Tribal netting

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by MasterAnglerTaylor, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    I was involved in CCA in New England. I supported it and became active because of the good work that they had done previously in the Gulf and South Atlantic states. The reason that they were so effective is because they stuck with facts and science and conservation first. They put the fish first and the fishing second. To my mind that was the correct order of thinking. I had long since burned out on the knuckle-headed-meat-hunting fisherman's groups and clubs who only wanted to kill more fish in the sports fishing allottments. CCA stood out as a solid and responsible voice for conservation based management. I also liked they way that they drew off of the talents and strengths of the membership to develop strength in all areas of concern in a region. It was a very good experience of organized activism. There was never a sense of "us and them" with regard to our area chapter and CCA National way down in Texas- the help and support was always there.

    This proved especially true after the first few years of work as we saw increasing numbers of forage fish returning to our New England coastal waters and nearshores with some of the first good legal work that CCA accomplished there. What was impresive was that before CCA got into the conversation, the states had sold out the forage fish to the herring industry and they were extirpating them. Anyone who had grown up on the waters of the northeast shores, and Hudson River, Long Island Sound etc, knew that the forage fish and Herring in particular were just about non existent. We had seen the collaps of so many things in our lifetimes. In just three years they began to flourish once again. and then the Striped Bass and Bluefish and Weakfish, the False Albacore and Bonito, and a host of others soon followed. It is not all better there now. but it is a hell of lot better than in the immedite decades before, and it continues to heal.

    If CCA can keep its long standing and successful conservation ethic at the root of it's work here it will get my support. When I began to study the issues here in earnest, over eight years ago, I often thought of CCA and I wondered how they might fit in out here. I too have a difference of opinion with Gary Loomis approach. And some of his "facts" just dont sound right to me. Stregth in numbers can be a good thing, but only if the membership is pulling in the same direction together. One problem with this region in general is a social tendency to steer conservation and restoration efforts soley to a goal of resumption of harvest on salmonids, ect. We have to take a regional approach, and an ecologically based approach, or we are doomed to fail. We have to put the health of the ecosystems- and the fish are integral to those systems- first in our goals. I would agree with the opinions voiced here that time is running out.

    If all we are going to do is fight over who gets to catch the last fish, then that is all that will happen. It will just be a question of by whom and when.
     
  2. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Thanks Bob... Way more articulate than I could have ever put it...
     
  3. Mel King

    Mel King Member

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    Bob What you have described is the general feeling I get from CCA in the PNW.
    I have been impressed with the diversity of the Olympia chapter. Theres ocean sportsfisher guys, guides,bait fisherman,conservationists,trollers,biologists,X WDFW employees,politicians and flyfisherman and others I'm sure. Everyone really seems to be in sync. Thats what has me excited that change is coming because folks are leaving their egos home. Thats what it's going to take.Unification!
    Theres an Oly meeting Monday,Feb 2 at 7:00.Come and check it out.
     
  4. Jerry White

    Jerry White Active Member

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    Well, CCA certainly has a diehard following, and they boast a pretty great record in other parts of the country... that much is obvious from the support given in this thread. Certainly 8000+ members in the NW in two years is impressive. I will follow this closely.
    gt:
    I agree, different fronts different time frames at work which require different strategies. I also agree that in the Columbia Basin some of the biggest baddest hydro projects aren't going anywhere... I'll never see a June Hog in the Spokane cause Coulee Dam is here to stay. However, I am a fervent believer that the 4 lower Snake Dams may come down... and we need to work on that foundation now. Clearly if Judge Redden rules that the feds are in violation of the ESA again and this leads to pulling the 4 dams out, we are still over a decade away from realizing the benefits of this... and in this way I agree that it is no quick fix but this piece is essential to the long term survival of the Snake R stocks... Here is where I would love CCA to change their platform and pitch those 8000 members into the battle against the USACE and the BPA... With CCA on board with TU and others... we would be that much closer.
    River elf:\I get what you mean about the incremental approach... One issue at a time but the following quote from the above CCA Email spooks me.

    "Ongoing hatchery review and salmon recovery efforts in Washington waters and the
    Columbia Basin have made it clear that if we are to restore depleted and ESA-listed
    stocks of wild salmon and steelhead, we must reform fishing practices so investments in
    hatcheries, habitat improvements, and hydro operations can be fully realized."

    Does CCA seriously believe that barging smolts and other ineffective programs simply need time to be realized? This has been the BPA and NMFFs line for years. Meanwhile stocks continue to grind toward the brink. I hope you are right and Loomis will change his tune when the harvest picture has been figured out and the organization will take and its own government. These lines leave me wondering...
    I think I may check out their meeting here in Spokane next time they get together...

    Also, I am running down the references to the book tossed out above but are there any other books that would help me understand harvest and over-harvest issues of salmon in the Pacific (or in the Columbia and Puget Sound)? I would love to learn more about the ocean piece of this puzzle.
    Well I'm off to dream about rowing my drift boat passed concrete remnants of Lower Granite Dam... Hey, FISH ON! Ha Ha and a great wet dream it is!
     
  5. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Jerry W,

    Good questions. A couple quick points: God created time so that everything wouldn't happen at once. OK, OK, maybe not as funny as intended. Loomis has chosen to ignore the mainstem dams in the context of his pitch. That doesn't mean CCA will. But CCA isn't taking it on now. There is Earth Justice, and the taking the feds and its dams into Redden's court is their baliwick. Maybe some day CCA will join in that effort, but meanwhile there is other business for CCA to attend to, the anachronism of the LCR gillnet fishery. No organization is big enough to take on everything, and all the organizations together likely aren't big enough to take on all the conservation work that needs doing. Meanwhile, understand that a great many CCA members are well aware of the contribution of FCRPS dams to the decline of salmon and steelhead.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  6. Mel King

    Mel King Member

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    Salmo, I totally agree with the points you've made on this thread. Selective fisheries is a big one and was a great place to start and it appears there is tremendous momentom right now. Slowing the political machine down is a big one.Its had its way for so long that its become the norm and common sense was thrown out the window.Thanks for the perspectives that come from years of thought and experience. We are all learning from you.
    If CCA continues to focus on selective fisheries and succeeds, they will establish themselves as an organzation to contend with and will be taken seriously on other issues as well. They will also gain support from more and more sportsman which gives them more strength both politically and finanacially. They already have a track record on the east coast and know how to succeed so they had a head start. They avoid the learning curve which is what usually makes it difficult for smaller groups to get anywhere. I am by no means saying they're the only game in town. Other groups are an absolute necessity and they all should be supported financially. Then put your personal effort where your heart is. If everyone does something, someday we will all be proud for the efforts we made and the things we've accomplished.
    Mel
     
  7. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    I spent a while on the HSRG website yesterday, and have a lot more reading to do- but I was Impressed. And they have a lot of info on there, but haven't posted a progress report recently. Last I heard, about 20% of the 1000 recommendations made have already been put into motion, and increasing pressure from conservation-minded groups will help accelerate the needed changes.

    like my new avatar? kind of a Matrix joke.
     
  8. Jerry White

    Jerry White Active Member

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    Well, actually I liked the joke about time, Salmo:thumb: I hope CCA can make a difference. They certainly seem energized and passionate about bringing salmon/steelhead into the future... And I have to say that I really appreciate these threads, I learn a lot and its good to see so many folks out there that care about (and work for) these fish and their habitat.
    For my part, over here on the East side of the mountains, I will continue to work hard on the hydro issues... if others are working on getting the fishing industry to cut down on the ESA listed wild fish mortality, that is great.
    I'm leaving town tomorrow and won't have internet for a while so this is probably my last post on this thread, (unless its still cooking next week) but I look forward to more of these spirited discussion. Thanks!
    JW

    PS remember, if you think of any good books or resources on the subject of overfishing, let me know... SpeySpaz, I will check out the HSRG site.
    Also, you folks should read the book River of Life, Channel of Death by keith Peterson. A great history of the lower Snake RIver salmon/steelhead hydro disaster.
     
  9. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Interesting reading the HSRG info... I wonder if folks realize that one of the goals of this is to reduce the number of releases to be adjusted to marine carrying capacity.... That would mean fewer smolt with the potential for higher return.....
     
  10. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    there seems to be some common sense at work, but still, not perfect.
    for instance, the HSRG seems to be solely concerned with salmon, and their third party facilitator is LLTK, Long Live The Kings...all well and good, but HSRG seems to have ignored wild steelhead, at least in the South Sound which was the part I reviewed yesterday.

    Looking at the status of the Nisqually, near and dear to me, the steelhead run is listed as critical, and they are part of an ESA-listed ESU, yet HSRG makes no recommended changes to hatchery or harvest that might help resuscitate this run of fish. In fact, no mention of steelhead in their management recommendations. That strikes me as strange and I've already emailed Long Live The Kings for some answers.

    At the time of Boldt the Nisqually was the #15 rated steelhead river in the State, now...:(
     
  11. Mark Moore

    Mark Moore Just a Member

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    I can bring very little informed opinion to this discussion as I have only been in the Northwest for about 4 1/2 years and I am still trying to get my head around all of the players in this issue. However, at the December SW Wa. CCA chapter meeting the VP of Conservation issues for BPA (sorry I can't remember his name) gave a presentation that included a segment on the mitigation efforts for the dams. His comments regarding barging indicated that even BPA sees that component of their program as questionable especially for Steelhead. It seemed to me, by the data he presented, that BPA is making real progress with some of these issues and that they are interested in doing what is proven to be effective. I am no apologist for BPA but it may be they recognize it is in their own best interest to deal effectively with these problems.

    He spoke about dam removals that they have the ability to influence and how that was a real prospect, some of which are already in permit. (Smaller dams on tributaries, I believe.) We probably all realize that the Columbia dams are here to stay but I left with the impression that the Snake River dams may, in fact, be in play.

    There seemed to be a great deal of frustration on the part of BPA and CCA's legislative committee that one of the controlling agencies have subverted an effort to do a study of alternative selective harvest gear (sorry but there are so many acronyms for these bureaucracies that I am either confused or gave up trying to remember which one and therefore don't want to inadvertently call out the wrong one). The rub of it was that BPA had proffered a grant which was rather substantial to completely fund the study. In the end it became clear that a government "conservation agency" is more heavily influenced by the commercial fishing industry than by their own mandate.

    I admittedly have a loose grasp of some of the facts in this discussion but if there are many fewer adult fish to try to get past the dams because of non-selective harvest(gill netting) then no matter what BPA does to get the juvenile fish out to the ocean it is all academic. My impression is that CCA is limiting their focus to the apple which they believe is ripe to pick.
     
  12. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    The nisqually hasn't been netted for steelhead in quite some time. In addition there hasn't been hatchery releases for the same amount of time. The Nasty appears to be the hardest hit by the south sound productivity maliase that also afflicts the Puyallup and the Green....
     
  13. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    true, hasn't been netted for steelhead since the numbers went in the toilet in the mid-eighties, if I remember correctly.
    but nonselective nets are in the river during significant migratory times for those steelhead, which often have major overlap with salmon returns and bycatch still occurs. I've seen them go in the boat.

    My opinion is that the South Sound "malaise" is nets and absence of conservation measures. The Nisqually has over 40 river miles of relatively well conserved habitat and should be a steelhead factory as it once was; but the run will never rebuild itself if most of the few returning fish end up in nets along with Kings, Silvers, and Dogs.
     
  14. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    It works like this:

    People to commercial netters, "Do you catch many wild steelhead in your nets because if you do we can't have you fishing anymore where you make your money."

    Commercial fisherman to people, "Nope, no wild steelhead caught here."
     
  15. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Kings == fall returns which historically where there isn't a large population of summer runs.

    Silvers == fall to early winter.

    Chums == winter

    I wouldn't say the *majority* of the run is covered by the nets, but some of it is, at least an appreciable portion of it (based on info from Bios I know).

    I wished the Sound Sound issue were so cut and dry, but in extensive talks with bios, there really isn't a strong consensus as to the cause. It does appear to be worse the further south you go, with the Nisqually being the most affected.

    The deal is, using specific river systems that are know to have *very* specific problems that are localized isn't a good thing to bring up as evidence of netting impacts. There are *plenty* of nets that have impacts far worse (like the Hoh) that are far better examples.