Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by miyawaki, Feb 19, 2014.
Yup, for sure. In the corporate world, we call it Business Ethics and Conflict of Interest.
it is not about disagreeing, but about the blog post being factually wrong when attacking the motives of other anglers. facts are facts, and his version of what happened with the hoh summer closure and the motives of those who were against it are just flat out wrong.
This thread desperately needs data. A quick internet search brought up some WDFW escapement data. I am real curious if we have any run size data for OP stream as I feel that it would be more telling. Anyhow, here is what I got.
Who is showing business ethics and who are the conflict of interest?
I admire Bob for acting on his beliefs. He obviously feels the need to live in his own truth, and I applaud him for that. As someone who makes his living guiding, this is even more impressive. Other fly guides (like Steve Buckner) have also chosen to stop guiding for wild OP Steelhead because of their declining #s.
Most hardcore Steelheaders I know think they understand what is and isn't important in wild steelhead recovery. Some will argue that getting rid of hatchery fish is important. Others cite fishing pressures (which have undeniably increased) as significant. Others like to blame the tribes and the Boldt decision for the decline of wild steelhead. I think all of us agree that loss of habitat is a serious concern. None of us know much about the saltwater variables and their impact on run size.
What's harder to separate is the health of the fishery vs the health of the fishing. Someone called this out earlier in the thread, and Topwater Chris agreed that many of us (myself included) no longer fish the Olympic Peninsula rivers because of the declining health of the fishing. I could say that I stopped because of the fish, but the truth is that I stopped because I no longer enjoyed jockeying with both the tribal and sport anglers that crowd the river during peak times.
I can truly say that I'd rather cut the hookpoints off my flies and just get a grab and run out of the fish if I could do so without the crowds.
So Bravo to Bob for doing what he thinks is important to help the Wild Steelhead. We each need to do the same, to live up to what WE believe is important. It's abundantly clear we'll never get everyone else to agree with us, and condemning them for their actions just serves to further fracture our fishing community that should be standing together on the issues we agree on.
This is an interesting read. I don't have enough knowledge to know if Bob or anyone else is write or wrong, but I do find Bob's stance thought provoking. It makes me wonder what his driving force was for moving to the OP in the first place (maybe he didn't move there, but his editorial infers that he did either 13 or 33 years ago). Was it to guide the OP? Based on the numbers being put up on this thread, it appears as though the runs have been low since before he moved to the OP, even if it was the 33 years ago.
I love to fly fish and surf and I don't enjoy either nearly as much in a crowd. I find that a lot of people that enjoy doing the same activities feel generally the same way. So I've always thought it an odd situation when someone makes a living promoting such an activity, which in turn helps bring attention and more participants to that activity and/or place. I mean, I definitely get some of the reasons for doing it, but at the same time you have got to realize those actions help diminish the activity. Funny, I meet someone and I find out they share a similar passion for fishing or surfing and I enjoy it. We chat, feel a connection, you leave thinking that guy is pretty cool. But if I'm out on a river or a break and someone shows up where I'm at, I think "dammit" and do everything I can to hold back the stink eye and be cordial.
Just thinking out loud.
I think everybody is actually a little bit correct here, we are all to blame, somewhat.
While I believe Bob when he says that it is the numbers of fish that motivated his decision to quit guiding OP steelhead, my guess is that the guiding experience (or fishing experience as many of you have described) has worsened since the closure of the PS rivers, and was a big part of his decision to quit. Fighting for spots on crowded rivers to beat up on a diminishing (or at least diminished) resource is not my idea of fun. I did it in Bristol Bay on the Moraine Ck, Battle River, and Kulik Rivers for 7 years, and even though I know we were impacting the fish in only a very minimal way (I personally got to the point where I could recognize fish we had caught earlier in the week and so did many of my coworkers so I know they were surviving C&R), racing out of a float plane to beat another group to a fishing spot was the antithesis of why I fish and guide. Targeting fish that have been caught so many times that their mouths were scarred within ear shot of another guide trying to put his clients onto the fish I caught 2 hours ago was awful, and my least favorite part of the best job I ever had.
Logging has no doubt had a role in fine sediment deposit which reduces viability of eggs within a redd.
I would be very surprised if cyclical ocean conditions (or pollution perhaps) were not contributing to depressed numbers.
I don't know any hard data that shows how many Hoh/Queets/etc natives are actually retained by sports anglers (although I am sure it exists somewhere), but I imagine it to be around 70-80 fish or so a season maybe? Just a guess, and while that is a very small figure compared to the thousands which end up in tribal nets, when your spawning escapement is only ~1800 fish, those 70-80 fish are important.
I think that if the tribe made a distinction between wild and hatchery fish that would be amazing. I think that the introduction of weirs instead of gill nets would be fantastic. Weirs were the traditional method of fishing (believe it or not, nylon gill nets aren't). But I don't think that we have any traction in asking favors of the tribe when we can't even hold up our end of the bargain. If I were a member of any of the tribes I would be inclined to tell the sporties to go F' themselves, because the tribes have a historical, and also legal right to those fish, regardless of how much they mean to sportsmen, guides, the town of forks, etc...
Fundamentally, we are an angling forum, and while we may constitute the smallest portion to the decline of steelhead, we are also the only portion we can control. Let's start by giving up on any wild steelhead harvest of any kind so that those "surplus" fish can begin to reseed the river. Let's make selective gear a priority on every section of every OP stream (meaning single barbless hooks, no matter what gear you throw). Let's make simple changes that are easily within our grasp, and use that as a way of showing our commitment to the state, the national park, and maybe down the road even the tribes, that we are willing to do our part to preserve these incredible fish.
Great suggestion, Steve, and it looks like this thread has come full circle as this is exactly what Bob has done - a simple change within his grasp. I give Bob kudos for having the courage of conviction to walk his talk! When one earns their living as a full-time guide and walks away from a significant part of that income, it is no small matter and I am sure it was a gut-wrenching (and scary) decision for Bob to make. Many of us talk about doing something but in addition to his volunteer conservation work, Bob is leading by example and making a sacrifice that many of us may not have the fortitude to make.
I think I may just have to book a Searun Cutt trip with Bob to support his efforts and to help make his steelhead decision a little less impactful to his budget.
Don't get me wrong, I love Bob, & I have fished with him before, and I think it is really a sad indication when a guy like that decides to give it up, but like you said, he's not happy with the state of the fishery, and we shouldn't be either-let's do something about it.
By choosing not to fish for them, some of us have done just that. While that alone will not fix the problem, it does not add to it.