WDFW Announces Puget Sound river closures for 2012

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Wild Steelhead Coalition, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Wild steelhead are all but gone now. I seriously doubt the people of this state will make the sacrifices needed to bring them back. What does this have to do with the continuation of hatcheries? Nothing in my opinion and it is not justification for them either. Hatcheries are a blight on our streams
     
  2. Jeff Sawyer

    Jeff Sawyer Active Member

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    Some things are worth fighting for, even if theres little chance of winning!
     
  3. Creatch'r

    Creatch'r Heavies...

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    Hatchery steelhead are a colossal waste of time, money and energy in the puget sound they create about 2 weeks of "good" fishing in terminal areas in a 12 month calendar year and with less than 1% surviving it takes thousands and thousands of smolts flooded into the system to yield results. All those doomed smolts compete with struggling wild stocks.

    Your credentials and words are quite conflicting.
     
  4. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

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    Wait, I thought ocean conditions were the agreed upon (by fish bioligists) cause of the decline of PS steelhead stocks. Has that changed?
     
  5. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Ocean survival is one of the main culprits but you couple this with a much degraded river habitat and the fewer fish that survive the ocean are not enough to maintain the species viability. There were likely periods of poor ocean survival many times in the past but with a pristine river habitat the fewer fish that would survive the ocean were better able to maintain a viable population until the ocean conditions improved. This is no longer the case. You have to look at the entire life cycle of steelhead and all of the environments they encounter during that life cycle.
     
  6. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Chris,
    I can't take the time to research this now but I remember when I was a kid ( 60's & 70's), fishing the skagit on the last day, and fishing lake shannon on opening day of trout season, which was in april. I don't remember when that changed( there are some really foggy years in there). Back then Barnaby slough hatchery was going strong.
     
  7. Ringlee

    Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

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    Chris,

    Here is the hatchery smolt releases on the Skagit from 1978- 2008. The 2000's had some of the highest plants seen (excluding 1997). I haven't seen the data prior to this so I can't answer your pre 1979 question.

    1978 358,955
    1979 308,321
    1980 194,697
    1981 245,393
    1982 271,793
    1983 370,017
    1984 336,417
    1985 298,357
    1986 136,096
    1987 264,376
    1988 286,833
    1989 127,032
    1990 196,893
    1991 157,842
    1992 364,161
    1993 366,591
    1994 354,122
    1995 289,052
    1996 328,461
    1997 583,720
    1998 445,434
    1999 449,302
    2000 463,460
    2001 273,712
    2002 513,330
    2003 529,821
    2004 466,100
    2005 517,000
    2006 511,560
    2007 235,010
    2008 174,000
     
  8. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Now add in the return data for that same set of years..................
     
  9. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Kerry -
    I could only easily find the following

    Release
    Year % return
    1983 2.09
    1984 2.16
    1985 2.38
    1986 2.64
    1987 2.04
    1988 0.63
    1989 3.13
    1990 1.10
    1991 0.86
    1992 0.55
    .
    .
    .
    1999 0.92
    2000 0.63
    2001 0.05
    2002 0.78
    2003 0.30
    2004 0.46
    2005 0.24
    2006 0.39

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  10. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    If by making "the sacrifice" means eliminating fishing, then no I agree we won't. Why should we if the other much larger issues affecting wild stocks (hatchery for that matter) are going to remain unchanged? When we see the commercial's and tribes stop fishing, I'm almost certain sport fishers would sign on as well. Asking the those who represents maybe 1% of the declining numbers to stop fishing is a fools play, and it will not change the course.
     
  11. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Well Sean, at least I have been involved hands on at trying to make a difference and that's apparently more than the words you have offered up. As for conflicting, all of the projects described were sponsored by WDFW and the regional Biologists.
     
  12. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Fishing has nothing to do with recovery or nonrecovery of wild steelhead. In my opinion to even recover half of the wild fish that once swam in the Skagit river most of the dikes on the lower river will need to be removed and give at least some of the valley back to the river. This will never happen. Replant the land along side the river with native tress and vegetation from the mouth of the river all the way up. This will never happen. Do the same with her tributaries, major and minor. This will never happen. Remove the five concrete plugs in the system that stop the natural flow of the river and prevents needed sediments and other nutrients to flow with the river. This will never happen. Remove most of the development along the river including farms and other forms of polutions. This will never happen. Remove the hatchery. These are the types of sacrifices I am speaking of and this is an imcomplete list by far. Losing some fishing opportunities is minor.
     
  13. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Thanks Curt. The low percentages that your research show should make the point I was after clear. What the hell happend in '89? By far the best year of any and still only a 3% return (not knowing what might consitute a banner year). I did some quick calculations and found that the average return for 18 years was 1.18%. Throwing out the high and low came up with 1.13%. This doesn't seem like a very good average to me.
     
  14. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Don't look at it as a monolithic structure Kerry, there are lots of things that could be done that are not that far out of reach. You could set back dikes below Mt.Vernon and restore saltmarash in the estuary, there are lots of good tribs in the upper river that could be rehabed and in the middle river as well. Steelhead are very adaptive, if they weren't they wouldn't have survived the last million years in this geograghy. Obviously we will not see historic numbers of old, but I believe they can return in good numbers. I just hate to see someone with as much knowledge of the river as you give up. I hope you don't

    Chris
     
  15. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    The idea of a setting back the dikes is not new. It was studied a few years back and the money amounts it would take to do such a thing is very high. We will never put that much money into saving steelhead. They even pitched the idea as a viable flood control measure, which it is, and still made little progress. A huge undertaking would involve many land owners and municipalities. Right out of the idea box it was challenged by many of the towns and a lot of affected land owners. Personally I think it is one of the best ideas out there but it will never happen.