04-07-2003, 09:00 PM
Washington DFW has issued final winter steelhead creel survey (http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/fish/creel/coastal/steelhead.htm) of the season. Here are some season totals for the Hoh River and the Quillayute System (including Bogachiel, Calawah, Sol Duc).
..........Wild Steelhead Kept - 681
....Wild Steelhead Released - 569
....Hatchery Steelhead Kept - 347
Hatchery Steelhead Released - 80
My simplistic observations: we caught more wild fish than hatchery fish
we killed more wild fish than hatchery fish
we killed more wild fish than we released
04-07-2003, 09:37 PM
I wonder what the percentages are for gear vs. fly fishing???
there is no reason to keep a wild steelhead in this day and age. CnR
Or the WDFW spends more time in the wild kill areas doing checks rather then in the C and R areas to make the numbers say that more people want to kill fish then release them. I agree that there is no reason to kill wild fish (yes I know that there is a mortality but I am talking whacking them over the head and giving them a zero chance of survival), but the department doesn't agree with two-thirds of the steelhead fisherman in the state.
These body counts are conducted at boat ramps, known parking areas and active shoreline fishing areas on the three river's system. I've been asked many times, sometimes in surprisingly remote access points but most often when I am using a state access area - you know the ones with the stone porta-potties. IMHO they are a fair census method for measuring the success of folks with drift boats, folks who congregate at hotspots, or those using common access points. I believe this constitutes the majority of steelhead anglers on the system, but certainly not all - and the minority who are bushwhacking are probably much better than the average anglers but they are also much fewer.
My wild-assed guess FWIW is that this does provide a sampling result worth study. Once again the enemy is ourselves - or more appropriately stated those who can not let go of bonking natives.
I would be interested in knowing how many of these natives were bonked by repeat bonkers. I think this would be interesting to monitor the effect of seasonal limits on wild fish, perhaps to 1 per river or 3 per season, etc. Just a thought, but who knows maybe the ratio of killed to caught might have flipped with tighter season limits per system, etc.
I think the important thing is to preserve the legacy of steelhead sporting in the region but talk the native-bonking mentality off the ledge to become one of sport, not meat.
I read that in Europe you could C&R a wild fish and be given a whole farm-raised atlantic salmon in exchange. Better yet if it were filleted already. Heck sit down, I'll grill it for them and their sports or buddies :devil: