split within the sport-fishing fishing community concerning hatchery and wild and it's been a heated issue for a long time. Rigid positions, taken by both sides, have and will continue to alienate one another...why I think some compromise (as suggested) might work better.
  7. Compromise is having hatchery fish, but bonking them when encountered.
  8. The vast majority of columbia river fish may be of hatchery origin. The opposite is true of coastal and PS winter steelhead.

    Go Sox,
  9. " And, bonking wild fish (of which the vast majority are hatchery origin). . ."


    Why do you write this when the preponderance of the available steelhead genetic information shows that native, wild steelhead, lacking hatchery introgression, remain quite common through their range in Puget Sound, the WA coast, and the lower Columbia River tributaries? Your allegation is probably true for most of the Columbia River tributaries upstream of Bonneville Dam, but not the westside of the state.

    Are you just trying to be provocative? Or are you keeping yourself deliberately uninformed, since the information has been available for a few years now?

  10. How common, in what percentages? I was not limiting the approach I favor to Columbia systems only.
  11. the scientific data on dna testing is "conflicted" and we should just go on what we think is correct (gut feelings) rather than trust elitist, egghead scientists who don't have unity of the sportfishing community as their number one goal :rolleyes:
  12. Again interesting information Salmo. So in the Puget Sound, OP and Lower Columbia tribs I should keep all hatchery, but don't have to, yet on most of the Upper Columbia tribs where the genetic code is less sure I have to keep all hatchery. I don't understand all the ins and outs, but wouldn't it make better sense the other way around, or is it all about the ESA listing of those fish in the Upper Columbia. If the hatchery truly are all that bad why isn't there a mandatory keep on all river systems?
  13. Exactly, it's in the managment plan, the feds wanted it (from what I understand).

    We don't have mandatory hatchery keep because, "This proposal would restrict option for catch and release fishing and would be very hard to enforce. " (http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/rule_proposals/comments/original.php?id=DFW234122)

    It's not a scientific reason, or a good one.

  14. His motives are to antagonize and instigate; nothing but a somewhat sophisticated troll. He cares little for facts.
    cabezon likes this.
  15. Again, if the hatchery fish are so bad then why not make it mandatory on all waters. I found out more and discovered that the feds did require the order on the upper Columbia because of the number of people continuing to fish and catch even more of the "Wild" fish.

    As for difficult to enforce, I've never bought that argument. Enough people are intrinsically motivated out there to obey the law regardless of enforcement and enough others are negatively extrinsically motivated enough to not do it because they fear the punishment. The others, are the same folks do whatever the hell they want anyway and then complain when they get caught.

    So I guess for now I will again selfishly admit that where legal to do so, I will likely release hatchery steel so I can keep fishing. Although I will admit that I'm also likely to keep and leave as that negative intrinsic guilt starts to get to me. But my guilt is my guilt and I will not judge others for not breaking the law by releasing steel when still legal to do so.
  16. Well put IRA. I agree that it should be mandatory catch and kill hatchery steel statwide. The state has never really been ahead of the curve with regards to steelhead management so it should not come as a surprise.

    I will say too, that as a westsider I do not know of anyone who releases hatchery steelhead, especially flyfishermen. The limit is 2 and if you catch 2 hatchery fish on an S river, then you should go home....and celebrate your awesomeness.

    I may head over for hatchery fish on the coast in Dec. We'll see if it's better fishing there as I've never done it before.

    Go Sox,
  17. It only antagonizes those with closed minds and who believe their side of the discussion is absolute truth. It's this way of thinking that will keep the debate polarized, as it has been for years, and any meaningful, timely improvements from being implemented.
  18. Gotta throw the yellow flag on Salmo-G for selectively extracting a part of my post...taking it out of context. The complete sentence is:

    "And, bonking wild fish (of which the vast majority are hatchery origin) should be no more an issue than dispatching hatchery fish if their populations have been determined sufficient to allow harvest."

    What would be wrong with killing wild fish if they were returning in sufficient numbers to allow harvest? Are some of you saying that if all hatchery fish were eliminated and we were successful in rebuilding populations of wild fish, such that fisheries managers could allow harvest, you would still be opposed?

    We don't have deer and elk hatcheries (at least that I know of), yet they too are resources needing constant oversight on harvest management. Assuming the aforementioned scenario happens, why would steelhead be treated differently?
  19. Although I shouldn't speak for SG, I'm gonna cuz this is easy.

    He responded to the factual inaccuracy that you were trying to get by everyone. That innacuracy being that most wild steelhead are of hatchery origin. I know SG pretty well and he dislikes factual innacuracy.

    No one responded to your assertion that wild fish should be allowed to be bonked if they were returning in sufficient numbers because that is a defensable position. I hope it's an actual discussion we get to have all over the state one day.

    Clear enough?

    Go Sox,
  20. Ira,
    You point out the perverse incentives that the fishing regulations create. You don't want to keep hatchery fish, becuase you want to keep c&r fishing. You can't keep c&r fishing after retaining two hatchery fish because of the way that WDFW wrote the regulations--you can catch and release until your daily limit is retained. WDFW could easily rewrite the regs to allow people to continue to catch and release after retaining fish. That's what happens when you have biologists writing policy I guess.


    Even if it were true that all wild fish are of hatchery origin anyway, it still wouldn't make sense to leave F1 hatchery fish in the system. Over time, hatchery prodgey would become better and better adapted to the system that they've been returning to. But the fish fresh from the hatchery are essentially reset--they exhibit all of the crappy adaptaions that make hatchery fish less fit than wild fish. Allowing those fish to spawn with the better adapted fish would reduce the overall viability of the stock.

    Also, steelhead don't require the same population managment measures as ungulates (here we go)--because we haven't extrapated their primary predators--wolves. And, they can reach carrying capacity and not destroy the ecosystem.

    But as Charles mentioned, arguing over how to dipose of "harvestable surplus" would be a pretty awesome problem to have.

Share This Page