The City of Forks Fights Wild Steelhead Harvest Ban.

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Bob Triggs, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. Teeg Stouffer

    Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

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    I got a very nice, grateful reply from the letter I sent to the Forks chamber of commerce. I was very cordial and positive in my letter, and got the same in return.

    I have not heard back from the Forks Forum, the mayor, or the Peninsula Daily News, but to their credit, I sent the Forum and the Mayor paper letters, so they may not have gotten them yet.

    I'd be interested to hear anybody else's feedback experiences. Two-way dialouge is very constructive, if you can get that going. It's much more effective than just "talking at" someone on the other side of the fence from you.

    Imagine the pressure the commissioners must feel. The guy at the heart of the matter is "Van" Van Gytenbeek, as I understand it, and I bet he'd appreciate your thanks and support. Also as I understand it, Commission chairman Will Roehl of Bellingham is not in favor of this moratorium, so he could use your continued (positive) persuasion.

    You can e-mail the commission generically at: commission@dfw.wa.gov or give them a call at 360-902-2267.

    Thanks to all who have made the effort to voice your opinions to those who have the power to make the decisions.

    -------------------------------------------------
    You can be a fish recycler, too. Let 'em swim.
    www.recycledfish.org
     
  2. Gabriel Burgi

    Gabriel Burgi doesn't live in WA anymore :(

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    Here, I think, is the common sense the people of Forks are missing. Let's say that some, or even most of the people who are proponents of retaining wild steelhead use gear instead of fly fishing. Last I checked, those wiggle warts, corkie setups and expensive spoons people use are around $3-$5 each. Take into account the gas used to get them to the rivers, the food for a midday meal, and beers to celebrate the wild steelhead they just took home....it could feasibly cost one person anywhere from $15-$30 for a weekend trip (probably even more). How much does grocery store steelhead cost per pound? Let's say it's on sale for $2.00 per pound. A 10-pound wild fish would justify that cost, but the fisherman would still be in the hole. If they must eat the fish, buy it! It is cheaper!
    Perhaps these people don't feel the same satisfaction we do in promising ourselves and our progeny future angling success (on gear or flies). This, my friends, is the priceless joy we C&R practicioners feel every time we invest in the future of our steelhead fisheries. Unfortunately, it is the lack of this realism that is the paradigm we must attempt to shift in order to make our opinions understood. Keep on fighting. Perhaps this rally for retention can be stifled or even stopped before the populations of wild steelhead in this state are diminished beyond recovery.
    But what do I know, I'm just a Fisheries Resources student...who plans to put his education to good use!!!

    That is all I have to say about that.
    Gabe:professor
     
  3. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    The City of Forks Fights Wild Steelhead Harvest Ba...

    i think boycotting buying anything in forks is exactly the wrong way to go. if you want attitudes to change, driving through town, adding pressure to heavily pressured rivers, and not dropping a cent into the local economy is just not thinking.

    face it, forks locals have seen the limits become heavily restricted in the last 5-10 years, plus have seen an enormous increase in pressure on "their" local waters. i don't agree with their opposition, but i understand it on a certain level. they have seen, and will continue to see dramatic changes to their community... and their worry is that tourism will not bring in the revenue to make up for the costs (more crowded rivers, less harvest available, dealing with more non-locals, etc.).... boycotting forks is exactly what they fear, and will not help the situation out there right now (let's not forget reports of vandalism of rigs and people removing any mention of c&r or flyfishing from their vehicles so they won't be damaged).

    i have serious issues with the city of forks on fisheries issues (mostly how they seemingly want to destroy the north coast's halibut fishery and the economy based around that specific fishery) but opening a discussion is certainly better than making them hurt.

    btw, derrick meneken is an idiot. taking anything he says in his column (gagging just to call it that) seriously is a mistake. he's a hack that shows and has historically shown his biases in the pdn.

    good discussion though,

    chris
     
  4. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    I want to make myself emphatically and abundantly clear: If you read the original post on this issue, I said that I felt "thoughtful and respectful letters" were what was needed here.

    The notion of any kind of negative action towards the Forks community is something that I am very strongly against.

    I appreciate the Forks community and enjoy much of the many opportunities this little town , and it's resourceful,proud and hard-working people have to offer. I count many of these people as my friends since the past four years I have been here. I eat in the restaurants, buy groceries and supplies in the shops, buy gasoline and oil at the stations, use various services and stay at several differant lodgings.

    In the few years I have been coming out here, ( Im in Forks this week), I have grown to respect the humbling position these people are in.

    All that I have suggested is that If you enjoy traveling to the Forks area, fishing the rivers, and perhaps benefitting from many of the services and goods offered here; perhaps you would take a few minutes to write something intelligent, thoughtful and respectful- to the officials and papers mentioned- about all of that.

    I also want to add that I am really grateful to all of you who have decided that this is worthy of your time and care and attention. It is always a little more work to build relationships, rather than to burn bridges- but it is always worth it too.
     
  5. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    It's not just Forks that we battle here. It is the entire coast from OR. to B.C. There is a certain deep woods mentality we see, born of ignorance and fueled by poverty. Things wild belong to them and are free for the taking. Any who would stop them are assholes of the first water and are probably from Bellevue. I don't think there is much we can do to change this thinking.
    They have an "Us against Them" paradigm and even if we offered them more welfare assistance, they would probably be opposed.
    What to do?
    Remember we outnumber them at the polls. We don't have to kiss up to these people; we just need proper laws and enforcement to contain them. There is little else we can do to be real.
    Yes, letters are good and e-mails as well (they do count things even if it goes unread). We can even vocally complain to residents about the need to save these fish from the freezers. But it will be a long, hard battle.
    My hope is that as they kill off the forest, there will be fewer and fewer jobs and they will move away to rape and pillage elsewhere. I say good riddance!x(
    Bob, the No, I'm Not Particulary A Nice Guy Or A Glad Hand Charlie.:professor
     
  6. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    The City of Forks Fights Wild Steelhead Harvest Ba...

    I'm amazed at some of the comments on both this and Bob Ball's site. If you agree with the wild steelhead release moratorium, then you must know that two years doesn't leave us with much time to save fish. One thing we can do immediately is to win converts to C&R. All we have to do is go fishing on the OP. Maybe we should do as Todd Ripley of the WSC is doing. Every time he pays a bill in Forks, he is going to tell that person that he was there to catch and release wild steelhead. We're not going to win this battle unless we start winning some hearts and minds in Forks.

    Leland.
     
  7. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    I just can't stand gooey, rosy nonsense when the battle is far more serious than that and just a few platitudes covered with sugar about how nice everyone is will not deliver us from this mess we are in.
    Forks has no power to do anything. Of course, I am civil and courteous to the people I trade with in that town and I can say that I dump quite a bit of money throughout the season. I should think it would be the recipients of this money that would be holding out the glad hand and kissing up a bit.
    I am a tourist and it is no way to court my business when Forks leaders threaten to kill off the fish I so love.
    I am from Jefferson County where most of the rivers I fish are located. Forks (Clallam County) is just a
    problem in may ways:a hub of wrong mindedness; something to be watched with deep suspicion; out voted where you can.
    Bob, the If I see a dead wild fish, it will be 911 big time.
    :reallymad
    Leland: I am not referring to your post but rather to Trigg's above.
     
  8. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

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    It will certainly be more difficult to visit if the anger of a few west Peninsula locals results in slashed tires and/or on-water punch outs of fly fishers (how did fly fishers get blamed for this anyway?). I spend money in town when I visit and will continue to do so. But I might not visit for a while until I have a feel for the level of local resentment. I agree with Bob on this- vast majority of that land and all the water is managed and "owned" by the feds and state. In that sense the locals can go suck an egg. You get what you "pay for" in tax dollars in the good ol USA, love it or leave it, nobody rides for free. Changing attitudes isn't going to happen overnight and if change will happen it will be led by local sentiment. It will take some time. Many of us pushed for this rule and now we have to buck up to the reality of implementation. The rule is a done deal for two years, I'm not sure a deluge of Pugetopolis letters and visits with a message are going to do anything but further inflame things. Looking at the end game, nobody needs to take on the few angry locals to win this war. Quite the opposite IMHO. Let em rant and rave, change is coming, and it is unstoppable. No need to kick em while they're down, no matter how much they deserve it. There's a lot of good people on the right side of this issue living in and around Forks, let's see if, and in what way, they would like us "outsiders" to support and help.
     
  9. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    Word!
    Good thinking as always, Nailknot. But I'm not an outsider. I have to live with these crackers everyday and sometimes they sort of get to me. Trash, and I'm talking big time trash, is thrown about in various yards that I drive by to get to Port Townsend. Why is this? It doesn't happen elsewhere. Why here on the Peninsula?
    What gives with these folks?
    Bob, the Bring It On as Bush says.:reallymad
     
  10. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

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    I hear ya Bob and I'm always disappointed with the lack of pride many rural (and urban and suburban) WA residents show for where they live and how they treat the land. Not just the Peninsula either. WA has been late to the game but things are always changing and evolving- that is the one force that we can do nothing about. Just hope all us WA people get with the program and think ahead just a bit for a positive outcome. I have hope. WSR is a step in the direction of progress. Either that or Bill Gates buys the peninsula and gives those folks customer service rep jobs and drug tests them for meth. Just kidding on that last one.



    --------
    Be the ball Danny
    http://www.carlspackler.com/sounds/012.wav
     
  11. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    If we look at this process as a war, or as another battle in the fish-wars, then it will be just like all the other wars; someone has to lose. In this case it will be the fish and the habitat.

    So my thinking is that many Forks residents and businesses, the City Council members, Mayor and Chamber of Commerce, might benefit from knowing how much positive interest there is in their area and rivers, and how much business and money flows from that.

    Amongst the first things to fail, in an attacking attitude toward this issue and the people of Forks, would be communication. And as everyone knows; in the end, all wars, no matter how bloody, end with diplomacy.
     
  12. bhudda

    bhudda heffe'

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    The City of Forks Fights Wild Steelhead Harvest Ba...

    "I panhandle for flies" - Joe Trowtbum.!!!



    Bob. nice words and a real way to get to positive ground with this issue. :smokin i.e- when you get attaked by a doberman, you kinda dont like em' anymore, eh :dunno we should remember when one person has a bad encounter with someone holding a flyrod, we kinda get unfairly grouped together as one so lets be kind and move forward instead of side to side.


    bhudda
     
  13. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    The City of Forks Fights Wild Steelhead Harvest Ba...

    Here is a letter sent by my friend Tyler Kushnir on another forum. I believe it captures the positive aspects of the moratorium.

    Leland


    February 23, 2004.

    Mayor Nedra Reed,
    Forks Washington,

    I am writing you to voice my elation with the recent Washington State decision to stop the killing of wild steelhead. As a British Columbian I have grown up with catch and release regulations for wild steelhead. Frankly, I have avoided making the trek out to the Olympic Peninsula for many years, as I did not want to be spending my vacation dollars where wild steelhead were being killed. With this recent decision I will be coming out to your fair city to fish for the wild steelhead your rivers are renowned for.

    What you and your Chamber of Commerce need to recognize is that wild steelhead are revered by a large community of anglers. Like myself, we are willing to travel hundreds of miles and spend considerable amounts of money to catch and release a few fish.

    Last year I helicoptered into the Dean River at a cost of thousands of dollars, I also drive 15 hours to the Skeena and stay for 8-10 days to fish for wild steelhead. As well, I fish on average 15 days in the spring on the Skagit system and I do all of this with the expectation that I will harvest none of them. I believe that you will experience a serious influx of affluent anglers to the Forks area. Wild steelhead are a magnet, yet we believe they are too valuable to catch and kill. These magnificent fish need to be able to reproduce to create even more of their kind. The result is thereby obvious; more of their kind equals more of my kind, which is very good for your town and its business community.

    In my opinion what you, your Council and your Chamber of Commerce should be doing is embracing the new regulations and actively promoting the great new opportunity you have with wild steelhead. Forks could easily become a worldwide destination for steelheaders. As vehement as those who oppose the changes are – they are relatively local, the proponents of Catch & Release are equally passionate and will put their money where their mouths are and are worldwide. To us these fish are not mere meat - they are the epitome of our sport. Have no fear - the fishermen will come.

    Yours sincerely,


    Tyler Kushnir

    Cc Forks Chamber of Commerce
     
  14. bhudda

    bhudda heffe'

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    The City of Forks Fights Wild Steelhead Harvest Ba...

    "I panhandle for flies" - Joe Trowtbum.


    "Forks could easily become a worldwide destination for steelheaders." - say it 5 times to yourself. its got all the right stuff. minus a net or two. I've fished the O.P. a few years but have been an avid camper and hiker on the O.P since i moved to Wa. I always stock-up in the town of blah blah blah and always return so this only adds to my future fishing out there and hope to see it get better for everyone. -Jeffrey
     
  15. Teeg Stouffer

    Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

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    Another "plus" for positive, relationship building correspondance:

    I got a call from the Peninsula Daily News today with a request to publish my letter as well as my city of residence.

    Had I written a really nasty letter, it probably would have found its way to the circular file, but I like to think that because I presented a positive, constructive addition to the overall discussion, it may gain the benefit of reaching more people through publication.

    I've never won anyone to my way of thinking by attacking them head on. However, I've swayed a number of people - on a number of issues - through friendly persuasion, and "inviting" them over to my camp. Make sense?

    As my grandmother (someone who fished every day - C&R at that) often said, "you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

    Teeg.


    -------------------------------------------------
    You can be a fish recycler, too. Let 'em swim.
    www.recycledfish.org
     
  16. Whitey

    Whitey Active Member

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    Me too, I got the call yesterday as well. I sent a nice letter that will be published. YT:thumb
     
  17. Mike Etgen

    Mike Etgen Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

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    The City of Forks Fights Wild Steelhead Harvest Ba...

    New River Mike

    I really have to commend all of you guys who have taken the high road on this. By reframing it as something more than an "us-vs-them" argument, you've allowed for the possibility of something other than a win-loss outcome.

    I'm sure there's lots of reasonable people over in Forks. If it's like most other places, the voices of reason and accomodation have in the past few years been overrun by those who see the world as a basically unfriendly place.

    When times are tough (as they have been for much of this state, and now the nation) it's easy for politicians and media mouthpieces to play on the fears of everyday people.
    It's easy to identify "enemies," and a lot of the time, that fingerpointing and generalizing goes unchallenged because we don't want to be pointed at ourselves.

    There's a great saying that, "When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." No one wants to get nailed.

    For what it's worth, it's hardly confined to western Washington. Everywhere I've lived there's been some kind of divide, imaginary or otherwise, between white-collar and blue-collar, rural and urban, etc., etc. It's usually "discovered" or "disclosed" by politicians and analyzed and documented by the mainstream media.

    I know, I'm belaboring the point...

    Good work, guys.

    :thumb
     
  18. troutski

    troutski New Member

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    Nice of the "Forks Forum" to give everyone a little "history" on R.P. VanGytenbeek which might have portrayed him as too much a conservationist for their neck of the woods. Alternately, Will Roehl's bio was missing so here it is: Was appointed by the commisssion in July 97 for a 6 year term. He is an attorney with a commercial practice in Bellingham. He and his brother own a customs brokerage business which facilitates the importation / exportation of chemical, petroleum, fish , and forest products. A whole bunch more BLAH, BLAH and then this closer; He is committed to restoring Washingtons Salmon runs while avoiding conflicts between commercial and recreational fishers.(END) A guy that clearly has conflicting interests wouldn't ya say?
     

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