Wild Steelhead on ice at Pike Place Market

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by markdmc, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Ethan G. I do science.. on fish..

    Posts: 987
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    That's where our window of opportunity is. The natives are not selective about who they sell to, that is true. On the other hand, though, the seller has the choice to be selective about who they buy from. If we could educate the ownerS (with a big "s" :rofl:)then we could make some headway. That would be my plan since there's no way to stop the natives from catching the fish unless the demand is no longer there.
    -Ethan
  2. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    "I guess my generation is just so tired, sick to our stomach, and fucking pissed off we can't even think about it anymore."


    that is a lame excuse for not doing something about this continuing issue. complacence is one of the reasons this practice continues. a whole bunch of places have been mentioned. how about those of you 'in the neighborhood' start talking to the props, getting email addresses and such.

    until or unless each of us actually starts acting, instead of bitching or rolling over and playing dead, nothing is ever going to change.
  3. g_smolt Recreational User

    Posts: 916
    58°19'59 N, 134°29'49 W
    Ratings: +160 / 0
    AAaah, I love the sound of self-righteous white men in the morning.

    All y'all immigrants gotta read up on the Stevens-Palmer treaties, see what caused ol' George to decide the way he did.

    Lucky for you, the tribes didn't continue, and you got to keep your houses and your land.

    That's funny...I seem to remember a bunch of pissed-off indigenous folks saying the same thing in the 60's and early 70's.
  4. markdmc New Member

    Posts: 22
    lynnwood
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I expect to be between jobs sometime this coming week. I like the idea of speaking with the managers at the Pike Place Market. I would like to not sound like a babbling radical lunatic when I do so. I would also like some printable, factual information to help back up my claims. I know, I know... I will put in some elbow grease to find some on my own, it would be nice if someone with previous experience, or an idea where to get it would help. The more reputable the better.
    Some other thoughts:

    -I am sure coach is right that this happens all over this region, and many places we are unaware of, but Pike Place seems a good start. As a symbol of Seattle, and Seattle a staple of the Northwest, it is a real shame that this endangered fish, MY symbol of the Northwest, is for sale there.

    -As alluded to previously, those nets are not discriminatory. May be better to focus on the commercial sale of all steelhead. Tolerate the sale of hatchery fish and the wild ones just get discarded in the trash heap. I'm learning.

    -An organised effort is always more effective than sporadic individual ones. Oh boy, I am getting in way over my head here. The deeper I get, the taller the mountain gets.

    -As a member of a union, I believe picket lines tend to rally those already in your corner, and alienate others. Good for some situations, but maybe not this one. An informational pamphlet that is short, informative, referenced by reputable sources, and served with a smile to the consumers may be better. Now I am definitely in too deep. Anyone got connections at King5 or the Post Intelligencer?

    -As this has been going on for decades I doubt it is the first time the managers or owners have heard about it. Say there is success, say there is enough success that no one in the region sells steelhead in any form. The fervor dies down...one owner puts some on display to gain a market edge....the others join to keep up...business as usual...very disheartening for the effort.

    -Would'nt it be great if a lobby like TU pushed for a tax on the sale of these fish. Something with a little more teeth than the "sin taxes" on alcohol and tobacco. Maybe you can tax the tribes, maybe not, I dont know. I would think you could tax the middle man, and the tax is sure to be pushed on to the consumer. Drive the price out of this world and circumvent the Boldt decision. Something fun to think about.
  5. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    jist think, g smolt, if my ancestors had not walked across the land bridge, you wouldn't even be here and we would not be having this conversation!
  6. markdmc New Member

    Posts: 22
    lynnwood
    Ratings: +0 / 0
  7. g_smolt Recreational User

    Posts: 916
    58°19'59 N, 134°29'49 W
    Ratings: +160 / 0
    I was merely using treaty law as a historic reference...albeit in a highly sarcastic tone.

    It seems to me that indigenous fishing is among the minor worries to salmon and steelhead populations in WA. Bad logging procedures, rampant stream corridor development, redundant or nearing-obsolescence hydropower projects, apathetic WDWF management (both commercial AND sport), constant allocative division among stakeholders...these things are the meat of the problem, yet a vendor in the market selling fish legally taken by indigenous folks sets off the pitchfork and torch mob...

    Why not lobby for complete stream closures? No inriver fishing, by either sport or commercial concerns? Directed aquaculture assessment, watershed health and viability programs? Seasonal closures to allow downstream passage? Buying out the gillnet and seine fleet? Promotion of more "target-specific" fisheries? Spawning and rearing habitat reparation or restoration?

    It just seems to me that burning down the wrong castle in your witch-hunt might be a colossally misdirected waste of your apparent fervor to set things "Right".

    As for the land bridge crack, well...there are a lot of us that had part of the family tree come over on the low tide, man.
  8. gt Active Member

    Posts: 2,616
    sequim, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    sure thing g smolt, difference is i recognize i am on this planet for an eye blink in time. my intent is to do what i can for those left behind. your's, apparently, is to find lame excuses for killing wild fishes and selling them to the highest bidder. and there you have the basics of what sets us apart in our thinking and acting.

    hopefully you have put to rest the grand notion that native americans are the keepers of our resources. anyone who chooses to read a bit of PNW history knows the facts here, indigious peoples are/were/and continue to be resource extractors without apparent thought for the future.
  9. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,396
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,355 / 9
    Isn't it all impacting? So many interrelated acts that individually may not be that overwhelming but combined become more than a healthy popluation can endure. Commercial fisheries, recreational fisheries, native fisheries, population expansion, logging, other loss of habitat impact and I'm sure the list goes on and on beyond my simple mind's capabilities. No one of which will cause the final demise of the steelhead, then whatever other species we target as a global society, then the next....but combined they provide a combined pressure that would turn any old lump of coal into a diamond. I don't care what you think THE problem is, but you are likely looking at a PART of the problem. How do we get our act together to address THE overall problem and all its contributing factors right down to your and my impact? Until we get there the battle will continue to be lost.

    I need another drink, I'm depressing myself.
  10. Ned Wright New Member

    Posts: 283
    Tenino, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    As I see, there is no law that distinguishes wild reared vs hatchery reared salmon and steelhead relevant to commercial fisheries, like there is for sport fisheries.

    Maybe someone should find out who the big wigs are in the state legislature with respect to natural resources and start lobbying. There is going to be a new WDFW commissioner soon. Start making noise in the right place. You guys singlehandedly stopped one fishmonger from bringing it to DC, why not organize and pressure for a bill in the next session. I believe it starts tomorrow...

    Not a big Eymen fan, but he gets it done by knowing the law and ways to get what he wants.

    "I'm just a bill, up on capitol hill...."

    You guys know the tune,
    Ned
  11. g_smolt Recreational User

    Posts: 916
    58°19'59 N, 134°29'49 W
    Ratings: +160 / 0
    Yeah, that's me.

    I support responsible, sustainable development of natural resources, and closely monitored, environmentally stable and friendly development of non-renewable resources in select, non-sensitive areas. To this end, I have made a living in the seafood industry for the last 21 years, and will continue to do so until my dying day. I also volunteer my time and tongue to TU and the Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska to help fight against unneeded or potentially ruinous development in my state. Matter of fact, In the last 21 years, ALL of my income has been rooted in fish...as a business owner, deckhand, guide, fly designer, writer, researcher, biologist...one could say that I owe my existence to fish.

    Your assessment of the PNW "Indigious" [sic] people and your characterization of "the grand notion" is as good an indicator as I need on where you stand.

    By the way, if your logic and syntax are as incomprehensible in person as they are in the written word, you better get a head-start on your "save-the-world" program...they might not understand what you are trying to say for a month or two.
  12. Coach Duff Banned or Parked

    Posts: 1,272
    Kailua Hawaii
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    GT, kiss my ass big boy. Nobody whines and bitches more about the tribes and state than you do. We're all sick and tired of this crap but that is the truth, not an excuse. But I've stood and am still standing on the front lines. And yes I am tired talking about the same shit for 20 years. It's legal genius, and until it's not legal in reality the mongers don't give a shit about you or me or anything we have to say. Been there done that got the t-shirt. Coach
  13. Ned Wright New Member

    Posts: 283
    Tenino, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Well said. Change the laws. Under the recent administration at WDFW commercial fisherman have gotten a preferencial ear. Every working stiff in the agency knew it, stop blaming WDFW, start making sure your voice is heard. And while your at it propose some LAWS!!!
  14. TallFlyGuy Adipossessed!

    Posts: 869
    Vancouver, WA.
    Ratings: +44 / 0
    Has anyone formerly protested and picketed the market...Causing a scene etc? I'd be willing to do that. Might get some media exposure and who knows.
  15. Andrew Lawrence Active Member

    Posts: 734
    Renton, WA.
    Ratings: +100 / 0

    Two weeks ago, I was at the Pike Place Market, where I observed the very same "Wild Steelhead" sign. A subsequent examination of the beautiful specimen of a male steelhead lying on the ice in front of my eyes revealed that the adipose fin was missing. However, unlike this colored up show case of a specimen, the others behind it appeared to be fresh from the ocean. I was not able to check these fish, but it is possible that unlike the one that I did check, they might have been wild.
  16. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,471
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,612 / 0
    Markdmc,

    Now you know that treaty commercial fishing for steelhead is legal. I think you're now informed that there are wild steelhead, hatchery steelhead, and farmed steelhead. The sale of the latter two isn't causing any direct harm to the steelhead resource. There are some who will argue that selling wild steelhead isn't either, but that issue is at least debatable. And you are now informed that when salmon and steelhead are labeled "wild" in a fish market, that usually means the fish grew up in the ocean and not on a fish farm. But in some cases it means the fish are wild and not hatchery, but only in some cases.

    The fish market at Pike Place where they throw the fish has sold wild Hoh River steelhead at times. The Hoh River has frequently been under-escaped (too few wild steelhead making it to the spawning grounds) in recent years. The run sizes were large enough to make escapement, but WDFW and the Hoh Tribe planned and permitted wild steelhead to be harvested.

    Two or three years ago a couple restaurants in the Seattle area were featuring wild Hoh steelhead on their menus. An email campaign like the recent one with Prime Seafood and direct meetings with managers led to those restaurants dropping steelhead from the menu.

    Fish mongers vary. Some care only that what they sell is legal; some care that their fish are part of a sustainable resource. Based on behavior, it seems that the Pike Place monger cares only that his fish are legal to sell. I'm not sure if anything short of an organized boycott of his market would change his behavior. So far no one has put much, if any, effort into it.

    I guess the first thing you might want to do is determine if the fish you saw are wild or hatchery or a mix, which is likely if they are from the coastal tribes: Quinault, Hoh, and Quilleyute.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
  17. markdmc New Member

    Posts: 22
    lynnwood
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    researched it a bit, thanks for parker stevens, going to advise no boycotts, its WDFW. Can anyone explain escapements, when 50,000 returned to skykomish in days past. and now 3,000 do?
  18. Fish Hunter Too many people, not enough fish

    Posts: 200
    WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Just one more reason to stay the hell away from Seattle, more flipping liberal than Eugene.
  19. pollopato New Member

    Posts: 13
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    could be wrong, but i always thought "wild" (in the context of buying salmon) meant "not grown on a farm in a big disgusting, disease-spreading, excrement-concentrating net" ...
  20. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,471
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,612 / 0
    Markdmc,

    Escapement is that number of fish escaping fisheries and, for the most part, arriving to the spawning grounds. The run sizes of most species, especially steelhead, but I should include chinook and coho salmon as well, were very much larger in the time period 1850-1900 than they are in contemporary times. There are several reasons; they all relate to fishing and habitat.

    Fishing is the easy one. Any run that has not been fished to extirpation, or nearly so, can be recovered simply by reducing fishing mortality. Fishing mortality has been very significantly reduced for all WA State salmon and steelhead populations. Deduction tells us the next logical question is "why haven't the runs rebounded?"

    Habitat is reason runs haven't rebounded and won't rebound to their former levels in any human time scale. Habitat influences anadromous fish populations by its productivity, capacity, and diversity (which influences the fish populations diversity as well). Productivity is reduced in Puget Sound area river basins by about 90% from a century or so ago. That, in a nutshell, explains more about current population levels than any other factor. Productivity is reduced by all the usual suspects: land clearing, logging, road building, agriculture, urban, suburban, and rural residential, commercial, and industrial development, pollution, dams, water diversions, and most other forms of anthropogenic activity.

    Capacity has been reduced by obstructing access to habitat with dams, culverts, and stream channel straightening and simplification.

    Habitat diversity is reduced by many or most of the factors already listed.

    Ocean survival is a habitat influence on fish populations as well. Some of the ocean factors limiting populations are anthropogenic, and some are not. Forage species may be over-harvested, predator-prey relationships are re-arranged, and who knows what else we've done to screw things up in the ocean arena. And then there are natural variations in ocean productivity that we are just learning to identify and understand. And even then, we may not be able to do anything about it.

    So there you have it. River systems that once returned fish populations of say 50,000 now return about 3,000 in some cases. All is not lost however. Some recent Puget Sound pink and chum salmon returns have been at or near historic levels, and a few Snohomish River basin coho runs (catch plus escapment) have approached historic population estimates. The upshot is that the potential remains to have self-sustaining runs of wild salmon and steelhead in most of our river basins, but not all, and those runs will be a fraction of their historic size for the reasons listed above.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.