Wild Steelhead??

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by jessejames, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. I had my 6 month check-up yesterday with my Cardiologist. His Father was the longtime manager of the fish hatchery at Orofino Idaho on the Clearwater. He told me that his Dad and the current manager of the hatchery had an unwritten agreement with the Indian officials (Nez Pierce) that required them to only fin clip 80% of the hatchery fish to allow more returned fish for the tribe. There has been a lot of talk about the number of wild steelhead that fishermen are having to release in the Snake and the Clearwater this year. Maybe the're not all wild fish after all.
    jesse clark
  2. I have no doubt that there are many "Unmarked Steelhead" out there in our region's rivers that are of hatchery origin.
  3. Same thing on the Methow. Most of the fish are unmarked fish of hatchery origin. You can tell the difference by looking at their dorsal fin. The wild fish have beautifully perfect dorsals, the hatchery fish do not.
  4. I spoke with a guy fishing the Ronde this year and that same topic was discussed. Upon telling him how we were catching more “natives” than “hatchery” fish. He explained how he had bellied up next to an Idaho G & F officer at the local tavern and got to talking with him. Apparently the hatchery in Idaho is not clipping 50% of the fish released misleading those of who catch them and assume their “natives”…I’m new to the steelhead fishing game but it seems like it defeats the purpose of protecting the future genetics of a native species.

    So the native steelhead I caught were they truly native??? I’ll never know but it was awesome catching them :thumb:

  5. I’ll check on this (with people in the Fish Program in Olympia), but in 2005 all steelhead are suppose to be mark in Washington. If I remember right there about 80% marked now.
  6. This is justa stink, a wretched, foul odor that emmanates from a rather evil practice: hatcheries. :mad:

    And they count these unclipped hatch brats as wild in census taking. It is why we were told in Bremerton that the wild runs were healthy, no problem to kill off a few thousand more. :mad:

    I will release all steellhead, even if those I am releasing that I believe to be wild are in fact Indian or hatchery fakes.

    Bob, the Wouldn't you think with the eminent extinction of wild fish at hand, some of the humans on the WDFW would act as humans? Hell no, I guess. :mad:

    Forget the adipose lies: Here is a wild fish--

    He has his adipose.
    He has beautifully marked fins.
    His coloration and dots are wonderful.
    He is usually more than six pounds.
    You catch him in late spring.
    He fiights like a steelhead, long and hard.
    You can just tell that he is special and should be released if we want more of them.
    He carries a tag that says, "Bob loves me."
  7. Bob wrote:

    "He has his adipose.
    He has beautifully marked fins.
    His coloration and dots are wonderful.
    He is usually more than six pounds.
    You catch him in late spring.
    He fiights like a steelhead, long and hard.
    You can just tell that he is special and should be released if we want more of them.
    He carries a tag that says, "Bob loves me." "

    Very nice!! :thumb:
  8. Personally I would have a hard time killing either. Just because one was from a hatchery does that mean that it did not travel to places that I will never go, further than I will ever travel in a few year, and work harder to reproduce then I would ever think about doing. Either way, I am impressed.
  9. Bob wrote:
    "And they count these unclipped hatch brats as wild in census taking. It is why we were told in Bremerton that the wild runs were healthy, no problem to kill off a few thousand more."

    Actually, yes, in a black and white world, you're right. We'd probably be better off having never had hatcheries. That's what pretty much all scientific literature tells us. All WDFW-indian fisherman conspiracies aside, there are a number of hatchery operations in the northwest (and the northeast and elsewhere) that operate with the intention of boosting native runs (i.e. 'supplementation') - not with the specific intention of increasing catches for commercial and native fisheries (i.e. 'production'). Plus, the method of not clipping some fish will also result more fisherman downstream NOT being able to keep fish.

    On the Methow, Wenatchee, Entiat, Okanogan/Similkameen, there is a huge number of hatchery-origin fish that are not clipped. It's not an issue of artificially increasing the counts of wild fish. These are the progeny of parents where at least one (ideally both) was wild, which were specifically crossed together at the hatchery to do the least amount of domestication to the population at large. The smolts are acclimated in ponds in the upper watersheds of the basins to encourage them to return to the upper watersheds to spawn there naturally. They're ad-clipped to decrease the chance that they're killed.

    Biologists take samples from these fish to give escapement estimates for wild and hatchery fish to each river. Origin is determined by scale sampling which is very accurate. It's not done solely based on whether or not they have an adipose clip. Because of the way the estimates are done, its not possible to over or underestimate the wild or hatchery component, it's going to be proportionally accurate.

    The point of the regulation is not to fool anglers. The rule on the upper Columbia is 'no retention of steelhead without an absent ad-fin with a healed scar' not 'no retention of wild fish'. The point is to attempt to increase natural spawning in the river while at the same time operating within the reality that we're not getting rid of commercial or sport fisheries anytime soon. Might not be a glorious reality but without it, I don't believe we'd have salmon on steelhead in many of our upper Columbia tributaries.
  10. Oh, oh, oh...don't flame Northlake27 for that last message. He's my dad!

    I'm over at his house digesting Turkey and lots of wine! I can't figure out how to sign out of his account on his computer and login as myself!
  11. split personality??? Did you forget your meds today??? :rofl: :rofl: :p :p Just kidding of course :thumb:
  12. OK, before to many get over heated maybe we should ask these people what's going on?

    John Andrews
    Regional 1 Director
    8702 North Division Street
    Spokane, Washington 99218
    Office Hours: Monday - Friday
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Telephone (509) 456-4082
    Fax (509) 456-4071

    Dennis Beich
    Regional 2 Director
    1550 Alder Street NW
    Ephrata, Washington 98823-9699
    Office Hours: Monday - Friday
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Telephone (509) 754-4624
    Fax (509) 754-5257

    Jeff Tayer
    Regional 3 Director
    1701 South 24th Avenue
    Yakima, Washington 98902-5720
    Office Hours: Monday - Friday
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Telephone (509) 575-2740
    Fax (509) 575-2474

    Bob Everitt
    Regional 4 Director
    16018 Mill Creek Boulevard
    Mill Creek, Washington 98012-1296
    Office Hours: Monday-Friday
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Telephone (425) 775-1311
    Fax (425) 338-1066

    Guy Norman
    Regional 5 Director
    2108 Grand Boulevard
    Vancouver, Washington 98661
    Office Hours: Monday-Friday
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Telephone (360) 696-6211
    Fax (360) 906-6776

    Sue Patnude
    Regional 6 Director
    48 Devonshire Road
    Montesano, Washington 98563
    Office Hours: Monday-Friday
    9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Telephone (360) 249-4628
    Fax (360) 664-0689
  13. Northlake27, thank you for a very informative post.

  14. Same is true for stocked vs. wild trout, haven't really noticed it on salmon (haven't caught to many stocked salmon)
  15. The interesting part of this thread and many others like it is the common need for accurate information. The State holds it's cards too close to the vest. The Wenatchee is a good example. How long have we been hearing that some type of a season will happen maybe next year.

    If the fishing public had access to their goals and results we could cope with the process or try to change it in a business like way. Maybe if we demanded the WDFW open up their books, some of these issues could be corrected.

  16. As a general rule, and if you are a state agency, if you are hiding something, it is generally not a good sign, especially if they can't use the "national security is at stake ploy." What about the freedom of information act here?

    Do we have a right to review what the DFW is up to? The fish belong to us and DFW is paid by us. I don't think we should be easily discounted.

    Also, this idea of attending public hearings, listening to an overwhelming cry to release all wild fish, only to find that they voted to allow the destruction of native fish, is getting on my nerves. I mean, what's the point? I'd rather go fishing that to give up time attending these hearings, only to find it was for naught.

    Bob, the Adipose fin does not a wild fish make? :confused:
  17. "What's the point?"( of going to meetings, testimony etc)

    The point is that if we don't take the time to do it then the only voice we will hear out there will be:


    Most of the gains in wild fish conservation here have been very hard won. As far as time and personal expense, it has always been a matter of diminishing returns,( not to mention diminished return runs of wild fish.)

    But there is real progress here. Four years ago you could legally kill 30 wild steelhead in Washington. That was just plain wrong. Then, despite the political bullying of the pro harvest side, the harvest was reduced to five wild steelhead per year.

    Now, after some very good qualified science, and a tremendous amount of behind the scenes professional work, all of it volunteer, and a landslide of grass roots campaigning and the testimony of wild fish advocates at many public hearings- including your own- we have a one fish per season limit on wild steelhead in Washington.

    This was accomplished despite a brutal amount of very ugly political manipulation by the pro harvest side, including such luminaries as Rep Jim Buck( R-Joyce,Wa), Mayor Nedra Reed of Forks, WA, and a host of tribal interests who feared public scorn for their own continued netting harvest in the face of an outright sport catch moratorium on wild steelhead harvest. It did not help that we were in an election year and that our state's attorney general, Christine Gregoire, was running for Governor.

    Without the lifelong committment to wild fish conservation, from fishermen and concerned citizen conservationists and scientists, there would be no Endangered Species Act or designated ESU's today, much less wild steelhead.

    Every voice counts. Each time it is needed. Any time we catch a wild fish; a sea run cutthroat trout, a bull trout or a wild steelhead or salmon, we owe a debt of gratitude to the efforts of those who came before us and who stood up, often at tremendous personal expense, against impossible odds on behalf of wild fish, wildlife and the environment.

    The momentum of the development and resource exploitation dollar has gained renewed vigor in these twisted political times. We who regard the environment and it's many indigenous species as worthy of conservation, restoration and preservation, must also find the courage and endurance to work tirelessly, selflessly and together against these threats to the decades of hard-won conservation protections for wild fish and their habitats.

    What will we leave behind? What will our world be like fifty years from now. What will our children, and our children's children think of us from the world they inherit?

    No matter what our managers or politicians do or say, we owe it to Life to stand and deliver.
  18. Bob,

    Very well said.

    I think it was Gandhi that said something like this. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then the fight you, then they go away.

    A lot of work has been done already. Right now it looks like it's time to fight.

  19. Well here is what they said

    "WDFW Hatcheries mark 100% of the Steelhead and the Tribal Hatcheries will mark 100% of there Steelhead by 2005. The Quinaults were the last hold out."
  20. Thanks Brian for your research and posting that info.
    jesse clark

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