Yet another set of assaults on the WDFW Commission

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Citori, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Earlier in this thread I proposed a thought that the tribes might be willing to sell access to some of their share of harvestable fish if the price were right. Frankly, a sportsfisher will pay way more to release a wild steelhead than the same steelhead could return at the wholesale level. Or the tribal members could serve as fishing guides, as they do on the Quinault. As I am not a tribal member nor have had much contact with them (Ivory tower proposal if I've ever developed one), I have no idea how they might view this proposal, especially in light of the historical emnity between the groups. And there is more than straight economics at play. After all, the real economic cost of the fish that we occasionally harvest with our expensive graphite wands is far higher than what it would cost to purchase those fish commercially. Fishing, whether recreational or commercial, gets in your blood and becomes part of how you define yourself - priceless.

    Often hard, life-changing decisions are not made until groups are at the very edge (or over) the precipice and everyone sees that there is no choice for anyone.

    This discussion has helped clarify a few things in my own mind - thanks to all for participating.

    Steve
     
  2. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    SMC, thanks. Simple mind thinking is all. As for commercial steelhead bycatch, like in open waters? Is that what you mean? I have heard from a friend here that has some commercial fishery experience that steelhead bycatch out in open water is pretty low. Personally I don't know, but I trust that his experience and expertise on the matter is credible.

    Cabezon, I belive that there is a place for hatcheries. That place is on the rivers that man has already failed to prevent himself from killing all the fish. There are rivers that have no wild steelhead runs, aren't there? Put the hatchery fish there. Put the table meat harvesting anglers there and their fishing pressure. Stop pumping hatchery fish, Federal, Tribal, State or Private, into systems that have wild runs and let those runs attempt to recover. I'm sure there are a few rivers that can be named that have no known surviving wild steelhead. Use them for the meat market.
     
  3. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    Interesting thought. Who would make it illegal to sell wild steelhead? I doubt if the state would have the authority; I expect that the ability of the tribes to market their catch is protected under the guise of the treaty (more of a feeling than a firm legal opinion...). I guess that the feds could prohibit their sale (as with regulating whale harvests by the Makah tribe), but imagine the lobbying effort (and TV commercials sponsored by the tribes) with the rich, pampered, Orvis-wearing (sorry, Leland), SUV driving Anglos taking economic opportunities from poor tribal fishers so that the Anglos can play with the fish (PETA would love this fight too).

    Steve
     
  4. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

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    [/QUOTE]Cabezon, I belive that there is a place for hatcheries. That place is on the rivers that man has already failed to prevent himself from killing all the fish. There are rivers that have no wild steelhead runs, aren't there? Put the hatchery fish there. Put the table meat harvesting anglers there and their fishing pressure. Stop pumping hatchery fish, Federal, Tribal, State or Private, into systems that have wild runs and let those runs attempt to recover. I'm sure there are a few rivers that can be named that have no known surviving wild steelhead. Use them for the meat market.[/QUOTE]

    If you have been following the "Extinction of the Skagit steelhead" thread, you can make a defensible argument that any river that has had steelhead in it, and still has native rainbow trout in it, still has the genesis of a wild steelhead population. And the genetic studies that have been done show that even those rivers with long histories of extensive hatchery stocking still retain a core of wild fish genes. That is sufficient to allow conservation groups to put pressure under the Endangered Species Act to mandate restoration of wild fish runs. This is part of the battle that has been fought in the last decade on the Cowlitz River regarding recycling hatchery fish back downstream. The only way to have a river without wild steelhead is to build your own and stock it. Mt. St. Helens tried to boil off the Toutle and still the fish came back.

    Steve
     
  5. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Great point with the myriad of different life histories of the rainbow some or all could choose to go eat some squid and shrimp. The "Extinction of Skagit Steelhead" thread by WW is one that disturbs me. I don't fish the Skagit, it is not close to me and it is massive and as such seems so impossible to learn to fish. Such a vast river and vast region that it drains. It is a shame that it is not as mighty in wild fish runs as it is mighty during flood stage. Thanks for the interesting points.
     
  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Go Fish,

    I see that you're better skilled in making up stories than in understanding what you read. Please note that just because nets don't cause depressed steelhead populations, that doesn't mean that nets must necessarily benefit those populations. If this is beyond your level of intelligence, then our discourse is finished.

    Sg
     
  7. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    THREAD TANGENT

    Mumbles,

    We are way off topic here, but your questions about persuading tribes to adopt an alternative harvest method is based on the flawed assumption that there is something wrong with what they are doing. This is not to say that I support the gill netting of wild steelhead from depressed populations, in case you're as intellectually slow as Go Fish. However, I don't expect any tribe to adopt alternative harvest strategies when there is no factual biological evidence on record that the current practices of tribal harvests are not the proximate cause of wild steelhead population decline. In case you think it's just me or a couple other bios who post here, let me add that I've not met one single fish biologist on the entire west coast who has access to the data who would conclude that tribal harvests are, generally speaking, one of the most serious issues with wild steelhead and salmon populations. Again, this is NOT the same as understanding individual cases where a specific tribe over-harvests in a specific year from a specific steelhead run, either because the runsize was forecast too high, or the tribe simply chose to fish too much.

    Further, the federal court orders covering treaty fishing are explicit that state and federal authorities are to employ the least intrusive constraints on treaty right fishing, and then only after conservation alternatives restricting non-treaty fishing have been exhausted. It may seem that treaty right fishing is untouchable, and while that isn't completely correct, it is fairly close.

    Meanwhile, the citizens of WA need to decide how far we will go to preserve a Commission style of authority and administration of WDFW.

    Sg
     
  8. smc

    smc Active Member

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    I think you mean to say that there is no factual evidence that the current practices of tribal harvest are the proximate cause of wild steelhead decline. ?
     
  9. Go Fish

    Go Fish Language, its a virus

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    sg,

    I have made up zero stories. I simply asked how
    nets help the fish since you say they don't hurt
    them.

    Bycatch of wild steehead I'm sure is
    very, very, small but with the return of fewer and
    fewer fish any bycatch could be fatal to a run.

    Like I said, this should be linked to
    the last steelhead on S river.

    Thanks for the kind words,

    Dave
     
  10. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Sg, interesting point and one that I have no science to back up any opposition. I do, however, believe that the Tribal membership has a much better connection to the resources, or has had historicially, and as such would always consider better options. Maybe I'm way off base and totally optomistic. I don't think that any Tribe wishes to harvest any species into extinction.
     
  11. gt

    gt Active Member

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    statistical evidence or data collected by WDFW are flawed at the very core. there is no arguing that data which could demonstrate that the OP steelhead are in dire straits is nonexistent, so whats to argue about? if WDFW were in fact collecting accurate information and treating that data with statistical methodologies which can demonstrate both reliability and validity, i would guess that quite a different picture would be painted. take, as an example, when is the last time escapement numbers have been met on the OP rivers, or any WA rivers for that matter? yet the 'experts' don't see this as an issue, makes you wonder just what these 'experts' do know!

    but back to the gasoline dealers and their suit. this hinges on where the state tax was imposed according to the supreme court. the state legislature changed the law to impose the state gasoline tax at the distribution center, off reservation. so a logical arguement is the tax collected off reservation is subject to the uses imposed by state law, highway improvement. if those funds were used for any other purpose, that would be a violation of state law. now this hinges on can the state impose state law on soverign nations, the tribes?

    so lets turn this legal debate around a bit. the soverign tribal nations filed legal action against washington state a part of the soverign nation called the united states. judge boldt ruled in favor of the tribes. but, if the federal government cannot sue the soverign tribal nations, does it not also make perfect sense that the soverign tribal nations CANNOT sue the state of washington, a part of the soverign nation called the united states?

    so if this is thrown out of court, it would seem logical for the sport angling community to join hands with the non-tribal commercial fisheries and go back to court to have boldt overturned.
     
  12. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    I love this time of year around here when the shacknasties pandemic hits critical mass and threads devolve to the the level of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. What a colossal waste of time I spent reading this thread.

    K
     
  13. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    +1
     
  14. smc

    smc Active Member

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  15. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    SMC,

    Good catch. Thanks. I need a proof reader.

    GoFish,

    Thanks for verifying. If you believe that which is not the proximate cause of decline (nets) must therefore be beneficial, I have nothing to talk to you about. I understand there are a few of you around. Good luck.

    Mumbles,

    Of course tribes and their members will consider better options. But what does "better" mean? Tribes already believe that their practices are not causing extinction of any species, and whether we believe it or not or agree with it or not, there is no data contradicting their belief. When you go to explain your good idea to them, you won't have any persuasive evidence in support of your idea, making it kinda' hard to sell your idea, whatever it is.

    Kent & Jesse,

    I'm sorry you guys feel this thread is a colossal waste of time. I don't. I wouldn't spend my time on it if I didn't think the governmental structure of our fish and wildlife management agency didn't affect the extent of political influence and the very real natural resource outcomes and allocations that result from it. As for the treaty and net fishing tangent, that too is significant because the logical thinkers can evaluate good information and make informed decisions. I do what I can to help members be accurately informed.

    Sg