So, where are the fish....

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by martyg, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Jon Brengan

    Jon Brengan flyfishing addict

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    My philosphy is different; I believe it's Karma or something along those lines. I now have the opportunity to fish ...that will be ending as I go back to school in late September. If you can hold out till then, I'm sure the fishing will improve when I can no longer participate. Now this is only a theory, but I think it will be proven as a fact soon enough.
    JB
     
  2. gt

    gt Active Member

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    as i have posted a couple of times, bait fish (most likely sandlance) are popping out of the water and are clearly visable on the depth finder to the bottom. but, no salmon are enjoying the possibilities.

    reports from a number of locations are telling us the fish are not present. i started hearing these stories on vancouver island in early june when the chum failed to show up. so whats going on?

    - overharvest for decades
    - climate change
    - our collective impact on fisheries an example here: http://tinyurl.com/6r44hs
    - decisions, or lack thereof, on habitat and development

    so what to do? the first step should have been to follow the example of CA and OR and shut down all harvest by everyone. taking a deep breath and stepping back, perhaps the next step could be only allowing selective harvest of all marine critters by everyone involved in commercial fishing, no more nets.

    the next steps are way harder and will take decades but they also need to be accomplished. they include: dam removal, habitat restoration, senseable rules for developers, banning of all sorts of harmfull chemicals from application anywhere, and you can add a ton of other issues.......

    but to start off, we must, right now, control what we can and that is the overharvest issues which are depleating stocks to the point of nothing returning.

    so where is CCANW?
     
  3. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    I'm down with all of that. There was an open invitation to sit on some State fisheries committee. They couldn't fill that last seat. When I expressed my views they stopped communicating with me.
     
  4. gt

    gt Active Member

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    exactly marty, the state commissions are wired for the commercial interests. i have written a very pointed letter to the gov asking her to clarify just when it is that she will move to protect our marine resources and balance her appointed committees and councils. of course, there is no response after 2 months in the works. and yes, she has the power right now based on the change to the ESA put in place by clinton. that change in the law trumps all treaties and agreements when it comes to protecting the resource.

    everyone here needs to keep asking the daming questions of all of those we choose to elect to public office. perhaps they will get the message that the drum beat is closing in on them.

    and i ask again, where is CCANW in all of this? seems mr loomis is great on giving speeches which point out the obvious but short on action. we don't have 10 years of process time to wait, as east coaster pointed out, the fish won't be here in that time span.
     
  5. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

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    I've been hearing the same complaints for twenty years, and the keening keeps getting louder, as there are increasingly fewer fish and more anglers. Let's put the blame where it belongs. We are responsible for allowing commercial offshore fisheries, non-selective harvest, especially gill netting, inefficient hatchery practices, killing of ESA listed stocks, non enforcement of poaching laws, abandonment of ghost nets, habitat degradation and hydro power to inexorably destroy a vast resource.

    These are not new issues, but if we don't change the status quo immediately, this lament will be over. Most of these anadromous stocks will be extinct, with our recreational and commercial fisheries gone like Atlantic Salmon and Cod. It's up to us.

    The point is we have to DO something, and that means becoming as well organized as the culprits. It's going to take an investment of time and money on the part of conservation activists, meaning folks like us. Don't think the commercial industry doesn't invest big bucks in influencing management decisions. Take a moment away from this forum to look up groups like the Coastal Conservation Association, Fish First and the Wild Steelhead Coalition. CCA alone has enrolled over 7,000 members and raised half a million dollars in WA and OR in the first year up in our area.

    Most of us don't have time to attend every allocation meeting, draft letters to our representatives, and hire lobbyists, lawyers and biologists, but these organizations are doing that on behalf of the fish. When you join an advocacy group, your membership is tallied by government as 1.5 a votes in a bloc. If we bring the populations back, Westport could once again be the Salmon Capital of The World, as it was forty years ago, and Puget Sound will have a recreational opportunity supporting hundreds of small businesses.

    Find a chapter of the group that matches your philosophy near you, join and support them. If there isn't a chapter in your area, start one. It's not too late.

    Don Freeman
    President
    Capitol City Chapter
    Coastal Conservation Association
     
  6. gt

    gt Active Member

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    so CCA has collected dues from 7,000 folks, $175,000? i ask again, where is the action? motivational speeches have their place and that drum beat makes folks want to join hands, but CCA is, right now, just another supposed advocacy group that is promising to 'do something' but is doing what all the other groups have done before, not much. i suggest sending yur twentyfivebucks to your favorite canidate for public office with a note attached demanding action.
     
  7. jcnewbie

    jcnewbie Member

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    Hmmm! Maybe if all this talk on this forum could be put into form such as letters, memos, emails etc. to our half-assed elected representatives, it may be more productive than grousing about the situation among ourselves, whatcha' thimk?

    JC (..I doubt if any of them read this forum! :rolleyes:)
     
  8. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

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    Since you asked. It's now in public domain, so I can share some excerpts from the Governor's July 11, 2008 Letter to Jerry Gutzwiler, Chair of the WDFW. Following input from sources including CCA members, and presumably in light of the verifiable voting blocks authenticated by membership rosters of groups like CCA, the governor has tasked the chair, and copied Senators Murry, Cantwell and (WA) Jacobsen, Reps Dicks, Baird and Blake, Director Koenings of WDFW and Juli Wilkerson of the Commercial Trade and Economic Development Dept to wit:

    (Abridged by me)


    1. Implement hatchery reform consistent with science based research
    2. Provide a summary and schedule for implementing full selective fishery methods for commercial harvesters.
    3. Educate the public on the economic benefits of both recreational and commercial fisheries, and their impact on our communities
    4. Develop tourism attractions and programs to benefit coastal communities suffering from collapse of fishing opportunities.

    I find this to be a refreshing change from the business as usual culture that has brought us to this point. It's certainly not a silver bullet, but it is a response to demands for reform. Go to the CCA website and review the formal positions in WA and OR which include these, and other points including derelict net removal, catch monitoring, harvest management, and providing nutrients to natal streams. Take a look at the success stories on the other two coasts in restoring fisheries threatened with collapse from over harvest.

    These are specific recommendations, not just a letter from me to a politician stating I want them to do something, and expecting them figure it out themselves.
    It costs money to hire experts and draft these studies, though all CCA board members are volunteers. These positions have been subjected to peer review and are defensible. Legislation can be written from these studies that can effect the changes, but it all costs money, so that's where our dues and donations come in.

    CCA has only been in the area for a year, and has laid the groundwork for progress. What have you accomplished working independently?
     
  9. gt

    gt Active Member

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    freedon, glad you are an advocate and feel some passion about what you are promoting.

    the gov's statements are political theatre, nothing more or less. if she had moved to close down all harvest following OR and CA, then i would believe progress has started. if she had recalled members of the various 'fish' commissions she has appointed and changed the balance to include the sport fishing community and those who manufacture and sell fishing related equipment, then i would believe progress is being made.

    my only point is that after having thrown THOUSANDS of green backs at various supposed organizations who vowed to change the tide, i see CCA as just another of these groups, sorry. when the conversation stops and the law suits follow, then you and the CCA will have my attention. until then, this is just tap dancing while the fish disappear.
     
  10. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    I've contacted CCA via the web site about a chapter in Kitsap County. As of yet no response. The other chapters just seem too far away to participate actively. I prefer to participate locally so as to have more of a voice and improve my awareness where I live, not somewhere I have little knowledge about.
     
  11. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

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  12. Don Freeman

    Don Freeman Free Man

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    gt, I share some of your skepticism about advocacy groups; I've never been much of a joiner. However, I wasn't been argumentative when I asked what you can accomplish working independently. CCA has to date initiated and won more lawsuits than the other "advocacy" groups, which was my criteria for selecting a focus for my energies.

    What I find consistently lacking in critics of efforts like CCA is the lack of alternative plans. We may be tap dancing while the fish disappear, but if that does happen, I will know that I have made an effort. I'm not crazy about tap dancing, but it feels better than wringing my hands and finding fault with the efforts of others.

    If you have a solid program with a better chance of staving off extinction, I will gladly, and sincerely assist you with it.
     
  13. gt

    gt Active Member

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    read a bit more carefully, freedon. through the decades i have been fishing, i have liberally sent $$$$ to various organizations who claimed to be focused on fishing related issues of interest to me and a wide range of other folks. only two groups have come through with action and results: american rivers and the nature conservancy, i continue to support both of them.

    the various fishing targetted groups have all suffered from a lack of focus, organization and leadership. CCA looked like a fresh start. i communicated with mr loomis for a month or so via email until he suggested i call him directly. i did so and asked several pointed questions after listening to his stump speech. unfortunately, mr loomis could not respond with any action plan for: removing nets; leveling the playing field among all commercial interests; laying out a strategy for becoming a player on the decision making bodies.

    those, in my eyes are 3 key components to change. given a lack of direction as expressed by mr loomis, i placed CCA into the same hopper i have placed the other supposed fishing advocay groups.

    that said, i would be happy to see CCA step up and actually get something accomplished aside from a political theatre brushoff from the gov. and it could be as simple as CCA drafting a short list of issues and asking every political canidate for office to respond. posting those responses, without commentary, would provide everyone interested in saving our anadramous fish an opportunity to make an informed choice, at least based on these issues.

    so freedon, i continue to do what any ordinary citizen can do, contact those policy makers i have elected to office and ask for clarification on the issues i presented to mr loomis. if you have other issues you see as relevant, it is incumbent on you, as a citizen, to use the rights this country has granted you and ask.

    can i alone make a difference? probably not. what i can do is bring issues to the attention of elected officials who are always looking for an edge. if you or i can clearly give them a pathway, often times they will step into the mix on behalf of everyone.

    or, you can simply send a check to your favorite group dejur and expect someone else to do something, your choice as always.
     
  14. TrappedinCO

    TrappedinCO Help! I'm trapped in a landlocked state.

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    Now that this thread has gone towards a discussion of conservation groups, what's your opinion (which I realize is a dangerous question to ask around here) on Trout Unlimited and their efforts? Do you find them to be a player or performing well in Washington with respect to salmon recovery?
     
  15. gt

    gt Active Member

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    TU??

    nice magazine, beautiful calendars.

    cancelled my membership 12 years ago. fish conservation and conservation related issues are not within their objectives, apparently.