PS Chambers Creek lawsuit settlement??

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Smalma, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Fishermen are their own worst enemy, they seldom show up in numbers where their presence would be noticed and then bitch about what happens at said meetings. It is the same here in BC. it has not changed in the 50 years plus that I have been at meetings. Commercial guys and natives are always there in numbers when they perceive that their bull is going to be gored and the developers with their brown envelopes are always having lunch and coffee with the politicians.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  2. Sorry maybe I missed the context of the above quote. With a few quys on my ignore list sometimes that happens. I was confused by your question since it seemed straightforward and logical that the next step would be no fishery. Hence my post. I'm not bitching and no one is gonna be personally thanking me for the skagit CNR season reopening based on my attendance record. But, id rather be positive and hope that maybe these closures can further fuel the push towards establishing CNR fisheries. I mean, taking away my daughters toys sometimes gets her to eat her dinner.
    constructeur and Tyler Sadowski like this.
  3. Eliminates any issues on that front. Just close the system, manage for wild fish and monitor very closely.

    The downside of not being able to keep an open mind about people who do not necessarily share your own opinions on a particular subject.
  4. Considering that the tribes are likely to continue fishing (it's their right), seems to me the best hope we have for any kind of sport fishery is for the proposed broodstock program to work better than any we have seen to date. If it doesn't, those fisheries will further reduce the wild runs, which won't improve the case for a C&R fishery. Either that, or NMFS/WDFW will lower the wild escapement goals, which has been the M.O....

    Our refusal to quit harvesting fish (on all sides) will be the undoing of anything we try to do to manage wild fish back to sustainable numbers.
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  5. The tribes haven't fished for wild steelhead in that basin for years
    And, they recognize that the chambers creek program failed to return value. In recent years the tribal hatchery fishery has closed early.

    The kicker is that the tribes and wdfw were already thinking about ending the chambers creek program on the Skagit.

    I think Curt is right that an integrated program isn't a good idea. At the same time I think that the chambers creek program was a tremendous waste of resources and with it eliminated the department will be forced to either start closing fisheries, or take some serious steps to look at new opportunities (or reopening old ones)
  6. Cripes-a-mighty! Here we go again. Another general-all-encompassing comment that means absolutely nothing without some context - such as what fucking issues on what fucking front?

    For the last time: No one, not Bill McMillian, not NOAA, not NFMS, not WDFW, not WFC, not WSC, not
    PSHAAC, not PSMFC, not PSP, not PECE, and not freestoneangler have ever provided a single shred of evidence to show that a C&R season on the Skagit will in any way limit the current or future viability of the run to sustain itself when fishing occurs above the projected 6000 fish floor escapement level. Not a single bit. 7 billion people on the planet and not a single person has any evidence of any danger, risk or what-have-you.

    So...freestoneangler, it's time to put up - or shut up.

    And before you come back and tell me you are entitled to your opinion blah, blah, blah - yea, we get it, we know. But just because you have one, doesn't mean you are right. In fact, there is a boatloads of evidence to the contrary and absolutely nothing to support your opinion.

    Perhaps it is not your opinions folks have a problem with?

    Not on ESA listed fish it isn't...

    Don't hold your breath waiting for that...
    Salmo_g and constructeur like this.
  7. i agree that a broodstock harvest based program would be bad for puget sound steelhead. if i remember correctly (curt can certainly correct me as i'm going off memory) the state's steelhead management plan no longer allows broodstock collection to select for run-timing so any integrated program would have a similar run timing as the wild run. this means harvestable hatchery fish co-mingled with wild fish. this means higher harvest levels in non-selective gillnets than if no hatchery fish were present. if the skagit has a return of 7,000 steelhead, would it be better for the tribe to harvest 50% of the amount above escapement (500 fish) or fish hard over a mixed run of hatchery fish that can be harvested at a much higher rate? imo, i cannot think of a co-mingled wild stock that has done well facing higher harvest rates on hatchery fish.

    you will also have higher impacts on the spawning gravel with studies showing that survival decreases even in one generation of hatchery propagation.
  8. I think I should have clarified that I'm not a strong proponent of broodstock programs (hatcheries), particularly for the Skagit basin, which I believe has potential to sustain itself if given chance (which means ZERO harvest of a few generations of wild spawners). My point was that the only thing allowing the Tribes to harvest fish or for anyone else to even FISH FOR fish in the Puget Sound rivers in the winter was the Chambers Creek hatchery plants. I'm pretty sure that is a concrete fact.

    Now that the Chambers fish aren't going to be available to the tribes native to the Skagit system for at least a dozen years, how do any of you suppose the State will fulfill its treaty obligations to those tribes? I'm pretty sure the State can't stomach the lawsuits that would result, which leaves them with no option but to utilize the broodstock consolation. (Lest I forget, there is the fairy tale outcome, which is that the wild fish populations increase dramatically because of the absence of the Chambers fish, but yeah....) If they don't implement a broodstock program, the only way to placate the tribes will be to lower the wild escapement goals so some of them can be given to harvest impacts.

    I'm not aware of a broodstock program that's benefitted wild fish, so I don't see such programs as a means of helping wild fish. That said, I'm praying for a miracle in the Skagit basin, because that's the only scenario I see that allows the State to meet it's Tribal obligations and provide any variety of sport fishery.

    By the way, I'm a big supporter of a C&R season on the Skagit. I just don't see how this lawsuit will help that cause.
  9. How much does the tribal fishery even factor in here? Gillnetting the PS rivers for steelhead has been declining for years. How many PS rivers are netted for steelhead anymore? They'll still net whatever salmon they've been netting.
  10. Smalma, I have a different view of the intent of paragraph 18 in the consent decree. I believe that the language is not an agreement by WFC to support an integrated hatchery program but is in fact a pre-emptive challenge to WDFW to show that any integrated hatchery program, if proposed by the Dept for the Skagit system to replace the Chambers Creek program, is both warranted and appropriate. The "good faith" part means that they supply WFC with the science and data that they used to come to the conclusion that an integrated program is warranted and necessary. I think the appropriate emphasis regarding the outcome of those discussions is as shown below in bold.

    ""WDFW and the Conservancy shall work cooperatively and in good faith in an effort to study and evaluate whether development and implementation of an integrated steelhead hatchery program using native steelhead (not Chambers Creek hatchery steelhead) is warranted and/or appropriate, and if so, the appropriate parameters of such a program, in the Skagit River watershed, including the Skagit River main stem and tributaries thereof, except that no such program shall be considered for the Sauk River."

    One of these days I will figure out how to quote earlier posts...
  11. Skeena88

    Not surprising that we have different "views" which I suspect is a result of our personal experiences with WFW; I know that is the case for me.

    For me in this case "...working cooperatively and in good faith ...." for WFC means if we don't like the end product (and I can't see any way a integrated program could be developed that WFC could support)we'll sue your "ass" and oh by the way thanks for doing our homework for us.


  12. Curt, are you familiar with or have access to the Broodstock study/program going on in the Kalama? Are they finding that it is not working? Could that data be used to help keep the broodstock program out of the Skagit?
  13. No fishing means there will be no issues with enforcement, deciding what restrictions will be established, and not a single fish lost to C&R.

    I doubt it's your "last time" and I'm flattered to be listed among such notable groups. Don't know for sure, but perhaps they, like me, feel that it's simply better to err on the safe side and not introduce any controllable risks... you know, just in case your opinion might be incorrect. Perception may have something to do with it as well. Fishing over a threatened species is counter-intuitive to many outside the sport -- kind of like allowing campfires when the forest is as dry as a popcorn fart. The Skagit is not exactly a remote location and it could easily become the same circus as what's happened on the Hoh (in fact, more likely given it's location to Seattle). It's all about protecting a threatened species -- not whether some folks having trouble with not being able to fish them get to do so. I'm curious, why are you having such trouble not being able to fish the Skagit? There are hoards of folks (myself included) who would like to fish it but are OK not doing so. Perhaps you and the core OS group are the minority on this subject...but just happen to be the most outspoken.

    Roll back the clock. Could we have been having the same discussion when the epic runs of 80k fish dwindled to 40k... and then to 20k? Could the futures of the sport be having this discussion if the number drop from 8k to 4k...and then at 2k? Sure wish we could predict the future (some think they can on lots of subjects), but we can't.
  14. TallFlyGuy-
    I'm somewhat familiar with the Kalama wild broodstock program (as well as several other western Washington winters - including two on the Skagit basin, Nooksack, Sol Duc, and a couple rescue programs) and it is because of that familiarity that reasonably certain that wild broodstock on the Skagit system will be bad news for the wild steelhead.

    The very conditions that from a hatchery/wild interactions perspective mad the Skagit one the best locations for a segregated hatchery program on Puget Sound and one of the worst in the State for an integrated program. In making that judgment I am using the yard stick of maintaining both the diversity and productivity of the Skagit wild steelhead. Virtually every hatchery/wild issues that you had such concerns about with Chambers Creek/wild Skagit would be at least as and in some case much worst with a Skagit wild brood stock/wild population. The Kalama situation has several advantages (from brood stock collection and culture challenges) that are not available on the Skagit. In addition there is the complication of the tribal fishery. Further it appears that on the Kalama that they are not attempting to use a brood stock that would be representative of the wild population and it would be my preference and am hoping that returning hatchery adults from a wild Skagit program would be representative of the Skagit wild population.

    Trading a integrated program that meets established hatchery/wild interactions criteria for a segregated that can not would be significant step backwards of wild Skagit steelhead

    Again this probably is not the best thread for a detailed discussion of the pros and cons of a wild Skagit steelhead brood stock program. If there is really much interest in getting into some of the details I would be more than willing to take part in a "Wild Skagit Steelhead Brood Program Benefits and Issues" thread.

  15. it seems odd to me that hatcheries that have recently had paltry returns somehow satisfy treaty fishing rights but removing hatcheries that do not contribute to meaningful fisheries abridge those same rights.

    as i've said previously i think many of these issues need to actually be settled in court. i would rather lose a court case and then manage based on the law than continue management based on perceptions of what the law might be. we really do need to know if hatchery plants are required to satisfy boldt or not.
  16. And when they are deemed to not be threatened...what then?
  17. Then you can ask Billy Frank Jr. if he'll let you fish.
  18. FYI, this closure will not affect the poachers I see fishing the Skagit nearly every day I am at work.

    This closure will only affect the good guys.
    Jerry Daschofsky likes this.
  19. If you see poachers everyday why are you not reporting them? I spend a lot of time on the river even though it is closed. I am up there shooting pictures several times a week and I have yet to see any poachers. If I did I would be taking their pictures and contacting WDFW enforcement.

    If you don't want to report them tell me where they are at and I will.
    smc, Kent Lufkin and Chris Johnson like this.
  20. I have reported them a lot Kerry. It is usually a guy standing on the edge of the woods with a spinning rod and he quickly vaporizes when we shoot by. Lately I have been driving up and down the South Skagit HW and have seen a few from the road too. These guys know how to not get caught. I see this type of crap mostly between Sedro and Concrete.
    Jerry Daschofsky likes this.

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