salmon season regs

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Skeena88, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. BFK Member

    Posts: 332
    North Sound, Wash.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Geeze--it seems like this is a group that doesn't like to fish...

    While I support conservation and want healthy stocks of salmon, steelhead and trout, any closures should really show some solid reason. In this thread there is a proposal to close the beach fishery for SRC in order to protect ESA-listed chinook because you might catch resident coho.

    Huh?

    It's one thing if this is a catch-and-kill fishery, which it isn't since the season is closed. It's another if you're talking about incidental catch in a CNR fishery. And if you add in the low numbers of chinook caught in the fishery, then the impact on endangered stocks is really, really small. I would guess there is an insignificant loss of chinook to the beach fishery for SRC.

    While I can see the sense of closing the salmon season--trollers and moochers will catch the snot out of smolt and sub-legal chinook with a relatively high mortality rate-- I don't think a beach-fishery closure would do anything but make some folks feel like they've sacrificed for the good. An exception to that statement might be an area closure where smolt migration is really, really high, but even then...

    I also feel that such a closure has the potential to close down all CNR fishing in the state: if you follow the same rationale (and there are folks in the whacko-environmental movements who would), then you should close the CNR steelhead fisheries in those rivers with ANY endangered stocks of salmon, steelhead, cutthroat or bull trout. Even if you're fishing a #12 Cutthroat Bee (dry) you might catch a bull trout...or a chinook or a batwing sculpin. And a catch-and-release season on native steelhead? Forget about it.

    It's one thing if a stock is being seriously impacted, but I don't see that happening with chinook because their primary habit is in much deeper water than we can reach with a fly rod.

    This whole discussion reminds me of one on this board a couple years back where, when officials announced that the snowpack was low and river levels would likely be low, the first question out of a poster's keyboard was, "What rivers should we close?" This was way, way before the season started.

    If there is a serious impact, that's one thing, but if it's just a feel-good measure, then I think it can do more harm than good.

    BFK
  2. Sterling silver Member

    Posts: 188
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    I agree with GHFF. What I alluded to earlier was that the cutthroat are generally pretty darn close to shore, and the coho, most often where I fish, are out from the beach near the limits of my casting ability. :(

    When I refered to peak spawning occuring in February, I meant that many of the fish are heading to the streams all month. As we all know, they don't read the calendar nor do they all go at the same time. If we hinder their ability to spawn we may, in fact, be hindering our ability have a long term viable fishery. That only because we know that there is some limited fatalities from catching and releasing fish. I just want us to protect our coastal cutthroat.
  3. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,799
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +654 / 0
    BFK -
    My point is that I like to fish (and probably fish more than most) and am concern about the continuing decline in the ethics I see in our angling community. As the public see us more and more as an unethical user group we are likely to see our opportunities decline.

    This is not about incidental catch of salmon while targeting cutthroat but rather folks using the fact the area is open for cutthroat to intentionally target the closed salmon. I'm constantly see this "abuse" in a number of fisheries - folks targeting closed season salmon on both our beaches and rivers. If it is ok to catch the coho and incidental Chinook off the beach is also ok with you to target staging Chinook in the warm water of the North Fork Stillaguamish? or to rip the spawning pinks off their redds? What is next fishing our closed rivers for spawning steelhead?

    What concerns me even more than the fact that there are some folks looking for loop holes to chase their sport and freely post about such efforts is the apparent fact that many here seem to condone such fishing. Maybe I'm just old fashion and the sport has passed me by; however I see that attitude as a serious degradation of our collective angling ethic.

    BTW -
    Please note that I said - "It because of that abuse I think I would seriously consider supporting closing the salt water "trout" fisheries whenever an area is closed for salmon." I did not suggest that we should close the cutthroat fishery but rather I would seriously consider supporting such a proposal. For more years than I care to admit I have work as hard as most to preserve our fishing opportunities in a wide diversity of fisheries.

    Tight lines
    Curt
  4. salt dog card shark

    Posts: 2,306
    Edmonds WA / Mazama
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    iagree
    Just yesterday in fact, one of each species about 35' from the beach not 15 feet away from each other, on the same fly. Of course, Marine Area 9 is open for salmon right now, but all landed coho go back; I would much rather catch them again when they are about 5 lbs this summer.
  5. Milt Roe Member

    Posts: 396
    Taco Ma
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Fellas - You are talking about catch and release of very few incidentally hooked listed chinook (most of which will be hatchery fish in the S Sound) while targeting the catch and release wild SRC or hatchery coho - which are subjected to minimal mortality thanks to the good behavior of most anglers.

    I respect the rules and have worked for 25 years in the field of fish conservation, but worrying about the fate of pen-reared hatchery silvers is the last thing anyone should be concerned about. If we killed all of them, the naturally produced coho entering the salt in the coming months would very likely be better off. The total mortality on incidentally hooked chinook is next to nothing in the bigger picture.

    Shutting down the SRC catch and release fishery when salmon fishing is closed would be a hollow gesture with no significant benefit to depleted fish stocks in any meaningful way. Don't we want to preserve angling opportunity when it has no significant impact of stocks of concern?
  6. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,576
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +356 / 0
    Not to kiss up to Kurt, but when he takes the time to post about a fisheries issue I shut up and listen.

    His point is simple and rather than argue about it, listen and keep it in the back of your mind the next time you run into a pod of salmon during a closed season. (as many already do)

    This has nothing to do with the type of gear you're using, it's a personal commitment by individual anglers to do our part.
  7. Jim Kerr Active Member

    Posts: 693
    Forks Wa
    Ratings: +138 / 0
    I am all for following the regs as written. However I also suport changing the regs when they have little or no bearing on reality. First off, when the majority of gear anglers say the words Puget Sound salmon, what they really mean is chinook. When managers say an area is closed to protect stocks what they really mean is we had to close somthing and not alot of people fish there anyway.
    Curt, I like you personaly and respect your comitment and knowledge. How ever its important for everyone to recognize that many at wdfw have acepted political realities as management realities. Politics is not Science. If you want to protect Kings, you close kings in areas they are threatened. If you want to protect coho or trout you do like wise.
    Look at all the comercial and tribal fisheries in the state that are alowed huge by-catch on listed or threatend stocks while targeting their market fish.
    If the field is not level, its just plain not science, and if its not science its piss poor managment.
    OOPs, may have gotten a tad off topic here, sorry
  8. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0


    iagree



    ahhhh, yep. hit that nail square. politics is in the drivers seat and has been for a very long time.
  9. Milt Roe Member

    Posts: 396
    Taco Ma
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    I don't even fish for them until they return, but I fail to see why fishing in open waters and C&Ring few dozen of the millions of recently released hatchery pen-reared coho is unethical. The program cranks these fish out for the tribes, sportsmen, and commercials to kill. They have no river to return to. They are cattle to be harvested same as the trout WDFW stocks in the lakes. They very likely negatively impact the naturally-produced coho (can't really call them wild anymore). The guilt trip from the ethics committee and other hand-wringers just doesn't resonate with me.

    It wasn't that long ago that the run timings dictated the times we fished in the salt. Now I guess we all should track the pen release dates in our journals. Sorry if I offended those of you who do that.
  10. gigharborflyfisher Native Trout Hunter

    Posts: 741
    Gig Harbor, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I believe that this is more of an issue of legality and peoples willingness to break the law although ethics of using a loop hole to do so certainly go come into play. I am not saying that I agree with this law whole heartedly and I DO BELIEVE that is should have only applied to the stocks that are being protected and not all salmon. However just because I don't agree with it doesn't mean that I have the right to disobey it. Using the excuse that these are hatchery fish should not warrant the right to break the law. In know that steelhead fisheries with hatchery fish are closed often enough so is it ethical to fish for them just because they are from at hatchery. Or the same with lakes stocked with trout that are closed during the winter.

    People who are fishing the narrows this time of the year and fish it reguarly should know that cutthroat are fairly rare at this beach, thus probably between 75% and 85% percent of the fish caught will be salmon. Other beaches such as Purdy for example have very few salmon that come through and so there would be less chance of catching them while they are closed and 75% to 85% would be cutthroat. I don't see any problem with fishing beaches with about a 50% range between cutts and residents but at the narrows where they are uncommon I have a problem with it. Yes there is going to be incidental catch but if you can limit it by fishing spots where it is less likely to occur than you should.

    I know many people practice C&R for these resident coho and would argue that they are doing little damage, but anyone who has fished for residents should know that these fish tend to recklessly attack flies and often cause a good deal of harm to themselves. I use small hooks (8 to 10) because of this to try to keep them from hurting themselves to much but it still happens. If most people are using 4 to 6 there is going to be a fair amount of mortality associated with C&R. Using the accuse that these are all net pin fish doesn't cut it either because will the overwelming majority is I catch a good amount of wild residents each year too.

    Beyond this the salmon fishery is ONLY closed for a month right now south of the narrows and will be open again to the north of the bridge within the week. What is really the big deal about not fishing beaches such as Narrow's Park for a month and going to spots a little deeper into the sound/ estuarys and targeting cutthroat or fishing to the north of the bridge when it opens on the 16th.

    I don't believe that anyone on here was really saying that they want to see cutthroat closed down when salmon are closed, but you can bet that if people keep using this loophole to illegally fish for salmon that the state will close cutthroat in the future.
  11. Milt Roe Member

    Posts: 396
    Taco Ma
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Interesting discussion. I guess it all boils down to whether it is currently illegal or unethical to target coho for C&R when an area is closed to rentention of salmon. As I read the regs, it doesn't appear to be illegal as long as you don't retain fish. Whether or not it is ethical isn't something as easily determined. I don't see a need to judge those who have concluded that this falls within the range acceptable angling behavior. That's a slippery slope. It is also legal to intentionally kill 2 wild chinook caught from public fishing piers during the closure. Is that ethical?
  12. SeaRun1 New Member

    Posts: 25
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    It is my understanding that the closure takes place to protect from over harvest of Kings/Blackmouth that congregate in QMH for the herring spawn. Lots of herring gather up in there and its too easy to target Chinook at that time. Thats what I was told just to answer the question that was prompted before the argument broke out.

    SeaRun1
  13. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,799
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +654 / 0
    Searun1 -
    Until not a few years ago those fisheries were year-round. However with the listing of Puget Sound Chinook the needed to limit the fishing impacts on those fish arose which in turn resulted reduced seasons/opportunities. To date the regulations have not differentiate between shore and boat base anglers (with the exception of some listed fishing piers). So the regulations that effect say those blackmouth angler using downriggers to target Chinook also affect those beach anglers targeting salmon. While it would be possible to craft different regulations for say shore base fly anglers there hasn't been of a push for that type of management but frankly I not sure it would be worth further confusing the pamphlet and it would not do anything for those wanting to target CnR salmon from a boat.

    Milt Roe -
    You appear to feel that they areas closed to salmon fishing are only closed to the retention of salmon -"is currently illegal or unethical to target coho for C&R when an area is closed to rentention of salmon".

    My read of RCW 77.08.010
    section #11 - ""Closed season" means all times, manners of taking, and places or waters other than those established by rule of the commission as an open season. "Closed season" also means all hunting, fishing, taking, or possession of game animals, game birds, game fish, food fish, or shellfish that do not conform to the special restrictions or physical descriptions established by rule of the commission as an open season or that have not otherwise been deemed legal to hunt, fish, take, harvest, or possess by rule of the commission as an open season."

    Please note it talks about fishing - not retention of fish. As I read the regs the open salmon seasons are listed under the special restrictions for each marine area meaning that outside of those seasons it is closed which includes fishing for salmon. Whenever an area is closed for harvest - no retention - the pamphlet says so - see Orchard Rocks Conservation Area: on the bottom of page 114.

    Of course if you remember to say you are targeting flounders instead of salmon I guess it doesn't make any difference; however that is your ethical deliema to wrestle with.

    BTW -
    If anyone is interested in changing the regulations the avenue would be through the North of Falcon (NOF) process which deals with the salmon regulations and not WDFW's reg change proposals which deals with game fish and the non-salmon and halibut food fish.

    Tight lines
    Curt
  14. Milt Roe Member

    Posts: 396
    Taco Ma
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Well then, it seems that WDFW has a problem. Within your interpretation, the waters in question are both open and closed to fishing depending on the particular fish anglers intend to catch. Both open and closed fisheries can be conducted using the exact same gear. I agree that is an impossible regulatory solution. So lets blame the anglers?

    And given that regulatory snafu, what is the answer? As I said, I don't fish for coho during the closed season. So I don't lose any sleep at night. But the solution some apparently advocate of eliminating opportunity for both SRC and coho to address concerns about the anglers who do C&R coho, an activity which is legal 11 months out of the year, which is called into question now due to vague regulatory definition and ethical concerns, but not out of legitimate concern for either resource, all for a rule intended to ensure allocation (not protection) of an entirely different Federally listed species, which is only rarely impacted by either fishery, pretty much speaks for itself.

    Over and out. I've turned this discussion sour. I'll just shut up and listen.
  15. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    seems pretty clear to me that we have competing regulations, left hand doing one thing right hand another. if the ESA determined that chinook needed protection, salmon angling/retention is closed, it would seem that the enforcement issue would be crystal clear by simply closing an area to ALL fishing, case closed no excuse for being there with rod in hand.
  16. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,799
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +654 / 0
    Now we are really thinking -
    Folks seem to be saying - if a water needs to be closed for one species close it for all - end all this "nonsense" of having a water open for one species and closed for another at the same time.

    Let's see the Sound is open for ling cod from May 1 to June 15 therefore to avoid the problem of having the water open for only some species and closed for others the whole Sound should be closed to all fishing the other 10 1/2 months of the year.

    With only a couple exceptions all freshwater areas are closed to bull trout so virtual every river in the State should be closed at all times.

    Yeah this is going to work!

    We can manage each water/marine area based on the most conservative needs of the most limiting fishery found there. OR we could manage each water based on the needs of each fishery having potential different seasons for each thus providing the maximum amount of recreational opportunity. That of course would rely on anglers to have the common sense and ethics to differentiate between the fisheries - if that is asking too much then we should get use to having more limited opportunities in the future.

    Tight lines
    Curt
  17. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    so how's a specie specific season workin'???
  18. Milt Roe Member

    Posts: 396
    Taco Ma
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Just fine for the specie it was intended to protect.
  19. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    must mean the sport angler is now allowed a 'by catch' along with the NAs and commercial folks. nothing like evening out the playing field.
  20. Canoe Rider Member

    Posts: 72
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Hey, catch the wrong species, do everything in your power to release it unharmed. We did that this past weekend after catching a rock fish while going for blackmouth in the San Juans.

    Can't do that with a net, or with the fish loss due to loss of habitat, or due to pollution, or due to dams, or, or...