Puget Sound steelhead declared "threatened"

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Nick Andrews, May 7, 2007.

  1. greyghost Member

    Posts: 507
    Coastal Rivers, OR
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Curt,
    What's the probability that WDFW will recognize this option, and write a recovery plan that includes some protections for resident "reserves" of O. mykiss without their hand being forced by the feds?

    Pete
  2. Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

    Posts: 2,051
    Washington
    Ratings: +53 / 0
    I can think of about 15 miles of a small creek that is used by winter nates and src's with the property along side them for sale in large bundles. Basically a "Build Quadrant homes here" sign for developers. Hopefully this will keep the developers out of these places. Of course I doubt it.

    I'm not doubting this statement but I'm curious how you know this? i have always been under the impression that a net from bank to bank is a lot more deadly than a bunch of buzzbombs? Again, I'm seriously not doubting you, I'd just like know where your info came from.
  3. 509 New Member

    Posts: 497
    WENATCHEE, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Good luck.....I think you will need to go pass excited to mad and be very friendly with lawyers!!

    Back in 2000 when Puget Sound fish were first listed.....The draft recovery plan written by the Clinton Administration talked about the benefits of paving 100,000 acres of land to aid in the recovery of the fish. Simms, I believe he is the King County executive (not sure what that is...we don't have those east of the Cascades) wanted immunity from lawsuits arguing that lawsuits would harm the recovery of the fish. I suspect it will not be much different this time around.

    Even President Clinton stated " that he was sorry the impact ESA had on rural areas". The unstated policy is that urban areas are exempt.

    It would be great to see a freeze on development west of the Cascade. I think hell will freeze over first.
  4. inland Active Member

    Posts: 592
    .
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    Smalma,

    You're right. This listing is just a 'feel good' piece of paper. Likely will limit any sport angling opportunities on the last remaining open river for wild fish (Skagit). Beyond that hatchery fish will still be produced. Land use will remain unchanged. The nets will continue to harvest.

    The 'worldview' of our culture simply won't allow for any real options for compromised ecosystems to heal. As the population demands increase so too the pressures that are causing the limiting factors.

    William
  5. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,862
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,262 / 1
    It will be interesting to see what this listing will mean in terms of future fishing opps. Status quo with our current seasons perhaps? I don't think closing rivers to fishing is the answer. The Nisqually is a great example of that. I believe it closed in 1993 and is still getting terrible returns.
  6. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,797
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +653 / 0
    Pete -
    The State's statewide steelhead plan pays some lip service to the resident life history when talking about the diversity of steelhead.

    In the Fisheries management section
    Action #1 calls for protection of "juvenile steelhead and resident rainbows by closing fisheries during the spring smolt migration period and through the use of minimum fish size, gear restrictions and bag limits during periods when the fisheries are open".

    To provide meaningful protection of the resident rainbows using the above it is my opinion that there would have to be year-round bait bans and large minimum sizes for the rainbows or strictly CnR on those fish. It is pretty interesting in that every anadromous stream that I can think of that is closed to fishing has significant resident rainbows.

    In the research section
    Action # 7 calls "Build on studies in the Cedar River, Yakima River, and other locations to develop a better understanding of the relationship of resident and anadromous O. mykiss."

    The plan will be going out for SEPA review (and maybe NEPA with the listing) and we will have a shot at recommending additional beefing up of the life history diversity questions. A couple of us have been working on the development of what I called Wild Salmonid Management Areas where fish would be allowed by it would be limited to selective gear rules and only hatchery (fin clipped) steelhead can be retained (all other fish must be released). I will proposing the application of that idea for the Sauk and the Skagit above the Cascade for this year's regulation change proposals.

    BJG -
    Are you sure that the stream isn't all ready covered by some other listings, HCPs, etc?


    Tight lines
    Curt
  7. Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

    Posts: 2,051
    Washington
    Ratings: +53 / 0
    I, honestly have no Idea. I do know that there is new construction going on alongside it already and large parcels of land are for sale bordering the new construction for at least 8 miles. Based on the trend of leggo houses being assembled every 10 seconds in the area, I am assuming that the entire valley will be developed over the next 10 years. Buffer zones or not, chemicals are going to run off of those pretty new lawns and the water has to go somewhere right?
  8. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,797
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +653 / 0
    BJG -
    Don't get me wrong - I agree 100% that such development is going to harm the fish. However the reality is that the evidence is pretty darn clear; having ESA listed fish in those watersheds have not detered such activity at all. Chinook have been listed since 1999 and the explosive growth in this State has continued unabated. It will not stop with another listing. Society has decided that such growth and all the impacts that go with it (developement, water withdrawls, power, etc) is a price the fish will have to pay and ultimately the fishers with pay in spades as all the various populations potential productivity will go to support such activities. The result is there will be no productivity room left to support any fishing activity (including hooking mortality).

    I just wish that we as a society would be honest enough to admit that is the priority and that fishing is doomed instead of playing this "games".

    Tight lines
    Curt
  9. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,242
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +102 / 0
    Inland,

    Unfortunately, I think you and Curt are right on this, it is a a way to let people feel good about their part in having had the fish decline so much. Now the fish are listed, so it is not their fault.

    And just think how many more folks from Puget Sound will now be going to the Olympic Peninsula because those rivers have runs healthy enough to allow a wild fish harvest.:eek:
  10. James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Posts: 2,787
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +88 / 0
    While the machine is in motion, it does look impossible to stop. But each person here has a responsibility to help out and try to make a difference. If something in your neck of the woods wants to do rezoning, go to the meeting. If you can help reduce the amount of fertilizer you use on your own lawn, do so... EDUCATE THE CRAP OUT OF YOUR KIDS ABOUT THESE ISSUES!

    If enough speed bumps show up, we may slow this thing down....
  11. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,747
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    It won't slow down until the money stops flowing. I work in close proximity to the development business and you wouldn't believe how easy it is to turn HUGE profits.....You want to get rich? BE A DEVELOPER!

    Don't get me wrong, I think people deserve a right to develop land and buy new houses et cetera......I just think that it is moving WAY too fast and money is WAY too much for the conscious thoughtful development we need to occur in this area.

    Here is the problem: in the USA development is a RIGHT and it needs to be a PRIVILAGE.

    I think this steelhead listing is more significant than most of you guys think and you missed my point back near the begining of this thread; listed Chinook are in a select few places compared to steelhead. Steelhead are EVERYWHERE and I think that will make this listing different.
  12. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    there were articles in both the times and PI this am on this listing. may i suggest you folks take 5 or 10 minutes and compose a thoughtful response to both reporters? pointing out some of the discussion which is taking place on this thread would be helpful, i think, in helping shape the next series of article they may choose to publish. i have already emailed both writers with my favorite saw, the indiscriminate net fishery. it is my firm belief that until that fishing practice is banned, recovery is a pipe dream.

    sure poorly designed developments without riparian setbacks, failing septic systems, storm water run off and whatever else, all play major roles in degredation of wild fish habitat. but the fact remains, we are still allowing an indiscriminate fishery to occur, which is killing the very fish we are trying to protect. that is an oxymoron which simply needs to come off the table right now.
  13. Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

    Posts: 2,051
    Washington
    Ratings: +53 / 0
    It might not be a bad Idea for one of our more literate members to compose a letter voicing our common concern. I'd be happy to sign it. It isn't very often that we all agree on something and now that we do a well written letter is a great idea. Unfortunatly, I'm afraid if i write it, It will be nothing but a long string of runon sentances, spelling errors and dik and fart jokes.
  14. James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Posts: 2,787
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +88 / 0
    Steelhead aren't that much more prevalent, and share considerable amounts of habitat with Chinook. Here is a map of the ESA river systems in question..... It is more river, but not *that* much more....

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2007/images/puget-sound-steelhead-esa-map2.jpg
  15. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,747
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    I disagree, that looks like a lot more to me. My point mostly concerned the life history of steelhead. A half-healthy trib anywhere will attract steelhead and never a chinook.
  16. James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Posts: 2,787
    Tacoma
    Ratings: +88 / 0
    More about the number of watersheds rather than the total mileage...
  17. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,797
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +653 / 0
    The map is mis-leading -
    First there is another listing - bull trout which would cover much of the listed steelhead only habitat

    Ignoring the bull trout much of the habitat is cover by other mechanisms as well - Just look at the Stillaquamish the two bigs pieces of red (steelhead only) inlcude Deer Creek whose habitat is mostly covered by the Forest and Fish HCP or US forest service lands. The same with the South Fork Stillaquamish. The feds made it clear when determining critical habitat for Chinook there was no need to include USFS lands as NEPA etc would adequately protect that habitat (I hear the Brooklyn bridge is for sale if you buy that). As a result there is little additional protection to be provided by the steelhead listing above what is currently in place.

    Tight lines
    Curt
  18. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    I used to find chinook in waters best described as ditches, feeder creeks, and headwaters when I was a kid growing up in SW WA. Such as the head waters of the newaukum river in the Onalaska\Pigeon Springs area, and in Lincoln Creek just outside of Centralia - a tiny little thing you can jump accross in most places.
  19. Coach Duff Banned or Parked

    Posts: 1,272
    Kailua Hawaii
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Now that the listing has come thirty years too late, how many gear and flyfishing guides are going to run down to Fish and Game like they do every year and get on their knees and with tears in their eyes plead that C&R can remain open? Then once that happens, the tribes will point out that although we claim to love this state icon, we race up and down the rivers in sleds full of sports and bank fishermen walk all over redds all spring as they throw another set of nets in for some "ceremonial" intentions. Then the fishing industry will demand another study (and throw money around like PacMan Jones in a strip club) that includes hatchery fish in the numbers count and show our horseshit fish and game that the rivers are really healthier than we are letting on. All of a sudden, the hatcheries will flood the rivers with unclipped smolts (whoops!) and even though development and human migration keeps multiplying they will show that recovery is happening at an amazing pace so the FEDS stay out. By the way, how in the hell did the columbia chinook return "in the biggest numbers in history" the last couple of years? Recovery or massive plants? I'm all in to help however I can, but we are way past the point of no return for native steelhead in Puget Sound Hell, in the last decade we have quit using the word "native" boys. Now the term is wild isn't it? Think about it. We are hatchery dependant except for a three month window in the Puget Sound and instead of putting our rods down we have pissed and moaned in every way possible to keep pounding those last fish C&R or not. The guides keep guiding ("way of life). The fly and gear shops keep selling and pointing people right at those fish ("way of life"). The tribes keep netting ("way of life"). The commercial fishermen keep intercepting ("way of life"). The people keep moving in from all over the world ("way of life) the lumber giants keep clearcutting ("way of life") and the houses and Home Depots keep coming. ("way of life"). Until the FEDS come in and slap our state in the mouth the "wild" (which is up for debate in many watersheds) steelhead's way of life will continue to be extinction. The Wenatchee, my favorite steelhead river is a prime example. Every year we make a push to re-open it for C&R. "The fish are rebounding! Open it for C&R only!" Some of us actually feel and breathe the steelhead as part of us. A good amount of the hard chargers on this website understand how important salmon and steelhead are to our great state and ecosystem. Others just want to go fishing and use this is a smokescreen. Hatcheries are important to them. Either way our unwillingness to step back for a good amount of time and our manipulative use of scientific evidence to keep these fisheries open show our own self-serving purposes. To the untrained congressmen or woman, we look no better than anyone else in this mess of bullshit. It has been each lobby for themselves for 50 years in the Puget Sound. I agree with GT often, but in this case he is dead on. The listing is super, now what in the hell is the gameplan? :beer2: Duff
  20. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,747
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    :eek: woooooooo I am tired after reading all that.....I guess we have all been Duff'ed again.....:D