WDFW Seeks Public Comment on Liberalizing Limits for Bass, Walleye, and Channel Catfish

b_illymac

Soap Lake Posse
WFF Moderator
Should have been clearer. It was on the DOH website https://www.doh.wa.gov/DataandStatisticalReports/HealthDataVisualization/FishAdvisory and was specific to Columbia River - Lake Wallula (where I fish). I also had it backwards. They recommend up to 8 meals/month for smallmouth bass and even label it a "healthy choice". Walleye in the mid-Columbia is up to 4 meals/month. Sorry, I should have included the link/reference originally.
??? I'm still seeing 4 Steve
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Steve Vaughn

Member
WFF Supporter
??? I'm still seeing 4 Steve
View attachment 212384
Don't know what to tell ya. Maybe the apparent inconsistency has to do with location. I was looking at Lake Wallula or up-river of McNary Dam to the Yakima River on the linked website (WA Dept of Health). Is this area part of the "Middle Columbia River"? Anyway, I still am more curious in the regulations. Pretty sure there are no size or bag limits for the Columbia downstream from Chief Joseph dam including its tributaries and their tributaries. My question was are there other drainages with significant bass and walleye populations?
 

Matt B

...
WFF Supporter
Don't know what to tell ya. Maybe the apparent inconsistency has to do with location. I was looking at Lake Wallula or up-river of McNary Dam to the Yakima River on the linked website (WA Dept of Health). Is this area part of the "Middle Columbia River"? Anyway, I still am more curious in the regulations. Pretty sure there are no size or bag limits for the Columbia downstream from Chief Joseph dam including its tributaries and their tributaries. My question was are there other drainages with significant bass and walleye populations?
Well, the Cedar-Sammamish-Lake Washington watershed comes to mind. Might be a couple other issues going on there along with the non-native predator fishes.
 

Keith Hixson

Active Member
Many years I was fishing for Lake Trout on Priest Lake, ID. We had a game warden check our licenses. There was a seven fish limit. The game warden mentioned that they had a liberal limit because they (Idaho) was trying to get rid of the non-native fish. I told the game warden that if Idaho was really serious about getting rid of the non-native fish there would be no limit. He gave me funny look and then he said, "you are probably right." In big lakes like Pend Oreille and Priest Lake, and the Columbia River system they are so big that you'll have shad, walleye, bass, etc. that you'll never eliminate these transplants. I'm all for no limits on the transplants
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
As a wild fish advocate. I say it's too bad these species were introduced here. I also recognize that the population of these species is never going to be controlled by sport anglers.
If the orca people want less bass in out state they can buy a license a spinning rod and some 4 inch senkos and help out with what they perceive as a problem. Problems are solved by taking action. Not by complaining and legislating. This is a complete waste of WDFWs time and money.
If they want to liberalize limits then just do it. Having public meetings around the state is just a waste of time and money.
 

quilbilly

Big Time Hater
Yeah, because no sportsman/ stakeholder ever asked for a seat at the table or input on regulations affecting hunting and fishing.....
Nor did any of them ever complain about not being able to do so......
I can't ever remember reading anything like that anywhere, ever.....
 

b_illymac

Soap Lake Posse
WFF Moderator
WDFW seeks public comment to cover their ass for the public comment process.

The end result is nearly always the same. They do what they intended to do regardless of the public stakeholders opinion.
I could not agree more. When they asked for public opinion in regards to moving a lot of the seeps back 4 weeks to the end of April myself and numerous other anglers sent in letters and commented in opposition. My reasoning was sound. This was a loss of 4 weeks of prime fishing for no reason. We need more access not less!

They came out with a powerpoint and not one comment in the whole damn powerpoint mentioned losing 4 weeks of prime access to these lakes! This was a huge point blatantly left out!

This was a turning point for me. They want to shut down lakes an additional 4 weeks because it's "simple" and they can deal with me getting loud. I'm absolutly pissed still.
 

suckegg

Active Member
This just seems like a distraction from the real issues.

I mean does anyone really think liberal limits ontop of liberal limits are really going to change anything? You are not even suppose to eat the fish from the Columbia are you?
It is recommend you consume no more than 6oz of bass per month due to mercury levels.
 

Teal101

Active Member
WDFW is responding to a directive from the Legislature. Legislators generally are not scientists (OK, some of them are probably political scientists, but that's a whole 'nuther story.) I think this a good example of why fish and wildlife should not be managed by Legislators.

Intuitively it makes sense to want to get rid of exotic predator species that prey on native species, like salmon, that are considered more desirable. Maybe there is more recent data indicating a change in predator-prey relationships, but one thing I recall hearing is that bass don't actually prey that heavily on juvenile salmon. The reason given is that water temperatures in the early spring when juvenile salmon smolt and begin migrating through the river reaches occupied by bass are too cold for the bass to effectively prey on the salmon. I don't know about walleye and channel catfish, but spiny ray species generally don't become really active until water temperatures climb above those favored by salmon.

So maybe this is feel good legislation and not ecologically driven. Anybody know for sure?
There is zero science backing the proposal up, in fact the science refutes the legitimacy of the bill. The USFWS along with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, Northwest Fisheries Science Center conducted a 2007 study on Lake Washington to monitor Black Bass consumption of Chinook Salmon Smolts. They found that mortality estimates on Chinook Salmon directly related to Black Bass to be 0.5-0.6% of the Chinook Salmon Smolt population. They further go on to state verbatim "We conclude that under current conditions, predation by Smallmouth Bass and Largemouth Bass has a minor impact on Chinook Salmon and other Salmonid populations in the Lake Washington system." In 2004 the same group conducted another study and came to the very same conclusion again stating verbatim "Smallmouth Bass do not appear to be a significant predator of Chinook salmon in the Lake Washington Shipping Canal". Both studies also showed that outside of the shipping canal, consumption was nearly zero in all regards. It's a joke of a bill.
 

Yard Sale

Huge Member
WDFW is responding to a directive from the Legislature. Legislators generally are not scientists (OK, some of them are probably political scientists, but that's a whole 'nuther story.) I think this a good example of why fish and wildlife should not be managed by Legislators.

Intuitively it makes sense to want to get rid of exotic predator species that prey on native species, like salmon, that are considered more desirable. Maybe there is more recent data indicating a change in predator-prey relationships, but one thing I recall hearing is that bass don't actually prey that heavily on juvenile salmon. The reason given is that water temperatures in the early spring when juvenile salmon smolt and begin migrating through the river reaches occupied by bass are too cold for the bass to effectively prey on the salmon. I don't know about walleye and channel catfish, but spiny ray species generally don't become really active until water temperatures climb above those favored by salmon.

So maybe this is feel good legislation and not ecologically driven. Anybody know for sure?

This makes sense in theory but in practice I have found it not to be true. In late spring outmigration both bass and smolts congregate in the side ponds. My total guess is the warmer temps get the bugs going which brings in the smolts which brings in the bass. All I know is that when there are smolts jumping around like crazy bass fishing with small clousers is game on and plenty of fish seem to have smaller fish in their gullet.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
This makes sense in theory but in practice I have found it not to be true. In late spring outmigration both bass and smolts congregate in the side ponds. My total guess is the warmer temps get the bugs going which brings in the smolts which brings in the bass. All I know is that when there are smolts jumping around like crazy bass fishing with small clousers is game on and plenty of fish seem to have smaller fish in their gullet.


Been fishing the Columbia and it's backwaters since 1992 and never experienced that..
I have seen smolts in backwaters but never seen bass feeding on them. In fact i have never seen bass bustimg any baitfish in the Columbia.

Fall chinook are the only smolts that use the backwaters and the only smolts that out migrate after the bass spawn.

Bass do eat smolts. But they they are minor to the bass's diet.
Crayfish, sculpins and American shad fry are pretty much the entire diet of bass in the Columbia.
 

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