Statements from gubernatorial candidate Culp on fishing.

Roper

Idiot Savant
WFF Supporter
So far in my reseach on the candidates only Culp addresses fish and wildlife (forest fire impact primarily).

So I'm sharing text from Loren Culp's website about his position on fishing resources. I find it interesting in some ways and troubling in others. I'm curious what y'all think. I'm not advocating for Culp, rather I'm evaluating the ideas he puts forward. Please keep the discussion civil or I will ask a moderator to delete it.

"Our fish hatcheries are not running at full capacity. Predators such as sea lions, seals and birds have free rein on smolts and returning salmon alike, killing a good portion of the fish. Spawning habitat in our river systems have been neglected. Policies that have allowed this to happen have had disastrous results on our States Orca population, commercial, tribal and sport fisheries. Once vibrant communities like Westport for example are now just a shell of their former selves. Westport alone has lost approximately 90% of the charter boats that once provided family wage jobs for the community. The lost dollars in tourism to the State’s economy is in the millions. Washington State was once a destination State for fishing.


Solutions:
Increase the output of our hatcheries to 100% and build more where necessary. Traditionally Washington’s native tribes have hunted sea lions and seals. We need to allow the hunting and consumption of excess predators again. Salmon need a gravel bottom in order to spawn. Silt build up on spawning grounds needs to be addressed and fixed in order to create a healthy, vibrant, environment for the Salmon come back. "

If this violates the no politics mandate...kill it.
 

D3Smartie

Active Member
Inslee's answer to Orcas has been increase hatchery production as well.

It has been pretty clear to me that the hatchery production does not equate to better fishing nor more fish in the long term. Why create more 7 pound "kings" returning to puget sound? It doesnt support the fishery nor the ecosystem in a positive manner. let alone the whales.
If we want fish to return to WA streams they have to actually be able to get back. If you look at the harvest of PS chinook or Coastal WA Chinook stocks and the %s that make it past the ocean / SE AK/ BC commercial fisheries, we have already lost 90%. Not to mention this is where those fish feed and grow. We simply arent going to have fish living long enough to get big in the ocean prior to returning with the fishing regs the way they are.

This is a bigger issue than a WA gov can actually address. He has to fight for a overhaul of the fishery on a Pacific Ocean level, not regulations around the dregs in our own waters.

Side note - we need hunting and fishing included in the WA state constitution.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
Roper,

I find it interesting that candidate Culp takes an interest in state fish and fisheries. However, it looks to me as though his interest is severely under-informed. By that I mean that increasing fish hatchery production back to 100% means undoing the ESA restrictions mainly imposed by NMFS. Further, the increased hatchery salmon production won't do much to beneficially recover orcas or restore commercial, tribal, and sport fisheries. To suggest that it would requires the assumption that lack of hatchery production is the factor most limiting orcas and the various fisheries. That assumption is flawed.

WDFW spends some $80 or 90 million a year on hatchery fish production (I'm relying on memory and can go look this up again if needed), and 72.8% of that funding is for hatchery salmon and steelhead (mostly salmon - I haven't gotten the break out). Most of those salmon are harvested in B.C. and some in AK. Very few are harvested in WA, which begs the question of whether hatchery salmon production is a worthwhile use of tax dollars at all. Of those salmon that return to WA, more are harvested by NT commercial and treaty tribal fisheries, who comprise less than 2% of the state's population, with a few remaining salmon harvested in recreational fisheries, which comprises another 10 to 30% of the state's taxpayers.

What I'm getting at is WA spends millions of tax dollars annually on a giant program that only significantly benefits a tiny (less than 2%) of the population and marginally benefits another, larger but still minority segment (recreational anglers) of taxpayers. The marine survival rates (smolt to adult) have fallen so low in recent years, that citizens and politicians alike should all be concerned about whether the state's hatchery salmon program simply amounts to throwing huge sums of money down a rat hole.

The upshot is that even if the state could get past the ESA restrictions and resume 100% of potential hatchery salmon production, or add additional hatcheries, Westport will remain the same shell of its former self that it is today and will not again become a destination fishery. That part of history is gone and is not coming back. So I see Culp's position as typical politics of "throwing money at a problem" and assume that is the solution, rather than understanding the root cause or causes of the problem, which leads to a different conclusion: "that money isn't gonna' make any significant improvement."

Lastly, he really shows his lack of information and understanding regarding salmon spawning habitat, i.e., gravel and silt. "It needs to be addressed." Yeah, no shit Sherlock (sarcasm), but addressing that in a way that actually solves the issue means billions of dollars that have to come from somewhere - and WA society has demonstrated that we are willing to spend a lot of money, up to a point, but not in ways that make a real difference because that comes at both economic and social costs that we are just not willing to pay. It means restricting where the human population can expand into, restricting kinds and types of development, and finally, it's just going to take decades, maybe a century, of that kind of top down government restrictions, that the citizenry has no stomach for and will not accept, in order to restore salmon habitat productivity and carrying capacity.

Sorry to come off as Debbie Downer, but this candidate seems typical of most who suggest, if not actually believe, that we can have our cake and eat it too.
 

girlfisher

Active Member
Try looking first at the multitude of Federal cutbacks/rollbacks that have had direct and some indirect negative consequences on Fishing. Recent article in a Communist, Fake News, enemy of the people, News Rag talked about 95 such cutbacks that had dire effects on our fisheries.

As mentioned earlier, Culp is typical of covering up the real reasons for the decline in Fisheries with the same old political rants that excite a base of reactionaries.
 
Last edited:

Roper

Idiot Savant
WFF Supporter
Roper,

I find it interesting that candidate Culp takes an interest in state fish and fisheries. However, it looks to me as though his interest is severely under-informed. By that I mean that increasing fish hatchery production back to 100% means undoing the ESA restrictions mainly imposed by NMFS. Further, the increased hatchery salmon production won't do much to beneficially recover orcas or restore commercial, tribal, and sport fisheries. To suggest that it would requires the assumption that lack of hatchery production is the factor most limiting orcas and the various fisheries. That assumption is flawed.

WDFW spends some $80 or 90 million a year on hatchery fish production (I'm relying on memory and can go look this up again if needed), and 72.8% of that funding is for hatchery salmon and steelhead (mostly salmon - I haven't gotten the break out). Most of those salmon are harvested in B.C. and some in AK. Very few are harvested in WA, which begs the question of whether hatchery salmon production is a worthwhile use of tax dollars at all. Of those salmon that return to WA, more are harvested by NT commercial and treaty tribal fisheries, who comprise less than 2% of the state's population, with a few remaining salmon harvested in recreational fisheries, which comprises another 10 to 30% of the state's taxpayers.

What I'm getting at is WA spends millions of tax dollars annually on a giant program that only significantly benefits a tiny (less than 2%) of the population and marginally benefits another, larger but still minority segment (recreational anglers) of taxpayers. The marine survival rates (smolt to adult) have fallen so low in recent years, that citizens and politicians alike should all be concerned about whether the state's hatchery salmon program simply amounts to throwing huge sums of money down a rat hole.

The upshot is that even if the state could get past the ESA restrictions and resume 100% of potential hatchery salmon production, or add additional hatcheries, Westport will remain the same shell of its former self that it is today and will not again become a destination fishery. That part of history is gone and is not coming back. So I see Culp's position as typical politics of "throwing money at a problem" and assume that is the solution, rather than understanding the root cause or causes of the problem, which leads to a different conclusion: "that money isn't gonna' make any significant improvement."

Lastly, he really shows his lack of information and understanding regarding salmon spawning habitat, i.e., gravel and silt. "It needs to be addressed." Yeah, no shit Sherlock (sarcasm), but addressing that in a way that actually solves the issue means billions of dollars that have to come from somewhere - and WA society has demonstrated that we are willing to spend a lot of money, up to a point, but not in ways that make a real difference because that comes at both economic and social costs that we are just not willing to pay. It means restricting where the human population can expand into, restricting kinds and types of development, and finally, it's just going to take decades, maybe a century, of that kind of top down government restrictions, that the citizenry has no stomach for and will not accept, in order to restore salmon habitat productivity and carrying capacity.

Sorry to come off as Debbie Downer, but this candidate seems typical of most who suggest, if not actually believe, that we can have our cake and eat it too.

Salmo, you speak to the concerns I had. Hatcheries are not an answer. I welcome your feedback as I’m just a naive lake fisherman. Come up to the ranch sometime, no cake, but cold beer and a whiskey.
 

D3Smartie

Active Member
I'll bring some bourbon to augment your supply Roper. Would be a fine evening to sit and talk after a morning's hunt.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
Roper, if you lure Ive over and we can do a little fishing, you've got yourself a deal. I will get that cake and bring it too!
 

Lance Magnuson

WFF Supporter
Culp did not mention taking down dams. Maybe he’s afraid of the farm lobby. This is a fix that will allow easier passage to spawning grounds that are in decent condition.

Shooting sea lions may be desirable, but even Native harvest would create a political firestorm.

Commercial harvest in B.C. and SE AK have been a scapegoat for years. Quotas have diminished severely over the past 5 years. These fisheries are simply not taking the fish in numbers as in the past.

Habitat restoration, if possible, is a good start. Our state’s salmon hatchery history is atrocious, particularly when it comes to chinook. The Yakama tribe has done some interesting work on the Yakima River outside of Cle Elum. Releasing smolt early into protected natural rearing site increases ocean survivability. But simply increasing hatchery production is not the answer.

As with all complex problems there are complex answers. But I think we can all look at the Elwah as an example of solving some problems on one watershed.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
Roper,

I find it interesting that candidate Culp takes an interest in state fish and fisheries. However, it looks to me as though his interest is severely under-informed. By that I mean that increasing fish hatchery production back to 100% means undoing the ESA restrictions mainly imposed by NMFS. Further, the increased hatchery salmon production won't do much to beneficially recover orcas or restore commercial, tribal, and sport fisheries. To suggest that it would requires the assumption that lack of hatchery production is the factor most limiting orcas and the various fisheries. That assumption is flawed.

WDFW spends some $80 or 90 million a year on hatchery fish production (I'm relying on memory and can go look this up again if needed), and 72.8% of that funding is for hatchery salmon and steelhead (mostly salmon - I haven't gotten the break out). Most of those salmon are harvested in B.C. and some in AK. Very few are harvested in WA, which begs the question of whether hatchery salmon production is a worthwhile use of tax dollars at all. Of those salmon that return to WA, more are harvested by NT commercial and treaty tribal fisheries, who comprise less than 2% of the state's population, with a few remaining salmon harvested in recreational fisheries, which comprises another 10 to 30% of the state's taxpayers.

What I'm getting at is WA spends millions of tax dollars annually on a giant program that only significantly benefits a tiny (less than 2%) of the population and marginally benefits another, larger but still minority segment (recreational anglers) of taxpayers. The marine survival rates (smolt to adult) have fallen so low in recent years, that citizens and politicians alike should all be concerned about whether the state's hatchery salmon program simply amounts to throwing huge sums of money down a rat hole.

The upshot is that even if the state could get past the ESA restrictions and resume 100% of potential hatchery salmon production, or add additional hatcheries, Westport will remain the same shell of its former self that it is today and will not again become a destination fishery. That part of history is gone and is not coming back. So I see Culp's position as typical politics of "throwing money at a problem" and assume that is the solution, rather than understanding the root cause or causes of the problem, which leads to a different conclusion: "that money isn't gonna' make any significant improvement."

Lastly, he really shows his lack of information and understanding regarding salmon spawning habitat, i.e., gravel and silt. "It needs to be addressed." Yeah, no shit Sherlock (sarcasm), but addressing that in a way that actually solves the issue means billions of dollars that have to come from somewhere - and WA society has demonstrated that we are willing to spend a lot of money, up to a point, but not in ways that make a real difference because that comes at both economic and social costs that we are just not willing to pay. It means restricting where the human population can expand into, restricting kinds and types of development, and finally, it's just going to take decades, maybe a century, of that kind of top down government restrictions, that the citizenry has no stomach for and will not accept, in order to restore salmon habitat productivity and carrying capacity.

Sorry to come off as Debbie Downer, but this candidate seems typical of most who suggest, if not actually believe, that we can have our cake and eat it too.


I was looking forward to replying to this thread but. I really have nothing to add after this.
What Culp is saying isn't overtly wrong just so vague and simplistic as to not have much meaning.
 

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