Would you stop fishing? (Steelhead)

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Panhandle, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Dave Hartman

    Dave Hartman Strip'n Flywear

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    I'm glad someone started this thread. I thought about doing so recently, but thought I was the only one starting to feel this way. The responses so far surprise me.
    Yes, I think I am in the process of quitting steelhead. The past couple of times I have gone and fished the Sky, I have left depressed. It has a lot to do with what I have learned on this board: that these rivers' wild fish are in dire straights. And I can't help but think that I am contributing to the demise. Are there really so few wild fish left? If so, WTF am I doing by harassing them?
    Ignorance was bliss. . .

    So yes, I'd quit if I knew something was going to be done. But not just yet. I have still to catch that perfect chrome buck. . .
     
  2. Chris DeLeone

    Chris DeLeone Active Member

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    Dave don't get down on yourself or on the Sky, in Early Feb you may be fishing for ten percent of the wild run - That's why they close it in the end of Feb.
    Fish for them they are wonderful sexy fish, if your lucky you may get one or two - play them fast and take care of em, they need you to do that and not to forget about them.

    DeLe
     
  3. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    Great responses guys!

    I have great respect for those who would honestly put their rods down and opt for trout, carp, walleye, or no fishing what so ever.

    In this scenario there are no reassurances that things will work out, it’s a sacrifice-- its life. The point is, are you willing to substitute self gratification for the well being of a native species?

    I also respect the individuals, like myself, who would have a heavy heart trying to decide what to do.

    It would be very difficult for me to enjoy trout fishing, knowing I don't have a steehead trip planned.
     
  4. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    :beer2:
     
  5. johnnyrockfish

    johnnyrockfish Member

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    Great Thread.

    Sportsmen up here need to do what they did in Fla and other Gulf Coast states and get organized and lobby hard for real changes. The pain has to be felt in reforms all the way around, commercial, sport, and tribal. Without equal commitment/pain one user group will always be able to point to the other and say "why don't they have to contribute?".

    We all have an equal stake in this, including the tribes. Any group that refuses to accept firm steps toward the recovery of the resource, including outright bans on all fishing, is an enemy of that resource.

    I believe the fish are resilient and numbers will improve if given the chance. But, no pain, no gain.
     
  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    It's a big assumption that closing the rivers to steelhead fishing would save the runs. The data don't support such a conclusion, but if they did, then yes, I would stop fishing for those native steelhead. Since the data don't support that conclusion, and support the supposition that the presently restricted treaty and recreational fisheries have no causative effect on wild steelhead population status, then I intend to keep wading and casting so long as it is legal to do so.

    Sg
     
  7. David Prutsman

    David Prutsman All men are equal before fish

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    iagree
     
  8. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    I agree with salmo and others who say that ultimately sport fishing is a drop in the bucket. That being said if the stocks would actually recover if we stopped fishing for 20 years I'd be all for it. That's just such a ridiculous assertion I have a hard time imaging. Stopping fishing wont bring back the miles of braided and meander bends that have been loss to diking and development, wont move the huge plugs of sediment that have sloughed into our rivers from hideous logging practices through any faster, wont help the riparian regenerate and start providing substantial LWD any quicker, and it wont stop the changes we're already seeing associated with climate change from being dramatic. We've got alot on our plates, lots not loose sight of that. If the runs cannot sustain fishing pressure they should be closed (see stilly and sky). Like DeLe said, the Wenatchee has been closed for almost 10 years, yet the state continued to dump hatchery fish in without any knowledge of the impacts, or even really trying to estimate the degree of introgression/reproductive interaction between wild and hatchery fish. Not suprisingly the Wenatchee hasnt really bounced back. It is my understanding that this seasons opening had much more to do with some prominent political forces willing it to happen. IF I didnt fish for steelhead I really wouldnt ever fish, that would be a sad day in my life considering the amount of my soul I pour into chasing these fish, still though my love for them is too strong to allow them to slide further without a fight
     
  9. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Active Member

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    We can go round and round about the actual causes here, but I believe PH’s question was one of theory with a hypothetical circumstance. That’s it.

    Anyhow, just wrote an entire post about my ‘honest answer,’ and it was a good one, then scrapped it after re-reading #’s 13 & 24. Think I’ll just listen this time. (Hint: Those views are not about direct impact. Think bigger picture.)
     
  10. David Loy

    David Loy Senior Moment

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    Yes, and effectively have. Lobbying for change and regulation is all good and important but we need to be involved with habitat restoration too. Several ingredients to this pie.
     
  11. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I have stopped fishing for them. That's one of the reasons that I moved to Montana. I have caught steelhead on both gear and flies. But the fish have been to far in between catchings. Now here in S/W Montana there isn't any of those fishes here. Now I ply my wiles against the wiley Brown. Which to me is as illusive as the Steelhead. But there are always Cutthroat and Grayling to fill my time that I have left here on earth. With a whitie thrown in for good measure.

    So close all the rivers with steelhead down. It won't bother me.

    Jim
     
  12. Gary Thompson

    Gary Thompson dirty dog

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    Just my .02.
    Closing the rivers to steel head fishing will do no good unless all fishing for all salmon/steel head is closed in the ocean and rivers.
    All new construction is closed/stopped along the waters ways, dams removed, habit restored.
    Sorry but I don't think that is going to happen. Too much money involved.
     
  13. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I had another thought. They closed down the Wenatchee river and tribs many years ago. So how was the opener last year? Was it good or bad?

    Jim
     
  14. papafsh

    papafsh Piscatorial predilection

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    I think it would be a good thing, if all of you other guys quit fishing for steelhead, then they wouldn't need to close down any rivers. That would save a lot of $ by not having to enforce the closures. That would also help me catch and release more steelhead.
    Just think how noble you could feel, how highly you could regard yourself, as you piously released another carp. You could pat one another, or even yourself, on the back and regale me with your scorn, as I, the lowest of the low, continued to not only c&r steelies, but horror of horrors, took photo's of them and worse yet actually posted them for all the world to see (see fish porn thread) as though I was, somehow, proud of my heartless rebellion!

    I'm 63 this year, I just c&r my first native steelhead in three years, you may have seen the pic's, if not look in my gallery. If there is an open season I'm fishin' it. When it closes around here at the end of the month, I'll head south, or west, to fish for 'em in open rivers there. You can stay home and tie flys, read books about other people fishing, plan your expensive trip to some other place to catch their fish, or whatever makes your little pc heart happy. I don't intend to spend any of the time I have left on this earth, worrying about your future because this is mine.

    I know, I have offended the selfless and worthy, and for that I'm.........not sorry, sorry!

    LB
     
  15. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    I haven't been fishing for steelhead much in the last two years. Probably only a couple times a month at most, on average, and this year actually even less. I'm not a steel fanatic like some here are. My fishing for steel is probably not a factor at all, since I hardly catch any anyhow. so NO I WON'T quit, as long as it is legal to fish for them.

    I like to fish for practically any species that puts up a fight. But where I live on the coast, the nearest winter fishing is in the local streams for steelhead, or in the salt. The surf has been large and gnarly, as has been the wind, and beach fishing under those circumstances (for surf perch) would be ridiculous. The Jetty is wave-washed, slippery, and unforgiving, and the water flowing past from the Harbor discolored and not conducive to fly fishing for rockfish.

    Every once in a while during the winter, the beach and jetty fishing conditions settle down, but those very few days are too rare to wait around for and I'm already likely to be doing something else.

    Hardly any year-round lakes around my area, and only one within reasonable driving distance... and it sucks in the Winter.

    I hate giving my $$ to the Petroleum Industry, so I try to not drive long distances to go fishing any more, unless i can camp out for a few days to "average down" the fuel expense.

    The nearest places for me to go fishing, excluding the salt, are a couple of smaller streams that, during winter, have small runs of steelhead. I can get to either of those places and back with only burning a little gas and not risking my life on roads that resemble skating rinks.
    I am not going to give that up until it becomes illegal.