Where's my damn time machine...

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#16
Have steelhead really gotten larger? Well, this reminds me of a story. There was a fishing guide named Ted. His wife had just given birth to their first son. Friends were over one evening, and someone asked Ted, "how much did your son weigh at birth?" Ted couldn't remember, but said, "no problem; I'll get my fish scale out of the driftboat." So he went outside, brought in the scale, and rigged a sling, and they weighed the few-days old baby. Sixteen pounds!

Sg
 

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
#17
Early 1970's seemed good. Idaho and WA steelhead records were set in 1973, right on the heels of this article, both Clearwater fish, both over 30 (30.2 for ID 35 for WA).
 

Jerry Daschofsky

Moderator
Staff member
#18
David, much appreciate you linking 'the rest of the story' . Very cool. Something I'd likely never ran across otherwise.

Curt, thanks for comments.

Jerry you should buy that guy a beer.. what are the odds.
I've known Cliff for years. He's caught more then 1 over 30 and lots of 20s. He and my cousin are quite the fisherman.
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
#19
Interesting thread, and incredible fish! I too wonder why the baby-boomer generation (of which I am one!) felt the need to harvest so much, and can only think it was what our fathers did. His attitude was, a man took his limit; if he failed, he wasn't a man! I'm happy with a brace of trout for the man every once in awhile, but with C&R, I can catch as many as i want. The other half of that equation is that people like me really need to be cognizant of fish mortality, and our release practices need to be as gentle and restorative to the fish as they can possibly be. This is why you don't see many "hero" shots from me (and the fact that I can't figure out how to do it here!:D). But, we've learned from the mistakes of the past, and have changed our habits, so there's always hope.
 

GAT

Dumbfounded
#20
Alex, you nailed it... at least for me. When you're raised in a consumptive outdoor family, everything was for harvest. Fish, deer, elk, mushrooms. The idea of releasing a legal size fish was unheard of in my family.

You figure that the average size family was six when we were growing up as baby boomers, and the limit was ten per person, that's a lot of fish taken from the wild.

As you said, the entire point seemed to be "get your limit" and you didn't stop until you did.

Unfortunately, I know a lot of anglers who still believe in this approach. This is why hatchery steelhead and salmon are dumped in the river with the wild population. The F&Gs are catering to the consumptive crowd so that crowd will continue to buy fishing licenses.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
#21
I couldn't agree more with the last two posts. When I left Wisconsin a legal walleye was over 16", if we were over good fish most of them would be in the 15" range. The big walleye's are all female...that means trouble.

The big steelhead coming upriver today are likely caught in salmon gill nets, because they are big..small steelhead swim right through the mesh. I'd call this selecting for small genetics.
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
#22
Our work is to educate the young on this issue, so the idea of limiting out isn't what's necessary. There are going to be situations though, where the concept can't be addressed, like elk, deer or bear. When you get your limit, you take only one. There, we can work to educate that a trophy isn't necessarily the one with the biggest rack. I've got no real room to talk her, since my one elk scored 348. Now, I'm after meat only, and don't care about anther trophy mount. Of course, when I took that elk, I also brought home almost 400lbs of meat.
 

Peyton00

Active Member
#23
Its going to take many generations to try and fix the mess this country's great outdoors have become. I would like to go a day without seeing a plastic bag from Safeway stuck in a tree or clogging a ditch, also a day of not having to watch the asshole in front of me flick his/her cig butt out the window. Its a crying shame, the commercial netters and the tribal nets. My rant is done... for now.

No one's frightened of playing it
everyone's saying it
flowing more freely than wine
all through your years I me mine
G. Harrison
 

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
#24
I couldn't agree more with the last two posts. When I left Wisconsin a legal walleye was over 16", if we were over good fish most of them would be in the 15" range. The big walleye's are all female...that means trouble.

The big steelhead coming upriver today are likely caught in salmon gill nets, because they are big..small steelhead swim right through the mesh. I'd call this selecting for small genetics.
I suspect gill nets have indeed had a profound effect on selecting out larger fish. At one point angling pressure (keeping the biggest fish) probably had an impact as well. Add to that the fact that the "rough and tough" waters that hosted huge steelhead and salmon have been blocked by dams in some cases (Elwah, N Fork of the Clearwater, Columbia river above Grande Coulee), and now there are notably fewer placed in WA that provide a realistic chance at encountering a 30# Steelhead or 60+# Chinook.

Some pictures of the June Hogs of the upper columbia...http://hogsovergrandcoulee.com/
 
#26
I was raised by a step-dad who fished. That's the only saving grace he had but he did catch and kill. I remember opening days where we had to spend the night before in the boat so we could be the first out on Bay Lake and the 60 trout days on the Toutle. I also remember all the illegal salmon he caught and killed in the sound and how ashamed I was whenever we went with him. Everything was about the harvest. I wonder what he would do today if he was still around. I think that's why I don't eat trout anymore. And I'm very careful about what I harvest.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
#27
I was raised by a step-dad who fished. That's the only saving grace he had but he did catch and kill. I remember opening days where we had to spend the night before in the boat so we could be the first out on Bay Lake and the 60 trout days on the Toutle. I also remember all the illegal salmon he caught and killed in the sound and how ashamed I was whenever we went with him. Everything was about the harvest. I wonder what he would do today if he was still around. I think that's why I don't eat trout anymore. And I'm very careful about what I harvest.
I'll bet your Step-Dad would have changed his mind and fought to save all the fisheries he was interested in. It's easy to change your mind when your favorite past time is fishing...or not fishing.
 
#28
No. He was a real ass. That's why he kept everything he caught, legal or not. He couldn't have cared less about conservation. I remember one time he came home with about a dozen good sized whitefish. Decided he didn't want to clean them so he made me bury them outside in the flower beds for fertilizer. He couln't have cared less about the flowers either.
 
#29
Gee guys, I wish I could get on board with this self flagellation, but it just ain't so. I lived through those years and although some fish were kept, most were let go, even then. If you think angling catch is the reason for the decline, you need to look at the commercial and punch card stats. Most of these large fish never reached the river.
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
#30
Your assessment is spot-on, Alex. In Montana limits were the rule, but the family subsisted on all of the fish & game that could be legally-harvested.