Wild Steelhead in the Pike Pl Fish Market?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by MarkM, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. MarkM

    MarkM New Member

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    I saw wild steelhead for sale today at the Pike Place Market in Seattle (the "Public Market"). Not the fish market where they throw the fish in the corner but, if you're facing the ocean, further down to the right by the veggies.

    I asked the guy selling them where they're from and at first he said they're from the Quinalt and Hoh rivers. Then when I asked if they're from the Quinalt Reservation he said yeah that's where he got them - from the tribe.

    I won't go into how pissed I was at seeing this. But I had a few questions about the regs. Is it correct that it's illegal to sell wild steelhead that you've caught in WA? I'm assuming the Quinalt tribe is exempt from this via their rights to the reservation and/or the Bolt decision?

    If the sale of these fish is legal then is there any move to try and outlaw this? Maybe I've missed something but it seems that Steelhead are pretty much an endangered species in WA and harvesting wild fish for commercial sale is not helpful.

    Thanks,

    Mark.
     
  2. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    If they belong to the indians, they can do with them what ever they please. If it was a white man selling them then he is in the wrong selling them.

    Jim
     
  3. Cougar97

    Cougar97 Member

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    Best way to stop it. Educate the public. Every once in a while you will see it on the Eastside when the Tribe exercise their Tribal rights. Use the capitalistic system to our advantage. If no one buys them, there is not an economic reason to harvest them. Just my thoughts.

    Tight Lines,

    :beer2:
     
  4. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    Wild Steelhead Coalition has a heads-up on this issue. I'm sure that something will be done to rectify it in short order.
    Les Johnson
     
  5. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    The selling of wild steelhead by the tribes has been going on for decades. It surprises me every Feb or March when someone comments on it but other than boycotting the purchase there is not much that can be done as they are doing nothing illegal. If you don't like it, don't support it and get others to do the same.
     
  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Mark,

    Treaty Indian tribes are exempt from WA state laws that prohibit the commercial sale of steelhead. Somehow that includes the non-treaty fish dealers, processors, and retail vendors as well.

    Public education is about the only alternative.

    Sg
     
  7. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

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    I'm curious, why aren't other endangered or threatened species available for purchase through the same channels?
    For example, why can't we buy eagle feathers that were taken by treaty tribe members?

    How about bear gall bladders, paws, etc?

    Perhaps I'm mistaken but, fish seem to be the exception to the rule here. :confused:

    JonB
     
  8. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Jon,

    Fish are an exception. Probably because the way the rules are written, incidental take of ESA listed fish is permissible within certain limits. Steelhead and salmon taken within those limits are allowed to be sold, but only salmon for non-treaty.

    Tribes cannot take eagle feathers, but they are allowed to get them from the US Fish and Wildlife Service that inventories and stores dead birds that are turned in. I'm not sure about bear parts.

    Sg
     
  9. Jon Borcherding

    Jon Borcherding New Member

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    I'm guessing it's urban legend that treaty tribal members are allowed to "harvest" eagle feathers?

    I'm questioning the philosophy behind the exception for fish. If we (non tribals) can't buy eagle feathers or bear gall bladders from vendors at the market why are fish an exception?

    Can tribal members sell deer, elk, moose, or other game meat, off reservation, to non tribals?

    Not trying to start an argument here, just trying to get the facts.

    JonB
     
  10. gt

    gt Active Member

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    Can tribal members sell deer, elk, moose, or other game meat, off reservation, to non tribals?

    as one example, at the bottom of discovery bay is a vendor selling smoked elk and jerky to anyone who wants to purchase.
     
  11. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

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  12. alpinetrout

    alpinetrout Banned or Parked

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    Based on MarkM's description, I assume he's talking about City Fish, not Pike Place Fish, so make sure you're complaining to the right people.

    Also, they sell Swordfish and Patagonian toothfish (aka Chilean Sea Bass), both of which are threatened by overfishing, so you might as well bring that up at the same time.
     
  13. FT

    FT Active Member

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    Folks,

    A few years after Bolt decided in US v. WA that the fishing treaty tribes had a right to harvest up to 50% of the harvestable surplus of salmon and steelhead the state of WA tried to enforce its ban on the sale of gamefish with the tribes. The Hoh tribe took the state to federal court to stop the state from doing this because it in effect prevented the tribes for execising their treaty fishing rights, and the other fishing treaty tribes joined in the action.

    The result of this lawsuit, which went to the US Supreme Court) was that the federal courts ruled the treaty fishing tribes cannot be prevented from selling salmon and steelhead they legally caught to whomever they choose to sell them too. Hence, it is perfectly legal for any fishing treaty tribe or fishermen member of a fishing treaty tribe to sell steelhead to any person or business they or he so choses. And the state is barred from taking any steps to prevent the treaty fishing tribes from doing so.

    Therefore, as has been mentioned, the only thing we can do is boycott the markets that are selling the steelhead. Do keep in mind though, that tribes also sell steelhead to fish brokers and markets out of WA state, which means that if a boycott of a Seattle fish seller is effective and it quits selling steelhead, the tribes will simply sell those fish to someone in another state.
     
  14. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

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    OK, My bad.

    I think you can indicate your feelings about selling wild/endangered steelhead, and chilean sea bass, and swordfish professionally without being accusatory or threatening, and I encourage you to do so. We will likely get a better response from an educational tact than from an inflammatory one. I recognize that it is their right to sell those species, but it is our right to express our opinion as well. Most of you know by now that I am not bashful about sharing my opinion, or my feelings on the topic.

    I encourage you to speak out about things that matter to you.

    Thanks for the reply, alpine.
     
  15. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

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    FT, your points are valid. The indians have a captive market within the casino network as well, so this is likely another exercise in futility...but it lets me sleep a little better at night knowing I did something, however little and however futile. No matter what the supreme court said, I think it is wrong to kill wild steelhead, just because you can, and I will share my opinion with anyone who will listen.

    That's me you see out at the end of the jetty pissing into the hurricane.