Puget Sound steelhead declared "threatened"

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Nick Andrews, May 7, 2007.

  1. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    It won't slow down until the money stops flowing. I work in close proximity to the development business and you wouldn't believe how easy it is to turn HUGE profits.....You want to get rich? BE A DEVELOPER!

    Don't get me wrong, I think people deserve a right to develop land and buy new houses et cetera......I just think that it is moving WAY too fast and money is WAY too much for the conscious thoughtful development we need to occur in this area.

    Here is the problem: in the USA development is a RIGHT and it needs to be a PRIVILAGE.

    I think this steelhead listing is more significant than most of you guys think and you missed my point back near the begining of this thread; listed Chinook are in a select few places compared to steelhead. Steelhead are EVERYWHERE and I think that will make this listing different.
     
  2. gt

    gt Active Member

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    there were articles in both the times and PI this am on this listing. may i suggest you folks take 5 or 10 minutes and compose a thoughtful response to both reporters? pointing out some of the discussion which is taking place on this thread would be helpful, i think, in helping shape the next series of article they may choose to publish. i have already emailed both writers with my favorite saw, the indiscriminate net fishery. it is my firm belief that until that fishing practice is banned, recovery is a pipe dream.

    sure poorly designed developments without riparian setbacks, failing septic systems, storm water run off and whatever else, all play major roles in degredation of wild fish habitat. but the fact remains, we are still allowing an indiscriminate fishery to occur, which is killing the very fish we are trying to protect. that is an oxymoron which simply needs to come off the table right now.
     
  3. Be Jofus G

    Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

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    It might not be a bad Idea for one of our more literate members to compose a letter voicing our common concern. I'd be happy to sign it. It isn't very often that we all agree on something and now that we do a well written letter is a great idea. Unfortunatly, I'm afraid if i write it, It will be nothing but a long string of runon sentances, spelling errors and dik and fart jokes.
     
  4. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Steelhead aren't that much more prevalent, and share considerable amounts of habitat with Chinook. Here is a map of the ESA river systems in question..... It is more river, but not *that* much more....

    http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2007/images/puget-sound-steelhead-esa-map2.jpg
     
  5. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    I disagree, that looks like a lot more to me. My point mostly concerned the life history of steelhead. A half-healthy trib anywhere will attract steelhead and never a chinook.
     
  6. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    More about the number of watersheds rather than the total mileage...
     
  7. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    The map is mis-leading -
    First there is another listing - bull trout which would cover much of the listed steelhead only habitat

    Ignoring the bull trout much of the habitat is cover by other mechanisms as well - Just look at the Stillaquamish the two bigs pieces of red (steelhead only) inlcude Deer Creek whose habitat is mostly covered by the Forest and Fish HCP or US forest service lands. The same with the South Fork Stillaquamish. The feds made it clear when determining critical habitat for Chinook there was no need to include USFS lands as NEPA etc would adequately protect that habitat (I hear the Brooklyn bridge is for sale if you buy that). As a result there is little additional protection to be provided by the steelhead listing above what is currently in place.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  8. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    I used to find chinook in waters best described as ditches, feeder creeks, and headwaters when I was a kid growing up in SW WA. Such as the head waters of the newaukum river in the Onalaska\Pigeon Springs area, and in Lincoln Creek just outside of Centralia - a tiny little thing you can jump accross in most places.
     
  9. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

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    Now that the listing has come thirty years too late, how many gear and flyfishing guides are going to run down to Fish and Game like they do every year and get on their knees and with tears in their eyes plead that C&R can remain open? Then once that happens, the tribes will point out that although we claim to love this state icon, we race up and down the rivers in sleds full of sports and bank fishermen walk all over redds all spring as they throw another set of nets in for some "ceremonial" intentions. Then the fishing industry will demand another study (and throw money around like PacMan Jones in a strip club) that includes hatchery fish in the numbers count and show our horseshit fish and game that the rivers are really healthier than we are letting on. All of a sudden, the hatcheries will flood the rivers with unclipped smolts (whoops!) and even though development and human migration keeps multiplying they will show that recovery is happening at an amazing pace so the FEDS stay out. By the way, how in the hell did the columbia chinook return "in the biggest numbers in history" the last couple of years? Recovery or massive plants? I'm all in to help however I can, but we are way past the point of no return for native steelhead in Puget Sound Hell, in the last decade we have quit using the word "native" boys. Now the term is wild isn't it? Think about it. We are hatchery dependant except for a three month window in the Puget Sound and instead of putting our rods down we have pissed and moaned in every way possible to keep pounding those last fish C&R or not. The guides keep guiding ("way of life). The fly and gear shops keep selling and pointing people right at those fish ("way of life"). The tribes keep netting ("way of life"). The commercial fishermen keep intercepting ("way of life"). The people keep moving in from all over the world ("way of life) the lumber giants keep clearcutting ("way of life") and the houses and Home Depots keep coming. ("way of life"). Until the FEDS come in and slap our state in the mouth the "wild" (which is up for debate in many watersheds) steelhead's way of life will continue to be extinction. The Wenatchee, my favorite steelhead river is a prime example. Every year we make a push to re-open it for C&R. "The fish are rebounding! Open it for C&R only!" Some of us actually feel and breathe the steelhead as part of us. A good amount of the hard chargers on this website understand how important salmon and steelhead are to our great state and ecosystem. Others just want to go fishing and use this is a smokescreen. Hatcheries are important to them. Either way our unwillingness to step back for a good amount of time and our manipulative use of scientific evidence to keep these fisheries open show our own self-serving purposes. To the untrained congressmen or woman, we look no better than anyone else in this mess of bullshit. It has been each lobby for themselves for 50 years in the Puget Sound. I agree with GT often, but in this case he is dead on. The listing is super, now what in the hell is the gameplan? :beer2: Duff
     
  10. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    :eek: woooooooo I am tired after reading all that.....I guess we have all been Duff'ed again.....:D
     
  11. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

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    If reading that makes you tired big J, wait till your read the state's newfangled plan to save the steelhead. After all the fact finding committees, and opinions from all of the experts, the 917 page report will come out. 7 Years from now of course. In the meantime, they'll close enough rivers to keep the FEDS out. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Coach
     
  12. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    I don't really know what this means in the whole scheme of things, but in general the state has already done as much can be done without habitat changes. There is 100% release, barely any kind of C&R season, and rivers that are closed year round (Nisqually comes to mind).

    I'm not sure if the "threatened" status has enough teeth to make a difference against the development juggernaught. I certainly hope that as concerned citizens we can make a difference, but the first thing we can do is take action. If you yourself can't, then get involved with an orginaztion that can do most of the leg work. American Rivers, Sierra Club, Wild Steelhead coalition, Washington Trout, etc... If one doesn't float your boat, I'm sure another will.

    I love the posts Coach, but in this case, less retorhic and more action is required, but being hamstrung in Hawaii makes it kinda hard for you ;) I understand the dispair, but since there *IS NOT* a plan in place, let's get involved before we sit around like a bunch of schmoes complaining about how someone else F'd up steelhead.

    (And before you jump on me I know for a *FACT* coach does his part. The question is, can anyone else claim the same?)
     
  13. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

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    I suppose this step mostly just confirms what most of us already knew. Still, it's a sad development.

    Does anyone know for sure the extent to which the tribes are even allowed to net Puget Sound rivers? Forget about the Olympic Peninsula streams, since they are not the subject of this listing. I'd like to know the extent to which tribes today are allowed to net the rivers that are covered by this listing. Although the WDFW publishes a tribal netting schedule for coastal streams, I can't find anything helpful on the site about tribal netting of Puget Sound streams. Is that because tribes are no longer allowed to net these rivers?

    My wholly uneducated guess is that the decline of Puget Sound steelhead stocks has more to do with continued habitat degradation and hatchery practices than tribal netting. I'm open to being proven wrong. With respect to hatchery practices, hopefully this listing provides a ray of hope in that now the state alone can't decide how and where hatcheries are going to be used. I'd like to see NOAA get very muscular about oversight of hatchery practices, but any hope that they will is probably naïve. As much as I love to fish for steelhead, I'd love to see the state shut down hatcheries in every river that flows into Puget Sound, and shut down all fishing as well, at least for a few years so we can see what the impacts on wild stocks are. Screw the scientific hypotheses that state and tribal bios constantly throw out to justify the continued use of hatcheries. Let's just turn off the hatchery spigot for a while and do a real, live experiment. Is there any need for hatcheries on these Puget Sound rivers other than to support tribal and recreational fisheries? If so, couldn't we all find something else to do for 5 - 10 years to figure out if eliminating hatcheries would help wild stock rebound?

    The habitat issues are more vexing. I'm not sure what this listing accomplishes on that front because people will always argue (and the feds seem to agree too often) that any single land use proposal is not a threat to listed species. This seems incredibly short-sighted, of course, because it is likely that the accumulation of land use impacts is the biggest single culprit in the decline of PS steelhead. It will take incredibly bold steps on land use regulations to make a difference, and it seems highly unlikely that those steps will result from pressure from the feds. If we want to see those steps, they need to be taken at all levels of government, but particularly at the county and state level. I sincerely doubt that will happen in this state, regardless of which party is in power. Let's face it, fish are "out of sight, out of mind" for the vast majority of people.
     
  14. FT

    FT Active Member

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    These are the Puget Sound rivers being netted and the tribes doing the netting that I know about. The Nooksack River is netted by the Nooksack and Lummi Tribes. The Skagit is netted by the Swinomish, Upper Skagit, and Sauk-Suiattle Tribes. The Snohomish is netted by the Tulalip Tribe. The Green is netted by the Muckleshoot Tribe. The Puyallip is netted by the Puyallip Tribe. The Nesqually is netted by the Nisqually tribe.
     
  15. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    O. mykiss -
    the following link has the sport and tribal catches though I see that 2001/02 is the last year that is readily available for catches.

    http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/harvest/harvest.htm

    For 2001/02 the tribal catches can be found on pages 38 and 39. While the catches are not broken out by hatchery and wild the timing of the catches will give you some insight into the origin of the fish. As I recall until the last couple years 2001/02 would be fairly typcial of the catches. In the last couple years it is my understanding that both the Skagit tribes and Tulalips have increased to some degree their fishing later in the year.

    Tight lines
    curt