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Old 02-11-2000, 07:59 AM
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juro juro is offline
Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Steelhead country|striper coast|bonefish belt
Posts: 20,594
RE:2/7 WSJ article: Hatchery fish vs. Natives

Tod -

I'd say you did the article significant justice, normally I would go read the article first before responding but I feel you captured the essence of it such that I could ge read it after I put my .02 in.

You are 100% correct, the issues surrounding preservation of indigenous strains of anadromous salmonids are more than the likes of my "concerns in principal", people are worried about real greenbacks that they scrape together by logging, mining, livestock and farming, urbanization, etc. I believe there is a little bit of the inherent human trait to fear change and fight the force that may bring it about.

Just because entire mountainsides have been clearcut since the turn of the century doesn't mean we can continue to perform such acts of rape against our dwindling resources in the pacific northwest. Remember the spotted owl? How much devastation did that cause to our poor logging communities and the timber baron's shareholders dividends and profits?

! The harvest in millions of board feet of Washington state lumber had never decreased during the entire endangered species battle, in fact record amounts were cut in the heat of the debate. Imagine if the scapegoat owl had not been identified and the ESA was not there to intervene?

One year the access roads to the Upper Quinault River were washed out. The only way to the right bank was to 4x4 up the remnant of the left bank to the bridge, then back down the other side. Knowing this as one of the places where giant natives are found along with incredible solace and the profound sense of pristine, untouched beauty - I was all over that gig. There were nameless creeks bubbling from the ground, fed by glacial melt from the towering Olympic peaks which gleamed through the stark birches as I walked on the deep, soft moss carpet of the temperate rain forest toward the mainstem river. Tracks of cougar were on the deposits of ground igneous rocks that lined the creeks. Suddenly, a motion caught my eye. There were steelhead, some over 15 pounds, spawning in the creek. A creek that had no name, nor needed one - and the fish that had perenially wiggled from the gravel without concrete tanks, pellets, or steroids. Given the chance, nature knows best how to take care of her own. It should be our job to give her the chance. I never cast a fly to these fish.

I came upon a herd of elk 75 strong that day. I have plenty of pictures of that day which I'll have to scan.

Anyway, my point is that (a) hatchery fish are a big mistake where there are native fish (b) mankind often puts personal pleasure or financial gain over the good of a precious resource, and those who value that resource will battle with those that value their own selfish interests every time.

Unfortunately, those that value the resource for it's non-monetary value are few, and the selfish are many. I'd like to think that flyfishermen are among the few, therefore the more people learning to appreciate it the better!
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