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

Smalma

Active Member
brat -
Folks seem to forget that while the folks in Occupy Skagit were busy attempting to get the Skagit/Sauk CnR fishery re-opened that the entire Skagit basin winter hatchery steelhead program was eliminated. The cost of that hatchery production would have been more than adequate to support the monitoring of the CnR season. Clearly it does not follow that eliminating hatchery expenditures would lead to the funding of other programs.

More to the point over the last decade or so the Puget Sound hatchery steelhead program has been slashed by approximately 65% My calculation is that hatchery production would have represented an annual expenditure of 1/2 million dollars or so. To my knowledge none of those savings were used to support theI development of additional steelhead opportunities - fisheries monitoring, alternate brood stock development, or even to support other game fish programs (for example the lowland lake trout program.

I have not to date received a explanation of where the savings from the Skagit steelhead hatchery elimination or the larger Puget Sound production reduction have gone. But it is clear that they have not gone to support alternate steelhead alternatives.

Curt
 

brat

Active Member
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.
Actually, in the words of a former state auditor--we'll never know how much is spent on hatcheries since it is scattered throughout the entire budget under other labels.
 

skyrise

Active Member
maybe its a underhanded way of spending more on wolves which the govenor wants then eventually shutting down as many fisheries as they can get away with ?
 

Chris Johnson

Active Member
of those returning to WA, most are allocated to commercial and treaty fishing, with a paltry few getting caught by WA recreational anglers.
While I fully agree with your sentiment, I think you would be surprised at how few Chinook and Coho non-treaty commercial fishers catch in Washington.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
While I fully agree with your sentiment, I think you would be surprised at how few Chinook and Coho non-treaty commercial fishers catch in Washington.

Oh yes, the NT catch isn't that large, except in places like Willapa Bay, these days. So that means most of the WA catch is by treaty fishermen. I'm not disputing their right to fish at all, but why are the rest of us subsidizing either group? $93 million is a lot to spend on hatchery salmon that aren't being caught by the people who pay for them. So why do we allow WDFW to continue doing it?
 

wakingflies

Active Member
"According to Fish & Wildlife, if it doesn’t receive the funding it needs — including $2.5 million for monitoring salmon and steelhead fisheries during the Skagit River catch-and-release steelhead season — it will have to cut programs in 2021."

2.5 million to watch over the sports fisher. 325,000 a week.
 
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