WA State Slashes Hatcheries

Rob Allen

Active Member
it's for the good of the majority of the people, We all must accept the fact that sacrifices will have to be made in theses perilous times


We need to make sacrifices regardless of the times to get our spending under control. This sucks for fishing in the short term and quite possibly the long run. The problem is that we became used to the good old days that was propped up by an unsustainable system. Now we are paying for it.

Right now my home fishery is Pueblo Reservoir. The fishing in it is mostly for walleye which are hatchery raised, face book is full of limits on stringers and people complaining that the fishing isn't what it was 15 years ago. Pueblo is a deep clear lake and the main source of food is gizzard shad, few crayfish, few panfish. the fish are largely stunted for their age. The habitat and water quality are great there's just no food. I am pretty confident that they'll see a fishery collapse here too. There is not enough supply to meet demand and there is nothing that anyone can do about it except decrease demand.

Wild reproduction is the only way to sustain fisheries. and it's really cheap.
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
WFF Premium
Due to covid-19 the state is facing a loss of revenue coupled with an anticipated rise in the need for services. Unlike the federal government the state cannot run a deficit, since they can't issue currency. It appears as though the cuts will be across the board.
If past performance is any indicator, it will take 10 - 12 years for WDFW to get their funding cuts restored.
 

girlfisher

Active Member
money doesn't fix problems.. not hatcheries, not education, we spend plenty on fish and wildlife, we spend plenty on education.. the problems are inherent in Government and not the result of a lack of funding.
You do know who is withholding State funding, right?
When I bought my first fishing license in Washington State, I think I paid $3.50 for a year. It enabled me to fish where I wanted and the limit was 16 fish over 6" in length. All punch cards were free. You only needed a punch card for Steelhead and Salmon. They didn't have all the nilly dilly ones you need now.
What was the population of WA back then?
 

Lance Magnuson

WFF Premium
We need to make sacrifices regardless of the times to get our spending under control. This sucks for fishing in the short term and quite possibly the long run. The problem is that we became used to the good old days that was propped up by an unsustainable system. Now we are paying for it.

Right now my home fishery is Pueblo Reservoir. The fishing in it is mostly for walleye which are hatchery raised, face book is full of limits on stringers and people complaining that the fishing isn't what it was 15 years ago. Pueblo is a deep clear lake and the main source of food is gizzard shad, few crayfish, few panfish. the fish are largely stunted for their age. The habitat and water quality are great there's just no food. I am pretty confident that they'll see a fishery collapse here too. There is not enough supply to meet demand and there is nothing that anyone can do about it except decrease demand.

Wild reproduction is the only way to sustain fisheries. and it's really cheap.

If all fisheries were catch and release, “Wild” propagation could sustain populations in waters that contain spawning environment. However, offering licenses for catch and release fisheries will be a tough sell with the “put and take” culture.

Does the state actually think about their decreasing revenues from reduced license sales? I doubt it. They have a hole in their budget and the solution is draconian.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Premium
A major cut to hatchery funding could be handled with very small impact to WA recreational angling. Hatcheries are the largest line item in the WDFW budget. Yes, you read that right. WDFW spends about $87 million a year on hatchery production. 78% of that is spent raising hatchery salmon and steelhead, mostly salmon. Most of the hatchery salmon are harvested in fisheries in Canada, Alaska, WA ocean commercial, and WA treaty Indian fisheries. Only a relatively small percentage of that salmon production accrues to WA recreational angling. Consequently the biggest gainers in WA from hatchery salmon production are NT commercial and treaty Indian fisheries.

I think zero cuts should occur to hatchery production of trout or other fish that accrue to inland and landlocked, non-anadromous fishing. The reason is because all of those fish that get caught will be caught be WA taxpayers and WDFW license buyers, which is good for the revenue stream. Canada and Alaska pay zero into raising hatchery salmon, so they should not be a factor in the decision making. WA NT (non-treaty) commercial and treaty fishermen comprise less than 2% of the WA state population, so they pay the very least into supporting the hatchery salmon system. So why raise fish for them during an economic crisis? Unless of course they want and choose to chip in enough revenue to offset what they take. I'm not saying WDFW should shut down all salmon hatcheries, only the ones that deliver the fewest salmon to WA recreational fishing, and enough to erase the gap created by the budget cut.

Please don't bring up the Indian treaty fishing right unless you have material to refute that there is no adjudicated ruling requiring WA to pay to raise hatchery fish for treaty Indian fishing. The tribal treaties are federal treaties, and the federal government can fund salmon hatcheries for treaty fishing if they want to. In fact, the feds do fund two hatcheries specifically for tribes, Cook Creek on the Quinault reservation and Sooes River on the Makah reservation.

Of course, WDFW won't employ this line of logic in deciding cuts.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Premium
If all fisheries were catch and release, “Wild” propagation could sustain populations in waters that contain spawning environment. However, offering licenses for catch and release fisheries will be a tough sell with the “put and take” culture.

Does the state actually think about their decreasing revenues from reduced license sales? I doubt it. They have a hole in their budget and the solution is draconian.

The rearing of hatchery trout for stocking lakes is economically viable as the costs are relatively low relative to the social and economic benefits. What doesn't pencil out is the culture of hatchery salmon and steelhead because the costs are very high, and the social and economic benefits are low due to interception fisheries in Canada and AK, commercial fishing, and very poor ocean survival rates. Funding hatchery trout for put and take fisheries is a good deal, and the Department is well advised to continue the practice.

WDFW doesn't see any connection, let alone correlation, between the products and services it produces and the taxpayers and license buyers who fund the Department's very existence. The Director and upper management are delusional in their blindness to economic and social reality. Because they can be, and it has worked, up until now.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
"reality" there you have it...a non-political semantic response with political overtones...or is it undertones...Sheesh!


it's not an overtone at all.. it should be plainly obvious as a matter of reality pertaining to no political views whatsoever that Washington state government and the United States of America government are broke we have no money! We have spent more than revenue brings in for decades, lots of decades.
the coffers are empty and we have to live within our means..
this is not political in the slightest. it is basic common sense and our current reality.
 

lee c

Active Member
it's not an overtone at all.. it should be plainly obvious as a matter of reality pertaining to no political views whatsoever that Washington state government and the United States of America government are broke we have no money! We have spent more than revenue brings in for decades, lots of decades.
the coffers are empty and we have to live within our means..
this is not political in the slightest. it is basic common sense and our current reality.
Except of course from 1998 to 2001 when the feds operated on a surplus
 

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