Skagit workshops announced

#1
January 04, 2018
Contact: Edward Eleazer, (425) 775-1311, ext. 109

https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jan0418a/


WDFW to host public workshops on
proposed Skagit Basin steelhead fishery



OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled meetings to discuss with the public a proposed recreational steelhead fishery in the Skagit Basin, where rivers have been closed to steelhead fishing for several years.

The public meetings are scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. and include the following dates and locations:

  • Mill Creek: Jan. 12, WDFW Regional Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., Mill Creek
  • Sedro-Woolley: Jan. 16, Sedro-Woolley Community Center, 702 Pacific St., Sedro-Woolley
At the meetings, state fish managers will discuss a proposal to allow fisheries for wild steelhead in the Skagit, Sauk and Suiattle rivers. These rivers have been closed to steelhead fishing since 2010 due to low numbers of returning fish. WDFW is proposing catch-and-release recreational fishing for wild steelhead.

"In recent years, we've seen more steelhead returning to the Skagit Basin than before we closed the rivers to fishing," said Edward Eleazer, WDFW regional fish program manager. "Given the low number of steelhead mortalities associated with this sport fishery, we don't expect it will harm efforts to recover steelhead populations."

The Skagit Basin steelhead proposal, developed by state and tribal co-managers, is pending approval from NOAA Fisheries. The federal agency is seeking comments through Jan. 8 on the proposal, which can be found on NOAA's website at http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa...teelhead/skagit-steelhead_proposed_evalu.html.

If the proposal is approved, the state could allow a sport fishery within the next few months. During public meetings, WDFW will gather feedback on timing for the proposed fishery as well as discuss gear regulations.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#2
"In recent years, we've seen more steelhead returning to the Skagit Basin than before we closed the rivers to fishing," said Edward Eleazer, WDFW regional fish program manager.
For fuck sake it sure would be nice if the responsible management entity's representative could get it straight. (Damnit Ed.) There was a low return in 2009, the year immediately preceeding the closure, but every year before and after 2009 has been roughly within the range of average over the past 40 years. That said, I'm pleased that WDFW is seeking public input, something they should also have considered prior to executing the PS Chinook 10-year management plan. I hope they will heed suggestions to extend the lower fishing zone boundary downstream of the Dalles bridge. I recommended down to Gilligan Creek.

BTW, how many of you WFFers are or will send comments to NMFS on the PEPD? They had received only a handful as of Tuesday.
 

Josh

dead in the water
#3
BTW, how many of you WFFers are or will send comments to NMFS on the PEPD? They had received only a handful as of Tuesday.
Can you "english" this up a bit for us stupid folks? Link to a previous thread maybe? I know that NMFS means National Marine Fisheries Service. But PEPD...
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#4
Can you "english" this up a bit for us stupid folks? Link to a previous thread maybe? I know that NMFS means National Marine Fisheries Service. But PEPD...
Follow the link in Nutsack's post. It leads to NMFS' website where the Preliminary Evaluation of the Proposed Determination document can be downloaded as a pdf file. The most useful comment is to tell 'em to do it faster. Feb. 1 is fast approaching, and NMFS moves like a glacier.
 
#5
Follow the link in Nutsack's post. It leads to NMFS' website where the Preliminary Evaluation of the Proposed Determination document can be downloaded as a pdf file. The most useful comment is to tell 'em to do it faster. Feb. 1 is fast approaching, and NMFS moves like a glacier.
More context and sample comments also available from TU's Wild Steelheaders United: https://www.tu.org/action-center?vvsrc=/campaigns/55948/respond

Not at all saying I agree word-for-word with their comments, but they generally hit on some of the areas that I think still need hashing out. WDFW's meetings and public input process will help with that as well.
 

Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
#6
Follow the link in Nutsack's post. It leads to NMFS' website where the Preliminary Evaluation of the Proposed Determination document can be downloaded as a pdf file. The most useful comment is to tell 'em to do it faster. Feb. 1 is fast approaching, and NMFS moves like a glacier.
Thanks for the motivation. I have been distracted lately. I will be sure to send in comments tonight.

Go Sox,
cds
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#7
More context and sample comments also available from TU's Wild Steelheaders United: https://www.tu.org/action-center?vvsrc=/campaigns/55948/respond

Not at all saying I agree word-for-word with their comments, but they generally hit on some of the areas that I think still need hashing out. WDFW's meetings and public input process will help with that as well.
Good point. Problem I see in their sample example is that TU/WSU seems to have already accepted that a 2018 season is impossible. It isn't. It's possible, but giving up on 2018 just makes it too easy for NMFS to not hustle. The Skagit has already been unnecessarily closed for 8 seasons. No one should be giving NMFS a reason to make it 9.
 
#9
"If the proposal is approved, the state could allow a sport fishery within the next few months."

I smell delay tactics, and TU sounds like they are working against this. No way I would sign my name to that form letter. Comments to NMFS are going in. I will be attending the meeting in Sedro.
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
#10
Is there a link to write in input that I'm missing or should we just call that extension and leave a message?

Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
Click on the link in the original post. when you get to that page click on the "Federal Register" link. Once on that page, scroll down to "ADDRESSES:" There you will find a link to email your comments. Don't forget to put "Comments on Skagit River Steelhead Harvest Plan" in the subject line.

I read through the TU/WSU stuff and started feeling some deja' vu. It seems their wish is for this season to 'protect' the entirety of the Skagit mykiss population, which is not its intent. When we first started this, the reason for it was because it seemed illogical to have to wait for all of Puget Sound's steelhead to recover before we could open a C&R fishery on the healthy spring run of the Skagit. It seems that other issues are being pressed into the equation. Why not tackle these other issues separately?
 

miyawaki

Active Member
#11
"If the proposal is approved, the state could allow a sport fishery within the next few months."

I smell delay tactics, and TU sounds like they are working against this. No way I would sign my name to that form letter. Comments to NMFS are going in. I will be attending the meeting in Sedro.
I was afraid this would happen. Occupy Skagit worked to get the season opened presumably under the original selective fishery rules. If it gets held up it will because there will be too many differing opinions on who can fish; how you can fish; where you can fish; what you can fish from; what color your skin is; when you can fish; what gear you can use; ad infinitum; and ad nauseum . . .

Leland.
 

Dizane

Coast to Coast
#12
"To meet ESA requirements and avoid the excessive harvest that contributed to the decline of the Skagit's wild steelhead and eventually the closure of the fishery in 2010, we must manage the Skagit wild steelhead fishery conservatively."

This was from the TU link. It's a pretty vague statement, but is there any basis for it? I think NOAA's own listing from 2007 would dispute that excessive harvest contributed to the closure in 2010 or the listing itself.

I also see that TU's proposed comment is pushing for "specific gear restrictions" but fails to say exactly what those are?

Thanks again to all who have done the heavy lifting to get things this far.
 
#13
Like I said in a different thread the .orgs and wild fish dudes are jumping in now that the OS guys have finished doing all of the heavy lifting and are going to F everything up for everyone. I can see delays in opening this fishery as they bicker about making it fly fishing only and no fishing from a floating device disguised as conservation measures. When in fact it is so the 5% of the angling community can have a river mostly to themselves.
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
#14
Wild Steelheaders United should try to get its collective head out of its ass. No organization that has had anything to do with the Skagit steelhead has ever made the claim that fishing of any sort including tribal fishing was a contributing factor in the run’s decline. In fact it has been proven that fishing, of any kind, is not a factor in the continued viability of the Skagit steelhead run.

With that said the rules that were in place before the river was closed were working just fine and should be reinstated. No need to complicate this any further.
 

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