OP Wild Steelhead retention starting later

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Evan Burck, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Encouraging news. Wonder if it will affect the tribal harvests as well? Anybody know?


    Wild steelhead retention on eight
    Olympic Peninsula rivers opens Feb. 16

    OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is reminding anglers that they will not be allowed to catch and keep wild steelhead on eight Olympic Peninsula rivers until mid-February.

    Earlier this year, the annual opening date for wild steelhead retention was changed from Dec. 1 to Feb. 16 on eight rivers with fisheries for wild steelhead.

    That change, adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission last February, applies to fisheries for wild steelhead on the Bogachiel, Calawah, Clearwater, Dickey, Hoh, Quillayute, Quinault and Sol Duc rivers. Those eight rivers are the only waters in Washington where wild steelhead retention is allowed.

    The change does not affect fisheries currently under way for hatchery-reared steelhead - identifiable by their missing adipose or ventral fin.

    The commission, which sets policy for WDFW, changed the opening date for wild steelhead retention to protect the early portion of the run, said Bob Leland, WDFW's steelhead program manager. He noted, however, that anglers will still have an opportunity to catch and keep a wild fish during the peak of the return in late spring.

    "Making this change will help to maintain the diversity of the run - including a range of late and early returning fish - that is important in preserving the wild steelhead population," Leland said.

    As before, anglers will be allowed to retain one wild steelhead per license year on one of the eight rivers. For more information on season dates and fishing rules, check the Fishing in Washington regulation pamphlet at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/ .

    Leland said the change is consistent with WDFW's Statewide Steelhead Management Plan, which was approved by the commission in 2008. The statewide plan, available on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/steelhead/ , sets out a variety of conservation policies to guide fisheries management, hatchery operations and habitat-restoration programs.

    Leland said anglers should be aware that the sportfishing rules adopted by the commission earlier this year also include regulations that prohibit the retention of wild steelhead on the Green (Duwamish), Pysht and Hoko rivers. The change is designed to protect wild steelhead on the three rivers, where wild runs have recently been in decline.
  2. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

    Hmm I guess this is a step in the right direction, but, come on, retaining wild steelhead is a practice of the past. Whether we choose to acknowledge this fact will determine whether native steelhead will ever have a chance to recover.

    This quote seems to be by and large decades too late:

    "Making this change will help to maintain the diversity of the run - including a range of late and early returning fish - that is important in preserving the wild steelhead population," Leland said.
  3. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

    save wild fish
  4. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

    Where the runs have recently been in decline. Excuse the hell out of me, but haven't all of the damned runs been in decline? I guess a step in the right direction is something to celebrate, no screw that, this step is a bullshit propaganda move to say "look, we are working to protect the wild runs". No you are not. Until the wild fish are catch and release only by recreational fishermen, gill netting is outlawed and live released bycatch in the commercial fisheries then this really is not a step forward, is it. Son of a bitch.
  5. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

  6. shawn k

    shawn k Member

    Until the tribe curtails its netting down to two days this is only a feel good regulation.
  7. Leopardbow

    Leopardbow Member

    Spot on the mark.
  8. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    since harvest is currently in the books, the BEST thing they can do is maintain run diversity. Previous to this, there was a ridiculous slaughter of the early run component which was greatly magnified for early return rivers like the Hoko, Quilliyute, etc. Having any potential of maintaining this diversity isn't just nice, it's imperative.
  9. ToddK

    ToddK Member

    Feel good is right! At this point we need more than just baby-steps.
  10. Matthew Gulbranson

    Matthew Gulbranson Resident Swinger

    Absolutely! This issue always gets my feathers riled up. It just doesn't make any sense any way you look at it. Like so many other things, we KNOW the science, we just don't choose to use it. WTF? We try to make everybody happy except the fish, and they need it the most. Must be depressing to watch your species diminish year by year!
  11. Brazda

    Brazda Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge

    This ruling will cause less wild/native steelhead killed legally by sportmen during a tough time for wild/native steelhead, two bids with one stone, and that is a good thing, the wdfw managers in the Forks area have huge tribal influence to deal with. I feel your pain Mumbles its baby steps at this juncture, love the passion my friend keep it up:)
  12. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    I hear ya. Just as an example, this is an excerpt from an email that I received from a WDFW biologist regarding the escapement numbers for the 2009/2010 wild winter steelhead run for the entire Quillayute River system (Sol Duc River, Bogachiel River, Calawah River & Dickey River). Nonetheless, I suppose that it is at the very least, a step in the right direction.

    "Our estimate of escapement up the Quillayute river system in the 2009/10 season is 7,542 wild winter steelhead. The escapement goal is 5,900 for the system, so we made escapement. This estimate has been reviewed and finalized, so shouldn’t change. The 2009/10 wild run size to the river system is estimated to have been 10,249 (harvest was 2,707 wild steelhead, comprised of 525 sport and 2,182 treaty catch)."
  13. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Too bad co-manager catch won't be affected. And its too bad we still allow wild fish to be killed on the OP. 525 sport catch is nothing compared to the gill net take, but an additional 250 pairs of steelhead on the redds every year add up. Im venturing a guess that both the net take and recreational take are much higher than recorded. Lots of the OP locals kill lot of wild fish, and a lot of tribal netters don't record their catches
  14. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

    Hmmm. Something about a barn door. It'll come to me.
  15. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    I agree.
  16. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    I wouldn't be the least bit shocked if it was like double
  17. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    yeah, I think doubling it is a reasonable assumption. Especially after talking to some of the people that live on the Bogie near bogachiel state park. Theres a big feeling of continued entitlment to all the wildlife. Not just fish, the roosevelt elk in that area get the shit poached out of them as well
  18. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    One of my uncle's friends that lives on the White River brags about poaching 100+ salmon a year with a net in his back yard. So every river has to have at least a few douchebags like him doing damage that WDFW won't put in to their catch numbers.
  19. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Theres a squatter that lives way up the south fork of the nooksack on tree farm property that poaches out maybe 10+percent of the total summer steelhead run. Who knows how many of the critically endangered spring chinook he poaches
  20. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Hmmm, if the tribes are expected to also ease off the early wild fish, I suspect that they'll make up for it with extra days per week in the late season when harvestable wild steelhead are abundant. Maybe some net gain to population diversity, maybe not. The decrease in recreational harvest won't amount to any biological significance, so the regulation seems like more window dressing than anything else. OK, it's a place to begin.