Bottomfishing Closure

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Chris Bellows, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    i missed the aleutians and AK peninsula (eyes went right to the kodiak limits)... but other than there, washington state has the highest limits for black rockfish. does that sound right? to me comparing the aleutians to skagway rock or umatilla is crazy.

    yes, fishing for 2-3 days in BC allows as many fish as one day in WA but let's compare apples to apples. the daily and possession limit on the washington coast is double the limit in the queen charlotte islands. does that sound right?

    also to compare apples to apples, let's not forget that BC has far longer salmon and halibut seasons which result in far less targeted rockfish fishing compared to the washington coast. the decreasing length of seasons and increasing targeted fisheries along the washington coast actually make the higher limit worse imo. talk to most old timers that fished the coast when halibut and salmon seasons were longer and the majority did not even bother with rockfish. they were considered a pest, not a target. that mentality is common still in many places with wide open seasons but no longer exists on the coast.

    i want to enjoy bottomfishing for the rest of my life at the levels currently enjoyed today or better. it won't happen with a 10 fish limit.

    chris
     
  2. mbowers

    mbowers Active Member

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    Since WA apparently (unless you're on a boat?) has a double daily possession limit then yes WA does have twice the limit of the queen charlottes and that sure seems backwards. As far as increased directed pressure at rockfish, I guess I don't know anyone that targets rockfish in BC except for myself and thought WA would be similar. I used to see guys out catching bottomfish but in the last few years with the dramatically reduced limits I don't see ANYONE. If most guys can't catch a salmon, lingcod or a halibut they just won't go fishing IMHO.

    Amen to the same or better fishing in the future, I just don't know what the right limit is but I hope science is used appropriately to determine it. California seems to have a 10 rockfish a day limit and claims to have 70% of virgin stocks of black rockfish which sounds like a pretty good level compared to before man started exploiting them. If I can have 70% as many fish in the sea as our forefathers and get to use all the modern gear I'm pretty sure I'm catching more than they would have. That said, I've got no problem with dropping the limit to 2-3 fish a day (enough to feed 4-6) until scientific evidence shows the stock can support more pressure and still return good fishing.

    I don't know if it's true for WA but in FL and BC the number of anglers is dropping every year, so even if limits remain the same, the number of fish that get retained is probably dropping. The drop in anglers at least gives me hope that even if government can't get the regs right, the number of fish might actually increase despite them... :)
     
  3. SeaRun Fanatic

    SeaRun Fanatic Member

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    The intent of my earlier post was simply to point out an ethical dilemma... What should we do if we know what is legal might not be what is right? It is "legal" to kill a 20lb wild steelhead on some WA rivers... how many would consider it the right thing to do, or even OK? As was alluded to by another poster, I look at the old B&W pictures of "legal" steelhead limits laid out like cordwood on the lawn or dock and then consider the picture of the "legal" rockfish limit referenced earlier and wonder how long we will trust the politicized process of creating regulations to guide our behaviors. When do we just stop blindly using "legality" to be our guide to how many wild fish we can whack? I'll bet those old-timer steelheaders said something similar to what has been said here time and again... "Anyone who's fished [insert location here] can see there's no shortage of fish [e.g., it's easy to catch a lot of fish] and it's legal [e.g., someone smarter than me did the research and said it's "sustainable"], so I'm gonna kill everything allowed within the legal limit". What a shame.

    Yes, we can and should be involved in the political process of changing the laws, but in the interim, I believe we should all think twice (three times?) before killing that wild fish, regardless of whether we have taken the "limit".
     
  4. Jonathan Tachell

    Jonathan Tachell Active Member

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    SeaRun Fanatic you sir are a dick head! I try to be as polite as possible on here but when you point me out and say that the way I fish is unethical than we have a problem. I have never lost an ounce of rockfish to freezer burn or had to throw any a way for any reason. And I only keep wild fish when legal to do so and if I feel that the population in that area is healthy enough to support harvest. Obviously the WDFW does not always know whats best for our fisheries including when it comes to setting bag limits for certain fish in certain areas. I feel like I am on the conservative side and limit the fish that I keep far more than the state does. I believe that there are plenty of black rockfish at La Push to support a 10 fish limit, otherwise I would not have kept them. Have you ever even fished out of La Push for black rockfish SeaRunFanatic?
     
  5. SeaRun Fanatic

    SeaRun Fanatic Member

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    Hi Jonathan! My, aren't we defensive! Dickhead I may be, but I'm not sure you read my last post thoroughly. You have evry right to keep a legal limit of rockfish. And you may even be right that the population will bear the pressure of 10 fish limits. However... are you a fisheries biologist? Or are you counting on the assumption that the research used by WDFW to determine sustainable limits is sound? With failure after failure to WDFW's credit in sustaining healthy populations of wild fish, are you sure that's a good idea? You claim that you "limit the fish that [you] keep far more than the state does", yet I disagree in this case because you have a full limit of fish displayed in your pic. Then you make statements like "I feel like I am on the conservative side" and "I believe that there are plenty of black rockfish at La Push to support a 10 fish limit" and "I only keep wild fish when legal to do so and if I feel that the population in that area is healthy enough to support harvest". That's totally fine, and you have a right to those opinions. I just have different opinions. The old timers who stacked up legally killed steelhead shared your opinions. Clearly, they were wrong.

    Go back and reread my last post. I just want to make sure we as a community are having these discussions, and by posting a pic of your catch, you put yourself in the public domain and invited comments. I don't think you're a dick for keeping a limit of rockfish. I simply disagree. I do hope to encourage others to reconsider a decision to keep a limit, since my letters won't be changing WDFW policy any time soon. If that makes me a dickhead, then whatever.

    BTW, no, I have never fished for rockfish at La Push, and it is completely irrelevant. Even if I fished there daily for years and caught a limit every time, any conclusion I came to about population sustainability or lack thereof would be anecdotal and therefore an opinion, just like yours is now. And mine. I just choose not to trust the state's judgement, even though I love to eat fresh rockfish (or salmon, or steelhead, or halibut) as much as the next guy.

    Cheers!
     
  6. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Fishing within the published regulations is the law that must be followed. Having an ethical disagreement with the regulations is one thing to take up with the WDFW machine and challenge them. Taking your ethical disagreement directly to someone for fishing and harvesting within the regulations is a fool's fight. You go by the annonymous screen name of Sea Run Fanatic, suggesting, perhaps, that you intentionally target these protected fish. A species that cannot be harvested, yet you believe it ethical to target them for pleasure? Personal opinions and lines can be blurred. Let's leave the regulation making up to those who are employed to do so, and take your shots at them to give them the influence you feel is ethically right. The more we fight with other anglers doing legal fishing/harvesting the more we prove that we are never going to get anything done right for fish sustainability until it is far too late.

    For future reference, for those that might not know, there is the option of starting a conversation with someone where you can advise them of your ethical beliefs without making it a public issue. For the record, I've never harvested a single rock fish, but if legal to do so I would within the legal limits and to the extent that my family can effectively use what has been harvested...before it gets freezer burn.
     
  7. SeaRun Fanatic

    SeaRun Fanatic Member

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    C'mon Ed... you've never respectfully taken issue with an individual legally "harvesting" a wild steelhead? How about a legal stringer full of wild rainbow or cutthroat? What's the difference? Second, why should a discussion of ethics be held in private? I've done no name-calling (unlike Jonathan), or bashing (hmmmm) just stated an opinion. Publishing a hero shot of 30 dead rockfish is inviting the discussion IMHO.

    I know you don't like the fact that I post anonymously, and I get why. Nonetheless, if I initiate an ethical discussion with someone over their publicly posted actions I'm a fool?!? I doubt your response would be different if I posted under my real name. I'm sure there are plenty of hot-buttons that might prompt you to challenge someone about their legal choices, fishing-related or not, but does that make you a fool? Nope. Just a concerned citizen.

    Also, yes, I catch and relase searun cutthroat (which, BTW, are legally "harvested" in fresh water), and no, I don't find it to be a problem ethically. And if someone posted that they CnR'ed 30 or 130 rockfish, I wouldn't have a problem there either. Though at 130 fish and a 5% mortality rate, that's 7 or 8 dead fish, so.... maybe I'd stop at 30 or 40! :)

    Back on topic, there seems to be a significant proportion of folks (including yourself) that believe that WDFW's 10-fish limit might be excessive and I agree. Pretty simple really.
     
  8. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, 10 bottomfish limit, plus 2 cabezon and 2 lingcod is a heck of a haul for a day's work and I'm doubtful it is sustainable. It is legal though. I don't like wild steelhead retention, freshwater SRC retention and unless the wild population of trout is sustainable and legal, not a big fan of their retention either. I did not call you a fool. I did say that taking your ethical position against someone legally retaining fish is a fools fight. I hope that you can see the difference. Knowing the content of your posts here on WFF, I do not consider you a fool at all.
     
  9. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    I don't know how many of these people have actually fished in the salt? We were close to our bottom fishing limit in about half an hour. There's a surprising number of them. They are a pain in the ass to filet into meat... that'll probably keep me from limiting again as it took about two hours.

    It's a ton of fun to catch them though. I got into something massive that spooled the line and broke the end knot. That'll be haunting me for a decade. It was right before we saw a whale surface - and right before my buddy caught a duck. Who knows.
     
  10. mbowers

    mbowers Active Member

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    Are you saying a total of 14 bottomfish there? Could you check the regs again? I think it's only a total of 12 bottomfish allowed. :) Even 12 is still a big haul on a daily basis but if you only do it once a year it's not exactly plundering the seas...


    So let's give them some feedback! Looks like the initial feedback period is closed

    http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/apr2612a/

    but if someone (Chris?) could post a topic with a link when the next comment period is available in September I will certainly provide input!
     
  11. Jonathan Tachell

    Jonathan Tachell Active Member

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    I personally only keep rock fish, ling cod, hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon, I release all other fish. And I only keep rockfish and ling cod where it is legal to do so and there is an abundance of them. For instance I limit my self beyond the states limits by only keeping 4-6 lingcod out of Puget Sound a year from select locations. As far as the La Push rockfish thing. When one can easily catch and release 200 sea bass if so inclined without seeing another boat I don't feel bad about keeping my 10 sea bass especially when it only adds up to about 6 meals for the girl friend and I. However I do have a problem with the commercial trawlers and long liners who catch far more fish including the endangered yellow eye rock fish. Sorry for the name calling SeaRunFanatic I guess we can agree to disagree on certain issues. However, we do seem to agree that WDFW does not have a stellar track record and that there limits can not always be trusted as best for the fishery, like retention of wild steelhead for example.
     
  12. Jonathan Tachell

    Jonathan Tachell Active Member

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    I personally only keep rock fish, ling cod, hatchery steelhead and hatchery salmon, I release all other fish. And I only keep rockfish and ling cod where it is legal to do so and there is an abundance of them. For instance I limit my self beyond the states limits by only keeping 4-6 lingcod out of Puget Sound a year from select locations. As far as the La Push rockfish thing. When one can easily catch and release 200 sea bass if so inclined without seeing another boat I don't feel bad about keeping my 10 sea bass especially when it only adds up to about 6 meals for the girl friend and I. However I do have a problem with the commercial trawlers and long liners who catch far more fish including the endangered yellow eye rock fish. Sorry for the name calling SeaRunFanatic I guess we can agree to disagree on certain issues. However, we do seem to agree that WDFW does not have a stellar track record and that there limits can not always be trusted as best for the fishery, like retention of wild steelhead for example.
     
  13. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    yes, it is a 12 bottomfish limit in aggregate.

    we keep talking about once a year as if that is the norm. my guess is that for every person that goes once a year there are many more that make multiple trips and we cannot forget that the state sets up seasons to heavily impact bottomfish.

    take a look at the halibut seasons in area 3 and 4. it is open thursday and saturday only. what do you think all of the boats that come up to fish halibut on thursday and saturday do on friday and saturday? they fill up their boats bottomfishing. let's also not forget (back to the original topic) that prior to june 1 bottomfishing is open at all depths, so the halibut season set up not only impacts inshore rockfish but hammers yelloweye impacts. this is typical wdfw business as usual though. they do nothing to mitigate the impacts of closed and reduced fisheries on other open fisheries.

    i'm fortunate though. i personally do not like rockfish that has been frozen so it is far easier for me to only keep 1-2 fish. i probably keep about 5 a year in multiple trips.

    i remember when the state moved the rockfish limit in the strait to 6. the outcry was huge and i thought about the large numbers of rockfish on the surface in the spring that i no longer saw. what was sad is that my experiences was the same as the generation before who could remember the whole area between cape flattery and tatoosh alive with rockfish 30-50 years ago, which i never got to see. the shifting baseline syndrome is alive and well in our bottomfish fisheries.
     
  14. Anil

    Anil Active Member

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    While I can't speak for others, I know I've fished for Rockfish quite a bit.
    There are still many Rockfish along our coast.
    However, I've been fishing Neah Bay since the early 1990's. In less than 20 years I have noticed a decline in both size and number of rockfish inside the Straits. I've also seen the rockfish limits and regulations tighten inside the Straits. If you've fished out there, you too have seen the numerous wheelbarrows full of bottomfish at the cleaning stations. Many Salmon and Halibut fishermen take advantage of these generous limits by fishing for Rockfish after they have retained their target species. These fisherman are there to retain as much 'meat' as possible and will gladly take the time to clean the 40-50 bottomfish that each boat will retain.
    After talking to enough 'old-timers' who tell me tales of epic Rockfish fishing within the Puget Sound, and the same generous limits, it doesn't take much to worry that what happened everywhere else, will happen on our Coast. Maybe just once, we could take a proactive approach to resource management and reduce limits before the populations are decimated?
    I agree with Chris. I'm not advocating a complete closure. But doesn't 10 Rockfish/person seem excessive?
    There was a time in the Northwest when we had an 'Inexhaustible' supply of trees and Salmon.
     
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  15. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    I think your post and the points made are wise and I'd agree to decreasing the limits.
     
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