Inconsequential (?) [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Inconsequential (?)

Mean Mr Mustard
06-06-2004, 06:57 PM
Inconsequential: Without consequence; lacking importance; irrelevant; trivial.

After a dismal Spring fishing for trout in Western Washington’s lowland lakes I decided to do a little investigating to determine why (short of buying into the possibility that my fishing sucks this year). It appeared that the biologist for the region cut the stocking plan for my favorite lake to only 28.6% of the announced year-2004 plan. Somewhat steamed by his action, I started looking deeper at the state’s allocation of fish. Here’s what I came up with [the numbers/info come from WDFW’s web site or last year’s Sport Fishing Rules and pertains to lake stocking only].

1. Western Washington lakes depend primarily on catchable size trout plants (7 inch or larger) because of relatively low fry survival.
2. Of 380 lakes stocked by WDFW last year, only 15 were designated flyfishing only. Of those 15, only 11 were stocked – that represents 2.9% of the 380 stocked.
3. In Western Washington, where the vast majority of the population lives, there are only 6 fly fishing only lakes and of these, the state only stocks 3.
4. Of the 5 Million trout 7 inches or larger that the state plans to stock this year, only 600 are allotted to those 3 Western Washington fly fishing lakes. That number represents only .012% of the total.
5. Of the 24 Million stocked fish, fry or otherwise, fly fishing lakes in the state will receive a total of 39,854 or .21% of the total.

Blown away by the numbers, I wrote the director of WDFW pointing out this gross unfairness and inquiring as to why. I received a reply from his director of Fish Program, Lew Atkins. The following is his summation, included in the whole:

“This leads to the greater question of why there are so many fewer fish stocked into fly fishing lakes and relatively few fly fishing lakes in Washington State. Many or the statewide decisions about the distribution of fish stocking into lakes are based on the angler preference surveys. The most recent survey was completed last year and, consistent with other earlier surveys, suggests that a relatively small percentage of the angling public are fly fishers. Furthermore, it indicates Washington State anglers are generally satisfied with the numbers of quality fishing lakes in the state.”

Which, to me, begs the question: Are these surveys being conducted at the local Bait Barn? Pretty plain to me, fairness doesn’t equate in this agency’s resource management plan – we simply don’t matter. (Nothing new to the fly fishing steelheaders out there.)

Then, again, I could be complaining about trivia and be twice the inconsequential fly fisher.


06-06-2004, 10:35 PM

Six hundred fish spread out over 3 lakes, that's a lot of fish per lake. Hmmmm..., Let's see, 200 fish in each of the three lakes seems fair to me since the WDFW surveys found only a small percentage of the state's fishers fly fish. Besides, they also found out with their surveys that anglers are generally satisfied with the numbers of quality fishing lakes.

Also, why should there be any fly fishing only lakes at all since 1) only a small percentage of Washington anglers fly fish; and 2) any lake designated as fly fishing only is unfair to the huge number of non-fly fisherman. Afterall, isn't fly fishing an elitist pursuit?

Mean Mr Mustard
06-06-2004, 11:51 PM

Although I have heard trade group rumors that fly fishers make up 10% of the sport fishing public in Washington state, I personally can't say this number is gospel, still I would hazard a guess of at least 5% - that is a far cry from the .21% stocking allotment. And my "gear" typically costs 3 - 5 times as much as the other disciplines resulting in a far greater tax burden/contribution. Using this "tax fact", fly fishers contribute a lion's share toward the state's coffers and should be accorded some satisfaction.

I don't buy into this elitist crap when the price of admission is simply buying some gear - what fisher doesn't already spend too much on gear while looking forward to spending even more! I fished for many years with no more than $75.00 wrapped up in my rod/reel/line.

And to say that 600 fish spread between 3 lakes "seems fair", well look at these numbers, please:

Lake Chelan - 499,952
Fish Lake - 286,000+
Blue Lake - 50,000
Mineral Lake - 34,500+
Mayfield Reservoir - 58,000
Roosevelt Lake - 500,000 Rainbow and 950,000 Kokanee
American Lake - 80,000
Williams Lake - 37,500
Summit Lake - 40,000

...and these are 7 inches or larger, the fry counts are far larger where applicable.


P.S. I believe I must have been Don Quixote in a former life, I still have a penchant for killing dragons - make believe or otherwise.:o

06-07-2004, 01:13 PM

Like you, I get tired of hearing about the "inconsequential numbers" of fly fishers in WA state. There are also quite a few folks who fly fish some of the time and fish with so-called "conventional gear" (this term really gets under my craw since spinning reels were only invented in the 1940's) that I don't think are included in the fly fishers number because they aren't exclusively fly fishers.

And I've heard enough of the fly fishers are elitists crap since I've been a youngster that I've become pretty immune to hearing it anymore. The bottom line seems to be that those meat fishers who feel they have a right to kill as many fish as possible make a lot of noise (as an example, take the recent shouting of elititist fly fishers taking away the opportunity to bonk a wild fish rantings) and this noise gets the attention of the politicos. Besides, the folks who have their summer "cottages" on Lake Chelan need some fish don't they?