Lower Quinault in 2014

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Slate Run, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

    I do think it is interesting how the Quinault approach to fisheries isn't that different from WDFW but there seems to be a lot more resentment towards the tribe.
    WDFW has also managed steelhead and salmon out of existence, by pumping out huge numbers of hatchery fish into almost every system that held wild steelhead in the state.
    WDFW has not yet made the killing of wild steelhead by sport fishermen illegal.
    true, WDFW doesn't allow the netting by commercial groups of wild steelhead, but there really isn't that much variation in management policies between the two.
    I think the only real factor is that the quinault's own that river, it is theirs, and they are entitled to do whatever they want with it. As a taxpayer of Washington State (and of the United States) however, you own the Snoqualmie, the Skagit, the Skykomish, the Cowlitz, etc, and look at what you have done (by way of the WDFW and federal management) to those rivers. Who are you to judge the tribe???
  2. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    I just hate everyone equally
  3. Chris DeLeone

    Chris DeLeone Active Member

    Steve your a little off base here -
    I think the only real factor is that the quinault's own that river, it is theirs, and they are entitled to do whatever they want with it. As a taxpayer of Washington State (and of the United States) however, you own the Snoqualmie, the Skagit, the Skykomish, the Cowlitz, etc, and look at what you have done (by way of the WDFW and federal management) to those rivers. Who are you to judge the tribe???[/quote]

    The Snoqualmie, Skykomish (Snohomish system) and Skagit are managed by the state yes and by the co-managers (tribes) - they work in conjunction managing those systems and have done so since the 70's.
    constructeur likes this.
  4. NateTreat

    NateTreat Banned or Parked

    Why doesn't the state just pay the tribal netters market value or above for every wild fish that they let escape the net? That would give them their money, and protect the fish. I'm glad to see some of the Quinaults looking out for swinging some flies. I have fished around those guys, and hung out with a few of the guides at the watering holes, and they are good people, but there is a lot of bad policy going on over there. Anything goes is right, the majority of the guides out there will bonk anything and everything, anyway they can.
  5. Patrick Allen

    Patrick Allen Active Member

    Just as I won't frequent the local casino I will not fish with a tribal guide. Show me a cultural change in the tribes philosophy of netting 5 days a week and allowing retention of multiple fish a day that are unclipped. They do not clip their hatchery fish so how do they know if they are truly hatchery fish. Good for this particular guide as he truly cares about the future or he has tapped into a gold mine of deep pocketed fly fisherman. Until the tribe shows us they give a shit I won't give a shit by adding to their economy, as much as I would like to fish on light pressured aggressive steelhead.
  6. Squirrel

    Squirrel New Member

    Pat, each tribe is different. I am going to play devils ad... We wouldn't have near the fish we have on the Green/duwi if it weren't for the Muck. I will go out on a limb and say they have done a good job. On at least the coho fishery on that system. Without them we would have no fishery, yes they net the crap out of it.... The stilly tribe has committed millions this year to in stream habitat restoration, millions. The work they are doing is incredible. Creating habitat with huge logjams, and not just logjams put in river that will be scoured out then filled in by high water. They have created side channels and strategically placed,these logjams to last through high waters and provide habitat for juvenile salmonids. Pat I hear what you are saying, and yes good for this guide... Maybe he can start a change. I have known you a long time Pat and I mean no disrespect.
    Andrew Lawrence likes this.
  7. Patrick Allen

    Patrick Allen Active Member

    I agree each tribe is different but let's not forget when you say they do a fantastic job on the Green/duwi. That is money that is provided to them by the Feds not there own monies in most cases. I also agree that without the tribes and their political pull many of our hatchery fisheries would not happen. As far as the Quinault tribe goes, I cannot support them when they don't clip hatchery fish and don't see a distinction between hatchery and wild. I think they are a bad example of how to manage a resource.
  8. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    I'm really torn about this: on the one hand, and speaking as a Scot, I understand that it's vital to maintain your cultural norms and traditions. Those things set us aside from others; give us a "special" identity and a group cohesion. That being said, for me-again, as a Scot (and yes, I DO own property in Scotland), there comes a time when you have a choice. You can either sit and moan about how it once was, and hope to see the Stewart line restored to the throne, or you can suck it up, and move on. Join reality. Just because you can fuck up a resource, doesn't mean you should do so. But in order to move beyond this issue, you need to be able to see the bigger picture. So few people are willing to do that. I'm probably one of them, because I really don't have an "open mind" on netting, and destroying a resource for "cultural" reasons doesn't work for me.

    Saying that, I'll give all my support to the one guy in the tribe who's working to change the abuse of netting, and encourage everybody else to do the same. I have some really strong opinions about the "tribal situation", and I'm not willing to share them here-at least not yet-so I'll choose to restrain myself.
  9. Jamie Wilson

    Jamie Wilson Active Member

    I'm a Gunn - my mom's a MacDonald
  10. ChaseBallard

    ChaseBallard bushwhacker

    The Scotland mention made me think of something hopeful to add to all this. This summer I got a chance to visit the ancestor's homeland and swing spey flies on the classic River Tay. It was interesting to hear from my ghillie that for longer than the USA has been a nation, the salmon runs in the UK have been decimated by extreme pollution, overfishing and literally centuries of habitat destruction.

    But over the last few decades, as pollution standards have been vastly improved, netting has been eliminated from the freshwater, and spawning habitat has been restored (somewhat), the wild fish are coming back to the UK. I can't vouch for his accuracy, (and their beat system greatly limits angling pressure) but my ghillie estimated over 90,000 wild Atlantic salmon returning to the Tay system that spring and summer.

    Imagine if we could get that number of salmon and steelhead back to the Quillayute or Skagit... maybe in 50 years we will.

    And no, I didn't catch any River Tay salmon. Got a nice brownie though.
    Jamie Wilson likes this.
  11. JayB

    JayB Active Member

    The guiding program will probably do little or nothing to save the fish, but I think it'd be worth supporting even if there's a slim chance that it might do something extremely positive to one of the kids that gets involved with the program.

    That's probably *waaaaaaaay* more unlikely and pie-in-the-sky idealistic than believing that the program could have any any positive impact on the fishery, but the odds were probably even lower that taking a black homeless (and fatherless?) kid from the inner city to the mountains to go snowboarding would have any positive impact on his life, but it completely transformed it.

    plaegreid and Jason Rolfe like this.
  12. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

    This is a nice idea but it isn't accurate at all. "most of the river is walking speed runs with larger boulders" what section were you on???! Having seen the lower quinault, I can say that it isn't full of boulder strewn beautiful fly runs, quite to the contrary. Much of it looks like the lower snohomish or snoqualmie, steep sloughed off banks that drop off into the river with massive root wads along it. It also is not free of logging scars. The upper river is (being in national park), but below the lake (the tribal portion) the river is logged nearly into the riparian, and wide open clear cuts are visible from about half the runs on the river. As for light pressure, the one launch I was at had 7 boat trailers with tribal guides on it. Light I suppose compared to many of the OP streams during peak season, but considering there were 10 other boats on other sections of river, I wouldn't say it was completely under-fished.
    That said, I think you have a very strong point. Most of the guys that go to fish the Quinault choose to fish it because they can abuse it: treble hooks, any bait, barbs, and any fish, even wild fish, are fair game for killing. I caught a wild fish there and (of course) released it, and the guide I fished with said that was the first time he had seen any of his clients release a chrome wild fish. But he said that many tribal guides prefer not to kill big beautiful wild fish, it's just what clients come there for. If a guide happens to have clients that want to CNR, that's exactly what they'll do. If they want to swing single barbless flies, I think most guides would accommodate that. So if the guides out there realize they can make 500-600 per day sitting in the boat relaxing while fly guys swing runs (evening hatch is asking 700), versus breathing in four stroke fumes pulling plugs to help a few jerk offs that fish with no ethics bonk wild fish for 400 dollars, I bet most of them will prefer the former...
    The fish that in the section of the Quinault where they are being targeted by sports fisherman have already somehow (miraculously) made it past the nets. Whether they end up in some dickhead's freezer, or on a redd spawning in the upper river is really up to the client. If some guy wants to take out exclusively CNR spey fishers, more power to him.
    I don't agree with a lot of the tribe's management policies, treating hatchery fish and wild fish as inter-changable being the biggest one. I also don't think that netting the shit out of them is a great idea. That said, whitey, by way of the WDFW, has done a pretty lousy job of managing every other salmon and steelhead bearing river in this state. We still have catch and kill sports fisheries for wild steel on the OP, we still log the shit out of most of these watersheds, we've managed to dam into oblivion the single greatest steelhead and chinook river history has ever known (the columbia) not to mention introduce non-native species to many of our better fisheries. Who are you (meaning non-tribal sport fishermen)to cast any judgement on the tribes when you can't even manage to make the OP catch and release for wild fish??? If honkey's start to hold up their end of the bargain, like managing habitat, catch and release, removing all the dams, getting rid of our own hatcheries, and really being true advocates for wild steelhead, maybe then we can start to judge the tribe, but in the meantime we are still just the pot calling the kettle black. There aren't a lot of employment opportunities is Taholah, Washington, or anywhere in that part of the peninsula, and commercial fishing is a big part of their traditional way of life as well as income. It's not going anywhere, regardless of sports fishing.
    Say whatever you want about the tribe, but their lousy management still has the best returns of wild steelhead in the state. Why don't we do something about the fisheries we can manage instead of bitching about the way somebody else is handling the one we can't...?
    Craig Pablo and Chris Johnson like this.
  13. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

    Olympic National Park was set aside in the 1930's and protect every upper watershed on the coast. More protective regulations have been implemented elsewhere along with private groups such as the Hoh River Trust and other groups protecting critical fish habitat.

    All of the upper watersheds as well as all waters managed in ONP are c&r. In the last 20 years the wild fish retention limit has moved from 30 to 1... and the current limit is partly in place due to the perceived threat of the tribe's netting even more if we don't have the option of harvest.

    350-400 million dollars to remove the Elwha Dam along with multiple other dam removals throughout the Pacific Northwest (but the Elwha is the only one on the Olympic Peninsula).

    We are shutting down Snider Creek and have stopped planting smolts in almost all of the small creeks that do not have collection facilities on the Olympic Peninsula (off the top of my head that means no more plants on the Lyre, Physt, Clallam, Goodman Creek and I know there are more). State hatcheries currently clip all of the hatchery steelhead on the Peninsula. The Quinaults are the only tribe I can think of on the coast who do not clip fish, and that also impacts the Queets within Olympic National Park.

    We do need to be better advocates for wild steelhead, but the only advocates on the Peninsula right now are sportsmen, and are the only ones who have made changes over the past 20 years. Yes, many came kicking and screaming (and many aren't even close) but I think we have every right to judge the tribes, especially tribes like the Quinaults who cause massive issues not only on their namesake river but the Queets and Grey's Harbor rivers.
    Patrick Allen and constructeur like this.
  14. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

    This is the attitude that has allowed salmon and steelhead numbers to plummet all across the coast. Loggers thrash the habitat and blame commercial fisherman that harvest too many salmon, commercial fisherman blame sporties for ripping them off their redds, sporties blame the tribes, and meanwhile the numbers continue to drop and everyone wants to point the finger at somebody else.

    The next time you hit those OP streams, take a little trip down to Taholah. Look at the condition that town is in. You tell me honestly that you think your opportunity to catch and release wild steelhead is more important than providing employment to those tribal members with commercial fishing. It is like the 3rd world down there, and the floundering of the Quinault casino has done nothing to improve things economically on the reserve. Netting those steelhead gives tribal members much needed jobs, as much as it kills me to think of those nets full of wild steelhead, I don't think that many of us would do things differently if we were in the tribe's position.

    While I agree sports fishermen have made some progress (the Hoh river trust is an awesome organization, and shutting down snider crk is a step in the right direction), there is still a very long way to go for us. We're still running hatcheries on the OP and elsewhere, and pulling the elwha dam ( which had no economic importance to the region) is not nearly the same level of sacrifice that we are asking of the tribe by giving up commercial fishing and hatchery production. I think sport fishermen have a lot more that we can do (i.e. shut down the Bogey hatchery and others in the state, get serious about dam removal on the Columbia, get aggressive about habitat restoration, limit development within the PS river valleys, etc) before telling tribes how to manage things. It doesn't seem fair that we should pummel just about every watershed in the state, and then the few that happen to be left which belong to somebody else (being under the jurisdiction of the tribes and NP), suddenly give a shit about conservation.

    It seems like in the past, sports fishermen have used the excuse "well the tribes are netting the shit out of them" as an excuse to justify their own steelhead retention, use of barbs, bait, etc, and things we know we shouldn't be doing. These changes that you are describing, which are great, are mainly recent advances (as in the last 10 years), and the tribes may start to come around in the future. I think if you were really serious about changing the tribes opinion about sports fishing, and about their own resource, you'd have to come up with real job opportunities, not just paying them to not fish as has been proposed many times. Giving people money and not jobs is a recipe for disaster.
  15. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

    The quinalut plant 950,000 smolt a year in local rivers, not just the quinault. This year to support their brood stock program they took $650000.00 of your tax dollars from the feds. They just built a new ice house on the lower queets to help process native steelhead...
    Guys lined up on this page to slam the Olympic peninsula guides association for planting 60000 brood stock smolt paid for by local donations and forks city funds.
    How the fuck is this ok?
  16. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Well said. If they stopped all their plants..... Took out the nets, and banned harvest, I'd GLADLY pay a pretty penny to fish on tribal water. Assuming there aren't a shitload of old dishwashers and half rusted trucks in the middle of the runs.
    You guys ( not me anymore, California) pay to keep that shit going.

    Maybe it's time to get over the generational guilt of broken treaties, lies, etc... And start managing OUR resources like we are in the 21st century and want that resource to be around for our children.
    If they want all their " traditional rights" use traditional methods. The fact is that the OP tribes are likely going to fish those runs to oblivion, and SOON, unless drastic measures are taken.
    The resource belongs to ALL OF US, even if they don't give a shit about long term sustainability WE DO! Let's not accept excuses for piss poor management anymore. This generational guilt is killing us, and more importantly, it's destroying one of the most precious resources we have. Managed for sport and sustainability the OP rivers would generate SO MUCH MONEY for the local tribes and local economy.

    The OP rivers also need WAY MORE WDFW PRESENCE. The ol' Forks " catch and release" ( catch it and release it into the bed of your truck) also called the Stilliguamish catch and release... Needs to stop. Anyone who has fished the smaller OP rivers during native season knows exactly what I'm talking about.
  17. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Have tribal wildlife officials too... Even more job crestion
  18. constructeur

    constructeur Active Member

    I believe the tribe had the chance for the 101 to go through Taholah at one point in time, which is why there's the bridge to nowhere on the North side of town.

    The economic situation of Taholah has more to do with it being a small out of the way town that relies on resource extraction for it's income sources that it does from being held back 'by the man.' (like all the towns on the coastal corridor)

    In regards to economic opportunity, come on man, it's just like it is in the rest of the world, if you don't have a trade, a specialized skill set, or a formal education, you're a 'joe' and your paycheck will reflect that.
    Salmo_g likes this.
  19. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

    What about Quinault River native steelhead entitles you to consider them "our resource"? Your belief that the tribes should remain frozen in time and have to use "traditional methods" (whatever misinformed & most likely racist imagining of what that might be) is preposterous. Their traditional rights to fisheries ("usual and accustomed grounds"-from the Boldt decision) refers to their access and management authority, not the method.

    Currently there isn't a single major west coast OP stream where harvest is banned, or where there aren't nets, so you are setting the bar pretty high for the Quinaults, considering that the state hasn't even managed to produce one single river with the criteria you have described as being worthy of your pretty penny. Keep in mind you are already paying a pretty penny just to buy a license to fight over the scraps in the remaining OP streams.

    "Get over generational guilt" would be a pretty convenient outcome for you, but not much of a solution for the tribal members looking for work...
    Craig Pablo likes this.
  20. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Every resource is "ours"
    We all live on this planet- we are ALL responsible for ensuring that these species and habitat is preserved for future generations

    I say set the bar high for EVERYONE. Not just the Queets/Quinault
    In my opinion- there's so much wrong with the way Washington manages and co manages these resources.
    It IS going to come down to the point of no return. Don't meet minimum escapement 7 out of 10 years... And STILL FISH?! Where is the responsibility?! Where is the ACCOUNTABILITY?!
    How can you see data like that and argue that this resource is being managed properly? You would think that LONG TERM protection of the resource would be important- but their actions say differently. I hate the " it's ours not yours" mentality. It's OURS! What will they move on to once there's no more fish?

    The resource is being managed for the harvester, not the resource. How backwards is that? Steelhead aren't managed as a food fish- they are a sport fish. The money they earn is paltry- the resource is PRICELESS AND IRREPLACABLE!

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