Post OS brainstorming


Well-Known Member
The NMFS review of the Skagit steelhead management plan is chugging along, with the intention of finishing in time for a 2018 season. Among the elements of the plan is fishery monitoring, and the expectation is that NMFS will require it, as they did for the mid-Columbia and its tributaries to re-open for steelhead seasons. WDFW packaged Skagit River monitoring with the Baker Lake sockeye fishery monitoring in its effort to increase fishing license fees for this biennium in the recent Legislative session. The requested increases did not happen, leaving the lingering question of whether the Department will be able or willing to dig up the funds for monitoring by raiding some other program. Baker Lake was and is open this season for sockeye fishing, but I haven't heard where the money for monitoring it came from, assuming they did any monitoring.

For the sake of planning, let's assume the Department can't come up with funds for monitoring, and that monitoring is the limiting factor holding up opening the season. What are the alternatives?

I'll start:

1. Lobby the WDFW Commission to close a salmon hatchery that mainly raises fish for Canadian interception and returns few to WA fisheries;

2. Lobby the Legislature for some kind of Skagit Endorsement, similar to the Columbia River Endorsement, that covers the costs of monitoring in that river basin. Unfortunately the earliest this could take effect would be 2019;

3. Raise money privately from outside sources, and provide a grant to WDFW specifically for Skagit monitoring. The means for this alternative could include soliciting contributions from manufacturers and vendors of equipment and gear used in the steelhead fishery. Maybe also guides that work the river. A Go-Fund-Me account to receive contributions from anglers and others with an interest in the fishery.

4. (This is where you offer up your constructive ideas.)

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Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
WDFW does use Citizen Scientists to gather all kinds of data in the field, on numerous species of wildlife, birds, fish, plants, etc. Sampling methods and data handling protocols are easily taught. And it has been proven that Citizen Scientists do as good, or better, at accurately and properly handling samples and recording data. Wish they would go straight forward with this possibility. Donations could go toward expenses, and some kind of stipend or per diem for field volunteers.


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
Couple of questions.
1. What do you think the monitoring would cost for the spring season...rough guestimate?
2. Will the tribes be fishing as well during the spring season?


Jeremy Floyd

fly fishing my way through life
Gofundme for the costs of monitoring, as a bandaid, until the endorsement goes into effect. This would only go up for contributions once there is a hard number of cost from whichever agency is in charge of footing the bill.

Option B, all guides, as part of their endorsement costs, must provide creel data for a minimum of X number of fishermen per day.

Add a guide fee for the season, to guide on the river.


Active Member
Salmo g.

An interesting discussion!

In the short term WDFW saved quite a bit of money as the result of ending of releasing hatchery fish. No fish released since 2014; prior to that time they were releasing about 40,000# of smolts. Since ending of those release came at cost in recreation not unreasonable that WDFW fund the monitoring from those savings as a stop-gap until constant funding is secured.

I would support option B though I expand the discussion for Puget Sound endorsement of say $5 that would be dedicated to monitoring game fish fisheries in anadromous waters (rivers or Puget Sound).



I think an 'emergency' funding of the 2018 season (on the GoFundMe model) would be the way to go short-term. Reaching out to the fish advocacy groups, tackle dealers, and fishing clubs to coordinate sponsorship would most likely gather sufficient funds for the 2-3 months of monitoring/enforcement.

Long term, I agree that option 2 would be the clear choice.
lets cut the property tax and sales tax and institue a income tax that puts the tax burden where it belongs. It is time for the state to join the modern era.


Well-Known Member

Guessing, $20,000, maybe less. The Upper Skagits may fish, depending on the runsize forecast.


Thanks for reminding us of the $ saved by discontinuing the hatchery steelhead program. I'll try to check up on that, but I have this "hunch" that that steelhead money has already be re-allocated to another function. But let's see about having the rec. interests lobby the Dept that they should use the steelhead funds.

I could see a Skagit endorsement eventually becoming a PS or north PS endorsement, but I think the rec fishing stakeholders need to have it dialed in before going to either the Dept or the Legislature, where authorization has to come from.

Right now I see this as a stop-gap effort. More alternatives become available after 2018.


I appreciate your concern about getting WA into the 21st century, but for the moment, a lot of us are more concerned about the immediacy of an upcoming fishing season. Then we can work on the rest of the century.



Active Member
My daily personal cap at fishing my home river once again during March and April for C&R angling on a year with 8,000 returning adults would be $100 per day. I would allocate up to 10 days to fish during those 60 and I would use that $1000 to skip one trip to BC.

Find 19 more dumbasses like me and you'd fund your creel checker.