Wadding Shanks 740- ONP Wild Steelhead 85!? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Wadding Shanks 740- ONP Wild Steelhead 85!?

03-25-2003, 11:44 PM
OK guys, so far waddington shanks has gotten 740 view and C&R proposal for Olympic National Park wild steelhead 85 views. Where's the love, man- OK, let's get our priorities straight- I challenge everyone on this board to send in a letter or email supporting this important rule proposal, read on:

Olympic National Park is proposing several changes in regulations governing recreational use and harvest of fish and shellfish within the park. These changes are in response to recent trends in the abundance of fish and shellfish populations in the Puget Sound/coastal region and National Park Service polices regarding the preservation of natural processes and ecosystems. The proposals and a brief explanation are enclosed. These changes only apply to non-tribal, recreational fisheries within Olympic National Park. We are inviting comment or information that may not have been considered in developing these proposals. Please address your comments to:

Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Port Angeles, WA 98362

To be considered in the final decision regarding implementation of these proposals, comments should be received by April 18, 2003. Those proposals that are adopted will become effective May 1, 2003. If you would like additional information regarding these proposals, you may write to the Superintendent. For fish related issues, call John Meyer at 360-565-3075.

1. Release wild salmon and steelhead caught in those portions of the Queets, Salmon, and Quinault Rivers and Goodman Creek occurring within Olympic National Park.

National Park Service policies promote quality fishing with an emphasis on catch-and-release of wild, fish populations. However, wild and hatchery-produced salmon and steelhead that occur within Olympic National Park are subject to allocation sharing ordered by the United States District Court, Western District for Washington. These sharing formulas divide the harvest of certain stocks of salmon and steelhead between treaty and non-treaty fisheries. Olympic National Park has allowed the recreational fisheries in the park to harvest some wild salmon and steelhead in conformance with these guidelines. In recent years, wild salmon and steelhead were allowed to be harvested in the Queets, Salmon (a principal tributary to the Queets River), and upper Quinault Rivers and Goodman Creek since these areas are subject to the court's sharing formula. However, wild stocks of salmon and steelhead have declined in recent years, and Olympic National Park is concerned with the future maintenance of self-sustaining populations of wild salmon and steelhead in these drainages and their contribution to natural ecological processes. Recent studies of salmon, trout, and char spawning behavior suggests that they play a very important role in the maintenance of productive, diverse ecosystems including future production of anadromous fish. The park is especially concerned with recent trends in survival of wild steelhead and maintaining future productivity of wild coho in the Queets River. Emergency closures of the winter steelhead season have been required in recent years in order to achieve spawning escapement objectives and, with the exception of the 2000-2002 brood years, Queets River coho have remained at the lower end of the desired spawning escapement range.
Olympic National Park is proposing to allow the recreational fishery to retain hatchery-origin salmon and steelhead in the Queets, Salmon, and upper Quinault Rivers and Goodman Creek but to the extent possible, prohibit the harvest of wild fish. Complete protection of all wild fish will be difficult in the Queets, Salmon, and Quinault since only a portion of the hatchery origin salmon and steelhead in these rivers are marked with a fin clip. It is desirable to remove as many of these hatchery-origin fish as possible before they have an opportunity to breed with wild salmon and steelhead. Steelhead harvest in the Queets, Salmon, and Quinault would be limited to those fish with an adipose or ventral clip (generally a small proportion of the hatchery releases in these rivers) or dorsal fin height less than 2 1/8 inches. The dorsal fin height would only be used as an indicator of origin from NovemberóJanuary since few hatchery steelhead are available after January. Recreational harvest of steelhead in the park portions of Goodman Creek would be restricted to adipose-clipped hatchery fish only. Dorsal fin height is not a good indicator of origin for chinook and coho salmon so harvest of these species in the Queets would be restricted to the lower river (below Hartzel Boat launch) and Salmon River during times of high hatchery salmon abundance. Discussions with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the tribes are on-going regarding allocation of harvest and fishing opportunity on salmon and steelhead in these rivers and future management maybe influenced by these discussions.
In the coastal portions of the lower Hoh and Quillayute rivers within Olympic National Park, harvest of wild salmon and steelhead would continue to be allowed in conformance with recreational fishing rules adopted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Since these reaches are very short, wild-release rules within the park portions of these two river sections would have little benefit to spawning escapement, result in confusion among anglers, and enforcement problems.

03-26-2003, 12:57 AM
I know some folks in the Park involved in this decision - and they WILL listen. Write that letter!!!