Chehalis system to close Sunday

Shad

Active Member
Unfortunately our voices will do nothing as the main cause of decline on the coast is tribal harvest. When The Quinalt tribe nets the Queets, Quinalt and Chelalis system 5-7 day a week there is little chance If not for floods and high water they would be gone already. The state can not tell the tribes how to fish, it will take the federal government to take action, and well......
I've never understood the 5 days/wk. Thing. Claiming to be stewards of the resource while exploiting it at that rate seems, well....

In this particular scenario, the Tribe pulled their nets about 2 weeks ago, citing concern over the poor catch rates they had seen to date. Many of the locals assumed it wouldn't be long before we got shut down. They were right.

Lots of questions without great answers...

The WDFW announcement cites concerns that the expected return of wild steelhead was well below the basin escapement goal, and returns to this point were looking potentially worse than expected. If the forecast was 2K fish below the escapement goal to begin with, why was anybody allowed to fish at all?

The Tribe is still netting the Humptulips 3 days/wk., and it's still open to sport fishing. Coincidence?
(I find it "interesting" that Region 6 manages Humptulips chum in the same bucket as all Chehalis basin chums, yet they treat Humptulips steelhead as a distinct population. What purposes other than "management" purposes can possibly be served by such inconsistency in policy?)

Is WDFW truly a co-manager, or do they more or less fall in line with what the Tribes tell them to do at this point?

Of course, we must bear in mind that this will probably look like a GOOD management decision at the end of the day. We will see how the numbers end up, and then we'll know whether or not it was the right move for sure. As others have suggested, I think the rest of the OP should be closed as well. The Chehalis system absorbed a lot of displaced anglers from the S Rivers and the Cowlitz. I'd say the OP rivers will be nearly twice as crowded as they were last year the rest of the way. Poor steelhead are gonna get caught 5 times each this season....
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
WFF Supporter
The pre-season forecast for a poor return of wild steelhead has been known for some time. The reason to allow any steelhead fishing at all this season was to allow the generally earlier returning hatchery steelhead to be harvested. Skookumchuck and Wynoochee use native broodstock, so there is a complete overlap with return times of hatchery and wild fish in those sub-basins. The reason for totally closing the Chehalis basin at this time and not allow CNR fishing for wild fish while continuing to harvest later returning hatchery fish is explained by WDFW having to do what the Quinault Tribe tells them to do. WDFW doesn't publicly say this most likely because it would be uncomfortable to publicly acknowledge the obvious.
 

dflett68

Active Member
WFF Supporter
The state can not tell the tribes how to fish, it will take the federal government to take action, and well......
and well...what? has anyone told the head of the federal government that a brown minority is getting 95% of a precious natural resource while white trophy hunters are on the outside looking in? more to the point, has anyone told him that another sovereign nation is telling americans what they can and cannot do/have? frame it in those terms for him and the very-unfair-ness would keep him up tweeting till 2 am and then we'd have an executive order repealing the treaties by around noon. problem solved, you're welcome.

disclaimer*: this is, of course, a joke.

*disclaimer necessary because this would not actually shock anyone at this point.
 

Bryce Levin

Active Member
and well...what? has anyone told the head of the federal government that a brown minority is getting 95% of a precious natural resource while white trophy hunters are on the outside looking in? more to the point, has anyone told him that another sovereign nation is telling americans what they can and cannot do/have? frame it in those terms for him and the very-unfair-ness would keep him up tweeting till 2 am and then we'd have an executive order repealing the treaties by around noon. problem solved, you're welcome.

disclaimer*: this is, of course, a joke.

*disclaimer necessary because this would not actually shock anyone at this point.
How dare you
 

winxp_man

Steelhead Bum
I've never understood the 5 days/wk. Thing. Claiming to be stewards of the resource while exploiting it at that rate seems, well....

In this particular scenario, the Tribe pulled their nets about 2 weeks ago, citing concern over the poor catch rates they had seen to date. Many of the locals assumed it wouldn't be long before we got shut down. They were right.

Lots of questions without great answers...

The WDFW announcement cites concerns that the expected return of wild steelhead was well below the basin escapement goal, and returns to this point were looking potentially worse than expected. If the forecast was 2K fish below the escapement goal to begin with, why was anybody allowed to fish at all?

The Tribe is still netting the Humptulips 3 days/wk., and it's still open to sport fishing. Coincidence?
(I find it "interesting" that Region 6 manages Humptulips chum in the same bucket as all Chehalis basin chums, yet they treat Humptulips steelhead as a distinct population. What purposes other than "management" purposes can possibly be served by such inconsistency in policy?)

Is WDFW truly a co-manager, or do they more or less fall in line with what the Tribes tell them to do at this point?

Of course, we must bear in mind that this will probably look like a GOOD management decision at the end of the day. We will see how the numbers end up, and then we'll know whether or not it was the right move for sure. As others have suggested, I think the rest of the OP should be closed as well. The Chehalis system absorbed a lot of displaced anglers from the S Rivers and the Cowlitz. I'd say the OP rivers will be nearly twice as crowded as they were last year the rest of the way. Poor steelhead are gonna get caught 5 times each this season....
I have a video I took back in 2012. The nets on the lower Klamath where spread out across the whole river for about a mile in zigzag patterns (as if the fish have the capabilities to get through *smh). I was filming the ride up river and boy where the “natives” giving me the stink eye! After that experience it was a not a damn soul should have rights to rape and pillager a system of rivers like they! Don’t care what the history background is!!
 

Jesseg122

Active Member
I agree. Its completely not fair for everyone. When we're told to only keep hatchery fish but natives can take whatever they want from the river makes a massive decline. The sad thing is that even if the federal government wanted to intervene on the tribal practices, they still wont do anything because of how things are socially acceptable or not and all that bull. Can you imagine how that would go? Feds tell the tribes you cant fish these rivers anymore for a period of time or limit there catches, people would turn it into a mass hysteria because how dare the government tell natives what to do. It's just going to cause massive racial finger pointing and get any of us nowhere. In the meantime the steelhead populations are going to decline to the point that it will no longer be sustainable and end up on the endangered species list and steelhead fishing will be banned altogether.
 

Jesseg122

Active Member
What would also help alot would be trying to get a control on the seal and sealing populations under control. Because there protected, they are also contributing to the decline of both salmon and steelhead populations
 

winxp_man

Steelhead Bum
What would also help alot would be trying to get a control on the seal and sealing populations under control. Because there protected, they are also contributing to the decline of both salmon and steelhead populations

Let the natives hunt some, and keep them off of salmon and steelhead for a bit. Problem solved... :D
 

SinglehandJay

Active Member
It's strange to me that in the time we live in that this sort of garbage can't be overlooked or forgotten and move forward. To let whomever is reading this please know I am a mutt, a mix of Great British, Mexican and native American blood. World history is based on taking over your neighbors and conquering. But because natives were the last people to be overcome in a more recent time the government feels the need to give them fish and money as a problem solution? History is full of ugly hatred and killing. Instead of sticking your hands out for other people to fill why don't you be self sufficient like a normal person and work for everything you want in life. This isn't 1854. We're not riding horses and having range wars. It's 2020 get with the times, things are shitty and there are too many people on the planet. So instead of fighting about who's going to be allowed to take the last fish why don't we work together and save the WORLDS fish together. This Boldt decision is old man. Get over it, it's tired and played out. How many decades are natives going to be able to use this scapegoat that no one in this day had anything to do with? Mexico was turned into California during history, you don't hear me crying about it and putting my hands out collecting garbage in my yard and complaining about how I have nothing. I chose a life as a younger person as a gang member in California and have gang tattoos on myself that are in sight and was an addict at one time so I definitely understand the concept of having shit stacked against you. The cure for it was to be the best person I could be and make the right decisions based on caring for other people as well as myself and changing my perceptions about real life and working as hard as possible at my job and making something of MYSELF. Not waiting for the government or the help of others to help me.
 

SinglehandJay

Active Member
Sorry about the rant, the closures due to low returns of fish because the water was too high for them to effectively net fish kills me. The whole conversation about natives versus whites and everyone else that likes to salmon and steelhead fish is literally the stupidest shit to fight about. We all love fish, why don't we love them together instead of viewing fish as a swimming dollar sign and trying to capitalize on them. If a person truly wants to capitalize on a fish, close fishing, build fish stocks up and guide for continually returning fish and scale back the amount of salmon that can be harvested. Keep doing it until numbers are sustainable and stop trying to say you are living off the land and need to take all 6 of the daily allotment. Does a person really need to take a fish home every time you go out? For someone like myself that used to spend right around 300 days on the water that would be insane. I know a lot of anglers are just as dedicated to fishing as I am and if we all took the fish we encountered the population would be just like it is now. Hmmm. Imagine that
 

Jesseg122

Active Member
Sorry about the rant, the closures due to low returns of fish because the water was too high for them to effectively net fish kills me. The whole conversation about natives versus whites and everyone else that likes to salmon and steelhead fish is literally the stupidest shit to fight about. We all love fish, why don't we love them together instead of viewing fish as a swimming dollar sign and trying to capitalize on them. If a person truly wants to capitalize on a fish, close fishing, build fish stocks up and guide for continually returning fish and scale back the amount of salmon that can be harvested. Keep doing it until numbers are sustainable and stop trying to say you are living off the land and need to take all 6 of the daily allotment. Does a person really need to take a fish home every time you go out? For someone like myself that used to spend right around 300 days on the water that would be insane. I know a lot of anglers are just as dedicated to fishing as I am and if we all took the fish we encountered the population would be just like it is now. Hmmm. Imagine that
I agree with you. I may be white but the majority of my family on my moms side are native and native mixed and they all think it's stupid how alot of natives have there hand out wanting and wanting and not thinking twice. They would rather it be that than actually making an example of how we SHOULD be treating our natural resources. I've had this similar conversation with them and they all agree. On a side note, with fishing closed to the the pandemic, at least the fish will have a little bit of a fighting chance
 

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