Seiners

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by SciGuy, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Herl -
    Commercial fishing of salmon has been on going for a long time and while we all would like to see less of the fish going into the commercial bin it is hard to argue that for most stocks current commercial harvest rates is the dominate factor driving our salmon populations to the ESA lists.

    From the comments it is clear that some here have a poor understanding of the Boldt decision. While it is easy to blame it on a single man it is the federal law which has been supported by the various federal courts all the way up to the US Supreme Court. I recall reading that the State had taken various aspects of the decision to court many times and lost every time.

    It is equally clear that some folks have a poor understanding of what a seine fishery is and sometimes confuse seines with gill nets. Heck CCA Washington/Oregon have been pushing hard to replace gill nets with seines.

    While there a plenty of examples of stocks suffering from over harvest the root cause of the population problems has too high of harvest rates; regardless of the fishing method. From a biologoical prespective the issue shoould the harvest rates not how those rates were acheived. Why not attack the harvest rates rather then the fishing method.

    There are certainly some arguments to be made for a different allocation the allowed catches (more to the recreation and less to the commercial) however the best arguments are not biological; rather social and economically.

    These issues have been discussed here on this site many times in great detail and clearly there is little value in wasting anyones time in re-visiting them.

    Sorry I brought up it; please return to the ranting.

    Curt
     
  2. herl

    herl Member

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    Fair enough - the general biological issue is harvest rates not the harvest methods (except in the case of gill nets and bottom trawling). I think the fastest and most economically sound way to reduce harvest rates would be to ban the US nets. Of the two industries (sport and commercial), who accounts for most of the harvest? and who is pushing for more harvest? I'm guessing its the commercial folks, but I don't know that for a fact. If you don't want to talk about it anymore, no problem.

    Commercial fishing, by definition, is only about harvest. Some recreational anglers want to kill more fish, but a lot don't. Some would be happy with C&R across the board. In my mind, the recreational industry is dependent on the presence of fish, not neccesarily their harvest. Much more bang per fish. So I guess I think that the good social and economic arguments should make it clear how to address the biological issue of harvest rates.
     
  3. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Herl -
    Remmeber that this thread started about a salmon fishery. The reality is that the vast majority of the recreational anglers fishing for salmon are looking for fish to harvest and CnR season/fishing geneates very little interest.

    Here in Puget Sound depending on the species and specific stock it often is the case that recreational anglers harvest more fish than the non-treaty commercial fleet. The majority of the harvested chum and pinks end up in the commercial nets while with the exception of the Nooksack coho and Samish hatchery fall Chinook the majority of the non-treaty PS Chinook and coho harvested end up in the recreational anglers' fish boxes.

    Something to keep in mind is that those of us on this site are hardly a cross section of the State's anglers and their interest. However you are correct that the value of the fish in a recreational fishery is in the man-days of recreation that the resource supports not the number of fish harvested. But it remains the case for many of our fisheries the man-days produced is directly related to the opportunity /expectation to harvest fish.

    Finally it is good to remember that the commercial industry gets its "power" from the laws of the State not the managers (who are following legislative mandates). Those laws are supported by us the citizens of this State through the actions of our elected representatives. If you want to see a change it will take a change in the mind set of the State's citizens/legislature. There is nothing the derails any efforts to enact such changes that rants based on emotion and erroneous information. It is just too easy to dismiss arguments based on faulty information.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  4. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Thank you Curt, great post
     
  5. skyrise

    skyrise Active Member

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    "Finally it is good to remember that the commercial industry gets its "power" from the laws of the State not the managers (who are following legislative mandates). Those laws are supported by us the citizens of this State through the actions of our elected representatives."
    of course this doesnt help when you stand on a river bank and look at water that is devoid of any fish. when just a few short years ago you could count the dead ones that had spawned.
    and really the department missed a good opportunity after the Boldt decision to look hard at what was to happen down the road.
    like wild steelhead release and etc.
    oh well i guess i can show my grandson pictures of salmon and steelhead some day.
     
  6. Joe Smolt

    Joe Smolt Member

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    I recognize that I don't understand all elements of this topic. Its hard to have anything other than a visceral reaction when I think of the lack of fish & carcasses in the rivers the past 2 yrs vs just 4 or 5 yrs ago. Hard to take a balanced view when you see commercial nets stretched across many areas of the sound every half a mile when all I heard is that they are harvesting chums for the roe.

    Curt is right this is a political issue and we as recreational fishermen need to influence it. I contribute to different environmental and fishing conservation groups. I have yet to see and wish to see common political goals being spearheaded by these organization to gain influence by numbers. I have yet to see WSC, TU, CCA, etc say we are combining to achieve specific policy changes. Until then, we know politics is run under the golden rule, thems that got the gold make the rules. Alternatively stated, history is replete with small special interests gaining political/financial favoritism because they are small, financially focused, and their interest is too small for the broader public conscienceness. If I can't understand all these issues, what chance do we have for broader public awareness. Thats political carte blanche. What influence can we have? Hell we can't even stop the harvest of wild steelhead with a wealth of data showing all the warning signs? This may be old crap being rehashed, but the death by a million cuts stings today

    Joe

    Joe
     
  7. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    I simply don't understand how WDFW can allow fishing on the Hood Canal at all in spite of lack of oxygen problems publicized the last several years. WDFW doesn't hesitate to shut down recreational fisheries when there is a problem, do they? Enjoy the poor photo I took while crossing the bridge today... Oh, and sorry for any misinformation this may generate. Anyone check the size of the tribes net mesh lately along your neighborhood shoreline yet to see if they are fishing legally according to tribal rules? If you ask me, it's time to raise hell. It's ok. Make yourself heard on the subject, including this site. Finally, I don't know who's boats these are in the Hood Canal at present. Maybe Curt knows. Anyone know?
     
  8. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    If you want WDFW to close fishing (ALL FISHING) you better have some really good answers to these questions. 1) Is there ANY evidence that periodic hypoxia in Hood Canal is impacting salmonid populations? Are there dead salmon washing up on the beach? Does one see salmon gasping for oxygen at the surface? Are the populations of searun cutthroats, the only salmonid that spends significant time in the canal declining? 2) Is there ANY conceivable mechanism by which periodic hypoxia in Hood Canal could impact salmonid populations? Do the periods of hypoxia (late summer) coincide with movements of salmonids into or out of Hood Canal? Is there evidence that salmonids are migrating around versus through regions of hypoxia? If there are no data, why would you advocate closing the fisheries based on a problem that does not appear to impact them?

    Also, one important note: if WDFW ever has to do triage concerning which fishers are the first to be shut down and which are the last, amply court precedent indicates that the federal treat right of individual tribes to fish in the usual and accustomed waters far trumps the privilege of non-treaty individuals (tribal and non-tribal) to fish.

    Steve
     
  9. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    In a few years when last few wild Puget Sound chum are struggling past the nets, a new set of heros will emerge. Based on the "Whale Wars" doctrine, they will battle the commercial ships by fowling their props and tossing stink bombs onto the decks.
     
  10. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    No, my bad. I doubt the lack of oxygen is a major problem for the salmon in the Canal. However, if they might be forced to the surface because of the lack thereof, perhaps it makes it little faster and easier to get in the nets!!... Close down the Hood Canal? Hell yes! Were your around here when you had a chance to catch a salmon over 30 pounds there, with 20 pounders common enough? I was. The boats you see in the picture is why the fish are mostly gone now for cripe sakes.
     
  11. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Those are more than likely non- treaty purse seiners, they got one day (monday) in hood canal. The smaller boats are probably gillnetters milling around watching to see if they are catching anything, as they fish tues.
     
  12. mtskibum16

    mtskibum16 Active Member

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    DB...Salmon wars! I'm in!
     
  13. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Skyrise -
    I could not disagree more with your statement -

    "...really the department missed a good opportunity after the Boldt decision to look hard at what was to happen down the road.
    like wild steelhead release and etc."


    First let's take a look at the "state" of steelhead management at the time of the Boldt decision (1974). It was commonly believed that a steelhead was a steelhead -hatchery and wild fish were the same and interchangeable. That a sport fishery could not over fish steelhead. And that relatively few steelhead spawners were need (a redd/mile was adequate). At that time few spawner surveys were being done, there was little information on wild steelhead diversity and run sizes, etc.

    If you move forward in time a decade the situation and management had change dramatically. Large scale sampling of catches (thanks to federal funding) much was learned about hatchery and wild fish (life histories, run timing, and contribution to catch) help debunk many steelhead myths and provide the information needed to base signficant management changes. By the late 1970s hatchery/wild interactions studies had been designed and started (Kalama River). On many rivers both hatchery and wild runs were being reconstructed (tribal and recreational catches, and escapements -especially wild) which require basin spawning escapement estimates. By the early 1980s escapement estimates of the wild spawning steelhead was being collected for the first time on many of the basins in the Boldt case area.

    By 1980 management changes to develop wild steelhead release regulations were bing put into motion. That change took considerable effort had virtually no support from the angling community. The first changes were based on the biology of the animal - an example in your area was the 30 minimum size limit on the North Forks Stillaguamish during the summer. This was placed in effect in 1983 to protect Deer Creek summer steelhead (sampling had determined that nearly all the returning Deer Creek were less than 30 inches in length). Within a year or so the State implemented the dreaded "Fin Cards" and required the releases any steelhead with a dorsal fin that was more than 2 1/4 inches high. These were stop gap measures until adiposed clipped fish came on line. Getting those clipped was much more difficult than many realize - The adipose fin clipped had saved for those fish with code wire tags (CWT)in their snouts. The state could not clipped the fish with adding the CWTs; it took several years to get the approval from the Pacific Management Council to use the adipose fins without the CWT and then a couple more years to get returning clipped adults into the fishery. The managers thought the being able to selectively release wild steelhead was important enough that those WSR fisheries were started well before the clip fish were available.

    I mentioned that there was little support for those changes. I recall clearly the public meetings held to introduce/explain the change to selective steelhead fisheries. Those meetings were attended by 100s of anglers with nearly everyone against those changes (if one were inlcuded the bios pushing the change you could count the supporters on your fingers). Those meetings were so hot that agency had enforcement officers stationed at the meetings in case things went south. The consensus opinion was the State bios would not recognize a wild steelhead if one bite them on the "rear". There was no shortage of folks in the crowd that volunteered to "visit" the bios in the back alley to interject some common sense into them.

    By the time WSR was in place wild steelhead escapements were being made. Wild steelhead escapment goals were established for most basins in the cae area. Annual management plans were being developed on many basins where the primary objective was achieving those wild goals.

    During the same period forthe first time CnR steelhead fisheries were being adopted. The first such fishery via permanent regualtions was on the North Fork Nooksack in 1977, the Sauk followed in 1980, the Skagit a year later with the Skykomish and North Fork Stillaguamish soon following. Each of those management changes originated at the desk of agency bios and had virtually no support from the angling community. The early pressure in those fisheries was minimal - for the first 3 or 4 years on the Sauk in spite of world class fishing during the week I could fish "first water" all day long.

    While all the above changes were far from prefect (am sure that given today's knowledge each decision would have been looked at more closely) the changes that occured in a short decade (2 steelhead generations) were remarkable. Those changes happened as the result of dedicate efforts by a surprising small handful of agency folks.

    I would agrue that the State during the decade following the Boldt decision drug the area's anglers kicking and screaming into wild steelhead management. It was only after being introduced to wild steelhead did many of those passionate about steelhead recognized the value of wild steelehad and became wild steelhead advocates.

    I know I went off on another rant - sorry about that.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  14. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    I would like to see clear, accurate, honest graphic depiction of harvest effort and landings by type (recreation, troll, seine, gillnet, etc), for each salmon species by group (native, non-native), as well as stock estimates for the past 10 years. Could someone help with that?
     
  15. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    I believe they have those numbers on the WDFW site, but the ones I have seen are not very current. Its been a year or so since I looked, and I have a meeting to go to right now but when I get home I'll see if I can find them again.