Wild Steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by gbhstrat, Feb 13, 2002.

  1. gbhstrat New Member

    Posts: 82
    Covington, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I was fly fishing last Sunday on the Sauk River. Just as I arrived from a long walk up the river, some other guy was right behind me on the walk in. He started fishing right above me with a big spin and glow thing (probably corkies and yarn). Within his second cast he lands a really big chrome steelhead with his marlin size bait casting rod. To my amazement he did not even attempt to play the fish, he reeled the fish fast and beached it on the rocks in a matter of seconds. He no sooner landed it and he smacks it with a rock. I walked up to check it out and it's a wild steelhead! When I say that all wild steelhead are supposed to be released, he says it is not in the regulations. I told him it is in the special regulations that come out, but he said he wasn't aware and started to cop an attitude. Man was I bummed. Then I started thinking that this is probable one of the many people who never check for the special regulations that come out after the regulations are published. He probably stays dumb about the regulations to keep justifying keeping the fish. He was even filling out his catch card when I came up to talk to him. Needless to say, I fished for several hours and got skunked. All I could thinsk about was wishing a game warden would come around.

    Oh well, fishing attracts many people and as long as the state allows wild steelhead to be another meat fish, it will attract the low lifes who seem to use fishing as a way to occupy their time. I don't know what to say, should fishing licenses fees be raised to provide more enforcement? Should there be a separate fee just for Steelhead or maybe all rivers should require a special license that requires passing a fish identification test (like the state does for Geese in some areas).

    Maybe the state will just end up closing a bunch of rivers in a few years to all fishing after some date. Or like the Ceader River (that I work by and live by), closed all year. I bet there are a lot of people like this jackass who will continue to ruin it until the state takes more aggressive action.

    :MAD
  2. Jim Jenkins New Member

    Posts: 114
    Bothell, Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I have called the WDFW to report illegal fishing activities before and if you don't get anyone there you can call the State Patol and they will respond. And yes they will issue a citation too!!! One of the most important things you can take fishing is your cell phone. There are not near enough game wardons to be everywhere they need to be and they told me they are depending on US to help!!! To bad you couldn't have just bonked him on the head and takin' him out of the gene-pool. Igorance is NO excuss, my bet is knew what he was doing and just playing dumb. Its so frustrating to run into those kind of A__-holes!!!
    Jim J.
  3. guest Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm not for the guy that bonked that fish but not everybody has a computer to check out the regs. I guess you could check with the papers to see the updates. And as for a cell phone,not all cell phones will work in that area. Mine don't can't get a signal there. too many hills. I'm all for releasing all fish if I could only catch some. Jim S. :AA :THUMBSUP
  4. Jim Jenkins New Member

    Posts: 114
    Bothell, Wa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I not to familiar with that area and phone coverage. Any responsible fisherman should call the 1-800 number though to check for any changes before they go fish, that is if you don't have a computer like you said. That's the way we used to do in the good ole days! Or as you also say read the paper but ours around here don't have much on fishing, certainly not anything about reg changes. I just can't buy into anyone NOT knowing, no excusses, take away his or anyone's fishing privileges NOT just a fine whom choose not to obey the laws.
    Jim J.
  5. ray helaers New Member

    Posts: 1,088
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    The current regs pamphlet clearly says that wild steelhead may be kept from Dec 1 to Feb 28 on the Sauk. Of course you'd have to have your head pretty far up not to know that WDFW had imposed an emergency rule requiring wild c&r on the Sauk (and Skagtit, and Sky) this season from Dec 1. And whether you're aware or not is irrelevant in the eyes of the law. One way to handle it (what I try to do) is to act like you're doing the guy a favor, just giving him a friendly warning about what the regs really are, and that if the warden shows up, he's going to get a big fine and lose his gear. At least you'll probably get him off the river for the day, particularly if YOU leave, so he has to wonder whether you went to go get the warden yourself (of course you could actually do just that).

    It's a hassle, particularly if you are in a favorite or productive hole. I guess it depends on how important it is to you. I don't know that I'd want to force a face to face confrontation by calling WDFW or the State Patrol on my cell phone right in front of the guy. These chaps usually ARE doing it on purpose, and a scoff-law on fishng regs may have similar respect for injunctions against assault and battery. I guess that REALLY depends on how important it is to you.

    And I don't mean to let WDFW completely of the hook. I haven't been out much this year, not at all on the Sauk, and I guess I'd like to know if WDFW has AT LEAST posted anything on the river, or at least at the public access points, about the emergency rule.
  6. o mykiss Active Member

    Posts: 1,305
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    Ratings: +180 / 0
    This is why, I'm afraid, that the oft-expressed hope that C&R ethics will become widespread, save the day and obviate the need for WDFW to actually do something to save dwindling wild fish populations is a pipe dream (although it certainly doesn't hurt to spread the good word). If we had statewide C&R on wild fish, at least jerks like this guy (I think he's a jerk for killing wild fish whether it's legal or not, but that's just my opinion) wouldn't be able to play dumb. Unfortunately, our WDFW commissioners are a bunch of cowards or idiots - maybe both. And we do need way more enforcement. In today's economic environment, the only way we will is for anglers to be charged more for licenses (kind of like a sin tax on alcohol - some people use it in moderation and some don't, but the only reasonable way for society to cover the indirect costs of abuse is for all users to pay the costs of those who abuse).
  7. gbhstrat New Member

    Posts: 82
    Covington, Wa, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thinking it is OK to keep wild steelhead because of the regulations pamphlet is part of the problem. The Sauk has been closed to wild steelhead because it is part of the Skagit River system. The rules change came out on November 28th last year. See the link.
    http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/fish/regs/regchng/nov2801c.htm

    That is why I believe the State needs to adopt a permanent catch and release policy for out rivers. That way there is no wiggle room for people to claim ignorance of the law. I saw a lot of so called fly fisher claim ignorance of the law last year on the Stilly when in fact they new that they were not suppose to be harassing the Chinook with weighted flys. http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/fish/regs/regchng/aug1501b.htm As soon as the cost was clear, they would drop a custom made streamer with a monster disguised lead weight. They would snag a Salmon more often than not. Everyone who fishers the north fork knows where the hole is just off the road that I am talking about. One time on my way to check out the hole, I just walked up as a guy had a fish on. To my amazement the guy claimed he did not know about the weighted fly rule as I warned him that the game warden is checking all the time. Then he pulls in the fish. The fish was fouled in the back with a huge streamer with a big weighted head. It had so much weight it was more of a jig than a fly. Then the guy looks at me and says, "can I keep him when they are snagged". I told him that it was a protected naturally spawning Chinook, and that you can never keep a snagged fish even if it was legal to catch them. He let the fish go and I walked off in amazement.

    PS, My cell phone does not work up there.
  8. hikepat Patrick

    Posts: 1,803
    Des Moines, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +12 / 0
    The next time you go out on your local waters take a few copies of the updated regulations out with you and post them. The game wardens can not be every where. If the rules are posted it will be harder for people to claim they did not know, and it will let the honest ones who do not have a computer know what the rules are. Also this will replace ones that were torn down. This also helps with fisherman who travel to many diffrent areas on vacations etc to know what the updated rules are. While in Montana this last summer. Many fliers were posted asking fishermen not to fish the rivers during the middle of the day so that the fish would have a chance to rest. These were posted because of the low water levels, causing a low amount of o2 in the water and higher water tempatures then normal. These fliers were posted not by fish and game but by some of the local flyfishing clubs. While I do not recomend us posting our own rules we our selves go by, posting the updated WSDF rules will help to protect the fish at least from the people who really did not know. I did notice while fishing that the Green River area around Flaming Gyser is already well marked. Since no one was catching anything it was hard to tell if the wild release rules were being followed.
  9. cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

    Posts: 1,674
    Arlington
    Ratings: +331 / 0
    I hate these kinds of guys. I just heard of a guy getting caught with a wild fish on the Skagit recently and he got a $100 fine. That's it. And he knew about the CnR regs. If that's the fine then most of these dimwits are going to make that gamble.
    I've thought of what I'd do in your situation and I think it would be hard to keep my cool about it. There is a chance he didn't know so wacking him one wouldn't be fair. But cell phones and CAMERAS can be very handy. Also get a license plate number. No phone reception? Anywhere on the Sauk is only 10 minutes from a phone. And what a coincidence it would be if somebody let the air out of his tires while you were gone. :AA
    Don't put all gear fisherman into the same class. A lot of us fly anglers do both. Yeah, the boneheads are always using gear, I'll admit that. But not all gear users are boneheads.
    I saw a warden on the sauk earlier this week so they are around.