Terrible Steelhead Video

Flyborg

Active Member
#31
As a side, I have heard many different things about lactic acid level rising in fighting fish, and the effects on post release mortality. anybody have any information on this. Some research that might conclude whether our well meaning efforts to release fish are successful or in vain.

Tyler
Reposted from iFish, original post by STGRule:

STGRule said:
Just for fun I'll skip the "stupid rant" and go for the educated rant. And thank you in advance for recognising professional opinion. Although in this case it is professional fact.

Stress is really bad for all living things. Stress causes spikes in a hormone called Cortisol. It is an interesting thing: Cortisol is a corticosteroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex (in the adrenal gland). It is a vital hormone that is often referred to as the "stress hormone" as it is involved in the response to stress. It increases blood pressure, blood sugar levels and has an immunosuppressive action.

Some more interesting reading:
Stress can also be described as an internal hormonal response of a living organism caused by environmental or other external factors that moves that organism out of its normal physiological resting state, or homeostasis (Selye, 1973). Stress can disturb the normal physiological equilibrium or homeostasis of fish by forcing a reallocation of energy within its system.

Stress affects fish in two ways: it produces effects that disrupt or threaten homeostatic equilibrium and it induces adaptive behavioral and physiological responses (Wendelaar Bonga, 1997). Along with the release of stress hormones and the subsequent physiological and chemical changes, come behavioral modifications. These changes are essentially adaptive and function to enhance the likelihood of survival when threatened by noxious or challenging situations.

In the natural environment, the stress response protects fish and insures their survival. One example of this is when a predator threatens fish. When the fish senses the threat, the primary stress response is to release catecholamine into the blood stream. This essentially creates an energy boost that helps the fish evade or escape predation. Intense chronic stress can cause these responses to lose their adaptive value and become dysfunctional.

Fish are more sensitive to stressors than many other vertebrates because their physiological homeostasis is intimately bound to and dependant upon the water in the surrounding environment. Disturbance of water and ion homeostasis during stress is due to the very intimate relationship between body fluids in the gills and the ambient water.

That's enough of the boring stuff, but you can google "fish cortisol" and read for hours.

Cortisol levels raise with the amount of time a stressor is applied. Short spurts with long recovery periods of healthy individuals doesn't cause much trouble. But having a spawning fish on a hook for longer than a few minutes overwhelms the animal with cortisol. Some of the side effects of high cortisol levels is gamete failure (no viable eggs or sperm), increased susceptibility to disease, and outright mortality. The mortality usually isn't instant. It takes up to hours. Long after you have trailered the boat and wandered home. You won't see it, but it still happened.

This doesn't always happen, but it's kinda like throwing lit matches into a pile of newspaper. Most times a fire destroys the paper pile.

So the moral of this long soliloquy is make it fast and gentle on the fish. Help it live to spawn to make more native hogs.

PS. No hands in the gill plates. It destroys lamellae if you even brush it with your hands. It reduces their ability to remove oxygen from the water and introduces a conduit to bacteria and viruses.

Still with me? Good. And thanks.
 

Zen Piscator

Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.
#32
Zen, this is in no way meant to be a slam... just a question... If you are so passionate about all wild steelhead being catch and release have you done anything to get this changed on a whole? Sure it's nice to let out some frustration and vent on a guide that is keeping wild steelhead (legally), but is that really going to solve anything? What about proposing new regulations to make rivers C&R for wild fish? The guide did nothing illegal in the video that I could see, not that I'm condoning the keeping of wild steelhead even where it's legal... but I think our energies would be better directed in making changes to the laws where possible.

Scott
Scott,
Thanks for the questions. Yes, I have.

The walla walla river has a c&r season from feb to april above the oregon border that is all wild fish. I have spoken to biologists and gameys about this and the ball is now rolling to close down that season. Furthermore I would like to see a march 31st closuer of our rivers instead of an april 15th closuer. In some local tribs fish are in FULL spawn mode by early april but by that time most of the hatchery fish are either at the hatchery or caught and killed.

With calls to WDFW and letters to politicions we are slowing making changes.
 

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
#33
Nice Post Zen, email sent.

It's irresponsible in 2007 for any guide service to promote that there are enough wild steelhead to continue the killing. As pointed out, this guides training has been to land the fish first, ask questions about killing it later. He didn't check for an adipose whatsoever...

One can only hope that this type of video will 1. Drive potential business away, 2. That the company will get a deluge of "educational emails", and lastly, 3: That this "guide service" will remove the video and require that their guides practice C&R for all wild fish.

Just because the WDFW caved to Mayor Reed (Forks) does not carry enough weight to suggest that wild fish are thriving, or for that matter, maintaining. Every year, the counts go down. Nets and killing are mostly to blame. That said, ultimately, it is the WDFW that we should all be frustrated with. Their MSY ideology is certainly partly/moderately/largely to blame for the ESA listing of steelhead (and others) in the Puget Sound.
 
#34
Scott,
Thanks for the questions. Yes, I have.

The walla walla river has a c&r season from feb to april above the oregon border that is all wild fish. I have spoken to biologists and gameys about this and the ball is now rolling to close down that season. Furthermore I would like to see a march 31st closuer of our rivers instead of an april 15th closuer. In some local tribs fish are in FULL spawn mode by early april but by that time most of the hatchery fish are either at the hatchery or caught and killed.

With calls to WDFW and letters to politicions we are slowing making changes.
Thanks for the answer! While I haven't been involved yet, I'd like to be. I'm pretty sure I should join a fly club and start with that...

Scott
 
#35
... and dont even get me started on the raping of our rivers in the name of tribal substanance.
I really don't think this is the issue...Tribal fishermen have held subsistence fishing long before settlement and this was never considered "raping the rivers"...especially "our" rivers, which by the way for some reason are mostly named after the very same tribes. Most tribes I've seen put more effort into habitat restoration and forfeit their treaty fishing right to not impact the numbers of endangered wild fish.

As far as the issue with the guide netting a wild steelhead and letting it flop on his boat, although may be legal, not very wise with the resource.
 

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
#38
As a side, I have heard many different things about lactic acid level rising in fighting fish, and the effects on post release mortality. anybody have any information on this. Some research that might conclude whether our well meaning efforts to release fish are successful or in vain.

Tyler
In general the rivers are cool enough that the fish don't get going metabolically the same way that trout would. It's possible, but it's more related to how fast you land the fish more than anything else. If you're taking more than a few minutes to land a 10lb steelhead, you really want to evaluate how you're fighting the fish. In *general* catch and release fishing has very little effect in the overall survival of the fish run as a whole. Individual fish mortality and reproductive success may be reduced, the effect seems negigable on overall populations. Repeated studies of the Skagit C&R season bears this out as well as some other rivers. Salmo_g or Smalama may have significantly more detailed data, but in general the following rules are pretty good ones to live by:

1) Land the fish as quickly as possible
2) Keep them in the water
3) Handle them as little as possible
 

Ringlee

Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
#41

Looks like a common theme of Breaking the law in these videos.
Check out how long the fish is out of the Water. Solid 20 seconds No wonder it is struggling at the end.
 
#42
Well he viloated the law with this one.
At least he took his boat to the shore to get the fish. It is not like he netted the fish and brought the fish in the boat then released the fish, it is just a case of taking a trophy shot, which I dont mind if precautions are taken not to keep the fish out of water too long (hold you breath, and dont keep it out longer than you are holding your breath) and make sure not to hurt its slime layer.

Take a look at the picture of the wild steelhead kept:
1) tackle fisherman
2) big cooler in the background
 
#44
I think what he should be doing is trying to persuade the client to release it before it is netted. If they want to keep it, I guess that is thier choice because it's legal. I think it is up to the guide to inform the client how important it is to release those though, especially since his business and livelyhood depends on them. He would be kinda bitting himself in the ass by keeping a lot of wild fish...

Also, even though it is legal, I definitely agree with not promoting keeping those wild fish like that. If it happens, that's fine, just don't post that video on the internet, post one where you release it or something.
You did see the big cooler in the background right? I think his asking the client if he wanted to keep it was rhetorical. The clip that showed him releasing the steelhead is very similiar to fly fisherman releasing steelhead in states that dont have the "cant take a picture of a fish out of water". I kind of doubt from the way he rowed to shore and released the fish that he would of released the kept fish.
 
#45
As a side, I have heard many different things about lactic acid level rising in fighting fish, and the effects on post release mortality. anybody have any information on this. Some research that might conclude whether our well meaning efforts to release fish are successful or in vain.

Tyler
Does holding the fish by the tail in the water and pumping it back and forth (so called fish cpr) help in reducing lactic acid buildup?