Please consider attending this...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by orangeradish, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. orangeradish Bobo approved

    Posts: 2,461
    Capital City
    Ratings: +484 / 0
    Nothing will change unless we stand up and voice our opinions... Sometimes it feels like pissing in the wind. No guarantee that things will change for the better, but doing nothing will guarantee that nothing improves.

    I'll be there and will grab a bite after.



    OLYMPIA – State fishery managers will hold a public meeting Jan. 9 in Centralia to discuss a proposal to end the release of hatchery steelhead in the North Fork Toutle/Green River watershed to support the recovery of wild fish.

    The meeting is scheduled from 6-8 p.m. Washington Hall Room 103 at Centralia College, 701 W. Walnut St.

    The North Fork Toutle/Green River watershed is one of three tributaries to the lower Columbia River recently proposed as “gene banks” for wild steelhead by advisory groups to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The other two tributaries are the East Fork Lewis River and the Wind River.

    The purpose of gene banks is to protect wild steelhead from the effects of hatchery stocks in strategic watersheds around the state, said Cindy Le Fleur, fish manager for WDFW’s southwest region.

    “Research has shown that negative effects can range from interbreeding to competition for food and habitat,” Le Fleur said. “Creating gene banks to protect wild steelhead in some areas is required under the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan.”

    Wild steelhead populations in the lower Columbia River have been listed as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1998.
  2. Chris Brittin Johnson Fly Flinging Fanatic

    Posts: 70
    Rochester WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I plan on attending. I live near centralia and I attended centralia college. I heard on the local radio station a commercial disapproving of it. Saying it would hurt local business's that rely on the summer runs. Couldn't believe it. I'm sure there will be many uninformed fisherman there arguing to keep the hatcherys so they have something to snag.
  3. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,544
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +716 / 2
    There are different ideas about fisheries management. The majority of people don't care if they catch wild or hatchery fish. Referring to those folks who fish over hatchery fish as snaggers isn't going to go over too well in a large audience.

    The great divide is live and well.
    Patrick Allen and aplTyler like this.
  4. Chris Brittin Johnson Fly Flinging Fanatic

    Posts: 70
    Rochester WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I Apologize. I worded that wrong. You are right.
  5. Chris Brittin Johnson Fly Flinging Fanatic

    Posts: 70
    Rochester WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I just hope the two sides of this argument can stay on point about protecting the wild steelhead.
    PT likes this.
  6. Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Posts: 1,787
    Bellingham Wa.
    Ratings: +316 / 1
    I'd be there O, but I have a meeting that night that I can't skip.
  7. orangeradish Bobo approved

    Posts: 2,461
    Capital City
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    Good that a few of us will be there. Better if a bunch are. This is a chance to speak directly to the decision makers. Let's pack the house.
  8. Patrick Allen Active Member

    Posts: 397
    Bothell,WA
    Ratings: +174 / 0
    From attending previous meetings such as these it is my opinion that the decision has already been made and the Dept. is just appeasing one user group. The State has made a commitment to try these Gene banks to meet the ESA listing. I am hopeful the Gene Banks work and one day we can fish on some brute wild fish. How long this will take or will it rebound, I am no scientist and don't know about the habitat in these places. Hopefully it does work.
  9. orangeradish Bobo approved

    Posts: 2,461
    Capital City
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    Tonight is the night! I am hoping to see a bunch of us there...
  10. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,444
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,622 / 2
    I can't make it, but here's a strong point I think we need to make:

    We're going to be argued against as bullies trying to take away fishing opportunities and are unwilling to compromise. I think it's important to point out that having just a couple rivers designated as gene banks IS the compromise. We currently put hatchery fish in to pretty much every steelhead river in the state. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. That is the real lack of compromise.

    We can never, and should never, advocate for 100% hatchery removal. But to shoot for even a 50/50 type situation should be something everyone can live with.
  11. jake-e-boy Active Member

    Posts: 465
    Kennewick
    Ratings: +207 / 0
    Hoh blown & rod broken, fuck it, I'll go
  12. jake-e-boy Active Member

    Posts: 465
    Kennewick
    Ratings: +207 / 0
    Don't worry guys, summer fish can't spawn with winter fish cause they ain't ready yet! /s
  13. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,316
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,263 / 0
    I read that the pro-hatchery guys were pretty obnoxious at the meeting.
  14. jake-e-boy Active Member

    Posts: 465
    Kennewick
    Ratings: +207 / 0
    that is an understatement.... straight up rude and unwilling to have a rationale discussion. My quip above was actually stated by one hatchery advocate, even after WDFW showed the genetic testing that proves wild winter fish had traces of hatchery summer run in their genetics. He claimed they don't spawn together because they "ain't ready at the same time!" Even though the difference is just that they enter the system at different times. Shane Anderson made the excellent point that they even have resident rainbow in their DNA, but no one could hear him through the yelling....
  15. triploidjunkie Active Member

    Posts: 2,316
    Grand Coulee, WA
    Ratings: +1,263 / 0
    Ignorance is bliss, or something....
    jake-e-boy likes this.
  16. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,544
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +716 / 2
    I don't have enough info to form an educated opinion on this subject but want to throw this out there. Taken from another board.

    I attended, spoke, laughed, felt frustration, and anger.

    I worry about WDFW's fore-site and remain concerned about the year by year , knee jerk reaction type of management that has led this state into the situation it's currently in.

    Because of my feelings, I asked what WDFW was doing to ensure my son would have a quality recreational fishing opportunity when we were all dead and gone.

    What was the master plan?
    I received no answer.

    Here is a list of what I took away from the meeting.
    1) Everyone in attendance wants access, opportunity, and wild fish. Most in attendance want a hatchery fish fishery also.
    2) WDFW is not locked into using the Toutle, Green, or Lewis as the gene bank site.
    3) Two of WDFW's major constraints for choosing a gene bank site are there must be a population of wild fish and no hatchery fish can compete with the wild fish.
    4) The major concern heard over and over again was an objection to using the rivers proposed due to a lack of future fisherman access and opportunity. The rivers proposed have miles upon miles of access that is a rare thing in SW WA.
    5) The rivers proposed already and for years and years have had a large hatchery fish presence.
    6) A sediment dam already alters "wild" access to one of the main tributaries.

    In my opinion, the vast majority of those in attendance could not figure out why WDFW would quit planting fish in the Green, Toutle, and Lewis. Why close down such a large area of river opportunity on an existing hatchery river to run their wild fish experiment?
    It doesn't make sense to take away a huge area of public access and opportunity.

    Why doesn't their current proposal site make any sense?

    Because there is the Coweeman, a drainage south, that meets ALL of the WDFW's self imposed criteria for a gene bank.
    1) A sustained population of wild steelhead.
    2) No hatchery fish influence past or present.

    The Coweeman also is a river with virtually no public access due to private property.
    There would be almost ZERO access lost to future generations of fishermen if it was used as the site and per WDFW IT CAN BE!!!

    I today's world of fewer fish, more people, and less and less access almost all present saw this solution as a win win.

    Please become involved and make your voice heard.
    Patrick Allen likes this.
  17. Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    Posts: 734
    Renton, WA.
    Ratings: +100 / 0
    From my understanding, this proposal will only affect the NF Toutle and Green Rivers. The last I heard, the WDFW is going to continue releasing summer run steelhead smolts in the South Fork Toutle River which, unlike the Green River, has no collection facility (fish trap). To me, it seems like it would make more sense to either make the SF Toutle a wild steelhead gene bank or instead, the entire Toutle system (mainstem, North Fork, South Fork, Green, etc.).
  18. orangeradish Bobo approved

    Posts: 2,461
    Capital City
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    We were outnumbered 3 or 4 to 1. There was shouting, heckling, interrupting, and name calling. I was taken aback by how hostile it was. I had to practice an insane amount of self restraint to keep from screaming. What struck me the most was that the opposition really had a lack of understanding regarding the 40 years of peer reviewed science pointing to hatchery fish being a major obstacle of wild steelhead recovery. I truly believe that those guys care about the rivers. I'm also 100% sure they have decades of experience. But the amount of misinformation was staggering. I wish hatchery fish WERE the answer. That would be easy. I like killing dinner. None of us belong to PETA. Why in the fuck would we want to reduce our own opportunity unless there was hard data to support the reason for doing it. The problem is that wild fish advocates are viewed as effete dandies prancing to and fro on the river with a fly rod in one hand and a copy of Marx's communist manifesto in the other. That's why the gear/fly divide is fucking us over. We underestimate how well informed these guys are on certain aspects of the issues. At our peril. If I'm honest, I'm pretty surprised at how few pro wild fish guys were there. (there were a bunch of us, but I mean relative to the opposition) It was so fucking hostile, and we got pushed around in part because we were way outnumbered. They are on message. They show up in HUGE numbers. They are not afraid to speak(or yell) their mind. They are winning, and will continue to do so. This isn't an indictment against anyone that didn't show up. People are busy. I understand. But if we care about wild fish, we NEED more troops in the trenches. I was scared shitless speaking in front of a packed room filled mostly with people that hate everything I believe in regarding fish. But it was a rush to really wade into the fight. If you think one person can't make a difference, I'm here to tell you that you can. But only if you are surrounded by other "one persons". I'm going to keep going to these things. I hope these words convince more people to join the fight in person. And I hope this doesn't come across as talking shit towards people that didn't go. I know it really does feel like "what the fuck can I do?". I only posted this to respectfully try and urge people to action.

    Thanks for reading,

    Jason
  19. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,544
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +716 / 2
    What about the point being made that this could be done on rivers that have had no hatchery plants and almost no public access? Meaning, a possibly cleaner gene pool and a river that less people can actually fish. Taking away the Toutle and Green would affect more anglers than taking away the Coweeman. From what I heard people aren't completely against the idea, they just think it could be done on rivers that would affect fewer people's fishing opportunity while still providing the same intel.
  20. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,338
    .
    Ratings: +1,174 / 0
    Well, it sounds like the fly anglers in attendance (thanks!) saw first hand how the other 90% of anglers interact with WDFW. I have seen this type of behavior repeatedly at meetings and this is why we fly anglers need to show up at meetings and write WDFW to make our wishes known. Otherwise, the very vocal 90% are all WDFW hears from and therefore things go their way.

    Thanks to all who attended!
    Jeff Dodd, PT and constructeur like this.