Wild Steelhead in the Pike Pl Fish Market?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by MarkM, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. gt

    gt Active Member

    wild steelhead are NOT a sustainable resource. all one has to do is check out the rivers of hood canal to understand what happened after boldt. the indian circus moved in and totally raped the resource to the point that many of those rivers are now devoid of anadramous fish.

    i have to agree with the 'thinking' of the locals on the west end, they are clueless regarding resource management. so while the tribes are empowered to kill the last wild fish, we also have an obligation to let others know that is going on.

    a local restaurant here in sequim was featuring wild steelhead on the menu. i had a quiet chat with the chef/owner. he was not aware of the situation which exists with the killing of these wild fish. he stopped buying from his indian supplier.

    one small victory for those wild fish. but it takes all of those who are concerned to raise the information bar and let people in on the secret that wild fish are going extinct, in large part, because of the unregulated indian fishery.

    so why not hop on down to that fish monger and have a chat with their buyer.................
  2. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    Eloquent, succinct and well put. Thanks, gt
  3. FT

    FT Active Member


    I'd like to see that happen with all those who serve or sell wild steelhead, but not just in Washington State because as I've pointed out before, if the tribes can't sell them in Washington State, they will sell them elsewhere, for instance New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Washington DC, and so on. Just because we get some Washington State business to quit selling or serving wild steelhead, it doesn't mean that there is any less of a market for the fish or that any fewer will be killed andn sold.

    Like Les mentioned, the tribes will very slowly (like so slowly you have to measure it in multiple decades to see a small change) change what they do with wild steelhead. I'd love to see tribal members set up guiding operations and take sportsfishers out. Afterall, the folks who are getting most of the tribal catch know where to find fish, so they could be excellent guides.
  4. gt

    gt Active Member

    so FT, your solution is to do NOTHING????????????????????

    in case you missed it, there are people who post and more than likely lurk from other states beside WA. it takes energy on the invididuals part to help educate and at least slow the killing of wild steelhead.

    no market? no kill!

    now go put yur head back under the covers, some of us believe in doing our small part.
  5. Mathew

    Mathew Ugly, but happy.

    I am pretty sure FT's solution is to do nothing.

    except when he mentioned heightening awareness of the fish buying public on a local and national level and suggesting honing an already established set of skills (fishing, and knowing where..) and turning it into profitable and quality guide services.

    But other than that... :)
  6. Snake

    Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

    The problem isn't just the tribes selling the wild steelies, it's the restaurants and markets that buy them, and then sell to uneducated consumers.

    Many of the restaurants are fully aware of the controversy, and will purposely mis-advertise steelhead, in complete violation of state law.

    Where's the enforcement for that B.S.??? :confused::mad:

    p.s. Don't eat at 'Matt's In The Market'.
  7. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

    I think gt & FT both make excellent points. At the end of the day you have to ask yourself if the indiscriminate killing of wild anadromous fishes would continue if the general public were to become truly aware of the cultural, economic and ecologic significance of these fish and how close many stocks are to extinction.

    If a ban on the killing of wild steelhead were pursued with the same zeal and conviction the animal rights community displayed in their campaign to end trapping, I think things would change.

  8. jasmillo

    jasmillo Member

    I'm pretty sure that's is all he said. I don't think he advocated doing "nothing".

    I was @ Pikes today during my lunchbreak and noticed the same thing. Being someone originally from the east coast, I would have definitely purchased "wild Steelhead" from a restaurant in NY or CT prior to moving to WA- and I am an avid fly-fisherman. Plainly put, folks outside of WA (and even native non-fishing "washingtonians") are not aware of the severity of the situation.

    From a WA standpoint you have 2 options. Change the thought process of 300 million people countrwide (most of whom could either care less about wild steelhead or are not educated enough to make a smart decision) or get the folks (tribes, etc.) to make smart, ecologically sound decisions. Of course, it probably has to be an economically sound decision for them as well but at some point (as stock diminish even further) netting and selling wild steelhead just won't be a viable option. Changing the thought process of the tribes or unfortunately, letting the tribes get to the point where selling wild steelhead is just not profitable anymore is the only option.

    Do you really think the mongers in Pike Place Market selling Salmon and Steelhead to tourists from Nebraska could care less about what 10, 20, or even 100 flyfishers in WA have to say? Nope, if the tourist stop buying, they'll stop selling. So, go ahead and go to Nebraska, New York, New Hampshire, Illinois, etc. and stop the tourists from buying. In fact, I challenge every member of this site to send an email or call the monger in question here and complain. I will go down and check their stand everyday. My guess is that they will continue to sell it no matter how much we complain.

    Be realistic-it's starts with the folks that are legally able to harvest wild steelhead. Change their minds for the greater good of the state of WA, etc. or wait until it becomes more economically viable for them to guide instead of net. I'm obviously no genius but to me, those seem to be the only options available to us (the flyfisherman and our organizations).
  9. gt

    gt Active Member

    i guess that means you didn't choose to spend 10 minutes of your lunch break engaging the fish monger about their choice of product. with that sort of 'effort', nothing will change. thanks for taking the time...........
  10. Marty Leith

    Marty Leith Member

    I took Citori's advice and sent an email. Below is the exchange. Has anyone else had any similar response?

    I agree whole heartedly with gt - it starts at the individual level.



    Thank you for your genuine concern and response. Many feel that the state's definition of sustainable is wrong and that if we don't act now wild steelhead as we know (knew) them will be gone forever. While the state is the governing body and should have the answers, they are finally beginning to realize that they do not know nearly enough about the situation. Please visit www.wildsteelheadcoalition.com for more information. The WSC is working with toghther with the state and everyone else this effects to develop a better managment plan for our wild steelhead. I encourage you to check these facts that are available on the website.

    Also, Rich is our president and can provide you some more insights should you wish to contact him.

    Thank you for taking the time.


    Martin D. Leith l Associate Vice President
    GVA Kidder Mathews
    500 108th Ave NE, Suite 2400 Bellevue, WA 98004
    T 425.450.1114 F 425.451.3058 C 206.851.8270
    mleith@gvakm.com l www.gvakm.com

    From: City Fish Sales [mailto:jdaniels@cityfish.com]
    Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 8:33 AM
    To: Marty Leith
    Subject: Re: Message from CityFish.com

    I understand your concern and did contact the state fisheries dept. they are certain of sustainability. Do you have info. stating otherwise? I mean this sincerely, wanting to have all species available for all time. It means a lot to me and I trust our fish and wildlife for the most part, there has been mistakes over the years of coarse, so do let me know any facts of over fishing or any thing else and I do work with powerful groups to secure fisheries and we like info. Thanks, Jon
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: City Fish Co.
    To: Sales
    Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2008 12:16 AM
    Subject: Message from CityFish.com

    Message from CityFish.com

    This message was sent from the www.cityfish.com website.

    If the sender filled in their e-mail address you can simply reply to this message.

    Marty Leith
    Email: mleith@gvakm.com
    Phone: 425-450-1114

    Has the following message:

    Please stop buying and selling wild steelhead. These fish are hurting and will not be available for future generations if we do nothing today. I will inform everyone I know to please do the same. I will purchase other species and encourage others to do the same from you if you consider and take action.


    Marty Leith
  11. jasmillo

    jasmillo Member

    Nope, I didn't. I guess you missed the biggest point I was making:

    Do you really think the mongers in Pike Place Market selling Salmon and Steelhead to tourists from Nebraska could care less about what 10, 20, or even 100 flyfishers in WA have to say? Nope, if the tourist stop buying, they'll stop selling. So, go ahead and go to Nebraska, New York, New Hampshire, Illinois, etc. and stop the tourists from buying. In fact, I challenge every member of this site to send an email or call the monger in question here and complain. I will go down and check their stand everyday. My guess is that they will continue to sell it no matter how much we complain.

    Besides, I don't know enough about the issue to argue it with anyone- this is my first year steelheading and my second year in WA. I know that wild steelhead are in peril but I don't know the data enough to debate the issue with anyone. All I can add to this discussion is my experience- if there is a market people will buy it. Kill the market and wild steelhead will not be sold but changing the minds of the 300 million folks in the country buying it is probably not likely.

    However, if you stop the source by working with the few tribes able to catch and sell wild steelhead commercially you have a chance. Eco-type tourism, guiding, etc. has worked in many other parts of the world, why not with the WA tribes that have access and intimate knowledge of this resource?

    Anyway GT- you obviously have alot of knowledge and time to spend on this issue, how come I have never seen protests down at the market organized by you? How come you aren't there every other day with signs and information?

    On the other hand...from the tone of your posts it seems as if you are just another :mad: little man who likes to spout off from behind a keyboard. Sad because you seem like a passionate person when it comes to this issue. However, you can't even have a discussion with other fisherman who share your concerns without getting negative. My guess is that your passion clouds your knowledge and you end up doing more harm then good.....
  12. gt

    gt Active Member

    pretty simple, i don't live in seattle or that immediate area. i am >2hrs from the pike street market. i can guarantee you that if i was in that immediate area, i would be down there. so, i do the little i can in my locale, each and every day.

    without everyone attending to these issues, nothing will ever get done.
  13. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

    I can't speak about how the 'little vendor' will view this, but I can tell you how the 'big guys' may. 4 winters ago my local Albertson's (Ashland, Oregon) had 'fresh wild steelhead' under glass in the meat market.

    Had a nice chat with the Store Manager, with Oregon Game Regs in hand, and advised him if he wanted to really 'piss off' a lot of his male customers that was a good place to start. Checked back a few days later ... and no 'fresh wild steelhead' in sight. Called a few fellows I know and asked them to check other Albertson's stores in Northern Oregon.

    Not one had them on display. Point of all this is you may not be able to get the little guys attention, but you CAN get the major retailers to listen up.

  14. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

    Other avenues:

    Transport, who is trucking wild steelhead? Shipping? Rail?

    Packaging, Ice? Styrofoam boxes?

    Supplies nets and floats?

    Equipment, boats, moorage, fuel?

    There are a lot of people making money off this. If they can be identified pressure can be applied.

    It's not certain that this fishery could survive the light of day.

    An advertisement in a local paper:

    These businesses are curently profiting from the indiscriminate killing of endangered species:

    Bob's trucking.

    Acme Railroad

    Smith Ice

    Joe's Marina & Fuel

    These businesses are contributing to the extinction of Washington's salmon and steelhead by participating in a destructive fishery that will eventually result in the destruction of this resource. PLEASE URGE THEM TO STOP!!!
    Paid for by Washingtonians Fighting for Fish
  15. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Try writing your congressman to get the law changed.
  16. gt

    gt Active Member

    thanks fred, for that wonderful example of a single individual getting involved. so while people post here giving lip service to caring about fish, next to no one is willing to take the simple steps to help out. flyfishermen as conservation minded???? does not look like that to me based on all of the waffling going on in this thread as well as a couple of others.

    get involved folks, it won't hurt a thing to try and educate others, in fact, it might help in some way to raise the bar for those intent on killing the last wild fish.
  17. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

    First, these rivers that the tribes are harvesting from--how bad are they actually. Last I checked, it was Puget Sound steelhead that are threatened--not endangered--and peninsula fish weren't listed. That of course is not to say that those populations shouldn't be listed, or that PS fish shouldn't be listed endangered.

    I also think that people give the tribes way too much credit for the declining populations. Do they have an impact? Of course. Are they the largest impact? Definitely not. If the tribes weren't taking these fish they'd be going to commercials or to sports fishermen. These fish either have to be incidental bycatch, or part of 50% of the ALLOCATED catch. But it would seem to me that unless there is a spring Chinook run they are targeting, these would be allocated fish (I could be way off target here). If this is true, the government gave them the go ahead to catch these fish. If this is the case, and please someone correct me if I’m wrong, we should be looking towards the people who said that there was in fact a sustainable yield of native steelhead.

    The problem is an overall management issue. It's not just the tribes, who are bound by federal law (in most cases). As a community, sports fishermen we need to strive to have better relations with the tribes. They have a lot of power in this situation. Most attacks are going to be about as effective as beating your head against a concrete wall. If you don’t believe that, just take a look at federal cases concerning native fishing rights.

    It’s easy to blame tribes. Their nets are visible, and they can sell the fish in the pike market. But why don’t people start turning some of this contempt towards people who don’t have federally recognized treaty fishing rights. We should be looking towards the people in power who are letting these fish go extinct for the sake of development, growth and natural resource extraction. It’s going to be a lot easier. The tribes are facing the same problems we are. We should realize by now that alienating them is not going to work in our favor—it hasn’t so far. Our interests are in the same place. We should be working closely with anyone who has even similar interests; we need all of the support we can get. We a both facing the same large, powerful and entrenched interests. I honestly believe that a little good will would go a long way. There has been a long standing adversarial relationship between Washingtonians and the tribes and even more so between the tribes and fishermen. If we don’t realize that this is in fact infighting we are going to continue to see this resource continue its precipitous decline.

    By the way, as I understand it, any federal infringment on a treaty fishing right is considered a 5th amendment taking--meaning that the tribed will have to be compensated for their loss--but that might be cheaper than the money being flushed into "management".
  18. FT

    FT Active Member


    Well said.
  19. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member


    iagree with you! Wise and realistic beyond your age!

  20. Marty Leith

    Marty Leith Member

    Granted, the state may claim sustainable on the OP. Ask the locals and the guides how well the fishing has been the past couple decades. How's the rest of our state doing these days with "sustainable" runs of wild steelhead. Look at the big picture here...they're numbers are declining rapidly. How many rivers and runs of wild steelhead do we have to loose before we stop killing these fish? How long do you think we really have? And what will the tribes sell when those are gone? Oh yeah....hatchery fish.

    It is not good for any of us.

    I agree this is largely a managment issue but no one group is to blame. We're all to blame so let's all try and help out.

    This is not a tribe bash - it's simply a way we can try and educate and hopefully someday realize no kill on wild steelhead.

Share This Page