Ray's Boathouse serving wild steelhead (from another board)

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by TomB, Jan 16, 2011.

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  1. TomB Active Member

    Posts: 1,620
    seattle,wa
    Ratings: +58 / 0
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/...Rays_Boathouse_wild_steelhead.html#Post654965

    According to this thread on another Board, Ray's Boathouse in Seattle is serving wild coastal steelhead. Also got word that the Bayview Restaurant in PT is touting it as well as the Castle Key in PT, here's a link for the latter:

    http://www.castlekeyrestaurant.com/contact.cfm

    Rays Boathouse

    rays@rays.com

    I sent both slightly tailored versions of the following letter urging them to stop. Feel free to copy or paraphrase.

    Hello,

    It has come to my attention that your restaurant is serving wild steelhead from the Queets River (and presumably other rivers) from the Quinault Indian Tribe. Wild steelhead are endangered species act listed throughout much of their range in the United States. In Washington State, stocks of steelhead in the Columbia River, Snake River, and all of Puget Sound have been listed under the ESA within the last 20 years. Steelhead in other areas in Washington continue to decline. In coastal areas on the Olympic Peninsula where the Quinaults and other tribes fish, rivers are largely protected in the Olympic National Park, so freshwater habitat is in very good condition. Yet in recent years several of the rivers including the Hoh, Queets, Quileute (including the Sol Duc, Bogachiel and Calawah), and others, have failed to meet the minimum spawning escapement goals established by the state. The Hoh river has failed to meet its goal the majority of years recently, and in 2009 none of the above mentioned rivers met their goals, and the Queets missed its goal by more than 1/2, meaning that less than half the minimum number of fish needed to spawn to produce the next generation did so. This failure to meet escapement goals is a big conservation issue and could result in coastal stocks being ESA listed eventually too. Yet it is totally preventable. In all of the cases where escapement goals were not met, had tribal harvest been curtailed, escapement would have been met, meaning that the run was large enough to meet the goals but due to irresponsible and unsustainable tribal overharvest, the runs did not meet their goals. I am very disappointed to see your fine restaurant supporting this unsustainable harvest of wild steelhead. I have enjoyed dining at Ray's since I was a child, but will no longer dine there and I will encourage my friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances not to dine there as well if you continue to serve wild steelhead. All of the data I have referenced above is available from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife if you would like to see it for yourself. Please stop serving wild steelhead. Thank you.

    Sincerely,
  2. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,860
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +53 / 1
    Thanks for the heads up. Sent.
  3. Gary Knowels Active Member

    Posts: 1,073
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +393 / 0
    Ate there recently and the special was Quinault River Steelhead, not sure if the fish are wild or hatchery fish. Us Fish and Wildlife does release 190,000 winter steelhead into the Quinault river each year. I know many places claim that fish are wild because they are caught in the wild as opposed to being farm raised regardless of whether they are hatchery fish or not. I sincerely hope that they only buy and serve hatchery fish.

    This problem isn't just that restaurants may be buying native fish, but that the government continues to allow harvesting techniques that do not allow for the release of native fish. Once in the nets, those fish are dead and something must be done with them or else their deaths will be even more unjust. To me that is a bigger problem than someone buying a native fish that was collateral damage because of the manner of commercial harvesting techniques.
  4. TomB Active Member

    Posts: 1,620
    seattle,wa
    Ratings: +58 / 0
    Gary,

    The tribes are legally "co-managers" per the Boldt decision http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Boldt_Decision&redirect=no They are the ones that choose to harvest with non-selective techniques and to commercially harvest wild steelhead....in fact in the queets and quinault, they refuse to follow state policy of mass-marking hatchery fish, making it not easily even possible to distinguish between wild and hatchery fish. They certainly don't distinguish between them in their fish sales.
  5. Chef New Member

    Posts: 1,102
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    there is no since to send that letter to the restaurant. You need to send it you the fish vendor they buy from. Because if Ray doesnt buy it, another restaurant will.
  6. Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Posts: 3,891
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +131 / 0
    "Get a rope"
  7. Jmills81 The Dude Abides

    Posts: 1,880
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +132 / 0
    the vendor is the tribes. and did you see how we here along with a few blogs got Pikes Street Fish Market to stop selling wild Steelhead. Trust me, we can make this guy's like a little uncomfortable in his wallet until he changes
  8. Chris DeLeone Active Member

    Posts: 526
    Monroe, WA
    Ratings: +90 / 0
    If the end user stops Rays and the public, then the vendor will stop going the their source for that type of fish. If we as the public stop eating Steelhead (hatchery or wild) the demand will dry up and so will the supply.
    We need to have restaurants and grocery stores stop selling Steelhead peroid.

    As TomB made a very good case for wild steelhead and what they are going through. We can make just as good of a case on what hatchery fish are doing to the wild fish as well. I don't think we look at this as a two part message and the affect both ends of this have on wild steelhead. Dry up the demand and use the free market to protect wild steelhead
  9. Zane Wyll Member

    Posts: 452
    anacortes, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Letter sent thanks for the heads up Tom. As far as sending the letter you have to start somewhere and Tom made it very easy to send the letter and I am sure if Rays and the the Castle Key get 16,000 letters it will make them think twice about serving wild steelhead.
  10. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,860
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +53 / 1

    The Quinault tribe does not mass make clip its hatchery fish. You can tell the difference on most fish that they are hatchery origin, but it is irresponsible for them not to mass mark these hatchery fish. It is a Commercial based system because of the lack of Sport effort on the Reservation. Yes, there are with few exceptions with cook creek and the Salmon River, but these fish are created for the commercial fishery and commercial harvest.

    The Lower Quinault and Lake Quinault Wild Steelhead Escapement based off of the WDFW SaSI lists the lower Quinault and Lake Quinault Wild Steelhead Component as a Depressed Stock. In 2003, the escapement for Wild Steelhead on the lower Quinault was 462 fish.

    Hatchery Steelhead negatively impact the Wild Stocks on the Quinault that are following the trend of the PS Steelhead and most likely will be ESA listed soon. The Quinault Tribe cannot discriminate between Wild and hatchery stock in their commercial fishery since it is a Gill net fishery. While they may fish when the hatchery fish traditionally return earlier in the season, early component Wild Steelhead are caught in the nets. WDFW has finally shortened the catch and kill season to exclude the Early Component of Wild Fish on the OP.
  11. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,860
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +53 / 1
    While I would hope both restaurants look at the Science and conservation aspects of harvesting Wild Steelhead, It may boil down to all the negative press and customers going else where.

    The Pike Place market still believes the OP Steelhead fisheries to be sustainable, but because of all the negative press they received last spring, they removed Wild Steelhead from their market. Based on negative press and perception, rather than looking at the Science...
  12. Zane Wyll Member

    Posts: 452
    anacortes, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Ringlee, I think you are correct negitive press and lose of customers goes a long way. If there is no market for the fish you can't sell them if you can't sell
    sell them your not going to waste your time catching them. No Market= no profit= no fishery

    Although I think it would help if the state took the one wild fish retention and tossed it out the window. That may be another letter to write
  13. casaboba Member

    Posts: 156
    Seattle, WA.
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    "Auto" email reply from Ray's BELOW to my email to them earlier this a.m.

    Dear Valued Ray's Guest,

    Thank you for contacting Ray's Boathouse, Cafe & Catering! Your message is very important to us. If you have an immediate concern or reservation question, please contact our host at (206) 789-3770 ext. 3. I will respond to all other inquiries at my earliest opportunity. Thank you!

    Lori Magaro
    Marketing & Public Relations
    Ray's Boathouse, Cafe & Catering
    6049 Seaview Avenue NW
    Seattle, WA 98107
    www.rays.com
    rays@rays.com
    Boathouse (206) 789-3770
    Cafe (206) 782-0094
    Banquets & Catering (206) 789-6309
  14. Ryan Nathe Member

    Posts: 836
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    Email sent.

    Thanks Tom
  15. stewart dee Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    E-Mail Sent..
  16. Courtesy Flush aka Sean

    Posts: 96
    West Seattle
    Ratings: +1 / 0
  17. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,396
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,355 / 9
    I'm in the email box. Thanks for the heads up TomB.
  18. Jmills81 The Dude Abides

    Posts: 1,880
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +132 / 0
    its up on the blog for wide distribution
  19. Eric Tarcha gear whore

    Posts: 1,067
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +12 / 0
  20. Matt Smith On the river Noyb

    Posts: 906
    Monroe, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
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