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

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

  1. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,801
    Likes Received:
    5,308
    Location:
    Your City ,State
    WHB,

    Population health can be relative. Although former populations were more abundant, spawner-recruit data suggest that most wild steelhead populations are about as abundant as they can be under current habitat conditions. The way WDFW looks at it, all fish over the spawning escapement goal are harvestable surplus. With that management mantra, several OP rivers regularly appear to produce a surplus above escapement needs. Looking at the larger picture, resource management agencies are notoriously reactive, rather than proactive. Not that long ago over 160 WA rivers had harvestable numbers of wild steelhead, according to WDFW. Now it's less than a dozen. Yet WA state human population increases by 50,000 or more per year, and some of them fish. With those kind of steelhead and human demographic metrics, how does it make any kind of sense to continue to allow harvest of wild steelhead on an ever-shrinking number of streams while there is a concurrent ongoing increase in the number of anglers seeking to harvest them? If it makes any kind of responsible sense at all, it's easily time to allocate wild steelhead harvest by individual tags like I previously mentioned is done with moose and mountain goat hunting.

    Golfman65,

    Please, enough with the Indian nets already. Almost no one appreciates seeing them, and while they don't benefit the fish any, just as hook and line fishing doesn't, you've been around the block enough times and long enough now to be among the informed and intelligent to understand that there is no empirical indication that the nets in the Skagit are doing any greater harm to the wild steelhead run than is the on-going sport fishing. Yes, it reduces the spawning population by whatever number they catch, but again, for the umpteenth time, there is no indication that it results in any signficant or measurable decrease in overall steelhead productivity and abundance. If you still strongly believe to the contrary, it's time to put up, or shut up. Find a qualified fisheries biologist who supports that opinion, with data. I can change my mind, but I'll need evidence to do so. Thanks man.

    Sg
     
  2. Whitehorsebob

    Whitehorsebob Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2011
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Darrington,wa
    I have read what the WSC has on all this and while my sympathies are with what they want to accomplish even they ,using the available data, admit with the possible exception of the Hoh the runs are healthy. They tweak the explanation of the data to fit their aganda but not much. Mostly what they say is look we think we should be erring more on the side of caution. I don't disagree with that completely except I see this all the time in salmon fisheries and the facts show that well regulated harvest is not much of a factor...again it's ocean conditions & habitat. As far as the Nets on the skagit I really don't know what that has to do with anything other than we are helpless with our political mainstream outlook and have been since Bolt.If yoyu were around when bolt took affect you can remember how devastating the indian take was the 1st 3 years or so..just terrible. On the other hand the netting has gone on since what 74? And the native resource is doing ok on the OP. Keep in mind no where have I said it would not hurt if say we let sports fisherman keep all the fish caught with no limits there of course is a level where it is too much. All I have addressed is that , at the moment, 1 fish per year might be justifiable looking at the data. I also realize that having only the OP open is not good. I myself will travel to fish there in the spring much more since I cant fish in my front yard now. Looks to me there are some good ideas we could push that would make the situation better. 1 fish every 5 years, the tag fee is a good one provided we lock up tight the rules on usage for said funds cause you know the polits &WDFG will try to raid it. Now that I have looked myself at some of the data I think this would be a good route. keep in mind that a return to good ocean conditions where those fish grow will make all this moot. That is what I am hoping for but in the mean time maybe we can try for somewhat more cautious regs...but the castigation of anyone who kills a fish will simply put us on the outside of the discussion.
     
  3. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,776
    Likes Received:
    2,086
    Location:
    seattle-ish
    Its really a matter of being proactive instead of reactive, and theres so many hatchery bonkers out there that there is really no need to kill a wild steelhead.
    WHB I don't see your point, and I hope you dont catch any for fear that you might decide to kill it for no other reason than you haven't seen hard evidence of a decline. I thought blinders were just for horses.
     
  4. Benjy

    Benjy Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    I don't mind if a guy just has to put one on the wall, it's what some people like to do. I would like to see retention of 1 wild fish per-season, but minimum length of 44". That would keep a lot of guys hoping and clean up a lot of the funny business of retaining that 1 wild fish per-season every day. Keeps everyone in the game.
     
    Pat Lat likes this.
  5. constructeur

    constructeur Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,839
    Likes Received:
    911
    Location:
    Seattle, Wa
    What's wrong with taking pics and measurements and getting a fiberglass made up?
     
  6. gearhead

    gearhead Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    44
    Location:
    Renton, wa
    I think the best way to protect wild stock, is to maybe.....not target them.
     
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  7. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    9,801
    Likes Received:
    5,308
    Location:
    Your City ,State
    Gearhead,

    That's certainly true from a fish's point of view. The not so small problem with that alternative is that when steelhead enthusiasts have no opportunity to fish for steelhead, they lose interest and eventually stop advocating on behalf of the resource. Check the "Occupy Skagit" thread and the mention of Ducks Unlimited. DU is very much about duck hunting AND conservation, not conservation without hunting. DU's model has been very successful, and they owe no apology for hunting ducks.

    I think wild steelhead need advocates as well. And considering that the incidental harvest of a small percentage of wild steelhead populations during CNR seasons or concurrent hatchery fish target seasons are not listed as not being adverse to the survival and recovery of ESA listed populations, I have to conclude that not targeting them would be more of a "feel good" exercise and lack any practical benefit.

    Sg
     
    Jamie Wilson, bhudda, TD and 4 others like this.
  8. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,206
    Likes Received:
    1,452
    Location:
    bellingham wa
    Home Page:
    I can't think of any steelhead population that has benefitted from discontinuing a C&R season.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  9. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,701
    Likes Received:
    2,252
    Location:
    Marysville, Washington
    Have to wonder where all the folks here that advocating changes in wild fish management were in 2006 when we actually had a chance to influence that management during the development and approval of the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan. There was lots of opportunities to comment and help shape/influence the final product

    Classic Washington angler behavior - lots of rhetoric and tough talk on the "net" and largely absence in the forums that could make a difference. That sort of apathy was been the norm for decades and I have given up hope that it will ever change. Any potential changes will be the result of the hard work of very small handful of folks who continue to the "till wind mills" on the behalf of the resource and angler opportunity without thanks or acknowledgement.

    Curt
     
  10. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2005
    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    149
    Location:
    Olympia
    That's not the point (sad fact). The ESA is not a nuanced instrument, and probably not the best one for the situation. Steelhead do get more lip service now--which can in turn lead to more money (there will finally be funding for a PS smolt survival study--that has more to do with the listing--not necessarily C&R closure). But, the end of C&R isn't about what's good for the fish, it's more about how much "take" is allocated to the PS basin. Legal instruments are very good at drawing lines in the sand, not so good at adapting to nuanced factual situations.

    It was aknowledged that the listing wouldn't/couldn't do much to help steelhead. Before the listing the question was posed, "If you knew that PS Steelhead would go extinct tommorow, would you still list them?" [2nd hand paraphrase]. The Feds said,"yes". It was more about the law, even if the listing wouldn't change the situation on the ground (make it more likely that PS steelhead woudn't go extinct), it's still the right legal/proceedural/regulatory decision.

    To the original question, I'd say they are both very crowded. That said, I've seen the Penn more crowded than I've seen the PS rivers--PS hatchery reaches excluded.
     
  11. BDD

    BDD Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    821
    Location:
    Ellensburg, WA
    Home Page:
    Curt,

    I think part of the problem is lack of leadership. Because there are so many differing views on the matter, it can be difficult to get any sort of consensus or agreement, let alone a concerted effort by all anglers. If the anglers could unite sportfishing efforts, I think it could make a very positive impact on the opposing views.

    I recall reviewing the wild fish management plan. In fact, I even got my employer to provide comments to it. But I'm not sure what good it ever did. Last I heard, it was being updated with something "new". I'm not even sure it ever had much of a chance to get fully implemented.

    While I have seen some groups with their special interests being met by WDFW, I'm not sure that we as a society are ready to make the decisions and sacrifices needed to restore wild steelhead populations in Washington state.
     
  12. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,206
    Likes Received:
    1,452
    Location:
    bellingham wa
    Home Page:
    I think also that there is the belief by many anglers that WDFW should be working towards the same goals as anglers. Many believe that the role of WDFW is to work for the sportsman. In much of the country that is the case. Washington has a fairly unique set of circumstances with co-managemnt with the tribes, listed stocks, cowboy netting etc. I know that fisheries in NY where I lived prior to WA seemed to be managed solely for he benefit of sportsmen. It literally took me years to understand the WDFW worked differently.

    IMO we are finally seeing a bit of a change in this regard. It seems like the commission is understanding that commercial harvest should take a back seat to rec.'s as seen by recent changes in crab and shrimp policy. I think that this is due to certain people "carrying the water" and also by the hard economics of the situation. Maybe a new day is dawning with regards to fish and game management in Wa. With this change I hope we can forge the understanding that C&R seasons are the most economically beneficial way to use up "impacts" when impacts are the limitting factor. A fish doesn't have to die to be beneficial socially and economically. In fact, it's highest and best use is to be fished for and to spawn.

    It's easy to rail against sportsmen who don't do enough. Many sportmen think that as residents and license buyers the government that they fund should work for them. There is a thought that the money paid in should already buy them unequal representation at the table. Afterall the commies don't pay in shit. There is no reason for WDFW to represent NA interests as they are already co-managers. Unfortunately, this thought of how it should be does not jive with how it is.

    I do think that there is starting to be a new more process savvy generation of sportmen who are willing to push policy in a more sportsman and C&R friendly direction. Attitudes seem to be changing. Sportsmen are getting smarter and better represented. The change is slower than I would hope, but it is happening.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
    PT likes this.
  13. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Messages:
    3,206
    Likes Received:
    1,452
    Location:
    bellingham wa
    Home Page:
    I agree Derek. However, It's important that anglers realize that C&R is not the problem. When this is understood we can try to push forward by determinig and solving the real problems like oh, I don't know, hmmmmm......... PS smolt survival?

    Instead we have been focused on the C&R mortality red herring and the introgression red herring. The best thing about recent PS introgression studies is that they show just what a red herring C&R mortality is.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
    Eric Tarcha and Ed Call like this.
  14. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Messages:
    4,708
    Likes Received:
    1,690
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    Home Page:
    My impression is that the Puget Sound region wild steelhead should have been listed under ESA long before they finally did so, and the Olympic Peninsula runs should have been listed too. There should be no compromise on catch and release now, it should all be catch and release, or close it down in entirety.
     
    TD and Pat Lat like this.
  15. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,701
    Likes Received:
    2,252
    Location:
    Marysville, Washington
    Chares -
    I agree that we are seeing a "new era" in commission decisions with greater emphasis on recreational use of the resource. With recent changes in crab and shrimp allocations being obvious examples. However we need to keep in mind that those changes were not based on what was good for the resource (doubt it makes much difference if a crab dies after being caught in commercial or recreational pot). Rather as you said those changes was economic based. I continue to believe that there is a lesson there for steelhead.

    Without a doubt once the resource is taken care of WDFW should be providing for the sportsmen of the State. But the qestion remains which sportsmen. As a user group the so call sportmen covers as much diversity as any fish population. Which interest should be addressed first or given the highest priority; how should the decision makers determine those priorities. The unwillingness of the so-called conservation minded anglers to become engaged in the "system" means that "squeaky wheel" will not get "oiled". In fact it is surprising that there has been the changes we have seen have been made. Over the last 35 years in every case the numbers of folks will to get involved in such issues as CnR, wild salmonid management zones, etc has been shocking low.

    Curt
     
    Bert likes this.