Tribal netting

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by MasterAnglerTaylor, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. I believe that anadromous fisheries in Alaska are managed by the feds, not the state.

    Quite right. This state and it's administrative custodians have always regarded fish as a 'renewable resource', like trees. I had a mid-level manager from the Dept of Ecology tell me last fall that there is no longer any sawmill in the state capable of handling a tree more then 24" in diameter.

    Like trees, we can't keep telling ourselves it's OK to keep catching and killing fish (or even releasing them with good intentions but occasionally unintended consequences) without owning up to the reality that eventually, native salmonids will go the way of the 5' diameter cedar stump in my backyard that was cut down over a hundred years ago flush wiht the conviction that there would 'always' be enough cedars.

  2. Lots of good discussion here. I appreciate what many of you have brought in as well as much of the historical information. Salmo G, Kent, GT, Bob(s) - some good stuff.

    As to this - I don't think so.

    Putting the current situation aside, one of my largest frustrations is the way some of you continue to suggest or assume that there was a positive or benevolent intent on the part of the "treaty framers." My opinion, for what it's worth, is that the treaty framers in the PNW had the same intent as those who drew up treaties in any other part of the country. Treaty framers intended to take Indian land, placate or eliminate the few who chose to openly question the action, and then counted on the possibility that the remaining populations would starve, die of disease, move off, or become totally "assimilated" as was the politically and religiously fashionable idea. For whatever reason, it didn't happen here, or perhaps we Europeans didn't calculate the value of the resource (andramous fish)as dearly as the Indians, or the determination of the Indians to hold onto that resource, symbolic or otherwise.

    Perhaps it was even a matter of geography. By the time we arrived here in large numbers, there was no further "west" to which we could push the Indians out of our way.

    A mentor of mine told me some time ago that sometimes "you have to put your gun on the table." Are we ready to do that? I think that this may another way of looking at Bob Triggs' point about asking someone else to stop something - first.

    I know some individuals on this board who have consciously chosen to give up steelheading in order to give the resource some small respite. I'm sure there are others elsewhere. I'm ready to take that step, too, having been convinced by some of the very good points I've read here.

    Even of you can't bring youself to do that, or to get involved in any other way, at least give us a break from the non-starter suggestion that those generous "treaty framers" had any kind of intentions other than to line their own pockets and launch their own empires, if necessary at the expense of those who were here first.

    Yes, it's history and it can't be recalled and fixed. But look at world events and then tell me history, or at least its acknowledgement, doesn't matter.
  3. Exactly right. For those who might be interested, in his iconic Year of the Trout, Steve Raymond wrote at length about the events leading up to the Stevens treaty and its consequences that eventually led to Boldt. If you happen to believe that the indians are getting a cushy deal through Boldt, this will set you straight about who really got the best deal.

    Dave Montgomery in King of Fish - the 1,000 year run of salmon echoed Raymond's history of our self-serving dealings with the indians as well as decades of obstructionism and corruption by the old Game Department as they constantly ruled against indians and their treaty fishing rights by granting preferential treatment to commercial fishing interests. His description of the 'fish traps' that commercial fishers used make today's indian gill nets seem ineffective by comparison.

    Those who continually demand that indians should give up their treaty rights so that there'll be more fish for sportsmen to catch are no better that the whites who cheated them out of their land and fish 150 years ago.

  4. Nobody here has a concern with Indians personally or thinks they have a cushy deal what so ever.

    This is purely about salmon/steelhead getting a shitty deal, as in, extinction.

    I do not understand why so many of you defend netting on our rivers. Go watch them fish the Nooksack. It will make you sick! I will bet you 100$ it will make you sick!

    Watch them throw seal bombs at structure to spook hiding fish into their nets! Watch them dredge the rivers with their nets! Watch them put nets 20 miles above tidal influenced areas in riffles you would like to swing a fly through.

    It is insane to defend this pratice in any way if you want wile steelhead and salmon to survive.

    The only place you can realistically catch an entire race of fish to extinction is by stringing nets or traps across their spawning rivers.
  5. If you're really concerned about extinction, have you personally stopped fishing for them yet? If not, then you're part of the problem, not the solution.

    As for your first point, you're naive if you think that most who post here aren't thinking first of their own interests as they look at the tribe's nets with loathing.

  6. Ahh theres that old red herring.

    My catch & release of 6 give or take wild steelhead a year on the rivers I fish must make me a part of the problem.

    But how big of a part?

    I tinnnnny part.

    I have seen single hauls of nets pull more than a lifetime of my fishing impacts.

    Like apples to oranges.

    In this case our interests align quite a bit with the steelhead's. We would like them to live long and prosper, as in, not go extinct.

    I take it that you would like wild steelhead to go extinct?
  7. Speaking of red herrings - have you stopped beating your wife yet?

    If we've got a chance in hell to hope that Boldt be reinterpreted in light of today's realities, is that fair or even likely to happen if sports and commercial interests haven't already stepped up and given up an equivalent 'privilege'? Until then, we're just another special interest group demanding that someone else do something while we continue with business as usual.

  8. Fish traps are clearly a most effective means of fishing. They are also selective as they catch fish live and allow the release of endangered or non-targeted species. I think the Indians should be allowed to use fish traps instead of nets but it will never happen. I can hear the squawks now. Environmentalists would be up in arms and those (citizen commercials) that were not allowed to use traps would be screaming at the top of their lungs. And of course the sporties would surely find something wrong with them.
  9. Pleade don't take this the wrong way. But it doesn't make any difference what you or I think it was intended to mean. The case the judge used to back up BOLDT stated something to similar to...

    It doesn't matter how the original agreement was written, It matters how the original agreement was interpreted by the tribes. Honestly, I don't have the time or enough giveashit to look up the exact wording but basically since whitey was very good at wording agreements to essentially rip off the oft uneducated tribes, espically the ones with little grasp of the english language, that all of the agreements default to "What the tribes thought the agreement said".

    Actually, If I was a tribal member whos ancestors had an agreement with "The Man" I would go to court and state "My great great great grandfather told me he thought the agreement actually stated that the US government promised daily delivery of swimsuit models and beer in exchange for 10000 acres of swampland. :rofl:
  10. Actually something quite close did happen 20 or so years ago. Several tribes in the midwest and east banded together and sued the US for what amounted to about $16 billion in historic treaty compensation that was never paid, plus interest. Without looking up the details right now, my oft-faulty memory recalls that they won in lower court but lost in a government appeal last summer which cut their award to something like $500 million, barely enough to cover a couple decades of legal costs. Who says the system isn't still rigged?

  11. Excuse me? :confused:
  12. Just a classic example of a real red herring - nothing personal intended!

  13. actually no one alive today knows 'the intent of the treaties'. it is quite interesting to learn that the oral history of many of the sub populations of indians has evaporated. i am not an anthropologist, but i suspect much of this was assimilation caused. what we have is a federal judge's interpretation. we should also remember that interpretation is only a single point of view from a single individual. 'in common with' actually does need another day in court.

    i would agree that when the first few thousand settlers arrived along the shores of puget sound, they had other things to consider than commercial fishing. but as time unwound, the potential for the bounty of that resource was not lost on them. hence, the treaties were created to displace the indians and open the resource to a new breed of settler who was interested in making bucks from fishing and in snapping up some primo property that was historically indian villages. keep in mind that indians were not citizens and so did not qualify for land grants. many of the indian families realized that in order to actually own property, they would have to assimilate or loose out. the tribe in my local area was one of those who choose to get involved with land grants. they were quite late in filing to become recognized as a tribe but also succeeded in doing just that. they also refused to be relocated to potlatch and choose, instead, to set up their farms and businesses in the area in which they grew up.

    i am very famaliar with the various theories of salmon wandering, think of the bell shaped curve here with the mid point being the natal eco system. those studies started in ernst in the 60's and have been elaborated upon ever since. of course in that time frame, the UofW fisheries folks were in the dark regarding migration and fish returns, '...too complicated they proclamed...'. it was an interesting time with light shined on the subject by 2 comparative psychologists from the university of WISCONSIN, kind of an embarassing moment for the fisheries program, to say the least. i have to say, i don't think they have gotten ahead of the knowledge curve to this day.

    hood canal was a central focus in the salmon wars of the 80's it was indian vs non-indian to see who could catch the most fish. one group or the other wiped out all the last of the wild fish in the canal. what you find there today are a very few wandering fish + the huge dog salmon hatchery harvest for the total benefit of the indians. the canal does not represent a 'crash' of fish in an eco system as the tootle did, it is an example of overfished to extinction.
  14. Ah I get it.

    It was so out there that I figured something was up.

    Thanks for correcting my misuse of the phrase.
  15. Glad you didn't take offense Jason - we're all on the same page here!

  16. Just out of curiousity, what is the penalty for cutting/removing a net?

    I'm in no way an advocate of it but I'm sure it happens.

    Also, in MI we fished the Great Lakes and every so often would run across abandoned gill nets left by the that a problem in the PNW as well?
  17. It depends who catches the person cutting/removing it.

    Abandoned gear is a major problem in the PNW as it is everywhere commercial fishermen have historically been.
  18. No one, in thier right mind would drift a gill net through a riffle I'd like to swing a fly through. You would hang up and rip the lead line right off the net.
    I've live in Bellingham all my 52 years, and fished for most of them,I've never witnessed any of that. This kind of retoric is counter productive, and fans the flames of resentment!
  19. You are absolutely right. They don't dredge up high in the river. The dredging is lower down. Up high they place their nets right on the slow side of seams and pound rebar into the river to anchor it or attach it to trees. It is often in very secluded areas and you may not notice it until you are right on top of it. They do this to hide it from fisherman who would cut it.

    Last year I was fishing the Picnic Table Hole at Eagle Park for a couple hours and lost some flies on a snag. I crossed the river and walked up and low and behold there was a sneaky net fishing just under the riffles, suspended under the surface.

    The guys that fish the rivers with nets aren't idiots. Their nets are expensive. They know how to rig them so you don't notice. They also know how to fish them at night when nobody is around and they also know that it is probably better to fish stretches that are closed to sports angling.

    If you haven't seen any of that in all your 52 years than you need to pay attention.

    I keep hearing these words: resentment, selfish, et cetera.

    What the hell is wrong with you guys?

    You think all some of us care about is hating on Indians and catching more meat for the freezer? This is a fly fishing site for God's sakes. We care about the fish's survival and cherish every one we catch.

    You guys are the ones on your duffs talking about how it is all peachy is what it sounds like to me.

    Go down to the red barn in the bird hunting place by Marieta. Walk the dike up and down the river and watch the Indians fish......go see for yourself! Like I said, higher in the system you will have to look closer to see the nets.
  20. I'm thinking the same thing here too Jason...
    I'm back in late...almost regretting dropping back in.

    clearly, we are not as well organized as the tribal and nontribal netters....and a single unified message doesn't seem to be here. No wonder sport fishermen are PAYING FOR the fish, and others are CATCHING them.

    to an old point-the treaties were negotiated in the Chinook trading language, which consists of only three hundred words. Let's say nuance was not a factor. I'm not a starry eyed dope, I just posed a hypothetical. What if the treaty had to be negotiated today, knowing what we know now?

    Chris J, as far as getting swept...It happens to me frequently. :mad: when the sled will come around the corner, damn near run over my spey line, and drop a net in to sweep the hole I'm standing in. The piles of gutted chum hens in the woods add a certain ambiance to the experience, as do the piles of unspawned bucks on the beaches at other spots.

    ...and I'm out there in my fancy waders with a fishing outfit you could trade for a used car, waving a string tied to a cat, I'll guess I'm not exactly the taker in this scenario. Yes, I have a personal interest as an outdoorsman. But uppermost in my mind are steelhead, the spirit of the Northwest, and salmon, the basis of the entire ecosystem, being wiped out for short-term profit so some guy can buy his kid a wii.

    Hey, nothing against the tribes and their fishing rights, but some of the stuff I've seen is irresponsible and wrong no matter who's doing it. There has to be some accommodations made, and I don't think giving up flyfishing for steelhead will do anything but give me an excuse to feel like a little disempowered victim, and I don't wear that well.

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