Do you care enough about wild steelhead to stop fishing for them?

Jeremy Floyd

fly fishing my way through life
Good question IMO..

If it gets bad enough isnt that what we are looking at if things dont change quite a bit?

A lot of people complain about how group a or group b is at fault for ruining their fishery. I dont see anyone volunteering to give up some of their own self gratifying 'rights' very often to improve the long term state of things.

Yes, I am willing to stop fishing for the benefit of a wild run. If a fishery is hurting, or so small that viable populations can't sustain themselves, I say close the fishery, give it time to rebound, and at the same time improve habitat. There are a few steelhead streams in the country that would fit this descrption and quite a few "sensitive" areas (AKA steamboat creek on the NU) that already have no-fish regulations to protect runs.

If every steelhead stream in the US had it's original habitat, if commercial fishing by-catch wasn't an issue, and everybody fished catch and release, I don't think there would even be an issue to discuss. That is, give the fish a place to live, fish catch and release for wild fish, then the number of fish killed will be so small that the population will rebound and stay stable. It's only because we've dammed, logged, polluted, and over-fished that steelhead runs are having such a problem. We have nobody to blame but our short-sighted selves. One thing in life I know for sure...a dead wild steelhead will never spawn. And a live one won't spawn in mud. Give the fish half a chance and they'll come back.


Well-Known Member
I care about wild steelhead.

The question is really only a good one if the implicit assumption were true that stopping fishing would actually have any positive effect on wild steelhead stock status. We could close sport fishing on every steelhead river in the state without having any measurable effect whatever on production in the overwhelming majority of them. That is why recreational fishing continues to be allowed on almost all rivers, and the release of wild steelhead is required on all but a few.


Salmo g.
hamster said:
Definitely -- although given my success this year it'd be hard to claim that I'm doing much damage ;)
Ditto... my fishing, or not, has essentially the same impact.

To really answer the question... Yes, I would, as long as all other fishers, including the tribes, did the same. It would be fruitless to give it up if the really large harvesters don't do the same.
I care therefore I fish for them. If nobody would fish for them, would anybody care?
Does anybody care, connect with or feel for the Oregon Spotted Frog and those are in much more dire shape than any steelhead populations ?


So far I think the steelhead population is all a f'n myth. I have yet to catch one, wild or not. If I hadn't seen so many pictures of them, you could have told me they where hot pink and wore a skirt, and I would have to take you word for it.


Active Member
close down stocking, ahhh i mean augmentation; stop commerical and NA fishing; shut down sport fishing; all aimed at saving steelhead, ahhh yup. but not unless all 3 conditions are met and enforced.


Well-Known Member
So stop stocking hatchery steelhead; stop treaty and non-treaty commercial fishing, and stop recreational fishing. How many more steelhead would there be? My estimate: less than 5% more. All indicators point toward environmental conditions as the limiting factor for steelhead productivity in WA.

I suppose I shouldn't have kids to prevent over population. I shouldn't drive a car to save the atmosphere from CO emissions. I shouldn't live in a house to protect the trees it might take to build it. I should feel guilty for everything us horrible Americans have done and just end it now....but I don't.

In the mean time I'll continue to fish when time allows, release everything I catch, protect the environment at all reasonable costs and enjoy life.

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
Old Man said:
I stopped fishing for them. I don't think that there are any wild Steelhead in Montana. :p :p

Jim :beathead:
Jim, I'm sure there was once a huge run of Clark Fork or Kootenai steelies, but I'm not from that side of the state so I have no idea. I actually just tried a yahoo search on "Montana steelhead" and all I got was "shop for Montana steelhead" and "Montana steelhead in XXX action". What the hell happened to Yahoo and Google in the last month? They really suck.
Anyways, I've always wondered if steelhead went up the West slopes toward the divide before big 'ol dams were built on the Clark Fork and Kootenai. There was once a restaurant in Missoula called the "Steelhead Bar & Grill", which always had me wondering.

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