How much lass crowded is the penisula vs the S rivers?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by daveypetey, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Cruik

    Cruik Active Member

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    Echoing what was said here, a good way to do it is to get a head lamp, find a popular spot and get there before anyone else. Fish it as much as you can and any other untouched water. After that, explore for new water that doesn't get pressured and hit already discovered low-pressure spots. Especially when swinging flies and in lower water, I believe water that's already been covered is not at all very productive.

    Google satellite images are a huge resource and have changed the fishing game for me, better or worse. For hatchery fish, I like to look for out of the way, but accessible pocket water within a mile or two of a hatchery. You'd be surprised at what you can find along the side of rapids.
     
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  2. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    The Vedder really showed me that angling pressure does not seem to affect run size as much as our managers in Washington would like us to believe.
     
  3. Plecoptera

    Plecoptera Active Member

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    Not necessarily disagreeing, but isn't the bulk of the angling pressure on the Vedder focused on the hatchery fish? I understand the wild run is also very robust in that system, so I assume it also gets a fair amount of pressure too.

    I live an hour away and have driven over it multiple times on my way to other waters, but have never been tempted to fish it. I've heard a lot about the numbers of fish and fishermen it produces though
     
  4. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    you should see the splendor when you walk past five miles. it's like taking the red pill.
     
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  5. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    The pressure is on both stocks. They have late returning hatchery fish and early returning hatchery fish. The pressure is remarkable. The numbers of fish are too.

    Evan is right. Angling pressure has nothing to do with fish decline provided the wild fish aren't being bonked. The Vedder is a great example of this. In fact there was a C&R mortality study that can be easily googled that shows it clearly. It's also a unique river draining to the Salish sea with regards to the size of it's runs.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  6. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    During the early winter steelhead season here, from around November through December, ostensibly the hatchery runs, you will have room to fish most of the rivers, especially if you are on foot. It can get a little busy on the weekends, but during the week you might have some spots all to yourself. If you fish closer to the hatcheries you will be in closer company. During this time there are a very unique few early winter run wild steelhead around. And in town you can usually get a room, a parking place and a dinner etc., with little difficulty. And during the early season there can be a lot of fish around. But during the Olympic Peninsula wild winter steelhead run, from late January through April, things out here change significantly. Ever since the Puget Sound regional rivers have closed for the catch and release seasons, the anglers and guides have shifted their efforts to the Olympic Peninsula wild steelhead, both for harvest and catch and release. This has resulted in an increase in pressure on the wild steelhead here. So during this period of time you will see noticeably more boats, guides and anglers everywhere, and fewer available lodging options without a reservation, crowded camp sites, and very busy diners and shops etc., even on many weekdays. If you are using a boat you will find the early season a little easier to get into. And if you are on foot you will learn how to avoid the boats and get around quite well, with many options depending upon flows, conditions, changes through the day etc. Any one of our rivers could take you years to learn. During the later season you will find that sometimes it is hard to go anywhere without running into to other anglers, on foot or in boats, though wading anglers are still fewer here. And some people can be very rude. I would encourage you to come out, explore, pick a river and work it in earnest, and don't spend all of your time driving from one spot to another all day. Yes, it can be crowded. But there are some sublime days for anyone who is willing to do the work of getting out here onto the water. Doug Rose has written extensively on the Olympic Peninsula wild steelhead, and on winter steelhead in particular: "The Color Of Winter- Olympic Peninsula Wild Steelhead Flyfishing" is probably his best work on the subject. (See my Book Review here). Regards. http://olympicpeninsulaflyfishing.blogspot.com
     
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  7. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Thanks for your comments Bob. In the WDFW steelhead committee that I sit on, there has been increased discussion on this topic (OP crowded conditions and the impact of more guides, out of state and/or illegal).

    In your opinion, is the increased pressure more from the fact that it is the last place in WA to kill a wild steelhead or because the PS rivers are closed at that time? Though I don't fish out there as much as I would like, I was under the impression that the spring season pressure was due to more fly and conservative-minded gear anglers (no kill) but based on our committee discussions, it sounds like there are still many anglers, including guides, that are killing their one fish because they still can. Our next meeting in March we will continue discussing what can be done to address the pressure/guiding/sport harvest issue.

    If that is the case, my question is, if a regular angler can only kill one fish a year, why would a guide be allowed to have dozens or more clients kill a fish a year each?
     
  8. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    BDD,

    Each angler who is fishing has a license and catch record card, and each angler is regulated by seasonal limits on wild steelhead, as well as other species limits. The guide is also required to have a fishing license, in addition to his or her guide's license, and the guide is limited by the same regulations in that; if a guide were fishing at any time, they would not be allowed any more fish than the guests who he is guiding, for the season etc. The problem in this regard is not the guides themselves, but the fact that any harvest is allowed on wild steelhead at all here. I see that as a significant aspect of the problem. A great many people want to come out here specifically to kill wild steelhead, and they hire guides to take them down the rivers to do it, and there are guides who specialize in this. There have been many examples of people flaunting this law, and killing multiple wild steelhead without referring to the catch record card at all. Allowing the one fish limit on these rivers opened the door to illegal harvest as people assume that they will get away with it, and many of them do. While it is true that some people will break laws no matter what the consequences, the fact that any harvest is allowed on these wild fish has created the opportunity to cheat the system. And I am not pointing at boats or boat guides here in particular, as it is all to easy for an individual angler to walk in to any stretch of a river here, any river, and slip away with your illegally harvested fish, undetected, unobserved. This is way more common than people know. If we went to catch and release here there would be fewer anglers, boats and guides etc. That is a fact. I see this as an urgent issue. Catch and release is a good management tool. It is not a good recovery tool. The thuggish cult of politics in sport fishing rule making is very much to blame for the way it has gone out here. And I have to blame the WDFW managers and Commissioners for not having the spine or brains to see that, after closing so many steelhead rivers and seasons around the state elsewhere, thousands of people would end up coming out here to kill their wild steelhead, and some guides would show up too. And some, if not many of them, would stretch the rules. Under this regime it is likely that we will see outright closures on these waters too one day. If we went to strictly no kill, catch and release, on all wild steelhead here, if we stopped actually fishing from boats or floating devices, and if we enforced that strictly too, we could make a positive change toward further protections on wild steelhead. A lack of enforcement presence on the water is a huge aspect of this issue too. Just my opinion. http://olympicpeninsulaflyfishing.blogspot.com
     
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  9. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Bob, you make a good case here. This "unintended consequence" has gotten out of control. I don't think that anyone could "repudiate" your comments without looking like they are just trying to defend their own (indefensible as they are) commercial or selfish position in regards to harvest.
    The poaching is an ongoing concern, and happens nearly everywhere. We should have ten times the number of game wardens in the field!
    I buy my annual Discover Pass without whining, and I don't mind paying the extra $5 that's tacked on to my vehicle registration fees and is supposed to go to keeping our state parks open. I would be willing to fork over an additional amount if it were used to hire and train more game wardens.

    How about no killing of any wild steelhead by any angler fishing from any boat, guided or not. In other words, guides won't be able to take guests on floats who want to keep a wild steelhead. Individual fishing from their own boats won't be able to kill one either. If you want to kill one, you have to walk in without a guide and do it on your own. Hell, you'd think any concerned guides would jump on this and just make it happen. Blacklist and ostracize the non-compliant ones.

    I mean, come on! Anybody who can afford a guided fishing trip absolutely does not have to kill a fish in order to eat. Fishers taking guided float trips are not poor! There is absolutely no excuse for anyone who takes a guided fishing trip to kill a wild steelhead! None whatsoever. That game is over, as far as any logical rationalizations go.
     
  10. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    A lot of sense in the last couple of posts.

    How do we make it happen?
     
  11. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    I would have to question how "wild" those wild stocks are? It would be interesting to know..

    BDD it might be a good idea if everyone sitting on your board spend some serious time over there...Such a beautiful place and it's getting raped...IMHO...
     
  12. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Guiding is in my opinion the rawest form of commercial fishing and the last time I checked, the sale of non-treaty steelhead was illegal in Washington wild or not. Therefore, I technically see no difference between a steelhead guide "selling" his/her catch to the clients and the simple fact of them paying their guide license fee to WDFW does not give them the right to be responsible for killing more wild steelhead for their clients.

    Sure, I'd love to see a statewide release of wild steelhead but that was tried and it failed. Most of us know that history. Hopefully it can be re-enacted but in the meantime, lets try something else. By restricting guides from killing more than one wild steelhead per year for their clients, just like any other licensed angler will further limit the number of wild steelhead killed and will be a small step in reducing angler pressure on the OP while we figure out how to stop intentionally killing wild steelhead completely.
     
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  13. coastal cutthroat

    coastal cutthroat Active Member

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    What do you mean it was tried and it failed? Did the wild fish not benefit? How long was it tried? I'm relatively new to WA and I don't really know what you are talking about.

    My understanding is that wild fish are C&R throughout WA EXCEPT for the OP; and that makes sense because . . . ?

    We need C&R for wild fish on the peninsula; how can we get this done?
     
  14. skokomish fly

    skokomish fly New Member

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    BDD means the state tried to go to mandatory statewide wild steelhead release but the public, mainly guides and businesses on the olympic peninsula opposed it and got the proposal shot down. Seems to me the mayor of Forks was even involved.
     
  15. Jamie Wilson

    Jamie Wilson Active Member

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    The mayor was involved - her stance was that the kill fishery was needed to maintain the interest in fishers coming to forks. I don't support a wild fish kill - but I am sympathetic to locals in Forks who have had a lot of adjustment to do over the years on how they support themselves. Goes beyond the fishing - way back to logging restrictions as well.