Wild Steelhead: Your intentions?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by faulke, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Stewart

    Stewart Skunk Happens

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    I still haven't fished for steelhead, and not for salmon since about 1978. It's tragic that these once amazingly abundant fish are either officially endangered or just generally fucked. They are an iconic part of the PNW. We're some shameful bastards if we let them go on our watch.
     
  2. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

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    Really good point! Thank you.
     
  3. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    yes. but there would have to be a lot more to the management no one would be allowed to harvest steelhead.. in which case hatcheries would not be of any use so none of them. habitat would have to be seriously addressed .. that means telling people they are not allowed to build their riverside dream home. it would mean telling timber companies that their land is now locked up and not harvestable and we'd have to tell cities to rain in their development because every square inch of western washington state is native steelhead habitat as is nearly ever square inch of eastern Washington..

    first dam to go? dworshack...
     
  4. Cruik

    Cruik Active Member

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    "don't fight the hypo." I think he raised that hypothetical situation not to delve into the means required to save steelhead, or to assert those policy aims. The details of the hypothetical plan were just employed to explain how we arrived at this steelhead filled future, and to show that they would be protected in the future. I don't think the question actually had to do with any means to reach steelhead survival, this hypo, or what one would personally sacrifice to ensure future fishing. The question is a conceptual one, it wasn't about the means for steelhead survival, I could be wrong.

    Taking some liberty with the original post, I think the question asked is, 'do you care about saving steelhead as a conservationist and because of the inherent qualities of steelhead, or as a directly interested individual (fisherman)?'

    I have asked the same question of myself, as I think it's a good question. The conclusion I have come to is that I'm interested as a fisherman. I think the evidence of this lies in the fact that no other species would I be willing to donate money to save. I think there are species which need our help more, and who I believe are being decimated quicker, and who have a larger impact on the environment and other species. Example: Salmon. I don't fish for salmon. But, they are much more ecologically important than steelhead are (there are many, many times more of them) And yet, my money goes to steelhead protection. Hell, it can even be argued that protecting salmon will save steelhead faster than trying to protect steelhead directly.
     
  5. martyg

    martyg Active Member

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    Stilly Stalker brings up a super point and it is well taken. I also agree that sport fishing is but one small part of a much larger issue.

    My own personal preference is that I simply do not C&R. And therefore I do not fish for wild Steelhead.

    My own compass says to me that there is something inherently wrong with really stressing out a critter for my personal gratification. It is kind of like walking up to someone, punching them in the face and smashing their orbital socket - just because you can. Yeah, they'll live - and there's a chance for permanent injury just like with C&R. If I am going to fish I go with the expressed purpose of collecting protein, just as when I hunt - although with bird hunting it is more about my dogs. If I am confined to C&R I will go roam around in the backcountry, ride my bike, paddle, tend to the garden, etc. - lots of other things to do. If I am on a multi-day paddling trip (raft, canoe, touring kayak, whatever) I catch a few fish to eat and then I am done. I'd just as soon leave the Steelhead alone to do their thing.

    All that being said, as long as there are guys who's passion it is to fish (C&R) for wild Steelhead they will have a voice. And I applaud that.
     
  6. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    If legislation or rules changes further restricted recreational angling for steelhead, and on other changes were made, I think there would be little to no change in the rapid demise of steelhead. I think if there is fishing pressure from Commercial, Tribal and Recreational groups that change must be undertaken for all three of those groups.
     
  7. faulke

    faulke bozone transplant

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    That's more what I was trying to get at, Cruik. I think by looking at the situation simply from the perspective of a fisherman, we're really limiting our options on what angles or methods we can take to save wild steelhead. A conservationist may be more concerned with how extinction will affect their ecosystem and other species, rather than just not being able to fish for them. Fly fishing culture seems to encompass both fishing and conservation, which is what brought me to it. I'm glad to see there are a lot of people here being proactive with joining clubs and sending emails, I was curious of the reasons why people were so involved: for fishing or conservation? Although in the end, I'm sure it doesn't really matter, as long as we're all fighting for the same thing.
     
  8. JS

    JS Active Member

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    I dissagree. Every species of fauna and flora on the planet strives and struggles to survive, procreate, and thrive; is this not evidence of "caring"? The idea that we can exploit this planet's plant and animal life to meet our desires simply because they do not have the cognitive capacity for speech, emotion, and advanced civilization is barbaric, simplistic and short sighted. Im not jumping your shit, just saying that we need a paradigm shift in the way we deal with our natural resources, and it is going to take all of us.
     
  9. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    This makes me think back about 35 years when I used to fish with gear. We would hike down into the canyon that Canyon Creek runs through and fish our asses off. They were logging in there at the time and you had to be on the lookout for Cables running through the area. The Steelhead used to run up in there is schools. I mean at least 30 in a pool They all ran about 5lbs. Most wariest fish you have ever seen. And the most closed mouth fish also. I guess if you could see them,they could see you and wouldn't bite on anything.

    I just wonder some times if it is still like that up in there. Even if I was still there I don't think I could make it back there anymore.
     
  10. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    I think the two go together...we care because we fish for them and with that learn a respect, appreciation and deep commitment to making sure of their continued survival....Many organizations address this and it's been already brought up..but stopping all fishing by the recreational fisherman will lead to their demise faster then not IMHO....Take away the sport and people will lose interest...typical...Having people on the water does a lot more then having none...They closed the Skagit and as I was told by a local up there..."And now the poaching will begin in earnest" I have no doubt of this at all..

    I'm always interested to read how one fishing group which doesn't target a certain species is quick to judge another that does..and their answer always seems to be "stop fishing for them" which in their minds is a simple solution but in reality is far from the truth....River watches etc. have been set up on a few systems up north and it's amazing how many low lifes can't wait to get us off the water so they can get back in and kill all they can...

    When you look at the habit and subsequent health of the fish in those systems...which has improved in some of our rivers...the fish are there when leaving...they don't return in the same numbers as before..why is that? Personally If we sank a few of the off shore foreign trollers who are killing everything in their wake..I wouldn't shed a tear...When you read about fish farms being shut down and the miraculous return of Salmon to rivers that have been almost wiped out over in England and Scotland...it's not hard to see through the b.s. what some of the causes are.....and we could go on and on about these as well....

    The reason we care is because we do....stop us from doing it and within ten years I would bet only a very few would give a damn....That's my theory on why governments do nothing for the most part to save these fish..If they let them die off who's going to stop them from building more dam's and wiping out more watersheds?

    Better to start fishing for them and giving a damn again and get your voice out there...the alternative is seeing how crowded the little streams can get and seeing pictures of guys with a couple thousand dollars of single hand gear holding up minnows proudly with beads sticking out their gums....:) Oh I can't wait for that day!!!
     
  11. Tom O'Riley

    Tom O'Riley Member

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    Your logic is wrong wild fish are no better than the hatchey dolt's if you want to save the Natives ie: the right fish in the right place then let's close all fishing for 10 year's now. If this were done then I believe youd be shocked at how fast they would recover. But as you know we are pathetic here in WA and can't make anyone listen we just pay them to ignore us even the bicyclists get there way but not us
     
  12. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    1. I can't quite understand what you're even trying to say in the first part of this.

    2. two rivers that have closed for decades to steelhead fishing: Wenatchee and Cedar. Look in to how their steelhead numbers rebounded from nobody fishing.
     
  13. Chris DeLeone

    Chris DeLeone Active Member

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    Your logic is wrong wild fish are no better than the hatchey dolt's if you want to save the Natives ie: the right fish in the right place then let's close all fishing for 10 year's now. If this were done then I believe youd be shocked at how fast they would recover.

    Tom - you live in Snohomish they closed the Skykomish and all Snohomish tribs in 2001 - do some quick math for me and tell me how long we have not been able to fish in March and April (the native run). This system had less than 2,000 fish return last season according to the state.

    Please understand we as rec cnr fishermen have no impact on our fish runs here in PS - cnr mortality is very low - we need to look at Puget Sound - we are getting good out migration from our rivers some systems could be better and we all wish they were. We are losing our fish in the Sound somewhere/somehow - we should make the state study what is going on and make it known to the salmon/steelhead groups you belong to to hold the state accountable and get some answers - we need that data.

    The only people who care about steelhead are the men and women fishing for them - The fat guy riding his $1,0000 ten speed on the the Birk Gilman trail could give a fuck less. We need young people catching wild steelhead, we need middle aged shitty spey casters catching wild steelhead and we need the old dudes that fished in the good old days fishing and telling us how good it was and how much fun it was, we need the old farts telling us to set the standard higher and keep fighting and supporting good management.

    If you stop or have stopped fishing for wild fish - whatever thats your choice - but the Wenatchee was closed for years and our "new breed" of anglers have only fished that river in Sept/Oct three times - now tell me how many of the new fly anglers, people new to the state or younger anglers know shit about that river. They opened that system up because of hatchery fish returning not because the native run has come back. Please tell me another thing - all of us that never fished that system back in the day - how much passion do we have to protect or stand up for that system - because we never got to experience that fishery we have little to no passion for it - we watch and if it opens run over and fish it then blow town to wherever - that river has lost its voice and support - because anglers couldn't fish it!
    Now don't get me wrong we should never fish depleted runs or runs that are not making their excapement goals - I don't and would not support that - but my God if the Skagit, Sky, Stilly, Snoqualmie or any other PS river ever opens in march and april PLEASE go fish and get one - take good care of it - release it and I will bet all my Hardy's you will love that river system and will stand up for it forever - with just one fish hooked.

    DeLe
     
  14. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    I think the way we protect salmon and steelhead (and their amazing habitat) is by demonstrating their economic value, loose the economic value, and loose them
     
  15. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    I agree that we need eyes on the water and people fishing for steel, that is how we fall in love with the fish and what makes me willing to sacrifice my time and money to save them. However I don't agree that hte public doesn't care. I've been on a few habitat projects and most of the people involved are not fishermen, they are john q public who realize that in order to save salmon we need to repair their habitat. They may not be aware of the species or run timing, but they are out there doing their part. You could stop all fishing for steelhead in PS for the next 6 years and I don't think it would make that big a difference, because their habitat is so degraded, IMHO. It's going to be a long slow turnaround ( maybe not in my life time), if it does happen. Those of us who are interested in the body count will move on, those of us who love the fish will work for their benefit.We need to educate ourselves and then the general public on the importance of wild native stocks and the need to protect them.

    If not you, who? If not now, when?