Methow Shutdown

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by jason.allen, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. jason.allen Member

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    seattle, wa
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    Does anyone know how it is determined that it be shutdown? I know it has something to do with wild fish encounters. Is it determined by pressure on the river, a precentage of wild to hatchery ratio (if so is there a threshold for # of fish caught?)


    Also can someone please define what is meant by "escapement"?
  2. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Yes, it is all those things and more. According to the NOAA permit*, there first of all has to be enough hatchery fish that need to be taken out of the system as a ratio to the # of wild fish. (all of this info can be found reading the permit) Then, there has to be enough wild fish to withstand the hooking mortality. There is a maximum % of the wild fish that can be encountered/landed during the season. The season can close at any time if the threshold of wild fish encountered is reached and/or if enough hatchery fish get harvested. It could also be closed or further restricted if enough anglers get caught releasing hatchery fish or violating other parts of the permit. One of the worst things an angler can do as it will close the season early is to release hatchery fish and then lie and say it was a wild fish - and I hear this happens frequently. It can also be closed before the #'s are met if WDFW decides to 'save' some of the impact in order to have a spring fishery, something that has been done the last 2 years.

    As for how they count the # of wild fish encountered, I understand that it is extrapolated using a formula based on the creel data. I believe it is something like this: # of wild fish reported factored with the reported 'angler effort' (wild fish/time fishing) x the number of anglers observed fishing (since not every angler can be creeled). The creel data gets regularly entered into a computer which calculates the probable # of wild fish encountered to date. And don't forget that for the Methow and other UC tribs, the fish caught out in in the Upper Columbia count too and some of those gear guys out in boats on the Columbia do quite well and get creeled when they come in.

    Escapement simply means all those fish that have escaped being caught/killed and made it to the spawning grounds.

    *Here's the permit if you want to read more. It is being rewritten at this moment but I am unsure what changes will be approved. http://www.chelanpud.org/documents/ITP_No_1395_for_Steelhead.pdf
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  3. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,437
    Duvall, wa
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    Once a certain quota of wild fish encounters has been met, it gets shut down. I imagine it will happen pretty quickly this year as the wild fish to hatchery fish ratio is far down this year. I fished there three days and scratched up one hatchery fish at the end of day 3.

    Escapement is the number of fish that make it to spawn.
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  4. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    It does, I've witnessed it myself.

    I also had a few words with an old timer I talked to on the river on Monday. He was complaining, saying "those guys in the lower river keep every hatchery fish they catch leaving nothing for us." I said "good, they're not the ones who will get this fishery shut down permanently." He didn't have a good retort to that.
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  5. CLO coho where are you?

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    Seattle
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    In other news, the creel/fish counter on the Meth is pretty cute this year!
  6. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    On another note: What the hell are they going to do about the triploids making their way in? I caught two on this trip. I really don't like seeing those in there.
  7. CLO coho where are you?

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    They are sterile hybrids so the only problem with them is habitat competition right? I think they opened a season for them in Lake Pateros to help keep the numbers down. I doubt they would open a season for them on the Methow due to people confusing them with WILD steelhead.
  8. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,437
    Duvall, wa
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    Yeah, I have no real solution as there are too many dipshits out there who would bonk native steellhead calling them triploids.

    The issue is with competition. And given their voracious eating habits, I can't imagine they're not eating their fair share of juvenile fish.
  9. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Walla Walla, WA
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    Permanent closure would suck. Not only because of the lost angling opportunity, but with limited enforcement dollars, I worry poaching would flourish.
  10. Cruik Active Member

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    Seattle, WA
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    At least they're sterile. Disconcerting, though. How are they getting into the Columbia there? Are they washdowns from Rufus? If they aren't clipped, I wonder if they're being improperly reported to the creel checkers as wild steelhead?
  11. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    NOAA threatened permanent closure (aka no permit) for several years as anglers (mostly fly) weren't harvesting hatchery fish. Since it is open only for the harvest of hatchery steelhead, no harvest = no permit, hence, the mandatory harvest requirement now. This requirement has increased the retention of hatchery fish thereby helping to keep the excess hatchery fish off the spawning rounds. But idiots who don't care, are ill-informed or who are too selfish to keep hatchery fish still threaten us with early closure and/or permanent closure every time they release one. If I had my way, everyone who got a Columbia River Endorsement would have to take a class and pass a test about the rules and reasons for them before they got their Endorsement - and they would loose it if they got caught violating the rules in the system.
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  12. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Yes, they are boing washed down and yes, since they aren't clipped, many are being improperly reported as wild steelhead and contributing to the early closures. WDFW is well aware of this and very worried about the situation, from what I hear.
  13. Josh dead in the water

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    NW Washington
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    Seems like clipping would be a reasonable start to solving the issue. Wouldn't fix everything, buta start.
  14. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    Duvall, wa
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    Well, they are of tribal origin. The tribes aren't known to bother with clipping.
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  15. CLO coho where are you?

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    The odds of Daniel Ocean catching a steelhead are much higher than the odds of you actually seeing WDFW enforcement on that river.
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  16. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    This is my first trip not seeing a WDFW presence.
  17. CLO coho where are you?

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    enforcement presence or creel counter presence?
  18. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    I think that you'd have to convince the Colville's to require the net pen operator, Pacific Aquaculture, to clip the fish. Since selling these triploids as "Columbia River Steelhead" to unsuspecting restaurants and grocery stores is big business for their parent company, Pacific Seafood, so I highly doubt that they will want to do anything to cause doubt about what these zombies really are. I know that restaurants and fish markets I've talked to had no idea they were selling net pen raised triploid rainbows. And, unfortunately there is no law (that I can find) that prohibits them from 'mislabeling' the triploid rainbows as steelhead.

    http://www.pacseafood.com/default.aspx?page=399
  19. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    Either one. I've had my license/barbs checked several times by enforcement.
  20. CLO coho where are you?

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    That's good news.