Seiners

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

  1. Jonathan Tachell

    Jonathan Tachell Active Member

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    Good luck with finding tribal catch records let alone acurate ones. I have asked WDFW for such information in the past and they told me they don't know how many fish the tribes catch.
     
  2. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    Jonathan, if this is information from the WDFW is accurate then effective management of the fisheries is impossible. Very, very sad. Of course the WDFW wouldn't publicize the issue for fear of angering anyone. My opinion is government typically manages fish populations through politics not biology. And no one speaks for the salmon.
     
  3. hendersonbaylocal

    hendersonbaylocal Member

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    Take a ride through the ship canal in late September. There are nets strung all the way from Shilshole into Lake Union. It's pretty disgusting.
     
  4. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    I put a call in to wdfw today and talked to the guy in charge of the sport catch numbers he said he will have those #s for me shortly(2010). He will pass my request on to the commercial guy as well, so hopefully in a few days I can post those #s

    Chris
     
  5. Jonathan Tachell

    Jonathan Tachell Active Member

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    Yeah unfortunately it is impossible for the WDFW to manage the fisheries properly because they do not know what the tribal fisherman are harvesting. Tribes also basically run the show when it comes to catch allocation and the setting of the fishing seasons. My dad sat in on the north of falcon meeting this year and said it was a joke. They seperate every user group, ( commercial, tribal and recreational ) and hear there thoughts and opinions on how the seasons should be set seperately in different rooms. So basically every other user group has no idea what is being said between the other user groups and the WDFW. I always invisioned it happening in one large room with all the user groups present with the WDFW. Then based off of science and run forcasts an agreement on allocation and seasons would be reached, but apperently that is not how it happens.
     
  6. garyl

    garyl Member

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    Interesting thread, I grew up in a commercial fishing family (sort of a heritage much like the tribes claim). Grandfather had a purse seiner and my uncle had a gillnetter ( He had a fisheries degree from UW and was president of the Puget Sound Gillnetters Association for a period). I remember mending nets and going commerical fishing as soon as I reached 17. I can remember when last commercial (non tribal) comercial fishery for lake washington sockey). I also had the advantage of heading to the family beach south of Kingston and catching lots of salmon spin fishing from the beach. When I got to college, I had the dream of getting a teaching certificate and commercial fishing in the summer. However, 1974 was a life changer. It was the largest run of chum salmon in history (at that time) and I couldn't fish for them since George ("alzheimer") Bolt decided that my blood workup wasn't right. I dropped out of my fisheries major and I sold my gillnet boat to a white guy married to a Tulalip.

    Ended up changing majors and did a project for my economics class studying the value of sport fishing vs. commercial fishing. No contest, the sports fishing was much more valuable, even in the 70's. However, I recall at that time, there was a fish tax on the commercial catch that funded the fisheries department and hatchery programs. As a result, the commercial fisheries lobby was big-time in the state. They provided a significant amount of campaign contributions and as I recall senator Mardicich (sp) or Martinez ( from Gig Harbor commercial fishing family) was a significant player in fisheries policy.

    After that I went through the normal progression of drift fishing for steelhead to fly fishing. As I recall, Curt is correct. After the bolt decision, the State still had some input to fisheries management, but the various steelhead clubs wanted catch and kill. I recall sometime in the 80's or early 90's trying to flyfish on the Sauk when the river was full of fish, but couldn't even do catch and release due to regulations to protect native stocks. At the same time plunking for wild fish was still legal downriver at Mt Vernon. It didn't make any sense, but in hindsight I see that it was political and not biology that was running the decisions.

    25 - 30 years later, I still like to fly fish for steelhead and salmon, but I'm finding that I'm getting less interested in fishing rather than just spey casting. I lived in Suquamish for 8 years on Agate Pass. I saw the political power of "casino profits" on the legislative process. If the tribe wanted a dock, they got it, while at the same time protesting a private dock in Port Gamble bay. I saw the State give the tribe the "Old Man House" state park when the State claimed it was too expensive to maintain (actual cost about $4,500 per year). The original Clearwater casino was not on trust land and the tribe paid approx. $450K in property taxes the first year. Next year when they applied to place it in trust(no property taxes) there was no objection from the county commissioners (Kris Andresen later left to be Maria Cantwell's home office manager). It was all about political pay back for the contributions from casino profits.

    We can argue catch methods (purse seining from my experience does kill small blackmouth and other by-catch and gillnetting is even worse) or the scientific reasons for limiting catches or escapement. However, it has always been and still is about political power. Given the current state of affairs with the tribal monopoly on gambling, the State WDFW has no political power, other than that granted by the legislature, and the legislature doesn't care (in general) about sportsman. The sportsman has always been too late in the political process and now it is too late. I think that the best course is to lobby for mitigation provisions so that the local communities can at least build some casting ponds, much like the golden gate casting club, so you can at least practice your spey casts before you head off to BC or other places where sportsman's dollars are appreciated.

    In My case, I'm going to concentrate on lake fly fishing and Loreto fly fishing, becasue I truly believe that you can't fight city hall nor the Tribal political contributions.

    Gary
     
  7. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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  8. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Salmon Freshwater Estimates 2010 Draft 1

    Salmon Marine Estimhttp 2010 Draft 1

    http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/01217/wdfw01217.pdf

    OK, here are the numbers I got from WDFW. The top link is the fresh water estimate for Puget Sound, the second is marine estimates for PS areas 5-13. I included are 5 because the fresh water numbers included rivers in the straits. I also excluded numbers from 2011. the third link is for commercial fisheries in Puget Sound areas 5-13 both tribal and all citizen. These are the numbers I came up with:

    Sport Catch fresh and marine: Chinook( including 813 jacks) 49,354 , Coho(including 519 jacks) 42,129 , Pinks 3463 (even year) ,Sockeye 3237, chum 11,406

    All Citizen commercial: Chinook 7,600, Coho 16,800 , Chum 410,200

    Tribal commercial: Chinook 11,600, Coho 118,300 , Chum 499,949

    There are no numbers on commercial sockeye catches, I assume because there is no fishery on sockeye bound for washington rivers ,and they are not part of the departments responsibility ( they fall under the International Pacific Salmon Commission).

    Interesting numbers on the all citizen Chinook and Coho.

    I just realized my first two links didn't work, I'll try to fix that. If you would like I can e-mail them to you in the mean time, right now I'm going to bed
     
  9. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    For those whose civics is rusty...... the treaties with the individual tribes are between the federal government and each tribal government. In the hierarchy of law, they trump any state agreement. This has been demonstrated multiple times in court. Essentially, the co-managers - the individual tribes and WaDFW decided on what they anticipate the total returns, how large escapement should be, and how large the harvestable population should be, generally under a maximum sustaintanable yield scenario (lots of hand-waving here). The harvestable populations are approximately divided in half (some give and take). The tribes generally just fish terminal areas which is why it is easy to see a wall of gill nets across a river; you are seeing the tribe harvest their half in a limited space over a limited time window. The non-tribal half is caught by trollers, gill netters, purse seiners, and recreational fishers all along the salmons' return path along SE Alaska, the B.C. coast , off the Washington coast, along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and off Admiralty inlet, and in the river over a period of months and area of thousands of square miles. Even C&R mortality goes into the "share" of the non-tribal catch.

    WDFW does control how the non-tribal share of the catch is divided between various commercial groups and various recreational groups. Because the legislature mandates that WDFW must sustain a healthy commercial fishing industry, significant portions of the non-tribal allocation goes to the commercial fleet. If you want that changed, work on your legislators to change their mandate to WDFW or try to pass a referendum that mandates a different allocation of the recreational catch. The latter has been tried previously but obviously failed. I can just see the television ad against a referendum to bias catch allocations to the recreational fishers, paid for the commercial fleet; a blond-haired 8-year old telling the audience that the mean-old recreational fishers want to put her daddy out of business and her family out of their home just so a bunch of recreational fishers can "play with fish."

    Steve
     
  10. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    I appreciate the hassle getting the harvest numbers. I guess my issue is the accuracy of the harvest data, particularly the commercial harvest, who gathers the data, how, where and when is it collected. I worked as a creel clerk for the Washington Dept. of Fisheries way back in the day at LaPush gathering sport data. I also did a little work on the commercial docks but I believe the commercial process of buying fish has changed since those dark ages.

    I also want to clarify that I don't oppose commercial fishing, I just want to find out how the resource is assessed and how it is divided. The management of fisheries in the NW is very complicated and the field biologists bust their asses. I just don't trust upper level managers of the DFW.
     
  11. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Every time a commercial boat sells fish they are paid by weight, most times they are counted( if not they know by average wieght) and a fish ticket is issued. Those numbers are turned into the state. It is probably a more acurate count than the sport fishing numbers, being that there is such a large area and time frame and limited resources to do counts and surveys.

    As for allocation, I think Cabezon summed it up pretty well, if you want to change the way some fishery is managed, get involved in north of falcon.
     
  12. skyrise

    skyrise Active Member

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    hmm, ok waiting for some expert thought on this.
    johnathan, you have said what i always expected.
    well, i will wait to be shot down.
     
  13. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    And to whom do the commercial boat sell their catch? Is there any "back door" sale of salmon or fish products (roe) that would go unreported or under reported? Does anyone verify the catch numbers/weight of salmon sold/purchased? Who monitors for marked/tagged fish? When, how often? In other words, is the data reliable and verifiable?

    And, yes, I AM a skeptic when it comes to the exchange of money, goods and/or services...
     
  14. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    Gary - I share your thoughts on the commercial / sport revenue stream aspect.

    I grew up in the Great lakes. At some point (and I was too young to care) someone looked at those economics as well. Commercial fishing quickly came to a halt, salmon numbers sky rocketed, and all of the little dying towns up and down Lake's Erie and Ontario where booming because sport fishermen were coming in and dropping dollars with local businesses. Good for fish, good for business, good for tax revenue.




     
  15. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    The non-treaty fisherman sell to licenced buyers and those numbers are sent to the state just like any business. I'm sure there is the odd fish sold out of the back of a pick up, but for the non-treaty fisherman, I don't think that amounts to much. I got all these numbers from WDFW, so in that respect they are verifiable, beyound that you'll have to ask them. The treaty numbers are a different animal, and I'm sure there are more fish sold out of the pick up, but in reference to these numbers I wouldn't think it is significant.