Non-sensical WDFW regulations / closures?

ianpadron

Active Member
I think all river closures are silly. Closing rivers doesn't protect a thing.
All moving water's in the state should be

1. Open year around
2. Restricted to one single point barbless hook
3. No bait except where significant numbers of hatchery fish are present and only in seasons when they are present
4. Catch and release on all unclipped native species including trout..
5. Require 100% clip rates for all hatcheries except possibly the Quinault.
This guy gets it.
 

ianpadron

Active Member
I am on year 7 of trying to understand the regs. When I feel comfortable I understand them, I’ll let you know if I think any of them are non-sensical.

Can you ask this question again in 2030?
I feel your pain.

Moved here in 2015 and this is the first year I feel qualified enough to bitch and moan.
 

Paul_

Active Member
Not being able to fish Clearwater creek up by St. Helens above an impassable waterfall except from the trout opener to July 15. No possibility of anadromous fish or bull trout up above, just a bunch of cutthroat and brook trout. Not really sure if the cutthroat are technically native or if it was naturally fishless and someone stocked them above the falls. Brook trout came down from meta lake I assume and I’ve only seen one ever below the falls. And it’s a volcanic study area or whatever so you can’t really drive in except on one shitty forest road close to the waterfall that’s still a decent hike in. Some of the most beautiful water I’ve ever fished though and really cool scenery in general cause it was in the blast zone.

Might as well throw in the upper Lewis regulation change too. Not much good ever comes when a power company dictates what happens to fish/fishery…
 

jasmillo

WFF Premium
I feel your pain.

Moved here in 2015 and this is the first year I feel qualified enough to bitch and moan.

Ten years ago, Harvard law announced they would give free law degrees to any person who can interpret and coherently explain WA State fishing regs in layman’s terms. As of today, 0 free degrees have been handed out.

I kid as this is a running joke on the board. They really are not that bad. Big state, complex fisheries, multiple ESA species involved. There is a need for some (maybe not all :)) of that complexity.
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
My two cents from living most of my life in California. Some of the people there felt that sickly, stupid, sluggish stockers caught with PowerBait in local lakes was the best way to create fishing "opportunities" for the "public". Don't get me wrong, tons of good wholesome family fun comes from this. However I personally would rather catch and release one 12" brown trout than take home a stringer of five fish that taste like mud. IMHO the quality of the "fishing experience" should take precedence over anything else.
 

Shack

Active Member
Might as well throw in the upper Lewis regulation change too. Not much good ever comes when a power company dictates what happens to fish/fishery…
Lol, last time I was up in that area was like 4/5 years ago when you could still fish in fall. I was at eagle cliff bridge fishing the hole right there at the parking lot and the pacificorp dude pulls up with a truck full of coho and proceeds to dump them in while encouraging some guys in the parking lot to fish for them. Then I went up and fished the muddy from the canyon hole down and only caught hatchery rainbows. Haven’t been back since.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
I think all river closures are silly. Closing rivers doesn't protect a thing.
All moving water's in the state should be

1. Open year around
2. Restricted to one single point barbless hook
3. No bait except where significant numbers of hatchery fish are present and only in seasons when they are present
4. Catch and release on all unclipped native species including trout..
5. Require 100% clip rates for all hatcheries except possibly the Quinault.
I gotta say....this is possibly the most unassailable “how it should be” for Washington’s fishing regs. Makes it pretty easy to enforce as well. I could see an adder to reduce take in primo sport fisheries that rely on nonnative fish and can’t support native fish.
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
Pilchuck River. People do fish that river in the Summer time. They are called Poachers. I used to know a few that lived on that river. The river flows past their houses or through their property they will fish it. One told me one time that they would catch some good sized trout in the summer months. It's kind of hard to police that river when people don't give a shit about the regs and closed waters.

How about closing Pilchuck Creek because of it being a Salmon Spawning stream. It gets Chum and Pinks. Never saw any kings in it. Plus the salmon don't spawn until the fall. It does get some big Sea run Cutthroat in it. I used to gear fish it in the summer and when the season was 6 fish You could get a nice mess of fish that way.

I don't live in Washington State anymore. But I try to keep up on things in the way of fishing. Moved to Montana about 15 years ago.
 

girlfisher

Active Member
All WA Salmonid lakes open March 1, close July and August, reopen Sept 1 through Nov 30. Same lakes are either 2-fish limit with no bait restrictions or Catch and Release with single barbless hook. Ira and Ive will decide which lakes are Catch and Release. See b-illymac for Warm Water rules and regs.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Premium
I don't like regulations that exist because the tail wags the dog. The Stilly closure is directly tied to the Stillaguamish Tribe's insistence under the guise of protecting native Stilly Chinook. The Chinook do need protection, and I've previously described a viable approach to conserving this endangered stock. The current recreational angling closure does not achieve any measurable conservation effect, and effectively opens the river to the traditional Stilly Chinook poachers who now don't have to worry about sport fishermen confronting or reporting them.

Another closure that directly results from tribal insistence is the Skokomish River. The hatchery produces a huge return of Chinook, coho, and chum salmon that WA taxpayers and Tacoma Power rate payers fund. The Skokomish Tribe claims ownership of both banks of the river even though a federal court decision (I've got it and can cite it if anyone's interested) concluded that the right bank of the river belongs to the state. WDFW should leave the river open to non-treaty recreational fishing and let the Tribe adjudicate its claim.

The reason WDFW caves into the tribal demands is the secret behind closed door North of Falcon (NOF) negotiations that set the salmon seasons. Either WDFW caves to every tribal demand, or there is no NOF agreement. No agreement, and WDFW gets no, as in zero, non-treaty salmon fishing, at least in Puget Sound. WDFW has not and apparently will not seek its own separate ESA permit with NMFS and instead continues to ride the coat tails of the treaty tribal permit. And that allows the treaty tribes to dictate non-treaty (NT) fishing to WDFW, making WDFW a gutless wonder that lets the tail wag the dog and throws the NT taxpayers and fishing license buyers under the bus. And then WDFW wonders why we opposed increases in license fees the last two legislative sessions.

The Pilchuck River summer closure makes sense only if it makes sense to close every steelhead and salmon nursery stream in the summer. An additional reason may have been that the upper Pilchuck was used as an M&I water supply for Everett or someplace like that. But the diversion dam was removed within the past few years.
 

ianpadron

Active Member
My two cents from living most of my life in California. Some of the people there felt that sickly, stupid, sluggish stockers caught with PowerBait in local lakes was the best way to create fishing "opportunities" for the "public". Don't get me wrong, tons of good wholesome family fun comes from this. However I personally would rather catch and release one 12" brown trout than take home a stringer of five fish that taste like mud. IMHO the quality of the "fishing experience" should take precedence over anything else.
I agree wholeheartedly.

The Western WA "trout opener" is very telling in terms of the focus of WDFW. Well, that and the new WDFW obsession with bass fishing.

"Hey sorry the salmonid runs that built the sport angling lore of this state have been mismanaged into extinction on our watch, but here are some 10" deformed rainbow trout and ditch pickles to chase after...and oh some of the trout are lottery fish, k have fun!"-WDFW

Good to know there are more folks out there who prefer quality over quantity in terms of fishing experience.
 

ianpadron

Active Member
I don't like regulations that exist because the tail wags the dog. The Stilly closure is directly tied to the Stillaguamish Tribe's insistence under the guise of protecting native Stilly Chinook. The Chinook do need protection, and I've previously described a viable approach to conserving this endangered stock. The current recreational angling closure does not achieve any measurable conservation effect, and effectively opens the river to the traditional Stilly Chinook poachers who now don't have to worry about sport fishermen confronting or reporting them.

Another closure that directly results from tribal insistence is the Skokomish River. The hatchery produces a huge return of Chinook, coho, and chum salmon that WA taxpayers and Tacoma Power rate payers fund. The Skokomish Tribe claims ownership of both banks of the river even though a federal court decision (I've got it and can cite it if anyone's interested) concluded that the right bank of the river belongs to the state. WDFW should leave the river open to non-treaty recreational fishing and let the Tribe adjudicate its claim.

The reason WDFW caves into the tribal demands is the secret behind closed door North of Falcon (NOF) negotiations that set the salmon seasons. Either WDFW caves to every tribal demand, or there is no NOF agreement. No agreement, and WDFW gets no, as in zero, non-treaty salmon fishing, at least in Puget Sound. WDFW has not and apparently will not seek its own separate ESA permit with NMFS and instead continues to ride the coat tails of the treaty tribal permit. And that allows the treaty tribes to dictate non-treaty (NT) fishing to WDFW, making WDFW a gutless wonder that lets the tail wag the dog and throws the NT taxpayers and fishing license buyers under the bus. And then WDFW wonders why we opposed increases in license fees the last two legislative sessions.

The Pilchuck River summer closure makes sense only if it makes sense to close every steelhead and salmon nursery stream in the summer. An additional reason may have been that the upper Pilchuck was used as an M&I water supply for Everett or someplace like that. But the diversion dam was removed within the past few years.
loaded with info as always.
 

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