Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Dan Nelson, Jul 13, 2012.
"has the Duc ever made escapement goals?"
Routinely. It's about the only river that does.
Having guided Montana for years(long ago)the Madison had special regs. From access point to access point was broken into different sections. Floating,wading and no fishing.Everyone had their space including the fish and I have to say it worked great.I know they were resident fish but just saying. If I had clients who couldn't wade I had a section and for those who were more skilled I had a section with fewer boats.We can't just do nothing as that is the exactly what we'll have left!
"We can't just do nothing as that is the exactly what we'll have left!"
Well stated riverking!
See yah next winter!
I heard it was 80%
This site is the absolute worst case of fisherman cannibalizing other fisherman I have ever seen. The answer to better fishing is not to regulate practices you disagree with out of existence.Just because somebody catches more fish than you does not mean they are damaging a fishery. What damage is done when a fish sees a bajillion flies and actually stops attacking artificials altogether? The only thing that needs to be banned is gillnetting, but that really isnt sport fishing anyways, and would require all the haters to actually stand together for once. And the knee jerk reaction "i disagree with this, so i suggest we just ban fishing altogether" is really getting old...
Management of these wild rivers and fish is so far behind the times, so far behind the realities of the status of the fish, their relative lack of abundance compared to the watersheds that could host them. Each new management step seems so meager in relationship to the need for more protections for these wild fish. And yet as Chris has said, we have covered a lot of ground in regulations since the days of "30 wild steelhead per season, five wild steelhead harvested per day" etc. But always there is the sense of bargaining over the last fish. Isnt that what happened on the rivers that have been closed? The fact that the "stakeholders" are deeply involved and invested in the regulatory process may be the worst aspect and the weakest link in resolving the the problem of diminishing wild runs. Everyone has a goal; Some want more regulations, Some want less, More harvest, Less harvest, More access, Stop the other guy...
But we can all agree that things are not getting better for the fish or the fishing out here on the Olympic Peninsula. There is plenty of blame to be passed around, and each major faction amongst the "stakeholders" easily points to the others as the reason for decline. So the arguements continue, as they have for decades, and little is resolved. And what little we do is ever enough, soon enough. There is a sense that we will fish and bargain and wring our hands until the last one comes home, alone and bewildered, like "Lonesome Larry", the Redfish Lake Sockeye, who was hand spawned to the very last drop of milt and is the only reason that they have any historic genetics in Redfish Lake sockeye now at all.The truth is that fishing in all of it's forms is having a tragic impact on these wild steelhead. And the less we fish the better off they will be. So why not limit it to: Catch & Release, 1 Single Barbless Hook, Artificial Only, (scentless), No fishing from boats or floating devices in any waters, and limit fishing to three days a week.
But dont worry because the same stupid management methods and decisions that got us here, winnowing down each run of wild steelhead on a river-by-river basis, until fishing is finally closed, are heavily entrenched and jealously protected. And it is very likely indeed that what has happened to all of the other rivers will occur out here on the Olympic Peninsula as well. Does anyone really believe that stopping the Puget Sound ESA Listings on Wild Steelhead at the Elwah was truly a scientifically driven decision? Couldn't WDFW see that as each Puget Sound river was closed the displaced anglers would come out to the Olympic Peninsula steelhead rivers to fish for and harvcest the last open runs? Why didnt they anticipate that guides too would come here for the last runs of wild $teelhead?
As sports fishers we can scream all we like about all of the other "stakeholders", and we can even split off into factions amongst ourselves, and none of it will really change. Let's get real. We have to change. We have to fish less impactfully and we have to fish less overall.
Some of you call yourselves "fly fishermen" but I have watched as the obtuse trend toward "gear bobber and drift fishing with a flyrod" has become the norm, and boatload after boatload of duffers come numbly slogging along downriver, dragging their rigs across holding fish, boasting and hooting over their "prowess" as fly fishers. It's is all about the numbers and the ego and the money. I never see the slinkeys and weights in the pictures. Truth be told some of the most ethical fishermen out here- that I have seen in my 12+ years of fishing these waters- have been the local gear and bait fishermen and their local guides. At least they know who they are, and they dont pretend to be something that they aren't.
sorry, I couldn't name every one of you at a moment's notice.
just curious, with or without snyder creek?
BOOM!!! Good post!
All fish counted spawning naturally after March 15 are counted as wild steelhead spawners, which could include any stray Snyder Creek fish. In any event, they would be a small percentage of the total.
The greater problem is the fairly credible report (from a former biologist or technician) of Quilayute Tribal spawner surveys being doctored a few years ago to reflect higher spawner counts than were actually observed.
What? Tribes cooking data? Unheard of...
Bob Triggs, you make some interesting points but don't I'm not sure what prompted that last paragraph. There were actually relatively few people on this thread who seemed to be expressing opposition to the boat ban because it would crimp their style of "flyfishing" (i.e., nymphing from a boat). I read more people inferring that this is a disguised effort to get the gear guys off the water, which in reality may not be a legitimate criticism but you have to admit that this proposed regulation is certainly susceptible to that inference. Also, some posters expressed legitimate concern that a regulation of this kind is going to concentrate people in those areas (which on some rivers are relatively few) that can be effectively fished by foot.
Finally, why is someone nymphing with a fly rod by definition any more of a "duffer" or otherwise less of a person than someone fishing gear from a boat (or swinging flies for that matter)? I've nymphed for steelhead from a boat a few times and although I infinitely prefer swinging flies while wading, I have decided it is not entirely as easy as I assumed it was before trying it. (And based on even more limited experience fishing gear from a boat, I have to say that gear fishing is quite a bit easier than nymphing with a fly rod). Is the prejudice towards flyrodders who nymph really based on a history of unethical behavior from that segment of the angling community? I know when I'm wade fishing I instinctively react negatively to anyone fishing the same water with fly gear and beads or yarnies (more so than gear even!), but objectively I have to admit that is a reaction that is borne of my own person biases about the "best" methods for fishing for steelhead. Granted, I don't spend nearly as much time on the water as you, but I can't really recall any instance where nymphing flyfishers behaved in the ways you are describing (other than maybe hooting and hollering a bit when they hooked fish but that is behavior that is not limited to that segment of the angling community). I will admit that I get frustrated by seeing people doing laps and repeatedly dead-drifting nymphs, beads, and yarnies through the same holding water - but gear anglers do that too (and much more effectively!) and I don't run into it that often because (surprise!) almost all the guys I've run into have been gracious enough to just keep rowing through water that I'm fishing. Taking boats off the water isn't going to necessarily eliminate that behavior (which a meaningful segment of the population obviously believes is an honest method of angling no matter what you or I may think). Depending on the particular piece of water, it would make it harder for a guy who's nymphing with a fly rod, but a guy fishing gear can pound the same water pretty easily on foot - he just may have to buy a pair of waders to do it! And it may just drive more flyfishers to take up centerpinning, which for some reason that hasn't quite sunk in with me seems more "upscale" to the fly angling community than fishing conventional gear.
I do like your idea of restricting fishing to a certain number of days per week (but think it would be best if the tribes' nets are out of the water at least the same days that sports cannot fish) because that would offer refuge to the fish without making a value judgment on whether one particular way of fishing is right or wrong. Oh, and we're way past due for eliminating harvest of any wild steelhead!