'Wild steelhead irks anglers on Peninsula'

Mike Etgen

Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here
New River Mike

Good reading...certainly puts it all in sharp focus. And it suggests that this whole issue isn't going away anytime soon - not that I thought it was. I figure it's only a matter of time before something really ugly happens out there.

I'd sure hate to be WDFW enforcement personnel in that area after April 1st.


Because this might be a time when we are being pro active to a situation that will probably eventually happen, as opposed to reactive to destroying one of the last wild, beautiful runs of fish in the world, they are blaming Seattleites.... because our streams our closed, and theirs are not.

I think my favorite quote is by Nedra Reed: "We're talking about a decision made by a group of urban elitists who want the Olympic Peninsula as their playground," :rolleyes ... and is it not true when the author calls forks "a beat-up timber town that looks to steelhead-related tourism to ease some of the economic pain caused by the dramatic logging cutbacks of a decade ago."

So what gives? I got an idea... the rivers over here are closed... so everybody go put more pressure on the Oly Pen rivers, and harvest! They think CnR hurts. Wait until the day the Pen rivers are closed to all fishing as well.



The dumb kid
the last line is going to have some people ready to shoot everyone at seattle times..... what is up with that... this whole thing has balloned out of control. we need to find a way to implment somthing like they are doing on the . ah sh!t brainfreeze.... the river where used to be lots of big kings.... next to soldatna alaska... arg son of a @%^@#% what is the name of that river!ugg you guys know the one. they have laws implementing the release of all truly big kings, but you can keep 1 king per year over 55" if it is a buck, but there is a slot size, like 30-55", where no fish can be retained. and the limit is 1 per year- per angler. seems to me that this would be better than keeping 5 fish per year, and would be a suitable comprimise. right? oh well, i think i will shut-up before someone comes after me with a knife



Active Member
You know, I don't get mad at folks for saying the things that they say in these stories, and I won't go into a long post about how wrong catch and kill fishing is. It's just sad when folks don't open their eyes, look around, and realize that there is a problem and doing nothing about it won't make it go away. Some folks just don't get it. Look at the books in fishing libraries and check out the pictures of all the monster steelhead that came out of these rivers 50, 60, 70 years ago and then tell me where all these fish have gone. They are not here anymore.


Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
I may be going out there this week for a little fishing. I just got off the phone with a stamp maker. I am getting a stamp made:

"This money spent by a Catch and Release Fisherman"

$16.50 for a self inking stamp with red ink. I suggest you all do like wise. It would be really effective in building a campaign for greater protection of our fishing resources.


o mykiss

Active Member
Wow! What a load of shite! I especially loved the tribal natural resources guy's opinion that too many wild fish might be a bad thing because a stream has only so much "carrying capacity." What an idiot. Nedra Reed can go to hell. I will not be frequenting her fair city ever again.
Excellent Rob! I still think bumper-stickers/signs that say "I'm visiting Forks to catch and release wild steelhead" will help convey the message that Forks IS NOT losing money over this, without having to provoke any face to face arguments. This is along those same lines, but even better, because the message sticks around after you leave.

I'm a total city slicker, and to be honest, those forest folk scare me a little. I'm not into "debating" the point with the locals, all things considered. But the message does need to be communicated, in the terms that they've framed. However, for some of them the issue is likely not about money but about their "autonomy" from us urban "elitists" (does that mean someone with a job?), and evidence that we're overrunning them could just breed more resentment.

Of course if that's the case then I guess screw em. The issue is a lot more important than a former resource-colony's inferiority complex. After all, "elite" is not always a dirty word. Sometimes you qualify by being right.
I find this all hilarious as well, for the last time I checked rivers were not governed by cities and we do live in the state of WA not the state of Forks. My brother and friends fished the Queets this past weekend and had a incident at the launch where they were told to "go back to Bellevue" 1. we don't live in Bellevue 2. they paid for a WASHINGTON STATE fishing license not a King County fishing license.

Another point is don't they realize that most of their gear guided trip customers are from the Eastside? Last time I checked I don't think Forks locals are lining up to book guided trips on the Hoh.

I can't wait till this goes into effect and I am confident that the ruling will not be overturned. I for one will be fishing the OP in April and will be C&R'ing as many natives as I can and will be happy to have discussions with locals at my campsite about it ( just as we have had everytime we have been out there in the last 3 months ).

If they want steelhead to eat, go to Larry's Market, if you want a wallmount take a picture/length/girth and do it that way.

My two cents,

:beer1 :beer1 :beer1 :beer1 :beer1

Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
Hey, I would buy a bumper sticker that said that!

Great I idea, Ray!

I too am kind of nervous about those forest guys, but I doubt that any body would damage your car with that on it. I had a "Cows kill Fish" bumper sticker for awhile, but I was pretty nervous in the county with it.


Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Would that be the Kenai? Not sure, myself, as I have never been there.
LOL, that Gary Smith the times quoted sure is a deep thinker!
I have listened to other steelheaders talking, and I think I remember Forks Mayor Reed being quoted as saying that it wouldn't be so hard to take if they were allowed to keep just one native fish. Some of the guides also feel this way, as then a client that has spent big bucks "can take home the fish of a lifetime."
I talked to an old timer who was a bit upset about the moratorium who lives down in Pacific County. He said he harvests ONE searun cutthroat a year from a nearby stream, even though it is C&R for cutties on all the streams down there. He is for the most part conservation minded and a conscientous sportsman, but he has lived there all his life, and there are alot of cutthroat in that stream, so he feels that taking one a year is O.K.
And let me tell you, after living here in Grays Harbor County for over 18 years and having come here via the Puget Sound area, I have found that there is indeed a deep-rooted resentment over people from "Seattle" (which includes "the entire Puget Sound area") making "all the big bucks with their good paying jobs" and using the O.P. as well as all of rural Washington as their playground.
These are the loggers, commercial fishers, farmers, and the others who do not make their incomes from tourism.
This is combined with not liking being dictated to from afar.
I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "The game laws are for the tourists from Seattle...we go out and catch what we want when we want." Or, "I go out and get meat whenever I want...screw the game laws." It makes me sick, and those people I have argued with still consider me an "outsider from Seattle" even after 18 years residence here and actually coming from Kitsap County!
This ugly and ignorant attitude is pervasive and deeply inbred, and I fear it will be lingering hereabouts for many decades to come. To some of these folks, this moratorium must seem like the last nail in the coffin lid as far as getting their "rights" infringed upon. They see the "State of Washington" as a foreign entity messing up their lives, and deeply resent all the "out-of-staters" moving here (to Seattle area) and bringing their "tree-hugging, environmentalist attitudes" with them.
I won't waste my time trying to change their way of thinking any more...their minds are closed.
I often feel like a "stranger in a strange land."
I hope this explains to some of you newcomers to the state how some of the rural locals feel. It is ugly, provincial, narrow-minded, and based on fear that they are going to lose their way of life. And it all goes back to "too many people moving here" and population growth in general.
Enough already!

The article irked me, although I am always carefull to avoid killing the messenger. Yet is the message really true that the moratorium on killing irks Peniinsula anglers? It does not irk this one and I suspect I am not in the minority. The Kill Queen has kicked up some dust for sure but I think she speaks only for a tiny portion of those concerned and I will not give her more power than she is due.
Bob Gooding was very prominent in the article as one might suspect. I don't feel sorry for him at all. Bob is only digging his own grave.
But the corker was the tribal manager who is worried about there might now be too many steelhead with the moratorium. Apparently we do agree that the moratorium will increase the fish; it's just that he worries about having too many. Not me. I don't know as you can have too many wild steelhead. In the 50's, over 60,000 steelhead were caught and in 2003 that number was 3,554. Seems like a little bit of growth could be tolerated, dont'cha think?
Finally, I was pissed about, "It's about a bunch of Seattle area steelheaders that are uptight because their rivers are closed and ours are open." I always thought that the rivers of this state belonged to all the people of the state, even the hated I-5 Corridor Types.
Just a note: I would be cautious about leaving my car or truck unlocked until this all settles out a bit.
Bob, the Well, four or five million steelhead could be too many maybe.
I agree with Mr. Lawless. I thought that was the worst case of jounalism I've seen. This is a copy of the email I just sent to the editor;

Paul Queary's story on the Wild-steelhead ban was an OK, middle of the road, un-biased article. But it didn't inform. It didn't tell anyone anything. It is no wonder your readership is down with lack luster journalism like that.

We already know both sides are upset at each other. Been that way ever since J.P. Patches went on the air. Where are the facts? How much have creel counts and fish runs declined over the last 20 years? By what percentage do they decline each year and how long before we are at zero native fish? Do the Indians really get to keep 50%. What is 50% of zero? How much do commercial fisherman take and do sport fisherman on the rivers have the impact that the Indians and commercial fisherman have on the state fisheries? Does the WDFW base there decisions on income produced by licensing in order to balance their budget? Isn't that a conflict of interest and shouldn't the income for their budget be separate from licensing? I've heard the WDFW say they would go bankrupt if they stopped fishing to let the runs rebuild themselves back to their former numbers. Aren't our fisheries already bankrupt? Is trucking tankers full of fish around the state really fisheries management? Why is Oregon able to provide a premier fishery statewide and Washington only encourage it's continued devastation? How many other states allow the Indians to net the mouths of rivers? Is it true Washington is one of the last few states that allow tribal netting? What are other states doing right that we are not? What do we do when the native fish are gone? Are we to just be happy with tying flies that imitate power bait and fish pellets because that is all hatchery zombies will eat? Wont the peninsula anglers really be irked when there are no fish left to catch?

The biggest human failure over time is the inability to accept change. What the WDFW has done is too little, too late. The native runs are gone. Our worst fears about Salmon and Steelhead disappearing are a reality, today. Game over. It is too late. Your lame journalism doesn't inform, it keeps everyone blind to the facts. Do your research and give us something to read.

Matt Burke

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Ray, you nailed it. I was writing my post as you were posting yours. Yes, "discretion is the better part of valor" when fishing the O.P. and you might only make yourself a target by arguing with some of these folks.

Last Wednesday I floated the Bogachiel for the first time with Fishbait in his driftboat. It was his first time on the river, also. Beautiful, sunny day, the river was just about in perfect shape, and there were plenty of fish in it, but we got skunked anyway. We saw about 4 or 5 other boats, and the fishermen in those boat all caught fish.
We'd ask, "How ya doin?" and the reply would be "Caught two each and killed one each," or something similar.
"Good to hear someone's catching fish," I would reply, keeping it neutral, as we were flyfishing most of the time. (The "bait du jour" was sandshrimp with shrimp oil, we were told). These were all wild fish, the average size being about 15# or 16#. But I was not about to appear jugdemental about these fishermen legally killing one wild fish each, as it was my first time on the river.
April 1 is coming too soon for these folks, and like I said, it was a beautiful day.

Damn Matt, good questions all. And you know the answers to your questions are very available; you just have to dig them out, something which any journalist should be able to do. Thanks for your help in this; we need all we can get including skilled writers such as yourself. My e-mail is down (the whole cablespeed e-mail is down). Will write when things are cooking again.

I have been thinking about giving the kill boys the town of Bellevue. I mean, maybe this would settle things. They get Bellevue and we get the respect accorded to normal citizens, say like those of the hamlet of Forks.
This would end the "we-they" sort of argument forever. Don't know though, maybe Mountlake Terrace would be enough. Any thoughts here? And don't mention Port Ludlow; except for me, we are Forks.

Bob, the Damn. I've gotta get out of Dodge. x(