The merits (or lack thereof) for a wild steelhead retention tag

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by sleestak240, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. sleestak240 Member

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    This is kind of moving in the direction of the annual "wild steelhead retention sucks" thread :) I was more hoping to direct it towards brainstorming any ideas outside of the current paradigm or beyond "guys will just break the laws" or "natives will just scoop up whatever we don't take".

    That perspective always redirects towards simply leaving things as they currently are until nothing is left, based on assumptions that may or may not be true - maybe that's really the only solution with so many stakeholders wanting to have their hands in the pot and an unwillingness to offend anyone or be offended.

    If we can look beyond the law breakers (which will always lie outside the fringes until enforcement increases), the ethics of the guys who are (legally) keeping wild steelhead, or the native netting regime what creative solutions can we find, if any?
  2. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,268
    bellingham wa
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    If you bring a sled to the Sol Duc you will have your tires removed from the trailer. If you kill a steelhead we all say and do nothing.

    Go Sox,
    sopflyfisher and Chris Johnson like this.
  3. KerryS Ignored Member

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    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    No law or rule is going to change the illegal behavior of some. It is not an excuse to do nothing or to stop thinking of ways to improve things.
    Brady Burmeister likes this.
  4. KerryS Ignored Member

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    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    Laying everything at the feet of the tribes will get you nowhere. Take care of what we can take care of and quit the blame game.
  5. KerryS Ignored Member

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    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    See above.
  6. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,425
    Duvall, wa
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    It's not a blame game. If we give up our "fair share" the tribes will have to do the same. As long as we have that co managed wild steelhead quota, there will be an allowed harvest by both parties.
  7. FinLuver Active Member

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    Mid-Willamette Valley
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    Ban the "assault" fisherman...

    Problem solved ;)
  8. KerryS Ignored Member

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    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    The treaty tribes are not going away and they are not going to give up what has become the largest victory for them since the Europeans arrived. Perhaps blame was the wrong word to use but as I see and I am not alone the only way anything gets changed with the way our fisheries are managed is with the cooperation of the treaty tribes, period.
  9. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 1,891
    Walla Walla, WA
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    As non-tribal anglers, we do have (via our legislators) some ability to direct the WDFW. We have diddle to do with tribal angling practices.

    Perhaps this issue could be solved with a referendum? One outlawing the harvest/killing of wild origin steelhead and another one outlawing the sale, or transport for sale, any Steelhead regardless of the origin (hatchery or wild).

    In fact didn't someone try this before? Give the recent media attention about not eating wild steelhead, perhaps it could pass?
  10. Derek Day Rockyday

    Posts: 567
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    That's not really how it works. For example, the state currently uses the majority of it's "harvest" of wild steelhead through catch and release impacts. We can 'harvest' our fish without harvesting them. And, the tribes won't have to stop harvesting just because we do. I believe that you're citing the 'forgone opportunity' argument. As it applies here, it would be nearly impossible for the tribes to prove that we weren't going to use our impacts through catch and release mortality--they would have to prove that the state was in fact forgoing a harvest opportunity. I'm not even convinced that there is any precedent for the successful application of a forgone opportunity argument the context of co-managed fisheries. (Note: I may have misinterpreted your point)

    That said, the tribes would much prefer that we just bonk our half of the allocation, and leave the rest of the fish alone.

    But, I think that the tag idea is a really good one. People don't value what they don't pay for. It also represents a good compromise between an outright ban and the status quo.
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  11. sleestak240 Member

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    Glad to see that some people think it has merit. Realistically, I think it's unlikely we'll see any sort of ban soon unless we start to consistently miss the abysmally low escapement goal on the Quillayute, in which case the fishery should probably just be closed. While an outright ban is more preferable, I can see such an idea being far more palatable for the meat guys and the conservation side can score a minor win as well. If it adds some funds to the coffers...well, even better.

    As far as implementation goes...I can't see it being overly difficult...add a field(s) to the database system for licensing, propagate an update to all the terminals for the license layout and make it happen (at least in my little world it's that simple, who knows what kind of obfuscated system they actually do have).

    Wouldn't be any more difficult to enforce than the current system, and if people actually buy the tags before the season starts, the fishery managers might have an idea of the level of pressure to expect from the recreational kill fishery.
  12. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Actually, I believe that it would first have to be approved by the Legislature; WDFW can not just do stuff like this on their own even if they wanted to.

    As for if it is a good idea, I am torn. I would love it if it reduced retention and raises additional funds but I worry it would make killing a wild steelhead even more alluring, kind of like finding the holy grail. There is enough bravado associated with (wild) steelheading already.
    Andrew Lawrence likes this.
  13. sleestak240 Member

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    Correct, I left out the whole legislative process that would be involved in such a change. I was more thinking from a technical standpoint.

    Hard to say if that would be a side-effect or not...I don't think it would...I think the allure of killing a wild steelhead is already pretty much maxed out for those that engage in the activity. If anything, minimizing the area where you can legally kill wild steelhead to a handful of rivers and only allowing one per season has already had the effect of making it seem like the holy grail.

    From my perspective, I think most of the bravado seems to come from our side of the fence.
  14. Rob Allen Active Member

    Posts: 879
    Vancouver WA
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    It's Washington state government it's not gonna be easy
    The money would go into the general fund
    People who want to bonk and fish are going to do it legal or not
    we need to start thinking of fishing for wild steelhead as a privilege so valuable that you wouldn't want to kill one..

    change your mindset to think beyond your punchcard of do not fish for salmon and steelhead. I am all for cramming catch and release down the throats of all salmon and steelhead fishermen whether they like it or not. Humans ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS over harvest and always will. We have had the anti wild fish agenda crammed down our throats since white men first got here. I am all for some payback on this issue.
    maybe that makes me a jerk but i am happy to be one in this case.
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  15. Alexander Fishon

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    Maybe see a different system altogether other than netting. (I know this would cost too much money). But it would be cool if they had ways to divert the fish into a shiloh/holding area so they could separate the keepers from non keepers and the non keepers would be released to continue their mission, thus doing away with all netting practices and substituting with diversion dams/gates.

    Anyhow this would probably take care of much of the unchecked/unintentional wild Steelhead killing wouldn't it?

    Where is the bigger wild Steelhead killing impact? By way of netting or the individual fisherman?

    Even if my idea is out of whack I think that new improved harvesting methods aimed at non-target fish release (whatever the method may be) would probably show better wild steelhead impact results then dealing with the individual fisherman.
  16. KerryS Ignored Member

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    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    They are called fish traps and were used a lot in Western Washington before being outlawed. There are many that think fish traps should be brought back for the reasons you have stated.
  17. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

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    Quesnel, BC
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    I would be interested in seeing the numbers on what something like this would actually cost for a feasibility study, and then enact. I am guessing you would be looking at a couple hundred dollars minimum to try and harvest one. Half of the proceeds would be going to the state, and the other half to the tribes.

    I think they should have a special season too if you pay for the tag/draw.. Make it easier to enforce by having only the tag holders on the rivers..
  18. sleestak240 Member

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    Interesting idea...but I think that would create the situation that Freestone was talking about. Creating a day(s) where only tag holders are allowed to fish would really add to the "mystique" of it I think. The result would be a sort of "African big game hunt" feel where people that might otherwise not be interested would engage in the activity solely because of the exclusivity of it.
  19. Salmo_g Active Member

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    Your City ,State
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    I think this would be a hard sell to WDFW. First of all, WDFW thinks steelhead management is just about perfect the way it is, except for the low, one-fish wild steelhead limit on the OP. WDFW doesn't want fewer wild steelhead killed per year. They want every wild steelhead over and above the designated spawning escapement goal to be caught and harvested. Killed. Othewise a dangerous over-escapement will occur, causing wastage.

    Charging a special fee to kill a wild steelhead doesn't brighten WDFW's day unless the Legislature directs the proceeds into the state wildlife account instead of the General Fund. I think WDFW will remain philosophically opposed to the idea even if it were a fiscal plus for them.

    KerryS likes this.
  20. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,856
    Pipers Creek
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    English Pete might be interested in a tag or two.
    Jason Rolfe likes this.