Dean River Debacle

#16
;) Our fellow Canadian steelheaders need to go all out and become - :D ECO Terrorists:D - Whale Wars style. Go get yourself 2-4 Hay bales ...dump the bales into the water just upstream of the nets (just after they are set and out of sight) ;)
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#17
;) Our fellow Canadian steelheaders need to go all out and become - :D ECO Terrorists:D - Whale Wars style. Go get yourself 2-4 Hay bales ...dump the bales into the water just upstream of the nets (just after they are set and out of sight) ;)
If you are going to do this, do it right. The correct way to use hay bales is to wrap them in barbed wire until they are neutral buoyant. This way they will drift just below the surface keeping them out of sight. Also when they float into the net they will start to tumble and the barbed wire will gather the webbing and get tangled in it. With the newer mono nets the bales will have to be cut out of the nets causing the most damage. The net will then need to be repaired taking up a lot of the fisherman's time that he could have spent fishing the net
 

ralfish

Active Member
#18
Salmo: Believe it or not we have been able to change commercial openings and also get gear improvements (Vis "weedlines") at the cost of the commercials to the sole benefit of mykiss. Being jaded is a natural outcome of beating your head into a brick wall year after year, but unfortunatley doesn't accomplish anything useful. Don't ask how I know this. DFO is hamstrung by politicians plain and simple. Letters from non- Canadians carries weight as it brings home the true $ value of steelhead. Especially considering we don't kill them in BC for trophies etc. Politicians listen to $ and votes its really that simple. I wouldn't be surprised to learn the Dean steelhead sport fishery is more valuable than the Dean channel chum salmon fishery. Considering its 85% (or close) foreigners (non-Canadians) fishing the Dean, those letters are important.
 

BDD

Active Member
#19
I have mixed feelings about this and other classified BC waters. I have no problem paying extra to fish specially managed, classified waters. Where I get lost is if I am forced to pay for special waters, I want it to be specially managed and the target species should be given extra protection, priority, management, enforcement or whatever. However, when the government sells out, sacrifices, and ignores species within classified water status in favor of commercial harvest, I have a hard time shelling out extra coin for classified waters that only get normal, regular management status, e.g., Thompson. The Dean certainly is on my bucket list. However, if the Canadian government expects me to go through a lottery system and pay Class I fees, it better do a better job managing the Dean than it has the Thompson before it gets my money.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
#20
Typhoon,

DFO is federal and just shy of impervious to Provincial concerns about steelhead conservation, which are defined as a freshwater rather than marine species in Canada. If DFO gave a rat's ass about steelhead, they have had over three decades to demonstrate their conservation concern. What they have demonstrated is their dedication to harvesting every last salmon they can define as harvestable surplus, even when it means wiping out co-mingled weaker salmon stocks, which they have done quite well. Sound familiar? WA and OR salmon fisheries have done roughly the same.

Sg
Same situation in the PNW of the US. It's not, and has never been, about rebuilding wild salmon and steelhead runs. It's about satisfying all interested groups, including & mostly commercial interests. None of the managers are interested in letting anadromous fish do what they come to freshwater to do. We can subsidize commercial fishing (gillnetting) with hatcheries or let the fish re-populate themselves. Which option trips your trigger? It's time for heavy political pressure in the PNW of both Canada and the USA.
 
#21
This same issue (commercial bycatch impact) is an issue every year on the Dean and has been for some time (at least since 1999). I send a letter every year.

Agree that current management is aimed at a very different result than any of us would like to see.
 

ralfish

Active Member
#22
The significant difference this year is the near total collapse of the Skeena sockeye fishery. With extreme conservation measures now in effect , meaning even FN food and ceremonial fisheries aren't taking place on the Skeena. So the North Coast commercials have moved down the coast to the Dean channel etc to par take in the low $ value chum and pink fisheries. 130 boats now out there and the last time I looked it was over 2 dozen openings. In the past when "weedline" requirements were in place it simply meant no one fished as the commercials did't drop the money on two sets of nets. Now the North Coast fleet is concentrating on the areas in Area 8 that dont have the weed-line requirement, and the Dean and Kimsquit steelhead are getting hammered. Badly...again.
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
#24
The significant difference this year is the near total collapse of the Skeena sockeye fishery. With extreme conservation measures now in effect , meaning even FN food and ceremonial fisheries aren't taking place on the Skeena. So the North Coast commercials have moved down the coast to the Dean channel etc to par take in the low $ value chum and pink fisheries. 130 boats now out there and the last time I looked it was over 2 dozen openings. In the past when "weedline" requirements were in place it simply meant no one fished as the commercials did't drop the money on two sets of nets. Now the North Coast fleet is concentrating on the areas in Area 8 that dont have the weed-line requirement, and the Dean and Kimsquit steelhead are getting hammered. Badly...again.
When I gillneted in S.E. alaska . we all fished with a weed line and very seldon caught a steelhead. Every steelhead I ever caught in P.S in a gillnet was in the top 5 meshes no matter how deep of water I was fishing, Even then we rarely caught them because our season was generaly over by the end of october before the steelhead run entered the sound & most early steelhead are hatchery fish & will pass right thru a 6 inch mesh net.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#25
Close
When I gillneted in S.E. alaska . we all fished with a weed line and very seldon caught a steelhead. Every steelhead I ever caught in P.S in a gillnet was in the top 5 meshes no matter how deep of water I was fishing, Even then we rarely caught them because our season was generaly over by the end of october before the steelhead run entered the sound & most early steelhead are hatchery fish & will pass right thru a 6 inch mesh net.
Close to 14 years gillnetting the Salish Sea (we called it Puget Sound back then) I can count on one hand the number of steelhead I netted; zero.
 

PT

Physhicist
#26
Way back in the 80's a neighbor gave us a couple by-catch steelhead. 42 and 44" long. Not the big shouldered bruisers you'd catch in the spring PS rivers. Long and lean with enormous square tails.
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
#28
When I gillneted in S.E. alaska . we all fished with a weed line and very seldon caught a steelhead. Every steelhead I ever caught in P.S in a gillnet was in the top 5 meshes no matter how deep of water I was fishing, Even then we rarely caught them because our season was generaly over by the end of october before the steelhead run entered the sound & most early steelhead are hatchery fish & will pass right thru a 6 inch mesh net.
The fish on the Dean that are getting hammered are summer runs - and show up way before October.
 

BDD

Active Member
#29
As a seiner in SE AK during the 90s, we caught steelhead quite regularly. There was no market for them so most of the time they became take-home fish. We fished inside waters and did not intercept as many as those fishing outside; I heard stories that they caught a lot more. I imagine many of them were heading south to BC waters. Many of the purse-seined fish could be returned to the water unharmed, if such emphasis would be made by the AK and BC fish managers. Just like fly anglers, there are good, responsible, ethical commercial guys out that would do the right thing if taught.