The one yard line

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
#31
It was the only river open when it was closed. Some feel enough has changed in the past 7 years that it will be overly crowded. I have never felt that way. I do think the first few weekends it is open there will be a lot of people then everyone will, once again, realize the Skagit is a large and difficult river to fish. Once this sinks in the number of fishermen will decrease.
Not to worry, the crowd will thin out fast after a bunch of fishless days, it takes years to dial in that river system . Even the old timers will find that a lot of the old buckets are non existent since it was last open to fishing
 

Jonathan Stumpf

I don't care how you fish
#32
It was the only river open when it was closed. Some feel enough has changed in the past 7 years that it will be overly crowded. I have never felt that way. I do think the first few weekends it is open there will be a lot of people then everyone will, once again, realize the Skagit is a large and difficult river to fish. Once this sinks in the number of fishermen will decrease.
Kerry, since the Skagit has closed, where else have you been spending your winters fishing for steelhead?

I agree it is a hard river to get dialed in quickly...one day the fish are there and fishing is bananas, the next they gone and river seems dead...but I'm definitely in the camp that thinks we need to error on the side of the fish before just going back to the opening of the 'good ole days.' My two cents...
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#33
Kerry, since the Skagit has closed, where else have you been spending your winters fishing for steelhead?

I agree it is a hard river to get dialed in quickly...one day the fish are there and fishing is bananas, the next they gone and river seems dead...but I'm definitely in the camp that thinks we need to error on the side of the fish before just going back to the opening of the 'good ole days.' My two cents...
I haven’t fished winter steelhead since the Skagit closure and quite likely won’t fish when the Skagit is opened. I like to finish what I start is the only skin I have in this game.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#34
but I'm definitely in the camp that thinks we need to error on the side of the fish
Jonathan,

In your opinion how does the Skagit RMP not err on the side of the fish? Do you think the incidental take limit is too high? If so, why and how? Do you think the take limit won't be adhered to by the managers? When I look at it and try to forecast the possibilities, I see a negative social outcome as more likely than a negative biological outcome. If you see it differently I'm really curious about what I may have missed.

Sg
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
#35
I am not likely to fish the Skagit again mostly because i don't want to take up some locals space on what i would call their river. Yes i have a right to fish it as much as anyone but i think locals should get first dibs. By local i mean a PS resident who has been fishing the river for decades. Going there as a hot new location for wild steelhead? LAME!

I think good monitoring is going to be important. Recreational cnr fishery never caused problems on the Skagit before but out of curiosity how many angler encounters will necessitate thinking about impacts?
 
#36
Kerry, since the Skagit has closed, where else have you been spending your winters fishing for steelhead?

I agree it is a hard river to get dialed in quickly...one day the fish are there and fishing is bananas, the next they gone and river seems dead...but I'm definitely in the camp that thinks we need to error on the side of the fish before just going back to the opening of the 'good ole days.' My two cents...

Hi Jonaathan,
Just wondering if you are aware of the over escapement of steelhead on the Skagit. Do you plan to fish the rivers that are under-escapement instead? Not really sure what you meant by err on the side of the fish pertaining to the Skagit steelhead and the returns.
 
#38
In your opinion how does the Skagit RMP not err on the side of the fish? Do you think the incidental take limit is too high? If so, why and how? Do you think the take limit won't be adhered to by the managers? When I look at it and try to forecast the possibilities, I see a negative social outcome as more likely than a negative biological outcome. If you see it differently I'm really curious about what I may have missed.

Sg
As you're likely aware, social and biological outcomes are joined at the hip, heavily influencing each-other in all fish and wildlife management. Planning and managing for both is a necessity for the successful stewardship of either.

That's true whether it's wolves, elk, salmon, spotted owls or steelhead. A failure of managers to consistently recognize and plan for this reality is part of how our natural resources got to the generally poor state they're in today.

Personally, from what I've read, I think the Skagit RMP is a good plan and sets appropriate frameworks, including take limits. The OS leaders and agencies have my appreciation for driving that towards the finish line.

However, as mentioned, further details still need to be confirmed before such a fishery is implemented, notably considerations of how social response will affect sustainable biological outcomes. Not to mention the related feasibility of how to thoroughly monitor and enforce such a large and diverse fishery, even if the Dept somehow finds the funds to do so as the Director promised.

Myself, others, and orgs are in the process of crafting exactly what our recommendations to meet the above considerations should be, so I apologize for a lack of detail at this time. I know it's something the Department is also thinking about, but their track record is far from stellar.

I haven’t fished winter steelhead since the Skagit closure and quite likely won’t fish when the Skagit is opened. I like to finish what I start is the only skin I have in this game.
Your determination, especially given the circumstances, is truly admirable. Thank you. As someone who has slogged through the crowds on the OP and Grays Harbor rivers for the last decade, I have a different take.

Related to the above and with all due respect to the OS crew, I strongly believe there is a very real and legitimate threat that if it reopens, the Skagit in March will quickly look like the lower Hoh has the past 5+ late winter/spring seasons: hyped nationwide, generally over-pressured by users of all types, overcrowded now that everyone and their uncle has a boat and it's a non-technical float, in peril of not consistently meeting escapement goals or worse trending below them and downward, and eventually, once again circling the ESA-listing drain.

Such a situation is a result of both social and biological outcomes, and it's what we need to plan to avoid on the Skagit as best as possible through heavily conservation-oriented regulations. We shouldn't squander such an opportunity.
 
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Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
#39
The plan has allowed impacts and monitoring which the Hoh/op don't. I think that is a very good thing. We also have agreed upon harvest management with the co-managers. I don't know if that is true for the OP now but for a long time there was no agreement. I like that part of the plan.
There may well be a ton of anglers. If there are, the impacts will be realized quickly and it will be closed. That may be the best time to have the discussion regarding the sport fishing rulebook. The .orgs seem to see now as the time. That is fine. Make some proposals. It's your right.
I don't think that the sport fishing rulebook is the path to conservation or recovery short of C&R. It is the place social regulations and to determine how long the season can go and stay within the allowed impacts. For that reason I like the idea of 2 fish landed a day. It's not a conservation based reg though and neither would any other reg in the sport fishing rulebook.

Go Sox,
Cds
 

Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout forever
#40
As you're likely aware, social and biological outcomes are joined at the hip, heavily influencing each-other in all fish and wildlife management. Planning and managing for both is a necessity for the successful stewardship of either.

That's true whether it's wolves, elk, salmon, spotted owls or steelhead. A failure of managers to consistently recognize and plan for this reality is part of how our natural resources got to the generally poor state they're in today.

Personally, from what I've read, I think the Skagit RMP is a good plan and sets appropriate frameworks, including take limits. The OS leaders and agencies have my appreciation for driving that towards the finish line.

However, as mentioned, further details still need to be confirmed before such a fishery is implemented, notably considerations of how social response will affect sustainable biological outcomes. Not to mention the related feasibility of how to thoroughly monitor and enforce such a large and diverse fishery, even if the Dept somehow finds the funds to do so as the Director promised.

Myself, others, and orgs are in the process of crafting exactly what our recommendations to meet the above considerations should be, so I apologize for a lack of detail at this time. I know it's something the Department is also thinking about, but their track record is far from stellar.

Your determination, especially given the circumstances, is truly admirable. Thank you. As someone who has slogged through the crowds on the OP and Grays Harbor rivers for the last decade, I have a different take.

Related to the above and with all due respect to the OS crew, I strongly believe there is a very real and legitimate threat that if it reopens, the Skagit in March will quickly look like the lower Hoh has the past 5+ late winter/spring seasons: hyped nationwide, generally over-pressured by users of all types, overcrowded now that everyone and their uncle has a boat and it's a non-technical float, in peril of not consistently meeting escapement goals or worse trending below them and downward, and eventually, once again circling the ESA-listing drain.

Such a situation is a result of both social and biological outcomes, and it's what we need to plan to avoid on the Skagit as best as possible through heavily conservation-oriented regulations. We shouldn't squander such an opportunity.
Yes, it will be interesting to watch, and I feel for the worst to happen, this is not just old fishermen spreading out, it is a booming Seattle population that has not all gone to the coast yet, but will "pick up a new sport" and disperse on the rivers North. Wait until we get daily, "what rock do I need to stand on, what fly etc.. " from a slew of Skagit steelhead virgins..

Still, I am very happy for a Skagit opening for the long-waiting vets, the guys who put in the footwork, and... as it is time to spread the shit-show around. It is time for other rivers to take pressure off the mess on the OP/coast. It has been unbearable.

The coast situation is out of sight/out of mind to many people in the greater Seattle area who, unless they come out this way, do not see it. And those who do come out, unless they have been coming out for a decade, or two..or more, have no idea what a mess it really is.

I do sympathize, however, with the old river veterans who may see a mess up Skagit way.
 
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#41
As you're likely aware, social and biological outcomes are joined at the hip, heavily influencing each-other in all fish and wildlife management. Planning and managing for both is a necessity for the successful stewardship of either.

That's true whether it's wolves, elk, salmon, spotted owls or steelhead. A failure of managers to consistently recognize and plan for this reality is part of how our natural resources got to the generally poor state they're in today.

Personally, from what I've read, I think the Skagit RMP is a good plan and sets appropriate frameworks, including take limits. The OS leaders and agencies have my appreciation for driving that towards the finish line.

However, as mentioned, further details still need to be confirmed before such a fishery is implemented, notably considerations of how social response will affect sustainable biological outcomes. Not to mention the related feasibility of how to thoroughly monitor and enforce such a large and diverse fishery, even if the Dept somehow finds the funds to do so as the Director promised.

Myself, others, and orgs are in the process of crafting exactly what our recommendations to meet the above considerations should be, so I apologize for a lack of detail at this time. I know it's something the Department is also thinking about, but their track record is far from stellar.



Your determination, especially given the circumstances, is truly admirable. Thank you. As someone who has slogged through the crowds on the OP and Grays Harbor rivers for the last decade, I have a different take.

Related to the above and with all due respect to the OS crew, I strongly believe there is a very real and legitimate threat that if it reopens, the Skagit in March will quickly look like the lower Hoh has the past 5+ late winter/spring seasons: hyped nationwide, generally over-pressured by users of all types, overcrowded now that everyone and their uncle has a boat and it's a non-technical float, in peril of not consistently meeting escapement goals or worse trending below them and downward, and eventually, once again circling the ESA-listing drain.

Such a situation is a result of both social and biological outcomes, and it's what we need to plan to avoid on the Skagit as best as possible through heavily conservation-oriented regulations. We shouldn't squander such an opportunity.
I love how the .org fish conservancy groups want to jump in now to push their rule proposals after the heavy lifting has been done by other individuals. Hopefully, you guys won't sue the WDFW if they don't make the Skagit fly fishing only.
 
#42
I love how the .org fish conservancy groups want to jump in now to push their rule proposals after the heavy lifting has been done by other individuals. Hopefully, you guys won't sue the WDFW if they don't make the Skagit fly fishing only.
My point has been the heavy lifting ain't quite done if we want to do this right. And no one has said shit about fly fishing only on the Skagit, nor will any group I'm involved with.
 

FT

Active Member
#43
For those who have never fished the Skagit, keep in mind it is a lot larger river than the Hoh or Queets. There isn't anywhere in the section that will be opened that one could cast across the river and hit the far shore. Also, the holding areas are not all that obvious to those who have not fished truly large rivers.

The Sauk is likely where the most angler traffic will be since it is about the size of the lower Hoh and its riffle pool structure is very obvious. But the access points where you could put in a boat on the Sauk are miles apart, which helps keep traffic down.

And yes, one could use a motor on the Skagit, but there is so much water that if a person puts in some time to learn the river, he can usually find places to fish with little competition.

Plus as was mentioned by others, when the Skagit was the only river opened in north PS during March/April, it wasn't over crowded.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#44
Many have weighed in on Skagit regs and a lot of people believe the regs that were in place before the river was closed will be a good place to start. If adjustments are needed fine but none of you who are suggesting a different set of regs have said anything that convinces me that more restrictive regs are necessary. Anecdotal opinion from Olympic Peninsula rivers is just that anecdotal opinion.
 
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Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout forever
#45
For those who have never fished the Skagit, keep in mind it is a lot larger river than the Hoh or Queets. There isn't anywhere in the section that will be opened that one could cast across the river and hit the far shore. Also, the holding areas are not all that obvious to those who have not fished truly large rivers.

The Sauk is likely where the most angler traffic will be since it is about the size of the lower Hoh and its riffle pool structure is very obvious. But the access points where you could put in a boat on the Sauk are miles apart, which helps keep traffic down.

And yes, one could use a motor on the Skagit, but there is so much water that if a person puts in some time to learn the river, he can usually find places to fish with little competition.

Plus as was mentioned by others, when the Skagit was the only river opened in north PS during March/April, it wasn't over crowded.
The only thing is, sadly so, nothing gets better with time when it comes to fishing spots, ANYTHING Seattle area, hiking, road traffic, airports.. Infact, it is usually exponentially worse.

I see big differences year to year. Hope I am wrong and a circus does not ensue.
 

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