SRC Fishing Slowing Down

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Roger Stephens, Nov 10, 2005.

  1. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Wow! Some threads get side-tracked and go down the wrong path but this thread has taken the path of constructive "give and take" enlightenment:thumb: .

    Bob Triggs and Salt Dog make good points that sea-run cutthroat need more protection in freshwater. Then Smalma challenges us to get involved to make changesiagree.

    Roger
     
  2. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    Actually, in 1975 at the Mork Hotel in Aberdeen it was sportsman's groups, led by the Washington Fly Fishing Club and Fourth Corner Flyfishers when the slot limits were imposed to protect coastal cutthroat in Washington streams. Later, in 1997 it was again the sportsmans groups that led the charge to have coastal cutthroat made catch and release in marine waters. I was involved in both hearings.
    I have never counted on the Fish and Wildlife Commission to always do the right thing since it has a history of giving in to harvest in the face of evidence for needed reductions in harvest limits. Even faced with its own records showing declines in steelhead on the OP and with only a handful of runs remaining "healthy", they did not want the wild steelhead catch curtailed. Wild Steelhead Coalition did the job with its white paper;based on WDFW information. It is our responsibility to change surface these problems.
    Curt is right in asking "where were you......?" The WSC beat the drum to bring out sport anglers to all of these hearings but not all that many showed up.
    As for a stamp to fund a cutthroat program for scientific studies, habitat restoration and enforcement, I am going to bring it up to the WSC. If we don't place a high enough value on our sport fish they will go the way of the passenger pigeon. The WDFW, Washington Sportfishing Assoc (?) and the charter boat association have for instance always been fearful that a higher price for on residents to fish for salmon would cause people not to fish when they visit Washington.
    This is a grassroots issue and Washington is a grassroots state. I'm going to bring it up to WSC. Airing issues on this, or any other web site is a good way to vent, but it won't change anything. We have to get the train moving. Stay tuned.
    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  3. gt

    gt Active Member

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    another example of science being thrown out the window appeared in print today. senator larry craig, R-ID, has led the drive to kill the 'fish passage center.' this is a 20 year old agency charged with data collection regarding fish passage all along the bonneville network of dams. they are funded by BPA as a part of the negotiated licensing contracts.

    would appear that judge redden used these data to base his decisions regarding the lack of movement by a host of federal agencies to fix failing runs.

    the senators solution is to simply eliminate science which opposes his constituent bases needs, more water and cheap electricity. simple and efficient means of hiding what is really going on. please don't continue to assume that science trumps politics. in our current political environment planet earth is on the very short end of multiple bad deals.

    get involved!
     
  4. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    There has been more comments on this site regarding our fisheries management than have ever been given, sent or emailed to the WDFW. This is not a criticism but I sense a general frustration with their so-called "public" process.

    I have been frustrated with my being on the Steelhead Cutthroat Policy Advisory Group ever since the Director scoffed at my notion that we are losing money by not charging enough for non-resident licenses. The idea that non-residents can come fish for wild steelhead and salmon for two days for only $6.57 is beyond comprehension, especially since we are sorely in need of funding. I had a friend from Japan, who fishes for Atlantic salmon in Scotland and steelhead in BC, ask me why this state thinks so lowly of their grand fish?

    I believe the only way to achieve any meaningful change is through the grassroots. That is how the we were able to get the kill limit down on wild streelhead. I will join Les in getting the WSC to focus on wild coastal cutthroat
     
  5. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    Sorry, this last portion of my comments were not sent.

    Leland.

    I believe the only way to achieve any meaningful change is through the grassroots. That is how the we were able to get the kill limit down on wild streelhead. I will join Les in getting the WSC to focus on wild coastal cutthroat
     
  6. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    Let's try this:

    I believe the only way to achieve any meaningful change is through the grassroots. That is how the we were able to get the kill limit down on wild streelhead. I will join Les in getting the WSC to focus on wild coastal cutthroat – the wild steelhead's brother.

    I would also like to see the fly fishing clubs ban together to get an initiative passed by the public that would overturn the state law that prevents any law being passed that prohibits a statewide bait ban.

    It's about time we find out who's running this state.

    Leland.
     
  7. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    Smalma, I have to agree with you in part- not enough participation when it counts. But it is changing. I have written many letters to wdfw about the fishery, testified at meetings etc. It is a long-haul involvement. You cant expect change without getting involved. I heard a great line about mobilizing anglers to get involved, to write, vote or testify etc; "It's like herding cats".
    I dont know why that is true, but I know it is true.
     
  8. gt

    gt Active Member

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    part of the problem may be that many of us to not hear about upcoming meeting or understand who and where we should submit our comments.

    perhaps as those of you who are more 'connected' learn of these events or opportunities, you could start a thread calling attention as well as posting links to those who should be contacted.
     
  9. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Great thread.

    My thoughts about the Coastal Cutthroat fishery in the Willapa Bay streams is that, since the regs there currently are C&R, the only change that is needed to further protect the fish would be more enforcement of the existing regs. There seems to be only one Game Warden for all of Pacific County, as as soon as he disappears around the bend, people do whatever they think they can get away with.

    I occasionally run into people when fishing Pacific County streams (usually bait fishers) who feel that the population of coastal cutthroat is healthy enough to harvest a few anyway, regardless of the regs. They don't measure the fish and keep the first-time spawners in the 11"-13" size and everything bigger, since they are breaking the regs, anyway. They claim that WDFW is wrong. One guy told me that he thinks there's plenty of fish since he "took home a whole bucket of bluebacks one day" last Fall.

    I run into fathers who are still taking their young kids bait-fishing for cutthroat, initiating them to the fishing life, like their fathers and uncles took them out. The main thing is to catch some trout, and probably eat them. If it is on a Grays Harbor or Oly Pen stream, it is usually legal to keep them (two over 14"). In Pacific County/Willapa Bay streams, it is all C&R.
    I have mentioned to a couple of these guys in Pacific Co that they might want to head north a little and fish where it is legal to keep cutthroat, if they want to kill and eat one, and they returned the favor and told me where to go (south, where its very hot...and no cutthroat!)
    If I see someone using bait with trout-sized gear and size 8 worm hooks in a stream where the regs are C&R for wild Coastal Cutthroat, I assume that they must be keeping them. I assume that bait is allowed so that steelhead, salmon, and sturgeon anglers can continue to use bait. Cutthroat often get hooked very deeply on bait, in the tongue, gills or gullet. So I also assume that a certain amount of cutthroat are being sacrificed as an incidental kill.

    I wonder if there isn't a certain minimum hook size, when using bait, that might prevent a cutthroat from taking the hook so deeply, maybe size 4 or size 2? Size 4 might still be a little small, as cutthroat have big mouths. Maybe bait anglers should be required to use a hook at least size 2 in streams where there are Coastal Cutthroat, and any smaller hooks must be on an artifical lure or fly. I don't know if this will do any good to protect the fish, as I am not a biologist and don't target cutthroat with bait. But I have caught cutthroat when steelhead fishing using corky/yarn/sandshrimp on size 2 or size 1 hooks, and rarely hooked the smaller trout deeply. That might also be a function of quick response in setting the hook.

    I would support a cutthroat stamp, and maybe even a punch-card with a maximum number allowed for harvest(say 10 or 20, and not more than 5 from any one stream) per year. I say this because I know of some young fishers who have claimed harvesting upwards of 50 legal sized cutthroat from just ONE river in a season.

    I know that most of us fly fishers would love for all wild coastal cutthroat to be protected with C&R in all waters. I know I would. Mortality due to their incidental catch while baitfishing for steelhead/salmon might be dealt with by allowing only hooks a certain size or larger, Anybody know if that would keep those voracious cutties from taking bait too deep? I don't necessarily want to take the bait away from the bait fishers legally going after hatchery steelhead/salmon. So how do you resolve this dilemma?

    Jimbo
     
  10. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Jimbo -
    The hooking mortality studies that I'm familar with did not demostrate any benefit from hook size restrictions in reducing the hooking mortality. In one study they looked at hook sizes ranging from size 10 to 2/0 as I recalled. The larger cutthroat were able to ingest the bait regardless of the hook size. While the smaller fish were not able to get the larger hooks in their mouths this was countered the "spearing effect" of the larger hooks. With the large hooks many fish were gaffed or speared in the gills, eye and brains.

    The surest way to reduce hooking mortality is the prohibition of the use of bait - not very popular with the non-fly anglers.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  11. Teeg Stouffer

    Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

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    Not to get off topic, but this is the funniest line I've read on WFF in months. :beer2:
     
  12. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    A summer bait-ban is on my list of issues to take on. It would help a lot if there was not bait fishing from say June through November. However, to make this happen on other than an emergency basis I beleive that we'll have to introduce an initiative as there is a law somewhere on the books that we cannot simply impose a bait ban. I believe that it was passed years ago by Clarence Postkey of "Potskey Fireball" salmon egg fame. Correct me if I'm wrong. However, laws are made to be turned over. Now there is a project!
    Good Fishing,
    Les
     
  13. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    The bait ban law was a blacklash from the State's attempt to prohibit the use of bait during the summer. That attempt was part of its "Stream management strategy" - to provide stable trout populations the strategy was to protect the majority of the females through their first spawning with approapriate minimum size limits as well a summer bait ban to reduce hooking mortality on the sub-adult resident trout and anadromous parr/presmolts. Got the minimum size limits in most areas.

    One of the major organized leaders against the bait ban was the State's Trout Unlimited clubs. Their reason - it would limit their access to summer steelhead (the majority of which were hatchry fish). The fly type and wild fish advocates were largely silent - another opportunity missed.

    The bait ban law prohibits widesprread bait bans without specific information on the biological/conservation need for that prohibition. That is why I thought that the lack of support 5 or so years ago on the CnR and Selective fishing regulations on the Stillaguamish and North Fork Stillaguamish was so important. It was the first time that bait bans were attempted on a major anadromous stream since the bait ban. As mentioned before the support was virtually non-existence. There remains strong interest in the angler community to reverse that change.

    The change was achieved thanks to good support data but the question remains how much longer can we expect anyone at WDFW to remain on the point of the spear without support?

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  14. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Thanks Smalma and searun. It helps to have some historical perspective and know whats been attempted in the past. I would definitely support a summer-long bait ban in most rivers and creeks.
    The idea sounds like it ran into alot of opposition the last time it was proposed, and I'm sure the opposition will be huge to any future attempts. And if a bait ban ever gets implemented, I'm sure that the resistance to it will be strong. But I would support one, for sure.

    Back to the original thread, the searun cutts here in a couple of the streams I fish all ran upstream out of tidewater three or four weeks ago. The last one I caught in an upper tidewater pool was on 10/27, a colored-up 14-15" male with large yellow oval-shaped blotches on the forward part of his belly. Haven't seen a one since then in three trips back to the same stream and a couple trips to another stream where they were found earlier.
    I'll probably find some when I go fish upstream for steelhead later, in Dec. Jan and Feb.

    Jimbo
     
  15. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    Having support, and mobilizing it are obviously two different things. I would think that this web site would be a good start in mobilizing support, if there were leaders committed to take the time and effort to take the lead.

    Meanwhile, back to the original thread.
    I went down to a Sno County beach this weekend for grins just to see if anything was still around, or if all the Coastal Cutts had all gone up the Snohomish river. Actually, I felt the need to do some casting, and didn't want to drive a long way to hit the river. I worked the beach with a surface popper without a boil, but was surprised to get some good pokes with my sink tip. I took three nice SeaRuns, up to 17". I was quite surprised to find mature fish that had not yet migrated up river. Since this beach has a small 'jump over' stream, they might be waiting for more water before going up that stream.

    On Saturday I had missed a particularly nice take that came unbuttoned, and returned early Sunday to the same spot. I threw a Johnson Beach Fly (thanks for the pattern Les) to what I presumed had been a large SeaRun, and after about 20 minutes of casting the area was rewarded with a nice leaping resident silver of about 3 lbs. On a 6 wt. rod that's a fun fish. Also picked up a brace of SeaRun Cutthroat. Strange year, but pleasantly surprised to have my casting exercises interrupted by taking quality fish. You never know until you try.