Ray's Boathouse serving wild steelhead (from another board)

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by TomB, Jan 16, 2011.

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  1. Courtesy Flush

    Courtesy Flush aka Sean

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  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm in the email box. Thanks for the heads up TomB.
     
  3. Jmills81

    Jmills81 The Dude Abides

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    its up on the blog for wide distribution
     
  4. Eric Tarcha

    Eric Tarcha gear whore

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  5. Matt Smith

    Matt Smith On the river Noyb

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  6. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    thanks for the responses so far everyone!
     
  7. Jonathan Stumpf

    Jonathan Stumpf I don't care how you fish

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    The response from their executive chef about the steelhead they serve. Interesting...

    Thank you for your concern regarding the Olympic Peninsula Steelhead that we are currently offering as a special in our restaurant. We agree 100% with your position that serving unsustainable, endangered and threatened fish is damaging to the future of wild fish and our environment. We actively support organizations, such as Long Live the Kings and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, who work toward preserving our natural resources.



    The Olympic Peninsula Steelhead that we are serving has been sustainably caught by the Quileute Tribe from the Quileute River and purchased through Key City Fish. The Steelhead is a combination of both hatchery and wild stock that has spawned naturally. Since November 1, 2010, we have served about 134 fish. Many Steelhead populations are indeed endangered or threatened and should absolutely be completely avoided, such as those on the California Coast, Oregon Coast, Snake River, and Puget Sound. However, the Olympic Peninsula Steelhead population is healthy, robust and absolutely not threatened. For confirmation of this please visit NOAA’s website at: http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/ESA-Salmon-Listings/Salmon-Populations/Steelhead/.



    The Quileute Tribe is closely partnered with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife to aggressively manage this fishery. The state and tribe worked together to produce the Salmon Stock Inventory (SaSI) in 1992. The SaSI is a critical document for wild fish recovery and definitively identifies the status of each wild stock in categories ranging from extinct to healthy. The state and tribe actively works with citizens to catalogue details about habitat and map fish stock distributions. I can assure you that everyone involved, from tribe to state to restaurant, has a vested interest in the preservation of this fish.



    There is considerable conflict between sport and commercial fishermen regarding the regulation of steelhead fishing and we completely understand the frustrations of both sides. We want to stress, though, that the Olympic Peninsula Steelhead we have served was sustainably and legally caught according to the regulations set forth by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and is not endangered or threatened according to NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.



    Ray’s Boathouse would absolutely never serve endangered or threatened fish. Thank you for your feedback. Please let me know if you have any further questions.



    Best,



    Peter Birk, Executive Chef | Ray’s Boathouse, Café & Catering

    6049 Seaview Avenue NW | Seattle, WA 98107

    206.789.3770 | www.rays.com | rays@rays.com
     
  8. Eric Tarcha

    Eric Tarcha gear whore

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    got the same one.

    I have replied back with some of Tom's and Chris's stats about the tribe's "management" of the fishery.

    This guys needs to look deeper and realize that it is not worth serving this fish to his customers.
     
  9. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

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    Got the same one. Rebuttal email is in the works. Looks like negative press and perception instead of Science...
     
  10. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

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    I just received my response email as well. Looks like they want to take this fight to the public.
     
  11. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

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    My data was for the Quinault. The Quiliyute data is available online. "WDFW SaSI"
     
  12. casaboba

    casaboba Member

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    Below find EMAIL REPLY received today from Ray's Boat House in response to my EMAIL to them yesterday a.m.

    Dear Robert,

    Thank you for your concern regarding the Olympic Peninsula Steelhead that we are currently offering as a special in our restaurant. We agree 100% with your position that serving unsustainable, endangered and threatened fish is damaging to the future of wild fish and our environment. We actively support organizations, such as Long Live the Kings and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, who work toward preserving our natural resources.



    The Olympic Peninsula Steelhead that we are serving has been sustainably caught by the Quileute Tribe from the Quileute River and purchased through Key City Fish. The Steelhead is a combination of both hatchery and wild stock that has spawned naturally. Since November 1, 2010, we have served about 134 fish. Many Steelhead populations are indeed endangered or threatened and should absolutely be completely avoided, such as those on the California Coast, Oregon Coast, Snake River, and Puget Sound. However, the Olympic Peninsula Steelhead population is healthy, robust and absolutely not threatened. For confirmation of this please visit NOAA’s website at: http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/ESA-Salmon-Listings/Salmon-Populations/Steelhead/.



    The Quileute Tribe is closely partnered with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife to aggressively manage this fishery. The state and tribe worked together to produce the Salmon Stock Inventory (SaSI) in 1992. The SaSI is a critical document for wild fish recovery and definitively identifies the status of each wild stock in categories ranging from extinct to healthy. The state and tribe actively works with citizens to catalogue details about habitat and map fish stock distributions. I can assure you that everyone involved, from tribe to state to restaurant, has a vested interest in the preservation of this fish.



    There is considerable conflict between sport and commercial fishermen regarding the regulation of steelhead fishing and we completely understand the frustrations of both sides. We want to stress, though, that the Olympic Peninsula Steelhead we have served was sustainably and legally caught according to the regulations set forth by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and is not endangered or threatened according to NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.



    Ray’s Boathouse would absolutely never serve endangered or threatened fish. Thank you for your feedback. Please let me know if you have any further questions.



    Best,



    Peter Birk, Executive Chef | Ray’s Boathouse, Café & Catering

    6049 Seaview Avenue NW | Seattle, WA 98107

    206.789.3770 | www.rays.com | rays@rays.com
     
  13. TomB

    TomB Active Member

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    UPDATE: I received this response to which I have included a reply below:

    FROM RAY'S

    Dear XXXX,


    Thank you for your concern regarding the Olympic Peninsula Steelhead that we are currently offering as a special in our restaurant. We agree 100% with your position that serving unsustainable, endangered and threatened fish is damaging to the future of wild fish and our environment. We actively support organizations, such as Long Live the Kings and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, who work toward preserving our natural resources.



    The Olympic Peninsula Steelhead that we are serving has been sustainably caught by the Quileute Tribe from the Quileute River and purchased through Key City Fish. The Steelhead is a combination of both hatchery and wild stock that has spawned naturally. Since November 1, 2010, we have served about 134 fish. Many Steelhead populations are indeed endangered or threatened and should absolutely be completely avoided, such as those on the California Coast, Oregon Coast, Snake River, and Puget Sound. However, the Olympic Peninsula Steelhead population is healthy, robust and absolutely not threatened. For confirmation of this please visit NOAA’s website at: http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/ESA-Salmon-Listings/Salmon-Populations/Steelhead/.



    The Quileute Tribe is closely partnered with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife to aggressively manage this fishery. The state and tribe worked together to produce the Salmon Stock Inventory (SaSI) in 1992. The SaSI is a critical document for wild fish recovery and definitively identifies the status of each wild stock in categories ranging from extinct to healthy. The state and tribe actively works with citizens to catalogue details about habitat and map fish stock distributions. I can assure you that everyone involved, from tribe to state to restaurant, has a vested interest in the preservation of this fish.



    There is considerable conflict between sport and commercial fishermen regarding the regulation of steelhead fishing and we completely understand the frustrations of both sides. We want to stress, though, that the Olympic Peninsula Steelhead we have served was sustainably and legally caught according to the regulations set forth by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and is not endangered or threatened according to NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.



    Ray’s Boathouse would absolutely never serve endangered or threatened fish. Thank you for your feedback. Please let me know if you have any further questions.



    Best,



    Peter Birk, Executive Chef | Ray’s Boathouse, Café & Catering

    6049 Seaview Avenue NW | Seattle, WA 98107

    206.789.3770 | www.rays.com | rays@rays.com


    FROM ME

    (see attachment below as well)

    View attachment 38077

    Hello Peter,

    Thank you for your detailed response and your efforts to ensure that Ray's only serves sustainably caught fish species. While the Olympic Peninsula Distinct Population Segment of steelhead are not currently listed under the ESA (per your link below). The runs in several Olympic Peninsula rivers have rapidly declined in abundance over the last decade.

    I have analyzed and graphed data from the Quileute River for you because you said your fish come from there, but I can assure you that the trends are similar if not worse in most of the other rivers. I obtained this data from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/snider_creek/snider_creek_data_11-29-10.xls

    The Quileute River run has declined in abundance by 60% over the last decade, at an annual rate of 5% per year. This resulted in the whole river failing to meet its WDFW-Tribes agreed upon escapement goal of 5,900 fish in 2009. In 2009, only 4,733 wild steelhead escaped to spawn in the Quileute. The tribe harvested 1,623 wild steelhead that year (not including their harvest of hatchery fish). Had the tribe not harvested these fish, or harvested less, the river would have met its WDFW-Tribe agreed upon escapement goal. This was true for the Queets and Hoh Rivers in 2009 as well. This is not responsible fisheries management.

    Furthermore, given the recent declines of Olympic Peninsula steelhead and the greater context of range-wide steelhead declines that I alluded to in my prior email, the sustainability of commercial wild steelhead harvest is questionable. Do you really want to serve wild steelhead from the last few populations that remained healthy longer than others until even they are collapsed and listed under the ESA? I hope not. Attached is a graph showing the Quileute steelhead escapement over the last 10 years. The data show a steep decline which is equivalent to 700 fish per year or 5% of the initial abundance per year. The graph shows that the abundance dipped below the escapement goal for the first time in 2009, and given its trajectory, is likely to in the future. The Tribe has harvested an average of 2720 wild steelhead per year over the last 10 years, and still harvested enough wild steelhead to cause the run to not meet escapement in 2009.

    Finally, your comments about some of the fish being of hatchery origin is irrelevant because tribal fisheries, which employ gillnets, are not selective, and are thus equally lethal to hatchery and wild fish.

    I appreciate your efforts to understand the origin and issues surrounding your fish purchases. In the past, this fishery could be considered sustainable, but unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

    Sincerely,
    XXXX
     
  14. casaboba

    casaboba Member

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    I replied to Ray's Boathouse this morning with the following (modified) reply found on the Moldy Chum web site.

    Dear Mr. Birk,
    Thank you for your reply to my email yesterday. Wild steelhead are endangered species act listed throughout much of their range in the United States. In Washington State, stocks of steelhead in the Columbia River, Snake River, and all of Puget Sound have been listed under the ESA within the last 20 years. Steelhead in other areas in Washington continue to decline. In coastal areas on the Olympic Peninsula where the Quinaults and other tribes fish, rivers are largely protected in the Olympic National Park, so freshwater habitat is in very good condition. Yet in recent years several of the rivers including the Hoh, Queets, Quileute (including the Sol Duc, Bogahciel and Calawah), and others, have failed to meet the minimum spawning escapement goals established by the state. The Hoh river has failed to meet its goal the majority of years recently, and in 2009 none of the above mentioned rivers met their goals, and the Queets missed its goal by more than 1/2, meaning that less than half the minimum number of fish needed to spawn to produce the next generation did so.

    This failure to meet escapement goals is a major conservation issue and could result in coastal stocks being ESA listed eventually too. Yet it is totally preventable. In all of the cases where escapement goals were not met, had tribal harvest been curtailed, escapement would have been met, meaning that the run was large enough to meet the goals but due to irresponsible and unsustainable tribal overharvest, the runs did not meet their goals. I am very disappointed to see your fine restaurant supporting this unsustainable harvest of wild steelhead and would ask that your restaurant take it off the menu immediately. All of the data I have referenced above is available from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife if you would like to see it for yourself. Please stop serving wild steelhead. Thank you.

    Sincerely,
     
  15. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

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    Sent a reply. Lets hope this round of emails goes better.
     
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