: My generation
07-13-2004, 12:00 PM
In the past few days I have talked to two I guess what you could call old timers about fishing on the Skagit. My conversations with these 2 gentlemen was similar in the fact that both were talking to me about the fishing in years past. There was a couple of sentiments that both these men stated that bothered me a bit. Both talked of the large numbers of fish they used to catch in the Skagit even making mention of 50 plus fish weekends. Both blamed the decline in the fishing on the Bolt decision and both stated that the river has been ruined forever. There was also some talk of the complicated regulations now in place on the river.
Is it just me or can some of you see the problems here? I mean 50 fish weekends? I know these guys didn't practice C&R. Do you think this might have had something to do with the decline in fish? I asked that and of course the answer was no way the nets are to blame. The river is ruined forever, so lets just sit down at the cofffe shop and bitch about it for the rest of our lives.
I don't know what the answers are for helping the river but I do know that some of the previous generation, which is my generation, is more the problem then anything else.
Sorry to those that have to clean up after us.
07-13-2004, 12:55 PM
Well before I got into fly fishing and CnR'ing the fish. I used to keep most fish I caught. There were days when you couldn't keep them off the hook. And you seemed to think that these days would never end. I have never counted that fish that I catch. I always did it because I enjoyed it. And because the fish were big. I've seen many days that when I walk up off of a local creek that I walked off at a slight bend in my back from the weight of the fish.
I thought that these days would last forever. Boy was I ever wrong. I don't think that the Bolt decision had that much of an impact on all the fish that we fish for. I think that we as fisherman had the thought that this type of fishing would ever end.
Now when I go back to that creek I don't catch much of anything. So you could say that me and others like me ruined the fishing in that creek. So I guess that you could blame the older generation. I fit in there because of my age an younger 69. :)
07-13-2004, 01:46 PM
The reason you do not catch anything in that creek is the shark repellant on your waders. :hihi:
I am hoping that we are just in a low fish return cylcle for the last decade or so.
I always here the stories of 5-6 fish coming out of one run back in the day.
Right now I would like 1 fish to come up. I am starting to get steelhead depression again.
07-14-2004, 01:50 AM
From what I see there are fingers that are always pointed opposite of oneself- seems the blame is always someone/user groups fault.
07-14-2004, 02:07 AM
No truer word were ever spoken
poor realitive of the Simms family
07-14-2004, 11:43 PM
All of us are to blame... Unless you live in a thatched hut, completely off the grid, grow your own veggies (organicly), shoot your own meat, don't drive a vehicle, etc. etc. etc. i.e. are not apart of this society, you're to blame... :eek: :eek:
That should get a rise out of someone... But its true at some level for all of us... we live in a society that would rather exploit natural resources (for personal gain and profit) than conserve them (at the cost of our own comforts, convienences, etc.). Everything about our society and daily living, things to damn many to even begin to try and list, affect the environment, the watersheds, the oceans, etc. It's all the human effects we know about, and many more effects we don't know about, and may never know about that are causing the declines and losses of runs..... I don't know that we'll ever see the runs of old... to many permanent changes that will never go back... to be honest, every time i hook into one of those amazing fish, i feel blessed at the opportunity, knowing that perhaps in my lifetime, that opportunity won't exist...
Well said Feiger, it's not just the old guard - we are currently doing quite well destroying habitat and introducing obstacles to affect entire runs in already depleted populations, and the high-tech commercial and tribal techniques far surpass hook and line or traditional netting methods. Political, social, and economical influences run over the fish on the migratory highway as they have become a commodity rather than a natural treasure. The carnage has not stopped, it's just taken on a different look over the years.
The modern sportsman must first care that the fish are healthy in the river, then seek the right to fish for them second, and finally reasonable harvest. Sadly the vast majority seems focused on harvesting, then basing the health of the run on the leftovers. All the while we are trashing the critical habitat and passageways that were so important to the success of anadromous species and pointing fingers at everyone else.
We humans have proven that we really suck at playing God. Nature knows how to raise steelhead and salmon better than all, but she needs some breathing room to make her magic. IMHO the best thing we can do is think less selfishly about the resource (commercial, tribal, sportsmen, developers, suburban sprawlers, industrial impacters, all) and keep the management of species focused on everything that contributes to health of runs first, then whether they are healthy enough to C&R, lastly harvest.
The moratorium on wild fish harvest is a great example of giving nature some breathing room while allowing C&R to continue. Yet it amazes me how people who would call themselves sportsmen are unwilling to give that much leeway. Wild steelhead are a natural treasure first, the object of an inseperable bond to nature for true sportsmen second, and if everything else is in order, then they are meat. Not the other way around as many would have it.
C&R is an important element of healthy fish populations. Without the ability to interact with the waters, fish and without a society that embraces ethical angling, the fish will have no stewards in all of humanity. As long as there is a large population of C&R anglers in the world there will be a chance that we make good decisions about fish management based on (a) health of species first (b) C&R access to the resource second and (c) for those who are interested, harvest of meat third.
Without C&R the world would consist of bonkers and people who could care less about the resource. A sad world indeed!
07-15-2004, 12:06 PM
Big K1. It is true about the shark repellant on my waders. As I haven't seen any sharks up where I fish.
And as for fishing for steelhead In the summer, I don't. There is more to fishing than steelhead.I really do prefer to fish for high mountain trout. By this I mean rivers that are 50 to 70 miles above the salt water. Good fishing if you know where to look.
But steelhead would be good as I have seen them up that high.
07-15-2004, 12:43 PM
All of us are to blame... Unless you live in a thatched hut, completely off the grid, grow your own veggies (organicly), shoot your own meat, don't drive a vehicle, etc. etc. etc. i.e. are not apart of this society, you're to blame...
Yes Feiger we share some of the responsibility for problems on our rivers. I certainly was not trying to deflect that blame. OC made a post a while back talking about driving SUVs and such. Guilty. I drive a 4x4 pickup. I probably use it more then most that own one but do I need one? No. He made mentioned of buildings and parking lots being built along the river. Do I shop at those stores? Yes. So I guess I support the building of parking lots along the river. Well, no but they didnít ask me if they could build there either. What is worst then actually supporting these stores is the fact that I work for a company that builds their roads and paves their parking lots. My company is likely responsible for more impervious materials being laid down in NW Washington then any other. These impervious parking lots and roads could very well have contributed greatly in the demise of fish runs. So I very much share a part of the blame.
Some one else made mention of the so called pioneers of our sport working in the very industries blamed for a large part of habitat destruction along our rivers. I am sure they did. Did they knowingly take part in this destruction? I doubt it. Looking at this from that point of view I am even guiltier because of my job. I know that some of the work we do is destructive. I also know that road construction has change vastly over the last 10 or so years. We are now responsible for every drop of water that falls on these new roads and parking lots. We construct settling ponds to collect the water and settle out any pollutants. We construct bio-swales to further filter out suspended pollutants naturally. Is this a perfect solution? No, but it is progress. My fishing partner has been a logger for the last 25 years. Is he guilty of causing the problems with our rivers? Yes, but I talk with him regularly about how they now work in the woods and without getting into specifics he has told me of huge changes made in the way they log now compared to 10 or 20 years ago. Most changes made in an effort to lessen their impact on the environment. Is the logging industry still causing problems? Iím sure they are but far less then they were in the past and as time goes on they will cause even fewer.
We canít go back but we can improve. This however was not the point of my post. The point was the denial of being a part of the problem and the refusal to a part of any solution. This is what troubles me about some in my generation.
Nice post Kerry.
I have mixed emotions on what our generation is doing right now to help the enviroment. Ya, ya, ya, I see recycling, better lawn fertilizer and on and on all an improvement. I see a news paper article on the front page of the Times about some middle aged republican who claims he is a big enviro and helps save forrests in the NW. Yet the picture of him on the front page shows him standing in front of his home on Lake Sammish the home is 5200 sq ft of 2nd and old growth timber. Is he good or is he bad? Probably just a little worse than me who last year put $1,600 of rare teak on my sloop. Yep we are all involved somehow, somewhere.
There are always ups and downs and unforunately the downs just out weigh the ups on a continuous basis. A couple of courageous souls up your way that are our generation run for county council, win and eventually get some solid growth laws in place maybe some good stream management programs in place and in the very next election the money interests, the developers, the realestate investors, you know the who's and of our generation also, spend lots of money and always spew economic doom and gloom in the county if we elect these couragous people again. Our good guys always loose next time around, the general public sways easy, the good laws are weakened or done away with by the new pro economic growth council and the support of the people.
So there is good and bad right there in that last paragraph about our generation. We, our generation are the power players now the real power players, it is our time in history. I always thought our generation would be the greatest in the history of the world in ending greed, useless bloodshed and the destruction of the envionment. But the beliefs of the 60's went by by for most they joined the greed team weather they knew it or not even I play within the teams walls.
I see the guys our age in the WSC working so hard for State wide release. They are amazing in the effort they put in, If we had even 25% of the people in this country putting their type of effort in to making this a better world they would change it. And I see the generation next in line and even Sparky from his generation trying to do what is right. I hope they are better than us at fixing and that there is more of them, we need numbers.
Is our generation doing enough? No. We must thank all of those who are working so hard but untill we have some type of wake up there won't be enough of our generation going back to their 1960's/early 70's roots to make a change. I'm afraid by the time our generation gets the guilty look back on what they have created they will no longer be in power but in nursing homes and hopefully giving away all their wealth to newer generations who want change and are fighting for change as a majority to clean up past messes and ensure no one makes messes again no matter what the cost.
Are we doing enough? See, yes or no.
You might find this article interesting, and only slightly off topic:
Wednesday July 14, 2004
There is more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than for 55m years, enough to melt all the ice on the planet and submerge cities like London, New York and New Orleans, Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser has warned.
Speaking on his return from Moscow, where he has been acting as the prime minister's "unofficial envoy" to persuade the Russians to ratify the Kyoto protocol to fight climate change, Sir David said the most recent science bore out the worst predictions.
An ice core 3km deep from the Antarctic had a record of the climate for 800,000 years and showed the direct relationship between the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and warm and cold periods for the planet.
Critical in climate records is the quantity of ice at the poles and in glaciers. Records show that at the peak of the ice age 12,000 years ago, the sea was 150 metres below where it is now. "You might think it is not wise, since we are currently melting ice so fast, to have built our big cities on the edge of the sea where it is now obvious they cannot remain.
"On current trends, cities like London, New York and New Orleans will be among the first to go.
"Ice melting is a relatively slow process but is speeding up. When the Greenland ice cap goes, the sea level will rise six to seven metres, when Antarctica melts it will be another 110 metres," he said.
Records of the 3km deep Antarctic ice core showed that during ice ages the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was around 200 parts per million (ppm), and during warm periods reached around 270 ppm, before sinking back down again for another ice age. That pattern had been repeated many times in that period but had now been broken because of the intervention of man.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had reached 360 ppm in the 1990s and now was up to 379 ppm and increasing at the rate of 3 ppm a year - reaching a level not seen for 55m years when there was no ice on the planet because the atmosphere was too warm.
"I am sure that climate change is the biggest problem that civilisation has had to face in 5,000 years," he concluded.
Sir David, who is also to visit China and Japan, was speaking at the launch of a scientific expedition to Cape Farewell in the Arctic, which aims to raise awareness of climate change in students. It will also study the oceans' currents with the help of Southampton University, particularly the fate of the gulf stream which warms northern Europe but is slowing down because of excess fresh water in the north Atlantic caused by ice melt.
Dr King described how the ice caps like those on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, had been continuous for hundreds of thousands of years and survived through successive warm periods but were now expected to disappear in 30 to 40 years.
He said that the realisation of the scale of the crisis was what prompted him to say in January that climate change was a bigger threat than global terrorism. "We are moving from a warm period into the first hot period that man has ever experienced since he walked on the planet."
He said the heatwave of last summer in which 25,000 Europeans died had killed more people than terrorism, yet had not been given anything like the same level of attention.
The prime minister had charged him with talking to governments ahead of the G8 summit to convince them of the urgency of action on climate change, of research and development of renewables. He warned of the slow response of the climate system and said we were already doomed to 30 or 40 years of climate heating because of the carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere, hence the need to multiply effective flood defences such as the Thames barrier.
Sir David said because there was no ice on the planet 55m years ago, it was impossible to tell how much carbon dioxide there was in the atmosphere but it was probably only slightly more than "we are currently heading towards".
Sir David was backed up last night by Margaret Beckett, the environment secretary, speaking at the Green Alliance about the value of the EU's campaign to fight climate change.
"Climate change is the predominant global environmental issue where European leadership is vital," she said.
"But, of course, we need to persuade others to come with us, and we need to inject new momentum into international discussions on climate change.
"Above all, we also need to demonstrate that countries do not have to choose between their environmental and economic aspirations, to forfeit one or the other, but that these aspirations can not only be compatible but mutually reinforcing."
She said that the government had set ambitious targets for 2010 and beyond for virtually every big environmental issue.
But there needed to be a greater emphasis on assessing progress and identifying action needed to deliver existing commitments.
There also needed to be more consistent implementation of EU rules across the union, she said.
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