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

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

  1. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2005
    Messages:
    2,835
    Likes Received:
    1,005
    Location:
    bellingham wa
    Home Page:
    The answer to your question Curt is that C&R should be given priority. WE'll get there.

    Bob,

    Listings don't work to allow for C&R. Listings do nothing for wild fish recovery. Nothing.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  2. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Messages:
    2,035
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    The Salt
    i do not disagree that out of the angling community as a whole, very few get involved in the rule processes but i did want to make one point about c&r issues.

    when there has been public testimony in regards to wild steelhead release, the public comments (both vocal and written) have been remarkably one-sided in favor of c&r during the last 10-15 years. regardless of apathy, public testimony has been and continues to be one-sided when it comes to the issue of wild steelhead release. the side in favor of wild release has been less apathetic or (i would like to think) becoming more and more a majority of steelhead anglers.
     
  3. TD

    TD Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,220
    Likes Received:
    513
    Location:
    North End
    I usually don't join in on these conversations because I have very little scientific data and admittedly do not know even a small percentage of the history of the cause/effect of past management decisions. However, I DO know that the early (Fall/Winter) Wild runs on West End rivers and many Puget Sound Rivers have suffered terribly and all but have been obliterated in what appears to be the WDFW's attempt to have a kill fishery. I have, incorrectly, in the past felt that I had no business offering my opinions or attending public hearings on management practices due to my lack of knowledge in the true science of fishes. I now know that just attending and voicing my concerns, opinions, desired fishing opportunity, and expectations of the WDFW are all that is needed.

    I bring up the early Wild runs on the West End Rivers because, to me, it seems to be so obvious. I've sent the WDFW a picture of a large Wild Fish that I have caught in a smaller tributary creek in December as evidence of Wild Early Steelhead and asked why there seemed to be little concern in the way of fishing regulations and management practices to protect these fish. The response I received was one of almost irritation from the sender which simply told me that the fish in my picture was a Summer Run fish and that there weren't any early Winter fish returns.

    To answer the question, "which interest should be first?" I'd, without hesitation, reply, "The Wild Fishes survival should ALWAYS be first". From here it gets cloudy though. Fish that you can't fish for don't have many friends to watch out for them. So, at least in my simple view of things, Catch and Release only seasons should be in place. I think hatchery programs should be limited to only rearing and releasing fish from the same river systems. I think that using fish from completely different systems due to their run timing so as to have a kill season is irresponsible, from the view of protecting and sustaining the nature wild strains in the river systems.

    This year is the first year that I intentionally participated in the fall hatchery steelhead fishery with the intent of killing and eating hatchery fish. It was really fun. So, I understand people's desire to have a kill fishery. I have a hard time believing that there are is a large majority of anglers that would, knowingly, choose to have a hatchery kill season at the expense of the natural wild fish. I think that the WDFW has misled anglers for decades and knowingly let these early season wild return strains decline at alarming rates in the wake of the hatchery release and kill season. This is the point I think we all should be stressing to the decision makers.

    I have pictures of my great uncle and Grandpa with huge (18+ lbs) steelhead that they caught on small tributary creeks off of the main stems as well as quite a long ways up the main rivers. I find it very hard to believe that, given the option, to have those runs return or maintain the early hatchery 6 - 8 lbs (or 4 - 6 lbs) returns, the majority of anglers would choose the return of the Wild runs. Unfortunately, I don't think that we now have that choice and few people believe that the wild fish runs will ever return regardless of what we do.

    This got to be a bit long winded and I'm sure I did a very poor job at making my point, which is why I usually abstain from these discussions in a forum basis.

    Tim
     
    Brookie_Hunter likes this.
  4. Rich Simms

    Rich Simms Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Occupy Hearings!
    2001- Many of us attended the Commission hearing and testified for a wild steelhead release, no exceptions regulation in Vancouver. I believe the annual limit at the time on rivers "deemed healthy enough" to support harvest was 30 wild steelhead per year. We we successful in getting the annual limit reduced to 5 per year.

    2004- After much work and providing trend charts from WDFW data, we were successful successful in getting the Commission to impose a 2 year moratorium of any sport directed harvest of wild steelhead. The Forks C&C and Mayor complained that it would hurt business and the tribes complained that they were not consulted, which in turn delivered the current regulation of 1 wild steelhead per year. A directive was also given by the Commission to the WDFW to develop a Statewide Steelhead Management Plan, which Curt referred to and the opportunity to provide comment was given.

    Since than there has been success to eliminate sport harvest on the OP streams through Feb. 15 to help the early part of the wild steelhead run recover as well as the Sol Duc now imposed as a wild steelhead managed stream. There have been other successes as well, but they often go un-noticed or not the sexy issues like C&R.

    I would love to see the Skagit go the same direction as the Sol Duc, but these things do not happen easily and sometimes a glacial pace with few folks involved as Curt pointed out. I would love to see a few hundred folks testifying at the upcoming Commission hearing to make the Skagit the next wild steelhead managed stream in the state of Washington.
     
    Bob Triggs and TD like this.
  5. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,255
    Likes Received:
    1,384
    Location:
    Marysville, Washington
    Rich -
    I see and get the appeal of moving the management of the Skagit more in the direction of the Sol Duc. However with the large Wild Salmonid Management Zones (WSMZs) on the Skagit (All of the Sauk, the Cascade above the lower bridge, and the Skagit itself above the mouth of the Cascade) I feel pretty strongly that the managment structure on the Skagit is much more conservative and responsive the resource diversity needs.

    Not sure that this thread is the place to get into all the reasons I prefer the Skagit sturcture over the Sol Duc.

    Curt
     
  6. Rich Simms

    Rich Simms Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Occupy Hearings!
    Curt, I agree regarding the place to get into discussion, this thread has changed course. I personally would like see one entire system in Puget Sound become managed has a wild steelhead managed river, in my opinion the Skagit would be the best candidate. Again my opinion, The Puget Sound Hatchery Action Advisory Committee appears to be inconsistent in their procedure in determining which rivers to designate as wild, bending politically to keep hatcheries in tact no matter the cost to the tax payer, how ineffective and ultimately the cost to wild steelhead and their recovery.
     
  7. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,255
    Likes Received:
    1,384
    Location:
    Marysville, Washington
    Rich -
    This question of Wild steelhead/salmonid management river/zones merits its own thread. This is far too important of an issue to be buried as a secondary topic in another discussion. I will start such a thread in the steelhead forum.

    Curt
     
  8. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    1,858
    Location:
    m-ville
    That being said I think the O.P. is more crowded on weekends when the rivers are in shape than many of the S-rivers!
     
  9. TD

    TD Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,220
    Likes Received:
    513
    Location:
    North End
    I believe I agree with you.
     
  10. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,857
    Likes Received:
    1,858
    Location:
    m-ville
    I thought the object of this thread was to state ones thoughts on, if the the O.P. or puget sound rivers get more fishing pressure.