Do you like catching Wild Coho?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by d. rose, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Dylan -
    It is great that you have become involved in the NOF process and even better that you are attempted to include others in the fly fishing community.

    I hope others here take you up on your generous offer to attempt to answer their questions and hopefully forward their concerns and desires.

    The current push for wild coho release (like that all ready in place in MA 13) was in response to a need with the south sound stocks. For 40 or more years the south sound was managed for hatchery coho; that is fisheries were designed to catch as many hatchery coho as possible (leaving just what was needed to restock the hatcheries) leaving the wild fish to fend for themselves in face of high exploitation rates. Much of that fishing was via gill nets (both the treaty and non-treaty fleets). Now with Puget Sound coho (as well as Chinook) being given an recreational priority that bulk of the mortality/impacts on those stocks comes from the recreational and tribal fisheries.

    Currently limiting recreational fisheries to wild coho release in my opinion is largely symbolic (worth doing but hardly likely to do much for the wild stocks of concern).

    BTW - There has been quite a bit done in the management arena for wild coho in Puget Sound though I do have to admit it has largely been directed to the wild stocks of the "S" rivers. There the wild fish needs have long been placed above the wild fish needs with established escapement goals and with the development of the Comp. Coho plan exploitation caps with abundance triggers have been established for those stocks. Those exploitation rate caps have and will continue to influence how mixed stock coho fisheries occur. With the low abundances being forecasts for Skagit, Stillaguamish, and Snohomish systems this year I think you will hear a lot more about coho impacts and the need to "shape" coho fisheries at NOF than anytime in the last decade. I will be shocked that extensive use of wild coho release regulations is not part of those discussion for virtually all the Puget Sound fisheries.

    It would great to see a large effort from the fly fishing community at NOF but I have to wonder if we would be anymore accepting of changes needed to bring about meaningful protetction for those wild coho stocks in trouble than the general fishing population.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  2. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Active Member

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    Curt - Thank you. That was a much more thoughtful post than a picture of a man with a straw sucking crap out of a pigs ass.
     
  3. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    d rose, I'm sorry man I didn't mean to come off that way - but I totally did in retrospect. That was rude of me. I wouldn't kill a wild coho or blackmouth or trout for that matter as I just want all wild things to propagate, whatever the regs might say about it... But a hatchery fish (when allowed) does nicely on the bbq :) It's just pent up rage from when I dated a feminist for nearly a year long, long ago... whenever I hear about any cause, wonderful or not, I get real critical. Cheers man.
     
  4. johnnyrockfish

    johnnyrockfish Member

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    Dylan, thank you for this post and for your work. I cannot make that meeting (kindergarten concert!) but encourage others to spread the word. I remember reading another post about how most of the fly fishing clubs consist mostly of "old men". Sounds like the perfect demographic to get to some of these meetings. I'll contribute $50 towards the rental of a van to get a group down to this upcoming meeting next week in Lacey. Someone else will need to do the organizing and rental though, I wish I could.

    Mumbles, D3 - could you help round up some folks from Kitsap?

    JR
     
  5. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Dylan:

    Thanks for the heads up on the WDFW meeting. Will it be necessary to be present the whole time at the meeting from 9 AM to 3 PM? I can if need be. The coho salt water fisheries is one that I have enjoyed for many years. I have wanted to become involved in the direction that this fisheries will be heading in future years so this meeting may be a good start.

    Last year I contacted WDFW about becoming a member of the sea-run cutthroat sub-committee when there was an opening. I was more or less told that I didn't have the professional qualifications and need not apply even though I have over 25 year of experience as a hydrologist with much time spent working with fish biologists on their projects. Plus I have served on several water/fish subcommittees of DNR and Dept of Ecology and have fished for sea-run cutthroat for over 25 years in fresh and salt water.

    I hope that this attempt to become involved with WDFW will be more positive.

    Roger
     
  6. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Next meeting in Lacey is March 17th from 9am to 3pm. I wish I could go, but I will be working and also am on call and restricted to being in Kitsap County. I'm glad that more posts are here to get us more aware, thank you all for those. Regretably that date and time, mostly the time of day is not workable for me.
     
  7. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Hell, I'm unemployed... I should go... If I don't have an interview that day or some other thing pop up (unlikely) you will find me in Lacey on the 17th. First year on the salt (with a flyrod, that is...), but that doesn't matter, I'm interested in improving returns of all our wild fish. Should be interesting.
     
  8. toadthedry

    toadthedry Member

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    I would like to thank Dylan for posting and all who will be able to be at the meeting to help support the intrests of the coho and individual fisherman, including fly fisherman. Unfortunately lets face it- though it should not be- I think alot of what happens with fishing (and it seems almost everything now a days) is political. In order to get something of value, people are going to have to go to these meetings where policy is made and in a constructive way speak up. (And then probaly hope someone was actually listening) Otherwise the intrests of fly fisherman will be ignored.

    I can't personally go to the meeting due to work but I hope enough people can go to help out.

    Mike Metzman
     
  9. Milt Roe

    Milt Roe Active Member

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    Advocates in this process are generally competing for distribution of impacts. Be careful that we don't loose sight of our conservation goals.

    For example, the resident coho fishery a lot of fly fishers covet is in many cases largely an artificial situation with potential significant impacts on the wild fish we all seek to conserve. So if we rally to influence allocation decisions to benefit our specific fly fishing interests, we need to make sure the resource we are seeking to conserve is the wild fish, not just the allocation of our share of fish that benefit our particular fishery.

    If the S Sound net pens and other hatchery production of millions of coho were not in place to support the supplemental harvest for all users' share of the harvest beyond what the wild population can produce there would be thousands fewer wild adults removed from the spawning beds in the non-selective fisheries targeting surplus hatchery fish that also intercept wild fish returning as adults. Without that huge hatchery component present, the overall coho fishery and associated wild fish impacts would no doubt be greatly reduced. Yet would fly fishers as a group lobby to give up their share of hatchery harvest opportunity (and incidental wild fish impacts) - or even advocate an end to the hatchery programs in an effort to support increased escapement and conservation of wild fish? Or do we just want our share of the pie?
     
  10. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Milt, I have absolutely no scientific basis for this but my gut feeling is that with the level of consumption hatcheries are just a necessary evil. And, oh, I wish it were not so. Just too damned many people love to eat the salmon, just tastes so good... I'll go have a listen there and only speak if I feel I can really add something. I think there is a lot to consider, as you very well put, and a newb to this process would likely do better to listen and learn.
     
  11. d. rose

    d. rose Live to fish, fish to live.

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    I am by my own admission a newb in the politics regarding these issues. I certainly do not want to pretend to have all of the answers. I too believe hatcheries are likely a necessary evil, and I as much as anyone else enjoy an occasional hatchery resi slay fest.

    The distribution of impacts seems a very appropriate concern. The state and Governors office has slashed the WDFW budget by 30 million dollars this year for obvious concerns. We need to pick our battles certainly.

    It's completely understandable that people cannot make this meeting. It just may be enough to know that this forum exists and that there are fly fisherman attending it, hopefully to represent a complete sample of the Puget Sound angling population.

    D
     
  12. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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  13. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    Good points Topwater. I'd certainly support banning 2 hook rigs for bait, but that would be controversial to say the least among the bait fishermen. From what I've seen, wild fish are a "disappointment" for many anglers looking to limit out on keeper hatchery coho, and some (not all) vent their frustrations on the wild fish with a harsh release. Another example I've seen is the wild coho or chinook beached, coated in sand, and kicked back into the saltwater when told it can't be kept. By the way, when are you coming back from Colorado to do some real fishing again? I fished in CO for several years during graduate school for bows, browns, and cutts, but didn't know what I was missing until I moved to Washington.
     
  14. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    For those in the Seattle area that wish to get their toes wet (waders not required) in the NOF process, have questions, or wish to throw some ideas in the mix there is a NOF regional meeting tonight; March 3/11 at Mill Creek - From WDFW's web site

    "6 p.m.-8 p.m., WDFW Mill Creek Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek.
    Public discussion of management objectives and preliminary options for Puget Sound marine and freshwater sport fisheries "


    Maybe we'll some new folks there.

    It probably should be stressed that if folks are really interested in seeing improves in the wild coho abundances in South Puget Sound much more than wild fish release will likely be needed. I would suggest that selective recreational fisheries are only a fisheries management tool that can be used to help achieve conservation objectives while providing some fishing opportunities. However the real foundation for increased wild abundance is the establishing the stocks of concern as primary stocks were achieving escapement objectives and fishing within established allowable fishing impacts are management priorities. If those steps were taken for the South Sound stocks there is little doubt in my mine that those coho would be a weak stock where in mixed stocks fisheries those allowable impacts would constrain coho fishing through out Puget Sound. Which in turn would open up some interesting discussions/debates about how best to use those impacts to support various fisheries - what areas so recieve what share of the impacts? Should those impacts be used to catch returning adults or shakers? etc.

    Coho fishing could be come much more complicated and those users not involved in the seasons setting process may well find themselves on the outside.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  15. Dale Dennis

    Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

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    That sounds like a worth while meeting, unfortunatly I have a prior committment tonight.