Yet another set of assaults on the WDFW Commission

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Citori, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Go Fish,

    I see that you're better skilled in making up stories than in understanding what you read. Please note that just because nets don't cause depressed steelhead populations, that doesn't mean that nets must necessarily benefit those populations. If this is beyond your level of intelligence, then our discourse is finished.

    Sg
     
  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    THREAD TANGENT

    Mumbles,

    We are way off topic here, but your questions about persuading tribes to adopt an alternative harvest method is based on the flawed assumption that there is something wrong with what they are doing. This is not to say that I support the gill netting of wild steelhead from depressed populations, in case you're as intellectually slow as Go Fish. However, I don't expect any tribe to adopt alternative harvest strategies when there is no factual biological evidence on record that the current practices of tribal harvests are not the proximate cause of wild steelhead population decline. In case you think it's just me or a couple other bios who post here, let me add that I've not met one single fish biologist on the entire west coast who has access to the data who would conclude that tribal harvests are, generally speaking, one of the most serious issues with wild steelhead and salmon populations. Again, this is NOT the same as understanding individual cases where a specific tribe over-harvests in a specific year from a specific steelhead run, either because the runsize was forecast too high, or the tribe simply chose to fish too much.

    Further, the federal court orders covering treaty fishing are explicit that state and federal authorities are to employ the least intrusive constraints on treaty right fishing, and then only after conservation alternatives restricting non-treaty fishing have been exhausted. It may seem that treaty right fishing is untouchable, and while that isn't completely correct, it is fairly close.

    Meanwhile, the citizens of WA need to decide how far we will go to preserve a Commission style of authority and administration of WDFW.

    Sg
     
  3. smc

    smc Active Member

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    I think you mean to say that there is no factual evidence that the current practices of tribal harvest are the proximate cause of wild steelhead decline. ?
     
  4. Go Fish

    Go Fish Language, its a virus

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    sg,

    I have made up zero stories. I simply asked how
    nets help the fish since you say they don't hurt
    them.

    Bycatch of wild steehead I'm sure is
    very, very, small but with the return of fewer and
    fewer fish any bycatch could be fatal to a run.

    Like I said, this should be linked to
    the last steelhead on S river.

    Thanks for the kind words,

    Dave
     
  5. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Sg, interesting point and one that I have no science to back up any opposition. I do, however, believe that the Tribal membership has a much better connection to the resources, or has had historicially, and as such would always consider better options. Maybe I'm way off base and totally optomistic. I don't think that any Tribe wishes to harvest any species into extinction.
     
  6. gt

    gt Active Member

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    statistical evidence or data collected by WDFW are flawed at the very core. there is no arguing that data which could demonstrate that the OP steelhead are in dire straits is nonexistent, so whats to argue about? if WDFW were in fact collecting accurate information and treating that data with statistical methodologies which can demonstrate both reliability and validity, i would guess that quite a different picture would be painted. take, as an example, when is the last time escapement numbers have been met on the OP rivers, or any WA rivers for that matter? yet the 'experts' don't see this as an issue, makes you wonder just what these 'experts' do know!

    but back to the gasoline dealers and their suit. this hinges on where the state tax was imposed according to the supreme court. the state legislature changed the law to impose the state gasoline tax at the distribution center, off reservation. so a logical arguement is the tax collected off reservation is subject to the uses imposed by state law, highway improvement. if those funds were used for any other purpose, that would be a violation of state law. now this hinges on can the state impose state law on soverign nations, the tribes?

    so lets turn this legal debate around a bit. the soverign tribal nations filed legal action against washington state a part of the soverign nation called the united states. judge boldt ruled in favor of the tribes. but, if the federal government cannot sue the soverign tribal nations, does it not also make perfect sense that the soverign tribal nations CANNOT sue the state of washington, a part of the soverign nation called the united states?

    so if this is thrown out of court, it would seem logical for the sport angling community to join hands with the non-tribal commercial fisheries and go back to court to have boldt overturned.
     
  7. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    I love this time of year around here when the shacknasties pandemic hits critical mass and threads devolve to the the level of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. What a colossal waste of time I spent reading this thread.

    K
     
  8. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    +1
     
  9. smc

    smc Active Member

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  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    SMC,

    Good catch. Thanks. I need a proof reader.

    GoFish,

    Thanks for verifying. If you believe that which is not the proximate cause of decline (nets) must therefore be beneficial, I have nothing to talk to you about. I understand there are a few of you around. Good luck.

    Mumbles,

    Of course tribes and their members will consider better options. But what does "better" mean? Tribes already believe that their practices are not causing extinction of any species, and whether we believe it or not or agree with it or not, there is no data contradicting their belief. When you go to explain your good idea to them, you won't have any persuasive evidence in support of your idea, making it kinda' hard to sell your idea, whatever it is.

    Kent & Jesse,

    I'm sorry you guys feel this thread is a colossal waste of time. I don't. I wouldn't spend my time on it if I didn't think the governmental structure of our fish and wildlife management agency didn't affect the extent of political influence and the very real natural resource outcomes and allocations that result from it. As for the treaty and net fishing tangent, that too is significant because the logical thinkers can evaluate good information and make informed decisions. I do what I can to help members be accurately informed.

    Sg
     
  11. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    I should have been more precise in my original flip comment. Yes, the subject as you state is eminently worthwhile and worthy of our best efforts and support.

    But unlike you, I've lost patience with those folks who fail to understand the ramifications of the multitude of treaties, laws and often confusing and overlapping jurisdictions. Those who complain bitterly that "all we need to do is (insert moronic comment here like 'overturn Boldt' or 'pass a law to make the tribes. . .')" demonstrate a very flawed understanding at best of how complex the situation our anadromous species find themselves in.

    Sorry to seem like a fatalist, but I've simply given up trying to enlighten those who willfully refuse to open their eyes. As Walt Kelly's Pogo said over a half century ago, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

    I seriously hope I don't live to see the day the last wild steelhead is caught in one of our rivers. And I'm grateful to those like you and Citori who continue to fight the good fight. I've just run out of energy.

    K
     
  12. gt

    gt Active Member

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    Nothing more disgusting than posters who simply kick the can down the road without making a single contribution. You can bet, they will the first ones to be shouting about the last (insert whatever your favorite anadramous fish might be) but the last to offer up a single solitary workable solution to a problem we all face. Defending the status quo till the cows have come home, been milked and set loose in the pasture, not a single worthy thought has come from these posters. They seem intent on dissin’ anyone who takes on that status quo, but have nothing to offer in return.

    These same folks seem to have a depth of understanding of all things legal that no mortal human can fathom so they have given themselves permission to state categorically that all things legal are black and white. They continue on givin’ high fives to those who agree and a kick to those who challenge their intellect. Then we have the self appointed ‘experts’ who can produce no data to defend their ridiculous positions and post excuses for those at WDFW as ‘professionals’ carefully working toward preserving our wild anadramous fishes. Marx would challenge that observation for certain.

    Is it any wonder that our state is in the state it is in??? A bunch of head in the sand apologists and a group of ‘experts’ who can’t find their collective rear ends with either hand. Hang on the end is near, we won’t have to worry about wild fishes much longer and then this entire debate can cease to exist as the only fishes around will be the hatchery clones produced via advanced thinking and DNA engineering by those same ‘professionals’ who want you to believe and hang on every word they post.

    It’s been a great ride with our fisheries, I hope that many of you got to experience the 60s, 70s and 80s cause it’s all downhill and it’s a pretty steep and dramatic slide to the bottom.
     
  13. Chris DeLeone

    Chris DeLeone Active Member

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    I don't expect any tribe to adopt alternative harvest strategies when there is no factual biological evidence on record that the current practices of tribal harvests are not the proximate cause of wild steelhead population decline. In case you think it's just me or a couple other bios who post here, let me add that I've not met one single fish biologist on the entire west coast who has access to the data who would conclude that tribal harvests are, generally speaking, one of the most serious issues with wild steelhead and salmon populations.

    Steve with most of the west coast Steelhead either in major decline or ESA listed have any of the Bios you met studied that theory (alternative harvest strategies) in detail - With so much focus on ESA listed fish these days I would think that all the "issues" would be studied and then those facts listed as minor or major factors in the decline of steelhead and salmon populations.

    Chris
     
  14. Go Fish

    Go Fish Language, its a virus

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    I won't kick the can but
    just say what has been said
    before....

    No nets in Puget Sound,

    you pick the number of years.

    Make all of P. S. catch and release for 2-4 years for all fisheries.

    Take the WDFW commision and exchange them for the
    same number of the longest tenured field agents for 3 years.


    I hate watching things die.


    Dk
     
  15. gt

    gt Active Member

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    of course that is one of the points of contention, NO DATA!!!! now just why has data collection not occurred??? could the very reason be that if such 'data' were made public it would validate what 'yur own eyes' tell you is actually happenning???

    nonselective harvest IS a primary reason the wild fish continue to evaporate. the tribes are not going to change what they are doing, data or no data, simply because WE can continue along even if thats C&R with that associated mortality. bottom line, the tribes don't trust 'us' and 'we' don't trust the tribes, stalemate!

    close down all harvest by gill net, reinstitute terminal traps, weirs and wheels allowing the tribal fishery to go along without interuption for hatchery fish. i am happy to hang up my gear and go fish someplace else in this world. but the incrediable apthay demonstrated by many posters should be a clue that NO solution is going to come forward. extinction is the solution, apparently, of choice by those who claim to care.
     
  16. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Chris,

    No, not that I know of regarding treaty fisheries. As long as treaty fishing enjoys its present legal status and protection, there is little or no reason.

    The fishery management equation goes like this: Run size - escapement goal = harvestable surplus. Of that harvestable surplus 50% is reserved for treaty right fishing, and 50% for non-treaty fishing unless other agreements have been made. When the harvestable surplus = 0, then there is no direct targeted fishing, unless exempted for ceremonial fishing or sometimes data collection. In many cases, of which the Columbia River fisheries are the best example, ESA stocks returning at below escapement numbers are intermingled with hatchery stocks of the same or different species that are well above desired escapement levels.

    From a simple biological perspective the easy solution is no fishing. No fish ever benefited by being fished for. But the laws are more complex, and the biologists of the various state, federal,and tribal agencies are required to come up with a harvest management plan that allows harvesting of available surplus hatchery fish while minimizing the incidental catch of ESA fish. The law gives equal weight to fishing and conservation. This would seem bassackwards to most conservationists, recreational anglers, and citizens with casual interest in the topic. However, the laws are made by less than knowledgable legislators and Congressmen who are informed in part by agency technical staff and primarily by industry lobbyists. This part is just about that simple. And getting these laws changed, while hypothetically possible, are proving to be impossible as a practical matter. I think the practical impossibility is attributable to united commercial fishing lobbying, united treaty fishing lobbying, and absolutely fragmented recreational and conservation lobbying, along with overwhelming general citizen and angler apathy.

    So managers are left to make the best of this situation, which has resulted in determining under the law an allowable level of incidental take, or bycatch of ESA fish. The number or percent is greater than zero yet must be low enough such that enough escapement occurs so that the population can increase toward selected viable population goals. For example, the Columbia River spring chinook fishery is one of the most contentious management situations we face. NMFS has determined, for better or worse, that incidental take of up to 15% of the returning adult chinook will not jeopardize recovery of the species. Because of the status of treaty fishing, 13% of the allowable incidental take is allocated to the treaty fishery, while the remaining 2% of the allowable take is allocated to and between the non-treaty commercial and recreational fishery. And despite having to pass up to as many as 9 dams, wild spring chinook stocks have gradually increased in escapement numbers over the past decade, indicating that some level of incidental take can occur while ESA listed populations recover.

    The same concept applies to PS ESA steelhead. The law does not require that every last wild PS steelhead be protected from harm or harvest in order to recover. And biologically we know this to be true; we need most of them to spawn, but not every last one. So we have treaty and non-treaty fishing on the early returning hatchery steelhead knowing that a small number of wild steelhead will be incidentally taken, but well below the numbers or proportions that would jeopardize population recovery. And because fishing mortality is not limiting PS steelhead recovery, none of the biologists that I know are looking at alternative harvest strategies for treaty fisheries. Treaty and non-treaty fishing is simply being closed once the hatchery run is concluded, and this will protect the vast majority of the wild run and allow them to escape and spawn.

    If I were to propose that the treaty fisheries need to reduce their incidental mortality of wild steelhead, the logical comeback would be, "what is the non-treaty fishery doing to further reduce its incidental take?" And the answer is nothing; we limit non-treaty incidental take by closing rivers to fishing.

    The number one factor limiting PS wild steelhead population size now is low marine survival. The second is habitat degradation. The third might be a toss up between hydro and incidental take in fisheries, which applied over all of PS is pretty darn low. Actually, poaching might be third, but that's just a hunch. Consider that marine survival varies by an least an order of magnitude, so even a doubling of marine survival would have the north sound rivers meeting escapement and reopening fishing to at least CNR. Triple marine survival, which still is low compared to recent history, and the Stilly and Snoho make escapement and reopen. A four or five-fold increase might be necessary to recover the south sound rivers, but you get the idea.

    In the mean time, we could eliminate all incidental harvest, treaty and non-treaty, commercial and recreational, shut down all hydro dams on PS rivers, bring all development activities throughout PS to a screeching halt, and returning wild adult steelhead runsizes would not increase significantly. There is enough data to cobble together such an analysis, and given that result, just what actions do you think society is willing to impose on itself? Grossly paraphrasing George Carlin, I can only think of one: "make brown people stop fishing with nets." I trust the irony of that statement is self-evident.

    Sg
     
  17. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    And the response from Mr. Rockefeller, not sure what he's saying besides it is a money decision. I think that means bad things for fish and wildlife.

    Thank you for writing to me with your concerns regarding Senate Bill 5669 and House Bill 1850 and the Fish and Wildlife Commission. I value your opinion on this legislation.
    This session the Legislature has been presented with the task of reducing spending by $5 billion. As a result of the November 2010 elections on ballot measures, there will be no actions taken that could increase revenues absent a supermajority vote of the Legislature. Given this and other actions, I believe the voters have made it clear we are to write a budget with only those funds which our current tax system now provides, whatever the consequences.
    To this end, there have been many proposals to address government efficiencies and cost savings. The Governor has proposed eliminating 36 more boards and commissions, and moving appointment authority to state agencies for another 16 boards and commissions in an effort to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The Fish and Wildlife Commission is included in this proposal. The merger bill does not entirely eliminate the fish and wildlife commission. However, the bill does reduce the commission’s role from being the primary policy and rulemaking authority for the Department of Fish and Wildlife to serving in an advisory capacity to the Director of a newly created Department of Conservation and Recreation.
    This bill is scheduled for public hearing in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Marine Waters tomorrow, Thursday, February 10th at 1:30 PM. If you are able, I urge you to testify before the committee or submit written testimony to the committee.
    I’m sure all related legislation will receive much scrutiny by the committee members, and may be amended significantly before I get the chance to vote on it on the Senate Floor. That said, I will keep your comments in mind when making any decisions on this legislation.
    Thanks again for your email!
    Sincerely,



    Phil Rockefeller
    State Senator
    Washington's 23rd District
    Chair, Environment, Water & Energy Committee
    360-786-7644
     
  18. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

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    To put this in context. The fiscal note on the merger bill is $2.5 million. That is 0.05% of the $5 BILLION budget shortfall. If there is a reason for the merger, (I suspect there may be an agenda at work here), saving money is NOT the reason. Perhaps they should "hunt where the ducks are". Personally, it is an affront to me to put that low a price tag on recovering ESA listed salmon and steelhead.

    I will be at the hearing tomorrow, I hope you will too. Please sign in as OPPOSED to SB 5669 - you don't have to testify if you don't wish to.

     
  19. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    I received a snail mail reply from my State Representative from the 39th district; Kirk Pearson.
    In it he states that he shares my concerns and is not supportive of these proposals.

    Anyone know how this thing turned out?
     
  20. gt

    gt Active Member

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    1. what is a 'small number' incidentally taken? how is this number arrived at? please post the link(s) to these 'data' summarizations.
    2. so, a 'small' number of wild steelhead are being taken but nothing that 'jepordizes' wild steelhead recover. please post a link to the data supporting this contention.
    3. how does anyone know when the 'run has concluded'?? please school all of us on just how this crystal ball works.
    4. so hatchery fish do not intermingle with wild fish and once the hatchery run is concluded and that fishing is terminated, the wild fish are free to swim. just how do you know when the wild runs are coming home and just how is it determined that these wild fish are not intermingles to a large extent with the hatchery fish? or are we simply assuming that we have killed off the portion of the wild fish runs that would have historically been returning during the peak hatchery season?
     

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