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

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

  1. Tom Palmer

    Tom Palmer Active Member

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    Hi Derek, I am not pushing to force anglers to choose an angling method for steelhead and use only that method like we do for Big Game. I simply use Elk and Deer as an example that we do in fact regulate recreation in this state with regard to success rate.

    I look at the WSC proposal and what I see are MODEST changes. The boat crowd can still use live bait on the Hoh below 101 and "release" as many wild steelhead as they want. Mortality rate is sky high but the mayor of Forks is happy.

    My personal opinion is to outlaw bait and retention of wild steelhead as a first step. I do not think anyone can be serious about protecting steelhead without agreeing with this basic position.

    If a gear fisherman won't agree to this obvious step, it is not the method I am against rather the mentality.
     
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  2. Derek Young

    Derek Young Emerging Rivers Guide Services

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    Thanks for taking the time to respond, Tom.
     
  3. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    Do you really think the knuckle draggers who whack wild fish are marking their cards, or even stopping at their one fish? I've seen a few things on the river that make me think they're not doing those things as often as we'd like to think.
     
  4. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    Fiddling while Rome burned.
     
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  5. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    First things first: ban bait and treble hooks. The fact that these are allowed on any steelhead streams in the lower 48 borders on criminal. 60% CnR mortality is not an option.

    Second: Stop stocking rivers with wild runs period, find some rivers that don't have wild runs or are unnatural and stock the shit out of them. Concentrate people who want to kill steelhead, and concentrate the gill nets that catch them.

    Untill those things happen banning fishing from boats seems rediculous.
     
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  6. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

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    I agree with the above. From what I have read, bait and treble hooks (even barbed treble hooks) do not increase mortality rates for steelhead as much as one would expect. However, the mortality rate of by-catch (trout, bull trout, salmon smolt, etc) is very high, and is reason enough to justify the banning of barbed/baited/treble hooks.

    While I am generally opposed to hatchery fish, I am in support of watersheds otherwise empty being stocked heavily with hatchery fish to draw pressure away from the wild fisheries (ie cowlitz). I realize that as someone who prefers to catch and release wild steelhead in an area that sees minimal pressure, that I am looking for a different angling experience than someone who wants to bonk a steelie on the head. I am not saying better or worse, but it is definitely different. If there are enough whack-a-brat fisheries available, I don't understand the need for a kill fishery on wild steel on the peninsula, or anywhere else.

    I am also more than willing to quit fishing for the day if i catch a wild steelhead. Multiple fish days are a thing of the past for me now. If I land a single wild steelhead, I usually put my rod away and just row the boat, watch my friends fish, or just sit on the bank & enjoy the incredible scenery of where I caught it. I realize this would be nearly impossible to enforce, but if you are required to mark fish caught on your catch record card immediately after having caught one and before engaging in fishing afterwards (a rule that is enforced pretty seriously for some fisheries), and you are limited to one fish a day, it could be enforced. Difficult, but not impossible.
     
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  7. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    I actually proposed some no floating zones here on the Penninsula myself, I do not totally agree with WSC on the locations they picked, but hey, we are making sausage here, no one is going to like everything that goes in it. In my conversations with state managers about this issue they constantly returned to one single point..."If we are meeting escapement there is no way we can reduce harvest" So that is one solid reality we have to face, We operate under a msy system, with ridiculously low escapement goals, and no real way of keeping track of harvest or escapement. Its like managing a bank account without knowing how much you started with, how much is being deposited, how much interest is being earned, or how much is being withdrawn..If the checks don't bounce you must be doing ok.
    I think its important to work on proposals like these, and to see we get some in. But the picture above is of the Hoh river completly blocked by gill nets, for three days a week, all fall. Nothing makes it by here..The winter isn't any better, and the Quilayute system is much worse.
    Lets continue to improve both sport fishing regulations and ethics ( I think ethics have more impact) but lets at the same time face facts, MSY is wrong for Washington and co-management has failed.
    How do we fix it? I really don't know. But I am sure we can do it, and that communities like this one will play a part.
     
  8. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Bigfoot is blurry

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    For deer and elk, you have to choose modern, archery, or muzzleloader for your one tag and that is the season you hunt.
     
  9. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    One aspect that needs to be included in the discussion: not everyone who wields a fishing rod can physically make the walk on the paths down to the rivers to fish. I'm not talking about the obese (or the lazy) who have put themselves to that point, I'm thinking about the elderly or disabled who've been fishing the rivers for 50-60 years and need a boat with a guide to take them to the fish.

    And what would you say to the Healing Waters fisherman or other wounded warriors? "Sorry, you lost your legs in service of your country, we can't take you down the river to fish for those great fish you love. You have to just wait here in camp and we'll come back and tell you all of our stories about the great fishing"?
     
  10. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

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    A lot of ADA access sites are "handicapped only", it would be easy to write something into the regs that would allow for people who wouldn't be able to wade fish to fish from boats. Also, if I recall correctly, there are other exceptions that level the playing field for the less physically able. It's a concern, but not insurmountable for those with good policy sense (oh wait--we're talking WDFW--damn it).

    However, I don't think a fishing from the boat ban is a significant conservation measure. It makes a better distribution tool for resources that are in higher demand and lower supply.
     
  11. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    At what point in the decline of the fisheries do we finally make decisions on behalf of the fish rather than on behalf of fishermen?
     
  12. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    We operate under a msy system, with ridiculously low escapement goals,

    Maximum Sustained Yeild is statiscly weighted to harvest levels, not to historic native populations. If we want to ensure abundance, escapements need to be given priority.
     
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  13. nutsack angler

    nutsack angler newb

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    WDFW has made Winter Steelhead escapements a priority in North Puget Sound where they are conducting basin-wide surveys and comparing them to established indexes to be sure the escapements are still reflecting "all that's out there" (to the best of their ability). I hope it won't take an ESA listing to change things on the coast.
     
  14. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    While I agree with this statement, look at the numbers of upper Columbia steelhead now vs 10 and 20 yrs ago. The averages have gone up over time. It's one of the only areas that seems to be happening.

    Edit: Somehow, I mixed this thread up with the Methow boat ban. So disregard my statement.
     
  15. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Certainly it would make sense to include exclusions for folks with legitimate disabilities...can't imagine too many opposed to that.
     
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