So, where are the fish....

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by martyg, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. martyg Active Member

    Posts: 981
    The world at large
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    So we have all been promised this banner year due to some netting agreement with Canada, payout of money to the Canadians, blahblahblah....

    I have generally been fishing my ass off, and seeing little. We are running into pods of really crazed, and larger than normal Silvers about every fourth day out, but nothing to support the claims of the government. Usually at this time of year if I am not boating two fish (keepers) per hours it is a shitty day.

    Since I spend a lot of time out on the water I run into tribal guys on a regular basis (I know some really good guys who are really respectful of the resource and don't mind sharing info), and they are not seeing numbers either. A WDF&G officer that I know was on the Puyallup yesterday and saw very few fishing being caught. Neah Bay was strong with Kings in June, but that is not exactly going off.

    Is anyone experiencing anything different? Is this just story so people buy fishing licenses and support local retailers?
  2. obiwankanobi Active Member

    Posts: 1,311
    Ratings: +98 / 0
    The fishing this year has been slow and hopefully there will be a delayed large run of fish that will push through in Sept, otherwise its been somewhat dismal. Rain, cooler temps, overcast skies might help things soon.
  3. ralfish Active Member

    Posts: 291
    Ratings: +34 / 0
    Just so you don't feel so bad... the local waters around Vancouver BC have been a total bust . I haven't seen such a poor coho season in over 20 years of pounding the beach...
  4. salt dog card shark

    Posts: 2,306
    Edmonds WA / Mazama
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Marty, I'm getting the feeling this is a West Coast thing. First catching Kings in CA, OR and Alaska prohibited or severely restricted, now Coho numbers are way down.

    Fishing in Sitka last week, I heard the same lament from several charter captains. While they still get comparatively large runs, it's not like it usually is where a boat with 4 fishermen gets its 24 fish limit in 2 hours. We never limited, but did ok. Same thing on the size of fish: average running large, 12-15lbs.

    Pink Salmon run last year was 44 million. This year it's under 2 million, and processors are lying idle in the harbor.

    Seems to me we are seeing the effects of the el nino waters off the coast two years ago. I just hope the regulations are sufficient to allow the runs to bounce back.
  5. Go Fish Language, its a virus

    Posts: 1,280
    Rheomode, Wa.
    Ratings: +88 / 0
    This year and last seem to be much worse than usual....
    I've put in the time and have very little to show for it.
    Will it get better?
  6. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,860
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,262 / 1
    Each year is different.
    I had really good success from 2001 to 2005. 2006 was super slow for me. 2007 was great. This year has been slow, but not a total bust. Definately having to work harder to find willing biters at my go to spots. My shore bound gear angling friends are experiencing similar results.
    I'm going to break from my usual routine as far as locations, lines, flies etc. Time to try some different things. Don't give up yet, it can turn on at any time. We've also got some of the best fishing time of the year still ahead of us.
  7. Jake L New Member

    Posts: 345
    Sammamish, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I hope it picks up soon. Three weeks now I've been pounding it with no first Coho to show. Gotten close several times, just never hooked up. I only have one week left here in WA. Hopefully I can find a willing coho soon, or I'll have the ultimate skunking on my hands.
  8. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 940
    Puget Sound Beaches
    Ratings: +213 / 0
    I just moved here and started hitting the beach a few weeks ago, so my expectations for myself were low. However, I was surprised when no one around me was hooking up either. Sure would be nice if it picked up....I've been having a blast just getting out there but I sure would like to tie into one and get a taste of what I've been after!
  9. jcnewbie Member

    Posts: 854
    Kent, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Actaully, in a weird kinda' way, that's good news 'cuz that means it's NOT just my lousy casting or lack of fishing skills in general....:beathead:

  10. Mr.E He called me an Elitist ?? LOL ..what a moron

    Posts: 688
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    It's low numbers all around the Puget. Tributary and River anglers will have a rough time do to "Extra" commercial tribal fisherman plus the low numbers of Salmon. The South sound has been getting allot of Pods with Jacks in the mix....give it another week or two ,with this rain and things should pick up.
  11. s2ary Member

    Posts: 43
    Berwick, Maine
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Must be Global Warming the east coast fisheries are slumping as well.:clown:

    In fact the fisheries numbers that are up for us along the atlantic is Atlantic Salmon numbers.:confused: Go figure.
  12. jcnewbie Member

    Posts: 854
    Kent, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    A boyhood friend of one of my sons has been in alaska for about 8 years now; he said yesterday that last year you could walk across the rivers on the backs of Sockeys, or "Reds" as they call 'em up there, and never get your feet wet, this year you'd drown in the first step into the river!!!:eek:

    I fear that what ever we do at this point is gonna be waaay too little, waaay too late because not only are the fisheries grossly overfished - raped, would be a better description -the fish are being increasingly poisoned and their reproductive systems shut down and/or altered significantly so that fewer and fewer males that are really males are around, having been altered by human female hormones in waste water (birth control substances in their urine!).

    Both fresh AND salt water habitats are virtual pharmacopeia’s of chemicals from mining (Mercury, lead, zinc, cadmium & arsenic), agriculture (Nitrogens & all it's chemical constituents), logging and residential/commercial developments (excessive siltation of spawning grounds & chemical saturation from lawns & golf courses), plus additional lists of chemicals that I can't even pronounce let alone spell that have just recently been identified as radically interfering with a fishe's ability to see, hear & even swim!!

    I have little faith in the race of humans ability to stave off environmental disaster in proportions never before seen or imagined - or at least since the last Asteroid impact 65 million years ago - and we weren't there to see it....kinda' like, you know, "If an asteroid hits the planet and there's no one there to hear (see) it, did it really happen?!" Or, "If a man alone in the forest speaks and there is no woman there to hear it, is he still wrong?"

    Woman: Of course, stupid! :rolleyes:

    As some of the more astute scientists have noted, "Once you have created the "feedback loop" it becomes self sustaining, self accelerating and irreversible until it exhausts ALL of the componenets that created it in the first place!" This usually takes millions or tens of millions of years and by then of course we AND the salmon, steelhead, trout, bass, sturgeon, marlin, and probably even the catfish & cockroaches will have been looong gone....well, maybe not the cockroaches)

    My, my, what a swell legacy to leave the universe, eh??:eek:

    It becomes logarithmic, exponential as it were....!....when you start computing powers of ten it can get out of hand & incomprehensible astonishingly fast! Just for S&G's try this one on for size.....10 to the minus -35th power...........or about the time the first photon penetrated the fog of creation, some 13.7 billion years ago and the invisible universe became visible....!! Not that usn's were their to see it...,nevertheless.....?!:ray1:

    Now that you're all cheered up and supremely confident of your and your childrens and great grand childrens childrens future, lets move right along to more delightful subjects, like....,how many fish did you catch this weekend?

    Me? One! Species? Sculpin! How big (this is important to us Trophy Hunters ya know!)? Oh, about 6 inches --- but he was "fair hooked" for a change and not just snagged off the bottom! AND he/she/it was released unharmed in any way!:thumb:

    A smashing successful weekend I'd say.....:rolleyes:

    JC (...ok, I'm done for awhile now.:beathead:)
    PS. Sometimes it's good to vent/rant a bit.....
  13. MasterAnglerTaylor Member

    Posts: 749
    Poulsbo/Pullman, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    They are in my freezer
  14. Steven Green Hood Canal Pirate

    Posts: 517
    Poulsbo, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    :rofl: yeah from last season
  15. Bruce Davidson formerly hatman

    Posts: 221
    SeaTac, WA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Just got back from my annual trip to Prince Rupert (Dundas Island) waters. Fishing was OK (great by WA standards) but not as good as previous years generally. Although not the numbers as previous years, the average coho was bigger than usual. Also, while it's often been possible and productive to get them on the top, for the most part, they were deep, and wanted to stay there. It's just one week out of the season in one area, but wanted to share the observation for what it's worth.
  16. Jon Brengan flyfishing addict

    Posts: 395
    Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    My philosphy is different; I believe it's Karma or something along those lines. I now have the opportunity to fish ...that will be ending as I go back to school in late September. If you can hold out till then, I'm sure the fishing will improve when I can no longer participate. Now this is only a theory, but I think it will be proven as a fact soon enough.
  17. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    as i have posted a couple of times, bait fish (most likely sandlance) are popping out of the water and are clearly visable on the depth finder to the bottom. but, no salmon are enjoying the possibilities.

    reports from a number of locations are telling us the fish are not present. i started hearing these stories on vancouver island in early june when the chum failed to show up. so whats going on?

    - overharvest for decades
    - climate change
    - our collective impact on fisheries an example here:
    - decisions, or lack thereof, on habitat and development

    so what to do? the first step should have been to follow the example of CA and OR and shut down all harvest by everyone. taking a deep breath and stepping back, perhaps the next step could be only allowing selective harvest of all marine critters by everyone involved in commercial fishing, no more nets.

    the next steps are way harder and will take decades but they also need to be accomplished. they include: dam removal, habitat restoration, senseable rules for developers, banning of all sorts of harmfull chemicals from application anywhere, and you can add a ton of other issues.......

    but to start off, we must, right now, control what we can and that is the overharvest issues which are depleating stocks to the point of nothing returning.

    so where is CCANW?
  18. martyg Active Member

    Posts: 981
    The world at large
    Ratings: +74 / 0
    I'm down with all of that. There was an open invitation to sit on some State fisheries committee. They couldn't fill that last seat. When I expressed my views they stopped communicating with me.
  19. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    exactly marty, the state commissions are wired for the commercial interests. i have written a very pointed letter to the gov asking her to clarify just when it is that she will move to protect our marine resources and balance her appointed committees and councils. of course, there is no response after 2 months in the works. and yes, she has the power right now based on the change to the ESA put in place by clinton. that change in the law trumps all treaties and agreements when it comes to protecting the resource.

    everyone here needs to keep asking the daming questions of all of those we choose to elect to public office. perhaps they will get the message that the drum beat is closing in on them.

    and i ask again, where is CCANW in all of this? seems mr loomis is great on giving speeches which point out the obvious but short on action. we don't have 10 years of process time to wait, as east coaster pointed out, the fish won't be here in that time span.
  20. Don Freeman Freeman

    Posts: 1,254
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +207 / 0
    I've been hearing the same complaints for twenty years, and the keening keeps getting louder, as there are increasingly fewer fish and more anglers. Let's put the blame where it belongs. We are responsible for allowing commercial offshore fisheries, non-selective harvest, especially gill netting, inefficient hatchery practices, killing of ESA listed stocks, non enforcement of poaching laws, abandonment of ghost nets, habitat degradation and hydro power to inexorably destroy a vast resource.

    These are not new issues, but if we don't change the status quo immediately, this lament will be over. Most of these anadromous stocks will be extinct, with our recreational and commercial fisheries gone like Atlantic Salmon and Cod. It's up to us.

    The point is we have to DO something, and that means becoming as well organized as the culprits. It's going to take an investment of time and money on the part of conservation activists, meaning folks like us. Don't think the commercial industry doesn't invest big bucks in influencing management decisions. Take a moment away from this forum to look up groups like the Coastal Conservation Association, Fish First and the Wild Steelhead Coalition. CCA alone has enrolled over 7,000 members and raised half a million dollars in WA and OR in the first year up in our area.

    Most of us don't have time to attend every allocation meeting, draft letters to our representatives, and hire lobbyists, lawyers and biologists, but these organizations are doing that on behalf of the fish. When you join an advocacy group, your membership is tallied by government as 1.5 a votes in a bloc. If we bring the populations back, Westport could once again be the Salmon Capital of The World, as it was forty years ago, and Puget Sound will have a recreational opportunity supporting hundreds of small businesses.

    Find a chapter of the group that matches your philosophy near you, join and support them. If there isn't a chapter in your area, start one. It's not too late.

    Don Freeman
    Capitol City Chapter
    Coastal Conservation Association