WDFW Announces Puget Sound river closures for 2012

You hit the nail on the head Curt, fact based arguments with data to back them up is what is going to work. Pick a river and learn all you can about it, talk to the bio's and managers. It's a long row to hoe, but what are the alternatives?
 

Brazda

Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge
I know the tribes had net pen going in South sound many years before North Sound,, same as the loss of steelhead runs the south sound was lost first. I don't think that trusting that kind of industry will ever be GOOD for fish runs. Too much money in the pot both on the political side and private side to trust with a now endagered species. With the proven history on fish farming EVERYWHERE else in the world why would we disreguard the posability and potential for the same outcome. Just because it has been done for fifty years does not mean it is done safely and correctly now, just with all business they look for better profits, cutting costs could be there answer and that could be poisoning the sound!
The pit tagging prior to recent years was way under utilized, I realize its been around for quite some time but tagging 1 in a 100 does not do so much for data collection.
Pit tagging has gone high tech now they can place a bouy with a reader anywhere and follow those smolt the entire way. They can even find dead fish via the portable tag readers as they did off Vacouvwer Island with Columbia river spring chinook. Washington has in no way exhausted the use of this technology recently developed they just need to do it,,,,or are they afraid of the results! like dead fry in the sound from polution, disease or what ever. This needs to be found out then action can be taken to remedy even if it takes high tech Hatchery solutions as on the upper columbia. All these closures is just staying off the inevitable, Feds taking over and who knows what they may find.

Once all wild fish are lost then where will any hatchery brood stock come from should that be the only solution.
 

Charles Sullivan

ignoring Rob Allen and Generic
a serious question about impacts on fisheries. when you look at a steelhead's life history as being 4-5 years (sometimes more) 40-50 years is only approx. ten generations. the fact that pens or hatcheries have been around for a long time does not automatically mean that there are not cumulative impacts that worsen as populations drop.

i've always wondered about this with many of the impacts such as habitat, hatcheries, net pens, fisheries, etc.

the fact that it is so hard to pin down specific impacts might be that the impacts are all increasing as populations drop and are having a magnified effect the longer the impacts last.

would love to hear your thoughts on how impacts might / can be magnified or increased as the populations drop and longer the impacts exist.

chris
Spot on.

Go Sox,
cds
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
Great thread with some interesting information. What it all boils down to for me is fishermen and/or catch & release rules are not what is causing the decline of our steelhead. Yet, we are the ones targeted by the managers. Closing the rivers to fishing may make sense but I feel the closures are used as a diversion to not focus on the real problems. The managers can point to the closures and report they are doing everything they can to protect these fish when in reality nothing is being done.
 

Brazda

Fly Fishing guide "The Bogy House" Lodge
Great thread with some interesting information. What it all boils down to for me is fishermen and/or catch & release rules are not what is causing the decline of our steelhead. Yet, we are the ones targeted by the managers. Closing the rivers to fishing may make sense but I feel the closures are used as a diversion to not focus on the real problems. The managers can point to the closures and report they are doing everything they can to protect these fish when in reality nothing is being done.
Exactly,,,Ironic aint it!
 

Freestone

Not to be confused with freestoneangler
Brazda -
I understand and appreciate your passion however it might be more effective if your arguements were fact supported.

Florida tarpon and Louisiana redfish are different critters than our steelhead and face differetn problems.

Montana trout fishing is great however the majority those "named" fisheries are directed at non-native species - rainbows and browns.

Wonder how the fishing would be in Washington if this State had a similar population (people/square mile) or portion of the its land mass in an undeveloped state as Alaska?

Co-managemetn/Boldt is the issue. Without a doubt that decision has had a huge impact on the quality of the recreational fishery. However NMFS at the time of the PS steelhead ESA listing determined that fishing impacts in the previous decade wasn't much fo a factor. In fact have since determine that level of impacts does not represent a significant risk of future extinction.

Anglers begging for CnR to get it - I think not - every PS steelhead CnR season came from Dept. of Wildlife desks with minimal support or interest from the angler community. Yes theose seasons became very popular but that approach was lead by the managers not the users

On PS rivers the use of wild steelhead release as a management tool was similar as the CnR seasons. The first wide spread use of that approach on those rivers was those dread "fin cards" in the mid-1980s. Those were met by a near angler revolt. Public meetings held were attended by more than 300 folks and except for less than a dozen people everyone was against that approach. BTW of those supporting that tool the majority wore Dept. Wildlife hats. Again it was the managers leading.

Today it has become fashionable to champion the resident life history of o. mykiss and the regulation changes needed to protect those fish - stop lkilling them mainly using the tool of selective gear rules. In the mid-1980s Dept. Wildlife attempted to apply that approach across much of the State. In this case the managers lost due to angler backlash that force legislative action ban that approach.

Don't like the current State policies on steelhead mangement? - we had a chance to shape those policies in a very public process. Yet once again the angling public was largely absent.

I could go on but the point here is that as anglers we probably have exactly the opportunities we collectively have worked for. Our apathy has greeted every opportunity to make a difference and I see little hope that it will be any different at the next opportunity.

Rant away folks say it is good for the soul. However when it comes time for placing blame I suggest we start by collectively looking in a mirror.

Tight lines
Curt
Curt, thanks for the perspective. It is refreshing to hear some of the good for a change. When first I attended meetings of one of the volunteer WDFW Advisory Groups I serve on, I was shocked by the amount of opposion WDFW gets from other anglers when sound, prudent management interfers with those anglers 'having it their way'. It is dis-heartening to see dedicated people, people passionate about protecting resources get repeatedly shit on, yelled at and demeaned when their careful scientific-based proposals aren't to the liking of (fill in the blank) interest group. Something as simple as trying to limit the use of treble hooks on the Columbia during ESA-listed Chinook and Steelhead migration led to near revolt by user groups way bigger and more powerful than fly fishers. Truthfully, even though everyone loves to hate on WDFW, I sometimes don't know how they keep their employees motivated to keep trying day in and day out; clearly many of them do it for the love of the resource not for the pats on the back. By law, they have been tasked with contradictory objectives, yet they are required to try meet all of them, an excerise in insanity if you ask me. Brazda, you are right about one thing - Public Policy changes are needed, espcially many of the idiotic laws that govern how WDFW is required to operate.
 

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
Kerry,
Interesting read and sadly true. Perhaps most telling is one of the last statements;

"Public agencies are organized to serve the narrow interests of their constituents rather than maintain the productivity and benefits of natural resources they are charged with protecting for the public good".

I got to wondering how this thread might weave if hatchery steelhead, like or maybe even more than wild ones, took to swung flies with reckless abandon....:hmmm:
 
I think what freestone angler is saying is that there would be less hatchery steelhead bashing on this particular board if they were more prone to grabbing a swung fly. Keep in mind that other methods of fishing can be quite productive when it comes to catching these terrible hatchery fish that currently provide the only viable fishery in most streams. Also keep in mind that fly fisherman are the minority when it comes to the angling community and I know plenty of guys that enjoy catching hatchery fish that provide a fishery that would otherwise not exist nor could ever exist again without hatchery fish.

For the record I fly fish and gear fish and have friends that do both. Most of them enjoy catching a fish from time to time, my self included. Just standing in a fishless river casting all day with very little hope of actually hooking something is not my idea of fun, especially when I am paying for a fishing licensce, discovery pass and thousands of dollars on gear and gas. I would rather fish for hatchery fish than no fish. Or have the rivers closed all together while still being charged for a fishing license.