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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got so teared up when posting on the "Top Five Rivers" that I this idea for a post came to me. Please list a river or a lake that used to be good (write a explantion as to why you though so) and then talk about why it now stinks and please list a few reasons. Sorry about being so teacherish about this, remember my mind has been permanently warped.
Bob, the Warped,
:professor
 

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Used to be Good-Stinks even Worse

Bob I feel your pain.
My reaction to this is, that until the state comes up with a catch and release fishery to more of our popular rivers on the West side of the mountains for certain fish species, these rivers will just remind us everytime we set ourselves in them how overfished, trash strewn, empty and emotionless they are. I really don't have a top five list. I think that every river from Bellingham to Vancouver and in between can be a top 5 river if we show all of them a little more respect. I do want to though be able to take my son, for example, to the Snoqualamie or Skykomish, and show him that it is possible to be able to catch a quality trout without driving for more than two hours to the Yakima to fish. :(
I will say this though (I have for weeks been considering weather I should mention about it). I just recently encountered proof to what i'm saying on this catch and release issue. My father lives in Woodinville. Every so often after I visit him I head down to a river to fish. To my glee I have the whole area to myself, catching decent size cutthroat averaging out at around 12 inches. The exciting part about this river is that the fishing is technically challenging, you have to look for them rising, literally stalk after these bright, beautiful fish so you don't spook them, it's close to a metropolitan area, and most of all, It's CATCH and RELEASE!
Rich :thumb
 

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Used to be Good-Stinks even Worse

I forgot what I was supposed to remember.

I don't think more catch and release rivers will do any good unless the public is better informed about the water. I used to really have a good time fishing Pilchuck Creek. But now when I go fish it you can't even catch a cold out of it. I remember that you could always catch native cutts out of it. Being that it's close by and good access it seems that all it gets any more are people using bait and it is a no bait allowed creek and selective gear so it means barbless hooks.

Me and a friend were fishing it one time and we were quiting and putting out gear away when up came a game warden. Well we showed him out license's and were shooting the breeze when out of the woods came a guy carrying 4 fish sizes 4" to 6" and a can of worms. At the time limit was 2 and minimum was 14" and no bait.
He got a ticket and he pleaded that he didn't know what the limit was. I think that most people just play dumb when ever they get caught.I always try to play with in the rules and if I don't understand it I will ask.

So here's one for you Babble. I used to catch sea runs out of that creek that ran 20" easily. Now it seems like there is nothing there anymore.

Jim
 

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So many rivers used to be good! I'll start with two, the Cedar and the Green/Duwamish. Well the Cedar is permanently closed to the law abidng and the Green is but a very poor excuse for what it was. I grew up near the bottom end of the Green and it was prime at that time. It was always one of the top three rivers in the state for steelhead, around 17,000 to 18,000 caught a year and some recorded every month. I wonder if at this time, there are 18,000 steelhead caught in the entire year in WA?

Dave
 

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And given that this a site of hundreds, maybe the bitching should stop and in turn, ideas should be fueled together to see what the members of WFF can do to better our fisheries.

Do remember, you only have until July 16th to send in your proposals for regulation changes to the WDFW.
 

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1. Puyallup (though it's one of my top five favs, still has a good salmon run, plus local for some quick fun fishing) but this is about steelhead. Grew up on the river. Remember when a typicle winterrun was around 15#'s. Caught a good majority of my 20#er's off the Puyallup. Remember when it would simply FLOOD with fish. By the mid 80's went way downhill. A mixture of things made this happen.

2. Riffe Lake. Used to fish it alot with my Dad. Always had alot of water (even on drought years). Always hit lunker 'bows up near where the Cowlitz dumped into Riffe, and also fished the upper Cow with the fly for nice 'bows. Now, with that new dam below Riffe, the lake is majority low. I know I wanted to take my kids up there after a near 15 year hiatus from the lake. Found a nice campground where we used to camp free, and found the like wasn't there. Was SUPER LOW. Last time I was up there it wasn't much higher. So, haven't been back since (only wanted to take my kids for some easy trout fishing from my youth).

3. Wynoochee River. Only because of the high traffic that now clogs this river. I remember waking up at my then parents property (my Dad got it after their divorce) and fishing the Nooch all day with only seeing maybe one or two driftboats all day long during winterrun season and most of those were guides. Now, you're lucky to go a day seeing only 15 or less. If it's hot, you'll see 20+ boats constantly. Not saying I own the river, but miss the days when most went to the Cow to fish. Never saw the traffic until it was profiled in a few mags.

Hmmmm, alot of misc. rivers. I agree about the reg change proposals. Mine were sent off a few months ago. I'm on a committee (volunteer years ago) that I get the reg proposals sent to me months ago. I normally fill out my form and return with what I would like to see changed. Not sure how many get this, or if they still offer it???? But nice program to be on. Also get a pamphlett afterwards saying proposed/denied and who made statements regarding proposals.
 
G

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Thanks, Bob - you just saved me a gallon of NF milk...

And, while I normally subscribe to the notion of not complaining without a solution, the solution to waters lost is normally an obvious one - it's the initiation and follow through that illudes us for various reasons. How many times have regs served to preserve a fishery, only to have poor enforcement/malicious practices undermine everybody's best hopes and intentions? I believe that regs and enforcement are not enough, as long as opposing interests have their say - up front or behind the scenes. Until poachers and environmental terrorists are taught a real lesson and that precedent is set....
frustration will rise out of proportion to the amount of action taken to effect change. I believe a massive, organized effort is required (as opposed to sporadic, mostly solitary sparks of influence) to combat any and all instances where the world around us is abused one way or the other. We're not represented only because we aren't organized and formidable. That will change... it better...
:smokin
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sometimes I just think that some off us have an attitude that says, "Yea, well it all stinks these days and there is nothing that I can do about it (X generation)."
We can. We must admit what's wrong. We must resolve to forge ahead. If we go down, we go down in flames without embarassment on our faces as our children watch in horror at the destruction of their planet.
Bob, the Lost Soul.
:beathead
 

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NO NO NOOOOOOOOOOOO Bob!!!!!!!!

Don't say GenX. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I'm technially wrapped up in that. But I grew up fishing with old plunkers on the Puyallup as a VERY YOUNG pre teen. In fact, alot of guys think I'm in my 50's-60's when they first talk to me on here. Then they realize I'm only 33 and are like "Wow, you talk like you're much older". LOL. But lived a full fishing life for my age. Maybe because I grew up only throwing glass rods and heavy reels, so hardened me up a bit. LOL.
 

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Don't leave out urban sprawl and the deforestation, run-off, lawn fertilizers and pesticides associated with that. I am only 28, but can remember when Issaquah and North Bend were cow towns (and I mean that in a good way). Having grown up in Renton and visiting my granparents in Issaquah I was excited to be going to the "country". Now when I visit them I have to sit through stop lights and traffic as I drive past condos, apartments and $500,000 homes. It saddens me, but at least I can honestly say that I am not contributing to the problem since I live in an 85 year old apartment building in Ballard.
 

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I gotta say the NF Stilly.

When I used to fish it in the 70's there were no legions of poachers fishing gear and bait during fly season. The Deer Creek Slide and not decimated the population of wild fish that ran up the creek of the same name. The river below wasn't silted in from the same slide.

And back then a guy could get away from it all on the NF Stilly. And it was back when another fly fisherman on the river was likely to be a famous author.

The Stilly stinks compared to what it was, but I would still rather fish it than most other rivers in the state.

Rob
 

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1.) Sammamish River

Now it barely moves and the water has been stolen by a golf course. Also, it feels kind of funny to be fishing when people are rifing bikes, walking strollers and rollerblading by you.

2.) South Fork Snoqualmie

Not really a big deal but when I was a kid I fished there two to three times a week. There was one hole in particular that I always had success. One day after not fishing for the whole season I decided to stop there to see what had changed. There were signs on the trail with "No Tresspassing" chained up accross the trail. I decided to access the hole from the river so I wouldn't be tresspassing. When I started fishing, a man came out furious that I was on "his property".
I was furious that he knew better about accessing the hole in front of his house. It just bummed me out that I was dealing with issues like that when everyone else is so nice that owns property on the South Fork.
It also bums me out when I see another bulkhead built alongside the river. No more habitiat after one of those go up.

3.)Yakima R.

Just seeing it evolve with more and more guides is depressing. I remember only 10 years ago there was only a handful of guides. Now I don't even float the canyon due to the commercialism.

4.) S. Fork Sky

Just stop by Reider sometime with a trash bag. You can fill a 50 gallon bag and still have garbage from the baitfishermen left on the shores. Freakin ********!!!

5.) M Fork Snoqualmie

Not that I am opposed to kayaking but it has gotten to the point of not fishing certain waters because of all the boats.

Kind of a depressing post wouldn't you say?

From Bob"Sometimes I just think that some of us have an attitude that says, "Yea, well it all stinks these days and there is nothing that I can do about it (X generation).""

Bob, you dissapoint me. The generation "X" will be the first generation to make significant changes that have been a result of the baby boomers. Everyone whines no matter the age. Please quit stereotyping, it is kind of annoying.
Thanks.
 

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I have only been living in washington since 1989. I grew up in Georgia. Warm water species was about the only thing we had there. We used to go up to Dalton in the foothills to fly fish for Rainbow(stocked) during the openers. it's funny to hear you guys talk about how good it was (I wish I would have been there) but the only fly fishing I did was on a small stream and most of the stream is privately owned and they charge you to fish on there land. So I can't really say what was really good then. But I can tell you the river I live next to now (the Washougal) was supposed to be the best Steelhead River going. Well if that is true, it's sure not that now. it's plagued with snaggers and the water is really low right now causing the Steelie's to wait it out just inside the mouth which gives the baiters an easy target.I just recieved an e-mail from TU about the problem and it looks like something is finally getting done about the illegal snaggers.I am putting in a rule change for the washougal this year they may laugh at me but I suggesting "fly fishing only". I have included the mail from our local TU rep. interesting read. :7
 

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"The generation "X" will be the first generation to make significant changes that have been a result of the baby boomers. Everyone whines no matter the age. Please quit stereotyping, it is kind of annoying."

Gotta agree with you here, Troutman. I think Bob is great -- I love his stories -- but in this instance, I think it's ironic that someone who is part of the generation that allowed our rivers to overfished and the habitat to be degraded through the 60's, 70's and 80's is coming down on the younger generation for not doing anything about the problems. Sure, we've been handed a lousy legacy, but I know many Gen-Xers who are conservation-minded and are doing what they can to make things better.

Peace.
 
G

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There's an interesting point brought up in that attachment regarding the state's relative inability to enforce rules that exist in the name of managing/protecting any given fishery. If they can't enforce regs, they can't really manage the resource, now can they... so close the rivers to fishing? They'd still have to enforce that, and would have practically no law-abiding prescence in the area to discourage poaching (or whatever negative-impact actions that are taking place)... a quiet, closed river with nobody around but the poacher-unabated draws a disturbing scene in my mind.

We rely on our government way too much - apparently there are other very pressing matters which draw resources in other directions, making it a huge challenge for agencies to exact the kind of prescence which is necessary. Give the WFDW credit for doing a pretty good job of putting in place the kinds of regulations which should result in healthy fisheries in most cases. At which point does the public organize to focus resources in support of ensuring fisheries are preserved - for now and forever? At what point would the state or federal government agree to allow resources to be "donated" in the interest of directly funding regulatory efforts, viz., "deputized", public funded, certified river agents??? I mean, it could be a million years, literally, before we ever see tax dollars somehow made useful to all interests, and in the common interest of all...

Just a few thoughts...
:smokin
 

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Generation X er's,
It wasn't the boomers that were the cause of the degradaton of the environment in entirety. For all practical purposes the dams were built well before 1950. the timber industry ran rough shod through the woods since 1900 and earlier, logging to stream edges and using streams and rivers as log sluices. Industries like Wykoff, Arsarco, Boeing, Scott Paper, Crown Zellerbach and too many others were all entrenched well before 1960! The strong initiation of environmental laws were for the most part initiated by the boomers. It was in the late 60's when industry had to start towing the line. It was the boomers that started this. Sure we didn't resolve all the issues and make it a perfect world but we got it started. In the mid 60's you would have been hard pressed to find a herring ball in the sound. Now they are back. Why you may ask? Because the big polluters have been shut down or made to change their ways. Our waters are cleaner today for the most part thatn they were 40 years ago. Logging practices have improved greatly in the last 10 years. The retention of run off water is being addressed far better today than ever before. Remember there was NO sewage treatment before 1970 and who got that started, the boomers!
So here is my challenge to generation what ever. Since 1960 we have stopped logging to stream edges and buffer zones have been created. No high dams have been built without fish ladders. This includes a long time ago proposal to dam the middle fork of the Snoqualmie. Industries have been made to tow the line. Result several pulp processors have left, Arsarco is gone as too Wykoff and Boeing is on its way. We forced secondary treatment of sewage and now people balk at the cost. The boomers started the turn around! So GENERION what ever, what are YOU going to do rather than point the finger at those of us who got this whole thing started? The problems started before us and we were the first to start to address the issues. Personally I think we made a good start. Not perfect but a good start. Looking back 40 plus years I can see what has changed. In 40 years from now can you say you did better? We started the environmental movement. We are the people who started to turn this around in the Puget Sound Basin. As an educator would tell you all, study your history! If you believe the 5 o'clock news then YOU are lost!
For the record: MY first jobs out of college were to enforce environmental laws in the early 70's. I waS FIRED because I would not write off company policy to comply with new federal regs. four times in less than than one year. I am proud to say that all of these companies are no longer doing business in Washington. I doubt if I had any big roll in their leaving but they are gone. So generaton what ever what are YOU going to do rather than point the finger?
Davwe
 

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Seems this thread has changed its tune altogether.
Well, for a short-sighted answer to the original question: The Green River (Cowlitz co). Reasons I likED it: 4 weeks ago I laid into my 1st steelhead there. I had the river to myself. Reasons I don't like it anymore: July 4th weekend; I found out my lil whole was definitely no secret & the water was way low & the whole I hooked up w/my 1st steelie had all but diminished & held no fish.
Ok, I said it was short-sighted but seeing as how I've been in the state for less than 2 yrs I really couldn't tell ya what any river was like in the "golden years".
I DO have a perspective on river crowding & overuse that I don't believe I've ever heard a fisherman bring up....DEBT (no, Brad Pitt's not entirely to blame). Our economy is a huge bubble that's been inflated by personal debt. Such as: all those home mortgages that enabled so many yuppies to afford those pretty houses on river-front property...the loans on all those shiny boats floating down the rivers that we all complain about...the loans that enable people to afford 2&3 cars per family so the hubby can take off fishing all the time...throw in that mix all the golf courses & so on. Ever wonder what'll happen if that bubble breaks? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the niceties of our consumer economy as much as anyone, but I don't think it can last forever.
I pose another question. Do y'all think that the state should protect the river corridors by zoning out most types of construction within a certain distance -say, 300ft- of a river's banks? That would go a long way in protecting banks, hatches, aesthetics, etc. Just a thought I had yesterday while driving by dozens of million $$ homes along some local water yesterday.
 
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