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

b_illymac

Soap Lake Posse
WFF Moderator
The Poachers have more water to fish these days
I know this isn't steelhead but this year we lost 4 prime weeks on many of the Seep Lakes south of Potholes in the move to "simplify" the regulations. Then they had to pay for extra enforcement as these same lakes got absolutly raped from the traditional opener of April 1st till the new 4th Saturday in April opener.

You would have to try really hard to create the level of stupid that is WDFW.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
Rant coming: I just went here: https://wdfw.wa.gov/ Then I clicked on the Orca headline, sitting nicely on top. I'm pretty certain WDFW is spending tons of their funding to help save the Puget Sound Orca's. Ramping up production of Chinook everywhere they can. I read the WDFW article and it didn't take long to learn the Orca's spend about half their time in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. Orca's are not hatchery mammals that WDFW is obliged to feed. The marine mammal act is a fed thing. WDFW has plenty of money, they just don't know how to spend it or what to spend it on!
 
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DenWor54

Active Member
WW thanks for posting the link, I really appreciate you and curt taking the time to support keeping the fishery open. I will contact my legislator and the commission to hopefully let them now how important it is to me to keep this opportunity open. It concerns me that they would even look at a limited entry or extra fee. I will try to get more involved a get some of my friends to send some e-mails in support of funding this fishery.
Tight lines
 

BDD

Active Member

WW-thanks for posting the link and more importantly, taking the time to provide testimony on behalf of the fishery.

Smalma-Here is a guy who voluntarily stopped fishing for steelhead in 1996 and yet spends 400-500 hours a year advocating for recreational angling opportunity. That kind of dedication deserves some kind of award. Thank you.
 

bhudda

heffe'
Can’t we crack off 20mil$ from that 1.1bil$ orca fund? Funny how you can all of a sudden find money for something “important” ...just like a crackhead who doesn’t have a dollar, but when there is some good shit in town, boy here come the Benjamin’s..make it rain!!!

Thank you Curt and Wayne!
 

skyriver

Active Member
I was really thinking they would stick with this one. All the effort so many of you put in to get the fishery open. All the collaboration. It was impressive. Thank you! I've been involved before, but just could not swing it this time (other than writing letters that hopefully got to the right people).
Plenty of people out fishing both rivers, even during the low & cold flows. It seemed like it was working. Decent fish checkers, more than the usual lame enforcement. A success story they could hang their hats on.

I only had time to fish it 3 times this year-
1st time on foot with a buddy during the cold & low snap. We got skunked. As did everyone else we saw that day. Brutal conditions. Almost got the truck stuck in the snow.
2nd time floated solo in my Commander, Sutter to Rockport. I hooked a beautiful hen of 12 or 13 lbs that came unbuttoned on her 3rd jump. I was gutted that she came undone, but also excited that I had hooked a late March wild steelhead for the first time in years. And that she let me see her 3 times! Saw 2 other fish caught and heard of another. The fish were biting that day!
3rd time was April 28th on a beautiful sunny day. Too nice for steelheading, but man it was nice to be on the river in late April. In waders and a t-shirt..."winter" steelheading. It reminded me of the 90's on the Sky. Floated Sutter to Rockport again in a new raft with my buddy Dennis. No takers that day.

The Skagit C&R season re-opening was one of the reasons I bought the raft. I was looking forward to many future floats in March and April. Guess I'll have to take the raft to the trout rivers of eastern WA and south to Oregon for any chance at steel.
So frustrating that they would allow that opportunity for a win slip away.

I feel BDD's comment. Why keep plugging if they're just going to spoil a good thing? It's like that friend that you give 4 or 5 chances to not flake or not be an ass and they just keep doing it. At some point, self-preservation kicks in and you gotta find your way out.

I will continue to pursue steelhead, but it probably won't be in Washington.
 

brat

Active Member
Ever notice how they never reduce hatchery operations to balance the budget instead of impacting a fishery like the Skagit/Sauk? Last time I looked (about five years ago) the 10 year capital budget projection for hatcheries was approaching HALF A BILLION DOLLARS (that doesn't even reflect the operations side). And NOAA has declared hatchery operations in conflict with wild steelhead recovery--except where they are essentially extinct. Why don't they cut back on trout plants across the state, in a proportional way, and find $200k to support a popular and historic fishery on the Skagit? $200k is mouse nuts...
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
Looks like our Skagit CnR fishery is on the chopping blocks


From: "Susewind, Kelly (DFW)" <[email protected]>
Date: May 30, 2019 at 10:11:04 AM PDT
Subject: 2019 - 21 Operating Budget Update
WDFW Colleagues:
I am writing with an update on our operating budget situation for 2019- 21. As you read in
earlier updates, we received significant new funding to recover Southern Resident Killer Whales.
However, we did not receive enough funding to resolve our perennial structural deficit, which
continued to grow in the final adopted 2019- 21 budget.
We have briefed the Fish and Wildlife Commission and have their support for our approach to
balance the budget.In the first fiscal year 1 (FY1), we plan to make some reductions and
implement an assertive vacancy rate.In FY2, we will seek a significant supplemental request to
make us whole, as well as request that the Legislature makes the one- time funding an on- going
appropriation.See attached table.
Essentially, we are attempting to stay reasonably whole in the first fiscal year while we pursue
supplemental funding in 2020.Based on how the one- time operating budget was appropriated
and follow up conversations with legislators and budget staff, there is recognition that they did
not resolve our budget issues in 2019 and that our budget would be re- visited next January.
Here are some of the details around the actions we are pursuing:
• We will fund all of the ~$31M of requests that were called “maintain/buybacks” in the
first fiscal year using the one- time state general fund appropriation, except two items:
o We are eliminating the 24- hour call center contract in Licensing for the foreseeable
future.
o We are also reducing $880K in FY1 funds for Columbia River Salmon and
Steelhead Endorsement (CRSSE) activities.For those activities, we will be able
to prioritize Columbia River mainstem fisheries above McNary Dam and the
Yakima spring Chinook fishery.We will also be able to fund conservation
hatc hery broodstock programs for spring Chinook and steelhead in the Upper
Columbia River.All other tributary fisheries previously funded by CRSSE are
scheduled to be eliminated, as well as a number of other projects, due to
insufficient funds.Many of these fisheries were already scheduled to be closed
due to pre- season low abundance estimates.
• We will implement a 4% vacancy rate in FY1, which results in anticipated $1.4M in
savings ( note: this may be an additional rate on top of existing vacancy rates already in
place for certain programs). This is not a ‘hiring freeze.’Appointing authorities will
have discretion regarding how they achieve this proportional savings, but it may be that
some positions remain unfilled for longer periods.
• We will continue to fund a portion of the Fish Washington mobile app in FY1.This will
maintain our new Fish WA app in its current technological state; without additional
enhancements or developing a new Hunt WA app.
• The Mitchell Act BiOp and Mitchell Act Production portions of the Enhance Fishing
decision package will be funded using the new ongoing funding within the Increase
Salmon Population dollars for both fiscal years, as they are both necessary to achieving
increased salmon production.
None of the other proposed enhancements are funded.For example, the current Skagit
catch and release fishery will not receive funding and thus that opportunity will be

eliminated. Puget Sound salmon monitoring is reduced and, depending on outcomes of
discussions with co- managers and NOAA fisheries, could result in reductions to planned
fisheries.
Shifting to FY2 of the 2019- 21 biennium, the proposed solution relies on a large supplemental
budget request during the 2020 legislative session.Without legislative investment next winter,
we will need to make significant cuts in FY2, using the same decision packages identified for the
2019 legislative session.
While this continues uncertainty as to our fate in FY2, when we look at how the biennial
operating budget was appropriated, we see an invitation by the legislature to further the dialogue
about our complex budget and pursue a long- term solution that doesn’t have us reducing
serv ices.
In June the budget office will partner with programs to develop spending plans for the next
biennium.At the June Commission meeting, we will discuss whether our supplemental request
in 2020 should rely on general fund or if we should seek a combination of general fund and
resurrect the recreational fee bill (possibly with a Columbia River salmon and steelhead
endorsement).
We’ll keep you posted along the way.I recognize this continues uncertainty for a number of
staff, but Iwould rather keep our team as whole as possible providing services through this first
year of the biennium and request a resolution in FY2, versus cutting now and not pursuing a fix
in the supplemental.
Thank you for the work you do, and your continued support as we pursue a long term solution.
Kelly



It doesn't cost the state a dime to let people fish!
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
Ever notice how they never reduce hatchery operations to balance the budget instead of impacting a fishery like the Skagit/Sauk? Last time I looked (about five years ago) the 10 year capital budget projection for hatcheries was approaching HALF A BILLION DOLLARS (that doesn't even reflect the operations side). And NOAA has declared hatchery operations in conflict with wild steelhead recovery--except where they are essentially extinct. Why don't they cut back on trout plants across the state, in a proportional way, and find $200k to support a popular and historic fishery on the Skagit? $200k is mouse nuts...

This was on my list of gripes I wrote to the Director and Commissioners in June. Fully 25% of the Department's budget is devoted to hatchery fish production ($128.7 million), and 72.8% of the hatchery budget ($93.7 million) is for hatchery salmon and steelhead (mostly salmon) production. Of all those hatchery salmon, 50 to 60% of them are caught in Canada or Alaska. And to add insult to injury, of those returning to WA, most are allocated to commercial and treaty fishing, with a paltry few getting caught by WA recreational anglers. I suggested doing a hatchery audit based on the cost of producing a recreationally caught hatchery salmon, and phasing out some of the hatcheries that aren't substantially benefitting the WA taxpayers and citizens who pay to keep the doors open and lights on at WDFW. That would free up plenty of money to support things like monitoring the Skagit steelhead fishery. The response I got back simply doubled-down on the status quo, and we who pay should support the Department's supplemental request to the Legislature for an additional $26 million, or we don't get the Skagit steelhead season.

To say that I am seething angry is to put it mildly.
 

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