Washington Fly Fishing Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On Bob Ball's "Piscatorial Pursuits" forum a poster by the name of Jerry Garcia(-a long veteran of the site) made a case in point with this comment today as fallows:
I quote him,

"At our WSC(Wild Steelhead Coalition) board meeting last night we received a report that the state is considering a week long wild steelhead kill fishery on the Chehalis system [ including major tribs.] as their numbers indicate there will be some "extra" fish above escapement. After the harvest the system would close, no c-n-r."

I Further quote this thread by a responder:

"That's too bad, I fish the chehalis river system a lot. I'd just like to see the river stay to wild release. From what I've seen this year, I can't imagine them being over escapement. Keep me posted if you hear this is for sure. I'll try to go out and sore mouth as many as possible and make sure the natives stay where they are supposed to, in the water."

Next quote a response by me:

"Jerry Garcia,

So, who can we write do to voice our concerns regarding this proposed scenerio? I'm guessing we are talking about "all" the tributaries to the Chehalis system, ie. the Wynoochee, Satsop, Skoomchuck -etc....? Need to act fast, Darin"

Next response by Jerry G:

"The decision would be made at the Region 6 office in Montesano. Bob Gibbons is the biologist floating the idea. I hear he's not good at reading his e-mails. The regional directors name is Sue Patnude, office phone 360 249-4628, fax number is 360 664-0689. I heard the fishery could be the end of March." (-This is the conact info...)

And the last response by "Todd" on this thread:

"Folks interested in making their opinions known on this proposed fishery ought to do it right away, as the decision will likely be made in the next couple of weeks.

This one week kill fishery will come at the expense of a one month WSR fishery. Not a CNR fishery, but one where wild fish are released and hatchery fish are still legal to harvest.

I can't really understand the option to have a one week kill fishery.


Forecast of 105 wild fish harvested, along with any incidental hatchery fish, which should account for a lot of fish, too, as all those tribs have late returning hatchery fish. Likely the hatchery harvest would far outweigh the amount of wild fish harvested.

Fishing lasts seven days, then that's it until June.


No directed wild fish harvest, which protects the runs in all those tributaries, where a few fish could make the difference between making escapement in a few years or not.

Hatchery fish are still available to harvest...and will likely outnumber the wild fish encountered anyway, not to mention have an additional three weeks to put fish in the freezer, plus the added bonus of getting them out of the system so they don't spawn with the wild fish.

A month of fishing, rather than a week. More opportunity, more $$ in the local economies, less gas spent to drive out to the coast or up to the Skagit/Sauk to fish, and less pressure on those other open rivers, too, by spreading out the fishing pressure more.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, a feeling that WDFW is both creating opportunity and making an effort to not do it at the expense of wild fish. Lack of trust and integrity is a huge problem for WDFW right now, and this is a way to establish some of both.

That's my take on it, anyway...

Fish on...


Well, I strongly suggest anyone with conviction, interest, familiarity with the area(ie: Wynoochee, Satsop, Skoocumchuck etc.) or a few moments to make up a brief memo expressing their concerns and questions with such a change in the regulations for this river system.

This issue needs support. I would suggest faxing into the regional director(given above by Jerry G.) your take on this proposal.

Sincerely, Darin A. Brenner


1,098 Posts
Does anybody know how true this really is? Let me get this straight. Not only is the plan to kill wild steelhead to solve the "problem" of high escapement, but the hathcery fish would get an extra 3 weeks of no fishing pressure, giving them that much more opportunity to spawn with wild fish (these are late-returning, native brood stock hatchery fish, mostly released from remote acclimation sites, with already very high stray rates). Hard to believe even WDFW thinks this is a good idea.

I guess I wouldn't put it past Bob Gibbons though. He seems to have made it a personal crusade to make sure people have an opportunity to kill wild steelhead. I imagine this will make for a lively meeting when he gives his presentation to the Wild Steelhead Coalition next week.

24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
WDFW Proposed Regulation Change -we need to act now...

I will make an attempt to confirm this proposal myself. Anyone reading this who is concerned should take a brief moment and do the same with the number(s) and names provided in the original post.

24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
WDFW Proposed Regulation Change -we need to act now...

Additional information. The edit function isn't letting me go back....

Another poster by the name of "Legitamate Hooker" wrote the fallowing updated post:

I qoute him saying,
"Okay well I called the Devonshire office and talked to Sue. The information she gave me was this; There is a proposal for a 2 or 3 day kill fishery of wild steelhead on the Chehalis system and it's tribs. If the proposal does indeed happen it will happen at the end of March she said. She gave me Bill Cambell's number 249-1203, she said he was the guy that I needed to talk to. I called and left a msg on this guys machine. She said it is still being proposed but that things are looking promising for the fishery. Promising my @$$! Darin, I can get a huge auditorium to host a meeting in free of charge. If you guys want to do this, I can see if maybe some of the guys from the department would like to attend the meeting. Lets keep the ball rolling. Let me know what more I can do."
Mailing and physical address of WDFW Region ^ Office:

4800 Devenshire Road
Montesano, WA 98563

I believe you can also find this information on the WDFW main web page as well as email addresses.

(And, if you call to reach either Sue or Bob be sure and type in the spelling of their last names correctly on the directory....)
Good Fishing, Darin:beer2

24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
WDFW Proposed Regulation Change -we need to act now...

And another by SteelieMatt on the same site:

"I had heard it was going to become a Forgone Opertunity issue, So the tribes are well aware of the extra fish, If they are not offered to you then they will claim them, So that being said, it may be best, But you can still return them to the water as I hope everone will. Remember Opertunity does not have to = Harvest....But it will keep the nets from getting your allotted fish. Practice Catch and release and this 2-3 day ordeal will not faze us but save a hundred or so fish from the nets. Matt "

---This needs to be confirmed. Still worth raising an eyebrow at.... Darin:professor

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
5,781 Posts
I don't think that encourageing a bus load of catch and release anglers to run out there and establish turf is the answer either. More vocal protests toward the responsible parties, public exposure in the media, etc. that's what gets attention, and sometimes results too.
(But only sometimes).

How about 100 anglers showing up there with a picket-parade protest over the reg change.Fully rigged up and ready to fish, and protesting the harvest of wild fish. And make sure the media knows about it too! That would get Catch and Release some attention. Allot of the non-angling public here feels that most, if not all, fishermen kill all the fish that they catch. I am sure that there are many people involved in harvest and regulatory work that want this kind of general, social ignorance over these matters to continue. We have to stop killing wild fish.

2,866 Posts
Word. But I would also like to add that we should attempt to stop the killing of wild fish at all costs.
If that fails, then the protest.
I think the natives killing the natives is not much of an argument for allowing the kill season on wild fish. It is a move backward. And we should stop that if we can. What the natives do is not, unfortunatley, in our power to control.

24 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
More info on the subject:

I quote Mr. Jerry Garcia(real name Richard)here:

"This is what I know
Hi Guys-

As I related at the BOD meeting last night the WDFW is seeking input on the Chehalis system steelhead fishery for this year. The predicted run size includes a harvestable surplus this year of wild fish and they are looking at 3 options for management:

Background data for 2003

run size 10975 wild fish estimated
treaty catch 648
Chehalis tribal 330 this leaves 9997 wild fish
e-goal 8600
Available 9997-8600 = 1397 fish available for possible sport use

Option 1: Season: Mar 1-7
Predicted catch of 145 to 196 fish, leaving a buffer of 1201 fish

Option 2: Season: Mar 24-31
Estimated catch: 166 to 223, leaving a buffer of 1074 fish

Option 3: Extend Wild Steelhead Release (WSR) season for 2 weeks to April 15 on the Wynooche and Satsop and to April 30 on the Chehalis.

No information was provided on hooking mortality, but I assume that it is less than the buffer amount.

The Advisory Group was about divided in their vote for these options: 9 for option 2 and 8 for option 3.

Data shows the Chehalis system has been above the escapement goal for 4 years without a kill fishery by roughly 500 to 3000 fish with last year being about 10,500 fish escaping to the spawning grounds.

Other facts:

The Chehalis system was underescaped between 1987 and 1997 except for 1989 when it just made the goal.

The Wnyooche has made escapement since 1894, except for 87, 92 and 96.

The Satsop has been underescaped since 1987 except for just making it in 93, 94, 98, and making it by 700 or so fish in 02.

The mainstem of the Chehalis has been underescaped since 1987 except for 99 and 2000.

We reviewed this fishery last year in the Advisory Group and Nate and I (along with a few others) voted for WSR. The Department followed that option. They now seem to favor a kill fishery, as it has been closed for a long time (to a kill fishery).

I again voted for WSR suggesting it would be better to allow the fish to spawn and hopefully build the run higher before a harvest.

I talked to B. Leland today and he said there is still a small amount of time to get comments in. He suggested sending e-mail comments to him and Bob Gibbons. I would suggest sending them also to Director Jeff Koenings and Bill Freymond. Here are those address'

Bob Leland [email protected]
Bob Gibbons [email protected]
Jeff Koenings [email protected]
Bill Freymond [email protected]

Time is of the essence. Try to get comments in by the end of the week as they will make their decision early in March.


Also, a reply form a known biologist/expert on the forum:

I presume you had that detailed information (at least in general form) after yur board meeting - why not include that in the first post. Stirring the pot?

The three options you present (via Dick) are all targeted at killing additional wild fish. The first two in directed harvest of wild fish and the third in hooking mortality in a WSR fishery for an aditional 2 to 4 week period.

Based on the comments above it seemed most were preferring an additional option - put them all on the spawning grounds - leave the season as is (somewhat surprised that at least on the committee didn't lean this way). Others (Todd et al) seem to prefer kill some additional wild fish just as long it is in a WSR fishery (willing to sacrifice some fish for increased opportunity?).

As always it seems this debates are as much about who gets what piece of the pie as it is the fish's needs.

Tight lines

Send a short or long email today if you give a damn.......
Good Fishing, Darin
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.