Steelhead Confusion

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by kamishak steve, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. kamishak steve Active Member

    Posts: 359
    Seattle, Wa
    Ratings: +67 / 0
    I've had a few questions rattling around in my head lately, and this seems like a good place to get them sorted out.

    1) I noticed someone ripping up and down the hoh (at cottonwood) in a jet boat. I am aware that such an act on the sol duc will be a guaranteed removal of the tires on your trailer, so how does someone know where it is appropriate and where it is not?
    ( I personally would prefer no jet boats at all on the OP. I have used them plenty in AK and they are fantastic tools, but something about steelheading makes me prefer the quiet of a raft while someone is drifting eggs over my fly line, instead of the growl of a jet while they drift eggs over my fly line but that might just be me)

    2) All of the OP rivers have escapement goals well below what they should be for each watershed, correct?

    3)IF the already low escapement goals aren't being met, why isn't WDFW taking some action to improve that? ie reducing wild steelhead harvest?

    4)I get that the tribes will take whatever they like, but why does the WDFW see it as a failure if sporties choose not to retain the entire available harvest? For example, if by some miracle nearly every sportsfisherman decided in the interest of conservation (independently of the regulations) to release every wild steelhead, why would WDFW have a problem with that? Couldn't sporties coerce one another into releasing all wild steelhead the same way they implement no sleds on the sol duc? (slashed tires)
  2. CLO coho where are you?

    Posts: 751
    Seattle
    Ratings: +310 / 0
    I would just stop trying to understand what the WDFW does... unless you want your head to explode.
    Bert Kinghorn likes this.
  3. Whitey Active Member

    Posts: 991
    Far side of the moon
    Ratings: +185 / 0
    My understanding of the rules were you could use a jet on the lower Hoh. However, the locals make the rules and I'm am not a local.
  4. jake-e-boy Active Member

    Posts: 465
    Kennewick
    Ratings: +207 / 0
    1) locals do not want jets on the river, sure it wasn't a native? guides that use jets probably from out of town

    2) yes

    3) see answer to four

    4) $$$$
  5. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,288
    bellingham wa
    Ratings: +542 / 0
    My answers:

    1.) I've seen tribal netters use a sled on the lower Hoh. I don't think the locals mess with the tribal netters.

    2.) Many believe that is the case. Clearly the tribes and those responsable at WDFW disagree. I don't know as they always have approved harvest plans but WDFW has not tried to challenge the tribes harvest so that is a defacto approval of their harvest and therefore their escapenemt minimums.

    3.) Escapements are often met. I think the Quilleute was met. The Hoh was so close that I'm sure WDFW would see it as a success. The tribes aren't complaining either.

    4.) See 2 and 3 above. WDFW would be admitting that the escapemnt floors are too low if they did not allow harvest. It would piss of the tribes too as they already hate C&R. They have their stated reason like they don't play with their food etc. I'll leave it up to you to determine whether you believe it.
    I like the idea of public shaming.

    Go Sox,
    cds
    kamishak steve and Derek Young like this.
  6. Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

    Posts: 3,321
    Haus Alpenrosa, Lederhosenland
    Ratings: +880 / 0
    Truer words indeed, were never spoke (or wrote!).
  7. kamishak steve Active Member

    Posts: 359
    Seattle, Wa
    Ratings: +67 / 0

    It was weird, because this guy was not tribal (at least didn't have tribal plates), didn't seem to be checking nets, or anything like that... Maybe from out of town... Alone in the boat so definitely not a guide either...

    Quillete met, Queets, Hoh, Quinault, not met?



    I do agree with your public shaming idea, no more of this justification "well it's legal, so "angler x" can do whatever he wants". Just make a guy feel so stupid and embarrassed about bonking a wild fish that he would never dare do it. Also, punishable by tire removal from truck.
  8. Jumbo Member

    Posts: 125
    Rural Western Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +9 / 0
    any sled you saw on the Lower Hoh was tribal......
  9. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,748
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    Unfortunately, the rest of the world does not cater our love and passion for the steelhead caught on a fly. It was, is, and will always be a special, rare thing. Especially catching the real chromers. There is little we can do to improve the catching experience, it is a complex and random event with many factors humans may have zero control over. Just enjoy it when luck comes your way and you are hooking some. Overthinking it will make you sour.
    Just.Mark likes this.
  10. fishbadger Member

    Posts: 196
    Gig Harbor, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    yeah solo guy on motor = gill netter would be my guess.
  11. Rob Allen Active Member

    Posts: 908
    Vancouver WA
    Ratings: +368 / 0
    1.. don't know about sleds on the Hoh

    2.. for the purposes of in season harvest WDFW assumes that escapement will be met

    3. by law the tribes are allowed 50% of the allowable harvest ( the number above minimum escapement)
    the other 50% is for sport anglers to harvest. If sport anglers do not harvest 50% the percentage goes back to the tribe as "foregone opportunity" Any amount over escapement that is not harvest is defined as "wastage".

    That is how WDFW operates, it's called Maximum Sustained Yield. The idea is that our rivers should have the maximum amount of harvest possible without destroying the run.. You'll notice that all other rivers in the state are closed to wild steelhead retention and are subject to all sorts of closures and restrictions. This I would suggest is failure of that management philosophy.
  12. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 3,979
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +647 / 0
    I will add here that the "50% tribal take" is not limited to single watersheds, but to the entire overall harvest, in this case steelhead in Washington. Which means that there is the potential for them to take well more than 50% from any single watershed in a season.

    As for jet or prop boats in the rivers here, it is true that some people have had bad experiences when operating their power boats here. Under the Code of Federal Regulations, In Federally listed "Navigable waters" it is a serious criminal act to jnterfere with, threaten or attack or damage a vessel or it's operators or passengers, that is otherwise legally using the waterway. So I have no doubt that someday someone is going to go to jail, get sued etc.

    But I do enjoy the peace and quiet out here.
  13. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,799
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +654 / 0
    Not sure that is correct. The 50/50 sharing started with the Boldt Case area (Puget Sound and North coast). That sort of sharing was later expanded to other areas where tribes had treaty rights. There are still areas of the state with steelhead that were not covered with treaty rights (most of SW Washington (Willapa south and up the lower Columbia for example) where there is no "sharing" of the harvest. With the dividing the shared harvest fish in treaty areas it has always been done basin by basin. Otherwise on basins like the Quinualt where the tribes take nearly all the catch some of that harvest would have to come off some other tribes harvest elsewhere. On the flip side where a tribe by agreement decides to take less than its full share (the Snohomish system comes to mind) it doesn't mean that in another basin or basins other tribes get extra fish.

    That doesn't mean that the tribal and non-treaty catches will be equal. Especially with steelhead it is much easier for a group that is fishing first to catch its full share while fishing on the whole run. Once that 1/2 is removed it becomes more difficult for the second in line to take its share. In addition because of selective fishing and CnR fishing in recreational fisheries the recreational fishery uses some its "Share" with unharvested mortalities.

    Please note I'm not saying I agree with this situation or that it is fair. Just that it is the "rules of the game" that is based on the law of the land.

    Curt
  14. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 3,979
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +647 / 0
    A few years back it was said that the Hoh Tribe harvested something like 80%of the run. How did that happen?
  15. jason.allen Member

    Posts: 182
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +20 / 0
  16. Red Arch Active Member

    Posts: 156
    Lower Mainland or Interior of BC
    Ratings: +34 / 0
    Those natives to Denmark are actually people who live in the Faroe Islands. Which happen to be in the North Atlantic between Scotland, Norway, and Iceland.

    The Islands are tiny. the Whale Hunt might be one of the few practical ways for them to get food based on climate and location.

    I am fine with hunts like that as long as it is sustainable (which I believe it is) http://www.whaling.fo/
    Fishing 80% of a run however is not Sustainable, especially as the climate is about as stable as a Hydrogen ion atm....
  17. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,242
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +102 / 0
    I'm still amazed at the amount of mis-information and how many uninformed sports fishermen we have here in Washington State when it comes to steelhead and salmon. The Bolt decision was handed down 40 years ago and was affirmed by the US Supreme Court. As Curt mentioned, it is the law of the land. The tribes don't get to do what they wish anymore than sports fishermen get to do what we want. Each is limited by the Bolt decision to 50% of the fish not needed for continued propagation of the species on a particular river drainage. And both the state and the treaty tribe on a particular river drainage where that tribe has treaty fishing rights are not allowed to take the other side's 50%.

    This is why the so-called "forgone opportunity" I keep seeing year after year is bs. The Bolt decision does not say that, does not use the term forgone opportunity, and simply says each side gets 50% of the harvestable amount. Yes, some tribes have claimed they can take the fish if the state limits sports fishermen to catch and release, and many uniformed fishermen make the same claim; however, this is not in the Bolt decision. Therefore, it would have to be argued in federal courts. It is unlikely the tribes would prevail if they did this because Bolt was very clear in his ruling that neither side can tell the other what to do with its 50%. In other words, "forgone opportunity" is a theoretical construct dressed up in legal language. Still an untested theory, but since it causes folks to use emotional thinking instead of applying logic to it, many get upset and go looking for the bogey man over it.

    Also, since Bolt also said that both the state and the treaty tribe on that river system are equal co-managers of the steelhead and salmon in that river system, it means that one side cannot tell the other how to fish, what type of gear to use (nets, rod and line, fish wheels, dynamite, whatever). The tribe with fishing rights on a river cannot tell the state how its sports fishermen have to fish, what gear they can use, or whether to catch and release all wild steelhead. Likewise, the state cannot tell the treaty fishing tribe on that river system what gear they can use.

    The bottom line is neither side, the treaty fishing tribes, nor the state want the fish to be overharvested and become unviable populations. Each side wants the fish to continue propagating on into the future.