Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Bob Triggs, Dec 16, 2008.
Dang Zen that is the smartest thingg said in this thread!
Wow Zen! You impressed me! Appealling to the man's business sense certainly is the way to go here. That is certainly what this is " A Business Decision". We have to keep in mind that in this economy and especially this industry, an advantage to the competition is crucial. Eating out is a leisure that has been cut from many people's budget so something like this is critical to the local restaurants and businesse competition involved with the supply and demand. It is important to understand the "Why" . This is critical so an effective alternative strategy can be developed. This issue is not blood, sweat and tears for an east coast restaurant owner. How concerned where you about eating Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass in the 80's? That's the way most east coasters feel about Wild Steelhead! Too most of them Salmon is Salmon! But I am sure that for the holidays a $50 plate of " WILD STEELEHAD SALMON" at a local restaurant sounds very appealing to the guy sitting at the table in Che Chez! who spent $5000 2 years ago outfitting himself for his guided trip on the Deschutes to fish for Steelhead. I certainly don't think what these gusy are doing is right I just like Zen's approach.
Sea Run Browns?? Stripers??
I just noticed that the blurb at the top of the blog about how great wild steelhead is going to be, may be scheduled to appear in the Washington Post Food section in the near future. http://blog.visionsbethesda.com/2008/12/03/steelhead-coming-soon/
I sent them an email asking them to do some more research before publishing what was written. I encourage you to do the same.
The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zen, Montana - I agree that it is important to look at the long term solution, but right now we can't allow what amounts to a commercial for wild steelhead dinners to appear on the pages of a major newspaper.
I am as guilty as anyone at coming off like an asshole at times. When dealing with successful businesses that really burns bridges when confrontation is the first impression they get from us.
Being degrading to the folks we need to help us out the most (i.e. the suppliers and consumers) is counter productive because it severely interfere's with healthy discussion. It isn't a competition to see who can talk the loudest, but instead it is one where you try to see who is the most effective in being able to share ideas and work together to improve each others understanding of the situation. Their money does the talking and all the negative bullshit does the walking.
This is just a crazy ass idea but it would be great to create a label from the CCA or some other respected organization for just these types of businesses so they can show off the fact that they buy and serve selectively harvested, sustainable fish. Yeah you will end up paying more for the same product, but the consumer could be fairly certain that it is being harvested responsibly.
Update! Following expressed concerns by individuals both the Chef and the distributor, Prime Seafood, will not be buying or selling any wild steelhead.
Kudos to both for their responsiveness!
you guys fuckin rock :beer2:
Point taken, that is hypocritical of me, maybe I need to re-evaluate where I am coming from.
I called Jim again and left a message thanking him and mentioned that I will try to steer some seafood buyers towards his company because of the high standard they are setting. The number of well-reasoned comments made on visions website was impressive. I feel like waff is becoming fairly powerful because of how many people use it.
boooooooo ya, now that's power boys, power
Anyone have the coin or the power to invite Chef Tony or Chambers out to the area, or if they happen to come out to the area....to take them fishing? We owe that to them
That is awesome! Good work everyone! I am very proud to be part of this community today. It shows you what a little bit of effort and spirit can do... But let's not quit here!! There is obviously a market for this fish and I am sure other distributors are buying and selling wild steelhead. I think we can keep this going and provide some education to others that have a deficit of knowledge regarding our fish. I am going to start looking for other operations that we can address in this manner.
Also, I hope prime seafood is not just saying they are going to quit so they can shut us up. Any ideas how to see if they are going to be true to their word?
I am sure it can be done.. If they are selling it and you call to order some would be a pretty good litmus test.
WFF meet and eat Maryland caught Loggerhead Sea Turtle at my place.
Edit: i didn't read page 3 to see the issue had been solved. good work gentlemen! so encouraging to see what we can do. I think I'm going to return to the Mill Creek Central Market soon to pry a little more there. They are definitely selling ad-intact wild steelhead in their seafood dept, and I want to figure out where they're getting it, and hopefully have a similar outcome as this situation.
I don't think it's a crazy ass idea at all.
If the tuna industry has to post dolphin safe labels on thier cans, the same thing could be done for the dining industry. Hell, this could be a cool employment opportunity for someone!
I would bet they are quinalt tribal fish since the majority of their fish are unclipped hatchery fish...like caught on the salmon, queets, quinalt, and cook creek. Hopefully they are not actual wild fish.... Would be interesting to see if the dorsal is shorter/stunted...(damaged while in rearing pond) or if it stands tall like a wild fish. If they are in fact wild fish being sold in a local market... maybe the KKK should be called (Komo, King, Kiro)..seems like they would probably be interested in making a news story about it. (I think its time to "Get Jesse"..or whatever that guys name is) Either way I personally am opposed to the non-selective methods of taking these fish because of the harm it causes on the wild stocks.
BTW..its quite amazing to me the sequence of events that ocurred in such a short period of time, and what a difference we can make. :thumb:
Great work, seriously. Now how do we work to help the Quinault Indians who depend on selling their fish for their livelihood? This is a serious question. I fish the Quinault, it's awesome, and my guide and his family depend on the fish they net. How do we deal with this? Obviously we could support their guides more but that's a small piece of a statewide puzzle. We've opened the door on it and should work to see it through to a conclusion that is win win for conservation and the locals.
Perhaps a sit down meeting with us and "them" and Jay Inslee?
We're on a constructive roll. Let's come up with a creative solution. We don't need a bunch of fisheries managers to tell us what the big picture issues are. We need real people with real, on the ground ideas, that will help both the fish and the indians who ( rightfully in my opinion) believe they should have access to fisheries stocks.
This is about finding a long term solutions. Seems to me it's exactly the right time to do it and we shouldn't wait, or expect Olympia or Washington D.C. to do it for us.
Who's in for a meeting with a tribe and Inslee?
Question: Do you, or did you, have definite intentions to buy your next vehicle from Ford, GM, or Chrysler?
No? OK, followup question: Have you actually contacted your reps in Washington and protested against giving a fortune to car makers who you don't value?
No? Then we've established that you don't object on principle to the govt. giving huge sums to a segment of Americans whose economic problems are not yours.
Let's consider solving the problem of Native Americans netting wild steelhead in the same way.
Let's pay the relevant tribes a onetime fortune in exchange for their treaty rights to net steelhead (and now or perhaps later, as appropriate, wild salmon). To sweeten the deal, let's subsidize their purchases for food of legal commercially caught fish, perhaps by 25%, forever.
This is the only solution I can imagine to the problem of extirpation of wild anadromous fish by tribal netting. Whether the Indian fishermen value wild fish as such or not, if they're smart, they'll take the deal. Because the alternative is to retain the "right" to net fish that will be extinct in a decade, more or less.
Beyond that, we may have to consider offering similar buyoffs to netters throughout the Pacific-wide range of these fish; Japanese, Russians, Koreans, whoever. We should communicate our resolve to save our precious resources by the use of sterner measures, should that be necessary. This would be in keeping with our two greatest national strengths: a facility for wealth transfer, and the willingness to use our military to solve complex problems, anywhere in the world.
the concern for the quinault netters is nice but honestly, little will be done with the current framework of managment that the quinault use. it is a production fishery that relies on hatchery production to bolster their commercial catches. we've taught them well when it comes to poor managment practices when it comes to fisheries. the quinault is a production fishery for salmon and steelhead with zero regard for wild fish. the current hatchery production and wild fish management are like water and oil.... they do not mix.
how to fix it? well, first you have to believe change is possible. second their needs to be trust, which may be impossible considering the history surrounding treaty fisheries and the historical destruction of wild salmon and steelhead runs by non-tribal interests. why would they trust us now? ask yourself with the long standing mistrust and hate between non-tribal and tribal fishermen (sport and commercial) what makes now any different?
truly rebuilding wild runs isn't about wild steelhead release, replacing some culverts, and putting salmon carcasses in streams. it will require a seachange of massive proportions that would mean no hatchery plants, massive habitat protection and restoration, and pain for all user groups but especially for consumptive user groups.
you would have a massive negative reaction to this not only from the tribes, but from sportfishermen, loggers, and all other people with an interest in the status quo of hatcheries and habitat devastation. i wish you good luck and will help how i can, but i realize the goal may be unattainable no matter how right the cause is.
I'll post what I've been thinking.. Though I should first say that I've never been to the Quinault and I don't have a real solid grasp of the situation on the ground, other than that the natives seem to be killing as many fish as they can get away with - the goal being to make as much money as possible. here it is:
It seems to me that the tribe basically has, at least one, private steelhead river. That is a pretty extraordinary asset. Based on the last three years of public data, the indians have taken an average of 7000 winter run steelhead (hatchery and wild) annually. If we assume an average fish size of 8lbs and wholesale value of $4/lb (pretty high) - that makes for a gross income of $224,000.
If they were to make a shift over to hosting sportfishermen, and we assume $400 per fisherman/trip, it would only take 560 fishermen to equal the gross income of the kill fishery.
During the same three years the total run size averaged 15,000 fish- nearly twice the run size of the Skagit river during the same years. Who wouldn't be interested in fishing a river with that many fish? I don't know what it looks like (scenic value, etc.), but with reduced harvest, the run size would only increase. I can imagine it becoming a national, if not international, steelhead destination: the place to go if you actually want a better than even chance of hooking one of these fish.
Switching over to a sportfisherman focused industry would also bring people into the area - people who spend money on hotels, food, maybe even casinos..
Like I said, I don't know what it all looks like on the ground, but it seems obvious to me that these fish are worth far more than the $3 or $4/lb they are getting for them.
Dont forget to divide the Skagit river into the Baker, Skagit, Sauk, Suaittle, and Cascade to help everyone realize what they have that is worth protecting.
More than most of the N Puget Sound rivers combined..
I wanted to follow up here with a few observations and comments. For one thing the participation that this topic enjoyed, and subsequent events over the first 24 hours, has been heartening. Clearly most people involved here exhibit a passion for our wild steelhead, and a willingness to act toward better conservation. As I had said previously, it was not at all a surprise that a few would resort to some reactive ugliness, most of which was directed towards Chef Tony and Mr Jim Chambers of Prime Seafood.
The evolution of this subject has revealed that both of these people were previously working under an assumption that they were utilizing a resource that was deemed "sustainable". Some of us would disagree with that designation, and we did so here, and directly with them. Along the way some cooler minds prevailed, and with some solid and factual information that has resulted in a major policy shift regarding their use of this resource.
Both Chef Tony and Mr Chambers have stated publicly that they will not be using these wild steelhead any longer. They also went further to announce that they would be integrating what they have learned of the status of Washington's wild steelhead into their own public education work with their respective customers. Clearly these men show real integrity, exemplary business ethics, and a sense of community that is to be applauded.
While we here in Washington are still embroiled in a seemingly endless discussion over how and what to do to restore these wild fish to our waters; these two men- Chef Tony of Visions Restaurant and Jim Chambers of Prime Seafood- have done more to further that cause than just about anyone else lately. They did this at significant initial expense to themselves. Good solid factual information, presented honestly and respectfully often makes the difference. So lets not forget to thank them!!!
You present some great ideas; ones I have wondered about in the past. I'd love to get the perspective from some tribal members who guide sportfishers and also commerical fish. It would be very interesting to hear comparisons of the two fisheries.