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

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

  1. 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.
  2. See above.
  3. 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.
  4. Ban the "assault" fisherman...

    Problem solved ;)
  5. 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.

  6. 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?
  7. Evan,
    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.
    Jason Chadick likes this.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.
    sopflyfisher likes this.
  12. 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.

  13. 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.
  14. 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..
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. English Pete might be interested in a tag or two.
    Jason Rolfe likes this.

  18. Agreed about the difficulty of getting it through the powers that be. It's definitely a restriction on opportunity, albeit a compromise.

    As far as the WDFW is concerned, I generally agree with your analysis. Anything that survives beyond the minimum goal is an inefficiency in their minds.

    So, the process going into 2014 seems to be business as usual - harvest until the systems don't make escapement anymore, let the feds list Olympic Peninsula steelhead as endangered and then close the fisheries down once they reach a barely sustainable level?

  19. That reminds me of the photo of his signed glory shot I saw earlier this year:

    Maybe if he needed a retention tag that he didn't have, he wouldn't have been able to kill this one under the guise of "bleeding from the gills"?
  20. So someone with $$$ is entitled to kill a wild steelhead because it is their privilege? I would think it is a right, being a citizen if anything. Education about steelhead is important for the future of the sport, but more government regulation is not an answer. The government fails at everything it does

Share This Page