RE:Time to Take A Stand!
Posted to Piscatorialpursuits.com...
"Native" or just wild?
I like wild because it includes anything that wiggled from the pea gravel, but in my view the word "NATIVE" carries a lot more punch. The progeny of Chambers Creek rags can wiggle from the gravel - but only the thick shouldered 20 pound Hoh buck can carry the Oly native genes through the millenia.
Don't exclude habitat:
One thing I don't see mentioned is passage and habitat. Well alright that's two things but just the same, where harvest has never eliminated a marine species habitat loss has forced many strains to extinction.
One need not look further than the Elwha example, but the Columbia, once the greatest salmon river in the world, is now a mere shadow of it's production in the 1930's.
Refine our ideals:
If this uproar is a response to angler's withdrawls from a lack of fishing home waters, then it may lack merit at the level of legislators and policy makers. It should be clear at all times that this is not about fishing this spring - but about fishing forever.
How did it ever get this bad?
When the policy makers see the means of protection to be a closure based on dates, then that means something. It means that the runs have been divided. Let's not forget that before hatcheries, all steelies were native, and wild... and they didn't wait until spring to enter the river! The truth is our kill policies are so bad they have bio-engineered and thus segregated the (largely) artificial runs from the (largely) native runs for economic, managerial, and political reasons! They needed "predictable" return trends to manage the Boldt decision, sportmen desires, harvest date-driven periods, etc. That was one of the main reasons for using the horrendous brood stocks (ie: Chambers Crk, etc) to ensure a "reliable" early return and high survivability. That decision was not based on the welfare of the indigenous strain, except to allow it a "slot" period of time to thrive. Good or bad, we must be aware of that man-made run mutation in a policy to manage native fish.
I agree, we must enact a stoppage of native steelhead killing, incidental or otherwise, regardless of the season phase and regardless of fishermen's personal pleasures. Everyone's got to abide including the tribes. Someone mentioned weirs and wheels; two great no-kill methods that even the tribes could adopt.
Clearly it would mean changes to gear regulations as well. Closures are a way to show our support as anglers through abstinence. I believe selective, restricted fisheries are also effective no-kill fisheries, particularly flyfishing with a single barbless fly of reasonable size.
Count me in,