Flawed rationale in WSC's proposed boat bans? (Part 1)

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by ChrisC, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Sg, or how about 20 C&R wild steelhead/year? At 5% mortality, that translates to 1 dead steelhead/year/angler. Each angler would have to record/punch every steelhead they land, wild and hatchery. After 20 wild's, you stop steelheading for the year. Hatchery fish are mandatory harvest up X/day, depending on the system. Get X/day, you are done for the day. This way, if one is seen releasing a fish, they had better have marked it as a wild or they should have kept it if was a hatchery fish. Release a fish that you didn't either mark on your card or keep, you are done for the year if caught. Pretty simple.
     
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  2. Benjy

    Benjy Active Member

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    The biggest winners in this would be the gear guys. They can pull over and get out in tight quarters, pitching their rig all the way across the river if need be to reach the holding water. If this ban were to happen, I would start fishing gear and probably catch more on gear from the bank than on dead drifted flies from the boat.

    If C and R mortality is such a concern they could require all nets to be rubber coated, make all hooks single barbless. That would be good for tackle manufacturers and also good for the fish. Enforcement is non-existant out there, I think the biggest place that they're missing are people who retain their one wild fish per-year every single day that they fish and never punch their card figuring that they could do it on the sly if they saw enforcement.

    Where does this 5% mortality number come from? PETA? If mortality is so high, why do you NEVER see dead steelhead on the bottom of the river? I think that number is ridiculously high.
     
  3. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

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    I've seen lots of them. The filleted ones sink to the bottom and slip away if the current moves them. Full carcasses float and find a hidden spot to decay. But most of the mortality occurs near their spawning water...which is often well away from steelheaders eyes.
     
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  4. bhudda

    bhudda heffe'

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    Does anyone support closing whole river sheds down, I.e., Skagit system closed for 5,10 years,the Snohomish system,the Puyallup system,....do a lottery,close down a watershed,everyone gets to fish his/her way no battles over boats.does that provide recovery opportunities for said fish?
     
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  5. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    They have closed whole river systems down for 5-10 years...Wenatchee, Thompson, Methow, PS rivers, Hood Canal, and many others...the closures didn't necessarily facilitate increased wild fish recovery. Of course, an argument could be made that it was that it was not long enough to make a difference.
     
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  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    I like that Freestone! Still, very hard to enforce, and WDFW has become pretty clear that LE is opposed to regs that are not easily enforced.

    Benjy,

    I made up the 5% mortality number, but it's close to the average that a number of hooking mortality studies or anecdotal collections of information support. NMFS and WDFW currently use 10% as the incidental mortality figure, just to be conservative about it for ESA purposes.

    Bhudda,

    Yes, people looking for simplistic "solutions" that are not supported by data often suggest and support closing certain rivers or river systems for a period of years. People who look at evidence and let it tell its story don't support that idea however. The reason is that the several examples of such closures - some listed in BDD's post - show either no improvement in stock status or no improvement that is caused by the closure.

    Sg
     
  7. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Thanks Sg! It would take Enforcement to watch but even with binos, it would be clear if the angler didn't do one or the other and that would be an automatic violation. I think not only would the angler have to record the river, date, species, they would have to record the time so there is better proof they didn't log the fish. I would think to some degree, it would make their job easier, at least in the UC. Right now, people release the brats and then say it was wild and all it accomplishes is getting the season closed early. If the penalty were high enough, it would only take a few examples before compliance improved.

    I forgot add a couple of other fine points: If you are fishing a system that allows wild harvest, when you harvest that wild fish, you are done fishing for the year on any system where you may hook a steelhead, even accidentally.

    Also, if you are a lic. guide and one of your clients doesn't log a fish, whether released or harvested, you are done for the year too, guiding and fishing, as it is your obligation to make sure your clients are following the law.
     
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  8. Irafly

    Irafly Indi "Ira" Jones

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    Man I like your logic Freestone. I think you are right after awhile the enforcement would be easier. I also think it would only take a couple of seasons for people to understand the guidelines as the norm. Will people continue to try to cheat? Hell yeah but how is that different then now?
     
  9. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    Or maybe they waited too late to close the rivers in order to protect the fish. Waiting for a run to collapse before you protect it is closing the door behind the horse when the barn is already burned down. No one knows clearly what threshold number would be te tipping point of a total collapse. And yet they wait until there are almost no fish left before they close it down, and then they have poor recovery results. What a shocker...
     
  10. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Tom B's post makes a whole lot of sense. Well thought out Tom.

    If we are talking about oppertunity maybe the rules make sense. As a PS angler, I understand that it is the lack of oppertunity that kills you.

    If we are looking for run size improvements, I don't think that any increased regulation of sportfishing will get us there.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  11. Tom Palmer

    Tom Palmer Active Member

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    Thumbs up to Tom B's post also.

    I will add the game department is well versed in restricting activities based on success rate. Big game hunting is a popular activity where a large number of sportsman chase a limited resource. Bow hunters get longer seasons, first out in the field, etc... than rifle hunters. The hunter is forced to make a choice:
    • Go with the most efficient method (rifle) but get a shorter season
    • Go with the least efficient method (e.g. bow) and be first in the field and get a longer season
    If the game department managed steelhead the same way they manage elk, fly fisherman would get longer seasons on the river all by themselves.

    Anyone who has fished the Hoh in March can tell you the status quo is not an option. The question is not "Should we restrict anglers" the question is "How quickly can we get restrictions in place before it's too late..."
     
  12. Derek Young

    Derek Young Emerging Rivers Guide Services

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    Tom, are you stating that hunters would be restricted to a single-mode, then? If one declared "bow hunting only" for the season, then they cannot use a rifle at all? Please clarify what you're suggesting. You seem to infer that those who hunt don't or won't change their use to whatever legal means are available, based upon the season.
     
  13. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    That's kind of how it's done here Derek. You choose your weapon per animal intedand that's the only way you get to hnt for that animal. Blew my mind when I first saw it too.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  14. Tom Palmer

    Tom Palmer Active Member

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    Hi Derek,

    Just to be clear- I'm not advocating the EXACT regulations for Big Game be imposed on steelhead. As Charles confirms, if you want to hunt Big Game in this state you better figure out ahead of time how and where you want to hunt them. Lots of restrictions compared to what we see for steelhead.

    I am trying to push back against the position we cannot devise restrictions based on angling success rate.

    As a guy who likes to swing flies, if that means I have to give up the first week of the season to Tenkara anglers, so be it.

    Just wanted everyone to know I'm willing to make the hard sacrifices too :)
     
  15. Derek Young

    Derek Young Emerging Rivers Guide Services

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    I think I need to restate my question, it's obvious that one cannot take an animal by rifle during bow season. Does the post indicate a position/opinion that the angler is forced to decide to use gear and have a short season, or use flies and have a longer season, and then cannot fish for that species the remainder of the year, regardless of method?