Would you stop fishing? (Steelhead)

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

  1. fatguide

    fatguide fish or DIE

    Hello.........lets stick to Pan's origional question.

    This is one of the first threads that made me look inside myself, I think that's what it's all about.
  2. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

    Get a grip man! then my answer is a definite, HYPOTHETICAL NO!

    BTW: Any thoughts by anyone other than you, on the subject, are as valid as yours.

  3. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    Fair enough Papa, fair enough. Proceed with your opinions people. Pay no attention to context. :beer1:
  4. Davy

    Davy Active Member

    Maybe it's this beverage, but I don't think angling is this the cause of the fish declines, and, really don't have a lot of faith that less "angling" especially C&R is gonna bring it back.

    Like Farrar has so well said, look at what they allow then cut off the one group of users that really have no political clout.

    Off subject, but in the early 80's amidst declining salmon returns, whom did they cut back and punish? The smallest group of commie fishers that really were an independent lot and had no political orginazation, (didn't want it) =The hook and line ocean salmon trollers. Not the gillnetters and seiners with their nets strung across river mouths at peak of runs. And Puget Sound pink netters with mesh so small it also got the searun cutt spawners. I am sure Mr. Johnson knows 1000% more about that subject than I.

    Before you throw me in the fire this March ( must let me take my drink with me), I do hope I am wrong, but I do not believe closing the C&R season on the Skagit or really any other type of "recreational" regulation and closure is gonna amount to a hill of beans.
  5. SteveA

    SteveA Gnu to the board

    Yes, I would. I've been around the block a few times and been forced to involuntarily give up activities I loved. I would voluntarily give up steelheading to watch the runs rebound.
  6. Dorylf

    Dorylf Oregon Member

    I dunno guys, that’s a tough question. If there were a guarantee that it would turn it around, it might be worth considering. Unfortunately, for every one of us that gives a rip, there are 10,000 who don’t. Most of them don’t fish. And, therein, lies the great irony: it is we who are out on the water and have met this grand fish who are ultimately motivated to care anything for its future.

    The question, while thought provoking, is pretty much an impossibility. For me, I answered real questions in real life. I released wild fish for years before there were ever laws that said we must. When high seas drift nets were decimating steelhead numbers, I boycotted every product those countries sold and wrote letters to their consulates to tell them so.

    When proposed legislation could help or hurt the fish, my senators and representatives have heard my voice on the phone and in writing. And I’ve gotten off my ass and testified at legislative hearings when they’ve tried to say hatchery was the same as wild or when certain logging practices threatened a stream.

    But would I have done any of this had I not experienced and come to respect these fish? If I’m honest, I can’t imagine I would.

    That’s the problem. If a law prevents this generation that comes behind from experiencing what I have known, then what will motivate them to fight as I have against the larger threats that would end the steelhead’s existence?

    And if, rather than quitting steelheading, we taught our values to our youth on the water, then maybe, just maybe they would also catch our passion in time to help do something before it is too late.

    It is, at best, a precarious knife edge on which rests the future of wild fish.
  7. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Working late at The Office

    BINGO – Add #61 to #’s 13 & 24.
  8. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    (Conflict): Some perspective for myself in order to understand why I am being so human and self centered.

    I'm disappointed in myself that my honest answer is what it is.

    Between ages 19-24 (when I was young, naive, and saw only one perspective) I was deeply involved in the environmental movement, in particular the preservation of our dwindling old growth forests. I was a city kid from Portland who failed to realize there was another side to logging, like, the fact people's lives depend on it.

    If someone would have asked me then to abandoned hikes and backpacking trips in these forest tracts, I would have done it in a heart beat.

    So, I ask myself, "What's different now Adam, why would you not hold yourself to the same values now?"

    I think there are two components for me to answer this question. One, is that steel heading is so dam gratifying recreationally and mentally for me. Without the potential to fish for them, I feel like I would lose a lot of my lust for life. I use steelheading trips to get through work, and life's other bullshit. Without it, I feel as though I would lose the carrot that keeps me looking ahead—a void I could not fill with something else as healthy.

    I had a huge wake-up call when I moved to rural Montana and got to know rural people and the dynamics of rural culture. A lot of my dogmas were turned up-side down. In other words, I’m much more conservative now. Some how that plays a part in this, but I'm not sure how as of now.

    Basically, it’s an imperative luxury I’m not willing to put down. That’s not without internal conflict however.
  9. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Damn Pan! You had me at, "I had a huge wake-up call when I moved to rural Montana".

    Well put. Maybe you aren't a HUGE ARSE afterall! :rofl:
  10. inland

    inland Active Member


    Based on what is currently happening in the ESA LISTED California streams, the devastated Eel drainage in particular:

    1) They removed the hatchery.
    2) They went to 100% H&R on wild fish.

    Bait is still allowed. Barbs are not. In fact, from everything I can find, fishing is NOT BEING DISCOURAGED WHILE KNOWINGLY SPORT ANGLING OVER A DEPRESSED POPULATION OF ALL WILD STEELHEAD. The catch...since removing the hatchery and going to 100% wild release the runs are steadily improving. Coincidence? Methinks not. Getting rid of the hatchery and it's angling impacts (intense 'sport' angling over hatchery fish has proven to impact the wild population- Washougal and Wind springer steelhead come to mind) seems to be a step in the right direction. Of course the ocean conditions in this general region are being much more favorable to steelhead as compared to the state of Washington. I do find it VERY interesting that the run began building immediately following the removal of fish culture.

    To add the southern most population of wild summer steelhead still exists in the Eel drainage. Not a big population (<1000). What I find interesting is these ESA LISTED fish aren't being closed to angling. No bait, no barbs, no direct kill. Oh the blasphemy of actually LEGALLY going fishing with 'washington's selective gear rules' on a run of listed fish.

    WDFW's politically induced idea to close the Skagit's H&R season this year (or part of it as is now the word the on the street) flies in direct contradiction to how life is being managed in the devastated habitat called California. Whose fish numbers are rebounding even in spite of this terrible thing called H&R sport fishing.

    If we drop our rods and reels I can guarantee you that will be that. Nothing meaningful will be done and there won't be any reason to protect what is loved if it's locked up behind closed doors. As with most things human we will move on...another river...another game. And all but a few will forget what was. There won't be enough of anybody left to fight the fight.

    I guess I believe we are required to actually be fishing in order to protect the fish. Not sitting around because we don't want to be politically incorrect about fishing over a depressed run that isn't meeting some hypothetical crock of shit escapement number.

  11. Jamie Christian

    Jamie Christian New Member

    To reply to the original question:

    Yes, I would but, because I have to travel so far in the first place. I dont know that I would answer the same if I still lived there.

    I fell in love with Washington, Oregon and the fisheries and although I live in Colorado, I try to do what I can to help to save the steelhead. for me, its contributions and money - not much, but its what I can do from my vantage point.

    For those that are native to the Pacific Northwest, I cant imagine the question is an easy one to answer. I wish we didn't even have to think of such a situation.
  12. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

    William, You make a great point here. Not too long ago, N. California steelhead populations were among the most dire. In the past few years they have not only returned, but appear to be flourishing in comparison to our river systems.
  13. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

    Yes, I'd switch to other species. I'm so worried about the numbers of returning nates this isn't even a question I need to consider before giving my answer.
  14. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

    I would set down my rod for the rest of my life and never thing about fishing or fish again if it would ensure the survival of wild steelhead...

    steelhead have more of a right to exsist as a species than we have right to fish for them...
  15. Tylerflies

    Tylerflies New Member

    To beat on this a little farther, since I just asked a similar question,...

    Yes, if the rivers closed for steelhead, I would go fish the lakes. Hands down, If a closure was nessecary for steelhead survival, by all means, we stop steelheading.

    I have been serching my soul on this question for some time because it always comes up. I have a natural inclination to say that I will keep fishing, because I only catch a few steelhead a year and always realease them, wild or not. But in a sense this is just saying" I'm not the problem, somebody else is the problem." This is a damaging line of thought, because we all are the problem, to varying degrees.

    Then again, steelhead fishing is an extremly improtant activity for me. It is one of my strongest connections to the natural world, one of the only areas in my life were I can let go of the mess of bulshit that surrounds everyday life. This isn't to say that no other activity will help me find this peace of mind.But I have no right to harm the life of steelhead in my search for my own salvation.

    Perhaps there is a middle ground. A world were both I and the steelhead can flourish. There have to be sacrifices I can make, along with others that allow for greater steelhead health. Short of the ultimate sacrifice of not fishing.

    If sport fishing for steelhead needs to stop in places, for a period of time, then it has to be a full meal deal. Comercial intrests need to be seriously curtailed, certain dams need to be studied and hopefull broken down (snake) and our environmental practices as a society need to be examined and changed.

    For now I will not voluntarily stop fishing. I will continue to fish in a way that is as least damaging to the wild stock as possible. I will also seek out ways to help the situation that I impact with my flyrod. Hopefully this will be enough.

  16. alpsnowman

    alpsnowman New Member

    Word to that - TEAM EFFORT is the only way.

    YES, Wild Steelhead are much more important than my pleasures and desires
  17. oldskool

    oldskool Guest

    What a stupid question.
  18. Mark Moore

    Mark Moore Just a Member

    ABSOLUTELY....bass, carp and other non anadromous fish are just as much fun and way more plentiful. I'll eat something else instead of fish.
  19. Backyard

    Backyard SANCHO!

  20. chromeseeker

    chromeseeker Where's the Bucket?

    In a heartbeat, as long as other measures mentioned above, as part of a comprehensive management plan, were implemented. We're fortunate to have many other species of fish to chase around here to keep me occupied.


Share This Page