Occupy Skagit Redux

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by _WW_, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. riverrun

    riverrun Member

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    Let's show how much we love these fish and this river not only by showing up, but by doing something for them, too. Unlike the reports of certain sites of other Occupy movements, how about we leave the Skagit and Sauk Rivers a better place than we found them? I hope people don't find the idea of cleaning up the rivers as a part of this "movement" to be too complex an idea, tantamount to overthinking or muddying the mission.

    Perhaps somebody would be willing to throw in some swag for the "best trash", most trash, etc. When I used to live in Anchorage, this used to be an annual Kenai River event. Loads of fun too.

    Besides, it is all that much harder to give a ticket to a group not only making a statement, but also doing some good.

    Takers?

    Riverrun
     
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  2. fjthompsoniii

    fjthompsoniii New Member

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    Earlier in the thread you guys talked about where to be visible. I would think the swift creek access is about the most visible on that upper stretch of the skagit. Someone mentioned Youngs bar which was never part of the c&r area it ended at dalles rd bridge in concrete. One thing I've been wondering about this whole idea is, it's my understanding these rivers are closed due to esa listing. Which makes this a federal issue and takes it out of wdfw hands. So how is wdfw taking notice going to do anything to change the current regulation. I guess I have the perception when something becomes federal it is nearly impossible for the people to sway the tide so to speak. I know I'm not a regular poster but I find this issue striking a nerve as I grew up fly fishing the Skagit with my mentor. I dont live in the area anymore but am thinking of making the journey to participate in this. Either way I sincerely hope you guys are successful!
     
  3. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    If the 50+ different fish stocks in the Puget Sound listing were evaluated independently basin by basin, (as is currently being done with Puget Sound Chinook) as opposed to being judged in aggregate, it is most likely the Skagit would have escaped the listing.
     
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  4. Chris DeLeone

    Chris DeLeone Active Member

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    Riverrun - I am well ahead of you on this point - thank you.

    I think its a good thought that people protesting the managing of the C&R season are very conservation minded and want the river and all places they haunt clean and as undisturbed as possible.
     
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  5. fjthompsoniii

    fjthompsoniii New Member

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    ww I wasn't aware of the Chinook and Steelies being evaluated differently. Probably due to the commercial guys and indians throwing a fit. Let's rage on with our "fit" then! Sorry if I showed up and sound like a 12 year old boy talking about women...... I had all but given up on steelhead , been living in MT the last couple years came back to Roslyn this winter to see a girl. I find myself all excited about steelhead even though they are so depressed and we dont get a crack at them when they are in. Just goes to show once you've been bit with the steelie bug you can never really get rid of it!
     
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  6. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    WW,
    First, thanks for response and more importantly the tone which is was delivered -- civil. I see what you are saying about the Skagit being thrown into the Puget Sound wide stew-pot rather than being discretely managed. Perhaps the WDFW felt that having a single river open would simply create a Cowlitz of the north...which would be far worse for obvious reasons. What I mean my "close to margins" is simply that stocks are quite depressed overall as compared to historic run sizes and making decisions such as what is being proposed may not be the most prudent thing to do until things significantly improve. We (south-sounders) haven't been able to fish the Green, Puyallup and Nisqually for the wild fish run for a good many years now...sure would love too...some of my most memorable catches were on the Green and Nisqually.

    If it's all about the fish and rebuilding numbers of wild fish, certainly not adding any risk that a C&R fishery might introduce would be the most conservative approach, don't you think? If this is interpreted as being more about fisherman wanting to fish than doing all we can to protect them, that may not play well.
     
  7. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    See some b.c. boys plan on coming down ...Im not sure spreading out makes much sense...news crews don't travel well and big crowds or line ups in the water..lots of boats, toons, whatever makes for a better story!!! Don't think many people outside other fisherman give a rats ass about what's happening....IMHO the statement has to be made large...large groups get recognized!!! Piss around by spreading out any you'll be lucky is anyone even cares if you have a hook or not...
     
  8. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    My thought was that if the river is closed, what difference does it make where you protest? How many people are going to see you @ Howard Miller or Swift creek? The easier it is to find us, the more impact it will have. We're not really fishing, we're making a statement. The more people who can see and hear that statement the better.
     
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  9. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

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    What's more important is the fact that, if stocks had been evaluated seperatley, some would have easily warranted an endangered listing. To lump Cedar River steelhead--(+/-) extinct--and skagit steelhead in the same boat isn't appropriate.

    As to location, I say, central kick off point and then people spread out.
     
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  10. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast la flama blanca

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    I've seen people on another site talking about floating the river in drift boats. Floating the river and pretending to fish the chapel drift and power lines seems kind of pointless. The idea is to be seen.
    Looking forward to more details.
     
  11. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast la flama blanca

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    I didn't mind the Skagit/Sauk being the only system open for CnR, as it's the biggest system around. Obviously, I wish we had more fisheries around here at the time. If we are going to ask that openings happen on a river by river basis, we should think about what will happen if the Samish is the only river open, or the NF Stilly. A small stream being the only steelhead fishery in the region deserves careful thought.
     
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  12. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    I appreciate a devil's advocate, it is good practice for the commission meeting wherein I may be standing there getting grilled by the nine members...
    First of all, WDFW currently has no say on whether the river is opened or not - no matter what the reason. Second of all, the Skagit/Sauk by their very nature cannot become a 'Cowlitz' There is no 'fish congregating' location. The fish are spread out over tens and tens of miles of two fairly good sized rivers.
    Yes they are...as they should be. When people move in the animal population suffers. However, under current conditions the Skagit would appear to be at its recent historical carrying capacity.

    I have in front of me as I type this the Skagit Escapement numbers dating back to 1978. There is two years of no data '96 & '97 but counting 2011 there is 32 years worth. The average of all 32 years is 6857. Last season the number that has been reported is 6185, a difference of 672 - well within a year by year variation due to other limiting factors.

    Having typed all of the above paragraph I now have the pleasure to inform you that it is, for all intents and purposes, meaningless. There is no mechanism in the current ESA listing to provide a C&R season on the Skagit - none! The numbers on a single river mean nothing to them. Why should we have to wait for runs to improve on the Pilchuk before we can fish the Skagit? Why must we wait on the Samish, or the Green, Puyallup, and Nisqually to improve before we can fish the Skagit? Why don't we make the guys on the Hoh and Sol Duc wait for the Nooksak runs to come back before we let them fish? Let's make the guys on the Grande Ronde wait for the Sky to come back - makes sense to me! :)
    You are speaking of the fish in aggregate - same as NMFS, NOAA and a host of others. That my friend is the flaw. I do not advocate fishing over depressed or endangered stocks I advocate a well regulated C&R season on the Skagit system only! Read my lips - The Skagit, The whole Skagit, and nothing but the Skagit so help me God.

    A basin by basin determination of allowable impacts - that is the key to the goal.
     
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  13. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    I think the concept of a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) in the ESA context is important to our discussions here. The feds have defined that as -

    "Distinct Population Segment (DPS): A DPS, or a distinct population segment, is a vertebrate population or group of populations that is discrete from other populations of the species and significant in relation to the entire species. The ESA provides for listing species, subspecies, or distinct population segments of vertebrate species."

    For Puget Sound anadromous salmoids the typically DPS is generally considered to be all the stocks in the sound (from the Nooksack out to the Elwha). In determine a listing the status of the DPS as whole is considered and a listing would include all the stocks within the DPS. It should be expected that within a give DPS the status of individual stocks may vary quite a bit due to the variability of the factors limiting the populations. In the case of our Puget Sound rivers it has been estimated that the capcity to support anadromous populations in general has dramatically reduced from historically levels. The current capacity varies from as low as 5% to as much as 50% (average may be in the 20% range) of historic levels. This in a significant difference in the ability of a given populations to support impacts without increasing in the risk of extinction.

    It was in consideration of this variability in sensitive to risk of extinction that for some stocks in some DPS allowable fishing releate impacts for individual stocks were developed. That is the case with Puget Sound Chinook each of the major stocks have had individual allowable impacts determined and those impacts are used to develop fisheries and in some case even allow target fisheries on wild populations (Skagit ummer/fall Chinook come to mind).

    The same thing has happen with the listed bull trout of Puget Sound. Generally the take of bull trout is prohibited through out the region yet on the Skagit system an angler is allowed to take 2 bulls over 20 inches a day. In spite of that allowed harvest the ESA listed bull trout of the Skagit remains robust and has increased from 1990 levels.

    What some us are suggesting is that it would be appropriate to given some of the same considerations to Skagit steelhead and if under appropriate conditions allowable fishing impacts could be increased that a return to the spring CnR season be considered.

    Curt
     
  14. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    I highly recommend it ;)
     
  15. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    This report from WSC suggests 6000 to be the "floor escapement level" (new term to me) . The 6857, 30 year avg. you state doesn't seem like a significant safety margin and why I was suggesting to just maintain the most conservative approach (no C&R). From my experiences with like issues/discussion on the Green River in the 80's, I recall there being changes over the past 30+ years in how fish numbers are derived...pretty much made a witches brew of data.

    http://wildsteelheadcoalition.org/2...skagit-river-management-plan-raises-concerns/

    I cannot imagine anyone on the WFF that does not want to see the Skagit and all other rivers re-opened for fishing. I think if most were asked 25+ years ago that our local rivers would be shut down to fishing, most would have said not likely...but even then, the trends were suggesting it. So here were are in the present suggesting that it won't continue to do so and move towards even more perilous conditions. Maybe it is PDO and we're turning the corner...but maybe not. It's all about accepting risk for the pleasure of sport and we must ask ourselves which is most important.
     
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