Steelhead article in Seattle Times

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Matthew Gulbranson, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

    Posts: 588
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
    Don't get me wrong, my favorite seasons are (were?) the C&R seasons on the Skykomish and Skagit/Sauk. I think it, and other selective fisheries methods, are the only way we will be able to sustain fisheries into the 22nd Century.

    But we can't sell C&R to others when it may appear like it's just a way for flyfishers to extend their own season at the (perceived) expense of others.

    If C&R flyfishers are really the only ones that care about preserving these fish then we, and the fish, are SCREWED!!!

    The only way to save them is to build enough support with other groups that we have sufficient political clout to make significant changes. As Ducks Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy, and the Sierra Club found out - even if you don't agree on everything you can benefit from combining forces in those areas where you do agree (habitat preservation, water quality, etc). End Result = More Ducks.

    I still hope to one day stand on the banks of my favorite runs on the Skykomish in March and April fishing for sustainable populations of Wild Steelhead. When that happens I'll know for sure we're headed in the right direction.


  2. 1morecast Active Member

    Posts: 725
    Port Angeles
    Ratings: +40 / 0

    Great Idea! IMHO before we try to educate on the proper way to handle a fish for release, we are going to have to try to educate about the value of releasing a wild stelhead.
  3. Bob Young Member

    Posts: 67
    Seattle, WA
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    Post Deleted
  4. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,539
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    What is the old saying: any publicity is good publicity? Not that I disagree with what Richard Burge said but perhaps this can be used as a vehicle to inform more people to the plight of wild steelhead. Perhaps the Times can be convinced to publish another article based on the disapearing fish of the Nortwest.
  5. fishbadger Member

    Posts: 196
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I had heard this was going to be a 3-article series, but maybe it got nipped at the trailer stage. I think the article was a fluffy piece of junk, but increasing public awareness about native steelhead stocks is probably a good thing, since we know we need Joe Public to vote en mass for wild steelhead. Fisherfolk can't even begin to win the fight for these fish. We need the public at large to get a dose of the Koolaid,

  6. oldskool Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I don't get it.

    I read a nice article about a guy who caught a steelhead and let it go. Good for him. Isn't this what we all do? There's a time and place for making points. This article wasn't one of those, other than catching a steelie is a blast! :hmmm:
  7. Rich Simms Active Member

    Posts: 208
    Occupy Hearings!
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    To All Concerned:

    The WSC began working on an idea for an article on wild steelhead conservation more than a year ago. We thought it would be good to work with the same environmental writer for the Seattle Times who did a great job writing an article the WSC participated in to make the case for more Wild and Scenic Rivers in our state. The method the reporter used was to make the point through the eyes and interests of various user groups.
    We decided that the best way to introduce someone to why wild steelhead are special was to let them see these magnificent fish in their own environment accompanied by people who care and advocate for them.

    It was our plan to do the same type of story for wild steelhead as was done for wild rivers by the same journalist. Accordingly, we provided significant amounts of conservation information. Unfortunately, the story did not communicate our message. But, could be a genuine attempt to introduce the non-angling pubic to wild steelhead --"The Lure of Steelhead." Once the reporter left the river, the WSC had no further input to the article and had no control over what was published. However, I know good information was shared and hopefully stories to follow will help our work for wild steelhead and bring more attention to their plight.

    Rich Simms
  8. James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Posts: 2,777
    Ratings: +85 / 0
    The only thing that came out of that article was to pimp the river as a stronghold of wild steelhead. You guys danced with the devil and the devil took the lead. Both you and Jim should know much better than to just expect someone who has no knowledge of what steelhead are to somehow come up with a strong conservation message. In this particular case I can't fault the intention, but the path to hell is paved in good intentions and IMO this is one of those paving blocks.

    Probably the biggest issue that's going to come out of this is the fact there is *already* an issue with illegal guiding out there. In the short term I expect this issue to give those guides more financial incentive to continue their practice.
  9. doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

    Posts: 588
    Bothell, WA
    Ratings: +18 / 0
  10. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,539
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    Posts: 3,903
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    Perhaps one of the problems with discussing catch and release impacts on Wild Steelhead is that there has been so little solid data collected on it. People end up makiing blanket assumptions, based on C&R data from unrelated fisheries like fluvial Yakima River trout or Madison River trout etc, and then apply those assumptions to our anadromous Wild Steelhead. For the most part C&R has been used in this region to keep fishing open a little longer after harvest has bombed as a management tool. In most fisheries C&R is a useful management tool on healthy populations of fish. Once you get to the point of needing a recovery effort, once the fish are simply too few and far between, then I think that Catch and Release has the potential of becomming another unnecessary stressor on an already over-stressed and diminished population. I think that is where we are today with our Wild Steelhead C&R fisheries. And I really do hate to have to say that.
  12. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,201
    bellingham wa
    Ratings: +452 / 0
    I realize that I come on a bit strong at times. You make a valid point, Mr. Triggs, as does doublespey.

    My point would be that catch and kill hatchery fisheries are likely more damaging then C&R wild fisheries. Additionally without C&R fishers the fish likely don't stand a chance. It is apparent to me, at this point, that meat fishermen, both tribal and non-native have no real interest in wild fish. I hope to be proven wrong. Read the comments to DFW about closing the OP streams to retention though. Why would the tribes be against it?

    There is some data, Bob, the Vedder study is pretty good and complete. Those fish are fished over a lot too. Additionally, I have heard of one recent DFW study. I don't know if they'll release. The results were astonishing to me and they should have skewed towards more dead fish. It was a small stream though and a limitted number of fish (in the 30's). All lived to spawn.

    The data we do have isn't all that bad. It gives around a 2% mortality figure. Hatcheries, and their associated fisheries have a far far greater impact. I would gladly put down my rod if the others would give up their hatcheries. What's the chance the other users would do that? Of course as it stands now I have to unhappily store the rod for the spring, so maybe I already have given up my best card to play. It's kind of like the Cardinals losing a ball game and never having Pujols hit.

    Go Sox,
  13. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,539
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    I'll throw another bomb into this thread. I don't care if you stop all fishing; sport c&k, sport c&r, tribal netting, commercial netting, kill off the poachers and eliminate the hatcheries the fish are not going to recover. We have run over and altered the rivers and polluted the enviroment to the point that it is over. Perhaps a few small runs will survive for awhile but we will never see steelhead in Washington that even remotely approach historical numbers. It's over. I'm going to learn how to cast pink dic knights with a spey rod and targit slimers.
  14. fishbadger Member

    Posts: 196
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    You haven't done that yet?

  15. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,539
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    Well, actually yes I have.
  16. Marty Leith Member

    Posts: 77
    Bellevue, WA
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    It may be over. It may have been over for years. But....I can't think of many life experiences I'd be more proud to share with one or more of my kids than the grab and fight of a big wild winter steelhead from one of our once legendary rivers. Pipe dream??? Maybe so, but it won't deter me from doing what I can when I can. It may not be much but it helps me sleep....sometimes