Do you care enough about wild steelhead to stop fishing for them?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Jeremy Floyd, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. East Fork

    East Fork Active Member

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    I surprised at the 5% number. I'm wondering if you think 5% is also valid for the Columbia River basin given the gillnetting that occurs in the river.
     
  2. wolverine

    wolverine Member

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    NO

    Salmo's got it right regarding enviornmental conditions being the real driver.
     
  3. gt

    gt Active Member

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    environmental conditions?????

    so that is the limiting factor that will stop wild steelhead from making inroads in their environmentally damaged home waters?

    perhaps.

    the truth is no one knows.

    so why not experiment with a drainage system and see what happens??

    simply because fish would take hold, the arguments for hatcheries would collapse, WDFW would be revealed as the incompetent bunch of folks they are, and we would actually get an opportunity to see how genetics and natural selection were meant to work.

    of course none of this is going to happen as the stake holders do, in fact, control the purse and policy strings.
     
  4. Caveman

    Caveman Member

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    There is more to it on why or fish supplies our down. I really recommend everyone to see "An inconvenient truth" by Al Gore. There are lots of factors of why our fish our dying. It starts with the Governement!!!! In the next 40 to 50 yuears there will be no more fish unless the Govenment starts to change it's ways.

    Caveman
     
  5. darik

    darik resident lurker

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    I'd like to say this is the main reason I don't fish either for Steelhead or Salmon, but the truth is that the crappy weather and the prospect of combat fishing (gag) probably has more to do with that. Besides, the one year I fished long and hard for Steelhead I realized I hated it. I've never put in so many miserable hours for one stinkin' fish. :)
     
  6. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

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    Salmo G nailed it.
     
  7. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    I wish there were more people like you out there.:thumb:
     
  8. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    East Fork,

    The value for the Columbia may be different. I haven’t looked at the catch data, which are difficult to interpret because tribal hatchery steelhead smolt releases are unmarked, from what I hear. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t expect a huge increase, although the increase might be measurable, if the gillnetting impact is significant enough. Dams that take from 5 to 85% of the downstream migrating smolts are, in my estimation, such an overwhelming adverse impact as to make tribal catches only marginally relevant, at most.

    GT,

    The experiment you mention might be called the Nisqually River. No hatchery smolt plants in many, many years. No directed sport fishing since 1993. No directed treaty fishery since 1993. The only steelhead harvested are some early incidentally caught during the late chum commercial fishery and whatever treaty and non-treaty poaching is able to take. Otherwise you’re looking at relatively intact habitat with the closest to non-existent hatchery interference and fishing mortality that you’re going to find anywhere I know of. And the Nisqually steelhead remain near an all time historic low level of abundance. Please explain what limiting factor(s) are controlling this population.

    Wolverine, Citori,

    Thanks. It can be hard to think objectively instead of subjectively sometimes.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  9. gt

    gt Active Member

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    so you are suggesting that the nisqually meets the criteria: Zero hatchery fish; Zero commercial and NA fishing; Zero sport fishing???????
     
  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    GT,

    As close to zero as you will find in any WA river I can think of, yes.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  11. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Gt -
    Actually there is another winter run steelhead example and that is the Cedar River. It may be even a better "test" than the Nisqually as its "managment" isn't confounded by the winter chum fishery. As I recall there hasn't been any steelhead fishery (sport or commerical) or hatchery steelhead planted since 1994. Take a look at

    http://wdfw.wa.gov/cgi-bin/database...ort=sort&srchtype=within&job=search&wria=wria

    and click on the steelhead stock report for the recent escapement history that test provided.

    Salmo g. position is well taken. Our steelhead populations are by enlarge being limited by the degradation of their freshwater habitats and modern day lows in marine survivals. While I'm not sure whether the 5% value is correct it is clear that even without any fishing and planting of hatchery fish on most river systems the returning run sizes would not be significantly larger.

    The above is why that huge debate around mandatory Wild Steelhead Rease (WSR) several years ago was such a crock!

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  12. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

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    While I have not stopping fishing for them, I have managed to take a vow of non-catching steelhead in the interest of conservation. Those who would like to join me, may.
     
  13. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    No matter how good a steelhead plan may be put in place we will never ever again see historic numbers of steelhead.
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    We can never regain all historic habitat.
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    We have a great many more peiple in Washington and more to come.
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    We have not yet managed to convice WDFW "experts" that the "healthy" rivers need to be either closed or be made catch & release. The WSC is working on this but not in the single issue, confronational manner that brought about its early success.
    HOWEVER.....
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    I remain confident that we can bring wild steelhead back to the limitations of the available envronment.
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    I believe that it will take a whole lot more support from people to take up their shields for the good of the steelhead. Sportsmans Clubs, Wild Steelhead Coaltion, Nature Conservancy, etc., do a great job but more people are need on the groun, at the WDFW meetings.
    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  14. gt

    gt Active Member

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    so what i read is basically on at least 2 river systems, native steelhead stocks are at such a low that they will never recover. why that is the case, in my mind, cannot be pinned on any single factor, but i accept your arguements regarding the nisqually and cedar rivers.

    what i am not willing to do is generalize this to wild steelhead in toto.

    i am, therefore, not willing to conclude that wild steelhead cannot recover in some river systems in WA. what i believe needs to be done is to take rivers like the nisqually and cedar and make them consumptive fisheries from top to bottom. as you argue, there are limited wild fishes around, so why not put the effort into put and take fishing in those rivers?

    at the same time, rivers like those on the west end, need to be treated differently. no kill, no stock, C&R only with gear restrictions firmly in place. i believe the only solution, at least in the short run, is to seperate the fishing philosophies allowing both a consumptive fishery as well as working toward a trophy fishery in limited areas.

    of course we are playing this out against climate change, collapsed stocks of herring, a PH change in the N pacific which prohits krill from forming their required exoskeleton, over stocking of residents and the decline of any number of important food items out in the blue water.

    we have put ourselves in dire straits for sure, but i am still a half full guy when it comes to fish genetics and diversity of the population. we do need to manage to provide an opportunity for some of these stocks to demonstrate their potential.

    if and when that fails, as you mention on the those 2 systems, a consumptive fishery should be the rule.
     
  15. East Fork

    East Fork Active Member

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    So, it’s all about the habitat? Current harvest levels don’t have much effect on our efforts to rebuild wild stocks. Is that about right?