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

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

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  1. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    sent an email outlying my reasons for boycotting them out today. Hopefully as they hear more voices they will listen
    heres what I sent out today:
    Dear Mr. Birk, I would like to start by saying that I have been a frequent patron of Rays for almost 2 decades. Growing up in Ballard, for me the name Rays is synonymous with great seafood.

    Steelhead are endangered species act listed throughout much of their range. 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 many of the rivers have failed to meet the minimum spawning escapement goals established by the state. In 2009 none of the 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. The river system where the steelhead you serve originate are in sharp decline, and although fishing continues, total run numbers continue to decline. By purchasing these fish, you are perpetuating a cycle that WILL lead to the depression of these runs to where they too become ESA listed. I have brought this menu choice to the attention of several local, and regional conservation groups, and hope that you continue to hear individuals voicing their displeasure at your continued support of this fishery.
    I am very disappointed to see your fine restaurant supporting this unsustainable harvest of wild steelhead and would ask that you 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. As a frequent patron of your restaraunt for so long, it pains me to say that I will be boycotting your establishment until you decide to remove wild steelhead from your menu.

    Please take the time to review more data on this subject. A popular a restaraunt such as Rays taking a more pro-active stance on preserving what we have left of our steelhead runs would make a bold statement about how much we in the northwest care about preserving our natural resources. In the end, I believe your establishment would profit far more from this than you could ever make by serving this fish to your patrons. In fact, by demostrating this, I promise to frequent this establishment more than I did in the past.
    Sincerely, Jason Radany
     
  2. Gary Knowels

    Gary Knowels Active Member

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    I ate at Ray's on January 8th and their server made sure to point out that the steelhead on the menu were wild and freshly caught in the Quinault river, not the Quileute. I'm not sure whether the server was misinformed or if the chef was dishonest in his reply.

    I had previously been ignorant to the dire facts about steelhead populations and I am thankful for the eye-opening. I am onboard with the cause.
     
  3. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

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    Great job so far guys! I think we should also contact Key City Fish Co (info@keycityfish.com). They are the ones who are distributing for the tribes. here is a list of all the establishments Key City Fish Co. supplies to:

    City Fish Company, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA www.cityfish.com
    Jacks Fish Spot, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA www.jacksfishspot.com
    University Seafood and Poultry, Seattle, WA universityseafoodandpoultry.lbu.com
    Madison Market, Seattle, WA www.madisonmarket.com
    Hama Hama Store, Lilliwaup, WA www.hamahamastore.com
    Food Coop, Port Townsend, WA foodcoop
    Silverwater Cafe, Port Townsend, WA silverwatercafe.com
    Fins Coastal Cuisine, Port Townsend, WA www.finscoastalcuisine.com
    Dream City Catering, Port Townsend, WA www.dreamcitycatering.com
    Ray’s Boathouse, Seattle, WA www.rays.com
    Canlis Restaurant, Seattle, WA www.canlis.com
    Flying Fish Restaurant, Seattle, WA www.flyingfishrestaurant.com
    Michael’s Divine Dining, Port Angeles, WA www.michaelsdining.com
    Oyster Bay Inn, Bremerton, WA www.oysterbayinn.com
    Boatshed Restaurant, Bremerton, WA www.boatshedrestaurant.com
    That’s Some Italian Restaurant, Poulsbo, WA www.thatsasome.com
    Silverdale Yacht Club www.yachtclubbroiler.com
    Agate Pass Cafe, Suquamish, WA www.agatepasscafe.com
    Harbour Public House, Bainbridge Island, WA www.harbourpub.com
    Real Foods, Bainbridge Island, WA www.gotrealfoods.com
    Robinhood Restaurant, Union, WA www.therobinhood.com
    Vern's Restaurant, Shelton, WA www.vernsrestaurant.com
    Sanders Restaurant, Grand Forks, ND www.sanders1907.com
    Esca Restaurant, New York New York www.esca-nyc.com
    Browne Trading, Portland, Maine www.brownetrading.com

    Who knows how much other steelhead is being sold out there. Maybe someone can mock up a letter to send to Key City Fish co. (info@keycityfish.com) and we can all co-sign or forward as well.
     
  4. Ed Call

    Ed Call Uber Trill Moderator Staff Member

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    Ryan is onto a great idea, but how about after a skilled wordsmith take this to Key City that we all also contact those on Key City's list in our area to ensure that they are not wild steelhead customers while brining it to their attention that wild steelhead stocks are depressed gravely and Key City is still filling market demand without a more sustainable solution. There are four locations in my area that will be receiving such a message from my personal email account in a few hours.
     
  5. Broderick Smith

    Broderick Smith SeaToTree

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    Email sent.
     
  6. Evan Salmon

    Evan Salmon Active Member

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    Has anyone received a response to their letters?
     
  7. Wilken

    Wilken Member

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    Why don't all you "sporties" blaming the tribes for wild steelhead stock depletion/listings put your steelie rods down and stop fishing wild steelhead? That would help reach escapement by eliminating the impact from catch and release, never mind the amazingly stupid 1 fish retention rule. Maybe we could all take up harassing poachers or calling them in instead of stressing the last of our steelhead stocks. If the logic works for the tribes, then why are you so effing special? You know the trajectory....if you are fishing these stocks you are encouraging that trajectory whether you admit it or not. Blaming the tribes is the worst kind of delusional hypocrisy! If you don't want to eat from unsustainable or depleted fisheries that's your business (I don't) but don't blame the tribes when you are out there en masse creating your own mortalities through C and R stress, recreational harvest and poaching. I gave up fishing for wild winter run steelhead 10 years ago for this very reason so, yes, I can talk the talk, because I have walked the walk. The Tribes blame you, you blame the tribes, the fish go extinct. Nice plan.
     
  8. Ryan Buccola

    Ryan Buccola I ain't broke but brother I am badly bent

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    HOLY SHIT STORM....
     
  9. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    who do you think kills more?
     
  10. Ed Call

    Ed Call Uber Trill Moderator Staff Member

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    Some may choose this method, like you. Good on ya!

    Every little bit helps, including the ridiculously stupid 1 fish retention rule that should end as soon as possible.

    Maybe more of us are already calling in poachers as our way of attempting to limit poaching and support the protection of the wild stocks. 100% of poached wild stocks being harvested are bonked and removed from the gene pool. I suspect (no empirical data to support my suspicion) that some of those bonked poached fish are tossed into the brush when said poacher(s) see WDFW in the area to save from getting their ass in a sling.

    Mortality figures of C&R is usually claimed to be 5%. I think that 5% is way better than 100%. Don't you (rhetorical, I don't expect an answer from you because you'll undoubtedly call me some insulting names...not that I really give a rip)

    I am not special. I am using a selective gear process with a single line, single hook, barbless at that. I'm not anti tribe, not in the least. I do NOT think that any tribe or commercial entity should be using gill netting, an indiscriminant killer of all fish, wild or hatchery. These nets are not only placed during hatchery return run timing (best timing still will produce wild fish bycatch that will kill 100% of those wild fish because they are using a method that does not allow for 95% survival like my single line, single barbless hook). Still doing the math and still favoring my efforts over the gill nets.

    I'm blaming the end of the supply chain, the consumer. I'm blaming the point before that, the restaurant. I'm blaming the market that sells the fish to the restaurant or consumer. I'm blaming the distributor that supplies the market. I'm blaming the source for harvesting the depressed stocks in mass for the outright exploitation of a resource becasue it is wild and not being harvested sustainably (by anyone using science as support). You say we "sporties" should just put down our steelhead rods and stop. To what end? The fish are still going to die if the process of harvesting them fails to change. Our C&R mortality will discontinue, but 100% caught in gillnets will still die. 100% caught by poachers still will die. The fish will still die. This is your plan. Nice plan!

    Go ahead and flame me now Mister, that is your standard modus operandi. You spout some incredibly articulate and intelligent stuff then rip the shitguts out of someone because they have a position contrary to your own. Today I stand before you as that target because your plan of no action is utter douche foolery.
     
  11. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    Because us "sporties" fighting for the fish don't think ANYBODY should be killing them be it us, or the tribes. The mortality of catch and release on steelhead is negligible.
     
  12. ToddK

    ToddK Member

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    Wilken,
    I have one question for you.
    If we "the sporties"put down our rods and turn or backs on these fish like you did - Who will protect them???
    The sellers, the tribes, the commercial fishing companies - Not a chance!!
    They don't care about these fish, just the money they make them.....
    Wake up brotha!!
     
  13. attack

    attack Member

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    You have a very valid point. How can we justify fishing for these fish? Well, to put it simply...By always contributing more than we take from these fisheries. That means being responsible stewards of the river.
    -speaking up when we see something wrong on the river.
    -speaking out in cases like these emails.
    -Practicing responsible catch & release. That means handling fish with the utmost care. Realizing that hooking one or two fish or even zero sometimes can be a great day. There is no need for racking up huge numbers by any means possible.

    The day may come when we as responsible sport fisherman need to step aside but in the present I think we can do a lot more by being there and fighting for the fish.

    -Zack
     
  14. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Freakin' awesome!
     
  15. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

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    What about the "forgone opportunity" loophole for harvest? The escapement goal is set at a given number 'X'. The tribes get 50% of X. If the sports fishers choose not to harvest their share, they "forgo their opportunity" to kill the fish, and and the commercial harvesters get to take the rest.

    How's that for a nice plan?

    You can pat yourself on the back all you want while you walk the walk, but increasing escapement is not as simple as just not fishing.

    Eliminating the market for legally harvested fish is faster and simpler than changing the swamp of regulations.
     
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