Wild Steelhead on ice at Pike Place Market

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by markdmc, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. g_smolt

    g_smolt Recreational User

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    Yeah, that's me.

    I support responsible, sustainable development of natural resources, and closely monitored, environmentally stable and friendly development of non-renewable resources in select, non-sensitive areas. To this end, I have made a living in the seafood industry for the last 21 years, and will continue to do so until my dying day. I also volunteer my time and tongue to TU and the Sportsman's Alliance for Alaska to help fight against unneeded or potentially ruinous development in my state. Matter of fact, In the last 21 years, ALL of my income has been rooted in fish...as a business owner, deckhand, guide, fly designer, writer, researcher, biologist...one could say that I owe my existence to fish.

    Your assessment of the PNW "Indigious" [sic] people and your characterization of "the grand notion" is as good an indicator as I need on where you stand.

    By the way, if your logic and syntax are as incomprehensible in person as they are in the written word, you better get a head-start on your "save-the-world" program...they might not understand what you are trying to say for a month or two.
     
  2. Coach Duff

    Coach Duff Banned or Parked

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    GT, kiss my ass big boy. Nobody whines and bitches more about the tribes and state than you do. We're all sick and tired of this crap but that is the truth, not an excuse. But I've stood and am still standing on the front lines. And yes I am tired talking about the same shit for 20 years. It's legal genius, and until it's not legal in reality the mongers don't give a shit about you or me or anything we have to say. Been there done that got the t-shirt. Coach
     
  3. Ned Wright

    Ned Wright New Member

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    Well said. Change the laws. Under the recent administration at WDFW commercial fisherman have gotten a preferencial ear. Every working stiff in the agency knew it, stop blaming WDFW, start making sure your voice is heard. And while your at it propose some LAWS!!!
     
  4. TallFlyGuy

    TallFlyGuy Adipossessed!

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    Has anyone formerly protested and picketed the market...Causing a scene etc? I'd be willing to do that. Might get some media exposure and who knows.
     
  5. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

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    Two weeks ago, I was at the Pike Place Market, where I observed the very same "Wild Steelhead" sign. A subsequent examination of the beautiful specimen of a male steelhead lying on the ice in front of my eyes revealed that the adipose fin was missing. However, unlike this colored up show case of a specimen, the others behind it appeared to be fresh from the ocean. I was not able to check these fish, but it is possible that unlike the one that I did check, they might have been wild.
     
  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Markdmc,

    Now you know that treaty commercial fishing for steelhead is legal. I think you're now informed that there are wild steelhead, hatchery steelhead, and farmed steelhead. The sale of the latter two isn't causing any direct harm to the steelhead resource. There are some who will argue that selling wild steelhead isn't either, but that issue is at least debatable. And you are now informed that when salmon and steelhead are labeled "wild" in a fish market, that usually means the fish grew up in the ocean and not on a fish farm. But in some cases it means the fish are wild and not hatchery, but only in some cases.

    The fish market at Pike Place where they throw the fish has sold wild Hoh River steelhead at times. The Hoh River has frequently been under-escaped (too few wild steelhead making it to the spawning grounds) in recent years. The run sizes were large enough to make escapement, but WDFW and the Hoh Tribe planned and permitted wild steelhead to be harvested.

    Two or three years ago a couple restaurants in the Seattle area were featuring wild Hoh steelhead on their menus. An email campaign like the recent one with Prime Seafood and direct meetings with managers led to those restaurants dropping steelhead from the menu.

    Fish mongers vary. Some care only that what they sell is legal; some care that their fish are part of a sustainable resource. Based on behavior, it seems that the Pike Place monger cares only that his fish are legal to sell. I'm not sure if anything short of an organized boycott of his market would change his behavior. So far no one has put much, if any, effort into it.

    I guess the first thing you might want to do is determine if the fish you saw are wild or hatchery or a mix, which is likely if they are from the coastal tribes: Quinault, Hoh, and Quilleyute.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  7. markdmc

    markdmc New Member

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    researched it a bit, thanks for parker stevens, going to advise no boycotts, its WDFW. Can anyone explain escapements, when 50,000 returned to skykomish in days past. and now 3,000 do?
     
  8. Fish Hunter

    Fish Hunter Too many people, not enough fish

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    Just one more reason to stay the hell away from Seattle, more flipping liberal than Eugene.
     
  9. pollopato

    pollopato New Member

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    could be wrong, but i always thought "wild" (in the context of buying salmon) meant "not grown on a farm in a big disgusting, disease-spreading, excrement-concentrating net" ...
     
  10. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Markdmc,

    Escapement is that number of fish escaping fisheries and, for the most part, arriving to the spawning grounds. The run sizes of most species, especially steelhead, but I should include chinook and coho salmon as well, were very much larger in the time period 1850-1900 than they are in contemporary times. There are several reasons; they all relate to fishing and habitat.

    Fishing is the easy one. Any run that has not been fished to extirpation, or nearly so, can be recovered simply by reducing fishing mortality. Fishing mortality has been very significantly reduced for all WA State salmon and steelhead populations. Deduction tells us the next logical question is "why haven't the runs rebounded?"

    Habitat is reason runs haven't rebounded and won't rebound to their former levels in any human time scale. Habitat influences anadromous fish populations by its productivity, capacity, and diversity (which influences the fish populations diversity as well). Productivity is reduced in Puget Sound area river basins by about 90% from a century or so ago. That, in a nutshell, explains more about current population levels than any other factor. Productivity is reduced by all the usual suspects: land clearing, logging, road building, agriculture, urban, suburban, and rural residential, commercial, and industrial development, pollution, dams, water diversions, and most other forms of anthropogenic activity.

    Capacity has been reduced by obstructing access to habitat with dams, culverts, and stream channel straightening and simplification.

    Habitat diversity is reduced by many or most of the factors already listed.

    Ocean survival is a habitat influence on fish populations as well. Some of the ocean factors limiting populations are anthropogenic, and some are not. Forage species may be over-harvested, predator-prey relationships are re-arranged, and who knows what else we've done to screw things up in the ocean arena. And then there are natural variations in ocean productivity that we are just learning to identify and understand. And even then, we may not be able to do anything about it.

    So there you have it. River systems that once returned fish populations of say 50,000 now return about 3,000 in some cases. All is not lost however. Some recent Puget Sound pink and chum salmon returns have been at or near historic levels, and a few Snohomish River basin coho runs (catch plus escapment) have approached historic population estimates. The upshot is that the potential remains to have self-sustaining runs of wild salmon and steelhead in most of our river basins, but not all, and those runs will be a fraction of their historic size for the reasons listed above.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  11. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    This show that a river with an intact ecosystem can support a small commerical fishery for 40 years, I mean the Hoh River has aurguably the best run of wild fish in the state right? even with the wild fish being taken, it also has one of the most in tact ecosystems... Just saying


    Now back to your scheduled lynching...

    P.S. I still think in river commercial fishing is stupid stupid stupid
     
  12. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    AKPM,

    The most numerous wild steelhead run in WA is in the Quileyute River system (Sol Duc, Bogachiel, Calawah), just north of the Hoh. The Hoh run is generally also exceeded in numbers by the Queets and Quinault Rivers, as well as the Skagit in Puget Sound. Your allegation is correct; these rivers can sustain small in river commercial fisheries whether we like it or not.

    Sg
     
  13. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

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    Our WDFW has consistently rolled over for the tribal Hoh River fishery. They have even accommodated it by consistently rolling back the escapement numbers.

    And yes, I did make quite a spectacle of myself on the wild tribal steelhead issue in Pike Place the last time I was there. It obviously did no good, but it did make me feel better. I got quite a crowd gathered up and then turned around and dared anyone to step up to buy wild steelhead. It was quite invigorating, I recommend it.
     
  14. Melocity

    Melocity New Member

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    My Wife always knows to stear me away from those stands when they have Wild Steel for sale. I always wind up getting pissed and yelling something about how special a wild steelhead is. I guess if non fishing fish eater knew more they might buy somthing different. I think a movement for Wild Bluegill should sweep the nation of foodies! That would be a truly sustainable fishery.

    Melocitybawling:
     
  15. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    You say this, but to what qualification?

    When Doug Soehl of Trout Unlimited examined that statement, back when the Quillayute Tribe said the same thing, when they were argueing against a harvest moratorium on wild steelhead; the distribution of spawners through the available spawning areas was meager at something like "six pair per mile."

    These are not healthy runs of sustainably harvestable fish. "Commercial" nor otherwise.