Skagit Winter Season was longer than NF Stilly Summer season

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#3
The Stilly was open less than 12 days? It's only made worse because the season length on both rivers has nothing to do with conservation. WDFW just says it does because they don't want to name the spineless jellyfish in the fish program who would rather throw freshwater sportfishing under the bus than offend the treaty tribes who have found them to be easy marks.
 

golfman44

5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
#4
The Stilly was open less than 12 days? It's only made worse because the season length on both rivers has nothing to do with conservation. WDFW just says it does because they don't want to name the spineless jellyfish in the fish program who would rather throw freshwater sportfishing under the bus than offend the treaty tribes who have found them to be easy marks.
Skagit was open for all of Jan plus 12 days. Stilly was only open for June. There is a chance it reopens in October but I'm not holding my breath.
 
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golfman44

5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
#6
The regs say it opens back up Oct. 16th. I predict heavy rains to start a couple of days before that and the river won't be fishable until Christmas when the temperature drops to around 10 degrees.
I'm betting on emergency closure to protect the coho from legal anglers targeting steelhead, all the while the poachers illegally targeting coho have free reign.
 
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#7
The regs say it opens back up Oct. 16th. I predict heavy rains to start a couple of days before that and the river won't be fishable until Christmas when the temperature drops to around 10 degrees.
You obviously are very familiar with how the Stilly fall/winter plays out. It’s very frustrating considering how the place fished not all that long ago
 
#10
The situation with the Stilly is infuriating indeed. According to the game warden I talked to up there they are justifing the summer closures because of the locals snagging Kings.
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
#11
The situation with the Stilly is infuriating indeed. According to the game warden I talked to up there they are justifing the summer closures because of the locals snagging Kings.
Note to officials, poachers don’t care if the river is closed , in fact they prefer it less eyes to witness thier activities & also unlikely any law enforcement patrolling the river as there is less potential for ticket writing as when the river is open....
 
#12
Hadn't fished Stilly much since the 90's. Decided to relearn the river this year and have so far spent 7 days and hiked and fished pretty much everything from French Creek to below the slide and a couple spots below Deer Creek. No Steelhead but a few nice 15-18" resident trout ate my moose turds.
One guy getting ready to fish gear when I was walking out of C post on Fathers Day. Told him it was fly only. I'm sure he cared.
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
#14
The Stilly was open less than 12 days? It's only made worse because the season length on both rivers has nothing to do with conservation. WDFW just says it does because they don't want to name the spineless jellyfish in the fish program who would rather throw freshwater sportfishing under the bus than offend the treaty tribes who have found them to be easy marks.
I think we should name them right here...
 

Smalma

Active Member
#15
To be fair WDFW staff; especially at the local level worked very hard during the NOF process to restore/keep game fish seasons on the Skagit and Stillaguamish. They were successful on the Skagit and as hard as it may be to believe current seasons are better than what was the starting point during the early discussions.

The underlying problem is as a result of the State attempting to get its own ESA take permit several years ago and the resulting failure to achieve ESA coverage for non-treaty salmon fisheries the non-treaty fishers are fishing under what is essentially the tribal permit. If there isn't agreement on the season package coming out of NOF NOAA will not approve the season under ESA. However as was demonstrated in the aftermath of the ill fated at separate permits the tribes through their BIA nexus would be able to get their own take permit in a matter of weeks. The State lacking that nexus (and other factors) has been told by NOAA that they are unlikely to receive a take permit or at best it would take18 or more months to do so. As a result if the tribes or an individual tribe object to a non-treaty fishery the rest of the non-treaty fisheries are held hostage until the State caves. The harsh reality given the choice between a game fish season on the Stillaguamish and ocean salmon seasons the game fish loses every time.

A potential long term solution is once again having all the co-manager fisheries covered by a single co-manager permit. Just so that happening before 2020 (if then).

Previous to 2018 the Stillaguamish game fish closure were driven by wild coho concerns this season the issue was Chinook concerns. The Stillaguamish wild Chinook are in serious trouble due largely habitat issues. In my opinion the perceived impacts (hooking mortality, poaching, and redd damage from wading anglers) during game fish are over-blown and largely bogus.

Curt
 

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