WDFW Looking at restrictions for steelhead season

dustinchromers

Active Member
Here's a link to the article. Four options presented. Guides are weighing in and I'm sure the department will pander away to them as they have cause they get their fees and the rec fees as well in one boat so to speak. I'm an option 3 at a minimum with option 4 being my second choice. No fishing from a boat should be instituted on more rivers before and after now. The D in Oregon works and experiences high use. No, is not perfect but it is a better scene than the side drifting pornography winter steelhead has become in western Washington. It's time steelhead anglers got creative and learned to fish again without dragging an offering out of a boat. Option 2 is attractive from a comedic angle just to see the show all be in forks at once. Could you imagine. There will be lots of crying and wailing. What do we think?


 

Eastside

Active Member
The Deschutes allows a guide to host an angler who can’t wade (handicapped?) by walking the boat through water that can be waded. Not fun for the guide, but would be consistent with allowing wade fishing only.
 

Yard Sale

Huge Member
I'm torn on this one. No fishing from the boat means you could very easily launch on a busy day and just float the river without finding an open run. Once out of the boat people tend to stay a while.

Any river that has a hatchery run should have mandatory retention. Get one and challenge yourself with a new method. Get a second and get off the river.
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
I'm torn on this one. No fishing from the boat means you could very easily launch on a busy day and just float the river without finding an open run. Once out of the boat people tend to stay a while.

Any river that has a hatchery run should have mandatory retention. Get one and challenge yourself with a new method. Get a second and get off the river.

If we are about limiting encounters and moving people through a float I say one and done should be the order. We are living in a world where two hatchery fish limits are a luxury.
 

Yard Sale

Huge Member
If we are about limiting encounters and moving people through a float I say one and done should be the order. We are living in a world where two hatchery fish limits are a luxury.
Agreed but reality is a bitch. I spent a few years as the klick river steward and the only real thing I helped get done was a mandatory retention rule. We had to raise the limit from 2 to 3 rats to get it passed.
That winter I had a kid and bailed on the stewardship but the guides got the rule rescinded the next year. Rumor has it it was the bead guides as they didn’t want to be done by 10am.
 

flybill

A collector never stops collecting!
WFF Supporter
How about limit the number of boats on the water on a given day and require you to move regularly? No camping, maybe an hour or so at each spot.

Not sure how you could enforce the later, but boats could be counted at the launches and info coordinated. Sad, but it's getting to be necessary to limit traffic, to protect the fish and give people a chance to actually fish from the boat or just from the bank...

Rivers like the Smith in MT are permitted and you have to launch on a specific day and cover X number of miles to your next camping spot each day. People would hate it, but those on the river could have a better experience. Set X number of guide permits and X number of private anglers...
 

Yard Sale

Huge Member
Personally I think we should make some rivers basically put n take systems. Something like the Cowlitz, the Wilson or the Clackamas. Then some rivers get turned into well managed rivers for wild fish. Yes, I realize this doesn't work with ESA listed fish. And yes, nobody wants "their river" to turn into this way or the other. Basically its way too rational to work....
 

flybill

A collector never stops collecting!
WFF Supporter
Sea Run Browns and Atlantic's in the Sky please!! And Snoqualmie... why not? Don't worry, I know why not... still, hmmmmm....
 

BDD

Active Member
Thanks for posting the link. I just listened to the 2-hour presentation and thought it interesting and entertaining to hear the WDFW staff and then the public comments/questions afterwards.

Option 3 seems like the best option to meet all four conservation goals and still maintain some sort of recreational fishery. Mandatory rainbow trout release seems like a no-brainer. I have to believe that putting large-scale no fishing from boats coupled with no bait has the best chance to reduce the encounter factor to the desired rate. This seems like it has the most potential to affect guides the most as they have the highest encounter rates already and likely fish the least from shore.

Every year I have a desire to fish the coast for winter steelhead and go about every other or every third year. I just don't like fishing amongst crowds. If I thought that these regulations would reduce recreational and guiding pressure, even with lower than normal returns, it just might spark my interest to return out there again. I just don't know how much no bait and no fishing from boats will reduce angler effort. I suppose once the regs are released, then we'll all have a better idea what those fishing impacts will be.
 

flybill

A collector never stops collecting!
WFF Supporter
Thanks for posting the link. I just listened to the 2-hour presentation and thought it interesting and entertaining to hear the WDFW staff and then the public comments/questions afterwards.

Option 3 seems like the best option to meet all four conservation goals and still maintain some sort of recreational fishery. Mandatory rainbow trout release seems like a no-brainer. I have to believe that putting large-scale no fishing from boats coupled with no bait has the best chance to reduce the encounter factor to the desired rate. This seems like it has the most potential to affect guides the most as they have the highest encounter rates already and likely fish the least from shore.

Every year I have a desire to fish the coast for winter steelhead and go about every other or every third year. I just don't like fishing amongst crowds. If I thought that these regulations would reduce recreational and guiding pressure, even with lower than normal returns, it just might spark my interest to return out there again. I just don't know how much no bait and no fishing from boats will reduce angler effort. I suppose once the regs are released, then we'll all have a better idea what those fishing impacts will be.
I really don't have much interest in the OP anymore, too crowded and a lot of work. I don't mind the work and may do a guided trip on some of the Indian lands, just to catch some fish. I love the Hoh and the Queets! Would love to float the Sol Duc and Bogey, but it's just so damn crowded. I'll go chase trout on the Yakima or out in MT and make sure to catch fish!! Hopefully big ones, on dries or streamers! Until I can get down to Belize and chase bones and tarpon!
 

cdnred

Active Member
How about limit the number of boats on the water on a given day and require you to move regularly? No camping, maybe an hour or so at each spot.

Not sure how you could enforce the later, but boats could be counted at the launches and info coordinated. Sad, but it's getting to be necessary to limit traffic, to protect the fish and give people a chance to actually fish from the boat or just from the bank...

Rivers like the Smith in MT are permitted and you have to launch on a specific day and cover X number of miles to your next camping spot each day. People would hate it, but those on the river could have a better experience. Set X number of guide permits and X number of private anglers...
Sad that it comes down to over regulation but that seems to be the only solution. Daily permits for every river or section of river need to get issued. Once the limit is reached, no more permits.

For boat limitations, what constitutes being a boat..? Would a float tube be considered to be a boat and have restrictive use put on them as well or does a boat refer to anything that has a motor attached..?
 

Phil Fravel

Friendly
Personally I think we should make some rivers basically put n take systems. Something like the Cowlitz, the Wilson or the Clackamas. Then some rivers get turned into well managed rivers for wild fish. Yes, I realize this doesn't work with ESA listed fish. And yes, nobody wants "their river" to turn into this way or the other. Basically its way too rational to work....
I have also been a Advocate of what I call. Hatchery/Harvest rivers. They shoud be around a 2 to 3 hour drive apart. The Cowlets should be just that. Along with the Green river for its location and that it is a system without many Tributaries. Basically a main steam river with hatcheries in place. These rivers can be a shit show.

Then leave the rest of the rivers to be managed for wild fish recovery. If the river does not meet escapement. It should be closed the fallowing season. All catch and release no fishing from boats or with bait.
 

Creatch'r

Hesitant Member
If you go to no fishing from a boat, regardless of why or how, to all gear guys that will be 100% perceived as the “fly guy wild fish zealot rule” and I promise you, there will be no safe spaces because of it. Guys will absolutely NOT row out and around you while you swing a run, They will be dropping the hook and joining you whether you like it or not, this will not be an idyllic wonderland for the two hand crowd.

Personally, I say shut it all down after the end of Feb. It’ll help slowly transition everyone to the inevitable Jan 31 closure of the future.
 
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