November on Puget Sound

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Jonathan Tachell, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. Wow is all I could say for a few minutes. I've read the entire thread and there are points for both sides. What's really interesting to me is that I have fished Puget sound for salmon for more than fifty years. I'm a confessed salt water addict. I used to fish gear and still do once in a long while but I prefer fly fishing because it is relaxation for me. That being said, I bonk any legal salmon for two reasons. First, I don't catch all that many other than during the Pink run and secondly, I like to eat salmon. I like it BBQed, baked, fried, smoked, etc. You get the picture, I hope. The major question I have is, "How do you tell an unclipped three to four year old hatchery salmon from a three to four year old wild fish? It seems to me if a hatchery fish makes it back to spawn and that 1 in 1000 fingerlings survives to return to its stream to spawn, there would be no way to tell the origin short of scientific testing of genetics. I'm no scientist. So how would anyone expect a fly fisher to be able to tell beachside? The truth is, this isn't about the fish being kept. It's about the Native quotas we all have to live with thanks to the Boldt decision back in the 70's. Until that decision is set aside (which is doubtful but possible) then it is what it is. We all need to be a little more civil in our work and play; this site included. Tolerance is what seperates us from the wild animals and of course, the opposed thumb.

    By the way, in my 12 year beach fishery, I have co-habitated the beach with many a buzz bomb slinger and rarely have I ever seen a pink salmon or other snagged. I am very careful about watching and those who fish the beaches I fish know me and know I will call the authorities in a heartbeat. I have friends who pitch buzz bombs. They don't know how to fly fish but they abide by the rules just as I do and they bonk a fish when they get one too. We have learned to co-habitate.

    So if you are planning to jump on me for keeping a salmon, go ahead. Other than the bluegills, dorado, and tuna I have caught in recent years, I have kept no other fish in the past thirty years.
    fe2head, holtad, Tacoma Red and 3 others like this.
  2. Thanks, Steve, for a thoughtful response. I like to eat salmon as well, but in response to your question above, I'd ask:

    What other questions in your life, when posed with an either/or choice, do you answer affirmatively in the direction of potential harm?

    In the current example, we have a choice: A) To kill a wild (read naturally spawned) fish that may be either 1) native, or 2) of hatchery origin with no practical way to differentiate the two, or B) Release it to (we'll assume) spawn and perpetuate what is, we agree, a questionable lineage. Choosing to kill the fish ends with a certain oucome either way: no further contribution of this fish to the gene pool. To release the fish has the potential either to allow a hatchery lineage or (and here's the rub, to me) a native lineage fish to spawn.

    Choosing to kill an unclipped fish guarantees that that fish will not contribute to the (admittedly already diluted) gene pool, native or not. But releasing it has at least the possibility of maintaining a native fish's genes for another generation. Because there is inherent doubt in this decision I will always err on the side of caution and release the fish. Put another way, ask yourself what you would do in the case of an unclipped steelhead in a river known to have both a native population and a hatchery stock. I doubt you would opt to bonk an unclipped fish, regardless of how good steelhead was as table fare.
    Gary Knowels likes this.
  3. You have posed a legitimate argument from your point of view. I have no issues with it whatsoever, however we are all entitled to an opinion in this country. That's what made it great and will continue to make it great. The point I'm making is that regardless of how any of us respond to the questions posed here, we need to be sensitive and civil to both sides. Name calling and pressuere to see one's side or the other don't fit. I understand that we have a moral dilema with this thread and it has been mostly thoughtful from all who have contributed. I choose to keep a salmon for food. Not subsistance but for a very occasional meal that I enjoy and I believe is ethical to enjoy.

    As for posing an answering questions of choice, I believe I have enough life experience to be able to make an ethical, moral decision each time such a question arises.
  4. Jeez you guys. All I wanted to know what kind of popper he was using...
    Bradley Miller likes this.

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