Article WDFW Proposal #15 A Fighting Chance For Washington's Greatest Native Trout Fishery

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Steve Bird, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Just a point of reference in regards to Columbia river smallmouth... They were not illegally introduced.
  2. Done. Option 4 for me. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Steve.
    Steve Bird likes this.
  3. Option 4. Done.
  4. Thanks for bringing this to everyones attention Steve. This is sort of a back to the top post so more people will have a chance to read and comment to WDFW.

    PS, there's a pretty neat little book out there that I coincidentally just ran across and picked up last week and I'm enjoying it a lot, called "Upper Columbia Flyfisher". For whatever reason I'd never seen it before and the bookstore in Port Townsend had a good supply of them. Well worth reading, and I have no commercial or personal connection.

    Thanks for your efforts Steve.
    Steve Bird likes this.
  5. Done. Thanks for the headsup. On a similar note, remember a few years back when several ethically challenged guides were red-raping the hell out of the spawning redbands? When several concerned people in the flyfishing community started a petition to stop the insanity, it sparked a mini war with many locals and the offending guides. The outfitter actually had the audacity to defend these practices, even though overnight the pictures plastered all over his website (depicting huge native bows being pulled off their reds and dropping eggs) disappeared. Luckily we won that battle, and those crucial tributaries were closed down during the main spawning season. (The red-raper is a site sponser, so I won't name names.)
    P-FITZ98 and Steve Bird like this.
  6. Thanks for leaving a comment with WDFW. On the other note: I am well aware of the situation you mention, & can tell you that there was no local mini war. The guides you mention were not robbing redds, but fishing near the creek mouths, which was legal for them at the time. They were fly fishing (from boats, in the mainstem) & releasing their catch; meanwhile bait fishing smoker fillers lined the banks killing limits. The closest thing to a 'war' I know of regarding that situation was when a guide-hating & overzealous soul attacked one of the guides at the boat ramp, & then the same guy, again, attacked the guide while he was giving a presentation at a show. And, sadly, though there is now an area closure of the mainstem at the creek mouths, those creeks are still open to fishing during the general season (during the spawn) & bait fishers are still walking out with 5-fish stringers of steelhead sized spawners. I certainly wish those who worked to get the creek mouth closures in effect would join in & help us get those creeks closed or under special regs, which, btw, that sponser guide you mention is diligently trying to do. There's always more to a story than most know.
  7. ;-)
    Bert likes this.
  8. Steve, Would you class the guide actions of fishing spawners at creek mouths ethical? There's a difference between what's legal and what's ethical. It's been in some of the hot discussions on WFF over the years.

    Also, I had a one day license to fish Rufus Woods last winter. I thought it said I could fish the Columbia but the streams running into the Columbia were closed. I must have missed something as it appears some are open. What's the difference and what didn't I read correctly. I'll probably be back up in 2013 (provided the Mayans were wrong) as I'd like to try Triploidjunkie's fishing methods again.
  9. Done. Option 4.
    Steve Bird likes this.
  10. In the case of the UC, those fish at creek mouths are, more precisely, pre-spawn fish. That said, if you fish anywhere in trout country during winter, you are fishing for pre-spawn fish, regardless the location (unless a put & take pond). And then, one might expand to say that we are always catching potential spawners. What metric would you use to define 'ethics'? In any case, not being the arbitor of ethical, & not knowing the nuances involved, I cannot pass judgement on any individual example. I've found ethics to be fairly transitory & ephemeral in nature. I confess there was a time, in my youth, when I was a killin mofo. I'd happily kill my limit any time I could - & I did it often. It was the times. That was what we did & I didn't know any better. That was a long time ago. Hope nobody will judge me by that now. As I became informed my ethics changed. As I become more informed, my ethics change more.

    Rufus Woods is a little out of my territory so I'm not familiar with the regs governing all of its tribs. I do know that most of the Columbia tribs up this way fall under the general season regs, hence the winter closures.

  11. Your own article contradicts this suggestion "Predation studies indicated walleye and smallmouth bass consumed fewer smolts as they got older (Beamesderfer 2000; Beamesderfer and Ward 1994; Zimmerman 1999). Most smolts were eaten by walleye smaller than those typically caught by anglers, so angler bounties on these fish would provide little benefit to the salmon survival." No limits will hardly increase the catch of smaller fish, it will increase the amount of medium size to larger adults caught for food. A slot limit promoting take of smaller fish and leaving larger fish would be most beneficial in my opinion. The state has seen excellent results with this strategy when used with bass. The population of smaller fish is kept suppressed, freeing up resources for the rest of the ecosystem, while larger trophy adults are left in the ecosystem. Generally the state allows for the taking of one trophy fish per day. I went with #3.
  12. I think the idea is the the larger (older) walleye are the main spawners. So if we can get rid of the big spawners, then hopefully the juvenile populations will reduce over the next few years. Might be wise for someone to explain the different options and why they are proponents for #4.
    Steve Bird and triploidjunkie like this.
  13. Per the department of agriculture in Wyoming, the general length of sexually mature walleye is 30cm, or 11.8". At 11.8" this fish should be 4 years old. The most abundant sexually mature age bracket is going to be the main group of spawners. The amount of large fish 22"+ is significantly less than fish in the 10-14" range. You need to get rid of the largest group of sexually mature fish to impact spawning, not a few large individuals with high concentrations of eggs.

    Per this report,
    the majority of Walleye caught in Roosevelt are age six or younger. It is the age 4-6 fish that are the most abundant spawners and need to be curbed. That is fish under 16". Also, egg production per pound has been shown to decrease as Walleye females age.
    Steve Bird likes this.
  14. Well Put...I know exactly who(red-raper) and I know who spearheaded the spring closure! Did it help? I would like to think so. Some giudes would like to line pockets with money rather than think about conservation.The walleye deal has been a problem brewing, but now with pike coming from the north,there is a bigger problem for the native trout.Option 4 for sure!
  15. Surprised how much push-back this seems to be getting; must be a lot of mid-Western transplants on this site. :) Why in the hell would anyone want these non-native species to continue to pollute these waters? If we could safely rotenone the entire UC to get rid of all of these invasive buggers while leaving the native trout, char and forage fish, I would have picked that option.;)
  16. I question the finding that alpine 4x4 highlighted above. Yes, small walleye are a threat because there are more of them & they do eat small natives -- & that biting habit I mentioned. Keep in mind that though I am a biologist (my ticket is in silvaculture) I am not a fisheries biologist so my perspective is anecdotal, yet I do spend about 150 days a year on the UC where I catch a lot of incidental walleye of all sizes. I always whack them, then fillet them & check stomach contents. And the only difference I've found between the smaller & larger models, is that the stomachs of the bigger ones are able to hold more & bigger trout. Bummer when you cut open a snakey, dishrag-fighting walleye of 18" & find four 4" redbands inside it. What I am observing on the water is what is moving me toward option #4. That said, my role here is not that of a scientist but rather a citizen propagandist for a cause, so my choice is partially strategic. In truth, I doubt that option #4 will be adopted, as it is just too politically hot. But experience has taught me that if you want to lever an inch from WDFW or any government agency, you must reach for a mile. My bet is that if we only went for option #3, we would end up with something weaker.
    jwg likes this.
  17. Hardly a more ass kicking fish that swims in fresh water. Trade that for Perch? Boggles my mind.
    Steve Bird likes this.
  18. I like option 4. Most the anglers are going to catch the little guys and perch fry em, the better walleye guys the bigger ones, with unavoidable incidental catches between both groups. The biggest problem I see is the hardcore walleye guys(and the river between here and Kettle Falls is chock full of them) letting the spawners go. They are as religious about it as most fly anglers are with native fish. I saw a pair of pros last year release seven walleye caught that day back into the the columbia, and every one of them was over ten pounds( I hate walleye, and even I was impressed). How many pounds of other fish do walleye of that size consume? I propose an option 5: like hatchery steel, a mandatory kill on all walleye caught in the Columbia system. You catch one, you kill it. Period. Impose a fine for releasing one, and put it in the realm of introducing an invasive species(which is pretty hefty). You get the breeders, the consumers, and everything in between. Just the Columbia and main tribs. Let walleye guys get their rocks off on Banks, Moses, and other systems not as directely effected. I like what they've been doing on the Sanpoil(as usual the colville tribe is ahead of the state by leaps and bounds), and I have killed my fair share of bass and walleye out of the trib that supports the largest run of redbands in the whole UC. We'll see what happens, though I predict our(flyfishermen) voices' being drowned out. I see the walleye turneys in these parts. They will have major support and financial backing. Maybe we should start a coalition to get our message the same respect?
    And Steve...... Sorry to open old wounds. I just remember it as a major victory when we got those creek mouthes shut down. And yes, they need to close those main spawining tribs in the summer too! Some of those fish don't realize they aren't summer runs. The main biologist for the area said it's of major importance. The locals(Northport) claimed that it would hurt tourism to close those creek mouths, the outfitters the same story. They claimed the were pre-spawners, and it wasn't an issue. But as an fanatical chaser or pre-spawn fish, I've never seen staging fish drop eggs and and jizz like that. Those fish were riiiipe. As of ethics, I guess thats debatable seeing as it was legally open(Thank god and Fenton Roskelly we changed that), but I define ethics as what common sense should dictate as right and wrong, not legal definitions.I saw the pics before they were removed, and anybody that makes a living off of a very limited resource should have known better in the first place, but to defend those actions was downright disgusting. As a mini-war, yes, it was real. If you brought up the vote at that time at any watering-hole in Northport, you had better be ready to go to the parking lot, though I didn't hear about the guide getting the beat-down(no, I swear it wasn't me). I wasn't just an observer from afar either, I lived at the time(and grew up) in very nearby Evans, and was firmly in Mr. Roskelley's camp.
  19. RE: Proposal #15, Red Raping, Ethics, Triploid Junkie

    This thread was called to my attention by a friend of mine and in response, I am the site sponsor you didn't want to name - Jack Mitchell of The Evening Hatch.
    The idea of raping reds is a sad notion. You know nothing about how we fish. In all fairness, your bash on us is a sad testament to your lack of knowledge and your willingness to throw caution to the wind.

    That being said, as Steve has pointed out, any fishing in the winter is for fish that are pre-spawn; whether you are on the Yakima during Skwala Season, the Hoh during steelhead migration, or on the Upper Columbia. FYI - I have seen spawning fish on the Upper Columbia from January until June in the main stem.

    Before we bash anymore re: the Upper Columbia, why don't we point our efforts to decreasing the limits on the Wild Rainbows of the Upper Columbia because as it stands right now.... An angler is able to catch and kill 2 Rainbow trout by stepping 1 foot over the boundaries that were set to protect the creek mouths. How crazy is this?

    In addition, the closure of these creek mouths are lifted on the Saturday before Memorial dayl Over the years I have seen many prime wild redband rainbow genetic stock 'downstreamers' get killed by non-releasing anglers because it is 'legal' and currently the limit on these creeks is 5! Again, how crazy is this.

    Kudos for Steve and his efforts. He is a gentleman, scholar and angler. As he has pointed out, we are continually trying to better the rules on behalf of the wild redbands. I am in constant contact with WDFW re: the Upper Columbia and in fact, donated quite a bit of time a few years back to help with a mini study re: the wild redbands. Regardless, more changes need to be made.

    1) Ideally the river would become catch and release. Currently, the limit is 2.
    2) The creeks and creek mouths are still subject to the pressure of catch and kill at a crucial time when the fish are down streaming and the limit is 5 in those creeks. This needs to change.

    Just a few thoughts. Enjoy the holidays and quit the bashing, it gets you nowhere.
    Richard Olmstead and Steve Bird like this.
  20. Truly appreciate your concern & help triploidjunkie. Our issue is almost getting as much attention as the Decorating A Man Cave post, so it might serve our purpose best to stay on topic & try not to alienate any potential help with side issues. Eyes on the prize. If you or anybody else would like to post & start a new thread on Ethics (very interesting topic) or anything else not exactly related to the OP here, I would be glad to throw in my two cents.

    And as far as ethics being common sense, I would argue that the Inquisitors considered themselves ethical men standing on common sense. Be careful. Somebody who doesn't fish at all might claim the ethical high ground asserting that piercing the lips of fish & fighting them to exhaustion for fun, is simply sadistic. Ethics are empirical, for the most part. And too often the refuge of the didactic.

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