Post OS brainstorming

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
Great, we don't have the data but are certain we have the answer.
First things first, do you dispute my assumptions about probable data from 1850 and 1950 to the present? If so, why? I think the assumptions are more likely than not accurate enough for discussion's sake. Your cheap shot answer doesn't give you cover for not answering the question. You got any game, or just more cheap shots?

Criticism can be cheap. If the price of criticism was to bring a better alternative (complete with reasoning why) to the table, what do you have to offer?

BTW, your internet research posting of Skagit steelhead escapement numbers since 1978, while a good start, is way too insufficient to support your recommendations. I doubt you want to be taken seriously, but if you do, you've got to do quite a lot better than that.

Sg
 

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
First things first, do you dispute my assumptions about probable data from 1850 and 1950 to the present? If so, why? I think the assumptions are more likely than not accurate enough for discussion's sake. Your cheap shot answer doesn't give you cover for not answering the question. You got any game, or just more cheap shots?

Criticism can be cheap. If the price of criticism was to bring a better alternative (complete with reasoning why) to the table, what do you have to offer?

BTW, your internet research posting of Skagit steelhead escapement numbers since 1978, while a good start, is way too insufficient to support your recommendations. I doubt you want to be taken seriously, but if you do, you've got to do quite a lot better than that.

Sg
I really don't care about your assumptions, hypothesis, and guesstimating. As I said, steelhead have suffered enough of that. The numbers are what they are and they continue to defy what you and others proclaim to know about them. It's time to leave them be and see how this latest grand experiment plays out by 2027.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
they continue to defy what you and others proclaim to know about them.
How so?

I know about their biology, their ecology, and I analyze data.

"It's time to leave them be . . ."

This is your opinion. It is not a fact. Unlike Rob, you understand the difference, right? You got some supporting evidence? Please show your work.


OS examined the data, analyzed it, presented a proposal to the WDFW Commission, and the Commission and management biologists agreed. What is it you've got again? Besides your opinion, that is.

Sg
 

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
How so?

I know about their biology, their ecology, and I analyze data.

"It's time to leave them be . . ."

This is your opinion. It is not a fact. Unlike Rob, you understand the difference, right? You got some supporting evidence? Please show your work.


OS examined the data, analyzed it, presented a proposal to the WDFW Commission, and the Commission and management biologists agreed. What is it you've got again? Besides your opinion, that is.

Sg
And fishing over a threatened species is acceptable is your opinion. The steelhead populations continue to defy everything you think you know about them - do you dispute that evidence? The WDFW Commission is in love with license sales and would no doubt pimp family if it meant keeping that income source flowing. I'm pretty certain were it not for the Skagit shadow casting boohoo's, WDFW would not be entertaining a fishery. That you and OS pursue a selfish agenda is unfortunate.
 
And fishing over a threatened species is acceptable is your opinion. The steelhead populations continue to defy everything you think you know about them - do you dispute that evidence? The WDFW Commission is in love with license sales and would no doubt pimp family if it meant keeping that income source flowing. I'm pretty certain were it not for the Skagit shadow casting boohoo's, WDFW would not be entertaining a fishery. That you and OS pursue a selfish agenda is unfortunate.
This is called intellectual laziness. A one bit response to a complex topic. It's why you come across as laughable and are never taken seriously.

You seem to equate people not agreeing with you as not wanting to hear a counter point. That's not it at all. People don't want to hear a bunch of rhetoric which you patronize everyone with by calling it facts.

For those of us who really are concerned about opening Skagit steelhead in a free for all fashion and how to best understand both sides of the coin, you do a disservice.

I went back and read the threads on these topics here as this is somewhat new to me. It looks like you don't care for a couple individuals involved here and are more into divebombing the topic and them personally than helping those of us who have real conservation concerns.

I don't see anywhere in those past threads where it was mentioned you were in Olympia pushing back. I guess the old saying rings true, actions speak louder than words.

At least you earned yourself the title of Erin Brockovich of the unspoken forum lurkers.
 

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
This is called intellectual laziness. A one bit response to a complex topic. It's why you come across as laughable and are never taken seriously.

You seem to equate people not agreeing with you as not wanting to hear a counter point. That's not it at all. People don't want to hear a bunch of rhetoric which you patronize everyone with by calling it facts.

For those of us who really are concerned about opening Skagit steelhead in a free for all fashion and how to best understand both sides of the coin, you do a disservice.

I went back and read the threads on these topics here as this is somewhat new to me. It looks like you don't care for a couple individuals involved here and are more into divebombing the topic and them personally than helping those of us who have real conservation concerns.

I don't see anywhere in those past threads where it was mentioned you were in Olympia pushing back. I guess the old saying rings true, actions speak louder than words.

At least you earned yourself the title of Erin Brockovich of the unspoken forum lurkers.
I do have an issue with the OS group and their self serving cause. One does not need to travel to Olympia to make input to WDFW and others on this topic. It's clear that filling these pages with piles of data, which are rife with approximations and guesstimates, do nothing for steelhead numbers. They continue to decline on the Skagit - or do you dispute that? Past threads have hand plucked, "conclusions" from studies that are contradictive and anything but conclusive. This latest experiment, according to the experts, will resolve the Skagit steelhead, right? Why not support it and let the fish do their thing for the 12 year period? It's not as if there are no other rivers to fish steelhead in the meantime.

If you cannot read all the data proving you are wrong and that the Skagit steelhead are not endangerd and have no threat of being endanger, or until you become a fisheries biologist and can prove salmo or smalma wrong or the WDFW or NOA maybe you should shut the fuck up!
Did I say they were endangered? Looks like the steelhead are completely ignoring all your much loved data. They are likewise defying the so called experts. So who is wrong here?
 
I do have an issue with the OS group and their self serving cause. One does not need to travel to Olympia to make input to WDFW and others on this topic. It's clear that filling these pages with piles of data, which are rife with approximations and guesstimates, do nothing for steelhead numbers. They continue to decline on the Skagit - or do you dispute that? Past threads have hand plucked, "conclusions" from studies that are contradictive and anything but conclusive. This latest experiment, according to the experts, will resolve the Skagit steelhead, right? Why not support it and let the fish do their thing for the 12 year period? It's not as if there are no other rivers to fish steelhead in the meantime.

Did I say they were endangered? Looks like the steelhead are completely ignoring all your much loved data. They are likewise defying the so called experts. So who is wrong here?
Uh so now they are healthy and ignoring your data?

Wait. You are arguing that steelhead on the skagit are declining from a chart that uses the same science (assumptions and approximations)?

What the heck are you actually arguing?

More intellectual laziness and opinion.

Hard to converse with someone who is making it a personal topic against individuals and not about conservation. Really unfortunate for those of us that care about conservation and the future of skagit steelhead.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
And fishing over a threatened species is acceptable is your opinion. The steelhead populations continue to defy everything you think you know about them - do you dispute that evidence? The WDFW Commission is in love with license sales and would no doubt pimp family if it meant keeping that income source flowing. I'm pretty certain were it not for the Skagit shadow casting boohoo's, WDFW would not be entertaining a fishery. That you and OS pursue a selfish agenda is unfortunate.
Either you didn't pay attention the first time I wrote it, or you never read anything counter to your chosen narrative to begin with. I do not advocate fishing for threatened fish species that are actually threatened. Skagit steelhead are ESA listed as an administrative artifact, not because of their actual biological standing. All Puget Sound wild steelhead are ESA listed. The Skagit River is tributary to Puget Sound. Skagit steelhead are a victim of administrative inclusion and geography. If the Skagit River were north of the 49th parallel latitude, it would be the healthiest wild steelhead population in all of southern British Columbia. But the Skagit is south of the 49th, is a tributary to PS, and therefore its steelhead are included in the ESA listing. But that doesn't mean Skagit steelhead are actually threatened with extinction. On the contrary, NMFS wrote in its review of the status of PS steelhead that the odds of Skagit steelhead going extinct in the next 100 years is statistically zero with the conservation regulations that have been in place since the 1990s. Since Skagit steelhead are neither endangered nor threatened, I don't have a problem with re-instating a recreational fishery that has been consistent with conservation needs since 1978, when late season fishing closures were first imposed to protect steelhead, prior to the onset of CNR regulations beginning in 1981.

And while we're on the subject of threatened fish species, you do know that bull trout are ESA listed as threatened in WA state, don't you? I mean, a concerned fish conservationist such as you should be aware of this sort of thing. Is that a safe assumption? Yet despite this statewide threatened status, the US Fish & Wildlife Service allows an exception on the Skagit River, where it is legal to angle for bull trout and even to retain up to two bull trout, 20" or longer, daily. How is it that a kill fishery exists for "threatened" fish? Simple, because not every bull trout population in WA state is actually threatened with extinction in biological or ecological terms. Can you see the parallel similarity with Skagit steelhead, or do you have Skagit steelhead myopia?

Yes, I do dispute your assertion that steelhead populations continue to defy everything I think I know about them. Steelhead populations behave almost exactly as I expect. Where fishing regulations are either CNR or low harvest rates, fishing is not a factor in population abundance. Can you show some evidence counter to that? If so, please do show your work. When fishing is not a factor affecting population abundance, environmental factors are the limiting factors to abundance, both freshwater and marine. In almost all years (2003 being a notable exception), the freshwater environment in the Skagit system produces a relatively (not exactly the same) consistent number of smolts. I estimate the range as being between 125,000 and 175,000, which is an estimate and not an enumeration. Since counting every smolt every year, or in any year, is impossible, it's a reasonably good estimate. When the freshwater environment was more pristine, smolt productivity and capacity was no doubt higher.

This leaves marine survival as the major environmental variable affecting adult population abundance. What the table you copied and pasted into this thread earlier showed is a negative regression line. What you left out is that marine survival rates changed very significantly between the 1980s and the 1990s and onward. With relatively high marine survival in the 80s and low marine survival after that time, you are guaranteed to produce a negative regression line, given roughly stable smolt production.

And if Skagit steelhead are so threatened, how do you explain the 2009 brood year? That is the year of the contemporary record low escapement of 2,500 wild steelhead. However, 4 years later the run size was over 8,000 fish, a return of more than 3 recruits per 2009 spawner. That is empirical evidence of strong population resilience, and stable productivity of the extant Skagit freshwater environment.

The full data set illustrates that the combined fresh and saltwater carrying capacity and productivity for the Skagit system wild steelhead is between 8,000 and 9,000 adult fish. Repeated spawner-recruit analysis shows that a spawning escapement of 4,000 is sufficient to maintain the population at its present productivity and to even take advantage of periodic spikes in productivity and or capacity. Even so, the co-managers prudently observe a spawning escapement guideline of 6,000 spawners, making the Skagit the most conservatively managed wild steelhead population in WA state. Fishing seasons are not proposed when the run forecast is for a low return.

So just how is it that steelhead populations continue to defy everything I think I know about them? Please do be specific and show your work.

Just as you don't know jack shit about fish population dynamics, you know about the same of the WDFW Commission. Of course the Commission and the Department is desirous of revenue. Money is the lifeblood of all agencies and businesses. However, you're dead wrong again. The Commission and Department have enacted a number of decisions in recent years that are deleterious to license sales. So much for pimping family. Cheap shots seem to be your specialty. Are you good at anything else?

OS pursues a selfish agenda only in that any and all fishing is selfish in nature. Given the limited skillset you've presented, you probably don't remember that OS is predicated on the principle that fishing is not good for fish, that is, no fish every benefited by being caught. OS advocates responsible fishing on healthy fish populations because fishing is good for people. It is good for people psychologically, socially, and economically. Society manages natural resources out of self interest. That's not a bad thing. In fact, it's a good thing because it motivates us to manage resources sustainably, which is good for the resources and good for us.

BTW, do you fish the Ruby because it's good for the fish, or because it's good for you?

Have you got anything, anything at all, other than more cheap shots, the only thing you've demonstrated yourself to be any good at on this forum?

Sg
 

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
Either you didn't pay attention the first time I wrote it, or you never read anything counter to your chosen narrative to begin with. I do not advocate fishing for threatened fish species that are actually threatened. Skagit steelhead are ESA listed as an administrative artifact, not because of their actual biological standing. All Puget Sound wild steelhead are ESA listed. The Skagit River is tributary to Puget Sound. Skagit steelhead are a victim of administrative inclusion and geography. If the Skagit River were north of the 49th parallel latitude, it would be the healthiest wild steelhead population in all of southern British Columbia. But the Skagit is south of the 49th, is a tributary to PS, and therefore its steelhead are included in the ESA listing. But that doesn't mean Skagit steelhead are actually threatened with extinction. On the contrary, NMFS wrote in its review of the status of PS steelhead that the odds of Skagit steelhead going extinct in the next 100 years is statistically zero with the conservation regulations that have been in place since the 1990s. Since Skagit steelhead are neither endangered nor threatened, I don't have a problem with re-instating a recreational fishery that has been consistent with conservation needs since 1978, when late season fishing closures were first imposed to protect steelhead, prior to the onset of CNR regulations beginning in 1981.

And while we're on the subject of threatened fish species, you do know that bull trout are ESA listed as threatened in WA state, don't you? I mean, a concerned fish conservationist such as you should be aware of this sort of thing. Is that a safe assumption? Yet despite this statewide threatened status, the US Fish & Wildlife Service allows an exception on the Skagit River, where it is legal to angle for bull trout and even to retain up to two bull trout, 20" or longer, daily. How is it that a kill fishery exists for "threatened" fish? Simple, because not every bull trout population in WA state is actually threatened with extinction in biological or ecological terms. Can you see the parallel similarity with Skagit steelhead, or do you have Skagit steelhead myopia?

Yes, I do dispute your assertion that steelhead populations continue to defy everything I think I know about them. Steelhead populations behave almost exactly as I expect. Where fishing regulations are either CNR or low harvest rates, fishing is not a factor in population abundance. Can you show some evidence counter to that? If so, please do show your work. When fishing is not a factor affecting population abundance, environmental factors are the limiting factors to abundance, both freshwater and marine. In almost all years (2003 being a notable exception), the freshwater environment in the Skagit system produces a relatively (not exactly the same) consistent number of smolts. I estimate the range as being between 125,000 and 175,000, which is an estimate and not an enumeration. Since counting every smolt every year, or in any year, is impossible, it's a reasonably good estimate. When the freshwater environment was more pristine, smolt productivity and capacity was no doubt higher.

This leaves marine survival as the major environmental variable affecting adult population abundance. What the table you copied and pasted into this thread earlier showed is a negative regression line. What you left out is that marine survival rates changed very significantly between the 1980s and the 1990s and onward. With relatively high marine survival in the 80s and low marine survival after that time, you are guaranteed to produce a negative regression line, given roughly stable smolt production.

And if Skagit steelhead are so threatened, how do you explain the 2009 brood year? That is the year of the contemporary record low escapement of 2,500 wild steelhead. However, 4 years later the run size was over 8,000 fish, a return of more than 3 recruits per 2009 spawner. That is empirical evidence of strong population resilience, and stable productivity of the extant Skagit freshwater environment.

The full data set illustrates that the combined fresh and saltwater carrying capacity and productivity for the Skagit system wild steelhead is between 8,000 and 9,000 adult fish. Repeated spawner-recruit analysis shows that a spawning escapement of 4,000 is sufficient to maintain the population at its present productivity and to even take advantage of periodic spikes in productivity and or capacity. Even so, the co-managers prudently observe a spawning escapement guideline of 6,000 spawners, making the Skagit the most conservatively managed wild steelhead population in WA state. Fishing seasons are not proposed when the run forecast is for a low return.

So just how is it that steelhead populations continue to defy everything I think I know about them? Please do be specific and show your work.

Just as you don't know jack shit about fish population dynamics, you know about the same of the WDFW Commission. Of course the Commission and the Department is desirous of revenue. Money is the lifeblood of all agencies and businesses. However, you're dead wrong again. The Commission and Department have enacted a number of decisions in recent years that are deleterious to license sales. So much for pimping family. Cheap shots seem to be your specialty. Are you good at anything else?

OS pursues a selfish agenda only in that any and all fishing is selfish in nature. Given the limited skillset you've presented, you probably don't remember that OS is predicated on the principle that fishing is not good for fish, that is, no fish every benefited by being caught. OS advocates responsible fishing on healthy fish populations because fishing is good for people. It is good for people psychologically, socially, and economically. Society manages natural resources out of self interest. That's not a bad thing. In fact, it's a good thing because it motivates us to manage resources sustainably, which is good for the resources and good for us.

BTW, do you fish the Ruby because it's good for the fish, or because it's good for you?

Have you got anything, anything at all, other than more cheap shots, the only thing you've demonstrated yourself to be any good at on this forum?

Sg
The marine survival issue is part of the larger issue - so what. The population continues a downward trend. You simply cannot change that fact no matter how lengthy and verbose your responses. Continually adjusting the magic formula to coincide with degrading habitat and/or the latest fishery management model might make for great work, but is doing nothing for PS steelhead populations. That is proof that they continue to defy what you think you know about them.

All the guesstimating from the past has gotten us, at least partly, to where we are now. The latest experiment is sure to be the answer... at least that is the opinion of some. One thing we haven't done is simply leave them alone and not fish them for a significant period of time. It doesn't cost anything to do this and could very well be beneficial. I don't know for sure that it will help anymore than you are that it won't. Forecasts about returns have been wrong and what really happens with C&R mortality, even after the "it swam away unharmed" is unknown. There are other rivers to fish steelhead while leaving those returning to the Skagit alone... at least until we see whether this experiment works.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
There hasn't been any fishing for Skagit steelhead for 8 years. This would represent 3 to 4 generations of fish retuning to the river or 2 generations of 3 salt fish with no fishing of any kind. Whether that fishing be catch and kill, catch and release or netting. The number of fish returning has remained at or above the number of fish that returned prior to the closing. If fishing, of any kind, was a deciding factor on either the decline in numbers or the increase in numbers of returning steelhead we should have seen a significant increase in those returning fish. As stated, nothing has changed in either direction in the past 8 years. No more or no less fish. We have done the experiment.
 
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_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
When I asked Steve over the phone to start this thread because I was unable to, his first comment was that it would be invaded by a few guys wanting to change the focus from funding the monitoring to "we shouldn't fish"

As usual, Salmo was right. We have been invaded by guys too lazy to start their own threads and are only in this one to cause trouble.

Fortunately, there is a fix. This forum has a feature called Private Conversations. Anyone can be invited to join in once one has been started, or not invited. Any future discussion of the Skagit C&R season by me will be conducted via the Private Conversation feature on this forum.

How will it work?
When I start a topic there will be an announcement in this forum. To join in or just follow along you'll have to request to be added to the conversation. The objective here is to stay on point.

Someone is going to claim the aim here is to quash dissenting opinions. The Skagit management plan isn't an opinion, it's a management plan that will be put into effect in some fashion in the future. If you don't like it and think it's going to be a "problem" I would suggest you stay home, don't fish, and don't be a part of the "problem"

In the summer of 2015 I had a chance to talk with Bill McMillan. He was supportive but suggested we "wait a couple of years" Then I pointed out to him what would happen without a plan in place. A hundred thousand steelhead could show up in the Skagit tomorrow, but without a federally approved plan in place, there would be no fishing. At the time of our discussion there was no plan being worked on by WDFW or anyone else. I mentioned once it was even started, drafting the plan would take a year, federal approval another year. At this point I could literally see the light bulb go off over his head. He was going to get his couple of years...and then some as it's turned out. An example of both views being presented, and an understanding reached. Nobody got "quashed"

If you want to stop the Skagit C&R season then I would suggest doing what Occupy Skagit did. Read reams of study, condense it to something palatable that can be presented to the commissioners and the director in three minute sessions of testimony, get the support of the tribes, go to Olympia and testify over and over for five years through several commissioner changes and one director change, work your ass off and hope for the best.

Or, whine on the internet about the actions of others over and over and over...until?