WDFW Announces Puget Sound river closures for 2012

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

  1. Brazda Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge

    Posts: 428
    Ellensburg, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    All the same regurgitation we got for the last twenty years from the WDFW pointing the finger at nothing repairable, politics as usual. THe same thing they shove down our throat at those public meetings.
    With respect to your personal conviction and extensive volunteering of wdfw facts Curt I know you have the handbook down to a T and are very knowledgable on the DATA but that DATA has NOT gotten us any where but CLOSED FISHERIES.

    I have plenty of associates in all agencies of management and the real facts of the matter are not public!
    The public wishes are not always the same as the WDFW claims,, there have been plenty of managment decisions based on internal desires.
    No way will I even begin to throw those under the bus here.

    As for the mirror to look in,, we are,,, thats why we actively pusue better fishing with volunteering and MONEY directly to the resource. The Mirror is plainly in use as there are thousands of active participaters in fishery recovery on the PRIVATE side, more so here in the NW than nearly any other states in the union. I would bet that from the users on this very site there are Millions of dollars donated and volunteered towards Steelhead fishing alone. And you want to say its THERE fault for not looking in the Mirror.

    Those meeting on rule changes and decision process all turn into excuse factories of why WDFW does what it does and the changes that get made usually only FIT for the dept. and there budget process of what to cut cost wise. CO MANAGEMENT is a huge factor as well but there again UN REPAIRABLE excuses..I personally went to dozens of those if you stand up for an idea they shut you up with BS DATA and if you sit and listen its politics as usual. I quite going ten years ago and gave my gas money and time to private clubs and parties, all supported here on this site. To date in the last ten years I know its over 20K and growing.

    Curt with all due respect the facts of the matter are clear, politics wont fix it. Its time to get a grip on the PUBLIC policy and use what ever means Washington state has to reair this situation gone awry.

    Here is a question for you, Is there anything in the works of utilizing the smolt capture and pit tag process on the puget sound rivers in question to see exactly where the steelhead are suffering high mortality? Expensive but simple, let the DATA point the finger!
  2. Ryan Higgins Active Member

    Posts: 303
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    No amount of angler management is going to restore runs that were destroyed by habitat alterations and loss. You can CnR every single fish, but without the habitat and recruitment of fish at sea, nothing will change. We need a better understanding of why the recruitment is so low from the sea to properly manage that, as well as habitat restoration and reclamation.
  3. Brazda Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge

    Posts: 428
    Ellensburg, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  4. Brazda Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge

    Posts: 428
    Ellensburg, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Been a few years since I looked at this kind of DATA (not a hatchery rack angler so never followed) allways gets me thinking though...One thing I have allways been SCEPTICAL of was aqua culture,,,well what do we know that has begun in early 90's in puget sound and BC.........FISH FARMS! Disease ridden fish farms.
  5. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,831
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +707 / 0
    Brazda -
    I agree we desperately need changes in public policy for not only steelhead but our other salmonids - for the fish, the fisheries they support and the habitats that they require. Unfortunately the best course for potentail change requires people getting involved If folks become pain in the rear for the decision makers with well supported arguements there may be a chance. If we insist on shooting from the hip we will continue to see the status quo.

    Regarding your question -

    "Is there anything in the works of utilizing the smolt capture and pit tag process on the puget sound rivers in question to see exactly where the steelhead are suffering high mortalit..."

    To my knowledge that type of work with steelhead smolts (hatchery and wild) has been done on Hood Canal, South Puget Sound, Green river and Skagit river. To summarize what was found was thaqt approximate 1/2 or more of the smolts were not detected at the mid-strait's reciever array. Unfortuantely it is unknown whether that lost is an increase or how much of an interest from historic levels. What was of concern to me was the length of time it took the smolts to get that far.

    Regarding Puget Sound "Fish Farms" - this year is the start of the 5th decade of commercial net pen operations in Puget Sound. By the mid-1970s the industry was producing 350 metric tons of product.

    Tight lines
    Curt
  6. Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Posts: 1,792
    Bellingham Wa.
    Ratings: +316 / 1
    You hit the nail on the head Curt, fact based arguments with data to back them up is what is going to work. Pick a river and learn all you can about it, talk to the bio's and managers. It's a long row to hoe, but what are the alternatives?
  7. Brazda Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge

    Posts: 428
    Ellensburg, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I know the tribes had net pen going in South sound many years before North Sound,, same as the loss of steelhead runs the south sound was lost first. I don't think that trusting that kind of industry will ever be GOOD for fish runs. Too much money in the pot both on the political side and private side to trust with a now endagered species. With the proven history on fish farming EVERYWHERE else in the world why would we disreguard the posability and potential for the same outcome. Just because it has been done for fifty years does not mean it is done safely and correctly now, just with all business they look for better profits, cutting costs could be there answer and that could be poisoning the sound!
    The pit tagging prior to recent years was way under utilized, I realize its been around for quite some time but tagging 1 in a 100 does not do so much for data collection.
    Pit tagging has gone high tech now they can place a bouy with a reader anywhere and follow those smolt the entire way. They can even find dead fish via the portable tag readers as they did off Vacouvwer Island with Columbia river spring chinook. Washington has in no way exhausted the use of this technology recently developed they just need to do it,,,,or are they afraid of the results! like dead fry in the sound from polution, disease or what ever. This needs to be found out then action can be taken to remedy even if it takes high tech Hatchery solutions as on the upper columbia. All these closures is just staying off the inevitable, Feds taking over and who knows what they may find.

    Once all wild fish are lost then where will any hatchery brood stock come from should that be the only solution.
  8. Chris Bellows The Thought Train

    Posts: 1,683
    The Salt
    Ratings: +829 / 0
  9. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,308
    bellingham wa
    Ratings: +554 / 0
    Spot on.

    Go Sox,
    cds
  10. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,751
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,776 / 0
    Great thread with some interesting information. What it all boils down to for me is fishermen and/or catch & release rules are not what is causing the decline of our steelhead. Yet, we are the ones targeted by the managers. Closing the rivers to fishing may make sense but I feel the closures are used as a diversion to not focus on the real problems. The managers can point to the closures and report they are doing everything they can to protect these fish when in reality nothing is being done.
  11. Brazda Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge

    Posts: 428
    Ellensburg, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Exactly,,,Ironic aint it!
  12. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,359
    .
    Ratings: +1,208 / 0
    Curt, thanks for the perspective. It is refreshing to hear some of the good for a change. When first I attended meetings of one of the volunteer WDFW Advisory Groups I serve on, I was shocked by the amount of opposion WDFW gets from other anglers when sound, prudent management interfers with those anglers 'having it their way'. It is dis-heartening to see dedicated people, people passionate about protecting resources get repeatedly shit on, yelled at and demeaned when their careful scientific-based proposals aren't to the liking of (fill in the blank) interest group. Something as simple as trying to limit the use of treble hooks on the Columbia during ESA-listed Chinook and Steelhead migration led to near revolt by user groups way bigger and more powerful than fly fishers. Truthfully, even though everyone loves to hate on WDFW, I sometimes don't know how they keep their employees motivated to keep trying day in and day out; clearly many of them do it for the love of the resource not for the pats on the back. By law, they have been tasked with contradictory objectives, yet they are required to try meet all of them, an excerise in insanity if you ask me. Brazda, you are right about one thing - Public Policy changes are needed, espcially many of the idiotic laws that govern how WDFW is required to operate.
  13. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,751
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,776 / 0
  14. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,126
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +787 / 1
    Kerry,
    Interesting read and sadly true. Perhaps most telling is one of the last statements;

    "Public agencies are organized to serve the narrow interests of their constituents rather than maintain the productivity and benefits of natural resources they are charged with protecting for the public good".

    I got to wondering how this thread might weave if hatchery steelhead, like or maybe even more than wild ones, took to swung flies with reckless abandon....:hmmm:
  15. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,751
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,776 / 0
    They don't so it doesn't matter.
  16. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,126
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +787 / 1
    Oh I suspect it might if they did.
  17. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,751
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,776 / 0
    They don't so it doesn't matter.
  18. Ryan Higgins Active Member

    Posts: 303
    East Wenatchee, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    Saying it doesnt matter turns a blind eye to the issue hes bringing up. It provides a perspective that is not applicable to you, but might be to another user group with a different opinion than yours.
  19. Jonathan Tachell Active Member

    Posts: 799
    Gig Harbor, Washington
    Ratings: +187 / 0
    I think what freestone angler is saying is that there would be less hatchery steelhead bashing on this particular board if they were more prone to grabbing a swung fly. Keep in mind that other methods of fishing can be quite productive when it comes to catching these terrible hatchery fish that currently provide the only viable fishery in most streams. Also keep in mind that fly fisherman are the minority when it comes to the angling community and I know plenty of guys that enjoy catching hatchery fish that provide a fishery that would otherwise not exist nor could ever exist again without hatchery fish.

    For the record I fly fish and gear fish and have friends that do both. Most of them enjoy catching a fish from time to time, my self included. Just standing in a fishless river casting all day with very little hope of actually hooking something is not my idea of fun, especially when I am paying for a fishing licensce, discovery pass and thousands of dollars on gear and gas. I would rather fish for hatchery fish than no fish. Or have the rivers closed all together while still being charged for a fishing license.
  20. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,126
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +787 / 1
    Kerry knows full well it would matter, but cannot bring himself to say so because it upsets the agenda.