Wild Steelhead Coalition
Well the Wild Steelhead Coalition is rolling along with board members elected and a mission statement adopted. Over the next month, the board will be hashing out all the logistics needed to become a viable organization. I know many of the posters here also read Bob's page but wanted to post the mission statement for those that might be interested.
THE WILD STEELHEAD COALITION
The Wild Steelhead Coalition (WSC) is an organization dedicated to increasing the return of wild steelhead to the waters and rivers of the Pacific Northwest.
Beliefs of the WSC
Wild steelhead are an important legacy to the Pacific Northwest and have undeniably been reduced to a fraction of their once historical capacity. Over harvest, habitat degradation, poor hatchery practices, construction of impassable barriers to migration, and misguided management
strategies have all contributed significantly to the decline, and in some cases extinction, of wild fish runs.
Without a change in policies and attitudes, these same factors will continue to reduce and extirpate wild steelhead.
Composition of the WSC
The WSC is comprised of concerned citizens determined to reverse the factors that have negatively impacted wild steelhead, and in so doing, restore healthy and viable populations of wild steelhead to the Pacific Northwest. In so doing, wild salmon and other salmonids will also
benefit. The WSC represents conservationists, recreational fishermen, businesses that depend upon wild steelhead for their livelihoods, and citizens who seek to preserve the future of the Pacific Northwest's greatest resource.
Policies and Actions of the WSC
To increase fish runs, more wild fish must return to their rivers and spawn. To that end, the WSC promotes year round, catch and release of all wild steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.
The WSC promotes and encourages the development and utilization of fishing practices that result in decreased mortality of wild steelhead and salmon.
Barriers to migration and the degradation and removal of productive habitat have reduced the capacity of rivers to support wild steelhead. In order for fish runs to be restored, the WSC promotes the return of existing damaged habitat to its productive state, and that miles of productive spawning grounds that are no longer accessible to fish be made accessible again.
Hatchery programs must be closely examined and be carried out in such a manner that the negative impacts on wild fish are removed or minimized. The WSC stands for the mass marking of all hatchery steelhead, and for science, not politics, to be the basis for the re-tooling of
The models and policies that drive fisheries management must significantly change. Maximum Sustained Harvest and Maximum Sustained Yield have failed to protect and perpetuate our wild fish, and in many cases have been the driving force behind their decline. New models that are based on factors other than the greatest possible harvest of wild fish are necessary to return fish runs to safe levels.
In promotion of these goals, the Wild Steelhead Coalition is an organization which provides a voice that unites the public, private, and other interests that desire and depend on wild steelhead. The WSC provides a voice for recreational fishermen, businesses whose livelihoods clubs and conservation groups, united in common goals, through consultation, association, and collaboration with those clubs and groups.
Well there you have it. Once the WSC works out some administrivia, I will post information on how to become a member.
There is no substitute for time on the water.