Skagit Wild Steelhead CnR Fishery........Eliminated 2020

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
WFF Supporter
Maybe DFW figured out that the major tribs (Wenatchee, Methow, and now the Snake) being closed to fishing wasn't much of an incentive to buy their Columbia "enhancement" tag. I guess the Cowlitz is still open (although their summer returns were also very low).
What happened was CCA lobbying the legislature to not renew it and to just turn down their funding request in general as retaliation for WDFW walking back on their promise to end netting in the Columbia. Then WDFW, knowing that Skagit C&R guys are passionate and vocal tell us there is no money for the Skagit C&R hoping to enlist us in their funding quest. So here we are being played...
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
WDFW does not have a budget crisis as claimed. WDFW has a priorities crisis. When I testified at the recent Oct. 18 & 19th Commission meeting I mentioned that WDFW Director Susewind alleges a lack of funding for monitoring the Skagit steelhead season. However, WDFW hasn't stocked hatchery steelhead in the Skagit for the last half dozen years, and that cost about $200,000 per year. Where is that money, and why isn't it available for Skagit steelhead monitoring? A week after the memo where Director Susewind said he will have to drop the Skagit steelhead season due to lack of sufficient funding, he announced that he is creating two new top tier management positions at the Department. That will cost over $200,000 per year, but he lacks funds for Skagit monitoring. WDFW spends over $93 million per year to operate salmon and steelhead hatcheries, mostly salmon. Over half of those salmon are caught in Canada, and of those that return to WA waters, most will be caught in commercial and treaty fisheries, with only a paltry few accruing to WA sport anglers, the people who mostly support the Department. WDFW throws sport fishing under the bus and bites the hand that feeds it. Again, WDFW does not have a budget crisis. It has a priorities crisis.

An addendum: I just learned this past week that WDFW has shifted hatchery Chinook production in Willapa Bay from Forks Creek hatchery to Naselle hatchery, even though smolt to adult survival from Naselle is 30% lower than at Forks Creek. WDFW has basically and deliberately decided to throw down the rat hole 30% of the money spent raising hatchery Chinook in Willapa Bay. Oh, and raising hatchery Chinook at Forks Creek works out better for sport and terminal area commercial fishing better as well. Seriously, does it even remotely look like WDFW has a budget crisis? Or is it a crisis of priorities about where to spend the funds it does have?
 

kjsteelhead

Active Member
All you have to do is drive 405 to see how well our state government handles user fees. User fee for the Skagit? How about for Chopaka? For Dry Falls? Lenice? The Kalama? We're already seeing it to some degree on the Yakima. Those fly guys are all rich, they can afford user fees.
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
WDFW does not have a budget crisis as claimed. WDFW has a priorities crisis. When I testified at the recent Oct. 18 & 19th Commission meeting I mentioned that WDFW Director Susewind alleges a lack of funding for monitoring the Skagit steelhead season. However, WDFW hasn't stocked hatchery steelhead in the Skagit for the last half dozen years, and that cost about $200,000 per year. Where is that money, and why isn't it available for Skagit steelhead monitoring? A week after the memo where Director Susewind said he will have to drop the Skagit steelhead season due to lack of sufficient funding, he announced that he is creating two new top tier management positions at the Department. That will cost over $200,000 per year, but he lacks funds for Skagit monitoring. WDFW spends over $93 million per year to operate salmon and steelhead hatcheries, mostly salmon. Over half of those salmon are caught in Canada, and of those that return to WA waters, most will be caught in commercial and treaty fisheries, with only a paltry few accruing to WA sport anglers, the people who mostly support the Department. WDFW throws sport fishing under the bus and bites the hand that feeds it. Again, WDFW does not have a budget crisis. It has a priorities crisis.

An addendum: I just learned this past week that WDFW has shifted hatchery Chinook production in Willapa Bay from Forks Creek hatchery to Naselle hatchery, even though smolt to adult survival from Naselle is 30% lower than at Forks Creek. WDFW has basically and deliberately decided to throw down the rat hole 30% of the money spent raising hatchery Chinook in Willapa Bay. Oh, and raising hatchery Chinook at Forks Creek works out better for sport and terminal area commercial fishing better as well. Seriously, does it even remotely look like WDFW has a budget crisis? Or is it a crisis of priorities about where to spend the funds it does have?

I endured watching Susewind for an hour or so discussing wdfw issues. I was far from impressed. What does his position pay? I've witnessed weak and strong leaders in my day and this guy seemed as flaccid as they come.
 
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dustinchromers

Active Member
Susewind is paid $150. IMO doing a good job in that thankless position is worth $250. People earn that much or more in jobs with less responsibility and stress.

I'm in agreement that the position is worth that or more. I'm actually shocked it's not double.
 

GOTY

7x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
I'm in agreement that the position is worth that or more. I'm actually shocked it's not double.
Don't discount that juicy DB pension. Just do the minimum to not get canned for a few years and you're gold.
 
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dustinchromers

Active Member
Don't discount that juicy DB pension. Just do the minimum to not get canned for a few years and you're gold.

I think when you enter a career path like that it's like being a congressmen. You start with all these noble intentions, the black and white goes grey, then before you know it you're the shill you raged against before you became polluted.

I honestly think that's a reasonable and modest salary for that position. The same tier in private industry would net more. Now our only hope is he took the public sector job to do good rather than being to incompetent for non government work. Personally I want the head of the ship at wdfw compensated well enough to attract top talent. Competition is stiff for talent and if we can't attract high level play in a position such as this we're done.
 

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