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Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I knew this would get your attention.

I was thinking about how oxymoronic it is to see Catch and Release seasons being closed during emergency conditons on anadromous runs of fish. Of course I understand that it is only during emergencies. But if they had more Catch and Release seasons, on more water, for longer periods of time,(obviously with less harvest), then this rediculous situation would not occur.

Being a relative newcomer to the Pacific Northwest I have had to do allot of serious reading and study and get involved in allot of groups etc, to learn as much as I can. It is an enormous task to wrap one's self around the many issues of fisheries management here. A life's work.

It is most disturbing to me that one of the great modern management "tools",(Catch and Release), would become such a threat, to the few remaining spawning fish, that the managers would have to close that too.

That is an emergency in and of it's self.

I hope that those of you who have taken on the no-kill ethic as a fundamental in your fly fishing life, will take the time to be sure you are doing the least harm possible in your catch and release fly fishing; adequate weight rods for the species targeted, heavier leaders and tippets, smaller hooks, barbless hooks, briefer "playing time", little to no handling of the fish out of water, releasing the fish without avoidable injury, and knowing when too much catch and release, in a given area, is too much for the fish to handle. It seems that now, more than ever, we need to set the example for preserving the future of or wild fish and our way of life. Releasing wild fish is not a sacrifice, it is an investment.
 

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Mother Nature's Son
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Thankyou for such an eloquent set of words on the topic! You're a very wise man! We all have an impact (even though we don't believe it occasionally) and we all must try to minimize our footprint here.

Skinny
 

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In addition, I also think its somewhat hypocritical to only close a portion of the season. The runs are obviously in poor shape. If their numbers are down that bad, the rivers should have closed down starting in December. If anything this part of the run (Dec-Feb fish) needs the most help of all, since it's been harvested and depleted the most. Basically by killing the early returners what they are doing is gradually shifting the run timing back into the spring. Since the majority of the fish that are spawning are later returners, they are the only ones to pass on the genes. Who knows, in 50 years the fish returning in March will be considered the early ones. I don't disagree with the closures though. If the run is depressed, every little bit helps, but its frustrating that past mistakes in managment have led to this.

I agee, that its pretty bad when the runs are depressed so much that even a catch and release season has too much of an impact. I blame MSY. Im just wondering what will happen if the runs ever get healthy again. They may just open the December - February kill season back up and we start it all over again. :beathead
 

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Banned
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126 Posts
The Wild Salmonid Policy which is a document that governs Salmonind management in this state, states that any wild steelhead population that is expected to return at less then 80% of its escapement goal, will not have a fishery targeting that population whether it is C&R or not!

Anyone who believes that there should be a fishery over a depressed run, especially a run that is less then 80% of its escapement is selfish!

The Wild Salmonid Policy also states that there will not be a kill fishery on any wild steelhead population that is expected to return at less then its escapement goal.

You should pick it up!! Or download it! It is a good read!! :thumb
 

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Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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5,781 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In case there is any doubt after reading the above; I am not advocating that we should be fishing over stocks that are facing such a catastrophic collapse that even catch and release has to be closed. So no, I myself am not being selfish about this. The whole point is and was that it really is extraordinary that such a good management tool is not used earlier, and to greater extent, and that it gets relegated to the tawdry position of being another threat to the wild steelhead's survival.
 

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But it is another threat to the survivial of our wild steelhead. The hypocracy is too prevelant among so many in this community! So many of us feel that because we release what we catch, we cause no harm.

When will we realize that we are part of the problem? Many of us are part of the solution but we can not help but be part of the problem. We fish these stocks, we incidently catch the premigrants, we wade the rivers etc. etc.

Our key is to minimize our impact and maximize what we give back. How many here are memembers of certain convservation organizations that are fighting for our wild steelhead? How many here write letters? And show up at meetings? And get involved? How many here just bitch??

And lastly, I in fact think that fishing over stocks that are at 80% of escapement is not minimizing our impact. If a river system is not expected to reach escapement, we should not be fising over that river's fish!
 
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