Skagit River Steehead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Andrew Lawrence, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    WW-

    In the May 2007 Feds ESA listing decision for PS steelhead in the Federal Registor -

    http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Publications/FR-Notices/2007/upload/72FR26722.pdf

    they said -

    "We observed that previous harvest management practices likely contributed tothe historical decline of Puget Sound steelhead, but concluded that the elimination of direct harvest of wild steelhead in the mid 1990s has largely addressed this threat."

    Curt
     
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  2. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    Thanks Curt...That's going to be quite a read!
     
  3. skyrise

    skyrise Active Member

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    and to throw another poker in the fire.
    there is the Elwha river. boy the future looked bright on that one for awhile.
    are they still going to plant hatch turds in there ?
     
  4. Skeena88

    Skeena88 Member

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    The law suit filed by Wild Fish Conservancy et al to prevent the stocking of Chambers Creek steelhead in the Elwha is still proceeding. Preliminary injunction to prevent release of steeelhead in 2013 has been filed and should be before the courts any day now, as is the request for summary judgement regarding violation of ESA. See http://web.mail.comcast.net/service... final.pdf?auth=co&loc=en_US&id=263020&part=2
     
  5. Whitehorsebob

    Whitehorsebob Member

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  6. skyrise

    skyrise Active Member

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    one thing that i don't get. why do they put 116,000 winter & 74,000 summer steelhead in the green river? the numbers that are reported for smolt plants are crazy. the Walla walla system gets 255,000 planted ?
    but if there were no plants as said before, no p/s rivers would be open.
     
  7. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    So...there are several threads going on and I'm trying to keep up. As a part of that I tried to get a handle on all the players. I'm sure that I have missed some of them but here is the list I have so far:

    • WDFW – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
    • NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
    • NMFS – National Marine Fisheries Service
    • WSC – Wild Steelhead Coalition
    • HSRG – Hatchery Scientific Review Group
    • WT - Washington Trout
    • SCAPG – (WDFW) Steelhead and Cutthroat Avisory Policy Group
    • PSHAAC – Puget Sound Hatchery Action Advisory Committee
    • PSP – Puget Sound Partnership
    • PSSRC – Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council
    • PSMFC – Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
    That is quite the list of acronyms...astonishing really!
    I hate to do this but I have to foist one more on you guys:
    • BB - Bureaucratic Bloat
    If I had to list, in order of importance, the number of obstacles to a C&R season on the Skagit I would put BB at the top.
    I have no idea how many people are associated with those agencies and in positions within their respective agency to actually be a part of, or influence a decision, but I suspect it may be in the hundreds.

    What we need is a Fish Czar.
    Or overwhelming numbers.
     
  8. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    WW,

    I don't share your opinion on the difficulty. What is needed more than anything is for the run sizes on the Skagit to exceed 6,000 for a few years consecutively. Bob Leland told me that it did last year. The number he gave was 6,4000. Admittedly, is was the 1st time I'd heard that estimate.

    After that it really comes down to WDFW and NOAA/NMFS agreeing that there are fish above the goal and that a season can take place. The mechaism for that is an approved steelhead recovery plan that allows for the season. MAny of the other groups you list are advisory in nature or really have no say at all.

    Overwhelming numbers of anglers will certainly help in pushing WDFW to advocate for a season provided run sizes allow for it.

    Remember to that the pre-season run size estimates are based on previous returns. They don't take a number of factors into account. So this years will be below 6,000 for sure . However, given last years numbers, if we have another above estimated count this spring we may start to see the preseason forecasts exceed the estimate.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
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  9. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    I understand how that works Charles and the process which involves shutting down what has the least amount of impact is flawed. In fact an argument can be made that C&R fishing has none or negligble impact at worst.
    I know you are a recent arrival here but I would like to mention the Deer Creek fish as a shining example of what I mean. These fish were at one time almost to the point of being functionally extinct...down to just a few hundred adults. And yet fishing continued on a C&R basis every summer and still does to this day.

    It is the process that I am most interested in changing. I can understand that it is a management tool, but why does it seem to be the first tool to come out of the shed? Especially on the Skagit!
     
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  10. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    To be more specific, tying the season to escapement is what needs to be done away with. In the case of Deer Creek the fish responded to their habitat destruction with reduced numbers. This is of course to be expected; habitat, habitat, habitat, that is the mantra. The Deer creek watershed is now carrying as many steelhead as it can support.

    The Skagit is in a similar state. We are seeing the new normal carring capacity of the system and it's not likely to change much. Will it fluctuate? Yes, just like any other system whether it has been impacted by man or not. Chasing arbitrary escapement numbers to establish a C&R season is the part that is flawed. First, the escapement isn't figured until after we would like to have our season. Our season is currently tied to 'projections'. How ludicrous is that? Incidental mortality of a C&R season has never been proven to be a limiting factor in the viability of the entire run. NMFS made their decision because the numbers were in decline. WTF did they expect? More people and their accompanying activity means less animals - it always has. That's all they got? Thanks for coming...
     
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  11. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    I agree with many of your points. However, there is always a difference between what is and what you think should be. If you always act based on the world being what you think it should be rather than what it is, your gonna be disappointed.

    The structure is what it is. We can make the best of it. I appreciate your passion.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  12. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Or change the structure. Nothing is for ever.
     
  13. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    That's a decidedly tougher task.

    I think it would be easier to lower the goal than to get away from using a goal a la most of BC. I am having a hard time understanding how you could go to a premanent season without delisting.

    I wonder if the listing cold be amended and move to a watershed by watershed listing.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
  14. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    As I see it today, that is our play.

    Here is another acronym.
    DPS - Distinct Population Segment

    Currently all of Puget Sound steelhead from the Elwah to the Nooksac, both rivers inclusive, are considered as a single DPS. We're talking more than 50 different stocks of summer and winter-run fish as per NMFS. Remove the Skagit basin from this DPS and we have more than a fighting chance.

    The ESA defines an endangered species as one that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, and a threatened species as one that is likely to become endangered in the forseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

    Do either of these scenarios apply to the Skagit winter runs? Especially if you consider that the basin may full well be at its carrying capacity?
     
  15. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Good questions there WW. Hold those thoughts for inclusion in a request/proposal to the Commission just before OS.

    Sg