Moratorium Verdict [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Moratorium Verdict

09-02-2004, 01:02 PM
A little bird just called me from Olympia and it appears the moratorium has been rescinded on the advice of the State AGís office. A compromise was reached for a one fish annual limit.

It is not the victory some of us had hoped for but a step in the right direction. More details to follow.

09-02-2004, 01:20 PM

Is this a 2 year decision or a more permanent decision?

09-02-2004, 01:36 PM
No one knows yet. Could this all be from back room deals between the state and the Hoh Tribe? You bet ya.

You know we had the vote before the AG spoke. It will be interesting as time goes on who told the AG to go before the board. Was it the Gov or did the fish & game work on him?

Any way one looks at it Forks is in no better situation than they were with a moratorium maybe worse. With one fish a year only, the bonkers are not going to come for the week and the C&R people are going to spend their money else where because the way Forks has acted on this entire thing. I tell you the mayor has shot the people of Forks right in the foot, the left knee cap and made most of the local guides drift boats into winter firewood supply. And you know as much as we wanted to help Forks I hope the mayor falls right on her face along with the big M family who really runs the town.

09-02-2004, 01:46 PM

I'm not sure. Homer was headed back into the meeting after he gave me a quick call. I am sure he will post all he knows once he gets back.


09-02-2004, 01:54 PM
M family? I think I have run into them.

I said before the last public comments made by the good mayor I would visit Forks and patronize the businesses there as I would at any other time. But since the twit's comments attacking fly fishermen I won't spend a dime in that town until they vote that *@&$# out of office.

Are you out there Forks? Get rid of your mayor. She is doing you nothing but harm. Take a look at how Port Angeles responded to the moratorium and learn something.

Leland Miyawaki
09-02-2004, 03:09 PM
Looks like the mayor has begun a self-fulfilling prophecy.


09-02-2004, 04:18 PM
This is a total back room deal. It blows and it is too bad people don't have the spine to stand up for what is right. I can't wait to hear the audio so I know whom to really be mad at.

Here is the letter I just sent the chamber out in forks.

Dear Forks Chamber of Commerce,

I am writing to tell you I that I will no longer be spending money in your town as a result of your decision to fight to get the wild steelhead kill moratorium over turned which it just was today. As a catch and release advocate you and your political leaders have made it very clear that you donít want my kind of people out there in your town spending our money. I donít make a ton of trips out there but I usually make 2 trips a year and probably spend around $500 each year out there maybe a little more but you have now lost my portion and I will be recommending to others to do the same. Of course this year me and my buddies were going to do our annual winter trip out there rather then the Skagit but no more (4 people for a minimum of 3 days). Your short sightedness is truly amazing to me. You all said at the hearing saying you would rather have no fishing then have a catch and release fishing well you still get to kill your fish and help to take another resource into the ground.

Since you donít want my kind out there I wonít trouble you by coming out there and will save you the trouble of looking down and making snide remarks.

Jeff Johnson

09-02-2004, 04:48 PM
It sucks we lost the moratorium but we did win something. I mean you cannot go down much from 1.

Like OC said, this ruling is not going to help Forks one bit. Why spend multiple days over there if you cannot kill a fish a day.

I also think this ruling has a longer chance of staying put than the 2 year ban did anyway. I do not see them revisiting this anytime soon.

As for Forks and Mayor Reed, see ya. I will not be visiting any longer.

I am also curious why the AG was involved. Seems odd, especially since she is running for governer. Think she was trying to secure a few more votes from moderates :rolleyes: Did she come out with a stance on the issue? Still listening to the audio...

WSC and others, I thank you for your work.


09-02-2004, 05:39 PM
Hopefully we Washingtonians will remember what our AG did in a few weeks when the primary election is held. She won't get my vote. It sounds like she was worried that two tribes, city of Forks, bonkers, and possibly the NWIFC might appeal the moratorium if upheld.

At any rate, remember the request for input on the moratorium put out by the commision stated they were especially interested in any regulation change that might allow limited harvest. Also, remember the letter from the legislators to the commission was adament about the commission violated the law by "making a policy change" which they stated only the legislature could do. The change to one wild fish/year completely takes these legislators' argument and position of the commission "making policy" away.

This is why I posted herein and then sent to the commission a letter in support of the moratorium and a suggestion that if the moratorium was rescinded, the commission adopt a one wild fish/year limit along with no steelhead fishing during March/April once that single fish was bonked (the no fishing during March/April I ripped off from Smalma's suggestions he made in the spring herein).

I see this as a win for the fish for the reasons stated above and because those like the City of Forks, the two tribes, the NWIFC, and the bonker advocates cannot claim that the state infringed on their ability to take a wild fish. I honestly see a lot more C&R of wild fish resulting from this and I also see this change in regulation being a long-term change, not a 2-year one like the moratorium.

I personally think we ought to be rejoicing at the one wild fish/year limit. It is a win for the fish and a win for we who desire more consevation for the fish.

09-02-2004, 06:23 PM
As something of an outsider to this issue I understand JJ's bitterness and the urge to punish Forks. However, I tend to lean towards Flytyer and Sinktip's position that this is probably a good thing. When it was 5 fish per year a week's trip of "blood and guts" was worth it - but is one fish? Probably not. So without question the fish win - that is what it is about.

Should C&R guys boycott Forks? I'm not so sure. The long term winning situation is that the small-minded politicians of the berg actually get that C&R is good for them. Only then will the threat of political action to allow wild fish harvests cease. I think we should probably go there and take the high road - it is the way to get what is right.


Brian Simonseth
09-02-2004, 07:02 PM
It will be for this Rule Cycle, thatís what I got out of it.

The first vote they did was for a five fish limit was voted down 5 to 4.
The second vote was for a 1 fish limit that passed by a 6 to 3 vote.
The final vote for 1 fish limit per year and to rescind the moratorium
was 9 to 0 every one voted yes.

I went and listen to the conference call two more times so I could get all the info correct.
Then after that I went up to the 6th floor and talk with some people with the fish program. They have 60 days to input this into the regs.

Bob Tuck said these is the best compromise between both parties.

Iím off to another meeting; Iíll be back later with more.

09-02-2004, 07:39 PM

I am a hot head and I freely admit that. You probably can understand that some. :)

Reason I feel that I will boycott Forks.
1) Mayor Reed and the Chamber have made it clear they don't like fly fisherman.
2) Mayor Reed and the Chamber have made it clear that they don't want CnR fisherman out there.
3) Mayor Reed and the Chamber got into calling people whom support this snobs and urban elitists.
4) Direct quote from the City Clerk: ďI wish the people around the state that support this would take care of their rivers in their own backyards before they come out and mess with ours,Ē Leinan said. So if they don't want me their I won't go.

I am not saying I won't fish out there but my money will be spent in other towns and I will probably be camping.


09-02-2004, 07:44 PM
Fair enough JJ. I do understand the frustration that seems to be part of steelhead politics - especially when it comes to non-fishers who are only concerned about lining their pockets with fisherman's money. I guess spending your money in another OP town might get the message across :tsk_tsk:

09-02-2004, 07:57 PM

When I lived in Port Angeles before I moved to Mount Vernon in 1994, the majority of people in Forks didn"t like fly fishermen so there is no surprise that they still don't for the most part. Also, when I lived in Port Angeles, a majority of Forks fishers didn't like those of us who practiced C&R, so there is no difference there either. However, the Forks folks not liking fly fishers or those who practice C&R didn't stop myself and the other fly fishers from Port Angeles (or even fly fishers from Forks for that matter) from fly fishing or practicing C&R on the rivers in the Forks area.

Fair enough for you to go fish there and not spend money in Forks. Continuing to go fishing on those rivers is far more important than how much coin you drip in Forks. Like Kush said, it can be very frustrating dealing with the politics of steelhead.

I do predict that there is going to be rejoicing by many of the bonk 'em all crowd until after they go out and bonk the single fish they can legally bonk. Then they will start whining about how they got screwed since they can only keep one wild fish. I still see many of the bonk all fish folks becoming C&R advocates because they will see the fishing improve.

09-02-2004, 08:12 PM
I doubt this will reduce harvest that much but we will see. Moving from 30 fish to 5 fish didn't reduce harvest very much but I hope I am wrong.

I am very disappointed that Van was the one to purpose the compromise and that there wasn't a vote to keep the moratorium. I just listened to the whole conference call and not once on their did the AG's office tell them they had to rescind this, it was just not sticking to the guns. I really think we had the votes to uphold the moratorium but as usual politics over rules the majority.


09-02-2004, 10:36 PM
Mayor Reed and the Chamber of horrors don't even know any Fly Fishers, and I intend to keep it that way. I will be continueing to stay in the Forks area as many days as the rivers are in "Shape" during the Winter Stelhead Season' as is my habit, and I will continue to struggle with the rain and icy morning roads.
Maybe I had one two many glasses of wine this evening but it sounds to me like the Fish just gained a little ground.
As too if the "Bonkers" will feel they have won, if they think this is a "Victory" they are even dumber than the average individual who thinks Steelheads will bite a fly. :lildevl:
Congratulations to all others who testified either in person or via the printed word we have achived a small and well deserved victory. Enjoy it, don't diminish it's stature with petty wranglings

09-02-2004, 10:46 PM
I thought I would like to throw out my two bits into this conversation. I lived on the penninsula most of my life and understand the mentality of the people on the coastal towns. I know what they think of me and our community, but we must realize there are people in this community that support wsr and they should not be penalized for a few bad apples. What really bothers me is when the majority of the users in this state have told the state that they need to change the rule and they continue to compromise our runs to closures or extinction. I feel it is an injustice to continue harvests on some of these rivers, pysht, hoko, goodman,dickey these can not handle any more wild fish to harvested even at one fish. The escapements goals of the state for the dickey river was a hundred fish for the river and they feel this is safe, not me! Anybody now how the Hoh's escapement was this year, I wonder how many fish were harvested in April. It's easy to get worked up about this and attack everyone involved but we must find a way to continue to fight this! Don't get me wrong I'am as mad about this a anyone but my beef is with the way this was handled from April on. With no enforcement and the rediculously low escapements and users input this should never have happened. The commission wronged the steelheaders again and after listening to there comments its habitat, harvest, management, enforcement that needs to change. And I'am sorry fred, catch and release works.

Tight Lines
Sorry for ranting

09-02-2004, 11:31 PM
Ofcourse this decision screams of backdoor deals, bad apples and politics at its worst and we are currently in the same uproar that we were in 2 years ago when the Commision voted down WSR and compromised on a 5 wild fish per year limit. And after we gathered out thoughts and and after our emotions settled down, we forged ahead.

When we forged ahead, we battled for what we thought was right and we won...well we were so very close. As close as you can get to winning without winning.

Checkmate, so to speak.

We are one step closer.

Brian Simonseth
09-02-2004, 11:46 PM
Here the web-site where you can listen to the meeting.

Iíve been up since 4:30am itís time for bed!

09-02-2004, 11:47 PM
Sleep on it guys and in the morning it might look a little better. Don't get me wrong, I am disapointed that it didn't hold but the 1 fish a year rule is a victory. Sparky is right, you take your win and you move on.

It was made very clear today that the State will not look at a blanket solution. Then we need to target rivers and fight to get them protected. Dennis is right on when he gets fired up about the dickey, the hoko, the physt and the other smaller streams. There should be no harvest and yes, possibly even no fishing, on these. Then the Hoh situation begs for a challenge. Last I checked when the Sky, Skagit and Stilly didn't make escapement, they shut them down. Is there a double standard here? These are the incremental changes we need to start fighting for.

As is often the case with political things, lasting change happens through evolution not revolution. When we started this fight on Thanksgiving weekend of 2001, you could bonk two wild fish a day and 30 per year. In two rules cycles, this has been reduced to 1 per year. I got a good bottle of scotch that says that 1 fish limit will be gone in two more rules cycles.

I understand the anger at Forks. Forks was not the problem though. There were other groups which were fighting back against the moratorium. Forks was just a handy poster child.

Take a minute to savor what we did win today. Have a toast to it and then tomorrow get ready for the next round.


Brian Simonseth
09-03-2004, 12:33 AM
Just one more post.
After been involved with this from 2001? (When we went down to Vancouver) I feel like a big weight has been taken of my shoulders, but here comes a bigger weight around the bend!