No More Wild Steelhead Sold at Pike Place market

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Ringlee, May 14, 2010.

  1. Split Bamboo

    Split Bamboo Member

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    Remember some of the steelhead sold by the tribes are hatchery fish. Clearly, not the fish being sold in March and April, but some tribes have large hatchery programs. I am pretty sure the hatchery fish would be labeled as 'wild' as opposed to 'farm raised' when sold retail, when in fact we would define them as hatchery brats.
     
  2. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    The tribes can net all the hatchery fish they want as far as I'm concerned. The issue is that their tactics will have a wild by-catch no matter what. The only way to remedy this is to use more selective harvest methods, ie: not gill nets. So supporting them to gill net hatchery steelhead is as good as supporting them gill netting wild fish in my opinion.
     
  3. Split Bamboo

    Split Bamboo Member

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    Evan, I totally agree with your points.
     
  4. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

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    Native tribes don't need to net catch returning hatchery fish, they can harvest them when they return to the hatchery. Just keep what they need to sustain the return levels and capture all the rest, right at the hatchery, without ever running a net across the river.
    What is so complicated about that? Is this to simple, or, am I missing something?

    LB
     
  5. gt

    gt Active Member

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    papafish, i suggest you visit a hatchery when the run is headed home. by the time these fish get to their home hatchery, they are not fit to eat. however, repealing the ban on fish weirs, traps, and wheels, that white society put in place shortly after state hood, could be the trigger to getting gill nets out of the terminal fisheries.
     
  6. Split Bamboo

    Split Bamboo Member

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    GT,

    Does the state ban apply to rivers like the lower Quinault where access is limited by the tribe?
     
  7. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Wow, GT and I are in full agreement!!!! The tribes use gill nets because they are cheap (small boat with an outboard, one person) and they are effective. The fish would be in even better condition if the tribes could harvest them in the salt, as the non-tribal commercial fishers do. But, that requires a significant capital investment (bigger boats, more technology) and often a multi-person crew for a purse-seiner. There has been a long-term tribal fishery in the San Juans that uses purse-seniers and the Hoh have a troll fishery for salmon (the same fishery that they overharvested by a factor of 10 a few years ago - the overage came out of the allocation to other tribes - winning friends...). By state law, fish weirs, traps, and wheels are outlawed, originally because they were so effective at harvesting wild fish (pre-influx of major hatchery operations). GT, do you know how effective traps. weirs, and wheels would be on the west-end rivers whose levels fluctuate so much?

    Steve
     
  8. Daryle Holmstrom

    Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

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    I don't think they have a purse seine openings on that drainage Steve, better check the fish and game openings
     
  9. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    The San Juans are one location where tribal fishers use the same gear as typical commercial fishers; as the major target are Skagit and especially Fraser River sockeye, it in an interception fishery. I've dodged the skiffs as they set right at Pile Point or Eagle Point; you definitely do not want to be in the way of a skiff deploying a purse seine. At the same time, you can see a very traditional fishing technique: reef netting for sockeye. Reef nets are located on points along the inner channels connecting the islands (hence, protected). Two boats (platforms) are anchored with a submerged net (more like a purse seine than a gill net) between them. The fishers climb up on ladders and scan the water leading to the net. When a school comes through, they pull up the net.


    Steve
     
  10. gt

    gt Active Member

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    historically, in river fish traps, weirs and wheels were the only means of havesting returning anadramous fishes so i don't know why they wouldn't work in this century just as effectively as before the settlers arrived. interesting point regarding a statewide ban on these methods. i believe the answer is yes, they are banned everywhere even in tribal waters as the waterways probably still fall under state jurisdiction. since the tribes have not taken this to court i would have to say, case closed. i also believe RCW empowers WDFW to limit harvest methods right now, but as already pointed out, i wouldn't be holding my breath for WDFW to voluntarily act on behalf of fish conservation.
     
  11. Bill Aubrey

    Bill Aubrey Active Member

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    Fantastic!!! Now, if we could just get the legislatures to listen sometimes....