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Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

Thread: Commerial Take of Wild Steelhead to be Increased! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-20-2004 08:05 AM
Thanks Plunk...

Your post certainly helped to clear up some of my confusion by seperating the Apples from the Oranges. Thank you!
01-20-2004 05:55 AM
Here are some numbers OC

The non-tribal impact is limited to less than 2% on each of the ESA listed stocks.

The following is taken from the file at this link:

One of the provisions of the agreement (U.S. v Oregon parties 2001) and associated Biological Opinion (NMFS 2001) is that the combined incidental mortality rate in all non-Indian fisheries will be 2% or less for each of the affected steelhead ESU's.

For steelhead (O. mykiss) -
The ESU's as published in the Federal Register are:
62 FR 43937 (8/18/97) - Upper Columbia River (Endangered
62 FR 43937 (8/18/97) - Snake River Basin (Threatened)
63 FR 13347 (3/19/98) - Lower Columbia River (Threatened)
64 FR 14517 (3/25/99) - Upper Willamette River (Threatened)
64 FR 14517 (3/25/99) - Middle Columbia River (Threatened)

The U.S. v. Oregon Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) tangle net fishery report (TAC 2003) estimated that the incidental mortality rate on winter steelhead during the 2002 fishery (including Upper Willamette steelhead and the winter run portions of the Lower Columbia River and Middle Columbia River ESUs) likely ranged between 5.6% - 14.5%.

Catch-and-release mortality associated with 8-inch and 4.25-inch mesh size for wild winter steelhead is currently estimated at 35% and 20%, respectively. The catch-and-release long-term mortality associated with 8-inch and 4.25-inch mesh size for winter steelhead currently used may change as a result of additional data collected in 2003 and beyond.

Effects of the 2002 Fishery (Not Including the Additional Management Guidelines) Steelhead catch in the commercial spring chinook tangle-net selective fishery greatly exceeded the preseason catch expectations due to the extremely large winter steelhead run in 2002, the timing of the fishery, and the gear employed in the fishery. A total of 20,900 steelhead were handled in this fishery, of which 8,400 were marked and 12,400 were unmarked. Unmarked steelhead include wild fresh run winter and summer steelhead, unmarked hatchery fresh run winter and summer steelhead, and spawned out winter and summer steelhead kelts. The wild winter steelhead total terminal run size (tributary returns) for 2002 is estimated to have been about 34,100 fish. The total number of wild winter steelhead mortalities in the 2002 tangle net fishery is estimated to have ranged between 1,800 and 5,800 fish. The estimated impact rate on wild winter steelhead for the affected ESU's in 2002 therefore ranges from 4.9% to 14.5%. Additionally, there were impacts on wild winter steelhead in the mainstem sport fishery during March and April of 2002. The total number of release mortalities is estimated to have been 22 fish in the 2002 sport fishery. The impact rate from the 2002 sport fishery was about 0.06%. Combined commercial and sport fishery impacts on wild winter steelhead in 2002 is estimated to have been between 5.0% and 14.6%.

Exceeding the allowable incidental take for the affected steelhead ESUís reduced escapements below what they would have been in 2002 by 3-13%.

The TAC attempted to analyze impacts to wild summer steelhead for 2002; however, because of the presence of several ESUs and the difficulty in determining ESU-specific run reconstruction, the estimates are not as reliable as for winter steelhead. Impacts on wild summer-run steelhead stocks were likely less than 2%.

Effects of the 2003 Fishery (Including the Additional Management Guidelines) The wild winter steelhead total terminal run size (tributary returns) for 2003 is estimated to have been about 15,500 fish. The total number of winter steelhead released in the 2003 fishery was 2,184, out of which 1,086 were natural-origin winter steelhead. The total number of wild winter steelhead mortalities in the 2003 tangle net fishery is estimated to have been 189 fish, or 1.538% of the river mouth runsize estimate. The states had allocated 1.6%-1.8% mortality rate to wild winter steelhead for this fishery in 2003. Upon reaching a 1.538% mortality rate mark, the states closed this fishery for the year.

Additionally, there are recreational fishery impacts on wild winter steelhead in 2003 that need to be considered. The total impact rate from the 2003 recreational fishery is expected to be less than 0.1%. Combined commercial and recreational fishery impacts on wild winter steelhead in 2003 will be less than 2%.

The TAC will attempt to analyze impacts on wild summer steelhead post-season in 2003; however, because of the presence of several ESUs and the difficulty in determining ESU-specific run reconstruction the summer steelhead estimates are not as reliable as for winter steelhead. Impacts on wild summer-run steelhead stocks were likely less than 2%.

For Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) -
The ESU's as published in the Federal Register are:
64 FR 14308 (3/24/99) - Upper Columbia River Spring (Endangered
64 FR 14308 (3/24/99) - Lower Columbia River (Threatened)
64 FR 14308 (3/24/99) - Upper Willamette River (Threatened)
57 FR 14653 (4/22/92) - Snake River Spring/Summer (Threatened)

Impacts on the listed chinook were as follows:

In 2002, the first year of the commercial spring chinook tangle-net selective fishery, a total of 28,727 spring chinook were handled during this fishery, of which 14,238 were kept and 14,489 were released. Based on CWT and Visual Stock Identification (VSI) data, the kept spring chinook catch was comprised of 8,237 upriver stock; 5,242 Willamette stock; 473 Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis, and Sandy stock; and 286 Select Area Fishery Enhancement (SAFE) stock, while the released catch was comprised of 12,396 upriver stock; 958 Willamette stock; 28 Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis, and Sandy stock; and 1,105 SAFE stock. The large number of upriver and SAFE stock spring chinook released in this fishery in 2002 reflect the fact that not all hatchery fish returning to these areas that year were mass marked with an adipose fin-clip. The impact rate on wild upriver spring chinook in 2002 was 0.70% which is similar to the preseason management guideline of 0.68% for 2002. Impacts on naturally produced Willamette spring chinook in 2002 totaled 0.60%. In both cases the overall impact rate was 2.0%, one third of which was allocated to the commercial tangle-net fishery.

In 2003, the second year of the commercial spring chinook tangle-net selective fishery, and the first year using the additional management guidelines which are the subject of this Supplemental Biological Opinion, a total of 5,667 spring chinook were handled during this fishery, of which 3,173 were kept and 2,494 were released. Based on CWT and VSI data, the kept spring chinook catch was comprised of 2,012 upriver stock; 918 Willamette stock; 137 Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis, and Sandy stock; and 106 SAFE stock while the released catch was comprised of 2,203 upriver stock; 234 Willamette stock; 7 Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis, and Sandy stock; and 50 SAFE stock. Most of the spring chinook released in this fishery were of upriver origin. The fishery targets unlisted Willamette spring chinook. The catch composition (kept and released) reflect the fact that upriver chinook returning to the fishing area in 2003 were early or that the Willamette spring chinook were late. The impact rate on naturally produced upriver spring chinook in 2003 was 0.668%, which is greater than the guideline of 0.59% for this fishery, but less than the total allowable impact of 2%. Impacts on wild Willamette spring chinook in 2003 totaled 0.295%. Catch-and-release mortality associated with 8-inch and 4.25-inch mesh size for wild spring chinook are currently estimated at 50% and 25%, respectively. Recreational fisheries were also managed inseason with time and area closures to ensure that the overall impact rate of 2% was not exceeded.

Hyvš Kalastus! - Plunk
01-19-2004 01:34 PM
Jeff It is my understanding that these are the late winter runs if they net early or the early summer fish if they net late. See Todd's comment on the Late winter run on the Toutle. I believe most SW washington rivers used to have a very healthy run of spring steelhead and now they are depressed and this fishery really hits them. I will have to check to see if that 22,000 fish were all wild or a mix.

01-19-2004 01:04 PM
Apples + Oranges =

Some rather confusing numbers here for me to ponder. We are refering to an endangered run of Steelheads that are being impacted by a early spring gillnet fishery that has a potential to impact the run of ESA listed Steelheads. Yet the results of a limited and restricted State and NMFS approved Tangle Net fishery have taken 22,000 of these non targeted Steelheads. With numbers like that one is given to ponder the viability of the claims that these fish are endangered or threatened.
Are we talking about the Late run of winter Steelheads that are taken in this fishery or the much more numerous Summer Run stocks that head into the interior of Ore Ida Wa? I am certainly not a proponet of Gillnet Fisheries under any name but I find it hard to be judgemental without more information. Last time I checked I wasn't drawing a paycheck to be a Judge anyway but I am curious on these numbers.
01-19-2004 11:55 AM
Jeff I just read on an other board, and Todd can probably correct these numbers, but the commercials in 2002 to catch their 15,000 fish caught 22,000 wild steelhead. Even at an 18.5% mortality that is 4000 fish (not to mention the wild spring chinooks they take). How can a gillnet fishery that has a huge impact on the endangered wild run make sense? This obvisiously isn't a targeted fishery it is a lets sweep the river and who cares what we get fishery.

01-19-2004 09:30 AM
OC Smalma, Todd, anyone,

Can anyone fill us in on exactly what the 1st year and second year of the tangle net fishery numbers were like? Was it 2% those years and did the commercials go over that and by how much if they did.

Like Jeff said we here at NW Steelhead and the WSC are not so much against commercials having the 2% number. But how come they can not make that number if these tangle nets work as advertised a few years ago.
01-18-2004 09:46 PM
Jeff Smalma,

The outrage is coming in asking for the increase from 2% to 5-7% that is where the outrage is being directed. If they were trying to do the same thing on the Methow I would oppose opening that fishery also to sportsmen. And yes I would be in favor of reducing sportsman opportunity to take the impact down to 1% on ESA listed stocks. Some of those upper columbia fisheries have there own issues like why are they still planting hatchery fish in rivers that have no season planned on them. Does that make sense? But I guess that is neither here nor there in this discussion.

So what do you think about what the Region 5 biologist had to say.

At some point as much as I love to fish I am willing to sacrifice my opporutnity to fish today to hopefully have more of an opportunity in the future.

01-17-2004 05:19 PM
salt in their food

t_richerzhagen all well & good but I would go one step further.
Read my lips,,,,,,,,,No more incumbents!
01-17-2004 04:45 PM
You can make the horse drink!!!

JD - I can make the horse drink by putting salt in its feed. We need to do something comparable for the pols and the commercials, or at least, buy the commercials out.

A lot of the fish I have caught on the Deschutes over the last ten years have had net marks. I hav advocated for a no- net fishery on the Columbia for years. The question is what can we do to make the pols and the commercials see it as being in their own best interest (salt in their food)? Some of the ideas here are a step in that direction.

How many of us have already sent letters or emails? I just returned to town and will send mine this evening.
01-17-2004 12:53 PM
Dont get me started

I hate to tell you but I think you guys are missing the boat.
The way I see it, the system works like this:[list=1][*]The working fisheries biologists want to help the resorce but they are under pressure from upper management, who is under pressure from the politicians. Pressure meaning loss of funding, jobs, etc.[*]The politiciions will allow passage of any regulation, or law to appease the trouble makers. They just wont approvve funding for enforcement![*]That way, they can claim to have helped one group, while at the same time, they are more or less telling the other side, "don't worry about it, we won't enforce it."[/list=1]
You can make a lot of noise, throw big bunches of money at the problem but the only thing a politician fears is losing the next election. And I seriously doubt that a fisheries issue would determine the outcome of an election. And they (politicians) know it.
Add to that the fact that the head honchos, hi-mucky-mucks of fish and game depts are appointed officials. The only way to oust them is to get the governor to fire them.
It's kind of like the old "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't him drink" thing.
I don't have any answers either. Well, I do but you'll never see this one passed.
NO CAREER POLITICIONS. do you thing for one term, and then go home. And answer to the people for what you did,,,to them!

my .02 worth. off my soap box. sorry guys but that's the way I see it.
01-17-2004 12:01 AM
Smalma Jeff-
I clearly understand the 2% is on the total run. My comments regarding the 2% being unacceptable centers around the outrage when that sort of impact occurs during a commerical fishery but when the same 2% impact on an ESA listed wild run is allowed in a sport fishery (for example the recent steelhead fishery on the Methow which had the same 2% impact cap) the same folks seem welcome the fishery. Am I the only one the sees this as a double standard?

The above comments does not mean that I endorse or even condone the proposed increased commerical spring chinook fishery. It is just I find little creditability in protest if one doesn't apply the same standards to all fishing.

Tight lines
01-16-2004 10:30 PM
Brian Simonseth

01-16-2004 07:10 PM
Todd Ripley Check this out...this comes straight from the horse's mouth, with his permission to use both his name and his assessments in public.

I just got off the phone with Dan Rawdings, Region 5 Anadromous Fish Biologist. His assessment is as follows:

The combination of impacts from a commercial fishery that takes 5-7% of ESA listed steelhead, combined with the small but measurable sportfishing cnr mortality, will likely put the Toutle River wild winter run steelhead in JEOPARDY.

In this case, "jeopardy" means pushed beyond the point where they could recover.

This assessment was made when he was requested to comment on Oregon's Biological Assessment in regard to the increased commercial ESA impact.

This information was furnished to WDFW on 12/30/03.

Exactly how serious is WDFW about recovering wild steelhead stocks in SW Washington? I think that stuff like this speaks for itself.

WDFW is really serious about it, unless it impacts the ability to have economically viable commercial fisheries without having to make the commercial fishers more selective in their harvest of listed fish.

Maybe I'm being too I missing something?

Fish on...

01-16-2004 06:55 PM
Howzer With pre-season predictions calling for a really large return, it seems crazy to just "nudge" up the allowable bycatch in order to get a bit more of the springer harvest when they could really up their take by going to traps and fish wheels.

These guys don't appear to be thinking about maximizing their economic returns. Instead, they are showing great skill at maximizing the anger of sportsfishing and conservation groups. I'm all for a full-utilization of the hatchery spring chinook returns. Who wants those tasty fish stacked up at the hatchery racks turning black? Okay, I'll quit now because I'm sounding a lot like a broken record...
01-16-2004 03:56 PM
Jeff Howzer now you are thinking outside the box we should have none of that. :hehe:

This could be a win-win situation. But unfortunately a lot of people don't see it that way.

The state knows they can't do this with a 2% limit is my understanding as they know the commercials have a much bigger impact then that. So they just move the bar to make this fit the model. Would it be against everyone's beleif to change the fishery to a non-gillnet fishery or god forbid close it down completely. Which is a better solution?

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