Please consider attending this...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by orangeradish, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    I don't have enough info to form an educated opinion on this subject but want to throw this out there. Taken from another board.

    I attended, spoke, laughed, felt frustration, and anger.

    I worry about WDFW's fore-site and remain concerned about the year by year , knee jerk reaction type of management that has led this state into the situation it's currently in.

    Because of my feelings, I asked what WDFW was doing to ensure my son would have a quality recreational fishing opportunity when we were all dead and gone.

    What was the master plan?
    I received no answer.

    Here is a list of what I took away from the meeting.
    1) Everyone in attendance wants access, opportunity, and wild fish. Most in attendance want a hatchery fish fishery also.
    2) WDFW is not locked into using the Toutle, Green, or Lewis as the gene bank site.
    3) Two of WDFW's major constraints for choosing a gene bank site are there must be a population of wild fish and no hatchery fish can compete with the wild fish.
    4) The major concern heard over and over again was an objection to using the rivers proposed due to a lack of future fisherman access and opportunity. The rivers proposed have miles upon miles of access that is a rare thing in SW WA.
    5) The rivers proposed already and for years and years have had a large hatchery fish presence.
    6) A sediment dam already alters "wild" access to one of the main tributaries.

    In my opinion, the vast majority of those in attendance could not figure out why WDFW would quit planting fish in the Green, Toutle, and Lewis. Why close down such a large area of river opportunity on an existing hatchery river to run their wild fish experiment?
    It doesn't make sense to take away a huge area of public access and opportunity.

    Why doesn't their current proposal site make any sense?

    Because there is the Coweeman, a drainage south, that meets ALL of the WDFW's self imposed criteria for a gene bank.
    1) A sustained population of wild steelhead.
    2) No hatchery fish influence past or present.

    The Coweeman also is a river with virtually no public access due to private property.
    There would be almost ZERO access lost to future generations of fishermen if it was used as the site and per WDFW IT CAN BE!!!

    I today's world of fewer fish, more people, and less and less access almost all present saw this solution as a win win.

    Please become involved and make your voice heard.
     
    Patrick Allen likes this.
  2. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

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    From my understanding, this proposal will only affect the NF Toutle and Green Rivers. The last I heard, the WDFW is going to continue releasing summer run steelhead smolts in the South Fork Toutle River which, unlike the Green River, has no collection facility (fish trap). To me, it seems like it would make more sense to either make the SF Toutle a wild steelhead gene bank or instead, the entire Toutle system (mainstem, North Fork, South Fork, Green, etc.).
     
  3. orangeradish

    orangeradish Eyes to the sky...

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    We were outnumbered 3 or 4 to 1. There was shouting, heckling, interrupting, and name calling. I was taken aback by how hostile it was. I had to practice an insane amount of self restraint to keep from screaming. What struck me the most was that the opposition really had a lack of understanding regarding the 40 years of peer reviewed science pointing to hatchery fish being a major obstacle of wild steelhead recovery. I truly believe that those guys care about the rivers. I'm also 100% sure they have decades of experience. But the amount of misinformation was staggering. I wish hatchery fish WERE the answer. That would be easy. I like killing dinner. None of us belong to PETA. Why in the fuck would we want to reduce our own opportunity unless there was hard data to support the reason for doing it. The problem is that wild fish advocates are viewed as effete dandies prancing to and fro on the river with a fly rod in one hand and a copy of Marx's communist manifesto in the other. That's why the gear/fly divide is fucking us over. We underestimate how well informed these guys are on certain aspects of the issues. At our peril. If I'm honest, I'm pretty surprised at how few pro wild fish guys were there. (there were a bunch of us, but I mean relative to the opposition) It was so fucking hostile, and we got pushed around in part because we were way outnumbered. They are on message. They show up in HUGE numbers. They are not afraid to speak(or yell) their mind. They are winning, and will continue to do so. This isn't an indictment against anyone that didn't show up. People are busy. I understand. But if we care about wild fish, we NEED more troops in the trenches. I was scared shitless speaking in front of a packed room filled mostly with people that hate everything I believe in regarding fish. But it was a rush to really wade into the fight. If you think one person can't make a difference, I'm here to tell you that you can. But only if you are surrounded by other "one persons". I'm going to keep going to these things. I hope these words convince more people to join the fight in person. And I hope this doesn't come across as talking shit towards people that didn't go. I know it really does feel like "what the fuck can I do?". I only posted this to respectfully try and urge people to action.

    Thanks for reading,

    Jason
     
  4. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    What about the point being made that this could be done on rivers that have had no hatchery plants and almost no public access? Meaning, a possibly cleaner gene pool and a river that less people can actually fish. Taking away the Toutle and Green would affect more anglers than taking away the Coweeman. From what I heard people aren't completely against the idea, they just think it could be done on rivers that would affect fewer people's fishing opportunity while still providing the same intel.
     
  5. Freestone

    Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

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    Well, it sounds like the fly anglers in attendance (thanks!) saw first hand how the other 90% of anglers interact with WDFW. I have seen this type of behavior repeatedly at meetings and this is why we fly anglers need to show up at meetings and write WDFW to make our wishes known. Otherwise, the very vocal 90% are all WDFW hears from and therefore things go their way.

    Thanks to all who attended!
     
    Jeff Dodd, PT and constructeur like this.
  6. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    That is an excellent question to ask the WDFW staff. Get an answer and share with us. Sounds like a good thing to know.
     
  7. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01559/wdfw01559.pdf

    This gives info on why NF and Green were selected. EDIT: proposal increases Summer plants in SF. Also the Coweeman gets expanded regs to improve public access, and it is still stocked with Hatchery winter runs (as of 2012 anyway).
     
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  8. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    The Coweeman, IMO, is a poor candidate because it seriously lacks needed habitat for spawning and has been a chemical filter for city sewer, farm drainage and runoff for decades. There's a reason the entire lower half looks like a slough--it is. There's also a good reason that despite being relatively untouched it still doesn't have a decent run of fish.

    I used to teach canoeing lessons on the Coweeman. There's a pipe near Tam'oshanter park that I witnessed dumping raw sewage into the river countless times (I'm talking toilet paper and shit--no joke). Trips upriver would require a lot of dodging cows standing in the middle of the river. It's not a healthy drainage.
     
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  9. Paul_

    Paul_ Active Member

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    Since almost all of our SW Washington Columbia River tributaries run through commercial timber company land (that has been logged for over a century), I don't think we have any healthy drainages in the lower Columbia.
     
  10. Anil

    Anil Active Member

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    Jason,
    I don't mean to pick on you, particularly since by stating this, you appear to be aware that this is an issue, but one doesn't have to stray from this forum to see that many fly fishermen don't feel they need to find common ground or include other user groups. They are "right" and therefore shouldn't have to compromise or explain their views to "ignorant gear fishermen". Unfortunately, not a lot gets done in this type of atmosphere. Not overly productive at least...
    There is blame on both sides for this.
     
  11. golfman44

    golfman44 5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year

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    I remember people dumping human bodies in the green river too.
     
  12. Skysoldier

    Skysoldier FUBAR

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    I couldn't agree more Anil, I have seen first hand how some fly fishermen treat someone gear fishing even if they are doing everything right. It's no wonder that fly fishermen are viewed as elitists by so many others.
     
  13. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    I usually have a gear rod with me when I'm out swinging. I've run in to plenty of fly guys who don't approve of that.
     
  14. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

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    The habitat certainly has been degraded by logging, but habitat restoration, improved road practices and reduced harvest (trees are gone) are combining to create increasing amounts of viable spawning opportunities. In the free for all format last night, it was impossible to get across that the gene bank program has to be located in a drainage that has sufficient room for the populations to expand. The Coweeman watershed simply can't support enough animals to provide anything but a token gene pool. The Toutle/Green offers much more present and potential habitat, making it the logical choice for this "crazy wild fish experiment" to succeed.

    Those who are promoting the other alternatives have to ignore this logic since they are unwilling to make a sacrifice for the future.

    This afternoon I did speak with an enforcement officer I know about having a presence at meetings like this , and hopefully future meetings can be kept more orderly.

    By the way, skysoldier, your avatar is rushing his casts, and has snapped off his fly.
     
  15. orangeradish

    orangeradish Eyes to the sky...

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    Anil, I don't think you're picking on me at all. We have some differing opinions on some things, but I have a huge amount of respect for your views. I'm glad you took the time to post in this thread.
    I actually agree with you. For every "elitist fly guy" comment, there is usually a "bait chucker" comment going back the other way. When steelhead fishing, I have a gear rod in my hand at least half the time, so I get tired of that whole song and dance too. I feel that my beliefs are correct based on science. The guys who disagree with me think theirs are correct. It seems that their views are based on culture and history. How and where they were born and raised. I spent some time after the meeting shaking hands and talking to those guys. They are as passionate about what they believe as I am, and every one of them seemed like a decent dude. If I dismissed their views outright, I'd be a disrespectful prick. The only chance I have of ever changing anyone's mind is through respect and understanding.
     
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