WDFW Announces Puget Sound river closures for 2012

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Wild Steelhead Coalition, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    This same headline was posted in the 70's, 80's, 90's...

    [QUOTE/] These rivers, which all have hatcheries, are closed. What about this reality is so difficult to understand?[/QUOTE]

    Just stop clipping the hatchery fish and everything will be restored to normal :rolleyes:

    Look, I too would love to believe we could click our wading boots and make everything right that has been thrashed by a cadre of reasons I (and others) have already mentioned. This may sound really selfish, but I like to fish; for trout, steelhead, and salmon. And, to be frank, it soon becomes a boring activity w/o some reasonable level of fish population. If we end hatcheries, we will for all practical argument end the reasonable opportunity to catch the quarry we seek; at least in our lifetimes. It's naive to think we can return things to the way "they were" by simply closing hatcheries.

    God willing, I have maybe 20-25 seasons left where I'll either be here in physical form to fish or in physical shape to do so. I'm not up for standing in fish less rivers during that time. I'll buy into the hatchery closure when I see closure of tribal and commercial fishing for these stocks being done concurrently -- which, sorry to say, isn't likely to happen.
     
  2. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

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    We have to. It's the end of the world as we know it. Not unexpected though and that is why I didn't take time off this month. February is always a good time to fish the shit out of Trigg's rivers. I'll text you my days off this month. Let me know.
     
  3. Jonathan Tachell

    Jonathan Tachell Active Member

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    I agree with freestoneangler it gets really old going out fishing and not even having a decent chance at catching a fish, because there are none! I am in favor of bringing back the high hatchery production of years past in rivers that have very little or no wild return so at least people can go out and enjoy the sport of fishing and actually be succesful from time to time. My #1 passion is fishing for king salmon in the Tacoma area, I grew up doing that with my father. I used to fish 3 to 5 times a week in the summer and 2 times a week in the winter. I think last year I put in maybe 15 days for kings. Just for the simple reason that I was wasting my time and money fishing for fish that are not there. It makes me terribly sad to see the shape that our fisheries are in but unfortunately hatcheries are the only way to keep the sport alive, especially in the Puget Sound area and trust me it dies more and more every year. I know a lot of guys who have sold there boats and gear and given it up and to be honest with you I am not far from it myself.
     
  4. FT

    FT Active Member

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    ak powder monkey,

    How does having catch & release imply there is a harvestable surplus in the river?

    Also, since it is well-known the anadromous fish populations in the PNW fluctuate from years of relatively high abundance to years of relatively low abundance, correslated somewhat with El Nino and La Nina, why must we always assume that the low abundance years mean the fish are in trouble of extinction so all fishing, including catch & release should be curtailed, and in high abundance years assume there are more than enough fish to be caught with many getting bonked with no detriment to the run?
     
  5. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

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    Stocking the hell out of a bunch of these rivers with hatchery fish is never going to happen as long as the Endangered Species Act is around in its current form. So all you zombie lovers better get used to it. Go ahead and sell your boats and gear. (sheesh, whatever shred of hope I have of the fly angling community being half way enlightened is further frayed by threads like this.)
     
  6. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    most studies put C&R fishing for steelhead at a 5% mortality rate... So when regulating fisheries its assumed that 5% of the fish caught are going to die, that is your harvestable surplus.
     
  7. Chris DeLeone

    Chris DeLeone Active Member

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    I'm not sure why this is so hard for people to understand. Hatcheries don't work. Every one of the listed closed rivers has a hatchery on it. There is absolutely zero correlation between hatcheries and open rivers to fish. But, there is a direct correlation, scientifically proven, between hatcheries and closed rivers.

    Hatcheries = closed rivers. It's right there in front of us. How could any sane person argue otherwise?

    You are watching the end of fishing now and in the future. These rivers, which all have hatcheries, are closed. What about this reality is so difficult to understand?

    So Nail - Please tell me how people are fishing the Sandy this season? Hatchery run and a depressed
    native run that is well under some of the PS systems, ESA listed and still anglers are able to CnR and fish through, what Juns/July??

    I would say that the hatchery on he Sandy is a direct correlation of having a hatchery and an open river - while I don't support hatcheries on all rivers this example is important. Since u live there - its more of a question?
    Thanks Chirs
     
  8. Checkthisout

    Checkthisout Member

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    Systems with Hatcheries also tend to have a lot of development or some type of impoundment that the hatchery was installed to mitigate in the first place.

    OP rivers also have hatcheries yet no closures.

    I think what you are finally seeing is what logging, rip-wrapping and overfishing have done to the species.

    It just takes this long before you really start to see the negative impacts of those activities. Each little hit over the years takes away a little bit more.

    Elwell is a good example. That stream used to be fairly pristine but one blowout over 12 years ago completely killed that stream. All the holding water filled in which sped up streamflow which means less little creatures, less small gravels (that aren't constantly shifting).

    An example of a piece of water relatively unimpacted by logging (simply because it has a large swamp to help average flows) is Griffin Creek.
     
  9. Checkthisout

    Checkthisout Member

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    Try Sea-Run cut throat fishing. These tend to spawn before the floods come through and destroy their nests. They also tend to spawn in protected sidewaters. They also are not subject to ocean conditions that seem to so greatly effect fishing for other species.

    Native steelies may make a minor comeback as Ocean conditions improve in favor of anadramous fish but not to fishable levels.
     
  10. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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  11. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    I understand that many folks here are anti hatchery and want to see the end of releasing them. However using this list of PS river closures to make your case is a huge reach. Of course every river on the "list" has a hatchery on it. Under currernt WDFW policies and NMFS ESA guidelines if the river did not have hatchery steelhead retruning to them they were all ready closed - no need for an emergency closure as we aren't fishing.

    Examples of PS rivers without returning hatchery steelhead that were all ready closed but hsitorically supported winer steelhead fisheries include included the Samish, Nisqually, Cedar, Skokomish, Hamma Hamma, Dosewallips, and Duckabush. With the exception of the Samish the status of the winter steelhead on the rest of the those streams is at least as depressed as those on the "list". More to the point the steelhead populations on the north half of the Salish seas (BC) are doing as poorly the PS populations and most of them are also without hatchery fish.

    I mentioned the Samish which is an interesting exception to what is going on with PS steelhead that begs for more study. While returns to the Samish have been up and down over this period of low PS steelhead survival its wild steelhead escapement goal has been met a number of times and the average escapement for the period is near the goal. This even though until the last couple years there were hatchery steelhead returning. BTW last year its escapement exceeded the goal by 1/3 and it is likely it will do so again this year. Is anyone fishing? - No; there aren't any hatchery fish.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  12. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Checkthisout -- Good point about the effects of what happened to rivers in Puget Sound just taking more years to reach the OP and rivers not smack in the middle of 3 million people.
     
  13. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Topwater & Omykiss - I take it you would both be OK with simply casting for steelhead/salmon or not fishing for them at all?
     
  14. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

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    Isn't that what steelhead fishing is, casting and not catching?
     
  15. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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  16. Dan Page

    Dan Page Active Member

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    deleted--
     
  17. skyrise

    skyrise Active Member

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    Smalma, good point on hatchery vs no fishing at ALL. thanks for the info on the Samish. very interesting that some small streams like that can be doing well at the same time the big river to the north of it with hundreds of miles of river, side streams and creeks is not getting any better.
    and why isnt the Sauk much better with Salmon? with all the miles and miles of good spawning water it seems that salmon runs just never have been very good for a long time.
    is it the nets?
     
  18. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

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    Hey Curt,
    Glad to see you in on this thread. Several years ago you stated that Steelhead and Salmon returns cycle up and down where as Steelhead might be up then Salmon later on. Did that ever happen because my direct experience on the rivers tells me they all have been just fizzling out since then? The Samish is interesting. Do those fish return via the straight or inland channel? The OP fish, do they return via open water too? Are the water temps in their feeding grounds causing fish to swim farther north? Can you give me any guidence here on what's going on or am I making this too complex? Is it just that simple that any of the rivers close to Seattle are going to die out? S river actually stands for (S)eattle and it was the kiss of death? Cheer me up Curt, please.
     
  19. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Those of use who believe that hatcheries may be a large part of the problems realize that in-river impacts (at least at smolt stage) are low. Puget sound interactions are unknown. The point that rivers without hatcheries are doing as poorly as those with have nothing to do with PS interaction issues. Hatchery effects may also take place in the sound. Skagit hatchery fish can have a negative impact on Green River wild fish in the PS. Especially since the Hatch fish spend 2X the amount of time the wild fish do in the PS. They are also released to smolt at the same exact time the wild fish are leavin the Skagit. Of course we don't know what's going on in PS, but if we are gonna be conservative in our approach (Ie. 10% C&R mortality) then let's be conservative.



    Regarding the Samish: As I see it 3 things need to be looked at.
    1.) How many Samish Fish are Skagit strays?
    2.) Do the fish smolt at the same time as the Skagit wild/hatch fish?
    3.) Do they travel in a different manner than the Skagit fish?

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  20. Wild Steelhead Coalition

    Wild Steelhead Coalition wild steelhead for the future

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    Great discussion, everyone. So quick question, though: how many of you either...

    1. attended the WDFW's Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on Saturday to testify on behalf of the Sport Fishing Rules Proposal for 2012-13

    OR

    2. submitted requested comments on the Rules Proposal to WDFW ?
     

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