Wild Steelhead in the Pike Pl Fish Market?

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

  1. gt

    gt Active Member

    FT, you are fixated on a specific course of action: net ban = change the treaty = save the fish.

    first and foremost, you must recognize the indian fisherman is a business minded individual. they don't fish for 'cultural and ceremonial' purposes. they fish to make a buck, just like any other commercial fisherman.

    what several folks are already doing, as individuals, is pointing out that wild steelhead are not a sustainable fishery. the intent is to close the market doors to the indian fish monger trying to make a buck by selling a commodity. the more individuals who step up to bat, the sooner this small part of this strategy starts to pay off.

    i have also taken the step of not supporting native american businesses, period. now simply not supporting a native american business is really not good enough. that native american business person need to know WHY you are taking your bucks elsewhere. again, an individual effort and one that will also have benefits if more individuals choose to get involved.

    as an example, if i am going to fish the western end of the strait, i launch at snow creek. i refuse to enter neah bay or spend a dime there. yes, i have discussed this with one of the restaurant managers as well as the manager at big salmon. do they care?? they will when enough people stop patronizing their businesses.

    works well in terms of the real native american money makers, casinos, as well. stop off and chat with the casino manager and tell'um why they can't pick'ur pocket anymore.

    next front is our own elected officials. congratualtions to our governor for appointing a retired fish bio to the WDFW. this one individual is the reason, the one and only reason, the commerical fishery on the columbia is NOT getting their way with the quota they desired.

    individuals DO make a difference.

    getting NOAA to actually attend to the fish 'science', however shaky, is not going to happen until the next administration takes over and changes the culture in a number of critical agencies. but, i am hopeful that we will stop seeing statements like the last news flash from WDFW that proclaimed '...90% of the steelhead stock on the west end are in great shape...', bullshit, a political statement if i ever read one.

    so FT, there are any number of actions an individual reading this site can engage in for the benefit of our wild anadramous fishes. who knows, there may even be a retired person with a J.D. who would take boldt on as a life project. wish it were me, but i am not qualified to do so much less post a solution to that issue.

    and one last point, this is about preserving fish and nothing else. yes, some folks will see my posts as racist or picking on the native americans in our state. but the fact is the present groups of native american net fishermen ARE one of the primary reasons we continue to see declining fish stocks. none of my ancestors were in this country when the native americans were screwed, maybe some of the posters have roots that deep, so i can only lament the past. but, as is always the case, the only way out is forward.
  2. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    FT, You infer that this is a one-dimensional issue, and that there is only one potential solution.

    No matter what is on the list of "things we can't do", it does not change the content of things we can do. I choose to do what I think I can do, whenever I get the chance to do it. Education is a key element. I cannot allow myself to believe that anyone would, in this day and age, willingly and knowingly contribute to the eradication of a species. Sustainable fisheries and selective methods do not preclude the native american fish economy from existing, even flourishing. There will be many elements to the solution. I choose to believe that if we remove the incentive to market fish with an adiposed fin attached, then there will be all the more reason to willingly contribute to a solution set that includes release and protection of wild steelhead.

    While you, FT, are sitting on the sidelines wringing your hands over whatever treaty, it does not appear you are getting in the game and contributing to creation of ANY alternative solution. All I am saying is what I have been consistently saying -
    - Sustainable practices, selective methods
    - I choose to do whatever I can do, I invite you to do the same.
    - Identifying what you cannot do does not create solutions, nor relieve you of the responsibility for being a part of creating solutions.
    - If everyone knew the issue, and understood what that adipose fin means, the market influences and economic incentives would change.

    Those messages apply no matter where you live, what your heritage, your age, your gender... Taking care of what we have is a responsibility we all share, whether you choose to pick up the mantle or not.

    You (all of us) can stack up all the reasons why not as high as the sky, and no matter how large/long the list is, it will not and can not bring back even one wild steelhead, and most emphatically and certainly not the last one.

    Case in point, the Idaho Redfish Lake sockeye has become extinct in our lifetime, because we let it happen. There are a number of specific Puget Sound tributary runs that we have likewise allowed to become extinct, even contributed to their extinction, also in our lifetime. That is NOT OK with me. That is just about as poor a legacy to leave our children and their children as I can imagine.

    I may not ever make a difference, but at least I have tried, and I have not let what I cannot do prevent me from doing what I can do.
  3. FT

    FT Active Member

    gt and Citori,

    I never said it was a one dimensional issue. I have pointed out repeatedly that unless Congress changes the treaties (or abolishes them) and the US Supreme Court agrees the changes are Constitutional, attacking the Indian net fishery is a waste of time and does nothing more than anger the tribes. This does not make it a one dimensional issue, it simply says quit the "Indian nets are causing the decline of fish" rhetoric because it is counterproductive.

    Also, I do not sit on the sidelines as you both state. I do however deal in reality, demand impirical evidence, and don't engage in emotional reasoning.


    You are the one who keeps harping about the need to remove the Indian nets. I quote from your last post, "the fact is the present group of Native American net fishermen are one of the primary reasons we continue to se a decline in fish stocks." There are several problems with this. First, you have no data to back it up. Second, the fishing tribes treaties and federal court rulings (as I've pointed out ad nauseum) guarantee the fishing treaty tribes to ability to regulate their fishing effort for the 50% of the harvest they have a right to take. Third, it completely ignores things the treaty fishing tribes have done to help fish, such as the road culvert lawsuit that Derek mentioned, which makes it possible for fish to return to tributaries they were prevented from going up, or the work being done in the Skagit River Delta by the tribes to restore salmon rearing habitat.
  4. PT

    PT Physhicist

    Talk to any guide on the OP about that issue. While they are not fisheries biologists or anything like that they are on the water just about every day.

    I've stayed away from this thread because I do not have enough impirical evidence to debate this issue. I do have an opinion but that's all it is.

    FT, when will we have enough impirical evidence to know that netting isn't a primary reason we continue to see a decline in fish stocks? When there are no fish left to be netted?
  5. gt

    gt Active Member

    absolutely correct FT, until ALL nets come out of the water, we will never see the fish recover.

    that said, i choose NOT to sit on my ass like someother folks whos names need not be mentioned. i DO my small part to educate and illuminate for the vast majority of folks who have never even thought about these issues.

    try walking the walk, won't hurt a bit FT.
  6. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    We can all opt for selective methods, if we co choose. It does not have to be mandated or legislated - and that goes for commercial and indian (and anyone else for that matter) interests alike.

    I see education and activism as a means to the same end. FT, I respect your right to your opinions. But, I don't think you can argue that setting aside a treaty and all that goes along with that is the ONLY pathway to a solution to the question of our dwindling wild fish stocks.

    Irrespective of who you are, and why you do it, it just is not acceptable, on any level, to kill wild steelhead any longer.

    Sustainable practices, selective harvest. It's time.
  7. FT

    FT Active Member


    You are correct, setting aside the treaties is not the only pathway to a solution to the dwindling wild fish stocks. However, anytime any of us non-members of a treaty fishing tribe brings up getting nets out, he will not be heard by them because immediately he is seen as someone out to end or violate their treaty rights. Therefore, I submit is it far better to work with the treaty fishing tribes in a win-win manner on things other than a net ban that help wild fish and leave river netting off the table. Sustainable harvest and reducing wild fish harvest are things both sportsmen and tribes can agree on, so we should be working on them. Likewise, we should be working with the tribes on habitat issues.

    There might also be the possibility to have the tribes agree that an accecptable escapement is 60% of non-threatened run instead of the 30%-40% used in MSY. We could call it Pretty Good Yield, as the head of fisheries at UW calls it. Doing so would help the fish during the poor ocean conditions cycles because more fish would be able to spawn. It would also still allow harvest and be more probable that harvestable surplus numbers would be present during the poor ocean survival cycles.


    I'll leave you with your delusions about how much you are helping with your diatribes against Indian netting because you can't seem to get beyond fighting that windmill.


    Unfortunately, there is empirical evidence that shows taking the nets out doesn't mean fish numbers will increase all the time, as you imply. For instance the Cedar River steelhead or the Stilly's and Skagit's chinook.

    And talk from the guides is nothing more than anecdotal and/or hearsay, it is not evidence because they are not tabulating the actual number they see in the nets, nor are they making sure that the ones they saw weren't already counted by a different guide. Plus, seeing nets in the river is not indicative of the number of fish the nets are intercepting.
  8. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    You have not heard me say "get rid of indian nets". What you have heard me say is "Sustainable practices, selective methods", and will, over and over again. You have also heard me say, "No more killing of wild steelhead", and will, again and again. You have also heard me comment on the native american culture relative to genocide of a species. Yet, what you choose to comment on, over and over again, is indian nets. That gives the appearance that you are trying to justify continuing to employ non-sustainable practices, and non-selective methods, which also gives rise to the appearance that you are interested in continuing to justify continuing to kill wild steelhead.

    I am sorry, but that is a completely unacceptable position. And, it is a position completely in opposition to sustainable practices and selective methods. I make no distinction between indian, commercial or any other kind of non-selective harvest method that results in killing wild steelhead. NO ONE should be allowed to do that! And anyone who does, intentionally, and then sells them cannot say, "Sustainable harvest and reducing wild fish harvest are things both sportsmen and tribes can agree on". Killing wild steelhead is not acceptable. Period. You know it.

    By "leaving netting off the table", I assume you mean that I should shut up and say nothing until the last wild steelhead is pulled from a net, yours or someone else's. That ain't gonna happen, brother. If I am the only friend that last wild steelhead has, I guess I am just going to have to be that much smarter, harder working, and activist.

    Who, besides someone intent on eradicating wild steelhead runs in our lifetime, would object to employing sustainable practices and selective methods? What could possibly be more win-win than Sustainable runs and selective harvest methods to protect the runs that are already acknowledged by all to be in danger of extinction? Your position isn't passing the straight face test.

    You are the guy who told your high school girlfriend that you wanted to "put just the tip of it in", aren't you. And by "pretty good yield", you of course are referring to the equivalent of being "a little bit pregnant".

    Do the math. 60% escapement is 0.00% return in 24 years!!!!

    You have the right to kill wild steelhead. No one is arguing that. What you also have is the responsibility, as a human being and as a native american, to not be responsible for or a participant in the eradication of a species - any species - from the face of the earth. So, go ahead and hide behind your "rights". That is what everyone expects you to do. It takes real courage to own up to your responsibilities. Don't expect me to ever say it is OK to do what you and I both know what is not OK, just because you can.

    By the way, we all acknowledge that non-selective harvest is not the ONLY solution, it is just one thing that if we have the courage, we can do today, right now. If we choose to not do what we can do, then we own the consequences of that decision. I choose to do what can be done. What do you choose? To risk killing the last wild steelhead, for a few dollars, or do you choose to do the responsible thing? From now on, will you look at each and every wild steelhead you pull from your net and think to yourself, "I wonder if this is the last one"?

    Please, have the courage to fight for the protection of our few remaining wild steelhead, before they are gone. You have far more ability to do something about protecting those few remaining wild fish than I do.

    Sustainable practices, selective methods...let the wild ones live.
  9. PT

    PT Physhicist

    Select from my post what you'd like but don't add to it to make it sound as if I'm saying that nets are the only problem. There are many issues that need to be addressed. Tribal netting isn't the only one and non-tribal netting isn't the only one. But, they are contributing factors.

    Habitat is another big issue. And people who don't want to put nets into the equation fail to see one thing. Not many chum got back to the rivers this year and anecdotal evidence leads me to believe many of them were netted in Puget Sound. While maybe not technically true I'd consider decaying carcasses in our streams to be a part of the habit that our juvenile fish need to populate our streams.

    There is no ONE answer to our problems. I'm sure it's much more complex than anyone of us understands.

    I do agree that bitching about tribal netting doesn't really do us any good. I also understand that shaking their hands and saying thanks for providing such great stewardship of this resource would be a bit foolish.

    As for the guides. They are on the water everyday. We sit behind our monitors and act as if we have all the answers but they can see it first hand. I'm not giving them expert status on this issue but it's hard to argue with years of experience in the field.
  10. FT

    FT Active Member


    You made the wrong assumption that I am a Native American, I am not.
  11. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    I am, my family heritage reaches back to voting rights in the Cherokee nation in Oklahoma.
  12. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member


    Like a bad car wreck I can't keep from checking this thread. And altho my experience advises me to disregard this thread, at times I can't stop myself.

    If you're an engineer I suspect you're partial to rational thought over emotion on most subjects. Does that include subjects like wild steelhead? I selected this quote from one of your recent posts,

    "Irrespective of who you are, and why you do it, it just is not acceptable, on any level, to kill wild steelhead any longer.

    Sustainable practices, selective harvest. It's time."

    I'm not advocating killing wild steelhead, but for the sake of informed discussion, please tell me why it's unacceptable for anyone to kill a wild steelhead.

    I'm asking you to do that because I believe you've read the many threads and posts where biologists like Smalma and I have written that non-treaty fishermen take an insignificantly small number of wild Puget Sound (PS) steelhead annually (statistically near zero), and treaty fishermen take a relatively small number of wild PS steelhead annually - greater than zero but not enough to measurably adversely affect the population sizes.

    While it's possible that Smalma (sorry Curt) and I don't know what we're talking about, let me remind you that we're merely reporting what 100% of the biologists believe who have information on this subject. That informed opinion is based on all empirical and anecdotal data and information available. As an engineer who deals with this type of information as the basis for decision making and action, how and why do you conclude that treaty Indian netting and or non-treaty commercial netting is not a sustainable activity with respect to the conservation of wild PS steelhead?


    Salmo g.

    BTW, I met FT at a Spey Clave or something, and he is not a treaty Indian or any kind of Indian so far as I noticed.
  13. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    Yeah, I get that bad car wreck feeling as well.

    You raise some good questions. I am an engineer, not a fisheries biologist. I am comfortable conversing, in general, on biological systems. I have some comments, you will find them unscientific, hopefully logical, not intentionally emotional, but you can tell I am passionate on the issue, so forgive me if my logical side is tainted by emotion.

    The Puget Sound Partnership home page heading is "Our Gift, are we losing our chance to pass it on?

    State of the Sound report, 2007 lists salmonid stocks that are already extinct, of unknown or questionable status, and endangered. This site is rife with evidence/discussion that wild stocks are declining and necessary - hatchery stocks don't get the job done.

    Nets kill indiscriminately. Even "selective" netting procedures, along with ocean trawl fishery methods kill significant numbers of non-targeted species that are not even counted - see http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5i6sTLycKdtFCnJ3GHHpPEvylRlZA

    Here's where my logic kicks in. How can you have an acknowledged honest-to-God crisis, and I would call extinctions of stocks in our lifetime a crisis, and still continue to employ practices that further reduce those numbers, even by accident, if you had the power to not do that?

    One more question - How can you say "use non-selective methods and continue to kill endangered species" to one sector, and tell another group they cannot?

    If the take of wild steelhead is so insignificant, then logic says that not taking ANY will make an insignificant change in either the economy or the culture.

    How can the "insignificant" take of wild steelhead, ostensibly for ceremonial purposes, find its way into commercial fish markets and restaurants at premium prices?

    The pieces of the puzzle never have fit together too well for me... BUT - my own brand of logic kicks in again here - if we start doing what we can do to protect and conserve what we still have of the wild stocks, how can that hurt? I will concede it might not help, "significantly", but how can it hurt? For me, living in the Puget Sound area, growing up in Idaho, I take having species become extinct on my watch very personally. It is my belief, not a scientific fact, that we have reached the time where we can no longer tolerate intentionally killing any more wild steelhead. If necessary to serve cultural purposes, then I can live with that as a rare and truly minimal exception, but I can't live with electively targeting wild steelhead for the purpose of selling them in a fish market. And, "selective" netting practices (I would vote for that as the oxymoron of the year) effectively target the larger (arguably genetically superior) specimens, allowing smaller specimens to escape, in theory.

    I will accept your science - I am a scientist - but you will need to work harder to show me how killing some or even any of the few remaining wild steelhead contributes to their recovery and sustaining their runs.

    It is a logical more than scientific argument. I will grant you that. But if intentionally killing a few members of an endangered population is acceptable, how can that be reconciled with extinctions of stocks in our lifetime?

    How does sustainable practices and selective methods negatively impact anything? Is that not an idea whose time has come? Sustainability reaches every aspect of our daily lives these days...why should our wild and native fish be excluded from that consideration?

    I honestly don't care about the ownership of the net or the open ocean trawler, or the purse seiner, what I do care about is taking the steps we can take. We can't "fix" habitat today, we can't "fix" dam mortality on smolt migration today, but we can employ truly selective methods today (in theory) and before we can take some steps, we do need to take the first one.

    The first step is awareness - the reason I write stuff like this, and the reason I respond in open forum, is so others will see. Hopefully it makes us all think, myself included. Hopefully it causes us all to become more aware, and to challenge our old stereotypes and preconceived notions. Lastly, I am not nearly so hung up on the methods as much as I am achieving the goal, which you might have guessed is conservation - sustainable practices, selective methods, to achieve healthy runs of our native fish stocks. I do realize that I joust at windmills - you have seen me say that before - and I do so intentionally. I sleep better at night thinking that I just might have done some good.

    My time on this board has taught me to be respectful of other people and their position. My intention has been to interact with FT in a responsible, respectful manner, although I suspect I may have fallen a tad short on occaision - my apologies to FT and all if that is the case. I made what appears to be an incorrect assumption - but I don't think my comments would change whether it was true or not. I hope I gave him some things to think about - I know he has done so for me, as have you. Thanks for your comments.
  14. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member


    Thank you for your thoughtful response.

    RE: the Puget Sound Partnership, I hope it's more than political high quality lip service, although my cynicism meter has peaked out on that. Time will of course tell.

    Nets kill. No argument. But are they killing PS steelhead, and if so, how many, and from which populations? My intent is to cause you and other readers to focus. Remember the saying, "don't worry about the small stuff?" We should be cognizant of all steelhead mortality of course, but I am of the opinion we should be more mindful of some causes than others simply due to the respective magnitudes of effect.

    You asked, "One more question - How can you say "use non-selective methods and continue to kill endangered species" to one sector, and tell another group they cannot?" We'll get to that in just a moment.

    You also said and asked, "If the take of wild steelhead is so insignificant, then logic says that not taking ANY will make an insignificant change in either the economy or the culture.
    How can the "insignificant" take of wild steelhead, ostensibly for ceremonial purposes, find its way into commercial fish markets and restaurants at premium prices?"

    I mentioned focus above. Remember it isn't PS steelhead at the Pike Place Market. Those are from the coast. The very same rivers where our WDFW declares wild steelhead are healthy and producing a harvestable surplus. I'm not going to debate that now, but with that as the legal, regulatory, policy, and administrative benchmark, going after treaty gillnets that harvest those fish truly is tilting at windmills. Personally I disagree with the stock status designations for reasons broader than the harvests that WDFW allows, but that's a different matter.

    Fishing for wild steelhead doesn't do them any favors. That's unquestionable. However the fishing that does occur, with a measured few exceptions, doesn't appear to be the proximate cause of harm, let alone be responsible for decline, based on all the best available information. That is, I think, the reason you don't see any biologists joining the emotional bandwagon that is so hung up on fishing, especially the various net fishing, that by any empirical measure isn't causing the problem.

    Now let's return to your salient question, ""One more question - How can you say "use non-selective methods and continue to kill endangered species" to one sector, and tell another group they cannot?"

    I care about recovering ESA listed PS steelhead. I know with some certainty that early marine survival is the variable that presently best explains the dire status of PS steelhead. And I have no clue specifically what that factor is, let alone if or how it can be mitigated. I know with an very high degree of certainty that the next most significant factor affecting PS steelhead stock status is freshwater spawning and more importantly, juvenile rearing habitat.

    What I need from you and everyone else is the same negative passion you seem to have for netting that so indiscriminately, but insignificantly to barely significantly, kills some close to unmeasurably small fraction of the adult wild PS steelhead population, and bring that passion to actions that every day permanently kill the ability of our PS rivers to produce steelhead. For example, will you throw that same passion at WSDOT when it wants to build an interchange on Hwy 18? What, you say, has this got to do with the topic? Everything, and then some. A rural or semi rural area has supported one to two dozen residences for years, maybe decades. But the area is growing. An interchange will make an intersection safer. Yes, it will, and it will facilitate access to an area that is otherwise marginal for development. But with high land prices nearer the urban core, the prospective interchange will make sub-division development much more feasible than it was before. Over a 20 year period, an area that supported fewer than two dozen homes and a mixed second and third growth forest and pastures will support from 300 to 900 homes. With those homes will come individual domestic wells, six-pack wells, and wells supporting community water systems. Over 10% of the prospective area will be converted from pervious to impervious surfaces. Peak winter runoff will increase and carry more steelhead egg smothering silt and petro-chemical residue. And summer runoff will decrease. And periodically among those homes there will be young boys who will explore their environment, and they will learn about it, and be armed with earthworms or maybe size 12 Royal Coachmen flies, and they will in their ignorance slaughter most of the juvenile steelhead inhabiting the 3/4 mile of the Green River that constitutes their "fishing hole" turf. That scene will come and go, but it will be played out intermittently for as long as those homes endure. These impacts and numerous others, often with more severe impacts that continually erode the ability of streams to produce wild steelhead, are repeated over and over. Federal, state, and local governments, in the process of meeting human needs, continually approve far more projects that permanently impair steelhead production potential than they ever do to conserve it.

    I think this is why you don't find any fish biologists jumping on the bandwagon to stop gillnetting that has little to no effect on steelhead stock productivity. Most of us are working on habitat issues in hopes of reducing the rate of habitat loss and trying the preserve the last best habitat that is still capable of producing respectable numbers of wild steelhead. We need people with passion like yours in this fight. Because this is where wild PS steelhead are making their last stand for survival.


    Salmo g.
  15. hookedonthefly

    hookedonthefly Active Member

    Habitat for our steelhead has been demolished for years and years here; and, this has to stop.

    In a lot of cases, it seems there has been sub-optimal or completely failed outcome because interventional groups were either too small or splintered, or both. All but the most arduous went crazy or just gave up.

    Whereas, in my opinion, the fishery's biologist and the Tribes, in many cases, have been concerned and tirelessly working on these issues for years. They have the data which is supported by true research.

    WDFW has been selling us ALL a bunch of horse hockey for ages. Frankly, I think the bios and Tribes have known this for a long time and were just waiting for us, the sportspersons, to catch up; and, come to a point where we are willing to listen.

    I hate to give the same ol' place as an example but it is THE perfect example of what happens with irresponsible practices and habitat degradation.

    Yep, think Walt Johnson, Sasquatch of the Stilly and Deer Creek.

    There are some of us on the Nooksack drainage that fear the same fate for the South Fork. It becomes very muddy, very easily with minimal precipitation. This is a lot worse than even a year ago.

    I have the next two weekends free unless we get a call from Mr. Love.

    I will spend that time hiking the area above Skookum to see if I can gain some insight as to why this appears to be the case.

    Thanks Salmo, Smalma and everyone as always for the education.


    Below is a quote from Smalma on another thread.

    "For 50 years (since 1938) Deer Creek itself has been closed to all fishing. Since 1982 the Stillaguamish basin has been managed as a wild steelhead release water during the summer season. Since 1983 there has not been a summer gill net season on the Stillaguamish basin (less than 10 summer fish a year had been caught inthe Tulalip marine fishery -mostly hatchery or Snohomish basin fish). Other than a single attempt of wild summer steelhead brood hatch planting inthe late 1940s the upper Deer Creek basin has not been planted with hatchery fish. Significant sampling and obsrevation of adult summer steelhead in the basin during the 1980s and 1990s failed to identify any hatchery summer fish from either scale samples or adipose clips. In other words Deer Creek has been managed as close to what many would consider appropriate or proper wild fish management (WSR, no hatchery fish etc) as any basin in the State yet the population collapsed.

    The entire upper basin (above the lower canyon) is timber lands - USFS, State and private and has been extensive logged. In fact the only significant activity in the basin has been timber harvest. Haig-Brown when he visted the basin he found cool water with deep green pools with those wonderful summer steelhead. I vistted the basin some 60 years later I found warm tepid water (day time temperatures in the 70s and down at its mouth into the 80s a warm summer afternoons), that more often than not was a muddy brown or gray with its channel filled excessive bed load materials. Anyone familar with the needs of cold water salmonids can not escape coming to the conclusion that the Deer Creek summer fish were and are in trouble due to habitat problems. Further the deterioration of the freshwater habitat can only be placed at the foot of timber practices (the only thing happening in the basin)."

    Oh...by the way, the steelhead in the Barkley Haggen has an adipose fin...they call it farmed.

    It looks like A$$...Mmmmmmmmmmmmm, tasty. I have been playing telephone tag with a guy at Haggen's to find out more.
  16. gt

    gt Active Member

    salmo g, thanks for the post. i understand, pretty much, what your position is regarding the decline in wild steelhead. with all due respect, i think you and your fellow biologists are using the wrong yard stick. your training, how long ago was that, presented you with facts, figures and a methodology for examining the various situations involving fish escapement and how to manage the resource for competing interests.

    but, this is a new century and the tried and true, given what you have described, requires a new, fresh start if management of the resource is to succeed. your explainations, once again, remind me of the young man at oregon state u. who had his disertation on 'forest management after wildfires', published. i am sure you read all about the audacity of this young man who took on the notion that intensive harvest was the only way to restore a fire ravaged forest. the long held training model for the forestry department. when, it seems from his investigation, the exact opposite was the operative strategy.

    it strikes me that this exact situation is what has mislead attempts at fishery management. the 'old' way of thinking no longer fits the current situations. you have pointed out; population increases, covering over with pavement, harmful runoff, draw down of ground water, clearing riparian zones, dramatic ocean condition changes, and this long list could go on for pages.

    so now the question becomes, given all of these changes, how can any professional continue looking at management through a lense that was sharp and clear 20 years ago, and expect to make a difference TODAY. well, you see, you can't!

    we should also put into play the actual harm these same trained fish biologists have done to the resource. to whit, the indiscriminate move to quickly raise a concrete adaptable steelhead for stocking everywhere. as we all know, the habitat can only carry so many fish. once the fish biologist supported this indiscriminate stocking, they plugged that habitat with inferior fish not suited for the hazards and unknown pecularaties of these independent drainage strains. and we all know that once that happens, for decade after decade, the wild fish are simply over run by concrete fishes and slowly but surely disappear.

    my own two eyes confirm this, as the wild steelhead are no longer where they used to be. of course lots of factors, but that is what we have to deal with in this century, and that requires a new paradigm for management.

    so now we have far fewer wild steelhead, and still we are going to support the killing of those few and falling numbers. now that is the sort of 'management' thinking that wild steelhead do not need in this century.

    you also point to the west end stocks as 'ok' as determined by fish biologists. just what does that mean?? what are the percentage returns, this year vs last year vs 2000 vs 1995 vs 1990 vs 1980 vs 1970 vs 1960? while i don't have those numbers at hand, i would suspect that a long view, as you suggest, would reveal a steep and getting steeper decline of the west end wild steelhead runs as well. probably to the point that these fish are overdue for and ESA listing.

    now lets add to that, bank to bank net sets which kill everything that enters the river systems. it is impossible to argue that they are not having a dire effect on wild escapement. i believe the point is simply that WDFW lacks the courage to 'tilt at that windmill' 'cause sure as the sun will rise, those fish are disappearing under our very noses.

    so salmo g., i appreciate your perspective, but i believe it is no longer grounded in the realities of this century. some brave young person is eventually going to break the mold at our local training institution and publish that long awaited paper underscoring the folly of the strategies which continue to fail all of us. in the interum, extinction is what we are facing, and at an exponential rate.
  17. hookedonthefly

    hookedonthefly Active Member

    Quote gt - “but, this is a new century and the tried and true, given what you have described, requires a new, fresh start if management of the resource is to succeed.”

    Perhaps a group of concerned citizens whom will listen to what they have been saying…I think this would qualify as the fresh start we need.

    Quote gt – “the 'old' way of thinking no longer fits the current situations. you have pointed out; population increases, covering over with pavement, harmful runoff, draw down of ground water, clearing riparian zones, dramatic ocean condition changes, and this long list could go on for pages.”

    Yep, you said it. The old way of thinking can no longer continue. That, in my mind, is the ongoing indifference of us, meaning the sportsperson, to what the Bios have been saying for years.

    You cite all these problems; yet, you still think it is all the Tribes and the Bios fault. Well, it’s not. Look to WDFW, DNR, Forestry and this list could go on for pages and pages.

    You fail to understand that you attack the very individuals, i.e.- the Tribes and the Bios, who have the knowledge and power to help us change the way things are done.

    gt quote - ”so now the question becomes, given all of these changes, how can any professional continue looking at management through a lense that was sharp and clear 20 years ago, and expect to make a difference TODAY. well, you see, you can't!”

    The lens is still sharp and clear. The Tribes and the Bios know the problems are the same. Just nobody would listen and WDFW, Washington State politicians have had their way with the resource we love for ages.

    Irresponsible habitat degradation continues. I am sorry but a 50 or 100’ buffer zone on a creek with wild spawners is just not adequate or acceptable.

    gt quote - "we should also put into play the actual harm these same trained fish biologists have done to the resource.”

    You blame a group as a whole. Do you really think the Bios were out there logging around the headwaters? Do you really believe that all the Bios and Tribes thought hatcheries were the answer?

    Do you also think that a majority of the field and political Bios did not warn the “powers that be” of this impending doom we now face?

    gt quote – “my own two eyes confirm this, as the wild steelhead are no longer where they used to be. of course lots of factors, but that is what we have to deal with in this century, and that requires a new paradigm for management.”

    You say your own eyes confirm what you see. I do not disagree with what you see but this is merely anecdotal information. You see nets in the river and less Steelhead; thus, it must be the Tribal nets.

    Well, go back and read my previous post with Smalma explaining the situation with Deer Creek. South Fork Nooksack last year was good to 600 cfs, maybe a little more….possibly 800. Now it’s so off color at 350cfs that it looks like a Louisiana ditch.

    Do you think the Tribal nets did that? Well, they didn’t.

    gt quote - “you also point to the west end stocks as 'ok' as determined by fish biologists.”

    Salmo never said that he thought the OP runs were healthy. Go back and read what he said. Tribal netting schedules are not 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Habitat desecration is 24/7/365…year after year.

    Look to WDFW, the mayor of Forks and their Attorney who threatened to sue over the termination of the Catch ’n Kill wild Steelhead fishery on the OP. WDFW has no backbone, they only give in to the group who applies the most political pressure. Now, that needs to be us but we have to focus on the scientifically identified problem, not what you see.

    gt quote - “just what does that mean?? what are the percentage returns, this year vs last year vs 2000 vs 1995 vs 1990 vs 1980 vs 1970 vs 1960? while i don't have those numbers at hand, i would suspect that a long view, as you suggest, would reveal a steep and getting steeper decline of the west end wild steelhead runs as well. probably to the point that these fish are overdue for and ESA listing.”

    If there is an ever decreasing number of fish which go out, the numbers which come back will continue to decrease as well.

    The constant here on every single river, creek and stream is the ever decreasing amount of an appropriate and healthy habitat for our friends to go when they come home for Christmas.

  18. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

    Thank you Salmo. But if all caps didn’t work, an expert opinion was doomed to fail.

    You exposed the bankrupt logic that pervades the minds of many sports fishermen. I honestly believe that WDFW and numerous politicians have allowed these misconceptions to permeate, if not promoted them. It provides a scapegoat which allows for the truly harmful practices to continue at the expense of fish, tribes and sport fishermen alike. Divide and conquer. I’ve been saying this since the thread started, we need desperately to work with the tribes. The treaty rights that they have at their disposal are the most powerful tool to protect salmon runs. They are the only people with a right to these fish. You and I only have a privilege that may at will be curtailed by the state.

    But like I said earlier, 'chiseled in granite'.
  19. gt

    gt Active Member

    interesting mis-interpretation of what i posted, hookedonthefly.

    what is clear to me is the very folks charged with management of our fishery do not have an operative model for this century. that is the simple essence of my post. it will, indeed, take some brave soul to break with the traditional and failing approachs to fisheries management and suggest a new paradigm for this century.

    just as the young man at oregon state found that doing nothing following a forest fire was the best method for recovery, i am hopeful that another brave young person in fisheries management comes forward with that new model.

    in the interum, of course, all of the issues you mention continue. an N of ONE focused on a single drainage with unaccounted for variables does not make a science of just what may be causing wild steelhead declines in other drainages with yet another set of undefined variables.

    what is clear, is that a drainage can, has and apparently will continue to reach that magic tipping point from which recovery is impossible. how did we get there? well you can enumerate a list longer that everything in this thread and be right on. but, when there are a slim number of events which we can clearly see we need to do something about those.

    killing ESA fish is one of those markers that has been set down and aggressive enforcement really needs to happen. or perhaps, it is as simple as closing all fishing in puget sound for anadramous fishes.

    of course there are other things that should be addressed. but while folks are spinning around the may pole ranting about development, logging, street runoff......................the fish are going extinct. we are not going to turn the corner on any of those long term impacts very soon so it seems to me the obvious needs to be addressed, stop the killing of protected fish.

    and i am sorry to say, the biologists position on management in this century is simply not producting results. now that is one definition of idiocy, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. but, like any science based group, changing a paradigm is tougher than pulling teeth. so while the bios are spinning around, the fish are going extinct.

    that suggests that something radically different needs to be proposed and very soon.
  20. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

    biologists weren't driving policy--or at least it wasn't necessarily science guiding the policy. Interests were, be it dams, development, fishing interests. Who do you think is better qualified to manage these resources.

    What people like Salmo are suggesting is radical--slow or stop the pace of development, that is extremely radical. Because, gt, even if we stop killing an small number of these fish, we will continue to see habitat degradation to the point where the environment won't be able to support healthy runs. If we don't start embracing the idea that we can "turn a corner" on development issues, we won't save these fish. If anything, you don't want radical, you want simple.

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