Lower Quinault in 2014

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Slate Run, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. ChaseBallard

    ChaseBallard bushwhacker

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    This is great, and hopefully us non-tribal anglers take them up on it. Governor Stevens and Judge Boldt gave the tribes a legal right to harvest their quota in traditional places, and as backwards and unethical as their methods might be, all the rants, comments and fishings forums in the world arnt making that go away.

    What will take the nets out is a viable economic alternative that pays more than dead steelhead (or chum eggs).
     
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  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    The nets aren't coming out on the Quinault, regardless of how much money Tribal guides make guiding non-Indian fishermen, no matter how many steelhead you catch and release (officially the Tribe spurns the very concept of CNR). Certain Tribal members will never become fishing guides, regardless of any inherent lack of social and business skills. They have inherited fishing rights at specific set net sites, and that is what they do, and will continue to do. Thinking a group of conservation-minded fly fishermen might lead the way through example to a "better" fishery conservation outcome is the height of cultural misunderstanding and failure. All they want from you, at most, is your money.

    The Tribe has already decided their science through policy decision that wild and hatchery fish are the same. They practice selective breeding of steelhead. They net fish at hatchery stock fishing rates. And wild native steelhead are in a world of hurt in the Quinault basin as a result.

    Sg
     
  3. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Sg, I agree with you that if we ever expect the tribes to give up their right to catch fish, we are living in a dreamer's world. And my experience with the tribes' philosophy/concept on C&R is the same as yours. However, the last sentence of your first paragraph gives me hope. If we can show them that there COULD be more money in steelhead fishing (and letting wild fish go), then that, with time, might be the way to initiate a change in their attitude toward C&R fishing.

    My brother called me for a Thanksgiving chat. Although he has probably only sport fished less than a dozen days in his life, he has commercial fished Alaska for years and is now running a tuna boat over south of Hawaii. He regularly runs down to Christmas Island (I'm trying to figure out an economical way to fish down there but its difficult) from Hawaii. Many of his crew are natives from Christmas Island and he commented on how much tourism dollars is brought there for guys looking to C&R bonefish, GT, etc. and is WAY more profitable than catching fish for food. He then turned the conversation to the Pacific Northwest and made the comment about how Native Americans would be better off selling sport fishing trips to anglers, rather than exercising their gill netting rights. He argued they would make more money, have less impact on the resource, and probably would not have to work as hard doing it. While I understand the tribes not wanting to give up their way of life in gill netting, most of what my brother said was right on and something that I have been stating for a long time.
     
  4. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Their nets aren't coming out. Feel free to swing around them, but that's as far as they are going in regards to sport fishing. They may guide you up around a corner so you can't see them, though.



    This isn't a new thought. The nets aren't coming out. Wasting my energy trying to influence them on a "better way" isn't going to happen either. Only way I can see anything changing is revisiting the Boldt decision which isn't going to happen. No politician will touch it because it isn't PC. Possibly thru a lawsuit by someone who's had enough of this BS but I don't see that happening either.

    All the while the Queets gets netted 5 days a week from fall to spring. And that's only their "scheduled" days. Actual days are unknown because I'm sure there's some ceremony someone is exercising their rights on at any given day...... Not to mention the Chehalis system salmon being netted to oblivion.
     
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  5. constructeur

    constructeur Active Member

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    The Quinaults message to sportsman is clear," come here, there are very few rules, kill whatever in the hell you want to." That crassness won't be changing.

    I merely posted my 'how to' to help the fine folks on WFF avoid unnecessary costs and to get them to read up on the, well, whatever you'd call that style of fish management.
     
  6. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    Constructive fish management is a rare commodity, IMHO
     
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  7. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    You may not change the mind of the older guys with the nets, but when you have a tribal member wanting to start getting groups of young kids together to teach them the fly rod, there's hope for some change down the road. Might be too little too late, but I sure don't have a better idea.
     
  8. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Late summer, a few year back, low water, gin clear, we fished the N fork and the E fork with nymphs and soft hackles, but only caught Bulls, in one deep run (smaller ones, only 13" - 14"). Saw some Sockeyes on their spawning run. Saw some fresh cougar tracks (big ones!) on a sandy river bar on the N Fork.
    After seeing those cat tracks, I don't want to go fish there alone.

    Oh yeah, I was informed that Oct would be a good time to fish it.

    I have to add that we arrived late, after first checking a spot on the Humptulips, did not fish until dark, and it was bright and sunny. I'll bet that if we had stuck around until dark, we might have been rewarded with some dry action.
    Also we saw schools of what we thought were Whitefish in the deep runs and holes in the stretch above the bridge, and below the confluence of the forks.
     
  9. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    No, I don't think the nets are coming out either but I was surprised to hear an individual who doesn't even really sport fish catch on to the same idea. I don't know if that means anything or not but the mere fact that non fishers even think that gives some hope that with educating the younger, next generation, perhaps ideas can be changed in the future.
     
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  10. sleestak240

    sleestak240 Active Member

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    That's the best viewpoint to take at the moment as far as I'm concerned. Nobody here realistically thinks that netting will magically cease, fighting the Boldt decision is beating your head against a brick wall, and trying to change current netting practices is a giant waste of time, as we all know. I still feel like what's going on is a good thing though, and when the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against you, you've got to find hope in small victories. Trying to eliminate netting is such an overwhelming goal that it results in complete inaction. What is possible, though, is that some 13 year old Quinault kid is going to see more guys fly fishing the lower river and think "I'd like to do that"...fast forward 5 years and maybe he's swinging a run on the lower Quinault instead of exercising his right to drag a net across the entire river that day. If this guy is the real deal, and is serious about promoting that ethic within his community...more power to him. Get a few guys in that same boat and you've got a minor victory as far as I'm concerned. Probably naiveté, but what the hell, it's nice to think about. It clearly hasn't happened on the Hoh, but there's always a chance I suppose.
     
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  11. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Dream on, Bro, dream on! The result we would all love to see begins with a dream.
    On the other hand, this whole deal with the QIN shutting down Lake Quinault (the reason they gave was pure bullsh*t) to non-tribal members casts serious doubt on their integrity, honesty, and willingness to play fair.

    (I'm sure that many of those who reside elsewhere may not be aware of the chagrin and animosity that this closure has generated between the non-tribal folks who traditionally enjoyed the lake or who live on the lake and the QIN. Myself, I was planning to purchase a QIN fishing permit this year so that I could go troll streamers in the lake, but that option is now gone. Chalk up yet another loss of fishing opportunity).
     
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  12. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    This is the sad, but realistic truth. Most of the tribal fishermen whom I know despise catch and release sports fishing, and the fishermen who practice it. It is also unrealistic to say that adding more fishing, even catch & release fishing, to the lower Quinault River wild winter steelhead run, and especially the later winter run fish, will in any be beneficial to the remaining few wlld steelhead returning there. I see this as a sad example and symptom of just how bad things have gotten for our wild fish out here. And a sad testament to fly fishing ethics and conservation in general.
     
  13. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    as long as the olympic peninsula is erroneously promoted as having the largest wild runs and best swinging water on the west coast things like this will continue.
     
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  14. gearhead

    gearhead Active Member

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    I think swinging is a smart management tool/plan. It should reduce hookups and unintended mortality.
     
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  15. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    About a dozen years ago(but maybe it was only ten), when I was still in the early stages of healing my shoulder problems (impingement), I had to decline an invitation from a local who was a QIN tribal member to go fish the lower Quinault near Cook Creek. He had told me that I would have to bring along my chainsaw, as we would need to cut a shorter trail to his spot on the river, or else be forced to pack out "all those fish" a couple of miles. Not only was I in terrible shape to attempt any such endeavor, but my chainsaw was in bad need of maintenance, and it was short notice.
    You don't get many opportunities like that in a lifetime. ;) Dang!