Spring Steelhead in the PACNW

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Great Lakes Man, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

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    It would be a sad day if the spring C&R fishery doesn't happen on the Skagit/Sauk. We've taken it for granted for a long time. None of us should really be surprised if it's taken away in light of the steady declines and the recent listing of PS steelhead. Still, it's a shock. But also, I hate to say, it goes to show why the WDFW's decision to reverse the moratorium on the OP a couple years ago was such a collosal mistake. Why is it that these guys wait until it's too late to take the dramatic steps? Buehler may be right that the pressure will shift to the OP, but the worst thing is that every sport who lands a wild steelhead over there has the opportunity - thanks to the *#$%ing state - to kill it (unless he's already used up his 1 fish limit). When will these clowns ever learn? Is it always going to take an ESA listing or the threat of one before they do anything? The fricking steelhead management plan should have been pursued 15 or 20 years ago; instead it takes a fricking ESA listing to get the GD'd state off its ass to even think about doing something.

    Gregoire ought to fire the entire commission and appoint someone who is willing to do the right thing. And get rid of Koenig while she's at it.
     
  2. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    O mykiss -
    Wow must of hit a nerve.

    From your comments it is pretty clear that you have some stong feelings regarding our beloved steelhead however I think you and I have different understanding of some of the nuances surrounding some of the steelhead management issues and what happen to our steelhead populations. However this probably not the thread to discuss them. As I suggested in the "Hamma Hamma" thread if there is an interest is such discussions I would be willing to take part in such a dedicated thread.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  3. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

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    Curt, I have to admit I haven't kept up with the Hamma Hamma thread, but will try to read it end to end to see what it has to offer. I know slightly more than jack shit when it comes to the plight of steelhead and steelhead management. I know that fault cannot be laid totally at the feet of WDFW. But I also know even as a complete outsider that WDFW constantly misses opportunities to be more conservative in how it manages - the reversal of the moratorium being just one recent case in point. Look at the freaking data every where up and down the West Coast and the overall trend for wild steelhead is down and has been for too long. I know that WDFW can't control every factor that impacts these fish, but killing fish is one they can. When every where you look things are going down hill, it seems obvious that there is a pretty good chance that the day is just around the corner (if it hasn't come already) when OP wild steelhead can't really stand a kill fishery. The commission had a golden opportunity and caved for purely political reasons. I wish these people would stand up and show some leadership instead of just reacting all the time. I'm tired of the excuses that it's habitat degradation, it's poor smolt survival, it's poor ocean conditions, etc. It seems pretty evident that those are all problems, so they should freaking manage as if that's the baseline condition they have to deal with instead of giving us the lame excuse that they don't have control over those things. We all know and accept that things are going downhill, so why are we allowing people to continue to kill fish on the OP over a season of the same length as the season that we would have had under the moratorium? Did the state shorten the season when it reversed the moratorium and allowed for a 1 fish/person kill fishery on the OP???? It would appear to me that the state has made completely incorrect assumptions about how much mortality a run could sustain on every single stream in this state where harvest of wild steelhead was once allowed but is no longer. Think about that. There's no other way to spin it, is there? And that's what scares me about continuing to allow people to kill fish on the OP. Because if we screw that place up, in the not too distant future there may not be any place left on the West side of the state to fish for steelhead.

    P.S. I'm sorry for hijacking this thread but this news is so depressing.
     
  4. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast free bird

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    Wow, nobody's asked about the tribes. If we lose our sport season on the Skagit, will they still net them like they do every year?
     
  5. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    I'm no authority on the subject but they net every year because there is a surplus of hatchery fish to be caught. Typically their effort coincides with hatchery returns, usually in December and January. Sometimes they extend fishing effort later than that but it would be pretty bad PR for the tribes (co-managers), in my opinion, to be fishing in February or March in a year when wild adult returns are at or below escapement.
     
  6. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    You might want to tell that to the upper Skagit tribe. I have shared water with thier gill netters in March below Hamilton. I seriously doubt that there are many hatchery fish that low in the system in March and I am sure they know that also. Will they stop if the sport season is closed? Pfffffft! I have also watched them net around Fabers in April. I would think the likelyhood of catching hatchery steelhead in April is not high. They may justify it by saying this is where a large number of hatchery fish are released but, you make your own judgement. Let me say I have only seen this once a few years ago.
     
  7. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

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    Didnt the tribes step up and stop netting for a year or two around the 85/86 seasons when we switched to cnr or something along those lines?

    I swear I read that somewhere when I was researching the old Skagit rules back in the mid 80's heyday.
     
  8. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    LOL :beathead:

    YOU MUST BE JOKING!!!!

    Unless MIT invented a special net that only targets hatchery steelhead I think they probably catch whatever is in the river, sell what they legally can, and keep what they can't legally sell for the family and friends or restaurant black market.

    It is not hard to understand my friends: One pull of these nets is possibly equivelent to your total lifetime impact on our steelhead runs and sometimes 10X that!

    I have fished the mouths of our local rivers and seen the Tribes fishing there.........IT IS NOT PRETTY!

    I have seen days when the nets close around a bubbling cauldron of hundreds of steelhead. I would never have even thought that many were in the river considering my hookup rate; which brings me back to my most important point in this post and I must reinterate: One pull of these nets is possibly equivelent to your total lifetime impact on our steelhead runs and sometimes 10X that!

    Furthermore, there used to be steelhead runs every month of the year, especially December and Feb.........I wonder where all those wild fish in those months have gone????

    Answer: they were converted to $$$$$

    At some point people must understand that netting ripe fish in the rivers is INSANE! Those fish have been through thousands of obsticles and survived, they are the lucky ones....don't net them for the table, leave they to spawn.

    And as far as our impact with C&R, I will copy and paste it again: One pull of these nets is possibly equivelent to your total lifetime impact on our steelhead runs and sometimes 10X that!
     
  9. Be Jofus G

    Be Jofus G Banned or Parked

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

    I'm going to open a Bald Eagle Hatchery so people can hunt them or harvest them for comercial use.
     
  10. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Jeremy -
    The Sauk first had its CnR spring season in 1980 and the Skagit followed in 1982.

    The mid-1980s saw some very good wild escapements and the CnR fishing was very good - lots of fish and few anglers. The big driver for those increased escapements were some of the best marine survival (smolt to adult return rates) seen in the last 30 to 40 years

    However the Tribes were fishing fairly hard at that time. If memory serves me correctly the wild catches in that era was in the 2,500 range with the split roughly 60:40 in favor of the recreational fishery.

    I beleive that a decade or so later in response to expected poor returns there was a couple years where the tribal fishery was stacked early in the season - a fairly common strategy in Puget Sound. During much of the 1990s there was minimal tribal effort though some exteneded seasons due to the combination of both low abundances and prices.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  11. the fanz

    the fanz Member

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    Why is it that the tribes are always brought up? I rarely hear a word about crappy logging practices or the insane developement that stretches from the sound to the cascades. Instead of being pissed off at all the poorly maintain logging road culverts that have blown out and filled the sauk with sand some of you choose to play blame the native. Its f---ing pathetic. We need to start addressing ways to support those that are trying to mitigate the damage done by the ever increasing floods which are destroying salmon redds and flushing every bit of nutrient left behind by the decaying fish out to the ocean.
     
  12. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    Everyone here knows the other problems. Many of us, including me volunteer to restore such culverts and slides whenever we can.

    As significant or insignificant as those problems are, you have to admit that no matter what you do to help steelhead and salmon, when there is a net across the river it isn't going to do jack shit.

    I said it thrice and I will say it again: One pull of those nets is possibly equivelent to your total lifetime impact on our steelhead runs and sometimes 10X that!

    Don't chalk all the talk against Natives netting as the old racist/prejudice crap...In fact, I would say part of the problem is the liberal nature of our area, and how those that speak against Native's netting the rivers get labeled as ignorant racists.

    Have you been there and seen it? I have seen Natives pulling nets while so drug from a jug of liquer they fell in the river. I have seen man and wife have drunken fist fights in front their kids while on board a boat netting the river.......I have seen some seriously fucked up shit near the mouths of our rivers. IT IS NOT PRETTY and I wish I could help those people and our steelhead.
     
  13. the fanz

    the fanz Member

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    Yes I have seen the netting...hell, in Alaska I make my living off of it. As for behavior, have you ever fished at blue creek. The tribes may be one of our best bets for insuring a future with a viable fishery. They have the laws and now the cash to deal with the government.
     
  14. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Tell them what? I never said they didn't net in March or April. And I certainly believe that there are relatively fewer hatchery fish at that time. I did imply that I would be dissapointed if they have a season targeting later arriving wild fish when their escapement numbers are questionable in acheiving.


    Joking about what? Your first four paragraphs aren't worthy of responding to because they are based on too much emotion.

    But you are corrrect, steelhead do return every month of the year. The Skagit used to have a great run of smaller, early returning wild fish. But they have been greatly reduced by overfishing from mixed-stock fisheries by tribes, commercials, and sporties. Tribes and commercials sold some and kept some converting that into cash and food, respectively. Same with the sporties, lots of fish were kept and eaten, and lots of guides made money from clients. What is your point?

    As a sportfisher, it is my belief that recreational fishing on the resource can provide the most economic benefit by practicing CnR but not every one thinks that way.

    I don't know what you find so amusing about my post but will attempt a response. If there was commercial sale of bald eagles, I'd rather have them be of hatchery origin than birds from the wild. Same idea with steelhead. That being said, if the tribes are to net the river, I'd prefer it be during a time period when they are most likely to catch hatchery fish rather than wild fish.

    Cup-my mistake, I thought you were referring to early returning hatchery fish and that is where the intent of my response came from. After re-reading your post, you were referring to the later returning wild fish and I do feel it would be a shame if the tribes elect to fish on returns that are not expected to make escapement. Hence my comment about bad PR for them.
     
  15. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    :clown: I guess I am just pissed about losing my two favorite places to fish this year.

    My favorite stretch of the Nooksack is closed for good this year and now the Skagit/Sauk!?!?!...............UGH!!!!!