Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by daveypetey, Dec 14, 2012.
The mindset just needs to catch up to the reality.
That's Alaska right??
Is PNW included in that four?? Or is Zack the fifth one??
Bob B. and JD on your 4 person list?
Seems the list is growing. Unsure the objective here, to call out folks but not drop names? What am I missing here? So far the four names I had in my little brain nugget have seen at least three new names added to the list, making my head see seven.
Here's the point - a lot of the guides that SAY they don't kill wild fish DO. When you have out of state clients in the boat and your livelihood rests on the customer's satisfaction.... and it's LEGAL to kill a wild fish... a LOT of them do if the client insists.
There are some hold outs that flat out refuse to kill wild fish under any circumstance. I've been told by a reputable source that it's about 4 guys. I hope there are more guides than four, but I doubt it based on the credibility and confidence that this guy knows the guides on the peninsula better than any of us.
Fact is, the majority are going to kill until it's illegal. Honestly, it's hard to fault them since they're following the book. All our attention should be on getting the law changed to reflect the reality that no one ought to be killing one of the last healthy runs of wild fish in the NW. It boggles my mind that we're still so shortsighted.
I think the problem is a lot worse than we would all hope to believe.
I see your point Jesse but there is a strong core of fly and gear guides on the oly pen who have been around for many moons who don't need to kill a fish to book a trip... Seeing how their schedule for the year is often booked before the season even begins. It's the guys who either don't see a problem with it ethically (there are plenty!), or fall into that category of needing that trip/money. If I'm a guy who wants to book a trip and bonk a native, I'm gonna be barking up the wrong tree until I get down on the bottom of the page and start dialing up some random dude with a boat and truck. 4 seems absurd.
Some people absolutely think its fine. The fishiest, steelhead slaying machine I know of has been haunting every river for decades and can describe every rock in them, what flow, tide phase, and is a literal vacuum cleaning ghost of the river thinks its asinine he can only harvest one a year and the Tribes can gill net. Good luck telling him he is wrong....
Not everyone is on the same page out there.
So at the risk of starting a flood of negative reply's one thing that I notice every time I see these threads that berate the taking of any native fish is no one seems to have any hard data showing the op rivers native runs declining at a alarming rate...actually I haven't seen anything yet showing a decline period. My point is if the data is there then ok we should stop any take...until the resource can handle it. I do agree that having only the op open for take seems to be a bad move as it shifts effort there. I would like to know if the data is there...good data mind you not agenda driven drivel like I see much too often in many supposedly scientific "studies". I should mention I am not coming from a postion of ignorance in the steelhead game in washington, I was born here, been steelheading since I was 8, moved to Darrington on the banks of the stilly about 35 years ago, used to guide on the stilly,skagit & sauk (mostly sauk& skagit). I too like any hardcore steelheader look on natives as the treasure they are. However in my lifetime (58 years) I have seen runs come and go, just when we thought it was over ...bam it was better than ever. It has become clear that ocean conditions are the #1 factor (other than indian nets, the 1st years after Bolt proved that). I C&R almost always and have done so before it became the "in " thing to do but that is my personal choice and if others wish to eat their catch or put one on the wall that is fine. I have never much liked the C&R "religion" . C&R is not a higher calling, you are not engaging in something morally superior or classier. It is also not more in tune with nature...quite the opposite in fact. So my point is if the data shows the native resource on op rivers is showing a big impact we should stop the 1 a year take but it should be done on a river by river basis. Perhaps going to 1 fish every 3 years? Keep in mind that IMHO ocean conditions will be a much larger factor most the time. sorry I went off on my rant about C&R self aggrandizing ....fisherman. They are separate subjects although I think related. So many these days seem to forget (or never knew) that what we are doing is fishing...it's not classy, it's not a step above the masses, it's fishing... about as basic & primitive an activity as there is. Fly fishing , bait fishing , trot lines for catfish...it's all just fishing , yes even spey casting. So please let me know about the hard data & where I can check it out. Don't think I am not on the native's side here... I used to live in paradise, I fished the sauk, skagit, stilly 100-200 days a year and now?? I have to sit & watch the river flow in the later winter months from my living room and just do that ...watch. Thanks for any info any can let me in on WB
The hard data showing wild steelhead spawning escapements over time is available on the WDFW website, or I might have some of it on this computer hard drive - I'd have to check. Except for the Quilayute system, the trend line is downward, with many years not making escapement. And even in the Quilayute the escapement is unevenly distributed toward the Sol Duc, with the Bogachiel and Calawah often coming up short. But the management strategy is for the aggregate and not individual tributaries. Consequently the production potential for the basin is probably not being realized.
CNR is not a higher calling. CNR is all about being able to allocate a scarce resource and allow recreational fishing where there otherwise would have to be a closed season. An alternative would be to allow a limited kill season for a very few fish, either with a lottery like for moose or mountain goat tags or a 6 hour opening during the middle of the wild steelhead season.
I agree with your description of cnr as regards to steelhead (trout is a slightly different situation) and I fully support it if needed. I didnt really want to get into a big discussion on the merits of cnr but that is my fault...I started it. The main thing I was looking for were links to data on alarming data showing fast decline on OP rivers because I found it odd I had not seen any references when this suject comes up...just the usual outrage that anyone could kill a native fish. I have since the above post began to check myself and so far have found what I had thought was the case. The OP rivers are , for the most part doing fine. There are some that show possible problems , Hoh, ect. but the data shows a healthy picture.. some ups&downs . I also found that at least generally the most common view among biologists is that , like always, habitat& ocean conditions play the largest part in mortality or lack there of. The WDFG actually states that fish take in the rivers is not a major factor. This same thing has been found to be true most everywhere in salmon& steelhead stocks from Cal to to AK. I think what has bothered me the most is I do not see most the postings here deal with this subject in a rational logical responce to the situation, more often it sounds like the same moral outrage you find with the greenpeace crowd...."how could anyone kill a native steelhead". If the numbers show something to worry about then we should worry & fix it as best we can. I suggested perhaps we could go to a one native fish every few years..make it once every 5...nonres once in a lifetime or every 20 years. There are many ways to approach this if we do find there is a problem. It looks like the WDFG feels it is not a problem right now. Maybe they are right...maybe not I certainly have seen them be wrong many many times in my life we need to manage wildlife as best we can using science not by imposing our moral outlook on others... we hunter/fisherman/trappers call that being an anti. I myself could fish cnr everywhere the rest of my life but I would not feel good about forcing everyone else to do so if it was for any reason other than saving a resource.
I think that you should have to buy a $50 tag/endorsement to keep a wild steelhead. I don't think that money should go to enforcement, it should go to PS steelhead research. It's not really a moral issue, but those fish are worth far more in the river than in someone's freezer, and if people really want it for their freezer, they should compensate the rest of us for our fish. Even if it were a $10 tag, it would help--people don't value what they don't pay for.
One thing I can guarantee...the OP rivers will be much more crowded than the PS rivers come March and April.
whb check the WSC (wild steelhead coalition) website, you'll find what your looking for on there...and while were at it on saving wild fish...i'm sure the netting on the skagit isn't doing any damage either?
Population health can be relative. Although former populations were more abundant, spawner-recruit data suggest that most wild steelhead populations are about as abundant as they can be under current habitat conditions. The way WDFW looks at it, all fish over the spawning escapement goal are harvestable surplus. With that management mantra, several OP rivers regularly appear to produce a surplus above escapement needs. Looking at the larger picture, resource management agencies are notoriously reactive, rather than proactive. Not that long ago over 160 WA rivers had harvestable numbers of wild steelhead, according to WDFW. Now it's less than a dozen. Yet WA state human population increases by 50,000 or more per year, and some of them fish. With those kind of steelhead and human demographic metrics, how does it make any kind of sense to continue to allow harvest of wild steelhead on an ever-shrinking number of streams while there is a concurrent ongoing increase in the number of anglers seeking to harvest them? If it makes any kind of responsible sense at all, it's easily time to allocate wild steelhead harvest by individual tags like I previously mentioned is done with moose and mountain goat hunting.
Please, enough with the Indian nets already. Almost no one appreciates seeing them, and while they don't benefit the fish any, just as hook and line fishing doesn't, you've been around the block enough times and long enough now to be among the informed and intelligent to understand that there is no empirical indication that the nets in the Skagit are doing any greater harm to the wild steelhead run than is the on-going sport fishing. Yes, it reduces the spawning population by whatever number they catch, but again, for the umpteenth time, there is no indication that it results in any signficant or measurable decrease in overall steelhead productivity and abundance. If you still strongly believe to the contrary, it's time to put up, or shut up. Find a qualified fisheries biologist who supports that opinion, with data. I can change my mind, but I'll need evidence to do so. Thanks man.
I have read what the WSC has on all this and while my sympathies are with what they want to accomplish even they ,using the available data, admit with the possible exception of the Hoh the runs are healthy. They tweak the explanation of the data to fit their aganda but not much. Mostly what they say is look we think we should be erring more on the side of caution. I don't disagree with that completely except I see this all the time in salmon fisheries and the facts show that well regulated harvest is not much of a factor...again it's ocean conditions & habitat. As far as the Nets on the skagit I really don't know what that has to do with anything other than we are helpless with our political mainstream outlook and have been since Bolt.If yoyu were around when bolt took affect you can remember how devastating the indian take was the 1st 3 years or so..just terrible. On the other hand the netting has gone on since what 74? And the native resource is doing ok on the OP. Keep in mind no where have I said it would not hurt if say we let sports fisherman keep all the fish caught with no limits there of course is a level where it is too much. All I have addressed is that , at the moment, 1 fish per year might be justifiable looking at the data. I also realize that having only the OP open is not good. I myself will travel to fish there in the spring much more since I cant fish in my front yard now. Looks to me there are some good ideas we could push that would make the situation better. 1 fish every 5 years, the tag fee is a good one provided we lock up tight the rules on usage for said funds cause you know the polits &WDFG will try to raid it. Now that I have looked myself at some of the data I think this would be a good route. keep in mind that a return to good ocean conditions where those fish grow will make all this moot. That is what I am hoping for but in the mean time maybe we can try for somewhat more cautious regs...but the castigation of anyone who kills a fish will simply put us on the outside of the discussion.
Its really a matter of being proactive instead of reactive, and theres so many hatchery bonkers out there that there is really no need to kill a wild steelhead.
WHB I don't see your point, and I hope you dont catch any for fear that you might decide to kill it for no other reason than you haven't seen hard evidence of a decline. I thought blinders were just for horses.
I don't mind if a guy just has to put one on the wall, it's what some people like to do. I would like to see retention of 1 wild fish per-season, but minimum length of 44". That would keep a lot of guys hoping and clean up a lot of the funny business of retaining that 1 wild fish per-season every day. Keeps everyone in the game.
What's wrong with taking pics and measurements and getting a fiberglass made up?