Methow River to close Sept. 18 to all fishing

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Freestone, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Better change your plans if you were hoping to fish the Methow this month as it closes on Thursday. Too many steelhead were caught during the trout season and the federal ESA permit that allows the trout season required that it be closed. I commend WDFW for closing it and putting endangered steelhead recovery first. Thanks! :thumb:

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    Methow River to close Sept. 18 to all fishing


    OLYMPIA - The Methow River will close to fishing Thursday (Sept. 18), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

    The early closure of the catch-and-release fishery, which was originally scheduled to run through Sept. 30, is necessary to avoid additional incidental catch of protected wild steelhead, said Bob Leland, WDFW steelhead program manager.

    The fishery, which is directed at resident trout, is allowed under a federal permit that prescribes strict limits on the incidental catch of wild steelhead, listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).

    "Over the last couple of weeks, we've seen a rise in the number of steelhead in the river, as well as a significant increase in anglers participating in the fishery," Leland said. "With that combination, we quickly reached the catch-and-release fishery's ESA limit for incidentally caught wild steelhead, necessitating the closure."

    Leland said fishery managers are assessing the steelhead return to the region, and based upon wild and hatchery returns could open a fishery in the next few weeks for hatchery steelhead on portions of the upper Columbia River and some tributaries, including the Methow River. That hatchery steelhead fishery would be allowed under a separate federal permit.

    Anglers should check for updates on fishing seasons on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/regs/fishregs.htm.
     
  2. _WW_

    _WW_ Geriatric Skagit Swinger

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    Not posted on their site yet, nor have I received an email notification as of this morning.

    You should note your source for us. :)
     
  3. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Interesting. In order for them to know how many steelhead were caught, they must have asking about steelhead catches during the trout creel surveys.

    Nothing posted as of yet on the website. I'm going there for work tomorrow; wish I knew whether to pack the 5 weight or the 1 weight...or whether to bring the pram.
     
  4. mjb

    mjb Member

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    I'm also glad to see this, especially after seeing the following on a local guide's webpage:

    "Me? I take off for the Methow Valley again to chase the big Westslope Cutties again, but this time we will spend half our time skating Crystal Caddis for you-know-who. So very perfect. The Met is really low right now, so we will have to choose our waters carefully."

    Legal? Ethical? What do you think?
     
  5. LD

    LD Active Member

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    Appears to be "incidental catch of wild steel head". The WDFW should book a trip nect fall and see if the guide will target steelhead. If so pull his license. If this is on their web site and public info you should post wheo it is or email wdfw.
     
  6. mjb

    mjb Member

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    I called this in to WDFW yesterday, and frankly I hope it had something to do with the closure.

    But I'm still interested in the question - what do you think of a guide appearing to promote intentional "incidental catches" of steelhead on a river closed for same?
     
  7. Runejl

    Runejl Josh

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    I had seen that post also. Not sure what I think about that. Im sure I woudnt mind catching a steelhead while fishing for trout, nor would I be totaly opposed to fishing a fly that could catch both. I do think that we generally hold guides to a different standard and expect them to be not be targeting a closed species.

    Bummer that the Methow is closed to all fishing.
     
  8. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

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    Ah piss.

    I'm really bummed. I had gotten the wife and some friends all amped up to go over to the Methow this weekend for a camping fishing trip.

    Just my luck.
     
  9. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Why don't you call the guide in question and ask him why or tell him what you think about it?
     
  10. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    :rolleyes:

    You guys nailed it!

    Dickson is the reason steelhead are endangered in the Methow and everywhere else.

    He is the reason you never catch anything.

    He is the reason gas prices are rising.

    He is the reason some of you have migrains.

    Sounds like you should form a posse and go get him.

    I hear that steelhead fishermen don't sink in water.

    Actually when I was over on the Methow a week and a half ago it was so crowded it was damn near insane so unless Dickson guides 50 fishermen a day I am not sure he can be blaimed so maybe you should call off the witch hunt.

    Pretty much the only people in the whole area were fishermen and all anybody was catching were "suckers" so there you go.

    BTW, I saw several guides, not just Dickson. There are more than 1 you know.
     
  11. Jack Murphy

    Jack Murphy Member

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    Should we hold them to a different standard? And what standard would that be? They are a for-profit business that, in my honest opinion, is sometimes closer to a commercial fisherman than not. They are in the business of putting people on fish and making sure they catch them. Sometimes the WDFW rules get in their way.

    And before every guide starts posting like crazy, I know there are plenty of ethical guides but to assume they are somehow more ethical than recreational fishermen is questionable.
     
  12. Brett Angel

    Brett Angel Member

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    Aren't you the one in support of more WDFW officers to enforce regulations and isn't targeting steelhead in the off season illegal? I'd think that you would support the protection of steelehad in the Methow.

    No one called a "witch hunt" or even stated the guides name before you posted.

    Shit happens and you can't control what goes after your fly, but if you're purposely targeting steelhead then you're in the wrong.

     
  13. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    It is a violation of FEDERAL law as well as state law to target them during trout season. Too many people have been illegally targeting steelhead and it cost us our trout season. I'm glad it was closed as it shows NOAA that we're in compliance with the permit so hopefully NOAA will let us have a trout season next year. I know that WDFW employees have warned people to break off any steelhead they hooked but continued to see guys swinging 8 wts through runs during the trout season and landing steelhead.

    If there is a steelhead opening, please remember it will open for one reason only: to kill excess hatchery fish. It is not a C&R fishery for endangered wild steelhead. Do not jeopardize the steelhead season by releasing hatchery fish or the steelhead season may get closed early too.
     
  14. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

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    You are all missing the point.

    I was actually going to get out of the house and go camping/fishing on a river I love this weekend. Now I'll probably end up cleaning out the garage and having dinner with the in-laws.

    Screw releasing wild fish. Let's concentrate on releasing Josh into the wild.
     
  15. flyfis4fun

    flyfis4fun New Member

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    Good Job WDFW! A friend of mine vented to me just this last week that he went up to catch some cutts and found a very famous steelhead hole with a line of guys who were obviously targeting steelhead and openly talking about it.

    If these knuckleheads and others like them cost us a steelhead season in a year in which the runs are looking good, I am going to be pissed! :mad: