Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by miyawaki, Dec 13, 2013.
People lose all credibility when they start posting their opinion in the form of hyperbole.
And you are certain that the Skagit, which is a damn site more accessible to Puget Sounds population density than the Hoh, won't get much fishing pressure if opened up? On the contrary, people lose all credibility that say they are all about protection of fish and their habitat, but who cannot stop fishing them when they are in decline.
Do the graphs on pages 21 and 31 suggest to you that we should be lobbying to fish the Skagit?
If the graph were to include the last two seasons the trending line would actually be heading upwards.
What the graph shows (especially if it was updated) is that the population varies from year to year and is currently trending upwards.
Which point or number on the graph would indicate when it is acceptable to you for fishing?
So you selectively pick and choose which years you want to be included in making your case? If we used that logic, one could argue that 2004/05 should have allowed bait and 2 fish stringers for the BBQ... the river was set to explode with fish.
When the trend line is reversed over a 10+ year period would be a point I'd be willing to have a meaningful debate about fishing.
I understand that our fisheries are dependent on having healthy runs. Advocating for angling opportunity and healthy runs of fish aren't mutually exclusive.
Posting pictures of the lower Samish during salmon season and possibly the Cowlitz during brat season isn't reflective of anything pertaining to this discussion. But, I'm sure you feel like you made some sort of point.
It is not about selectively picking and choosing data that supports your case but rather showing all the data available to make the best decision possible. Steelhead runs are anything but static, even prior to Caucasian settlement. Nobody is suggesting that we open fisheries on depressed or unhealthy stocks but rather on years when the returning adults allow a non-consumptive fishery that will not directly negatively impact the resource.
One point you make that deserves a bit more consideration is unlike previous spring C&R seasons on the Skagit, there will not other PS rivers open during the same time so that could increase pressure some but I don't think it will be anything like the pictures you posted because of the restrictive regulations. Again, with an endorsement stamp or permit could limit angling pressure and provide some (albeit little) revenue for creel monitoring.
How about instead of littering this thread with your whining about Occupy Skagit and why you don't like it, you make your point once and for all and then GTFO. Or hell, start another "Anti-Occupy" thread. You've basically become the troll of OS. It is really getting annoying, and the problem is that being annoying is not a good way to effect change or get people to back up your views.
And I'm not saying this because I think that dissenting voices shouldn't be heard and don't have a place here. I'm all for it. But you say the same thing over and over, and people make the same arguments back, and it just goes no where.
If you really think you are in the right, and you think you can get enough support behind you, then start your own movement. Try to get people to back you up.
I have yet to see a compelling argument from you, or evidence, that shows me that a CnR season on the Skagit will have a detrimental effect on the fishery as a whole.
Bring some new ideas to the table. We have all heard what you have to say.
Thanks for reminding us that you don't support the purpose of OS, since we might have otherwise forgotten.
There is no graph on page 31 of the report you linked, but let's consider the impact of the graph on page 21 which illustrates a declining trend of steelhead spawning escapements over the time period 1978 to 2011. If we had more data, but it's incomplete and of poorer overall quality, we could add to the graph's timeline and cover the period 1920 through 2013. The slope of the graph would flatten some, but would still trend downward. Let's assume for the sake of discussion that the trend is true, irreversible, and will hit zero abundance and escapement within the next 100 years.
Information we already have indicates that the abundance of wild Skagit steelhead has not been affected by harvest over the past 20 years or so according to NMFS' status review in the ESA listing, and over the past 30 years if one were to extend the same analysis over that time period. That time period includes some directed harvest targeted at wild steelhead and management that expected and intended a very limited harvest (< 2,500) and a wild steelhead CNR season that extended to April 30. The take home message is that the escapement trend is negative, and harvest mortality has had zero detectable affect on that trend.
I don't have the analysis at hand, but I think it's something like a 30% probability that wild Skagit steelhead will go extinct in 100 years. (I'll try and look it up tomorrow and correct this post.) But again, for the sake of this discussion, let's assume it's a 99% probability that wild Skagit steelhead will go extinct in 100 years. This analysis assumes the same management as present, i.e., a very limited harvest mortality. Given the assumptions, and truly, we have zero science that says anything different will happen (other than the % probability of extinction in 100 years), the population will go extinct in 100 years. It will go extinct if there is no CNR season. It will go extinct if the Upper Skagit Tribe is not allowed steelhead impacts in their salmon fishing seasons. And it will also go extinct if both CNR fishing and incidental mortality occurs while the UST fishes for salmon.
The same outcome. The result 100 years from now will be exactly the same whether recreational anglers fish for wild Skagit steelhead or not. The result 100 years from now will be exactly the same whether the US Tribe is allowed incidental steelhead mortality in their salmon fishing or not. The exact same ecological outcome occurs, but significant and very different social and economic outcomes occur. This partly explains why some of us support the purpose of OS and why OS doesn't need your support.
This discussion has assumed the inevitability of wild steelhead extinction. However, the certainty of extinction is debatable. While the certainty doesn't depend in the least on whether we have continued CNR fishing and whether the UST catches steelhead incidental to salmon fishing, it absolutely depends on the habitat management decisions society makes about the Skagit River basin over the coming decades. So let's continue, again for the sake of discussion, and project society's future habitat management decisions.
From recent decades since the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and more, and based on decisions since ESA listings began in the Puget Sound region in 1998, I project that society will:
1. Continue to prefer road building over stream protection;
2. Continue to prefer forestry, although kinder and gentler and with more restrictions over stream protection;
3. Continue to prefer agriculture over stream protection;
4. Continue to prefer urban, suburban, and even rural development over stream protection;
5. Continue to avoid any discussion of, let alone restrictions on, human population growth;
6. Continue to place a higher priority on property rights than even human rights, let alone environmental quality;
7. Etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
The most probable outcome is predictable by making relevant comparisons. Although the time scale is different, and the precise and proportional causes vary, the overlying pattern is similar enough to compare Puget Sound rivers like the Skagit to a river in the NE US like the Connecticut. Atlantic salmon haven't been extirpated in the Connecticut, but I think they were down to about 11 in the 1970s and have numbered a few hundred to over a thousand since then due to intensive recovery efforts. So I don't think wild Skagit steelhead will go extinct in 100 years, but I think it's reasonable to think that they will continue the declining trend, with periods of higher relative abundance when marine survival is good, and may persist indefinitely at a level of low abundance of 2,000 fish or so in habitat that is much degraded from what we see today. Significantly, this future condition will occur whether there are any CNR steelhead fishing seasons or not.
Not that it matters to the eventual outcome, but what, exactly does your objection to OS have to do with wild Skagit steelhead conservation?
It makes the point perfectly... a scene the Skagit can ill afford at present.
Sends the wrong message. It shouldn't be about satisfying the want to fish (a fishery in trouble) but rather getting changes made to the factors creating the situation in the first place.
You FEEL as if we should wait 10+ years (a random number you feel is adequate) before you'd consider having a meaningful debate about the fishery. How did you come up with that number?
I believe that is partly what OS is all about though--i.e. getting WDFW to stop using the season closure as a management tool, and get the focus on making changes that can actually do something for the fish.
I was wondering who everyone was talking to on this thread then it finally dawned on me. Mr. "No Science Matters as long as I don't agree with it". The ignore feature can be confusing sometimes but the benefits are undeniable.
Won't happen - he knows it will die the quick death of no participation...
Because you and some others have a poor understanding of the dynamics of the ecological interaction of fish and habitat, an action that has no bearing on the outcome should be prohibited because you and those who don't understand, see the wrong message. Would you recommend basing all public policy on the public opinion of the uninformed, regardless of the information science provides?
The last few years of spring CnR on the Skagit, it was the only Puget Sound drainage open to fishing. Pressure wasn't bad at all.
If someone thinks it will look like the Samish during a king run, they need to tell us how many days they spent on the Skagit and Sauk during the most recent CnR seasons. My guess is zero.
We had a very low return in 2009 - the last year it was open. There were very few anglers on the river, I remember getting every run I wanted to fish during the week and only had a few missed on weekends. I really think the fishing pressure decreases on down years - people hear others are not hitting fish and head for other angling opportunities -
Its market driven if you will, the only guys out there are the hard core guys. For what its worth - I only landed three fish that year, all in Feb - I got nadda in March and April - I will have to check my book, but I remember of only a few fish landed that season from the guys I keep tabs with - all are good anglers and times were tough
I fished it the first two weeks of April in 2009. The Skagit wasn't any busier than normal (not very)...Sauk was just as busy as normal (which is quite busy, a zoo on some days- which has been the norm for many years). Pressure was pretty static ever since the rest of the PS tribs shut down...busier than it 'used to be' in the 90's, but not bad. And sometimes downright empty. If we ever get a consistent season back...once the gold rush dies down it will go back to normal in a year or two. Hardly the end of the world.