11-23-2000, 08:06 PM
Fellow Forum Steelheaders,
Sorry for the late notice on this, but I wanted to let you know about the first meeting of concerned steelhead anglers happening Friday (tomorrow) at 7:30pm at Teds Sporting Goods in Lynnwood (Hwy 99 just north of Lynnwood).
There are a number of guides, shopowners, and fly/gear anglers that are disgusted with the WDFW's management practices that have kept our wild steelhead runs on the brink of extinction in an effort to appease the 'sportsmen' who want to harvest as many as they can and have led to the latest closure of our Spring C&R fishery on the Snohomish, Stillaguamish, and Skagit systems.
We're gathering at Teds to explore what actions we might want to take collectively to (1) bring about mandatory Wild Steelhead Release statewide and (2) get more accountability and cooperative managment from the WDFW.
Everyone is invited!! This is a chance to get your great ideas heard by a number of sympathetic ears - several planned attendees have already drafted an initiative for Wild Steelhead Release, and this is only one of the planned areas of discussion.
I know that a number of you already know about this meeting, but wanted to get this on the board just in case anyone hadn't heard.
Happy Thanksgiving - and Yes, I'm thankful there are still wild steelhead in many of our Washington rivers and that I still have a chance to help keep it that way!
I could only attend "in spirit", but how did the meeting go? Was the attendance high?
Outcome? General public reaction?
Just read up on Piscatorial and VFS, sounds like things are definitely brewing!
WA regs... <!--http--><a href="http://www.wa.gov/wdfw/fish/regs/fishregs.htm" target="_blank">HERE</a><!--url-->
HOT discussion... <!--http--><a href="http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/ubbcgi/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&forum=|QUT|The+Wild+Steelhead+Group|QUT|&number=3&DaysPrune=20&LastLogin=" target="_blank">HERE</a><!--url-->
Please support this initiative to stop the killing of wild steelhead in the pacific northwest!
Posted to Piscatorialpursuits.com...
"Native" or just wild?
I like wild because it includes anything that wiggled from the pea gravel, but in my view the word "NATIVE" carries a lot more punch. The progeny of Chambers Creek rags can wiggle from the gravel - but only the thick shouldered 20 pound Hoh buck can carry the Oly native genes through the millenia.
Don't exclude habitat:
One thing I don't see mentioned is passage and habitat. Well alright that's two things but just the same, where harvest has never eliminated a marine species habitat loss has forced many strains to extinction.
One need not look further than the Elwha example, but the Columbia, once the greatest salmon river in the world, is now a mere shadow of it's production in the 1930's.
Refine our ideals:
If this uproar is a response to angler's withdrawls from a lack of fishing home waters, then it may lack merit at the level of legislators and policy makers. It should be clear at all times that this is not about fishing this spring - but about fishing forever.
How did it ever get this bad?
When the policy makers see the means of protection to be a closure based on dates, then that means something. It means that the runs have been divided. Let's not forget that before hatcheries, all steelies were native, and wild... and they didn't wait until spring to enter the river! The truth is our kill policies are so bad they have bio-engineered and thus segregated the (largely) artificial runs from the (largely) native runs for economic, managerial, and political reasons! They needed "predictable" return trends to manage the Boldt decision, sportmen desires, harvest date-driven periods, etc. That was one of the main reasons for using the horrendous brood stocks (ie: Chambers Crk, etc) to ensure a "reliable" early return and high survivability. That decision was not based on the welfare of the indigenous strain, except to allow it a "slot" period of time to thrive. Good or bad, we must be aware of that man-made run mutation in a policy to manage native fish.
I agree, we must enact a stoppage of native steelhead killing, incidental or otherwise, regardless of the season phase and regardless of fishermen's personal pleasures. Everyone's got to abide including the tribes. Someone mentioned weirs and wheels; two great no-kill methods that even the tribes could adopt.
Clearly it would mean changes to gear regulations as well. Closures are a way to show our support as anglers through abstinence. I believe selective, restricted fisheries are also effective no-kill fisheries, particularly flyfishing with a single barbless fly of reasonable size.
Count me in,
11-26-2000, 08:06 AM
Just a couple thoughts on the wild v. native terminology. I agree with you that for fishers at least, the term native is more accurate. My concerns are that since we are talking about possibly taking this to the public via the initiative process, the term "native" may not have the same meaning. I'm not so sure that joe public knows a native fish from a goldfish. And I'm also concerned that the word native might translate in some peoples mind to the tribes. Of course one could argue that these are the problems and for the group to be successful, the public need to be educated otherwise. Just my .02 before I climb into my waders this morning.
Wild is just fine by me. God, I hope this happens. About time, eh? 21st Century and we are still bonkin' natives on the lower 48 while most runs dwindle.
I will definitely stay connected to the very active thread located on <!--http--><a href="http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/" target="_blank">Bob Ball's excellent PNW fishing site</a><!--url-->.