: Testimony Update
12-09-2001, 12:41 AM
What a day. Actually by my count, of those that testified, the tally was 39 supporting C & R and 8 opposed. There is little doubt that this particular battle was won, and won decisively, by the good guys.
Rob points out some points of wisdom though. It is a long ways until the February vote and there is always the politics of the Commission to consider.
I tend to be skeptical by nature but in discussions afterwards with various people who are far smarter and have much more experience that I in this arena, to a person, they said it is over. C and R statewide, without exceptions will be a reality. I hope they are right.
Many thanks to Juro and the readers of this board for supporting the cause through letters and words of encouragement. Special thanks to Doublespey for stepping in and giving a chapter synopsis for one of our biologists that was unable to attend.
Just so everyone knows, the WSC presented a 90 + page document to each commission member outlining the scientific and economic benefits of catch and release. This was a seven chapter piece that dealt with areas from genetic diversity and repeat spawners all the way to a legal opinion on the viability of the foregone opportunity argument.
Finally, specisl thanks to our own Northfork. He ROCKED! Way to go Ryan, you turned a lot of heads and did a fantastic job. Never lose your passion!
If I can steal from Les Johnson -- Power to the Steelhead :)
12-09-2001, 01:18 AM
That's great to hear! I hope the remaining steps prove to be routine ones and that when the final vote comes we'll be able to say congratulations. Lets hope you guys, and the rest of us, have the opportunity to chase wild fish for years to come.
I can't put into words how happy, inspired and impressed I am at the great news! In 12 years of seeing Mt.Rainier nearly every day, it never once failed to stop me dead in my tracks and make me feel a deep sense of awe. I've almost wrecked cars over it. Each steelhead I've ever enountered exceeded that ten-fold, and each native steelhead a hundred-fold beyond that. I've almost lost jobs over them. I didn't think there would be many things that could ever rival that sense of awe - but I was wrong. When people rise above selfish interests to act on behalf of preserving a natural treasure as precious as the wild steelhead that is truly something, downright historic - really. There will always be a long road ahead but man, this was a small step for steelhead, one major leap for mankind.
Yes, I know - I can't hold a candle to Les' quote :D
12-09-2001, 12:13 PM
I posted this report on Waflyshers:
I believe we accomplished our goal yesterday of showing support for the statewide release of wild steelhead with no exceptions.
In a packed room at the Cascade Park Inn, the commission began taking public testimony at 1:30pm. It was scheduled to go until 3:30, but due to the number of speakers, it lasted to 4:30. The people for wild steelhead release far outnumbered those for killing. I don't think there were more than a dozen of them.
One by one, fishing clubs from Bellingham to Vancouver, fishing guides from Puget Sound and Forks, Trout Unlimited, and the Wild Steelhead Coalition stepped up to voice their support – gear fishers and flyfishers, people wearing flannel, people wearing fleece, elitist-liberal-flyfishers and gearchuckers, radical-right-flyfishers and gearchuckers, Orvis types, Loomis types, St. Croix types, Cabela types, Sage types, along with cityfolk, countryfolk, suburbanfolk. The parking lot was filled with new SUV's, pickups, small cars, and big cars in various colors and shades. And sitting behind the speakers, I believe I saw just as many red necks as white necks. We were all united behind this single issue. It was great to see and hear.
Additionally, the commission received hundreds, if not thousands, of letters, email and written testimony from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, British Columbia, and the east coast as well as numerous position papers, including the 100-page paper from the Wild Steelhead Coalition. This should provide a lot of late-night reading for the commission members.
The commission will vote on the 2002-2003 sportfish rule proposals February 8-9. Keep your fingers crossed. We're gonna win a biggie.
12-09-2001, 12:19 PM
Great news for the future of Washington wild steelhead fishing.
I did get time to send in the e-mail letter through Piscatorial Pursuits web site which was referenced on this site.
Thanks for the information
I will be out west in Washington as soon as business and family permits.
12-09-2001, 07:50 PM
A big thanks to everyone who helped with their support in this battle ... whether it was a simple email or some nice data that both the WSC and TU researched and presented!
PM ... you were one of 512 people who sent in the form, I appreciate the time you took to help out!!
Thanks again, I hope the fish and anglers alike will reap the benefits of everybody's efforts!
12-09-2001, 08:36 PM
A big THANKS to Bob Ball, Sinktip, Ryan and everyone on the WSC.
You all have done a great job. After years of sending letters in and talking to Game Dept. people in the field, only to get the same old answer, and then starting to think there was only a few concerned anglers out there who "wanted" wild Steelhead released ALL THE TIME, it is too much to think that this might come true in my lifetime. NO more wild fish killed ever!
Any way Thanks! To everyone. Lets hope it happens.
Now that would be some Christmas gift. thanks cr.:)
12-09-2001, 08:56 PM
Thanks to the WSC for all their hard work.
Sinktip, it would be a great service to C&R advocates if the WSC could provide a link to an electronic copy of the report you submitted to the F&W commision, perhaps a .pdf file on the WSC website? It's nice to be able to defend your views with facts rather than just emotion, and that report would help me to do so.
Ryan, I hope your Plunker nightmares are over:)
12-09-2001, 09:19 PM
We will be meeting soon to discuss ways to get that report out to the public. The printing costs are high but I would like to make sure every member gets a copy. We have already received 10 or so offers to buy a copy as well. Not sure if we will try and recoup our costs or not. Either way, I am guessing it will be available electronically soon.
12-09-2001, 10:39 PM
yeh, it was nice to see so many people show up for one of these meetings but i think thanks need to be mentioned to the people who i saw at the meeting who have been present for the meetings on wild steelhead over the past 5-6 years, and who have fought hard to get to this point, when we couldn't speak of majorities, etc, and hopefully will finally see some light at the end of the tunnel (clubs like the skamania club, etc.).
unfortunetely, i had to drive back home so i bugged out after about 7-8 speakers... but got a chance to speak my piece (luckily i spoke on wild steelhead release first, because i didn't have enough time to finish talking about other issues). good to hear the numbers pro and con remained pretty much what we saw from the first few speakers.
as for wild steelhead release forever... i hope not, i hope in the future that there are so many steelhead present in our rivers, that there might be some harvest allowed in the future (under new escapement models... not that MSY foolishness).
To Sparky and everyone of us.
Saturday was a very productive day and yes it was our day. But please let's not gloat and instigate those who maybe feeling damn right down right now. Our positive feeling on this issue at this time could come crashing down. The bonkers are not done yet, I've got a strong feeling they have yet to begin, they know they don't have the science on their side and they know one on one they stood no chance at that meeting. It is now that they will begin to fight. The calls to their state reps will be many and those state reps will remind the commission who gives the fish & game money.
Please ignore responding to negative posts on other websites it will not do us a bit of good it can only hurt the cause.
Remember we have 2 months to go before the vote and two months will seem like a life time as it is but show ourselves as pompous and we could destroy all the hard work.
The majority of C&K folks are good people, most are law abiding and with as strong a belief in their right as we believe in C&R. Please respect them as fellow fishermen and most of all be aware that they are not going to roll over in the next two months. Don't piss them off anymore than they are pissed off now.
And Sparky you did a very good job at the meeting don't screw up now, please everyone keep your personal feelings out of this. This is for the fish not our benefit.
PS. write a letter to your state reps and our gov.
12-10-2001, 06:42 PM
This is from my midwest perspective but it seems that Washington
is way behind British Columbia in having regs to protect wild steelhead ? I fished in BC in 1986 and could not beleive the amount of regulations they had on wild steelhead which I was pleasantly surprised of.
Do I have the right perspective is Washington far behind the controls they have put in place in British Columbia ?
I may be wrong on this but this is my perspective from afar.
It is a shame if that is the truth, but I can understand how us americans do not realize we have limited natural resources which must start to be protected better for the future generations.
We should have an endangered species list for fish as they do for birds and other mammals.
12-10-2001, 07:23 PM
In Most Areas all wild SH must be realeasd but it is site speccific