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Here's a link to the article. Four options presented. Guides are weighing in and I'm sure the department will pander away to them as they have cause they get their fees and the rec fees as well in one boat so to speak. I'm an option 3 at a minimum with option 4 being my second choice. No fishing from a boat should be instituted on more rivers before and after now. The D in Oregon works and experiences high use. No, is not perfect but it is a better scene than the side drifting pornography winter steelhead has become in western Washington. It's time steelhead anglers got creative and learned to fish again without dragging an offering out of a boat. Option 2 is attractive from a comedic angle just to see the show all be in forks at once. Could you imagine. There will be lots of crying and wailing. What do we think?

 

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I'm torn on this one. No fishing from the boat means you could very easily launch on a busy day and just float the river without finding an open run. Once out of the boat people tend to stay a while.

Any river that has a hatchery run should have mandatory retention. Get one and challenge yourself with a new method. Get a second and get off the river.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm torn on this one. No fishing from the boat means you could very easily launch on a busy day and just float the river without finding an open run. Once out of the boat people tend to stay a while.

Any river that has a hatchery run should have mandatory retention. Get one and challenge yourself with a new method. Get a second and get off the river.
If we are about limiting encounters and moving people through a float I say one and done should be the order. We are living in a world where two hatchery fish limits are a luxury.
 

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If we are about limiting encounters and moving people through a float I say one and done should be the order. We are living in a world where two hatchery fish limits are a luxury.
Agreed but reality is a bitch. I spent a few years as the klick river steward and the only real thing I helped get done was a mandatory retention rule. We had to raise the limit from 2 to 3 rats to get it passed.
That winter I had a kid and bailed on the stewardship but the guides got the rule rescinded the next year. Rumor has it it was the bead guides as they didn't want to be done by 10am.
 

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How about limit the number of boats on the water on a given day and require you to move regularly? No camping, maybe an hour or so at each spot.

Not sure how you could enforce the later, but boats could be counted at the launches and info coordinated. Sad, but it's getting to be necessary to limit traffic, to protect the fish and give people a chance to actually fish from the boat or just from the bank...

Rivers like the Smith in MT are permitted and you have to launch on a specific day and cover X number of miles to your next camping spot each day. People would hate it, but those on the river could have a better experience. Set X number of guide permits and X number of private anglers...
 
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Personally I think we should make some rivers basically put n take systems. Something like the Cowlitz, the Wilson or the Clackamas. Then some rivers get turned into well managed rivers for wild fish. Yes, I realize this doesn't work with ESA listed fish. And yes, nobody wants "their river" to turn into this way or the other. Basically its way too rational to work....
 

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Sea Run Browns and Atlantic's in the Sky please!! And Snoqualmie... why not? Don't worry, I know why not... still, hmmmmm....
 

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Thanks for posting the link. I just listened to the 2-hour presentation and thought it interesting and entertaining to hear the WDFW staff and then the public comments/questions afterwards.

Option 3 seems like the best option to meet all four conservation goals and still maintain some sort of recreational fishery. Mandatory rainbow trout release seems like a no-brainer. I have to believe that putting large-scale no fishing from boats coupled with no bait has the best chance to reduce the encounter factor to the desired rate. This seems like it has the most potential to affect guides the most as they have the highest encounter rates already and likely fish the least from shore.

Every year I have a desire to fish the coast for winter steelhead and go about every other or every third year. I just don't like fishing amongst crowds. If I thought that these regulations would reduce recreational and guiding pressure, even with lower than normal returns, it just might spark my interest to return out there again. I just don't know how much no bait and no fishing from boats will reduce angler effort. I suppose once the regs are released, then we'll all have a better idea what those fishing impacts will be.
 

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Thanks for posting the link. I just listened to the 2-hour presentation and thought it interesting and entertaining to hear the WDFW staff and then the public comments/questions afterwards.

Option 3 seems like the best option to meet all four conservation goals and still maintain some sort of recreational fishery. Mandatory rainbow trout release seems like a no-brainer. I have to believe that putting large-scale no fishing from boats coupled with no bait has the best chance to reduce the encounter factor to the desired rate. This seems like it has the most potential to affect guides the most as they have the highest encounter rates already and likely fish the least from shore.

Every year I have a desire to fish the coast for winter steelhead and go about every other or every third year. I just don't like fishing amongst crowds. If I thought that these regulations would reduce recreational and guiding pressure, even with lower than normal returns, it just might spark my interest to return out there again. I just don't know how much no bait and no fishing from boats will reduce angler effort. I suppose once the regs are released, then we'll all have a better idea what those fishing impacts will be.
I really don't have much interest in the OP anymore, too crowded and a lot of work. I don't mind the work and may do a guided trip on some of the Indian lands, just to catch some fish. I love the Hoh and the Queets! Would love to float the Sol Duc and Bogey, but it's just so damn crowded. I'll go chase trout on the Yakima or out in MT and make sure to catch fish!! Hopefully big ones, on dries or streamers! Until I can get down to Belize and chase bones and tarpon!
 
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Personally I think we should make some rivers basically put n take systems. Something like the Cowlitz, the Wilson or the Clackamas. Then some rivers get turned into well managed rivers for wild fish. Yes, I realize this doesn't work with ESA listed fish. And yes, nobody wants "their river" to turn into this way or the other. Basically its way too rational to work....
I have also been a Advocate of what I call. Hatchery/Harvest rivers. They shoud be around a 2 to 3 hour drive apart. The Cowlets should be just that. Along with the Green river for its location and that it is a system without many Tributaries. Basically a main steam river with hatcheries in place. These rivers can be a shit show.

Then leave the rest of the rivers to be managed for wild fish recovery. If the river does not meet escapement. It should be closed the fallowing season. All catch and release no fishing from boats or with bait.
 

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If you go to no fishing from a boat, regardless of why or how, to all gear guys that will be 100% perceived as the “fly guy wild fish zealot rule” and I promise you, there will be no safe spaces because of it. Guys will absolutely NOT row out and around you while you swing a run, They will be dropping the hook and joining you whether you like it or not, this will not be an idyllic wonderland for the two hand crowd.

Personally, I say shut it all down after the end of Feb. It’ll help slowly transition everyone to the inevitable Jan 31 closure of the future.
 

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No matter what they do someone is going to be pissed, hell a lot of people are pissed anyway so what's the difference? Option #3 seems the most reasonable for everyone except the fish, it will make fishing the Sol Duc and the Calawah hard for the bead draggers and plug fishermen but hey, my river has closed on Jan. 31 for years.
 

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If it floats, it is a boat. The regulation would say no fishing from a floatation device. This idea has been used in BC for quite some time. The idea is to make it harder to hook fish, thereby reducing the encounter rate so yes, there will be folks who are upset because they won't "encounter" as many and will have to work harder to do it. I have often heard that some years statistically speaking, every fish is caught/encountered. If that is true, I would like to see the math or logic as to how they reach a 10% encounter rate. That seems like the key and from a conservation standpoint (and to the tribes) it seems like that calculation/process needs to be tight.

No matter what you do, there will be people that are upset. It really comes down to two choices: You either close everything down to meet all four of your conservation goals (abundance, productivity, distribution and diversity) or you impose the restrictions in option 3 and allow limited fishing to meet your four conservation goals. Options 1 and 2, by only meeting one of the four conservation goals don't seem like they will be all that effective. So by that logic, there are only two choices; knowing you will have some people upset no matter what you do, you can either fish or not fish. Choice seems easy to me.
 

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It appeared that most who commented in the meeting were in favor of option 3. The meeting can be watched/listened on YouTube and is worth listening to if you are interested in steelhead in Washington. The points that I agreed with most were that WDFW is currently managing this resource for status quo which will likely result in an ESA listing in the near future. They don’t appear to have an action plan and are working on some very old management assumptions backed up by weak data (statewide steelhead management plan). This needs to be updated. A few commented on putting together a coalition to help make future decisions that may change the management paradigm - that may be a start.
Lots of the typical hatchery vs wild, broodstock, spawning big on big suggestions etc in the comments/question period.
I do like the format of the meeting and hope they continue with the virtual presentations/comments/questions. Would be nice if they hosted it a few months prior to the Dec 1 opening instead of a week before they have to put together a recommendation. Only 160 people attended virtually. Given how many people talk about loving to fish for steelhead or make a living off steelhead fishing,160 in the whole state doesn’t seem like a lot of interest.
 
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