Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by miyawaki, Dec 13, 2013.
Occupy Skagit II Mar 29
have sign, will travel.
Alex, hope you make it. It would be great to meet you.
How can you occupy a river when it will be closed to fishing? I saw fisherman chain themselves to trees years ago in Idaho to protest closure to steelhead fishing. Now those same rivers produce GREAT steelhead fishing. It's time to ban gillnetting before our steelhead are extinct!
See the photo above.
We considered chains, but fishing poles are more fun.
This has nothing to do with gill nets.
We're not protesting the extinction of Skagit steelhead. We're protesting the closure of the Skagit when its run is over escapement, and healthier than many rivers where wild retention and tribal harvest of steelhead IS allowed.
Occupy Skagit has a singularity to it's purpose; to have the Skagit River steelhead catch and release season reinstated. This is our one and only goal. We would appreciate your support and hope you will join us on March 29th at Howard Miller Steelhead Park.
Same here, Kerry! I'm hoping to bring at least 3 others with me. It'll be a day trip for us most likely. In the photos it look like there's a covered group spot, and I assume they have burger grills there. Wouldn't it be great if we could all bring some burgers and the necessary stuff, and have a potluck during the event?
That covered area is simply a roof over a cedar dug-out canoe display, but there is plenty of room to tail-gate and some Brats or dogs would be good too, I would be ready to join in on that. I am planning to be at this event.
I'm already putting in for time off...
Occupy Skagit 2013 was a great event attended by some passionate Skagit anglers. We deserve a C&R season and I'll be back March 2014 with sign in hand to demand it! See ya there ---
I agree totally with the specific goal of Occupy Skagit. Since the first one has occurred and much of a year has passed, it's appropriate to ask: are there any signs of success? Though the seasons remain the same, are there any hints that the icefloe in Olympia is starting to crack and loosen?
Yes, there has been some movement within WDFW and even NMFS. Occupy Skagit has been heard quite high up in some of these orginizations. Others will have some specifics.
When we made our pitch to the WDFW Commission they had heard of Occupy Skagit before we arrived because of the number of people that showed up for our little protest. The presenters made a very good impression on the board and the chair person for the commission said somthing along the lines of Occupy Skagit made the most professional presentation she had seen. We have some very professional people working with Occupy Skagit and with the support of the anglers we can be successful.
The next "occupy" is likely more important than the first. We need everyone to show up and let those in control of the Skagit know that we are not going away. We need more people to show up at the WDFW Commission meeting to impress upon them the level of support we have to reinstate the catch and release season on the Skagit. This can be achieved if we let them know we want it. We have the information backing up our claims that the Skagit steelhead population is on the rebound and that catch and release has no direct bearing on the recovery of the Skagit steelhead. We need numbers of people to help us bring that message to those in control of the Skagit fisheries.
Gunna try to make the trip from Vancouver. I haven't fished the Skagit for years and years, but I love the fact that people are making their voices heard, instead of sitting on their asses whining about it. For that, you have my support. Just for my FYI, what is the escapement goal and what are the returns? And...does anyone care if I throw the date and cause on a blog site?
Ozcast - send me a PM with your email and I will send you some info on where OS is at and updates. The escapement this past season was around 8600 (2013) and the year before was just over 6,000 (2012). The escapement goal for the river to be open is 6000.
The escapement goal of 6000 fish is a relic of management policy from before the ESA listing of all Puget Sound fish as being endangered - regardless of individual basin populations. Unless we can get WDFW to do their "paperwork' and submit a basin specific steelhead management plan for the Skagit/Sauk there will be no season what-so-ever no matter how many fish come back. There is no mechanism in the current ESA listing to provide for a C&R fishery during Feb. - April. None!
Last season's escapement was more than double the projection, and the projection for this season is 5800.
But again, without a management plan, the only relevance the numbers have is to show that a healthy population exists. A population capable of absorbing the incidental impacts of a C&R season - just as it did in the past.
Management Plan = fishing!
And, of course, fishing is the priority. Let's hope the management plan includes provisions on handling what the Skagit will look like if Occupy Skagit is successful...
The Hoh - Part 2
Directed by (fill in the blank)
Starring (fill in the blank)
This is, IMO, largely why the WDFW is leery about trying to manage system by system... the return numbers are only part of the equation. This is why I don't support the effort.
Yep...that is only an opinion, based on nothing but your 'feelings'.
The reality is they are under-staffed, under-budgeted and currently working on one that will need to be agreed upon by two tribes - one of which I have spoken to and is in favor of our season.
Unlike the drainage ditch section of a river you have posted above, this is a more accurate depiction of C&R fishing on the Skagit:
You and everybody else are entitled to your respective opinions for sure. However, I'm not sure I see the downside of raising awareness for one of the greatest historic winter steelhead streams in the world and lobbying for more recreational opportunities, if and when the biological criteria are met. Your pictures don't depict reality as I assume it would only be opened only when escapement goals would be met, no bait/scent, C&R, no fishing under power, and potentially more restrictions. The pictures you show were never a reality during the March/April C&R seasons from days gone by and I doubt it would in the future.
I asked about the potential of a special permit, not unlike what we see in the Columbia, at our last advisory meeting and the top WDFW officials seemed to like that idea as a way to ensure funding for creel surveys and monitor the fishery.
Hasn't worked out so well for the Hoh as yet... but, what the hell, let's hope things go better on the Skagit.
Dream on... that's what it looks like now, but not after it becomes steelhead central. On the plus side, the businesses in the local towns will get a boost in revenue...well, at least for awhile.