Philisophical Differences...

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by FinLuver, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. Speaking of "opportunity"...

    Fish (specifically winter steelhead) in a system are on the rebound and with all the talk of "gene banks"; as someone who is concerned with conserving the species from it ethical to fish over them - whether it's for harvest or C&R?

    Two such watersheds come to mind (and I'm sure there are others)...the Umpqua (OR) and the Skagit (WA).

    Seems both sides of the aisle wish to have "opportunity".

    Just because we have opportunity doesn't necessarily mean we need to proceed.

    (Just a thought)
    bjornjon likes this.
  2. I thought opportunity was being able to bonk a hatchery fish?

  3. Nothin' wrong with that...PT...BONK away on the "hatchery" fish. :D
  4. If fishing C&R is not detrimental to the long term health of the run, why shouldn't we fish?
    If allowing more fish to spawn does not increase the smolt to adult survival (indicating carrying capacity has been reached) why shouldn't we fish C&R?

    Other streams are allowed to borrow steelhead 'impacts' from the Skagit to bolster the salmon harvesting when they don't have enough abundance to supply their own 'impacts' . Why wouldn't we want to change that to give those struggling runs more protection?

    Basin by basin determination of allowable impacts gives each individual run of fish a voice. Each stream will determine it's own future. Under this kind of closer scrutiny, streams that need more protection will get it, and streams unduly influenced by being part of an aggregate determination (the Skagit) will be free of the federal listing.

    It ain't about philosophy. It's about numbers - and always will be.
    If it's philosophy you're looking for, join PETA.
  5. C&R mortality is almost nil.
  6. Not according to the Skagit's state biologist... but I forget it's only the opinion of a few on this forum that really matters :rolleyes:.

  7. C&R mortality is definitely greater than nil, but the science around it says that it doesn't limit run size. Of course if you have a run size of like 50 fish on a river like the Skagit, then having an open season is probably a bad idea. But a catch and release season on 2k fish isn't going to finish the run off if managed properly (shorter fishing seasons, limiting fishes to less dense spawing reaches, etc.).
    Ed Call likes this.
  8. Oddly, I have had the exact opposite impression of Mr. Barkdull's position on C&R mortalitybased on what he saw regarding mortality on a study he conducted (albeit not on C&R impact).

    Go Sox,
    Chris DeLeone and Derek Day like this.
  9. I'm open to being wrong, any data to support his/her contention? I'm not a believer in anecdotal information.
    Jason Rolfe likes this.
  10. Discuss it with him yourself, but "almost nil" (whatever number you choose to believe) still means dead fish from a threatened stock.
  11. I wonder if postings in this thread, perhaps even creating it is less about steelhead and more about ones inability to catch steelhead. I wonder if the days fished, hours fished and number of fish not felt, fought or landed have some manipulating statistics to justify why they've put away their steelhead setups and turned to fishining chironomids.

    No offense to legit chironomids fisherman that love the indicator under duress tactic as their preferred passtime. We know who you are.
  12. Possibly.

    But without actual data its all conjecture. For a number of reasons, i think accurately measuring the absolute impact of C&R is nearly impossible.

    The thread title sums it up pretty well, this is more often about personal philosophy, than it is about logical conclusions based on observed data.

    For example if C&R mortalities are small, and there is natural mortality (there is) then it is hypothetically possible that some of the fish that would die anyway get caught and released. Any overlap further diminishes the impact of C&R.

    But thats mental masturbation.

    Look at Skagit escapement numbers and see if adding/removing C&R fisheries as a statistically significant impact. Its been awhile since I looked at historical escapement estimates, but I think they were pretty variable when fisheries were allowed...and still are without said fishery.

    Want to help Skagit fish survive C&R impacts? Time the hatchery fish for late arrival (Feb-April) and don't allow fishing until spring. Keep it C&R. It provides hatchery fish to run interference and reduces the chances of a single fish being caught repeatedly.

  13. To that point, why would someone post about a species they don't fish for, other than to bring attention to themselves. It would be analogous to a muskie, walleye, you name it fishermen posting on this forum. And yet these other fishermen don't. For the non-steelhead fishermen posting their opinions here, post all you want but to Ed's point, you don't have much basis for doing so other than just to stir the pot.
  14. Pe
    Folks over in the Saltwater and Stillwater section are so much friendlier! I wonder why?
    FinLuver likes this.
  15. Because they can go fishing anytime they want, pretty close to home?
  16. Friendlier is one perspective. The culture is certainy different. It's more positive for sure. Of course, I have never seen the saltwater fishermen band together like OS. I think that is pretty friendly.

    Fortunately the saltwater guys don't have the need too have an OS type event.

    Go Sox,
  17. A quote from the Fly Fishing Film tour this year, "pretty fish don't live in ugly places".

    That's why I love Kitsap County! I stood on the banks of the Queets in the driving rain this weekend though.

    I also offered up my spey gear for sale after whipping myself with t-11 repeatedly...but retracted my offer only one day later ;)!
  18. Charles,

    It may appear that way, but saltwater anglers are pretty motivated and get involved when their fishing gets threatened. The last rule change session was dominated by saltwater anglers statewide who opposed shortening seasons on bottomfish. Comments on cabezon and lingcod seasons swamped those about steelhead. Every year, hundreds more anglers show up to North of Falcon meetings than Occupy Skagit. Saltwater anglers are pushing and working hard to require deep water release tools for rockfish on all boats to re-open some of the deepwater lingcod fishing off the coast. Hell, I would wager that more saltwater kayak anglers wrote letters about a rockfish closure to WDFW than the number of letters about steelhead from c&r advocates during the last rule change process.

    I don't know if it is the difference between harvest based anglers and catch and release anglers (or the motivation of an offshore boat investment), but we could use some of their fire and statewide energy. Steelhead anglers are far more fragmented than saltwater anglers between gear and fly, harvest vs. c&r, hatchery vs. wild, etc.

    I don't say any of this to poo-poo Occupy Skagit, but to light a fire under the asses of those who are on the fence.
  19. It isn't as much about philisophical differences as it is about how limited is your view by those blinders you chose to wear and how much of the information you chose to ignore because it doesn't fit into your particular philisophical view. When you don't have the facts to support your philosophy, change the topic.
    flybill likes this.
  20. As WW said, if it's not detrimental to a stock, why not? You think the Skagit is on the rebound?

    One of the problems I see is anglers being funneled into solely one given geographical area such as we have now in the case of the Olympic Peninsula. There has been a significant increase in angling pressure in some areas. A Skagit/Sauk spring catch and release season funnels a great number of anglers into that basin; and, that basin only. One of the other sides of this multi-sided coin is, if we're not out there, who is?

    In a catch and release scenario on the Skagit/Sauk, a solid number of "escaped" or potentially "escaped" fish will be caught which does have detrimental effect in some way, shape or form. Techniques employed such as side drifting, pulling plugs, nymphing, etc. can be highly effective and many of these fish could be caught more than once especially if said fish is a "player". Other factors arise as well. This is where I see catch and release adverse impacts potentially increasing.

    There is some evidence of a decrease in spawning productivity in fish that have been CnR'd. This is one area that has not been widely considered in the catch and release argument. If we are adversely affecting the number of eggs that make it into the gravel or playing a buck to the point where he's shooting milt all over, this potentially adversely impacts spawning productivity ultimately changing skein inhabitant to potential egg in the gravel survival.

    Based on the studies, catch and release mortality comes in around 3%. As Charles mentioned, in an unrelated study where transmitters were shoved down fishes' throats, I believe there was one fish in over 100 (if my memory serves me correct) that died. With a full on Skagit/Sauk shit show, mortality might be higher.

    The numbers in a CnR season on the Skagit with an average run size of 6,700 fish.... With mortality at 3%, you lose 201 fish to CnR. With mortality at 6%, you lose 402 fish to CnR. You lose, pick a number, 300 as tribal fishers by-catch.

    At 3% mortality, we have effectively removed a total of 501 or 7.5% of fish that could have escaped. At 6% mortality, we have effectively removed a total of 702 or 10% of those "escaped" fish. Regardless of where you fall, these are impacts.

    Do 200 to 400 additional escaped steelhead that did not die from a CnR season make a difference? One of the problems in this current age is that there are a pretty small number of "escaped" steelhead to be managed compared to historical numbers. It's pretty scary in some cases. In 2009, we had an escapement of less than 3000 winter steelhead on the Skagit. A flood event in late spring/early summer of 2009 instead of January could have been absolutely disastrous. In 2013, we had 8700 steelhead make it back to the Skagit/Sauk gravel which was encouraging. This year sucks; and, will very likely come in at "not good".

    So, where did those 2013 fish come from? Many from that awful return of 2009. Why is that? Pink salmon are likely one of our best friends in steelhead recovery. Those pink salmon returning, spawning and dying produced a crap ton of nutrients while we had juvenile steelhead rearing. They had a ton of food, i.e.- eggs not making it into the gravel, pink salmon flesh, etc. There had to be an increase in fry to smolt survival.

    Carrying capacity was mentioned earlier. What is that number? Well, depends on who you talk to. One biologist estimated that the Skagit/Sauk watershed could probably carry an escapement of 20,000-25,000. Having seen every boatable stretch of the Skagit/Sauk down to Lyman, that number didn't really surprise me. There is a ton of geography with many tributaries. Is it an anecdotal estimate...absolutely.

    So, there's a little philosophy, math, theory, anecdotal information and science combined. Excuse me...I have to go blow up my own car.

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