Wild Steelhead in the Pike Pl Fish Market?

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

  1. gt

    gt Active Member

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    salmo g, thanks for the post. i understand, pretty much, what your position is regarding the decline in wild steelhead. with all due respect, i think you and your fellow biologists are using the wrong yard stick. your training, how long ago was that, presented you with facts, figures and a methodology for examining the various situations involving fish escapement and how to manage the resource for competing interests.

    but, this is a new century and the tried and true, given what you have described, requires a new, fresh start if management of the resource is to succeed. your explainations, once again, remind me of the young man at oregon state u. who had his disertation on 'forest management after wildfires', published. i am sure you read all about the audacity of this young man who took on the notion that intensive harvest was the only way to restore a fire ravaged forest. the long held training model for the forestry department. when, it seems from his investigation, the exact opposite was the operative strategy.

    it strikes me that this exact situation is what has mislead attempts at fishery management. the 'old' way of thinking no longer fits the current situations. you have pointed out; population increases, covering over with pavement, harmful runoff, draw down of ground water, clearing riparian zones, dramatic ocean condition changes, and this long list could go on for pages.

    so now the question becomes, given all of these changes, how can any professional continue looking at management through a lense that was sharp and clear 20 years ago, and expect to make a difference TODAY. well, you see, you can't!

    we should also put into play the actual harm these same trained fish biologists have done to the resource. to whit, the indiscriminate move to quickly raise a concrete adaptable steelhead for stocking everywhere. as we all know, the habitat can only carry so many fish. once the fish biologist supported this indiscriminate stocking, they plugged that habitat with inferior fish not suited for the hazards and unknown pecularaties of these independent drainage strains. and we all know that once that happens, for decade after decade, the wild fish are simply over run by concrete fishes and slowly but surely disappear.

    my own two eyes confirm this, as the wild steelhead are no longer where they used to be. of course lots of factors, but that is what we have to deal with in this century, and that requires a new paradigm for management.

    so now we have far fewer wild steelhead, and still we are going to support the killing of those few and falling numbers. now that is the sort of 'management' thinking that wild steelhead do not need in this century.

    you also point to the west end stocks as 'ok' as determined by fish biologists. just what does that mean?? what are the percentage returns, this year vs last year vs 2000 vs 1995 vs 1990 vs 1980 vs 1970 vs 1960? while i don't have those numbers at hand, i would suspect that a long view, as you suggest, would reveal a steep and getting steeper decline of the west end wild steelhead runs as well. probably to the point that these fish are overdue for and ESA listing.

    now lets add to that, bank to bank net sets which kill everything that enters the river systems. it is impossible to argue that they are not having a dire effect on wild escapement. i believe the point is simply that WDFW lacks the courage to 'tilt at that windmill' 'cause sure as the sun will rise, those fish are disappearing under our very noses.

    so salmo g., i appreciate your perspective, but i believe it is no longer grounded in the realities of this century. some brave young person is eventually going to break the mold at our local training institution and publish that long awaited paper underscoring the folly of the strategies which continue to fail all of us. in the interum, extinction is what we are facing, and at an exponential rate.
     
  2. hookedonthefly

    hookedonthefly Active Member

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    Quote gt - “but, this is a new century and the tried and true, given what you have described, requires a new, fresh start if management of the resource is to succeed.”

    Perhaps a group of concerned citizens whom will listen to what they have been saying…I think this would qualify as the fresh start we need.

    Quote gt – “the 'old' way of thinking no longer fits the current situations. you have pointed out; population increases, covering over with pavement, harmful runoff, draw down of ground water, clearing riparian zones, dramatic ocean condition changes, and this long list could go on for pages.”

    Yep, you said it. The old way of thinking can no longer continue. That, in my mind, is the ongoing indifference of us, meaning the sportsperson, to what the Bios have been saying for years.

    You cite all these problems; yet, you still think it is all the Tribes and the Bios fault. Well, it’s not. Look to WDFW, DNR, Forestry and this list could go on for pages and pages.

    You fail to understand that you attack the very individuals, i.e.- the Tribes and the Bios, who have the knowledge and power to help us change the way things are done.

    gt quote - ”so now the question becomes, given all of these changes, how can any professional continue looking at management through a lense that was sharp and clear 20 years ago, and expect to make a difference TODAY. well, you see, you can't!”

    The lens is still sharp and clear. The Tribes and the Bios know the problems are the same. Just nobody would listen and WDFW, Washington State politicians have had their way with the resource we love for ages.

    Irresponsible habitat degradation continues. I am sorry but a 50 or 100’ buffer zone on a creek with wild spawners is just not adequate or acceptable.

    gt quote - "we should also put into play the actual harm these same trained fish biologists have done to the resource.”

    You blame a group as a whole. Do you really think the Bios were out there logging around the headwaters? Do you really believe that all the Bios and Tribes thought hatcheries were the answer?

    Do you also think that a majority of the field and political Bios did not warn the “powers that be” of this impending doom we now face?

    gt quote – “my own two eyes confirm this, as the wild steelhead are no longer where they used to be. of course lots of factors, but that is what we have to deal with in this century, and that requires a new paradigm for management.”

    You say your own eyes confirm what you see. I do not disagree with what you see but this is merely anecdotal information. You see nets in the river and less Steelhead; thus, it must be the Tribal nets.

    Well, go back and read my previous post with Smalma explaining the situation with Deer Creek. South Fork Nooksack last year was good to 600 cfs, maybe a little more….possibly 800. Now it’s so off color at 350cfs that it looks like a Louisiana ditch.

    Do you think the Tribal nets did that? Well, they didn’t.

    gt quote - “you also point to the west end stocks as 'ok' as determined by fish biologists.”

    Salmo never said that he thought the OP runs were healthy. Go back and read what he said. Tribal netting schedules are not 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Habitat desecration is 24/7/365…year after year.

    Look to WDFW, the mayor of Forks and their Attorney who threatened to sue over the termination of the Catch ’n Kill wild Steelhead fishery on the OP. WDFW has no backbone, they only give in to the group who applies the most political pressure. Now, that needs to be us but we have to focus on the scientifically identified problem, not what you see.

    gt quote - “just what does that mean?? what are the percentage returns, this year vs last year vs 2000 vs 1995 vs 1990 vs 1980 vs 1970 vs 1960? while i don't have those numbers at hand, i would suspect that a long view, as you suggest, would reveal a steep and getting steeper decline of the west end wild steelhead runs as well. probably to the point that these fish are overdue for and ESA listing.”

    If there is an ever decreasing number of fish which go out, the numbers which come back will continue to decrease as well.

    The constant here on every single river, creek and stream is the ever decreasing amount of an appropriate and healthy habitat for our friends to go when they come home for Christmas.


    Ed
     
  3. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

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    Thank you Salmo. But if all caps didn’t work, an expert opinion was doomed to fail.

    You exposed the bankrupt logic that pervades the minds of many sports fishermen. I honestly believe that WDFW and numerous politicians have allowed these misconceptions to permeate, if not promoted them. It provides a scapegoat which allows for the truly harmful practices to continue at the expense of fish, tribes and sport fishermen alike. Divide and conquer. I’ve been saying this since the thread started, we need desperately to work with the tribes. The treaty rights that they have at their disposal are the most powerful tool to protect salmon runs. They are the only people with a right to these fish. You and I only have a privilege that may at will be curtailed by the state.

    But like I said earlier, 'chiseled in granite'.
     
  4. gt

    gt Active Member

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    interesting mis-interpretation of what i posted, hookedonthefly.

    what is clear to me is the very folks charged with management of our fishery do not have an operative model for this century. that is the simple essence of my post. it will, indeed, take some brave soul to break with the traditional and failing approachs to fisheries management and suggest a new paradigm for this century.

    just as the young man at oregon state found that doing nothing following a forest fire was the best method for recovery, i am hopeful that another brave young person in fisheries management comes forward with that new model.

    in the interum, of course, all of the issues you mention continue. an N of ONE focused on a single drainage with unaccounted for variables does not make a science of just what may be causing wild steelhead declines in other drainages with yet another set of undefined variables.

    what is clear, is that a drainage can, has and apparently will continue to reach that magic tipping point from which recovery is impossible. how did we get there? well you can enumerate a list longer that everything in this thread and be right on. but, when there are a slim number of events which we can clearly see we need to do something about those.

    killing ESA fish is one of those markers that has been set down and aggressive enforcement really needs to happen. or perhaps, it is as simple as closing all fishing in puget sound for anadramous fishes.

    of course there are other things that should be addressed. but while folks are spinning around the may pole ranting about development, logging, street runoff......................the fish are going extinct. we are not going to turn the corner on any of those long term impacts very soon so it seems to me the obvious needs to be addressed, stop the killing of protected fish.

    and i am sorry to say, the biologists position on management in this century is simply not producting results. now that is one definition of idiocy, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. but, like any science based group, changing a paradigm is tougher than pulling teeth. so while the bios are spinning around, the fish are going extinct.

    that suggests that something radically different needs to be proposed and very soon.
     
  5. Derek Day

    Derek Day Rockyday

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    Gt,
    biologists weren't driving policy--or at least it wasn't necessarily science guiding the policy. Interests were, be it dams, development, fishing interests. Who do you think is better qualified to manage these resources.

    What people like Salmo are suggesting is radical--slow or stop the pace of development, that is extremely radical. Because, gt, even if we stop killing an small number of these fish, we will continue to see habitat degradation to the point where the environment won't be able to support healthy runs. If we don't start embracing the idea that we can "turn a corner" on development issues, we won't save these fish. If anything, you don't want radical, you want simple.
     
  6. nucmedman

    nucmedman New Member

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    I dont know the regulations, but I can tell you that the fishing upstram from their nets in the Hoh has continued to be dismal. Had a really poor trip there last week. The populations continue to drop and the fish in the net are sold to tourists in short trousers at Pike Place Market.
     
  7. CoastalCutt

    CoastalCutt Member

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    It's bullshit, native or not, if anyone ever wants any hope of having some healthy runs in their life again, the nets need to be pulled, and kept out of the water.
     
  8. gt

    gt Active Member

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    derek, pointing out issues such as dams, development, over harvest of the forest, street runoff, riparian degredation, leaking septic tanks, as contributors to the decline of anadramous fishes is worthy but insufficient.

    in the short run, hopefully before extinction, NONE of these issues is going to be resolved or reversed, not a single one.

    the one and only thing that is under immediate control is a total closure of fishing, by everyone. i am assuming with that statement that there are drainages which have yet to reach that tipping point beyond which no recovery of wild fish is possible.

    excuse me while i also point out that a professional working inside an agency that is charged with management of wildlife has a professional obligation. it is no longer acceptable to blame the other guy for setting policy that is harmful to our fish stocks. if the professionals working inside these agencies are not speaking the science and going public with those facts and figures, of what value are they?

    stepping up to the plate by the trained professionals has not been happenning, from what i can see. what i can see is extinction on the horizon.
     
  9. CoastalCutt

    CoastalCutt Member

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    I strongly agree, none of the serious (yet petty issues such as logging, septic, etc.) are going to change before the steelhead leaves for good. The quickest fix to see any results at all is to pull nets, sorry tribes!....and close all natal streams to fishing. It pains me to think about not steelheading next season, but I am TOTALLY willing to sacrifice it for the rest of my life if it means my son and grandson will be able to enjoy what the generations before us have enjoyed.
     
  10. hookedonthefly

    hookedonthefly Active Member

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    He loves power baitin'

    http://www.berkley-fishing.com/cat.php?k=50316

    Yep, them pesky, petty issues such as logging...Wow!

    Ed
     
  11. CoastalCutt

    CoastalCutt Member

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    Petty in the sense that they're not going to change in the time it takes for steelie runs to rebound, and that we need to focus on the best and quickest ways to recover populations you smart ass. And the power baiting is a joke, I hope you know that, if not, well, I don't even know. And did you notice how I deemed them serious, yet petty again in the sense of a quick fix at all? You need to read posts through, and interpret them with a little more thought, instead of trying to make a joke out of someone's opinions.
     
  12. AnglerontheFly

    AnglerontheFly row cast swing dangle strip drink

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    Divide and conquer or join and change? It all needs to be done. We don't know the carrying capacity of our current habitats unless we shut down harvest. We can look to OP rivers as control examples with good headwater habitat but we can't know the whole picture unless we let the fish come home. Habitat is probably the number one factor because in every extinction we have caused it has either been habitat loss or over-harvest. Every problem that has been mentioned (population increases, covering over with pavement, harmful runoff, draw down of ground water, clearing riparian zones, dramatic ocean condition changes, pollution, harvest, major habitat loss and more) need to be addressed. You can't eat an elephant in one bite! Lets bind together and take care of every problem. Where do we start....policy! We need lots of people for this fight, this is what CCA is all about. So while we join or money together so the big guns can fight policy, we can get out there and work on the rest of the issues that bios know to be true. I hope everyone here has taken a good look at what happened to wild Atlantic salmon. It's not too late!

    This post has been an educational experience, but lets not leave our fighting spirit here! Thanks.
     
  13. CoastalCutt

    CoastalCutt Member

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    I sure hope not!
     
  14. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Some of you appear to truly believe that removing nets from steelhead rivers is going to have a measurable effect on the productivity of wild steelhead populations in Puget Sound. While I applaud the warm-hearted intentions, I wonder what logic of salmonid ecology, if any, drives or supports your beliefs. I guess that's a polite way of asking if you have any idea of what you're talking about. I wonder what you know, or think you know, that no biologist trained in salmonid biology and ecology seems to know. Doesn't it seem like just maybe there is a serious disconnect in this regard? I've been in this business over 30 years and am acquainted with biologists young and old in this region and others. Wouldn't you think that if the idea that nets were a causative agent limiting the productivity of wild PS steelhead populations, I would have run into at least one fisheries biologist who shares that view?

    I'm sharing this because I want to believe that folks posting that nets are a significant factor affecting wild steelhead stock status are basing their belief on logic rather than emotion.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  15. FT

    FT Active Member

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    gt,

    You keep harping about ESA listed steelhead as the reason tribal nets have to come out. However, as Salmo and other have pointed out, the west end OP rivers don't have ESA listed steelhead. Therefore, since the west end OP steelhead are not ESA listed, the tribes have the treaty fishing right to take 50% of the harvestable surplus. I fail to see what part of treaty fishing right to take harvestable surplus you don't understand because it is really a very simple concept. I.e. Healthy, non-ESA listed steelhead=harvestable surplus=the treaty tribe(s) on that river have a right to take 50% of the surplus. The federal coursts have ruled this is so and the state has lost each case when it tried to prevent the treaty fishing tribes from taking the fish or selling the fish; therefore, staying on this ESA listed steelhead argument as a reason to get the nets out is worse than useless, it is an attack on the tribal treaty fishing rights that does nothing more than anger the tribes. We need to be working with the tribes, not against them because they are the only user group with a right to fish.

    The last time I looked at the US Constitution, the government cannot take a right away from a treaty tribe unless it changes the treaty, has the change upheld by the US Supreme Court, and then compensates the tribes that had these rights removed by the actions of Congress. This is why I have asked you several times what you are doing to get Congress to do this. So far I've not seen you post anything about how you are going to get Congress to change the treaties.

    You still have yet to provide any empirical data or evidence that the tribal netting has caused the decline we have seen in the last 10 years. You also ignore the evidence provided by fisheries biologists. Plus you discount the importance of getting habitat protection and improvement as not being able to be done quickly enough. Only thing wrong with this is I've seen what habitat distruction has done to the Deer Creek fish and the South Fork Nooksack fish.

    I've also seen what the Stilly Tribe was able to get done to prevent a small riverside slide from continuing to dump lots of clay into the Stilly. The County didn't do it, the feds didn't do it, the state didn't do it, sportsmen didn't do it, the Stilly Tribe did. And on the South Fork of the Nooksack, the Nooksack Tribe has installed quite a few log barriers to help prevent slides from dumping clay and sand into the river. Again it wasn't the County, feds, or state, it was the Nooksack Tribe that did it. In other words, I've seen tribes do things that benefit the fish and we need to be working with them to continue these type of things with habitat, not yell about their treaty fishing rights.