Some positive news for Willamette steelhead

gt

Active Member
It now appears wdfw is pushing in the opposite direction.
They have been, in partnership with a gill netter, conducting a fish trap test fishery near Cathlamet. A wdfw biologist that is working with them, told me that the goal is to employ many (no projected number mentioned) of these in ADDITION to gill nets.

These traps were outlawed by both Oregon and Washington back in the 30's and early 40's as they were far more effective than gill nets and were rapidly wiping out all the runs. Now they want to bring them back??
While, supposedly, no decision has been made the biologist made it clear that if the feds will issue permitting for the use of these the traps will happen.

Perhaps we need to organize a petition drive to get all commercial nets/fishing off all sections of the lower Columbia. No non-tribal commercial fishing.. period.
WDFW in action as usual. stop buying licenses and giving them money to further screw up the fisheries.
 

FinLuver

Kicked
GT, The traps allow selective harvest of hatchery fish with almost no mortality to wild fish. Traps could replace gill nets if the political will is there.
Again, will they be manned 24-7??
There’s a very good book on the Columbia River Fishwheels...
Y’all should read it
 

FinLuver

Kicked
Fish wheels and trap are two different things, traps are static and wheels are mechanical.
Really???
Ya don’t say.
Those fish getting scooped up, have to go somewhere...
Is it a dry scow next to the wheel or a live well?
If it’s a live well, we know what happens to those cramped in tight spaces fish...an un-natural occurrence, where disease is rampant.

So, once again...will these wheels be manned 24-7?

Btw...I have that book I mentioned.
 

Skeena88

Active Member
Really???
Ya don’t say.
Those fish getting scooped up, have to go somewhere...
Is it a dry scow next to the wheel or a live well?
If it’s a live well, we know what happens to those cramped in tight spaces fish...an un-natural occurrence, where disease is rampant.

So, once again...will these wheels be manned 24-7?

Btw...I have that book I mentioned.
The spiller is only deployed when the trap is actively being fished. It can be raised to allow fish to swim through without being held in the trap when/if the trap is not being monitored. Typical soaks were less than 60 mins..
 

Shad

Active Member
We should be wary of the traps, for several reasons, first and foremost that at the end of the day, they are a method of commercial harvest, which can only mean less fish around for sporties to catch....

For sure, selective commercial fishing (without significant dropout) will be a crucial adaptation if we're to ever see wild stocks increase. I just don't trust our managers to implement these tools in a way that doesn't benefit commercial fishing FIRST. Consider, for example, how much more of the harvestable share for sporties will end up in commercial totes once there is a way to concentrate catch on the hatchery fish.

WDFW tries to manage fisheries so that as many hatchery fish are harvested as possible. That makes sense from a fiscal perspective, since investing in hatchery fish has always been intended to support more harvest. The fact that gillnets aren't selective limits the amount of time they can be used without harvesting too many non-target fish. This, in turn, limits how many fish the commercials can harvest, which leaves more scraps behind for us to fight over. With a means to catch only the target species, they will be allowed to fish much more, and as a result, they will catch a lot more hatchery fish. It's great news to hear they can avoid wild bycatch, until you remember that in most fisheries, there aren't enough wilds left to support harvest in sport fisheries. Ruh-roh....
 

Chris Johnson

Active Member
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I have my doubts that this will ever come to fruition in my lifetime but it has potential to be very beneficial to wild stocks, which are the future if we want to experience fishing as we know it.
 
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Shad

Active Member
Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I have my doubts that this will ever come to fruition in my lifetime but it has potential to be very beneficial to wild stocks, which are the future if we want to experience fishing as we know it.
Agreed. I think the usual dose of skepticism is appropriate, but we should be generally supportive of measures that protect wild fish.
 

FinLuver

Kicked
The spiller is only deployed when the trap is actively being fished. It can be raised to allow fish to swim through without being held in the trap when/if the trap is not being monitored. Typical soaks were less than 60 mins..
Hmmm...
Different approach I guess.
That would be beneficial. But, don’t most Gish move at night?
Also, coffee dams to direct fish would also need to be placed.
Ever wonder why all those skeletal piling jutting out into the Columbia??
 

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