Role of WSMZ

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Smalma, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    I would think any discussion of the Deer Creek steelhead and their inability to recover might include something about mechanized logging and the almost complete destruction of the Deer Creek watershed by mechanized logging practices and a total disregard for road building practices and drainage along those poorly built roads which resulted in siltage of the Deer Creek steelhead spawning grounds. Towards the end of the seventies and into the eighties the Deer Creek watershed looked like a nuclear bomb had been tested up there.
     
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  2. Rich Simms

    Rich Simms Active Member

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    Happy New Years and thanks Chris, I guess I need some help to understand which point I am missing, I think we agree more than we think, which includes loosing opportunity, means loosing advocates for the resource.

    Curt, What would be your opinion regarding the Wind's successful turn around?
     
  3. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Kerry - you are dead on. The only thing going on in the Deer Creek basin was logging. All during the 1970s and early 1980s the basin was slowly coming part. The Deforest slide over the winter of 1983/84 pushed the basin over the edge. The single slide put more than a million cubic yards into the creek yet that was only 1/2 of the sediment input. The stream channel widen, lost most of its stream side cover leaving extensive gravel bars, and every high water put the bottom into motion. By 1985 even during the lowest flows of the summer it was rare to find more than a inch or two of visisbility, all the pools had been filled in with sand and gravel (one was hard pressed to find any water more than a couple feet deep). Summer stream temperatures would spike well into the 70s during the days and by late August even the night time temps would be in the middle 60s. The warmest I ever saw the day time stream temps was 81 degrees.

    Most of us thought that the Deer Creek summer steelhead would never survive to see the new century yet somehow they are still there today. More of a testiony to their resilency than anything man did. The recovery of the basin's habitat has been very slow - maybe because logging continues on State and private lands (the USFS stopped logging on their lands in the mid-1980s - they own approximately 1/2 of the basin).

    BTW -
    The Deer Creek basin would be a great area for the Puget Sound Partnership to suggest that all logging end - yeah right we'll see that.

    Curt
     
  4. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    what i find interesting is that we are being serious that a tributary of a river that receives 200K + plants a year can be considered a WSMZ. there have been articles and studies for 20+ years on the ecological impacts from hatchery plants and we often forget that hatchery impacts do not begin and end with genetics. a true WSMZ would have zero hatchery plants from saltwater to headwaters. while our current WSMZ's are better than doing nothing they are cannot be truly managed for wild steelhead with the downstream river impacts from plants.
     
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  5. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Seems pretty simple to me too. I would even go a step farther and say the impacts could be in the salt water too. This would be especially likely if he river in question emptied into a protected water body that was an ecosystem of it's own. It would be even more likely if the reason for decline was thought to be mortality in that near shore salt water area.

    I'm sure that hatchery and wild fish don't comingle, share habitat or have effects on one another in lower portions of rivers, near shore environments and the Puget Sound. How could they? It's not like they smolt and outmigrate at the same time right?

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  6. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    " a true WSMZ would have zero hatchery plants from saltwater to headwaters"...

    Does such a river system exist here in WA?
     
  7. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    At present the Samish qualifies.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  8. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Looks like we have the test case then. Much to the chagrin of these folks, I suspect this will have to go bye-bye, but everything comes with a price. Are those sunken weight lifting benches I see?
     
  9. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Freestoneangler -
    As I mentioned in an early post on this thread besides the Samish. the NIsqually, Cedar/Lake Washington, Dosewallips and Hamma Hamma would all qualify.

    Chris B.
    While I understand your (and others concerns) about hatchery fish being planted elsewhere in the basin that concern is equally validate for the Sol Duc as the Sauk. The Quillayute system gets about as many hatchery steelhead smolts as the Skagit and more importantly a lot more hatchery adults. I notice at least through 2011 the Sol Duc was planted with 20,000 summer steelhead smolts; does anyone know whether that plant has been discontinued?

    Curt
     
  10. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Those are salmon anglers. There are still salmon plants.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  11. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    I realize that. I also think any candidate river needs to be completely shut down from all fishing to minimize any disruption and allow m-nature to work her magic.
     
  12. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    With all due respect, it's difficult to determine what you realize.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  13. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

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    Charles,
    The AA is more or less chisled in stone at this point--until the next update(4yrs). However, steelhead recovery plans, where this WSMZ will likley manifest are going to be written on a basin by basin basis (using 'an all H aproach'), likley by existing salmon recovery groups. The Puget Sound Partnership is leading the process, and will shop the work out to local groups (probably the salmon recovery lead entities). They will likley look much like the 'shared strategy' for PS salmon recovery--as a lot of the shared strategy floks got recylced to PSP. I believe that it is still pretty nacent, however, thier definition of WSMZ is not likley to change without serious pressure. I figure that the no rec fishing is the only way to get the tribes to agree to have wsmz in the first place, 'If we can't fish to feed our families, you can't play with them' [100% pure speculation on my part]. The NWIFC is pretty involved in a lot of the PSP processes/committees. I would bet that there are already plans for which rivers.

    Just when you thought you were getting your head wrapped around the DFW process--Meet the Puget Sound Partnership!

    Bottom line, I think that DFW should begin to at least partially divest itself from hatchery supported steelhead fisheries. WSMZ would be a great way of doind that, if they allowed recreational fisheries. Without rec fisheries it will only reinforce the perception that no hatchery=no fishing.
     
  14. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    DD,

    I spoke w/ Bob Leland today. He seemed to be unaware of how much power PSP had in the process of coming up w/ a recovery plan or of defining what a WSMZ is. He said several time that if goals were being met on a consistant basis then a C&R season was possible. We'll see.

    I also looked at who was participating in the PSP. It appears by the number of tribal rep's that they have the majority there. I had the exact thought you did regarding why a WSMZ would be defined as it is being by that group. Frustrating.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  15. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Suspect that would be a problem for you...and a few others on this forum who believe you have all the answers. Still, we probably should start the Samish project by at least getting the weight benches out of the water ;).