Skagit 2021?

Yadwick

Active Member
Only 1 steelhead had been checked when we pulled out yesterday afternoon for more boats and bank anglers total than I saw on any single day during the 2019 fishery. It's only February, but damn, not good on both the fish and crowds.
driving upper hoh road on Saturday i was witness to cars in basically every spot you could park to access the river.
 

deftones725

WFF Supporter
Would you rather there be not being people out fishing then? I don't think its entirely bad for the fish. I think it shows interest in the fishery. If only "one" fish was sampled and there was a whole bunch of people on the river, I would think that would be better than a shit load of fish checked and a whole bunch of people on the river (in terms of low fish count). You got to have people out there fishing to show interest and to hopefully fight and protect the fish. If they go out and catch nothing, they'll either go back home and not come back or they'll go home and maybe figure out what they can do to help the fish.
 

Brandon

Floatin'
What’s really sad is with the predicted run forecast of 4297 fish (if that many even return), that’s a mere 4.7% of the Steelhead run that there used to be around 1960 for the Skagit

This is found from a department of agriculture watershed analysis released in 1995, but it looks as though this data is from the “Puget Sound Task Force” circa 1970.

1614892214526.jpeg

It’s safe to say we will never see anything like the the runs that used to be, but if something major isn’t done soon who knows how much longer these fish will last. I’m counting my blessings for every steelhead encounter I’ve been lucky enough to experience.
 
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ChaseBallard

bushwhacker
Would you rather there be not being people out fishing then? I don't think its entirely bad for the fish. I think it shows interest in the fishery. If only "one" fish was sampled and there was a whole bunch of people on the river, I would think that would be better than a shit load of fish checked and a whole bunch of people on the river (in terms of low fish count). You got to have people out there fishing to show interest and to hopefully fight and protect the fish. If they go out and catch nothing, they'll either go back home and not come back or they'll go home and maybe figure out what they can do to help the fish.
Funny, I think I posted a few comments much like this on this here steelhead forum about 7-8 years ago; arguing that more anglers means more advocates for these fish who need them.

There's still truth to that, as I wrote about in the January cover story for NW Sportsman Magazine and in Swing the Fly, but sadly my view of steehead recovery and the steelheading community is much more cynical these days.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
Would you rather there be not being people out fishing then? I don't think its entirely bad for the fish. I think it shows interest in the fishery. If only "one" fish was sampled and there was a whole bunch of people on the river, I would think that would be better than a shit load of fish checked and a whole bunch of people on the river (in terms of low fish count). You got to have people out there fishing to show interest and to hopefully fight and protect the fish. If they go out and catch nothing, they'll either go back home and not come back or they'll go home and maybe figure out what they can do to help the fish.
There’s also a sordid history of anglers underreporting their catch in a vain effort to keep the season rolling along. If WDFW has reason to believe that their data is suspect, they’ll close down the fishery. If anglers catch fish at those rates and report accurately, the impact will be reached and....they’ll close down the fishery.

I recently had a conversation about a guide who boated a half dozen fish for a couple clients, then went back on a day off to boat another half dozen on his own. The expectation of that many interactions with fish is embarrassing considering the state of the resource. I hooked my one fish and decided to spend the rest of the day bushwhacking, because there’s such a thing as ‘enough’ when the runs are what they are these days. I actually want to have plenty more opportunity this season to fish within a reasonable drive from home. Why is there this expectation of slayin’ on a slim run??
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
What’s really sad is with the predicted run forecast of 4297 fish (if that many even return), that’s a mere .04% of the Steelhead run that there used to be around 1960 for the Skagit

This is found from a department of agriculture watershed analysis released in 1995, but it looks as though this data is from the “Puget Sound Task Force” circa 1970.

View attachment 273880

It’s safe to say we will never see anything like the the runs that used to be, but if something major isn’t done soon who knows how much longer these fish will last. I’m counting my blessings for every steelhead encounter I’ve been lucky enough to experience.
Might wanna check that decimal place....this year’s run is about 4% of the mean from that era. Wasn’t there a big plumping of the number due to hatchery abundance and favorable ocean conditions?
 

SinglehandJay

Misanthropist
There’s also a sordid history of anglers underreporting their catch in a vain effort to keep the season rolling along. If WDFW has reason to believe that their data is suspect, they’ll close down the fishery. If anglers catch fish at those rates and report accurately, the impact will be reached and....they’ll close down the fishery.

I recently had a conversation about a guide who boated a half dozen fish for a couple clients, then went back on a day off to boat another half dozen on his own. The expectation of that many interactions with fish is embarrassing considering the state of the resource. I hooked my one fish and decided to spend the rest of the day bushwhacking, because there’s such a thing as ‘enough’ when the runs are what they are these days. I actually want to have plenty more opportunity this season to fish within a reasonable drive from home. Why is there this expectation of slayin’ on a slim run??
For likes on fb and IG duh. Must touch every fish and stay in the same spot for 1 maybe 200 years so no one else can fish your hole
 

Creatch'r

Bored member
There’s also a sordid history of anglers underreporting their catch in a vain effort to keep the season rolling along. If WDFW has reason to believe that their data is suspect, they’ll close down the fishery. If anglers catch fish at those rates and report accurately, the impact will be reached and....they’ll close down the fishery.

I recently had a conversation about a guide who boated a half dozen fish for a couple clients, then went back on a day off to boat another half dozen on his own. The expectation of that many interactions with fish is embarrassing considering the state of the resource. I hooked my one fish and decided to spend the rest of the day bushwhacking, because there’s such a thing as ‘enough’ when the runs are what they are these days. I actually want to have plenty more opportunity this season to fish within a reasonable drive from home. Why is there this expectation of slayin’ on a slim run??

If one guy has a great day and catches 6, his success is only evened out by the 50 who didn’t catch a thing. It’s a part of the game and not something to be pissed about. At the end of the season, the numbers will be what it will be, and the run size will dictate that, not someone who had themselves a good day or 5. Catching is just not very good when the run sizes are down. Over the long haul the data will support it. Period. Cracking me up all the “community” spreading around this one and done philosophy. Yeah ok. Most days you aren’t catching one, so when the day comes you miraculously catch two, you are selfish? Give me a break. Enjoy yourself, enjoy the river, and if you’re lucky, enjoy a moment with a steelhead.
 

deftones725

WFF Supporter
For likes on fb and IG duh. Must touch every fish and stay in the same spot for 1 maybe 200 years so no one else can fish your hole
I hate to say it but there has been many other platforms for attention seeking, resource information, and experience sharing before modern social media platforms. This so called need for "likes", "attention", "hey look at what I did", was all built off those guys fishing back in the day with their legendary stories of run size and fish hooked per day. Steelhead didn't just get their "coolness" yesterday from some guy named "Bobby" from IG. Hell this here forum has played a role in pumping up the "coolness" of steelhead and has possibly even had an effect on the fishery.
 

SinglehandJay

Misanthropist
I hate to say it but there has been many other platforms for attention seeking, resource information, and experience sharing before modern social media platforms. This so called need for "likes", "attention", "hey look at what I did", was all built off those guys fishing back in the day with their legendary stories of run size and fish hooked per day. Steelhead didn't just get their "coolness" yesterday from some guy named "Bobby" from IG. Hell this here forum has played a role in pumping up the "coolness" of steelhead and has possibly even had an effect on the fishery.
Yes I realize that, I'm 40. I remember reading old fishing and hunting magazines and NW Fly fisherman and reading an article on small creeks and rivers that get zero pressure. Back then those were the places I rarely if ever saw anyone else until those articles hit the shelves with a fucking map to it.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
If one guy has a great day and catches 6, his success is only evened out by the 50 who didn’t catch a thing. It’s a part of the game and not something to be pissed about. At the end of the season, the numbers will be what it will be, and the run size will dictate that, not someone who had themselves a good day or 5. Catching is just not very good when the run sizes are down. Over the long haul the data will support it. Period. Cracking me up all the “community” spreading around this one and done philosophy. Yeah ok. Most days you aren’t catching one, so when the day comes you miraculously catch two, you are selfish? Give me a break. Enjoy yourself, enjoy the river, and if you’re lucky, enjoy a moment with a steelhead.
I think the question comes up when a guide (paid to put people on fish) willingly puts a pair of clients on quite a few fish in an impact-limited fishery, and then goes back to put zero clients (himself) on quite a few fish in the same fishery. To my mind, with such fishing prowess at his command, 8-10 of the 12 fish mentioned count against that guide’s opportunity to get paid (obviously his decision).

The 12 fish could have been spread out over 6 boats’ worth of clients and everybody still would have been all high fives and bong rips on great days of steelheading. Surely the guy would rather get paid more per fish and have a better chance at a longer season?? Dude passed on another 4-5 paid days of fees as far as I’m concerned.
 

GOTY

9x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
I think the question comes up when a guide (paid to put people on fish) willingly puts a pair of clients on quite a few fish in an impact-limited fishery, and then goes back to put zero clients (himself) on quite a few fish in the same fishery. To my mind, with such fishing prowess at his command, 8-10 of the 12 fish mentioned count against that guide’s opportunity to get paid (obviously his decision).

The 12 fish could have been spread out over 6 boats’ worth of clients and everybody still would have been all high fives and bong rips on great days of steelheading. Surely the guy would rather get paid more per fish and have a better chance at a longer season?? Dude passed on another 4-5 paid days of fees as far as I’m concerned.
Their income is limited not by the amount of fish but by the # of days a client books a trip with them. The guide catching fish by himself doesn't mean 4-5 clients will cancel a trip. Could those small # of fish he hooked that day lead to the season closing 1 day earlier? Sure, but his calendar wasn't booked full anyways (since he had an open day to begin with). Him sending pictures of those fish to past clients could get more trips booked. Point being, it's not a loss to the guide financially, and could even be a positive. If there were individual rod day and/or encounter quotas for the season (discussed as a possibility on the klick) then it's a different story.

Edit: this is why the system is broken. For many of the boats crowding the rivers it's about $$$$, nothing else.
 

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