WDFW Announces Puget Sound river closures for 2012

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

  1. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,765
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,785 / 0
    When I started fishing the Skagit River over 20 years ago I met people that were involved with issues dealing with steelhead and other fisheries. As time went on I started to get involved and I watched as many of the ones that were involved before me threw their hands up in disgust and walk away. I wondered just as you how could they just walk away like that. As more time went by I realized they gave up because they saw the challenges were insurmountable. Now, with steelhead all but gone from the Skagit and the likely hood that I will never be able to fish for them again I walk away disgusted with how the river and its steelhead runs have been destroyed. Too many issues and too many problems. We the people of Skagit Valley and the State of Washington will never be willing or able to make the changes that need to be made. Good luck.
  2. Checkthisout Member

    Posts: 75
    Redmond, Washington
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    I agree. The fish are not coming back. All closing the fishing will help is to make fisherman change hobbies sooner.

    Get a fuel-efficient vehicle and drive to the peninsula and be happy.

    BTW, how's the fishing on the Quinault with it's 8 hatcheries or whatever it has?
  3. Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

    Posts: 1,351
    Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +120 / 0
  4. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,858
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +52 / 1
    For how long? Shift pressure to the few remaining open streams until they are depleted?
  5. rrancourt23 Member

    Posts: 36
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Curious in that King5 Video are those fish actually biting? Or being hooked via other methods? Doesn't seem like a lot of water and it's moving pretty quick. I've never been to Tokul Creek but that water doesn't look really fishy for traditional fishing.
  6. Chris Bellows The Thought Train

    Posts: 1,711
    The Salt
    Ratings: +870 / 0
  7. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,317
    bellingham wa
    Ratings: +565 / 0
    Very well said.

    Go Sox,
  8. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,138
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +791 / 1
    Sorry you perceive my comments as an attack on WSC -- not my intent. But, there does seem to be a consistent theme in simply dismissing the points myself and others have made about the issue. Subscribing to the noble ideal "bring back wild steelhead" is admirable. Not many will argue that is what we'd all love to see -- the question is at what cost?

    However, like many similar situations where past policies and resource management (more like mis-management) has resulted in negative changes, over a very long time, it may not be reasonable to expect things can be returned to the "golden era".

    I still feel the tactics suggested will effectively end up eliminating the sport fisheries and do not agree with that.
  9. Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Posts: 2,145
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +515 / 1

    How much time have you spent on the river systems in discussion, targeting these special fish? Or did you develop your opinion from what you've read on the internet? Just curious.
  10. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,138
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +791 / 1
    Sean, nice off handed challenge to my cred. To answer your question, I have fished nearly every river in western WA; some certainly way more than others. Also, as an active TU member (more recently TU Life Member) for the past 25 years, and having served on the board of the now decommissioned King County Chapter of NW Salmon & Steelhead Council, I have spent considerable time working on efforts to improve river system habitat and wild steelhead & salmon recovery -- the Green River in particular.

    Ever been to Flaming Geyser State Park and the feeding ponds? -- I led the reconditioning of those and managed them for many years. Ever heard about the wild fish capture program, where fish are re-located above Howard Hansen Dam so they can use the watershed for natural rearing? -- I was on the team that help set that up. I also performed stream survey analysis and worked on fencing and culvert changes to Newaukum Creek for steelhead and salmon recovery.

    ...and you?
  11. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,765
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,785 / 0
    If we are to lose our wild steelhead which seems to be the case I feel it is salt to the wound to allow them to be replaced with hatchery raised drones. Do away with the hatcheries. They are a blight on our streams. If this eliminates a fishing opportunity or two so be it.
  12. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,138
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +791 / 1
    And if you eliminate the hatchery programs and the native stocks keep declining?
  13. Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Posts: 1,795
    Bellingham Wa.
    Ratings: +320 / 1
    Then we will do what ever we can to help wild fish repopulate our streams and rivers. The hatchery experiment is about 150 years old, and it hasn't worked, so why not try something else? It comes down to what you value, the fish or the fishing. Don't get me wrong, I love to catch steelhead more than any other fish, but the idea of losing them forever in my own back yard, is to me, far worse than closing the local rivers. If we can take care of the things we can control and let mother nature do the rest, we have a fighting chance. Some things are worth fighting for.

  14. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,366
    Ratings: +1,215 / 0
    iagree Well said Chris!
  15. Chris DeLeone Active Member

    Posts: 526
    Monroe, WA
    Ratings: +90 / 0

    Ok some help here in 1779 we had about the same number of wild Steelhead in the Skagit - over the next 20years (let me add the "good old days") we had great returns -

    Before 1979 what did our hatchery program look like?
    Was it much bigger, the same or much less than 2000?
    What was different from 2000 to 2004 - WOW would it be nice to just see 2004 numbers in her. Did we start to limit our hatchery production in 2000?
    From 1981 to 1991 did the CnR fishery limit spawing and the health of the run? That has to be asked - as much as hate to say it. If I remember my history the Skagit closed in Feb up until 1980/81 somewhere in there.

    Thanks to the WSC for posting that info on their new site - its a good new look.
  16. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,765
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,785 / 0
    Wild steelhead are all but gone now. I seriously doubt the people of this state will make the sacrifices needed to bring them back. What does this have to do with the continuation of hatcheries? Nothing in my opinion and it is not justification for them either. Hatcheries are a blight on our streams
  17. Jeff Sawyer Active Member

    Posts: 450
    Tacoma WA
    Ratings: +249 / 0
    Some things are worth fighting for, even if theres little chance of winning!
  18. Sean Beauchamp Hot and Heavy at yer 6

    Posts: 2,145
    Shoreline, WA, U.S.
    Ratings: +515 / 1
    Hatchery steelhead are a colossal waste of time, money and energy in the puget sound they create about 2 weeks of "good" fishing in terminal areas in a 12 month calendar year and with less than 1% surviving it takes thousands and thousands of smolts flooded into the system to yield results. All those doomed smolts compete with struggling wild stocks.

    Your credentials and words are quite conflicting.
  19. Lugan Joe Streamer

    Posts: 2,400
    Beautiful View, WA
    Ratings: +774 / 2
    Wait, I thought ocean conditions were the agreed upon (by fish bioligists) cause of the decline of PS steelhead stocks. Has that changed?
  20. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,765
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,785 / 0
    Ocean survival is one of the main culprits but you couple this with a much degraded river habitat and the fewer fish that survive the ocean are not enough to maintain the species viability. There were likely periods of poor ocean survival many times in the past but with a pristine river habitat the fewer fish that would survive the ocean were better able to maintain a viable population until the ocean conditions improved. This is no longer the case. You have to look at the entire life cycle of steelhead and all of the environments they encounter during that life cycle.