Would you stop fishing? (Steelhead)

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Panhandle, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,978
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +519 / 2
    I'm like most everyone else. I would do it in a heartbeat, as long as I was convinced that the other "pieces of the pie" were making the same sacrifice.

    Also as LD said: "better enforcement, I so not want to stop so poachers have more fish"
  2. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,978
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +519 / 2
    I dunno..."Carpie Mike" has a nice ring to it.
  3. troutfanatic A day not spent wasted is.....wasted.

    Posts: 295
    Monroe WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    iagree I have all the same concerns plus one. No brood stock program. Oregon fish and wildlife did a study on brood stock and found that the survivability rate of brood stock decrease by roughly 40% each successive generation.

    I think if we had ten years it would be back on stable ground provided all of the above is done. 10 years is at least a couple generations of fish.
  4. Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Posts: 7,138
    Not sure
    Ratings: +1,228 / 0
    I stopped years ago and for exactly the same reason.

    Decide for yourself just where the buck stops. If it's with someone or somewhere else, you're part of the problem.

  5. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    kent and tim, all the recovering native steelhead thank you.
  6. Bruce Davidson formerly hatman

    Posts: 221
    SeaTac, WA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Yes, for most of the reasons, and with most of the caveats listed above. It would probably mean, at my age, never fishing for them again, but the prospect of knowing natives no longer swim our rivers is far more painful than never fishing for them again.
  7. Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Posts: 1,965
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +124 / 0
    My, aren't we all good, obedient little citizens?:rolleyes:

    Actually, I am too; have been all my life. But there are limits. Might it just be that I have a natural right to fish for the greatest of freshwater game fish (in this part of the world, anyway)? (Perhaps that's included under Article 9 of the Bill of Rights - the one that everybody forgets.) If it's true that "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed," then perhaps that's the point at which I withdraw my consent. Remember the words of the Indian chief, who said, "If you stop us from hunting, then we will hunt mice; for we are hunters."

    At the least, we should demand that the authorities design ways of at least quasi-fishing, methods that would do no harm to the fish. How about allowing fishing with hooks that are not only barbless but pointless? I'd settle for an occasional tug on my spayed spey fly.

    But if the authorities are as adament and uncompromising as government decisions occasionally are, if I had to carve out my own small niche of freedom in an unfree world, then maybe I'd dress in ghillie camoflauge, and use spare tackle that I could stand to have confiscated.

    But I'd still fish barbless.
  8. Kevin Giusti New Member

    Posts: 216
    Fort Bragg,Ca
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Whoo! What a question! I read this when panhandle first posted. Ive had dinner,desert read some of the responses and thought about what my choice would be. And in all honesty I dont think I could do it. Maybe for ten years but twenty honestly no. Yes I am a selfish steelhead junky, I ADMIT IT! So think of me what you may but please continue reading.Certainly I dont catch a ton of fish every year. I do practice catch and release. Im a relative small pea in a big pot. But even a small pea is part of the big stew. If I were to give it up for even the ten years I would have to be certain that all the ingredients of the ENTIRE steelhead stew be properly prepped simmered and given time to cook. From every pea and carrot to the big chunks of potatoes and meat and of course the gravy. So that in those ten years of simmering all that prepping of ingredients and simmering time would all blend together to make the BEST STEELHEAD STEW POSSIBLE!! And during those ten years I would do all that I could to prep the ingredients and check in on the progress of the stew. It would keep me close to the steelhead and the streams and rivers that mean so much to me. When I really think about why it would be so hard for me its not the actual fighting and landing of the fish. Sure its a great thrill to hook land and release such a great fish I wont deny that. Steelheading is a REALLY big part of my life. It keeps me sane although many think what I do is completely INSANE!@The same people ask "did ya catch anything" and most often the ansewer is NO> followed by "why would you go out and stand in a river all day waving around a pole with a line and a fly on the end of it and not even catch anything! Sounds pretty lame to me!" well Id rather go and tie some flies for the next day of fishing rather than try to explain to them how the lighting on the river was as the sun came up and the mist on river began to rise. Or how it felt to make that hard cast and then mend and manipulate my line and fly just right to get it to fish through that good holding area just right. Or that feeling you get when your fly is really driving in a swing and all your senses are on high alert because you know what can happen at any second. The feeling of fishing a run really well,fish or no fish. finding a nice spot in the sun to lay back and take an afternoon break and thinking "man this sure beats the couch" Steelheading offers me so much more than just catching a fish. It gives me confidence it gives me focus it gives me a drive that I can put to use in other parts of my life. Putting in hours of focused fishing without as much as a little pull yet having to keep that focus and confidence that Im doing it right its gonna happen its gonna happen.... And when that grab finally comes theres a great sense of accomplishment. Now if you told me I could still go out and fish for steelhead only that I could ONLY use flies with no hooks or the hook bends cut off, well you can sign me up for life on that one. Which raises another question for me?? Man panhandle you really got me thinking on this one! I hope you can all see where I stand and why. And if you care to think of me as a selfish steelheader you are entitled to your opinion. This question has me looking at my own opinion of myself also. Kevin
  9. BFK Member

    Posts: 332
    North Sound, Wash.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Actually, I've stopped too.

    The current timing of my work schedule keeps me off the rivers when the brats are in, and I won't chase natives in a catch-and-release season. I believe it is hypocritical for those who do and then want to "ensure that wild steelhead survive." Fishing on those stocks is killing some of them, assuming, of course you actually catch one.

    That is one reason I'd like to see expanded hatchery programs in those systems and streams where wild fish stocks are extirpated or past the point of reasonable recovery. By enlightened hatchery management, we might actually have steelhead to fish in more rivers for more of the year.

    And by doing that, we'll gain more anglers as advocates. Another benefit would be a stronger infrastructure for fishermen: more little fly shops able to stay open. Without fishing in this state, we'll all be buying from catalogs, whether we want to or not.
  10. Chris DeLeone Active Member

    Posts: 526
    Monroe, WA
    Ratings: +90 / 0
    Lets turn this around a little, we have the two S rivers that you can't fish when the natives are in - the Sky (for almost ten years) and the Stilly about the same, has that helped the runs to return? Wenatchee to name another. Each basin is different and has its own specific issues -understood, but lets look big picture: WE DON'T FISH THESE RUNS.

    Please present a river in Washington that has stopped a catch and release fishery and has brought back wild runs...

    Do you think the commerical guys are losing sleep over this question? NOPE.

    Lets look at Florida for a quick second - They stopped the netting and pushed the commerical fleet off shore and their numbers came back. Stop the nets (non treaty and Indian) for ten years and let the Sportmen's dollar pay for the habitat restoration. I don't understand the "sportmens fault" thing - I think if we give our fishing rights away we will never get them back.

    I'm sure thousands of pounds of Wild Steelhead are by-catch in commerical fleets each year - its against the law to have a steelhead game fish on a boat in Washington. So what do the boats do - Man overboard. The state knows it happens (their dirty little secret) and has no way of documenting it. A known UNKNOWN - Let me repeat, the state has no way of documenting how many Steelhead are killed in non-treaty nets each year - Treaty nets, YES.

    Try to find out how NOAA is documenting the number of wild ESA listed Steelhead that are killed in the Chinook Columbia commerical fishery. I have looked and can't find a thing -
    If I am wrong or off base on this, please inform me. I welcome the education

    I would not support it -
  11. Dave Hartman is tired of trout

    Posts: 591
    Whitefish, MT
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    I'm glad someone started this thread. I thought about doing so recently, but thought I was the only one starting to feel this way. The responses so far surprise me.
    Yes, I think I am in the process of quitting steelhead. The past couple of times I have gone and fished the Sky, I have left depressed. It has a lot to do with what I have learned on this board: that these rivers' wild fish are in dire straights. And I can't help but think that I am contributing to the demise. Are there really so few wild fish left? If so, WTF am I doing by harassing them?
    Ignorance was bliss. . .

    So yes, I'd quit if I knew something was going to be done. But not just yet. I have still to catch that perfect chrome buck. . .
  12. Chris DeLeone Active Member

    Posts: 526
    Monroe, WA
    Ratings: +90 / 0
    Dave don't get down on yourself or on the Sky, in Early Feb you may be fishing for ten percent of the wild run - That's why they close it in the end of Feb.
    Fish for them they are wonderful sexy fish, if your lucky you may get one or two - play them fast and take care of em, they need you to do that and not to forget about them.

  13. Panhandle Active Member

    Posts: 4,103
    Selkirk Mountains, Idaho Panhandle
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    Great responses guys!

    I have great respect for those who would honestly put their rods down and opt for trout, carp, walleye, or no fishing what so ever.

    In this scenario there are no reassurances that things will work out, it’s a sacrifice-- its life. The point is, are you willing to substitute self gratification for the well being of a native species?

    I also respect the individuals, like myself, who would have a heavy heart trying to decide what to do.

    It would be very difficult for me to enjoy trout fishing, knowing I don't have a steehead trip planned.
  14. Panhandle Active Member

    Posts: 4,103
    Selkirk Mountains, Idaho Panhandle
    Ratings: +23 / 0
  15. johnnyrockfish Member

    Posts: 320
    Kitsap County, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Great Thread.

    Sportsmen up here need to do what they did in Fla and other Gulf Coast states and get organized and lobby hard for real changes. The pain has to be felt in reforms all the way around, commercial, sport, and tribal. Without equal commitment/pain one user group will always be able to point to the other and say "why don't they have to contribute?".

    We all have an equal stake in this, including the tribes. Any group that refuses to accept firm steps toward the recovery of the resource, including outright bans on all fishing, is an enemy of that resource.

    I believe the fish are resilient and numbers will improve if given the chance. But, no pain, no gain.
  16. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,606
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,724 / 0
    It's a big assumption that closing the rivers to steelhead fishing would save the runs. The data don't support such a conclusion, but if they did, then yes, I would stop fishing for those native steelhead. Since the data don't support that conclusion, and support the supposition that the presently restricted treaty and recreational fisheries have no causative effect on wild steelhead population status, then I intend to keep wading and casting so long as it is legal to do so.

  17. David Prutsman All men are equal before fish

    Posts: 322
    Woodland Park, Colorado
    Ratings: +25 / 0
  18. Will Atlas Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I agree with salmo and others who say that ultimately sport fishing is a drop in the bucket. That being said if the stocks would actually recover if we stopped fishing for 20 years I'd be all for it. That's just such a ridiculous assertion I have a hard time imaging. Stopping fishing wont bring back the miles of braided and meander bends that have been loss to diking and development, wont move the huge plugs of sediment that have sloughed into our rivers from hideous logging practices through any faster, wont help the riparian regenerate and start providing substantial LWD any quicker, and it wont stop the changes we're already seeing associated with climate change from being dramatic. We've got alot on our plates, lots not loose sight of that. If the runs cannot sustain fishing pressure they should be closed (see stilly and sky). Like DeLe said, the Wenatchee has been closed for almost 10 years, yet the state continued to dump hatchery fish in without any knowledge of the impacts, or even really trying to estimate the degree of introgression/reproductive interaction between wild and hatchery fish. Not suprisingly the Wenatchee hasnt really bounced back. It is my understanding that this seasons opening had much more to do with some prominent political forces willing it to happen. IF I didnt fish for steelhead I really wouldnt ever fish, that would be a sad day in my life considering the amount of my soul I pour into chasing these fish, still though my love for them is too strong to allow them to slide further without a fight
  19. Tim Lockhart Working late at The Office

    Posts: 1,956
    Mill Creek, WA
    Ratings: +286 / 0
    We can go round and round about the actual causes here, but I believe PH’s question was one of theory with a hypothetical circumstance. That’s it.

    Anyhow, just wrote an entire post about my ‘honest answer,’ and it was a good one, then scrapped it after re-reading #’s 13 & 24. Think I’ll just listen this time. (Hint: Those views are not about direct impact. Think bigger picture.)
  20. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,447
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +334 / 2
    Yes, and effectively have. Lobbying for change and regulation is all good and important but we need to be involved with habitat restoration too. Several ingredients to this pie.