Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by SciGuy, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Those are more than likely non- treaty purse seiners, they got one day (monday) in hood canal. The smaller boats are probably gillnetters milling around watching to see if they are catching anything, as they fish tues.
  2. DB...Salmon wars! I'm in!
  3. Skyrise -
    I could not disagree more with your statement -

    "...really the department missed a good opportunity after the Boldt decision to look hard at what was to happen down the road.
    like wild steelhead release and etc."

    First let's take a look at the "state" of steelhead management at the time of the Boldt decision (1974). It was commonly believed that a steelhead was a steelhead -hatchery and wild fish were the same and interchangeable. That a sport fishery could not over fish steelhead. And that relatively few steelhead spawners were need (a redd/mile was adequate). At that time few spawner surveys were being done, there was little information on wild steelhead diversity and run sizes, etc.

    If you move forward in time a decade the situation and management had change dramatically. Large scale sampling of catches (thanks to federal funding) much was learned about hatchery and wild fish (life histories, run timing, and contribution to catch) help debunk many steelhead myths and provide the information needed to base signficant management changes. By the late 1970s hatchery/wild interactions studies had been designed and started (Kalama River). On many rivers both hatchery and wild runs were being reconstructed (tribal and recreational catches, and escapements -especially wild) which require basin spawning escapement estimates. By the early 1980s escapement estimates of the wild spawning steelhead was being collected for the first time on many of the basins in the Boldt case area.

    By 1980 management changes to develop wild steelhead release regulations were bing put into motion. That change took considerable effort had virtually no support from the angling community. The first changes were based on the biology of the animal - an example in your area was the 30 minimum size limit on the North Forks Stillaguamish during the summer. This was placed in effect in 1983 to protect Deer Creek summer steelhead (sampling had determined that nearly all the returning Deer Creek were less than 30 inches in length). Within a year or so the State implemented the dreaded "Fin Cards" and required the releases any steelhead with a dorsal fin that was more than 2 1/4 inches high. These were stop gap measures until adiposed clipped fish came on line. Getting those clipped was much more difficult than many realize - The adipose fin clipped had saved for those fish with code wire tags (CWT)in their snouts. The state could not clipped the fish with adding the CWTs; it took several years to get the approval from the Pacific Management Council to use the adipose fins without the CWT and then a couple more years to get returning clipped adults into the fishery. The managers thought the being able to selectively release wild steelhead was important enough that those WSR fisheries were started well before the clip fish were available.

    I mentioned that there was little support for those changes. I recall clearly the public meetings held to introduce/explain the change to selective steelhead fisheries. Those meetings were attended by 100s of anglers with nearly everyone against those changes (if one were inlcuded the bios pushing the change you could count the supporters on your fingers). Those meetings were so hot that agency had enforcement officers stationed at the meetings in case things went south. The consensus opinion was the State bios would not recognize a wild steelhead if one bite them on the "rear". There was no shortage of folks in the crowd that volunteered to "visit" the bios in the back alley to interject some common sense into them.

    By the time WSR was in place wild steelhead escapements were being made. Wild steelhead escapment goals were established for most basins in the cae area. Annual management plans were being developed on many basins where the primary objective was achieving those wild goals.

    During the same period forthe first time CnR steelhead fisheries were being adopted. The first such fishery via permanent regualtions was on the North Fork Nooksack in 1977, the Sauk followed in 1980, the Skagit a year later with the Skykomish and North Fork Stillaguamish soon following. Each of those management changes originated at the desk of agency bios and had virtually no support from the angling community. The early pressure in those fisheries was minimal - for the first 3 or 4 years on the Sauk in spite of world class fishing during the week I could fish "first water" all day long.

    While all the above changes were far from prefect (am sure that given today's knowledge each decision would have been looked at more closely) the changes that occured in a short decade (2 steelhead generations) were remarkable. Those changes happened as the result of dedicate efforts by a surprising small handful of agency folks.

    I would agrue that the State during the decade following the Boldt decision drug the area's anglers kicking and screaming into wild steelhead management. It was only after being introduced to wild steelhead did many of those passionate about steelhead recognized the value of wild steelehad and became wild steelhead advocates.

    I know I went off on another rant - sorry about that.

    Tight lines
  4. I would like to see clear, accurate, honest graphic depiction of harvest effort and landings by type (recreation, troll, seine, gillnet, etc), for each salmon species by group (native, non-native), as well as stock estimates for the past 10 years. Could someone help with that?
  5. I believe they have those numbers on the WDFW site, but the ones I have seen are not very current. Its been a year or so since I looked, and I have a meeting to go to right now but when I get home I'll see if I can find them again.
  6. Good luck with finding tribal catch records let alone acurate ones. I have asked WDFW for such information in the past and they told me they don't know how many fish the tribes catch.

  7. Jonathan, if this is information from the WDFW is accurate then effective management of the fisheries is impossible. Very, very sad. Of course the WDFW wouldn't publicize the issue for fear of angering anyone. My opinion is government typically manages fish populations through politics not biology. And no one speaks for the salmon.
  8. Take a ride through the ship canal in late September. There are nets strung all the way from Shilshole into Lake Union. It's pretty disgusting.
  9. I put a call in to wdfw today and talked to the guy in charge of the sport catch numbers he said he will have those #s for me shortly(2010). He will pass my request on to the commercial guy as well, so hopefully in a few days I can post those #s

  10. Yeah unfortunately it is impossible for the WDFW to manage the fisheries properly because they do not know what the tribal fisherman are harvesting. Tribes also basically run the show when it comes to catch allocation and the setting of the fishing seasons. My dad sat in on the north of falcon meeting this year and said it was a joke. They seperate every user group, ( commercial, tribal and recreational ) and hear there thoughts and opinions on how the seasons should be set seperately in different rooms. So basically every other user group has no idea what is being said between the other user groups and the WDFW. I always invisioned it happening in one large room with all the user groups present with the WDFW. Then based off of science and run forcasts an agreement on allocation and seasons would be reached, but apperently that is not how it happens.
  11. Interesting thread, I grew up in a commercial fishing family (sort of a heritage much like the tribes claim). Grandfather had a purse seiner and my uncle had a gillnetter ( He had a fisheries degree from UW and was president of the Puget Sound Gillnetters Association for a period). I remember mending nets and going commerical fishing as soon as I reached 17. I can remember when last commercial (non tribal) comercial fishery for lake washington sockey). I also had the advantage of heading to the family beach south of Kingston and catching lots of salmon spin fishing from the beach. When I got to college, I had the dream of getting a teaching certificate and commercial fishing in the summer. However, 1974 was a life changer. It was the largest run of chum salmon in history (at that time) and I couldn't fish for them since George ("alzheimer") Bolt decided that my blood workup wasn't right. I dropped out of my fisheries major and I sold my gillnet boat to a white guy married to a Tulalip.

    Ended up changing majors and did a project for my economics class studying the value of sport fishing vs. commercial fishing. No contest, the sports fishing was much more valuable, even in the 70's. However, I recall at that time, there was a fish tax on the commercial catch that funded the fisheries department and hatchery programs. As a result, the commercial fisheries lobby was big-time in the state. They provided a significant amount of campaign contributions and as I recall senator Mardicich (sp) or Martinez ( from Gig Harbor commercial fishing family) was a significant player in fisheries policy.

    After that I went through the normal progression of drift fishing for steelhead to fly fishing. As I recall, Curt is correct. After the bolt decision, the State still had some input to fisheries management, but the various steelhead clubs wanted catch and kill. I recall sometime in the 80's or early 90's trying to flyfish on the Sauk when the river was full of fish, but couldn't even do catch and release due to regulations to protect native stocks. At the same time plunking for wild fish was still legal downriver at Mt Vernon. It didn't make any sense, but in hindsight I see that it was political and not biology that was running the decisions.

    25 - 30 years later, I still like to fly fish for steelhead and salmon, but I'm finding that I'm getting less interested in fishing rather than just spey casting. I lived in Suquamish for 8 years on Agate Pass. I saw the political power of "casino profits" on the legislative process. If the tribe wanted a dock, they got it, while at the same time protesting a private dock in Port Gamble bay. I saw the State give the tribe the "Old Man House" state park when the State claimed it was too expensive to maintain (actual cost about $4,500 per year). The original Clearwater casino was not on trust land and the tribe paid approx. $450K in property taxes the first year. Next year when they applied to place it in trust(no property taxes) there was no objection from the county commissioners (Kris Andresen later left to be Maria Cantwell's home office manager). It was all about political pay back for the contributions from casino profits.

    We can argue catch methods (purse seining from my experience does kill small blackmouth and other by-catch and gillnetting is even worse) or the scientific reasons for limiting catches or escapement. However, it has always been and still is about political power. Given the current state of affairs with the tribal monopoly on gambling, the State WDFW has no political power, other than that granted by the legislature, and the legislature doesn't care (in general) about sportsman. The sportsman has always been too late in the political process and now it is too late. I think that the best course is to lobby for mitigation provisions so that the local communities can at least build some casting ponds, much like the golden gate casting club, so you can at least practice your spey casts before you head off to BC or other places where sportsman's dollars are appreciated.

    In My case, I'm going to concentrate on lake fly fishing and Loreto fly fishing, becasue I truly believe that you can't fight city hall nor the Tribal political contributions.

  13. Salmon Freshwater Estimates 2010 Draft 1

    Salmon Marine Estimhttp 2010 Draft 1

    OK, here are the numbers I got from WDFW. The top link is the fresh water estimate for Puget Sound, the second is marine estimates for PS areas 5-13. I included are 5 because the fresh water numbers included rivers in the straits. I also excluded numbers from 2011. the third link is for commercial fisheries in Puget Sound areas 5-13 both tribal and all citizen. These are the numbers I came up with:

    Sport Catch fresh and marine: Chinook( including 813 jacks) 49,354 , Coho(including 519 jacks) 42,129 , Pinks 3463 (even year) ,Sockeye 3237, chum 11,406

    All Citizen commercial: Chinook 7,600, Coho 16,800 , Chum 410,200

    Tribal commercial: Chinook 11,600, Coho 118,300 , Chum 499,949

    There are no numbers on commercial sockeye catches, I assume because there is no fishery on sockeye bound for washington rivers ,and they are not part of the departments responsibility ( they fall under the International Pacific Salmon Commission).

    Interesting numbers on the all citizen Chinook and Coho.

    I just realized my first two links didn't work, I'll try to fix that. If you would like I can e-mail them to you in the mean time, right now I'm going to bed
  14. For those whose civics is rusty...... the treaties with the individual tribes are between the federal government and each tribal government. In the hierarchy of law, they trump any state agreement. This has been demonstrated multiple times in court. Essentially, the co-managers - the individual tribes and WaDFW decided on what they anticipate the total returns, how large escapement should be, and how large the harvestable population should be, generally under a maximum sustaintanable yield scenario (lots of hand-waving here). The harvestable populations are approximately divided in half (some give and take). The tribes generally just fish terminal areas which is why it is easy to see a wall of gill nets across a river; you are seeing the tribe harvest their half in a limited space over a limited time window. The non-tribal half is caught by trollers, gill netters, purse seiners, and recreational fishers all along the salmons' return path along SE Alaska, the B.C. coast , off the Washington coast, along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and off Admiralty inlet, and in the river over a period of months and area of thousands of square miles. Even C&R mortality goes into the "share" of the non-tribal catch.

    WDFW does control how the non-tribal share of the catch is divided between various commercial groups and various recreational groups. Because the legislature mandates that WDFW must sustain a healthy commercial fishing industry, significant portions of the non-tribal allocation goes to the commercial fleet. If you want that changed, work on your legislators to change their mandate to WDFW or try to pass a referendum that mandates a different allocation of the recreational catch. The latter has been tried previously but obviously failed. I can just see the television ad against a referendum to bias catch allocations to the recreational fishers, paid for the commercial fleet; a blond-haired 8-year old telling the audience that the mean-old recreational fishers want to put her daddy out of business and her family out of their home just so a bunch of recreational fishers can "play with fish."

  15. I appreciate the hassle getting the harvest numbers. I guess my issue is the accuracy of the harvest data, particularly the commercial harvest, who gathers the data, how, where and when is it collected. I worked as a creel clerk for the Washington Dept. of Fisheries way back in the day at LaPush gathering sport data. I also did a little work on the commercial docks but I believe the commercial process of buying fish has changed since those dark ages.

    I also want to clarify that I don't oppose commercial fishing, I just want to find out how the resource is assessed and how it is divided. The management of fisheries in the NW is very complicated and the field biologists bust their asses. I just don't trust upper level managers of the DFW.
  16. Every time a commercial boat sells fish they are paid by weight, most times they are counted( if not they know by average wieght) and a fish ticket is issued. Those numbers are turned into the state. It is probably a more acurate count than the sport fishing numbers, being that there is such a large area and time frame and limited resources to do counts and surveys.

    As for allocation, I think Cabezon summed it up pretty well, if you want to change the way some fishery is managed, get involved in north of falcon.
  17. hmm, ok waiting for some expert thought on this.
    johnathan, you have said what i always expected.
    well, i will wait to be shot down.
  18. And to whom do the commercial boat sell their catch? Is there any "back door" sale of salmon or fish products (roe) that would go unreported or under reported? Does anyone verify the catch numbers/weight of salmon sold/purchased? Who monitors for marked/tagged fish? When, how often? In other words, is the data reliable and verifiable?

    And, yes, I AM a skeptic when it comes to the exchange of money, goods and/or services...
  19. Gary - I share your thoughts on the commercial / sport revenue stream aspect.

    I grew up in the Great lakes. At some point (and I was too young to care) someone looked at those economics as well. Commercial fishing quickly came to a halt, salmon numbers sky rocketed, and all of the little dying towns up and down Lake's Erie and Ontario where booming because sport fishermen were coming in and dropping dollars with local businesses. Good for fish, good for business, good for tax revenue.

  20. The non-treaty fisherman sell to licenced buyers and those numbers are sent to the state just like any business. I'm sure there is the odd fish sold out of the back of a pick up, but for the non-treaty fisherman, I don't think that amounts to much. I got all these numbers from WDFW, so in that respect they are verifiable, beyound that you'll have to ask them. The treaty numbers are a different animal, and I'm sure there are more fish sold out of the pick up, but in reference to these numbers I wouldn't think it is significant.

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