Wild Steelhead (Quinault Tribe) on the menu again...

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by sleestak240, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. sleestak240 Active Member

    Posts: 104
    WA
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    Wild steelhead advocates,

    I've recently been informed by a good friend in Colorado that an upscale restaurant in Steamboat Springs has chosen to sell wild steelhead harvested by the Quinault tribe. The restaurant in question is the Truffle Pig (http://www.trufflepigrestaurant.com/).

    The tactic of the Quinault tribe is clearly to try and sell their unsustainably harvested fish in locations where the plight of the steelhead is less known than in the Pacific Northwest.

    The form letter the restaurant is sending is as follows (and clearly displays that they believe what the Quinault Tribe is telling them):

    "Thank you for your concern about us using a species of fish that is in danger. We are proud that all of our products served at the truffle pig are sustainably harvested, particularly our Steelhead trout. Our Steelhead trout comes from the Quinault River in Washington State. We use a small cooperative within the Quinault River Indian tribal association. The fish is all line caught. These people are all so responsible for helping to renew fish populations in the area that are in danger. Our purchase of fish from them helps these efforts.
    Thank you for your concern"


    I know that several successful appeals have been made to restaurants engaging in the sale of Olympic Peninsula steelhead in the past. Perhaps we can reveal the truth regarding the plight of steelhead to this restaurant manager.

    Contact information is as follows:
    Joshua Eckhaus (jeckhaus@trufflepigrestaurant.com)
    Phone: (970) 879-7470

    P.S.: Osprey Steelhead News has a good form letter from the Rays Boathouse campaign that would apply in this situation as well.

    Thank you for your time and commitment.
  2. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,494
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,685 / 2
    email sent
  3. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,494
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,685 / 2
    "Thanks for your informative help Evan. We have discontinued purchasing steel head trout."

    That was quick!
  4. sleestak240 Active Member

    Posts: 104
    WA
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    Thank you Evan and anyone else who might have sent emails...I know several of my friends have been working them hard for the past couple of weeks. We'll keep our eyes open to verify that they have, indeed, stopped purchasing steelhead.
  5. Dan Cuomo Active Member

    Posts: 282
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +68 / 0
    Good work! I just sent this as a follow-up.


    I understand that you have promised to discontinue buying and serving wild steelhead. If such is true - and I'll have friends who work on the hill who can and will confirm this - than I appreciate and applaud your decision. Accordingly, I assure you that I and many other skiing fly fishers will make it a point to patronize your restaurant whenever we are in the area.

    Sincerely, and with Thanks, Dan Cuomo
    Tacoma, WA
  6. Dan Page Active Member

    Posts: 443
    Yelm, Wa., USA.
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    To bring up a point made in past threads regarding the sale of steelhead, the Tribes have sold "wild caught" hatchery fish under the label "wild steelhead". As I understand they can legally sell netted hatchery fish under that label. However, they sell their netted "native", unclipped steelhead under that label as well.
    Naturally, restaurants now want to be on the "sustainable fisheries" bandwagon, to serve fish that are from wild sustainable stocks. Most don't have the total picture with regard to this complex steelhead situation.
    It's great to see the effort of this community to inform, educate and work for these fish.
    Good job guys! :thumb:
  7. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,494
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,685 / 2
    Hatchery and wild is irrelevant in this situation. Hatcheries wipe out wild fish, and heavy netting pressure during the peak hatchery runs have decimated early timed winter natives. There should be no distinction between the two stocks, and it's important to let the restaurants know that hatcheries are part of the problem, not the solution as they are told by the tribes.
  8. Dan Page Active Member

    Posts: 443
    Yelm, Wa., USA.
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    Evan,
    I agree totally, just wanted to point this out if the issue ever came up for someone.
    A couple years ago I got into a discussion with a seller of Tribal fish in Olympia. They justified sales by saying they were hatchery fish, or at least were told they were hatchery fish. I went back at a later date and they had decided to not sell any steelhead. Most people are not savvy about this issue and don't know the huge differences between wild, hatchery, and farmed steelhead. A little information presented correctly can go a long way.
  9. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,858
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +52 / 1
    "Thank you for your concern about us using a species of fish that is in danger. We are proud that all of our products served at the truffle pig are sustainably harvested, particularly our Steelhead trout. Sustainably caught is the lastest round of jargon. Lower Quinault Wild stocks are considered depressed with high hatchery introgression.

    Our Steelhead trout comes from the Quinault River in Washington State... and the Queets, Humptulips, and Chehalis
    We use a small cooperative within the Quinault River Indian tribal association. The fish is all line caught. If line caught refers to a gill net. New PR twist for sustainability as gill nets have a bad reputation as they should.

    These people are all so responsible for helping to renew fish populations in the area that are in danger. So they openly admit the lower quinault fish are in danger but don't clip any fish, release smolt with IHN virus, and dump upwards of 300,000 smolt every year. All for recovery?

    The restaurant was quick to act!
  10. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,209
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    Selling steelhead should be illegal period.

    Wild hatchery, I don't care, lets get rid of the market for hatchery fish, which is one step closer to getting rid of hatcheries.

    If people would really rather eat steelhead than salmon (why they would I have no idea?) and we decide that we should have commerical fisheries for hatchery steelhead lets at least not waste our rivers on them, instead ocean ranch them...