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Moonlight 01-15-2007 12:27 PM

Another reason to .........
Having huge runs of planted steelheads in the Snake River and its tribs is great for all kinds of bussiness Guiding, Boat Building, Bait sales, Outfitting and lodging. General tourisim a real boon to the economy.
Oh sure there are those that say it may impact the wild stocks but hey this is for the economy we must have an economy after all our economy is riding on having one!
Apparently the Nez Perce are about to get there economy revved up too. The tribe is about to start issuing permits to allow gillnetting in the Snake and its tribs to help harvest the bounty of these plants after all it is essential to harvest up to 80% of the planted run.:Eyecrazy:
Oh well there were getting to be too many wild fish around to justify the continued planting so this will probably be a big plus to the guys who like there hatchery fishes.:confused:
I hope they consider something besides gillnetts but I seriously doubt they will. What little Native rebound we have been having is about to run into another wall of monofilament to go along with all the concrete ones.

juro 01-15-2007 01:41 PM

I've been arguing since before I left the PNW that we ought to use fish traps so that selective harvest can be conducted. More and more I hear this same logic coming from others who actually have a voice in these matters.

What is it going to take to enact laws to force live-trapping of fish during harvest times to isolate only hatchery fish while releasing the natives to continue unharmed upriver?

Gillnets aren't the answer.

Eric 01-15-2007 02:54 PM

Gillnets ARE the answer if you're looking for an essentially unregulated fishery.

Live trapping is definitely the answer if you're looking for healthy, self-sustaining runs of varied stocks of fish. Every fish trapped could be typed as to its origin, so harvest criteria could be applied at time of capture. Fish from threatened or endangered stocks could be released back into the river and the harvestable fish could be bonked and sold.

It seems so simple.

Gill netters could form syndicates, I suppose, to build fish traps cooperatively on the lower river. The same with the gillnetting tribes upriver.

For that matter, fish could be harvested easily with dip nets at the fish ladders, and the same harvest/no harvest criteria applied to each fish dipped up.

Too easy to regulate; that's the big drawback.



flytyer 01-16-2007 07:46 PM

Hey the Nez Perce are just going to get to excercise their "right" to fish with whatever means they deem necessary, just like the Washington state treaty fishing tribes. Afterall, tribes have always been great defenders of the resource and terrific conservationist; therefore, there is absolutely no reason to worry about this tribe overfishing. We must remember that none of the tribes have ever overfished any run or mixed run, including the Makah tribal fishermen taking of such a large number of mixed stock chinook last winter.

I mean, why should we be upset at the Nez Perce using gill nets in the Snake since we only want to play with our food. The tribe wouldn't overharvest or deplete wild stocks because that would be out of character for the PNW tribes history of never hurting a stock through overharvest.

Just think, now we won't have to worry about having too many fish in river. Therefore, this action by the Nez Perce will prevent the dreaded overuse of spawning habitat and the resultant decrease in the number of fish that make it to the ocean.

Eric 01-16-2007 10:39 PM

I just hate it when the river is so crowded with fish that I hook one every 10,000th cast or so. Makes it monotonous.

Plus those damn pulls spoil your concentration when you're trying to mend line in a complex current.



Skilly 01-17-2007 09:24 AM

simple solution
Or they could just give the Indians all the excess fish at the hatchery. Then they don't even have to buy nets boats etc. Wouldn't deplete the wild fish at all. But then I know this is just to simple a solution.


Moonlight 01-17-2007 10:10 AM

I see that several of you are placing the old tounge in the cheek as was the spirit of the original post. In reality this is all laid at the feet and zeal on the part of managers to embrace Hatchery production in lieu of or in some cases in spite of rebounding Wild Stocks.
I am not now nor have I ever been an economist.:devil: (athough I did volunteer at a hatchey when I was in High School) full disclosure.
Looks like I may have a window to get my camp set up early next week time to be going costal.:)

Todd Ripley 01-17-2007 11:36 AM

I'm sensing a little disconnect here between what might be going on, and what people think might be going on.

I learned early on in my advocacy career that commercial fishermen, be they tribal or non-tribal, don't do it just for the pile of fish in the bins at the end of the day...they actually like to go out fishing, but use a different tool than the rest of us...typically a gillnet. That's why buyouts aren't easy to implement, and why community commercial efforts such as fish wheels and fish traps aren't likely to gain wide acceptance in the commercial industry until they are forced to use them.

For every person who suggests that the commercial guys just take their catch out of the hatchery excess at the fish ladders and hatchery raceways, a worthwhile suggestion would be that those sport anglers go up to the hatchery and get their fish that way, too..."But I want to catch mine on a rod and reel!"...they're right if that's their response, but it's the same response that the commercial guys will give you..."But I want to go out in my boat, set my net, and get mine that way!"...

Just something to keep in mind.

I'd love to see the further implementation of fish traps and wheels, and the use of purse seines in the still can harvest target fish and release non-target fish with very little or no incidental mortality...but I have a hard time convincing the commercial fishers themselves that it would be as satisfying for them.

This is also an inevitable result of large scale hatchery programs...a bunch of sportfishers were very gung-ho about broodstock programs on the Chehalis system to produce large numbers of "mostly wild" steelhead, with clipped fins, to go out and fish for in March and April.

I warned that that this will have some unintended consequences that they will be very, very unhappy with if it is as successful as they hope, but that warning fell on deaf ears...

After a few years the broodstock programs were returning pretty good numbers of high quality broodstock hatchery fish...good numbers, bigger and more aggressive fish, and the return was spread out over a few months rather than the usual hatchery runts that all return within about 60 hours of each other.

Along comes the Quinault Tribe, who has fishing rights there, and they want access to those fish now, in go the nets later and later in the year, and for longer fishing periods...and not only are the broodstock hatchery fish being harvested, but so are the true wild fish in the system, along with the very special run of late winter coho in the Chehalis system.

My warning turns out to be reality, and the broodstock programs have been discontinued.

It's a fairly regular problem among sportfishermen...they have a good grasp on what they want, but a fairly poor grasp of what the consequences of getting what they want might be.

In this case, really big hatchery runs can provide some excellent fishing experiences, but big runs of fish attract more than just big numbers of sportfishermen spending money hand over fist to get at 'em...

Fish on...


juro 01-17-2007 12:46 PM

Skilly -

That seems like a great idea for early arriving hatchery salmon runs and hatchery steelhead which hold their condition in fresh water a lot longer than pacific salmon but the definition of 'excess' may prove difficult to gauge because the hatchery is not likely to give up a quota of the first bright arrivals for harvest (before egg collection) and the Indians are not likely to accept dark kelts for market so there is a conflict of interest there that would have to be worked out. Not impossible to work out though, perhaps a ratio or something. Better than gillnetting that's for sure.

A combination of the two approaches would make sense.

tbuehrens 01-17-2007 05:38 PM

Todd- While I may not want to "get mine that way" by catching fish at a hatchery, just like a commercial may not want to "get his that way" by dip netting at bonneville fish ladder, my fishing and all sport fishing is way more selective (different gear, water, for different fish) and has lower mortality on protected stocks (gillnet vs. barbless hook c&r). I don't sympathize when the impact badly managed gillnet fisheries have is so astronomical. I see your point though.

Feiger 02-03-2007 11:24 AM

Ripley's point needs to be taken to heart...
Like so many issues facing steelhead and wild salmonids in general, one really has to get to know and understand the problem, and just as importantly, the perspective of the "other side of the arguement". W/ out that, there's no way to effectively communicate not only your opinion, desires, wants, and needs, but also understand theirs. And w/ out that, discussions will be nothing more than wars of words... It's not winner take all out there. If it were, I guarantee, minus the ESA, we'll loose. When it comes to natural resources, and their protection and preservation, "our" side of the movement is not nearly organized enough, nor funded enough, to compete w/ economic interests of development, commercial fishing, etc.

Todd makes an excellent point, and highlights a reason why "providing bodies at the dam/collection point" won't cut it. They're not out there w/ gill nets just to put bodies in the boat, frozen slabs in the freezer. For them, there's something to the hardwork of putting out nets, the early mornings and late nights, the repairing of gear, and the comradery of working w/ others of the same ilk... Sound familier?? exchange a few adjectives and nouns, and you'll probably find the descriptions of why YOU fish for these critters. Along the same line, loggers don't log simply to put a paycheck in their pocket, nor do ranchers graze to put bread on the table. There's a culture to those activities that puts them there, and their desire to maintain that way of life. If you don't get that, then you'll never be able to communicate w/ them, and ultimately won't get the changes you desire...

my .02....

Eric 02-03-2007 04:01 PM

The answer to the work-ethnic and satisfaction-from-a-difficult-job-well-done agrument for symphasizing with the gill-netter is to recall the waterfowl market hunters of the late 19th and early 20th century. The majority of these guys were master hunters; dedicated to their profession; supplied hotels and restaurants with prime poultry not available through other sources; put in long, hard hours under difficult conditions; had considerable investments in gear; were not compensated well enough to justify their efforts and expenses; and on and on. The market gunner, though, is history, because the resource could no longer tolerate his exploitation of the resource.

It's come to that with the Columbia anadromous fishery. I believe it's that simple.

My $0.02


flytyer 02-03-2007 04:53 PM

Very well put Eric.

t_richerzhagen 02-03-2007 08:03 PM

it is unconsciable to use a method that kills everything on a system with wild endangered stocks. How many sockeye make it to Redfish Lake or are the extinct? Every one of those returning wild fish is valuable, and supposedly protected, we can't kill them at least - nor would I want to.

andre 02-04-2007 02:26 AM

There have to be a few locals who might loose a bail or so of hay "out their" truck when those nets are in thre river.

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