Skagit River Hatchery? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Skagit River Hatchery?


rich_simms
06-23-2004, 12:50 AM
Interesting article in the Skagit Valley Herald regarding the proposed hatchery on the Skagit River, what are your thoughts, pros or cons?

http://www.skagitvalleyherald.com/news/

roballen2
06-23-2004, 03:07 AM
I have a blanket opposition to any new hatchery programs anywhere in the state of Washington.We shouldn't be wasting money on a new hatchery program when
1. WDFW is supposidly strapped for cash
2. WDFW hatchery programs are notoriously unsucecessful in provioding reasonable numbers of fish for harvest.

3. I oppose the creation of terminal fishing areas because they are provide for the abuse of sportfishing regulations and poor angling ethic

4. You cannot put hatchery steelhead on top of wild steelhead and expect the wild fish to do well. Hatchery plants and wild restoration are absolutely at odds with one another it is impossible to do both at the same time and i challenge anyone to provide references to specific locations where this the wild run has been restored where hatchery programs were created orallowed to persist.

I think the proposed GrandY creek facility is a waste of time , a waste of money, a waste of sport fishing ethic and a waste of wild fish resources.

WDFW exemplifies stupidity in pursueing this program or any new hatchery program in the state.

Hey Plunker i know you'll read this.. here is a fact.. you and the wildcat steelhead club are wrong! Any group supporting the Grandy creek project is no friend to wild stelhead or the future of steelhead fishing in the state of Washington...

Plunker
06-23-2004, 04:08 AM
Rich,

There is no proposal for a new hatchery on the Skagit River system. The Marblemount and Baker hatcheries and Barnaby Slough rearing ponds provide all the hatchery facilities needed here.

The proposal on the table is for an "acclimation pond" for the purpose of imprinting smolting steelhead to a spot lower on the River than the current facilities to help separate some of the returning hatchery steelhead from the wild stocks to reduce the likelihood of interaction.

Another innovation in the proposal is to allow the young steelhead to smolt more naturally by leaving the facility upon their own volition when they are ready in hopes that they might provide higher return ratios.

--- --- ---

roballen2,

Wrong about what?

juro
06-23-2004, 06:40 AM
Thanks for the clarification Plunker.

I read the full article and had mixed feelings. As Kraemer says "They're just completely inept fish" without a doubt. And this is the Skagit, not some put and take fishery.

So the dillema is more "natural" hatchery fish (if that is possible) smolting and interacting with the Skagit ecosystem verses the current isolation of wild fish from yet another threat, the hatchery "dumbass who'd just as soon eat every wild fry it could get it's jaws onto".

This is a lot like a correctional institution that 'incarcerates' criminals out in society for better integration in everyday life verses locking them in a cell. Hmmm. There are plusses and minuses BUT dear God, anywhere but the Skagit. At least in the incarceration there is a required tracking device worn by the criminal and they can't victimize the young'uns in the neighborhood.

Why don't we try this on the Cow or Green or Bogachiel first to see what the effects are, and if positive results are undeniable then (and only then) play games with the Skagit. If all of a sudden we note a significant increase in survivability of wild fish as a result of better integrated hatchery fish then why not produce the same number of more educated fish in these systems. But otherwise, moving the problems of the hatchery into the river only makes things worse.

Will they feed the fish pellets?
Will they treat the water with pesticides as they do in hatcheries?
will wild fry be able to enter, and will smolts be able to exit?


Where does one find some details on this plan? thanks

KerryS
06-23-2004, 10:23 AM
According to the article this “rearing pond” is to improve the survivability of inferior hatchery clones. Why does this seem wrong? Why would you want to improve the survivability of a fish that is by all accounts is stupid and inferior? Why would you want to improve the survivability of a fish that will compete with the native wild fish? Why would you want to create an artificial fishery that will increase pressure on a system that some claim should be closed to protect the native wild populations? I hear talk of closing the C&R fishery because of incidental mortality but the very same people support the introduction of an inferior fish which would increase the incidental catch and mortality of wild, native fish. Again nothing but hypocrisy coming from the supporters of this facility.

One more thing. Once the rearing facility is built what is to stop them from turning it into a full blown hatchery?

roballen2
06-23-2004, 10:45 AM
Kerry you are absolutely correct in everything you said... Regardless of what anyone wants to think it's a new hatchery program. it may be the same fish that get planted but it's a brand new program... it's an extremely bad idea..

jjohnson
06-23-2004, 12:29 PM
This is a hatchery site Plunker no matter what they call it. It was recommonded that they change the name to sound better by Larry Wasserman of Skagit Coop I believe it was. They will bring parr (from Marblemount) down let them smolt release them into the skagit collect them as adults. The only thing they won't be doing is hatching them there. So call it what you want.

There appears to be a study coming out of the Kalama that is now showing that rearing ponds have a high residualization rate. The same thing is being observed out on the OP. Males are residualizing at a high rate and having a lot of interaction with wild fish trying to spawn. The state had to back off there statement saying it would reduce residualization to it MAY because they don't know. That is the problem that I have with all of this stuff they just don't know and there is a lot of hand waving.

This site has failed at least 2 times before because of bad water quality and poor returns. Is this where we should be spending our money. Here is some data I got from the department web site on hatchery plants and returns for the whole skagit system.

754 2860 417600 3614 0.87% 2002
339 1572 365,400 1911 0.52% 2001
96 497 562,700 593 0.11% 2000
364 561 328,400 925 0.28% 1999
449 347 289000 796 0.28% 1998
The first column is how many fish they say they got back at the hatchery from http://wdfw.wa.gov/hat/escape/escape.htm
The second column is how many marked fish were tagged from http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/harvest/harvest.htm
The third colum is smolts planted two years earlier then that from http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/harvest/harvest.htm
Fourth column is "total run size"
Fifth colum is return rate from smolt planted to returning adults.
Sixth is year.

So in a good year you get .87 percent back but in most year is it appears to be less them half a percent. Is that worth the envestment? Could the money be spent better else where to ge the wild fish back? The department is strapped for money and have had to lay people off yet a couple of legislators have squirreled away money for this? Does that make sense?


The Department goal of "increase hatchery harvest over a broader area of the basin while meeting the goals of reduced wild steelhead interactions" are in opposition. They really don't know how that mid river section is being used. They have only done one redd count in that section each year (except one) usually in March or April and that is it. No May or June count and being a little lower in the water shed wouldn't it make sense that the lower river would be used later in the year. So if they are dumping smolt on top of some of the extremely late winter runs (I know people that have caught bright winter runs in June) is that going to help those fish? Also what is the predation rate on the 90 day chinook migration. That could be high to and maybe it is addressed as I only have gotten through the first 20 or so pages of the report.

The department right now is dumping fish at places they don't have collection facilities and to say well we need to build it to collect them is reverse thinking how about stop doing the offsite planting. How about cutting hatchery production and growing stronger better fish so you don't have to plant as many and actually get some returns. Kraemer said it best when he call them inept fish. We keep investing in fish that are inept. Something is wrong here.


I will give the department credit on trying to move the facility lower in the river as this would be a good thing but the Marblemount facility isn't going to be shut down and if you think the overall hatchery production won't increase as now they will have more capacity I have a bridge to sell you.

JJ

flytyer
06-23-2004, 02:52 PM
I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here.

The Bellingham Chapter of Trout Unlimited has a steelhead rearing facility on the Middle Fork Nooksack. In fact, it has been in operation for over 12 years. The folks in the Trout Unlimited Chapter get fry from the state hatchery on the North Fork Nooksack and raise them to smolts. There is a difference from the state facility on the North Fork in how the smolt are released by the TU rearing ponds. The smolt in the TU rearing ponds are not flushed out into the Middle Fork, instead, the rearing pond gate is simply opened and the smolt leave as they feel like leaving.

It takes up to 6 weeks for all the smolt to decide to leave the TU rearing pond. In other words, the fish leave when they are ready to leave and there is not the large immediate number of smolt in the river as is done at the North Fork facility.

Interestingly, the TU project has a much higher return rate of adults than the North Fork hatchery does eventhough the fish are the same stock, from the same adults, and the same eggs. Based on what has happened on the Middle Fork Nooksack, I think you will see a similar increase in adult returns from the use of acclimation ponds at either Grandy Creek or the Baker on the Skagit. Therefore, it seems to this simple fisherman that building and using acclimation ponds at Grandy would be a cost-effective way to increase adult returns while helping to keep the wild and hatchery fish separated since the information I have been told is the vast majority of wild fish spawn above Concrete; but below Bacon Creek or in the Sauk along some in the Cascade. Since Grandy is several miles below Concrete, it seems to this simple fisherman that this would help prevent spawning interaction between wild and hatchery fish.

jjohnson
06-23-2004, 03:25 PM
So Flytyer

How many of those fish that are released from the TU Nooksack project residualized?

So what makes you think that the mid Skagit isn't used by wild steelhead? If it is the WDFW data I saw this last week and as I stated earlier they did 1 redd count between March and April with the exception of one year they did two. What about all the fish that spawn in May and June? Do late arriving fish from the End of April through June maybe spawn lower in the river after the redd counts have gone on?

What about this site has failed twice before? To this simple fisherman learning from history it seems like a no brainer.

Are you saying that having more Hatchery fish will help wild fish?

With the dismal return rates is this economically a good use of money when the department is having budget short comings?


JJ

Brian Simonseth
06-23-2004, 04:15 PM
Folk’s one thing you have to remember is there is a RUN of WILD STEELHEAD in late December that goes to the Sauk River!

:tsk_tsk:

flytyer
06-23-2004, 06:21 PM
JJ,

I never said wild fish don't spawn in the middle river, those are words you ascribed to me, not words I uttered. For that, I thank you since it makes your argument sound so much more forceful. I did say that the majority of wild fish spawn above Concrete as per WDFW.

I have no idea how many of the Middle Fork Nooksack fish residualize. I do know that both hatchery and wild fish do residualize, so it is safe to assume there is some going on. How much is an unknown because as far as I know, it has never been studied nor determined.

I never said increased rate of return of hatchery fish will help wild fish. I simply said that an increased rate of return of hatchery fish will mean there will be more adult available for harvest, nothing else.

To play the Devil's advocate once again, an increase in the rate of return of hatchery fish would be an economically good use of money because the number of hatchery smolt will be the same as now. Only the number of adults returning would change for the better.

Brain,

There is also a run of early returning wild fish that goes to the Cascade River. And right now there are a lot of hatchery fish being released into the Cascade. There are a lot of fisherman hitting the Cascade for the hatchery fish. These two things certainly increase the probability of hatchery/wild interaction and the mortality of wild fish much more so than acclimation ponds would at Grandy because Grandy if miles downstream of either the Sauk or Cascade.

Brian Simonseth
06-23-2004, 07:05 PM
Fly tired

When did you join Wildcat Steelhead Club?

Brian Simonseth
06-23-2004, 07:31 PM
Fly tired


“I did say that the majority of wild fish spawn above Concrete as per WDFW.”

The studies seen by myself others show they haven’t done studies but once a year in the middle part of the river and that time they did the study wasn’t prime time for WILD Steelhead.

jjohnson
06-23-2004, 08:01 PM
FT sorry for putting words in your mouth. You are right. You are stating facts.

I will state them too. As I said twice they don't know with any reliablity how many fish use the mid river they haven't studied it in May and June.


So here are a couple of other questions to ask. I don't know the answers.

Are you sure that there will be more hatchery fish returning?

Economically is it better to build this facility rather then help cover some of the budget short fall in the department? Especially since I don't believe there was any funding mechanism for long term opperation of this facility.

Do you honestly believe that the department will will keep the stocking levels right where they are now or is this a precursor of things to come. Maybe I am becoming too cynical.

Are there any rivers where Hatchery fish are pumped into the system at around 500k and the wild fish are thriving?

Is it better to have more returning hatchery adults or more wild adults?

There are some good points to this type of facility but there are a lot of unanswered questions. I actually do know one way that i would back this facility almost completely but that would require something I doubt the department would do.

JJ

Smalma
06-23-2004, 10:58 PM
Gentlemen -
It is important to remember that is proposal is not to increase steelhead hatchery production (the production target will remain at 534,000) but rather it is to raise the fish that are currently truck from Barnaby to the middle river as smolts at a site for 6 months or so prior to release. It has been demostrated that trucking steelhead when they are smolts reduces their survival when compared to fish released directly from the rearing site. Having those fsih imprinting to the mid-river site for 6 months should increase their homing (reducing "shotgunning" through the system) as well as facilitating their capture at the release site for brood stock purposes or to remove uncaught fish from the system.

Juro-
Check the following site for answers to your questions:

http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/sepa/lower_skagit_deis.pdf

JJ -
I'm not sure where you are getting your information but I'm pretty sure that WDFW has a pretty good idea of where and when steelhead spawn in the Skagit (including the middle river). When the conditions allow all the main Skagit and Sauk stem sections are surveyed several times a spring including May and June. The middle river (downstream to just below highway 9) is surveyed as frequently as the others except for the times like this spring when conditions (dirty water) prevent seeing the redds. However over the last 25 years the middle river has been surveyed dozens of times after April. In addition the following middle river tributaries are surveyed annually - Alder, Hasen, Sorenson, Cumberland, O'Toole, Jones, Day, and Finney. These surveys begin in early March and are repeated every 10 days or so until spawning is completed (early June). Despite what many anglers may think agency bios do know alot (often more than those same anglers) about Skagit and other steelhead.

The stomach sampling of hatchery steelhead smolts after release (Skagit, Deschute, Nooksack) to date have found little or no evidence of predation on chinook fry. Folks are still looking.

Brian-
I don't see how this proposal would have any different effect on those early wild steelhead than the current program. By the way I have seen wild winters in the Sauk as early as November 4. Those early fish are still very green fish with their spawning timing much the same as the later fish.

I see several comments about hatchery residuals and the implied potential interaction with wild fish. There are a number of anglers posting/reading this topic that spend a large amount of time angling the Skagit. I would be very interested in how many adiposed clipped fish of between 10 and 14 inches we have collectively seen in the Skagit. Fish of that size would have survived in the system. Given that they would be in the river year-round we should find them in our fishing for summer-run steelhead, Dollies, cutthroat, trout, various salmon and winter steelhead so they should be caught more frequently than say winter steelhead that are only available for a limited time. I would be further interested in what % those clipped fish represent of all the wild rainbows and steelhead caught. My guess is that they are very rare at something less than 1%.

Tight lines
S malma

Brian Simonseth
06-23-2004, 11:04 PM
Thanks, S malma

roballen2
06-23-2004, 11:04 PM
Salama the intent is to increase smolt to adult survival.. having more adults return means more straying and potentally spawning in the wild or with a wild steelhead.. That by all scientific accounts is an extremely bad thing...

flytyer
06-23-2004, 11:09 PM
Brain,

The Wildcat Steel who? No, I am not a member and doubt I will ever join since I fish exclusively with feathers and don't bonk wild fish.

JJ,

I always prefer wild fish and would much rather fish for wild fish than hatchery fish hands down. However, since the Skagit is a treaty fishing river with the federal court requirement for the 3 tribes in the Skagit/Sauk valleys eliminating hatchery steelhead would most likely end up back in federal court with the tribes arguing that cutting back on or eliminating hatchery steelhead from the Skagit constitutes a denial of their ability to catch steelhead. It could also lead to the tribes once again netting the river during March/April when virtually 100% of the steelhead in the river are wild ones. I'd rather have the tribes continue netting hatchery fish during the December-February time period when the majority of fish in the river are hatchey ones.

From what has happened on the Middle Fork Nooksack, it is reasonable to make the educated guess that there would be an increase in the rate of adult return from the use of acclimation ponds.

Also, let us not forget that the Baker was much utililized by salmonids for spawning and it has been lost to them when the dams were built and the river below the lower dam was dredged and channalized, which shortened it and removed over a mile of prime spawning habitate that used to exist below Hwy 20. Hatchery fish are needed to mitigate for these significant losses since the Baker dams are not coming our anytime soon, and it is very doubtful the river would be returned to its original channel below Hwy 20, especially since significant gravel removal has occured where the old channel used to be.

Smalma
06-23-2004, 11:24 PM
Rob -
The better homing may more than off set potential problems of having mroe fish returning. But in reality on the Skagit genetic interactions between hatchery and wild fish is nearly a non-issue. Currently the hatchery fish spawning timing is mid-December to late February. The Skagit wild fish spawn later with the onset of spawning about mid-March with peak spawning in May. Just the other day I was reviewing the Skagit tributary survey data for 2004 and of the more than 200 redds only one was dug prior to March 12 - ergo a 2 or more week separation between the hatchery and wild steelhead spawning. I'm sure that the hatchery/wild separation in the Skagit is great than most areas due to the extremely late wild spawning. It just points out the importance of looking at the specifics of each situation.

Flytyer -
see my earlier post regarding steelhead spawning in the Skagit.

Tight lines
S malma

Brian Simonseth
06-23-2004, 11:30 PM
S malma

Question how will the silt in the river effect wild fish spwaning?

roballen2
06-23-2004, 11:39 PM
Salama I am not worried about genetic interactions.. as according to the Kalama studies suggest there are no genetic interactions.. The problem is that when a hatchery fish spawns with a wild fish it takes that wild fish out of production because their offspring do not survive to adulthood. Increasing the number of adults is a bad thing.. Too long we have hung our hopes on words like "may" and "theoretically" and continually these words have let us down. Now the prudent course of action is to NOT create a new hatchery program..

Smalma
06-23-2004, 11:54 PM
Rob -
What part of the temporal separation between the hatchery and wild fish on the Skagit don't you get? If the hatchery and the Skagit wild fish are spawning at a different times they can't interaction with each other on the spawning ground.

Tight lines
S malma

Smalma
06-24-2004, 12:03 AM
Brian -
Obicously the sand is not at good thing. It is just amazing of sand in the system. I was on the river the other day and the sand was in constant motion in the middle of river.

While the sand is not as bad as slit which can seal the substrate so that there isn't intergravel flows it will reduce the survival of the eggs in the gravel. Perhaps more importantly the females will select alternate spawning sites trying to find the cleanest gravel. Typically they move from the gravel bars and tailout edges to heavier flow areas. Often see redds in the throats of riffles (either at thesdge of the tailout or in the riffle itself). These areas are cleaner and they do provide better incubation of the eggs. However the reason that fish don't normally use these areas is the potential for scour during higher flows (they gravel is less stable). Fortunately this year the spring-runoff is virtually non-exsistent so scour may not be much of problem. Of course the low flows will present a whole set of different problems later this summer/fall.

Tight lines
S malma

roballen2
06-24-2004, 12:04 AM
Salama they used the temporal separation ploy down here in the Washougal too and i routinely see hatcher fish spawning well into May.. I believe temporal separation is false. especially with males they will hang around as long as females are available and their energy hold out.. I only say this because i have seen it with my own eyes.. and what about the early returning wild remnant and what about wild summers???? The potential for intereaction is always underestimated and always great.

Smalma
06-24-2004, 12:41 AM
Rob -
All I can say is that the steelhead world is larger than your little piece of it. Given your close mindness it is pointless for me to continue any debate with you. My only parting comment is that the separation is real on the Skagit and if there is a system in the state where the early Chambers stock and wild fish are compatable it is the Skagit. In fact I would argue that the current hatchery program and on the Skagit represent less of a threat (lost of productivity) to the wild resource than the spring CnR fishery!

Tight lines
S malma

roballen2
06-24-2004, 01:31 AM
Salama we will have to agree to disagree on this issue.

OK now how about the rest of my arguments, thoes being that creating a new terminal fishery is a bad thing and that it is a waste of money and time that could be better spent..

Please tell mw why you are in favor of the Grandy creek project??? What good coupld possibly come from it???


by the way the Winter runs planted on the Washougal are the same chambers creek stock. their spawning occurs December- May..

Plunker
06-24-2004, 03:44 AM
roballen2,

Have you read the Draft Environmental Impact Statement?

A link to it has been posted earlier in this thread.

Here is a snippet from page 36:

2.1.3 HATCHERY SCIENTIFIC REVIEW GROUP RECOMMENDATIONS

In its review of the Skagit River Hatchery Winter Steelhead Program the HSRG (2003) suggested that construction of an acclimation and adult recapture facility in the lower Skagit River, specifically at Grandy Creek, would benefit the Skagit River program and could help reduce potentially adverse interactions between hatchery and wild fish. According to HSRG recommendations, releasing acclimated smolts into the lower Skagit River may help to shift the focus of steelhead harvest downstream of the current primary harvest areas, reducing pressure on wild steelhead in the upper reaches of the river.

In addition, acclimating juveniles in the lower Skagit River may decrease potential interactions between hatchery and wild steelhead in the upper river as hatchery adults that were reared as juveniles in the lower river would home to the lower river and be collected at an adult trap near the acclimation facility. With the exception of the Baker River Trap, there are no existing adult collection facilities on the lower Skagit River.

Smalma
06-24-2004, 09:37 AM
Rob -
I don't feel strongly one way or the other about the Grandy Creek proposal. I would expect that if the project is constructed that hatchery operations in the basin would be facilitated with improve rearing conditiions for the pre-smolts and adult trapping. I see it as neutral or a slight improvement for the wild fish in hatchery/wild issues.

My purposes in posting here regarding this issue is to encourage folks to comment on the EIS (pro or con) and hopefully by sharing some of my admittedly limited knowlwdge regarding the Skagit and its salmonid resources folks would be in better positiion to make informed decisions and comments.

Given your statement that you have agreed to disagree with me on the hatchery/wild interactions with Skagit steelhead you are in effect saying you don't believe anything I have to say. Even though I have spend decades as a professional biologist learning about and fighting to protect the wild resources of the Skagit and other North Sound rivers and am a life long anglers that spends 40 or more days annually fishing on the Skagit system you certainly have that right. While I generally enjoying exchanging opinions and trading observations and speculating about what they may mean with other caring anglers I see no point in continuing such discussions with you. Given your attitude why in the heck would I waste any of my time answering your questions?

Tight lines
S malma

KerryS
06-24-2004, 10:20 AM
Smalma,

I fish the Grandy Creek area frequently starting from about January to the closure. I would say almost all of the fish I have landed from this area have been wild fish. With that said I would make the assumption that increasing the return of hatchery fish to this location would increase angler pressure and likely the increase wild fish catch rate. Most of this increase would come in the form of bait fishermen which, according to the studies that I've had read concerning hooking mortality, increases the mortality rate of fish hooked. Why would we want to create a fishery that would likely cause an increase in the mortality rate of wild fish hooked and released as per mandatory release of all wild steelhead in the Skagit?

Thanks,

Kerry

jjohnson
06-24-2004, 12:15 PM
Smalma

Thank you for all your information I was hoping you would jump on and set us straight. I will get the data I have seen on spawning redd in the middle river and post it. Do you maybe have redd data count like when and where and results of the spawning survey. I would love to see it. I am always willing to admit when i am wrong and I appreciate your insight as sometimes it is nice to have a broader view of this issuse.

So I have read that Cameron Sharpe of WDFW is doing a risidualisation study down on the Gobar Ponds on the Kalama. I know it hasn't been published but I have read that he told the steelhead meeting out in Port Townsend that there was nearly 30% residualization rate down there and a lot of those were precociously mature and ready to spawn. This was has also been observed by Jon McMillan of the Wild Salmon Center found residualized percousious hatchery males spawning with wild females on the Sol Duc and Calawah. Also on the Yakima I believe McMichael documented that residualized hatchery steelhead smolts displaced wild juveniles in 79% of the contests between the two. Are these people wrong? It just seems that there are a lot of questions and conflicting opinions.

Also do you think that the money that could be spent on this facility could be better used on other projects that the department has no money for right now.

I also think Kerry asks a very interesting question.

Thanks this is the sort of discussion that I like over here. Like I said I think there is a way to make this work and I would suppor it but it hasn't been suggested yet.

JJ

Plunker
06-24-2004, 04:29 PM
In all the years that I have fished the N. Sound rivers I have never caught a marked rainbow that did not appear to be either a juvenile, smolt, returning grilse or a full adult. That is not a scientific evaluation but would like to hear of anyone else's experience with catching what might be likely residualized hatchery steelhead plants.


jjohnson,

The money that could be spent on this facility could NOT be better used on other projects that the department has no money for right now. The appropriation is project specific and will remain in the states general fund if not utilized for the acclimation and rearing ponds.

You have mentioned that there is a way to make this work that you would support yet you fail to define just what that way might be. Could you please elaborate on that?


I also agree that KerryS brings up an interesting question.

sinktip
06-24-2004, 05:14 PM
Plunker,

Good question. I have only ever caught one marked rainbow which I thought might apply. This was two years ago I believe and was caught below Goldbar on the Sky. It was approx. 14", was in robust health and carried characteristic resident coloring. That is to say it did not appear to be a jack. I would have to check my log but I believe this was a late June/early July catch. I would hate to extrapolate anything from an n of 1 though.

sinktip

jjohnson
06-24-2004, 05:51 PM
I have caught one or two but not many but the science appears to be changing on this point very quickly.

So you asked about what might be acceptable how about this:

This is basically flying by the seat of my pants and haven’t spent time researching this too much so I don’t know if it would work. They would need to stop offsite dumping of smolts. They would have to stop using the Cascade facility to plant fish and only use one “lower” river site even though they are changing the definition of lower it is actually Mid but lets call it lower river. This is what the HRSG is calling for as you so well have pointed out. Plus production would need to be cut. So lets say that they there should always max of 3000 (around half of what the total wild run is) hatchery fish 1250 for harvest 1250 for the tribe (if they want them) and 500 for the hatchery. But they have to use a higher return rate lets say 3%, which I believe is a little closer to the natural return rate, when calculating how many smolts to plant. So that would mean to get 3000 fish back to the system the max they could plant would be 100,000 smolts a year total for the system. Everyone is saying that this site will increase adults returns so reaching 3% should be no problem or maybe they would have to use other better hatchery practices to reach it. And they couldn’t use it for summer fish which is what Chuck Johnson told me he was recommending on the phone for two weeks ago.

So in short. One lower river site, Not sure if it would be Grandy or Baker as of right now Baker might be a better option (as this is facility is going to happen no matter what) as it has some PSE releases at it already and some of the facilities are there but would have to think that one through. No off site planting. Max 100,000 smolts planted. And no summer plants.

Again that is more just off the top of the head but that comes a little more in line with what I would be acceptable. And these opinions are are mine and mine alone.

JJ

flytyer
06-24-2004, 07:39 PM
JJ,

Does this mean that as the wild fish run increases in size, the hatchery plants increase as well in order to continue having the 2:1 ratio of wild to hatchery fish? Or are you proposing that there be a constant, never to change, 100,000 hatchery fish put in the river annually?

jjohnson
06-24-2004, 07:54 PM
I should have said half of wild escapement as long as escapement is being met, not wild total run. I would purpose a constant for now but if escapement isn't being made then production should be cut . That doesn't mean it can't change up or down from there lets say they can get 3000 fish by only releasing 50,0000 lets do it. But the bar is 100K max right now.

I have never said that I am for never changing as that is a long time.

JJ

flytyer
06-24-2004, 08:05 PM
JJ,

If I read and understand you correctly, this means that if there were 12,000 wild fish returning several years in a row, there should only be 100,000 hatchery fish released because the wild escapement has been set at 6,000 fish. In other words, have only 100,000 hatchery fish released regardless of how many more wild fish return above the minimum escapement level. Is my understanding correct?

roballen2
06-24-2004, 09:06 PM
Salama

In your years as a biologist how many days a year did you spend hiking up small creeks in the Skagit river system, identifying steelhead spawners? Locally I spend many days every winter surveying local streams and see straying hatchery fish more often than not.. Let me tell you a short story about a creek, a small tributary to the Washougal. This creek was extremely important to me, it's habitat was destroyed by farmland and by a motocross track. The gravel was severly silted. Every year however a few pairs of wild winter steelhead spawned in the creek. The wild fish seemed to always spawn above a certain culvert. Low and behold some biologist who didn't know squat about this little creek determined that the culvert was a barrier to fish passage. So the cilvert was removed and a nice big beautiful fish friendly culvert was installed. That winter hatchery steelhead got above the culvert for the first time.. That was 4 or 5 years ago now and there has yet to be a wild steelhead in that creek again...

So before you tell me you were a bio for 30 years, tell me you have been out surveying these small creeks and steelhead spawning habitat and in doing so you never see hatchery fish in there spawning with them... Tell me that and I will strike everything i have said about hatchery wild interactions on the Skagit system...

Also i asked some very legitimate questions. What about the early returning portion of the Skagit's winter steelhead? What about it's remnant wild summer steelhead, both of which will be spawning in that December-march time frame??

Just because they don't interact with the bulk of the wild winter run doesn't mean that the entire run is safe..

As i have said for a variety of reasons I oppose strongly ALL new hatchery programs regardless of how minimal their impact. I think WDFW needs to be moving away from the hatchery concept and people need to be getting away from the idea of harvesting as many fish as they want. We need strong wild runs before we spend another dime on hatcheries.

Nailknot
06-24-2004, 10:10 PM
My experience echos Plunkers- In the six years I've been fishing the Skagit/Sauk, I've hooked a number of resident/residualized wild rainbows (from 12-23"), but never a fin clipped fish that meets the resident/residualized criteria.

Smalma
06-24-2004, 11:41 PM
KerryS -
I agree with the others - your question is both interesting and valid. Sorry aobut the delay in answering it but have a long day at work and just got in from another of the endless meetings attempting to save ESA listed salmon.

Ulimately the answer is for each of to decide based on our own interest and concerns. But to the specifics.

I think much of the pressure that we are likely to see would be just a relocation of that boat and drift effort. What many folks seem to forget (Plunker excepted of course) is that there is a substantial plunking effort on the Skagit that accounts for a significant portion of the impacts on the wild resource. During the creel surveys in the 1980s and early 1990s the anglers counts consistently showed that roughly 60% of the effort were plunkers. That effort is not likely to change or move its location. With many of the smolts currently being released in the middle River substantial portion of the boating effort has been and will continue to be in the pipeline to Baker reach of the river. I would not expect that to change though clearly it will more concentrated in the hatchery area. That in itself would not increase impacts on wild fish - the increase pressure targeting the hatchery fish (Dec through mid- February) would likely have some marginal increase impacts on the wild resource - remember the vast majority of the wild steelhead do not enter the river until mid-February or later.

If you or others have an interest in providing addition protection for those early wild fish why not suggest some regulation changes that would provid upstream protection areas or WSR required in the early season on those years when harvest is allowed. Interesting enough in the last regulation cycle Nailknot (frequent poster here) had proposed that the upper Skagit above Marblemount be CnR only with selective gear rules whenever open - Other than his fishing partner to my knowledge not one angler on this site or elsewhere bothered to take the time to support such an idea - another example of angler apathy?

If you really have a concern about the potential increase impacts on the wild fish why not push for ideas such as Nailknots - perhaps on the Sauk as "mitiagtion" for the potential increase in wild fish impacts?

A question for you -
If you have concerns that increased returns will increase impacts on the wild fish and therefore are against the proposal would that same logic apply to the request from some that wished to see increased CnR season (larger areas or longer seasons)? Clearly more CnR fishing would have increased impacts.

Hope this answer at least in part your question.

Tight lines
S malma

Smalma
06-25-2004, 12:49 AM
JJ -
Wow! this thread has generated some interesting questions/situations.

Regarding the question of residuals steelhead smolts. First it is my understanding that the residual rate being reported (30%) by Cameron Sharpe is for the experimental wild brood stock program on the Kalama. What he is reporting is almost exactly what we saw with the wild brood stock program on the Sauk in the early 1980s - that is roughly 1/2 of the males "smolts" became precocious males and did not migrate. There appears to be something about the artifical rearing of early generation wild fish that seems to encourage the development of these precocious males - rarely see them in stocks that have longer culture histories. IN short this phenomenon seems to be mainly a problem with wild brood stock programs and at least in my observation rare with long term culture brood stocks (ie, Chambers Creek).

As alluded to the ecosystem problem with these "residuals" in the wild is two fold; 1) potential spawning with wild fish and 2) competition or domination of wild parr by the residual hatchery smolts. In the first the residuals would be expected to have the exact same spawning time as the parent stock - that is residuals from a Chambers Creek stock would have a spawning time generally earlier than the wild fish while those from a wild brood stock would have the same timing as the wild fish.

What does that mean for our discussion on the Skagit? After a direct effort the spawning timing cure of the North Sound Chambers stock has had it late time tail turncated. That is based on returns the hatchery rack the spawning timing is from mid- to late December through late February while the wild spawn timing is from early/mid-March on into the summer (June or even July). Perhaps the best place to get specific spawn timing of the wild steelhead would be to look at the tributary redd counts - they are surveyed more frequently than main stem areas and each redd is individually marked so we know at least within the frequency of the surveys when the redds were made. The other day I was looking at the results of the spring of 2004 Skagit/Sauk tribs redd counts. More than 225 redds were recorded. Of those only 1 was constructed prior to March 12. Assuming that these early redd was made by a wild steelhead rather than a large sea-run cutthroat, a hatchery fish whose redd was still visible, or a late timed coho less than 0.5% of the wild steelhead redds were constructed with 2 weeks of the completion of the hatchery spawning - very opportunity for hatchery fish - adult or residual to spawn with a wild fish based on timing.

In the 2nd situation the opportunity for a residual to interact with wild parr is dependent on them persisting in the system long enough to interact with the wild fish. this is exactly why I had asked the question about encounters with marked residuals in the Skagit. At the time of the smolt releases the wild smolts are also actively migrating downstream so competition between hatchery and wild fish for space should be limited - the issue would more likely be interactions between the hatchery residuals and the wild parr (next year smolts). At the time of the hatchery releases on the Skagit the parr are still inactive (hold in over-wintering habitats - due to cool water temperatures). They become active as the warm temperature warms (following the snow melt). With the large spring run-off found in the Skagit system and the timing of smolt plants being right on top of those large flows it seems that most (nearly all) of the non-smolts are washed downstream. Those Skagit anglers reporting so far seem to confirm this as well.

Hopefully this helps address some of the issues in another complex topic. If there remains question I'm more than willing to take another stab.

Tight lines
S malma

Brian Simonseth
06-25-2004, 01:11 AM
S malma

That what I was getting at yesterday, when I was talking about the early native run in the Sauk!

When and if these gets going, the hatchery fish start coming back (an then are co-mangers start fishing) at the same time that the early Sauk River Native comes back; do they make nets that will tell if their native and hatchery?

Don’t NETS have an impact?

Doesn’t that have an impact on the early run of Wild Steelhead in the Sauk?
Oh by the way how is the Wild Run in the Sauk doing this year?

All I heard from the guys that don’t like CnR was that CnR kills Wild Steelhead?
Now where putting in rearing ponds at Grandy Creek, doesn’t that put Wild Sauk River fish in danger?
(Got that one from KerryS)

Like someone once said dead wild Steelhead is a dead wild Steelhead!

.04

Nailknot
06-25-2004, 01:24 AM
S malma, thanks for remembering my reg proposal. I don't wish to hijack this thread, but I do support Selective Rules above the Cascade, and I certainly would support Selective on the Sauk as well. I know this doesn't specifically address the Grandy Creek issue, but the move to Selective in the upper main river would benefit steelhead in the system, as well as salmon, bull trout, and most importantly, the residual population of rainbow/steelhead (mother nature's steelhead insurance policy). I do support opportunity to fish with mitigated impact- I don't support closing Skagit above Cascade or Sauk. One thought on Grandy Creek issue- would this spread some of the terminal Cascade fishers downstream? I belive could be good for the native fish runs (salmon, bulls and early native steelhead) on the Cascade who are caught in the hatchery slaughter there. My thought is upriver bound natives will move through the Grandy area quickly, though I have no data to back this up.

I've included a letter to WDFW Reg Committee below illustrating a few of my concerns/recommendations:

Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2003 11:40:48 -0800
To: commission@dfw.wa.gov, sportfishing@dfw.wa.gov

Fish & Wildlife Commission Members,


I appreciate the opportunity to submit and comment on sport fishing rule
changes. I know this process must take a lot of time and personnel, However I
do believe it is a good process. I have two comments regarding the rule
proposal I submitted re: Region 4, Skagit River above Cascade River: "Catch and
release only, no bait and selective rules, from Cascade River to Nehalem."
(Edited for clarity) If possible I would like to amend the change to include
the season dates as they currently are, June 1-end of February.


1. My proposed rule was not included, yet I am confused to the reasoning. The
reason given for non-inclusion was "A comprehensive review of the state's
hatchery program is currently being conducted... The current regulations should
remain in place until this review is completed." The area of the Skgit affected
buy my proposal is currently closed to salmon fishing year round. While it is
open for steelhead, I am unsure of the stocking that takes place above Cascade River, if any? Any further clarification would be much appreciated. Why would
salmon stocking (or lack of it) effect an area currently closed to salmon
fishing?


2. Providing further info re: reasoning for rule my rule proposal: The upper
Skagit is prime spawning habitat for both steelhead and salmon. Even though
fishing for salmon is closed, use of bait results in many "incidental" hookups
of salmon. Studies have shown barbed bait mortality to be significantly higher
than with barbless fly or lure. Fishing over these spawning fish with bait is
not consistent with the current rules closing these waters to salmon targeting
or retention above the Cascade River. Of greater concern to me, are the
resident trout and Dolly Varden/bull trout who live in this section of river.
The upper Skagit is home to a very limited number of resident rainbow trout.
These fish are most likely residual "steelhead" who serve to insulate the sea-
running population from catastrophic events and provide additional spawn/fry
who will revert to anadromous lifestyle. Currently, fishers are
using bait to target these few fish with a catch and kill fishery. Removing
these fish from the river is a disservice to the integrity of the
rainbow/steelhead runs ongoing in the Skagit, and I believe it should be
stopped. The area is also prime resident Dolly Varden/bull trout habitat. While
the numbers of these fish is healthy, it is dangerous to assume it always will be so.
With the majority of the Skagit drainage open for a two fish above 20 inch
retention, closing the upper Skagit to harvest will provide a safe area for
the resident population.


In closing, I believe the measures I have submitted are in keeping with the
Wild & Scenic designation of the river, as well as the values of North Cascades
National Park. As one of, if not the, premiere watersheds in the State, I believe the upper Skagit deserves this protection, while still allowing an open public
fishery June 1- Feb 28. My rule proposal will slowly increase the fishing
opportunities while further protecting spawning steelhead and salmon. It is a
win-win rule.


I would also mention the recent "100 year" floods in the area. The amount
of glacial sand/silt that has washed down the Sauk is making fishing difficult
to impossible. After talking with many about the situation, it appears this
will take years to clear up. This event will increase the fishing pressure on
the Skagit River above the Sauk- putting even more pressure on the limited
resources there. Please consider this new development when re-evaluating
my rule proposal.

Moonlight
06-25-2004, 01:29 AM
Jacks and residuals are a "problem" when viewed as such! I personaly have never interviewed one (a Jack) so I really do not know there view on the situation.

However I do have a view regarding Hatcherys ( the artificcial incubators and rearing facilitys that are found in areas that have fewer fish than they used to have!) And that is that they are mans best answer to the rleigion of mans ability to superseed nature and make the world in his own image!
I have been around the effluent of the hatchery systems of the West my entire life, and I find them (hatcherys) to be a great source of funding and jobs in the public sector. Too, they from time to time provide a fish, or in some cases, when the hatchery incubator rearing facility is new "Thousands", even "Millions", of adults and (usually) smolts (sometimes fry). And occasionly nothing, ( other than the jobs)

Hatcherys, like dams, and clearcut logging, and overfishing, are all just part of "our" problems. Building more hatcherys in lieu of creating more buffers and natural rearing areas will get very little accomplished.

But then we could always shut down all fishing commercial and sport and use the surplus returns to feed the Aqua Culture Fish in the net pens. Wally Hickle would be proud!!

Early on this Summer I mentioned that the Harvest in Alaska would be around 90 Million that has been revised it will be about double that. Of course you have to understand the Biologist in Alaska are not afraid of "Overescapement"

flytyer
06-25-2004, 01:43 AM
Smalma,

I would love to see a permanent, year round WSR, selective gear rule in effect on the Skagit system between the Dalles Bridge and Bacon Creek,the Sauk, and on the Cascade above the hatchery bridge. I honestly don't think WSR above Marblemount provides enough protection to wild fish. WSR release between the Dalles Bridge and Bacon Creek, on the Sauk, and the Cascade above the hatchery bridge would allow far more wild fish to escape harvest, while not impeding the harvest of hatchery fish.

The other idea I like is one you put forth a while back in the discussion on WSR statewide. That is limiting wild kill to 1 fish/year anywhere in the state wild fish retention is allowed due to escapement being reached, and after that 1 fish is bonked, no fishing during March/April.

Nailknot
06-25-2004, 02:23 AM
Flytier- Don't mean to speak for Smalma here, but isn't the entire Sauk/Skagit WSR? And has been for a number of years. Selective regs would be a logical next step in many areas of the river (above Marble, Sauk, Cascade, Suiattle) while still allowing recreational opportunity.

Moonlight- agree 100% (although not sure the Hatchery Lobby has GDubya's ear like say, the Timber, Oil, etc- but maybe the three or so jobs in Marblemount do have an economic impact)) :) In a better world we'd all be working on the larger issues- the need/perceived need for hatchery return would simply disappear if the fundamental ecological issues were dealt with and the wild fish recovered. To me, hatcheries are "the messenger," obviously we need to recover our wild resources and manage in a sustainable manner instead of bickering over consequences and dividing the remaining booty.

I will say that while Statewide Release is a noble cause, WSR has been in effect for years on the Skagit. And it seems there were very few input letters during this last reg change input cycle re: incremental positive change (or radical change for that matter) on the Sauk/Skagit. There must be a middle ground between bonk it or close it... Science does work (or has worked on many other drainages) if given the chance to deeply understand the unique attributes of each river and given the power to implement change via regs, both for fishers and other users of resources affecting the river. I should say the "science" which believes in a holistic approach and not more "cures" but regs that account for natures needs and balances with our opp to rec fish. If we close it all to the sporties it will be left to commercial interests and all will be lost- I believe it in my heart. I'd be very interested to see how widespread Selective on the Skagit drainage would work. Give it five years. If no change, then we'd have real data to work with. And damn we'll have a good laugh if we find out its been us ruining it for the fish all along (hope not) :)

Just my US$.02

flytyer
06-25-2004, 02:38 AM
Knailknot,

You are right, WSR release has been in effect on the Skagit/Sauk for several years. The desire for a middle ground that allows very limited bonking of wild fish is why I like Smalma's idea of a single wild fish/year statewide along with his proposal that once that single wild fish is bonked, no fishing during March/April.

Rather than the Skagit above Marblemount, the Sauk, Cascade, and Suiattle being selective gear rule, as you proposed, I'd prefer to see selective gear rules in effect above the Baker year round because this would provide a bit more protection for the wild fish using the river all months of the year. I have no desire to restrict the type of rod one uses, I just want to see bait, treble hooks, double hooks, and multiple hooks or flies and lures out of the upper river to lower hooking mortality.

I use the Dalles to Bacon Creek in my last post because that is consistent with the way the regs are divided by river area and it would be logical to have the selective gear rule follow the same divisions. Having selective gear rules in effect all the way to Newhalem, as you proposed, would be even better.

Nailknot
06-25-2004, 03:21 AM
Selective above Baker year round works for me! I think we do have some opportunity for reg input this summer- let's see what we can do.

Robert
06-25-2004, 11:17 AM
I am attempting, as a bumbling layman, to wade through the DEIS on the proposed steelhead acclimation facility on the Skagit. There's some things there I can't really understand such as water flow changes at Grandy Creek if that site is selected. So far I have come to a few conclusions.

1. 30 days for constructive public input on a document of this magnatude is almost impossible for the average angler concerned about steelhead management on the Skagit. I would like to see the comment period extended for 30 days and intend to communicate my concerns to the WDF&W.

2. I have yet to encounter criteria has to how sites were selected. Were the Grandy Creek/Baker River sites selected based on criteria for ontaining the best areas on the river for implementaion or were they selected based on buget/political basis? Are there sites in the real "lower river" that may be better suited?

3. If seems to me, from my reading so far that the proposed Grandy Creek site will possibly decrease spawning and rearing habitate available for all species of wild fish by reduceing stream flow in Grandy Creek, construction of instream barriers, elimination of riparian vegetation, and increased outflow to the Skagit. However minimal the reduction, I personally find it unacceptable to have any reduction in existing wild fish habitat what so ever for the sake of increased hatchery production.


Just some inital conclusions from my readings. As I said I haven't gotten granular of the whole 219 some odd pages. I would like to hear from others who are analyzing this document. The conclusions of others and pointers to specific sections addressing concerns that I might miss would be most appreciated.

Thanks

KerryS
06-25-2004, 11:24 AM
Thanks Smalma for addressing my question.

Smalma
06-25-2004, 08:10 PM
Nailknot and FlyTyer -
I did not mean to re-direct this discussion into one on regulations. However if are really interested in new porposal you need to know that this a "minor cycle" for regulation proposals - that is housekeeping and edit changes will be considered as well as clear conservation issues. The next opportunity for "major" changes will be in 2005. While you try to get a proposal in this year it is likely that you have roughly a year to work on any new regulation change proposals.

A related issue is that the state over the next 2 years will be looking at updating its steelhead management plan. This is the document that sits the side boards on steelhead management decisions. This is to be a public process so look for more information on how to get involved in the process. If you wish to get an early start you might get in contact with and share your ideas with any of the folks on the State's steelhead and cutthroat advisory group. they should be involved in that process early on.

Tight lines
S malma

Brian Simonseth
06-25-2004, 08:58 PM
Nailknot
Steelhead and Cutthroat Advisory group meeting was yesterday
Alot of good info was past out, about this.

Nailknot
06-25-2004, 10:31 PM
Homer- sorry I missed it, was out of town until last night. Don't have a lot of time right now to make meetings, but will help out any way I can. Are there meeting minutes you could post or link to?

Smalma- thanks for the clarification on process.

flytyer
06-25-2004, 10:53 PM
Smalma,

I echo Nailknot's sentiments on the process info you provided, it is much appreciated.

roballen2
06-25-2004, 10:57 PM
I'll update WDFW's steelhead managment policy right now...

1. No wild kill EVER NO MATTER WHAT
2. massive scale back of hatchery operations
2a end all outplanting
2b end all plants on rivers without adult collection facilities
3. most rivers managed for wild reporduction
4. a very few rivers managed for hatchery harvest fisheries
5. mark all hatchery wish with adipose clips.

Smalma
06-26-2004, 11:07 AM
FlyTyer and Nailknot -
While considering potential regulation proposals for the Skagit system I would like to throw out an idea that has tumbling around in the recess of my mind. It is not unlike that proposed by Nailknot for the Skagit above Marblemount but only for the Sauk.

One of the recommendations of the HSRG has been the establishment of wild steelhead management zones - significant areas with a basin or region without releases of hatchery steelhead.

Specifically on the Skagit one of the HSRG's recommendations were:

"Establish the Sauk River as a wild steelhead management zone, with no releases of hatchery origin fish."

Something that appeals to me would be to expand that idea to a wild salmonid management zone. It would be for all fish during all seasons.

The regulation would cover:
1) Sauk river basin (flowing waters only-to exclude the lakes?)- The Sauk, its forks, the Whitechuck, and Suiattle (include their tribs?).
2) No planting of any hatchery fish.
3) CnR for all game fish (all fish?) with selective gear rules.
4) Seasons would remain unchange from that currently in the pamphlet - could be review in the future if things develop as hoped.

As I see such a proposals would have several upsides -
1) fullfill a HSRG recommendation by establishing a significant wild steelhead manaqement zone.
2) Provide a large refugia for all the salmonids from harvest pressures - upstream safety zone for early wild winter steelhead,
3) Take bait related mortalities and harvest pressures off steelhead pre-smolts, resident rainbows etc.
4) Remove some of the harvest pressure off the bull trout; both pre and post spawn.
5) Would continue to allow "normal fisheries" in the rest of the Skagit - this would include harvest of wild steelhead when the run size allows (to be determined in the new steelhead management plan), allow the continue taking of bull trout, sea-run cutthroat, and salmon as regs allow.
6) While the smolt plants would be discontinued I would image that the production (typcially 20-25,000) would be moved to the Skagit itself thus no reduction in the total # smolts releases and adults returning for the fisheries below the Sauk.

Downside of course would further restrictions on the Sauk fisheries and those anglers that currently use that river. This might result in reduction in fishing pressure on the Sauk with much of that pressure dispalced to the Skagit itself. However I'm guessing under such management the Sauk basin would become a high quality, diverse fishery virtually year-round in a relatively short period of time.

While the above is not as dramatic as you were talking about I personally prefer it as I beleive it provides a balance approach to fisheries management within the basin with a healthy cushion for the wild resource. I also recognize that it has little chance of developing support from many folks - doesn't go far enough for the wild fish nuts and too far those on the otherside. But hey it is fun to dream!

Tight lines
S malma

roballen2
06-26-2004, 12:52 PM
Salama i like your plan a lot except for allowing wild kill

it may just my radical viewpoint here but this is not the time for a balanced approach.. We have been so un balanced on the hatchery/ harvest side of things that our rivers need to recover before we even think about the idea of harvesting wild fish. I am all for removing hatchery steelhead from th system as much as possible..
Salmon and steelhead issues only get complicated when we are unwilling to do what it takes to restore them.. I believe that the so called " complexity" of the issues are flat out bogus. It's just that we won't do what the fish need. We , wanting to put the responsibility elsewhere just tell ourselves that the problem is "complex."
The problem is very simple.. we kill them to eat, we destroy thir habitat and we breed them into extinction with hatchery fish.. We stop doing thoes things and they will come back.. very simple...

flytyer
06-26-2004, 02:36 PM
Smalma,

I think your idea has merit and may very well be easier to get implemented than selective gear rules on the Skagit and tributaries above the Dalles Bridge. The Sauk and its tributaries (I'd include all tributaries) as a wild Steelhead Zone makes a lot of practical sense. I'd like to see the Cascade above the hatchery bridge with a similar designation too, expecially since I've never seen many folks fish above the bridge and I've caught early winter runs in late November and early December miles above the bridge.

Nailknot
06-26-2004, 04:54 PM
Smalma- Interesting. Protecting the Sauk drainage makes perfect sense. Although I'd still fight for selective on the Skagit proper above Cascade (and the Cascade itself as Flytyer suggests- I've also seen wild steelhead, as well as coho, bull trout and resident rainbows targeted by bait up high on that river). Sauk does seem to meet Wild Steelhead Mgmt Zone criteria to a T. Would be a wonderful outcome if it happened.

roballen- your shrill cries and simplistic arguments don't offer much in the way of solutions. While I agree that fish would be better off without us, unfortunately we do live together. I doubt a salmon conscious "King of the World" will take charge and dismantle the dams, abolish the fleets, and remove the subdivisions. More likely, exchange of ideas, and working the system, will result in change and positive action for the fish. It's really the only path, isn't it?

"He who strives to be of use in this world soon burdens the people with his own insufficiency." Lao Tzu

Leland Miyawaki
06-26-2004, 07:25 PM
Brian Simonseth, Dick Burge, Nate Mantua, Doug Schaad and myself (Leland Miyawaki) are on the Steelhead and Cutthroat Policy Advisory Group (SCAPAG).

The draft Steelhead White Paper is to be presented to the group at our next scheduled meeting, Sept.30, with the final paper due Jan. '05. We tried to pin it down for before the public testimony in Bremerton but, to quote Bob Gibbons, "it is an everchanging landscape" (think: politics). The Steelhead Management Plan is due in September '06.

For argument's sake, let's say this forum is our constituency and that when we reach some kind of consensus on this Skagit Hatchery issue, I will be glad to carry it to the SCPAG.

Smalma is correct in that this next minor year regulation proposal will not accept this issue. It is for staff proposals, major conservation issues, housekeeping issues, new significant recreational issues, and Commission or Director's Office assignments. These proposals will be made available for public comment Aug. 13.

For your information, at the last meeting, we voted 8-7 in favor of upholding the moratorium and a letter to the Director is being drafted.

Leland.

Robert
06-26-2004, 08:44 PM
Still, trying to figure this out.

Will the proposed facility at Grandy Creek result in any loss of current spawning/rearing habitat?

roballen2
06-26-2004, 09:17 PM
Sorry nailknot

I just do not hold WDFW or managing agencies in very high regard when it comes to salmon/ steelhead restoration. I believe that their track record speaks volumes. We have spent hundreds of millions and not restored a single run.. WDFW consistently chooses to not stand up for the fish.. Rather than having a backbone they cave into every special interest includiung ours as sport fishers.

Here is is plain and simple.. if we continue to destroy habitat and continue to breed fish into extinction and we continue to harvest them for food well then all our efforts are utterly pointless and doomed to failure. Compromise has never worked. all sides cannot be appeased and still restore runs. It has never happened and mark my words never will happen. Either we save them or we don't everything else is bull ****.

flytyer
06-27-2004, 12:20 AM
Leland,

Thanks for the info. It sounds like the rest of us need to step up to bat and start discussing the Grandy facility so that Leland and the others have something they can take it to the SPCAG which most of us can agree on regarding it.

Roballen,

All you are doing is ranting and complaining; however, you have offered noting constructive that fisherman or WDFW could do to improve the lot of wild fish. Tearing down all the dams is not going to happen anytime soon (if ever) and hatcheries are going to be with us whether we like it or not for the foreseeable future. You are obviously passionate about the issue of hatcheries; however, passion without thoughful consideration of the realities fisheries managers work in does nothing except come off sounding like an angry whiner at best or a trouble maker at worst. And this does the resource no good, is not helpful to fisheries managers, and provides nothing of value to fisherman.

Myself and several others have tried to get you to offer some contructive possibilities on many occasions as to what you think could begin working on the problem. Instead of you doing so, you chose to continue ranting while providing no suggestions, other than the unworkable and unrealistic close all hatcheries, and remove all dams.

roballen2
06-27-2004, 02:08 AM
Flytyer

If i sound angry it's because i am.. In fact i am completely outraged.

Wanna know why??? because you guys are experiencing the same exact things we experienced down here 15 years ago.. And i greatly fear the same outcome. come down and fish the Washougal with me we will spend several days and not hook a fish.. know why? because there aren't any!!! The Skagit's escapment is what 6000+ i wish my closest 10 rivers had that many fish between them.. Now I understand that the Skagit routinely had runs in excess of 20,000 now we are supposed to be happpy with 6??? We ought to be outraged by that alone...

Here is my plan for the Skagit in extreme detail

NO hatchery plants of any kind EVER
No harvest of wild fish of any kind ever
No more destruction of habitat of any kind ever..

don't like it? I don't expect you to just as the fish didn't like what we did to them... it's time we humans took it in the shorts for once!!

Let me use an analogy

Salmon and steelhead runs need immediate open heart surgury and we are still trying to feed them an asprin to prevent a heart attack...

there is a wise statement.. if you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always recieved in the past. fighting over what rivermile to put an acclimation facility is simply doing the same thing all over again for the millionth time... You are fighting over what color bandaid to put on the sliced open artery...

It seems to me that the Columbia is the model river for WDFW and the other governing agencies.. Historically home to an average of 12-18 million salmonids annualy and with a record run in excess of 40 million.. Now we are lucky to get 1 million and of thoes 2/3s are hatchery... Beginnign to understand why i am pissed?????

Here is my main assertion.. WDFW and the other governing agencies are incapable, and unwilling to deal with fisheries managment in any maningful way.. They are for all real reasons INCOMPETENT... WDFW and the other agencies have some wonderful Bio's in all of their field and left to their own divices i am sure they could work wonders.. However decisions go throuh olympia, political agendas are attatched and given prioritiy over good common sence and the local bio's are overwriden..

I am pissed because our wild salmon and steelhead ARE GOING EXTINCT!!!! and no one's doing a damn thing about it....

again my plan is simple Don't do any more damage!!!!!! short of that it's all pointless and the fish are lost

Mean Mr Mustard
06-27-2004, 10:09 AM
roballen 2

Right on! The fault does lie with WDFW and the agenda set by the politicos and their agency suck-ups! And it is further damned by the apathetic steelheaders so prevalent nowdays.

Yeah, they will screw this one up - the ******* retards!

mmm

OC
06-28-2004, 10:48 AM
Flytyer and Nailnot,

I think Roballen is being constructive. I certainly respect everyones effort and beleifs that we can save these fish by the bandage approach but the reality is we have been putting bandage on top of bandage for 60 years now. All with good intentions just about every concerned conservationists has wanted to comprimise so to allow everyone to participate in recreation. Please continue on as we are in trying to solve the problems but please it is time to start thinking and thinking seriously about the real reality of what has and is happening out there and that sooner or latter we are going have to look at the problems facing our water sheds and the few wild steelhead that swim in them.

Until the majority of the American population changes its current reckless life style all things that intrest us here will continue to decline. Plese start to look at and think more about what will really need to be done if we are going to have any quality of life as we wish for. Everyone of Robs solutions are viable and needed but to get them to happen our activisim needs to be directed into changing the way the entire population think right now.

jjohnson
06-28-2004, 12:09 PM
I agree with OC I think Rob is being constructive. In fact even though he is angry I feel that he is being reserved and is offering real solutions.

Like:
Scaling back Hatchery productions. Flytier says they are here and there is nothing we can do about it well yes and no. There is nothing we can do about it if you choose to do nothing about it and if status quo is OK with you. I choose to think there is a better way to do things then how it is being done now.

Like:
No outplanting and no planting where there aren't adult collection facilities. Again see respone to number 1 here. We can change the practices to make them better. Not perfect but better.

Like:
WSR no exceptions. Been discussed to much to say anymore. We are backwards for still having kill on them.

Sound like he is coming accross as having real ideas.

Smalma

So the HSRG has some good stuff in it I agree. So would you just pick and choose what to do or should we look at it as a whole and implement a broad range of the recommendations. Like I believe that one of the recommendations was stop out planting. Stop planting where there is no adult collection facility. Stop planting from the Marblemount facility since we should be doing this lower on the river. Some of those sound like what Rob is suggesting. I have my copy of the recommendations at home so I may be wrong here too.

I like the idea of wild steelhead zones. But your example seems a little off as the Sauk is part of the Skagit basin and it is my understanding that you have to deal with them together and as one basin. Maybe I am wrong on that one. But setting the Sauk aside (which I would support 100%) seems to be not really setting aside a whole basin but only a part of the basin.

Also have you found those redd survey's?
Have you found any more, from the department, studies on residualization?

JJ

Nailknot
06-28-2004, 03:48 PM
The real problem, of course, is the premise of capitalism and distribution of wealth. Aside from proletariat revolution, how will the proposed Grandy Creek holding ponds, and Skagit regs in general, be revised in next year's rule change cycle? I hope regs are revised to offer more protection for the fish via selective/c&r, while still keeping mainstem Sauk/Skagit waters open for angling opportunity.

Though I wish the fishers and peoples of last generation, and the innovative steelhead fly fishers of two generations ago, had protected what they had, instead of allowing the destruction of nearly everything they passed down to us, I can do nothing about it. The hatcheries and environmental destruction reached its peak, when, 1960's? How many "legendary" northwest fly fishers were in fact employed by the corporations that destroyed our natural environment? So the new generation soldiers on without bitterness and anger, because it does no good. If you add up a million small efforts, you get real change. One foot in front of the other.

OC
06-28-2004, 05:01 PM
Nailknot,
Those with the frustration, the anger, is because they see clearly that all the millions of small efforts have not in fact made things better. Yes the small efforts have slowed down what eventually is going to take place but they have not over 60 years of many small efforts increased fish numbers. For over 60 years we have realized we are loosing our fish and be it the efforts of the federal goverment, the states many agencies involved in saving fish and our resourses, the WSC, TU, WT, everyone's small effort things continue to get worse. You can continue with small efforts and I hope you do, I know I will continue till the day I die. But the fact remains untill we as a nation change our ways and what we feel is quality of life then we will not change what is going to happen to steelhead and a lot of other wonderful things some of us cherish.

I know a lot of us out there don't want to hear that but it is real it is the world we live in, Quality of life for most is measured in wealth, who has a big home, how many gas eater vehicals we own, how green our lawn is, the convience of shopping at wallmart and home depot. Everyone wants a house in the country and drive long distance to work and thousands of other things that make it impossible for so many things we love to survive.

We create a law on the Skagit that if the river takes out rip rap it can't be replaced but no sooner is the law put into effect than it is weakend by land owners and developers so that it not only can be relaced but it can be replaced back to it's original place and back filled to the original spot. Why does this happen? Because even though you and I may care the majority are too busy trying to live the American dream to care. You say the Dams are not going to come down anytime soon and you are right. Why because there are not enough people who want them to come down. This and many other major actions and non actions is the reason we will not save the fish untill we as a whole change our way of being. So you and I will continue the small effort barage, the comprimise all the things that we have been doing over the last 60 years, they are all the things that would make our situation better, they are all the things to bring back the fish if we first had the country stop destroying the natural resourses you and I are continueing to put the band aids on.

Call this a rant or frustration or even anger but I tell you it is not, it is real and MMM knows it, Rob knows it but my friend do you know it.

flytyer
06-28-2004, 05:09 PM
Nailknot,

Exactly. The resource didn't get into the mess in a year or even a score of years. It has taken many score of years for things to get where they are now. Likewise, we will not be able to get wholesale change in a single year or even a decade. Instead, we need to work at the problems over a period of years, or we will end up with nothing when the bonk-em all folks get angry and get the politicos involved.

Take for instance, our current Public Lands manager (an elected office) and DNR's huge increase in timber harvesting that got ramped up this spring. Our state's DNR land is to produce revenue for school construction (public, community college and university) and maintenance. Those of use who know what happened to Deer Creek from the mass wasting events on DNR land in the 80's know all too well the devestation to the fishery resource overcutting can produce. Nearly all school superintendents and college presidents greated the huge increase in timber harvest on DNR lands as great news. I, however, was saddened.

These are the types of things we are up against and getting fellow fishers and non-fishing public angry with us is not a good way to go about getting any of the changes.

I'd much rather have one portion of the Skagit drainage designated as a wild steelhead management zone, than have no portion of it so designated. I rather have the Skagit above Marblemount designated selective gear, than have no portion so designated.

And I'd much prefer to have only a single wild steelhead be allowed to keep, than continue with the current 5/year, eventhough my preference is blanket WSR release on all rivers. In other words, I'd rather have some of the pie instead of no piece at all.

flytyer
06-28-2004, 05:32 PM
OC,

My friend. I am very aware of what you just said. I grew up in an area of the country where Anthracite Coal was king for the better part of a century where one valley was devastated and the next one was pastoral only because it had not coal deposits. I've seen streams destroyed by "acid mine water" and its nice brownish-yellow results that turned into rivers, which were equally devoid of trout and insects. I grew up in the headwaters of the Schuylkill River, which in the days of George Washington had trout swimming in it at is mouth in Philadelphia as well as a huge run of shad.

Unfortunately, years before I was born, many of the headwater streams were destroyed by "yellow cake". Sure there were the streams (many were even spring creeks) that were located in the non-coal bearing valleys; but as soon as they joined the Schuylkill, all was lost for fish because of the acid in the river. I lived in a area where the Lehigh River was provided with such a load of acid mine water from the mines located near Jim Thorpe, Pa that it effected this fair-sized river all the way to it confluence with the Delaware at Easton, PA (just upstream of where Washington made his famous crossing). Needless to say, the shad were eliminated and 30 miles of a large river were devoid of life. All the result of acid mine tributary streams.

Literarly in my back yard (1/2 mile upstream of the village of 185 I grew up in), a spring creek headwater tributary of the Schuylkill River began. It held some rather large native brook trout after several other small tributaryies joined it in the 2 miles below town. Unfortunately, a mere 3 miles from where it supported trout, it joined the Little Schuylkill River (really a large stream) and its acid mine water.

I've also stood on the bank of the Upper Clark Fork River in Montana and watched as hundreds of trout (some well over 5 pounds) floated down river belly up after a brief evening downpoor that lasted less than 20 minutes because the rain washed toxic metals into the river from the deposits in the "slickens". These heavy metals came from the famous Butte mines and the Ananaconda smelters. I also fished the Blackfoot River 2 days before the old 7-Up Pete Mine tailings ponds broke and destroyed all life in the river for 70 miles. The Blackfoot is still recovering from this.

Yes, I know very well what it is like to see degredation of resources under the guise of "progress" and "jobs", and the problems that many times don't become evident to the non-fishing public for years and years. yes, it still makes my blood boil when I see it happen! However, I also know that the politicians in WA State are not going to make wholesale changes in how natural resources are "managed". That is why I will continue to work on getting something, instead of nothing.

Brian Simonseth
06-28-2004, 05:33 PM
SCPAC is the way to get started. We do report to the Director we can put a bug in his ear, and we do want some changes but it takes time. So if you have some proposals talk to us, this committee has a broad base of people working on it. They ask us for comments all the time.

Nailknot
06-28-2004, 06:04 PM
Flytyer- agreed. Any portion of the pie is a victory.

OC, the stream I grew up fishing, where my grandfather taught me to fish, behind the cabin he built, was destroyed before my eyes, over 15 years, by too many people fishing and hatchery plants. As a past Outward Bound and Wilderness Education Association instructor, I spent years introducing hundreds of young (and not so young) adults to the power of wild and wilderness to save and enrich human experience. Many years ago, in college, I would regularly exchange correspondence with wilderness advocate and Pulitzer prize winning poet, Gary Snyder. I lived in Arcata CA during the Redwood Wars. I am no rookie to these battles. So yeah, I know. And I know exactly what is at stake. And in a much larger context than the Skagit. I continue to introduce people to the value of wilderness and rivers all the time. And I join these small battles when I can. So now you know.

Brian- thanks. Will reply to your email as well.

Whistler
06-28-2004, 10:04 PM
Rob Allen is right!
There is no compromise. Protect existing habitat, work to rebuild damaged habitat. Hatchery programs DO aid in the destruction of wild runs while providing a put and take fishery for those that wouldn't be missed on the river. I can't believe that some folks in WA would want to eat an endangered species for dinner. Then again I can't believe there are people in my country that would fight for their right to fish for wild fish with bait. It might not be long before we all are taking our 'Steelhead' trips to the great lakes. Hatcheries suck and so do people that kill wild Steelhead.
Brian Niska

Smalma
06-29-2004, 12:03 AM
JJ-
I beleive that the Sauk proposal more than meets the recommendations being put forth by the HSRG. Specifically
A general recommendation of the HSRG was: "The HSRG recommends that the managers develop asystem of "wild steelhead management zones" where entire sub-regions or portions of watersheds of large rives (e.g. Skagit River) are not planted with hatchery-orgin fish but managed for "wild" steelhead only." they further went on to recommend that "streams selected should represent a balance of large and small streams, habitat types,stock status, etc."

A specific recommendation for the Skagit systems was:
"Establish the Sauk as a wild steelhead management zone."

Clearly the proposal meets that criteria. In fact by expanding the proposal to include the Sauk and all its tribs we have a management Zone much larger than most steelhead systems in Western Washington. Generally the HSRG recommended much smaller sub-basins than the Sauk system - for example for the Stillaguamish "Two potential wild steelhead management zones are above Granite Falls and Deer Creek" - areas just a fraction the size of proposed Sauk mangement zone.

HSRG makes the following comment about wild steelhead management zones:- "this approval will increase production of natural stocks while still permitting harvest opportunites". Clearly the proposal goes further than any recommendation as steelhead harvest was precluded. In addition a gear restriction (selective gear rules) as added to provide additional production to the resource. The single barbless hook rule w/o bait would be expected to reduce hooking mortality for adults, pre-smolts, and residents. In addition the proposal was further expanded to include all game fish (a true wild fish area) rather limit it to just steelhead.

I believe that such proposal is ground breaking however since somewhere a hatchery fish remains or a wild fish maybe killed it is DOA for many of you - I don't get it. This business of all or nothing in management changes is just a sure way to continue failure. 25 years ago it believe by nearly all the steelhead fishermen in the State of Washington thought that a CnR steelhead fishery would be essentially unused. However by creating high profile opportunities, exposing folks to a new approach to management a new enlighted user group was slowly developed. I have to believe that the development of wide spread support for wild steelhead management can be most successfully developed in the same way.

Somehow we anglers have to get by these management issues that have become so divisive so that our engeries can be focus on the real factors that are limiting are steelhead populations - at least in the Skagit and most North Sound Streams - that is habitat degradation.

Tight lines
S malma

Brian Simonseth
06-29-2004, 12:51 AM
S malma wrote:

“Somehow we anglers have to get by these management issues that have become so divisive so that are engeries can be focus on the real factos that are limiting are steelhead populations - at least in the Skagit and most North Sound Streams - that is habitat degradation.”

Thanks, it is a huge problem

roballen2
06-29-2004, 01:15 AM
Salama i am sorry i believe that you are wrong.. It's not us anglers who need to change.. it's the managment focus of WDFW and the other agencies.. They need to stop being fisheries managers and become fish restorers!!!

The reason we believe the all or nothing approach is the only option left is because we have never gotten ANYTHING before!!!

It's time for these agencies to say the hell with harvest and do whats needed to save the fish..


25 years ago theWashougal had a noticable wild summer run.. now with improved habitat conditions it's got nothing..

Salama this situatiion is sever! and WDFW is treeting it as though it's nothing..

I have never said this before but i am gonna now.. there are several members of WDFW who should be fired for gross incompetence based on how they have managed steelhead runs in the state.. I am not saying this guy made mistakes I am saying that his career is a mistake and a miserable failure as are WDFW's wild steelhead managment policys. they don't need minor tweeking they need total revamping scrap every word every mathematical calculation scrap every focus and every goal. and the men at the helm need to go first
the director and the head steelhead bio, Bob Gibbons. they are failures.. the number one and overriding goal of WDFW should be the restoration of native fished in the state.. This goal should superceed ALL others in fish managment.

As long as we actively kill wild steehead we will never restore them so MSY has to go along with it's biggest proponent..

I am ranting because i don't believe that anything short of that kind of managment shift has a prayer of working.. it didn;t work down here it won't work up there.. History is repeating itself .. first the Columbia, then the sound then the penninsula!!! It is happening.. thats what i am trying to get people to understand.. I am glad many do understand that already..

Nailknot
06-29-2004, 02:31 AM
Smalma- thanks for explaining your interpretation of the details of HSRG, and thanks for your boldness in recommending ideas that fit within the process yet push towards new understandings and definitions. I believe creating a mgmt zone/selective on the Sauk would be a HUGE victory for fish, and will support it in any way I can. I do believe by limiting our sport impact, we create leverage against other user/abuser groups- to a point. Giving up our sport rights completely (closures) isn't an answer IMHO, all we do is remove our opinions from the process. However, we do need to face our impact in the face and tell the truth.

Noticed that the Sauk seems to have dumped a fresh coat of silt this past week. Considering last fall's floods- can we prove habitat negligence and use results as a tool for change, or was silt primarily natural occuring?

Smalma
06-29-2004, 09:45 AM
JJ et al-
Other than the obivous passion about wild steelhead that Rob and others bring to the discussion I find little that is constructive in their positions and rants.

The continued denial that the environmental conditions vary from regions of the state and that in turn shapes our steelhead population is not helpful. Example - the large spring snow melt flows shape many important aspects of the Skagit and other north Puget Sound steelhead and makes them different than those of the Washougal!

The continued use of miss information is not helpful. Example - In Rob's continuing concern about hathcery/wild interactions he asked about the interactions with the wild summer steelhead (which he claims spawn from December to March) and those early spawning early returning wild fish. It has been long know that the native summer steelhead of the North Puget Sound region spawn much later than that. The then Dpeartment of Game collected Deer Creek steelhead of the Stillaguamish in the late 1940s and attempted to spawn "them - they found that spawning began in mid-March. Continued surveys have consistentlyu found that our wild summers spawning time remains earlyu/mid-March through mid-May - in other words much the same as the winters.

Mis-representation of what HSRG or other groups recommend. An example is JJ's statement that HSRG recommended that steelhead releases from Marblemount be discontinued - I made another review of their Skagit recommendations found no such recommendation.

While I couild easily expand on each of the above let's look at ideas that JJ found constuctive-

Like
"Scaling back Hatchery productions" - actually I beleive that Rob recommeded no planting in the Sakgit period. If the point of scale back hatchery production is to reduce hatchery/wild interactions (whether genetic, ecological,or whatever) why not give the managers credit for the meaningul steps that have been taken - 20 years ago roughly 10 to 15% of the hatchery steelhead caught in the Skagit basin were caught in the month of March. Hatchery females were spawning through the month of March and occassionally into April. Today the hatcheries complete the spawning of the hatchery fish by mid-February or so. The few hatchery fish caught in March are now spawned out fish or partially spawned males. Doesn't this increase in temporal separation between the Skagit hatchery and wild steelhead accomplish the same in terms as interactions as "scaling back hatchery production"?

Like
"No outplanting and no planting where there aren't adult collection facilitilty." constuction and operation of the Grandy Creek would do just that - allow the planting of that section of the river by direct release rather than outplanting and provide additional adult collection facilitilty. I find it disingenuous to advance such a positon and then take the proponent to task for propsing to alter the hatcheries to accomplish precisely that.

Like
"WSR no exceptions." Clealry we all recognize the value of the WSR as fisheries management tool. This tool has been used effectively in the North Puget Sound region for more than 20 years and even in couple case actually predate the mass marking of the hatchery releases. The position that I personally find non-constructive is the willingness to accept the limited wild fish impacts associated with WSR (hooking mortality) but have a zero tolerance for impacts from a hatchery program. I find this a hypocritical position and smacks of attempting to shape fisheries to fit ones own interest. Don't get me wrong I have no problem in individuals lobbying or attmepting to shape fishing opportunities to fit their own desires - just a problem in doing so in the name of conservation.

Excuse my rant and sorry if the above seems harsh however I find that ignoring biological realities, mis-representing the situation and unwillingness to hold one to the same standards you ask of others not be constructive at all. Such positons continue to be devisive to the angling community and actually serves to undermine our collective conservation efforts outside our own little community. There are lots of folks in this world that just as soon that fishing be entired cut out in the name of conservation so that they can continue to go about the business of destroying our rivers and the fish habitat found in them. Having dealt far to often with those type of folks and having looked closely at the issues associated with ESA recovery in the region it is my opinion the single largest issues are habitat related. While it is clear that harest and hatrcheries were contributors to the decline in many stocks the reality is that much of those factors associated with harvest and hatcheries have been and are being address -this is generally not true in the habitat arena. It is fair to expect the fishers to pay the full burden of recovery - I think not. In fact I have come to believe that without a passion, informed, united advocates for the resource our cherished wild salmonid resources are doomed. I further believe that those advocates will have to mainly come from we the anglers. The cynic in me tells that discussions such as this one shows how unlikely that is to occur. The fact that I keep trying to be a factor in this arena likely is just a clear illustration of my stupidity or at best my "bull-headness"!

Undoubtly I have gone over the top.

Tight lines
S malma

jjohnson
06-29-2004, 12:33 PM
Smalma,

You aren't over the top. If anything I owe you an apology for misrepresenting the HSRG. Like I said I had my copy at home and misrepresented. I also said I would support the Sauk basin as a Wild steelhead management zone totally and completely. Sorry if it came across as I wasn't for it. Some times I forget that part of a sandwich is better then no sandwich at all. It would be a radical shift I admit and I hope it happens.

There are some great strides happening and I think some of us do forget to acknowledge that. I acknowledge that now. For the strides that are happening and all the hard work that the WDFW bios and directors are doing. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You all work hard and takes lots of pot shots from many of us but I do understand you do what you think is right for the resource, whether all of us agree or not. Thank you.

I have never said that that because I support WSR no exceptions that I will accept some impact from hatcheries. I am willing to accept some impact from hatcheries just as I am willing to allow a minimal impact through hooking mortality. I have never said that all hatcheries should be shut down. I have also never said that fishing should happen over a run that can't handle the hooking mortality of a CnR fishery. I find nothing hypocritical in my position.

JJ

roballen2
06-29-2004, 01:53 PM
Sorry I don't see anyone doing a thing to save wild fish other than a very few field bio's who's hands are tied and a few private conservation organizations doing limited habitat work.

Salama by outplanting i mean using stocks that don't belong in a particular river system! meaning that chambers creek stock should ONLY be planted in chambers creek and skamania stock? well they shouldn't be planted anywhere..

flytyer
06-29-2004, 03:52 PM
Smalma,

What you so aptly posted, is what I've been trying to get people to think about with my "devil's advocate" type of posts and my questions to others. There have been some things that have gotten changed since 1990 that benefit fish. Some examples are: the expansion of WSR release to statewide during the summer/fall; the changes on the Hoh that limit the number of day salmon fishing can occur above Hwy 101; putting WSR and selective gear rules in effect on the Sol Duc above the salmon hatchery.

To say WDFW has done nothing to improve the lot of wild fish is disingenuous and not at all useful when working or get more protection or when trying to inform others of the need for conserving the resource.

Likewise, trying to say what happens in one area of the state is the same thing in all other area is neither informative or useful. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the environmental conditions and natural weather patterns on the Olympic Peninsula, the North Puget Sound, South Puget Sound, Southwest WA, the Upper Columbia tributaries are different and these differences produce differences in run timing and spawning time.

roballen2
06-29-2004, 04:49 PM
Guys... sure conditions are different in the various parts of the state.. what I am trying to get you to understand is that the same thing is happening in all areas of the state!!

OK prove it What is WDFW doing to save wild salmon and steelhead??? What are some examples of their successes?????

Spending millions sitting in a room talking about things and developing new policys doesn't accomplish a damn thing! All WDFW Olympia has done is to ignore their regional offices and science altogether. MSY mathematical models are NOT science

Mean Mr Mustard
06-29-2004, 08:01 PM
The most important question - What do ALL these failing rivers have in common? WDFW (mis)management.

Personally, we should fire the whole lot. And bounce their political masters at the polls.

:mad:

mmm

flytyer
06-29-2004, 09:57 PM
Roballen,

If the three examples of regulation changes I listed in my previous post do not benefit wild steelhead and salmon, none do. And to say the same things that happened on your river are happening all over the state is playing very loose with the facts, which only undermines your credibility. Also, you know very well that MSY was the direct result of the Bolt decision and that MSY is a better management tool than what was in place before it began, namely no set escapement levels.

MMM,

What about the problems BC is experiencing with salmon and steelhead? They cannot be attributed to WDFW, or can they?

Mean Mr Mustard
06-29-2004, 11:23 PM
No, that's BC Fisheries mismanagement. Seems they are all part of the same school, same hatchery run.

:razz:

mmm

roballen2
06-29-2004, 11:29 PM
I could frankly care less about my credibility.. I care about the future exsistence of wild salmon and steelhead..

wild steelhead will never be restored unless we stop killing them, destroying their habitat and breeding them out of exsistence... thats what happened down here and as far as i can see thats whats happening throughout the state..

how is that wrong or misrepresentative?