WDFW will not release 'early winter' hatchery steelhead this spring unless legal issues are resolved

freestoneangler

Not to be confused with Freestone
If you want 1850 steelhead abundance level, then you need to remove most of the human population from WA state

I vote we start with this frigging forum. If we could turn even half of this hot air into fish... problem solved :).
 

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
Curt, so that begs the question. What can be done now? I am not convinced we have more dcades to tinker with this issue.. Can you see why many of us say things like "nothing is being done"

we have to do things that will help imediatly. those tend to be the things people don't like.. our managing agencies have failed. it's time they be given the mandate to protect wild fish and give them the means to do it, including stepping on a few necks


Use eminent domain to seize property in floodplains and estuaries and restore natural flow, snags and riparian functions. Would have a staggeringly positive impact. There are numerous government bodies with the legal authority to use ED, and if they have the balls, basically nothing anyone can do about it.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
If the Federal gov't didn't provide subsidized flood insurance no one would build their dream home in a floodplain because insurance would be too expensive and floods are certain. Rivers will regenerate their own habitat "correctly" if we let them, and very quickly.

I don't believe humans can "create" better riverine habitat than a river can, if left to do what it does. We think we understand the processes so we do this or do that, at great tax and ratepayer expense, when the river will do it better and for free, if we let it. Flood control...bull..!

And yes, I don't care about the potential losers who chose to build where floods are certain, or the logging companies that didn't plant the trees they cut and I don't care about those who make a living harvesting fish created by tax and ratepayers and sport fishing licenses. This is so screwed up no one even understands it fully.
 

HauntedByWaters

Active Member
I heard a good one at my restoration restoration job today where we apparently spend millions doing "nothing" to the Skagit River.

Someone got uppity to me and claimed there was an Indian land grab going on. That is Native Americans grabbing land. The irony was nearly too much.

There is a ton going on with restoration and it amazes me how upset people get when they see it happening.
 

Klickrolf

Active Member
"There is a ton going on with restoration and it amazes me how upset people get when they see it happening."

Maybe it's because people know the river will do it better than we can?
If not it should be.

Restoration is a nice word. What does it mean and is it what the river would do? Is it tying some logs to the bank and calling it habitat? Is it placing a root wad here or there. Is it removing a road so the river can access it's floodplain?

In 2006 a culvert was removed on a trib to the Klickitat and a large cement bridge replaced it, this was done to improve steelhead access. That culvert should have been screened and blocked so no fish could access it above the culvert. Over a period of about 5 years I surveyed the stream and each May or/and June I found hundreds of steelhead fry desiccated at the edges of pools where water doesn't flow for about 8 months of the year, there are no resident fish. This habitat restoration insured most every steelhead spawning there would waste their productivity. We increased the probability steelhead would spawn in this creek when we could have disallowed it, maybe they'd have found other spawning habitat?

Not all habitat restoration is worth doing and all the useful restoration will be done by the river if we let it restore itself.

The best habitat restoration we can do for wild steelhead is to let their rivers do what they will and get the h.ll out of the way. Dams included.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
Rolf

Likewise there is a creek i surveyed for years on the Washougal absolutely horrible habitat but it spawned 3-6 wild steelhead every winter and several dozen hatchery fish ( spawning at the same time mind you).. There was a 3' wide culvert with a 3 foot plunge to the pool below above that the fish were always wild and the fish below all hatchery. every year like clockwork..
good intentions came by with a lack of information and replaced the culvert with a fish friendly one with no drop.. now those damn chambers creek fish can get up there.. I haven't been back.. probably no wild fish left due to the overwhelming presence of hatchery fish.

I am all for creating fish passage but do some thinking first... i guess when there is money to be had for a type of project those projects get rammed through, good or bad..

if anyone wishes to look into it it's Winkler creek and the culvert is on Borin road right by the MX track.. to bad they didn't ask the person who knew the most about the creek or even do a survey to see what was or wasn't there or monitor it after the fact.

the same creek was dammed by a landowner . I told an influential adult and He took an engineer and a biologist there... the engineer said it was poorly constructed and was holding back enough water to wipe out the Washougal river road, the landowner was forced to remove the dam... not for the sake of the fish but for the road..
anyway it's all on private property and a 15 year old can trespass in places where a 43 year old cannot.. so who knows what's going on with the creek.. probably no one at all..
 

KerryS

Ignored Member
If the Federal gov't didn't provide subsidized flood insurance no one would build their dream home in a floodplain because insurance would be too expensive and floods are certain. Rivers will regenerate their own habitat "correctly" if we let them, and very quickly.

I don't believe humans can "create" better riverine habitat than a river can, if left to do what it does. We think we understand the processes so we do this or do that, at great tax and ratepayer expense, when the river will do it better and for free, if we let it. Flood control...bull..!

And yes, I don't care about the potential losers who chose to build where floods are certain, or the logging companies that didn't plant the trees they cut and I don't care about those who make a living harvesting fish created by tax and ratepayers and sport fishing licenses. This is so screwed up no one even understands it fully.

I tend to agree. One of the greatest threats to any river system is FEMA and their cheap flood insurance. They are encouraging people to build in the flood plain and also protecting those that built decades ago. Which present a perfect opportunity for an old joke.

"When the white men first came to the Skagit Valley they asked the Indians where to build their houses to avoid being flooded by the Skagit River. The Indians told them to build above the high water mark on the trees. So, what did the white men do?"

"Cut down all of the trees."
 

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