thompson to close - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-27-2003, 05:38 PM
RLN RLN is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: bc
Posts: 56
thompson to close

The Thompson river is expected to close on November 1. If anybody had planned to fish the river in November, it's time to change them.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 10-27-2003, 09:46 PM
marketic marketic is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: sol duc
Posts: 99
T CLOSURE?

hello,

I'm curious what's driving talk of a November closure (besides the Albion test fishery). I typically steer clear of other fishermen on the T so I have no other reference points besides my own for providing good or bad October reports.

However, if pressed for CPUE info I would be compelled to provide glowing reports for the short time I spent there just before the bump. Why the quick jump to conclusion when there is still no quantifiable evidence about what came in on that bump (and what certainly can only add to what was already there?)

It would not be the first time that good fishing on the T trumped the Albion counts. I saw the same thing up towards Rupert this year: lots of doom and gloom, lots of long faces and way too much fuel being burned in the jet boats coming and going from important places.

But if you scratched gently beneath the surface while walking quietly from shore, plenty of fish, more then I thought I deserved. It's true, however, that they weren't necessarily acting like we'd want them to act or hiding in the places we'd like to see them hide. Same on the T. Maybe the "double P" factor: pinks and pressure.

Any background info driving this closure would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3  
Old 10-27-2003, 10:39 PM
Dana's Avatar
Dana Dana is offline
the speypages guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: west coast steelhead, BC/Alberta trout
Posts: 1,563
time for a different approach to management?

The Albion counts plus consultation with various user groups is driving this decision. A big concern is likely the "high time" about to happen on the river. Traditionally the last week of October and the first few weeks of November see the biggest push of fish...and fishers. A small number of fish and a ton of anglers = lots of hassled and repeatedly hooked fish, which isn't good for the run. I think that the managers are pretty courageous to take this step in the face of the bellowing they're about to hear from some in the angling community. Certainly the Albion counts can be seen as a "best guess" scenario, but they are the best tool we have to measure the strength of the run, and I am inclined to err on the side of caution when it comes to these great fish.

Apart from the fish themselves, a significant concern that I have is the impact this will have on the people of Spences Bridge, many of whom rely on the income generated from the steelhead fishery to see them through the winter. For better or worse, Thompson steelhead are a significant economic resource, and a sudden closure will be tough on the town. Travelling anglers too will be impacted, as some folks travelling from abroad to visit the Thompson will have little or no time to make other arrangements and stand to lose airfares etc.

In the interests of protecting the river and its great fish, and with an eye toward ensuring everyone likely to be effected is "in the loop", I'd like to see some sort of "alert" system in place on the Thompson. Since 800 fish based on the Albion counts seems to be the cut-off point that managers have identified as critical, something like the following could be implemented:

1500+ fish at mid-October estimate: river open to all angling
1200 - 1499: conservation concern announced. anglers asked to voluntarily restrict effectiveness/catch rate (this could include such things as a voluntary bait ban and a 2 fish per day limit)
<1200: conservation alert announced. bait ban, mandatory 2 fish limit
<1000 fish: potential closure, to be determined by Albion estimates for remainder of month
800: closure.

This sort of system, while flawed, would give people a sense of what's happening on the river and what might be coming. It would allow anglers to make educated decisions about their approach to the river and impose reasonable restrictions on all anglers if necessary.
__________________
Dana
www.speypages.com
Loop Canada Pro Staff
FFF certified casting instructor
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4  
Old 10-27-2003, 10:49 PM
sean's Avatar
sean sean is offline
LBFF Mojo
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 2,160
Hmmm...

Please note I have never fished the T so some of my assumptions may be incorrect but....

It seems your problems are the use of bait and a 2 fish limit!

That seems insane for the pressure the river gets and the low, low,low returns you guys have.

I have read you lose thousands of fish from the gill net fishery and then they let you bonk 2 fish and use bait.

I thought the BC fisheries were much more enlightened than that.

-sean
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5  
Old 10-27-2003, 10:55 PM
Dana's Avatar
Dana Dana is offline
the speypages guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: west coast steelhead, BC/Alberta trout
Posts: 1,563
let me clarify

sorry sean, I was assuming things, and you know what that does...

yes bait is legal on the T, but it is a catch and release fishery. When I say "2 fish limit" I mean "2 fish released." Sure, people can play around with that idea, but each of us would have to live with his (or her) conscience. To most "2 fish limit" in this sense would probably mean "2 fish landed, then released." To me "2 fish" means "2 fish hooked that I know are steelhead" (there are a few strong trout in that river that will fool you for a second or two).

Bait is a divisive issue, and has been "debaited" here and elsewhere. The "Thompson Bait Ban" is one of the things that led to the serious weakening of the Steelhead Society because the proposal was seen as a thinly veiled attempt to make the river fly only. I'm not interested in debating bait. My proposal allows for both bait and a bait ban, depending on run strength.

Again, a flawed system, but something to consider.
__________________
Dana
www.speypages.com
Loop Canada Pro Staff
FFF certified casting instructor
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6  
Old 10-27-2003, 11:52 PM
kush's Avatar
kush kush is offline
CND The Spey Underground
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: West Coast
Posts: 1,435
Thompson Closure - Bitter but it's time...

The first thing to appreciate is that 1500 fish in the Thompson is an alarmingly low number of fish to start with. Don't make the mistake of thinking that it is an acceptable target figure. If you take Trey Combs numbers he said that 10,000 fish is more reasonable!

Also understand that the step to implement the closure is extraordinary and is not the Province's first choice, in fact the decision was made in close consultation with stakeholder groups. It seems that the push for closure came from the user group representatives not the government.

A real consideration must be given to the bigger political picture. With the bizarre "dual control" of BC's anadromous fisheries, the Provincial Fisheries Branch and the Federal DFO, it is always complicated. While the Branch is concerned with the health of the steelhead, the DFO continues to provide opportunities for commercial fishermen to target chum salmon in the Lower Fraser - as the steelhead pass through! Throw into this twisted mess the constitutional rights of Native groups and the practicality of a closure makes sense.

The Province drawing a line in the sand does a few things. Establishing that the numbers of fish estimated in the Thompson (24th worst out of the last 25 years) is not sufficient to justify even one fish being lost to catch and release mortality, this subsequently allows the Province to try to pressure the DFO into ending all chum openings. It will also help to restrict the number of fish that Natives take for Ceremonial purposes. If the river were to be left open or restricted to fly-only - for the sake of reduced efficiency - the Natives would certainly still take "theirs" and the DFO (who barely listens to the Province at best) would likely take no heed either.

Personally, this closure is a bitter, bitter pill to swallow - I fish it about 25 days a year - but I think it is time.
__________________
Tight lines - tyler.

Still Living Large!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7  
Old 10-28-2003, 12:02 AM
Dana's Avatar
Dana Dana is offline
the speypages guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: west coast steelhead, BC/Alberta trout
Posts: 1,563
agree that 1500 isn't reasonable at all--probably the river should be closed at 1500! But we have been running at these sorts of numbers for years.
__________________
Dana
www.speypages.com
Loop Canada Pro Staff
FFF certified casting instructor
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8  
Old 10-28-2003, 12:31 AM
marketic marketic is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: sol duc
Posts: 99
ALBION LITMUS TEST?

Suggesting a new management regime based on the Albion counts is admirable. But my heart goes out to the Spences Bridge small businessman who is left to twist in the wind waiting for the test fishery results each year. 801 fish and the Circle J makes it through another winter?

I think the December 31 closure was a step in the right direction. Of course that didn't appease the locals who argued (and rightly so) that such a closure represented a significant foregone angling opportunity. It's no secret that there is (or was?) a strong February and March T run. The best fishing I ever had was after the New Year when you could do that sort of thing. My presumption is those fish never showed up in the Albion counts because the nets were in the storage lockers by that time.

Intuitively one would think that redd counts and weir counts for downstream smolts in Deadman, Bonaparte and the Nick should be used to temper whatever management regime is finally settled on for the following year. Only this data would truly capture what made it into the system and what progeny might come of it.

I for one would hate to see a bait-ban despite knowing full well that the T is the last of the hold-outs. I always felt quite comfortable fishing with those guys-- they are a class act, probably the coolest bunch of steelheaders I've ever met (even Rick Olmstead, may he rest in peace). They’ve always respected and understood “fly water” and for the most past, gave it a wide berth. I have not necessarily seen that sentiment reciprocated by the flip side over the last few years and shiver in my cleats every time I think of that river going 100 % fly.

Voluntarily leaving the river after two fish? Lofty sentiments. Can’t we just fish a dry fly with no hook? I was once in a hole for way longer then I’d meant to. The river was so crowded I lost all heart to try another spot. And my friend below me had never held a fly rod in his hand before so it was a “learning” day.

I watched him hook-up to a veritable smoker in water we’d already fished. Ah hah, moving fish I said to myself. Next cast, I hook-up. I get the hook out, steady my hands, re-tie, another cast, another fish. Same thing for four more fish. My friend was ecstatic. I was taking laps around the rosary beads-- a pod had moved past and we just happened to be there when it happened and it sure was fun while it lasted. Like obeying a speed limit in Texas.

But your point is well taken.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9  
Old 10-28-2003, 12:38 AM
kush's Avatar
kush kush is offline
CND The Spey Underground
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: West Coast
Posts: 1,435
Marketic,

Your point about the reliability of the Albion counts is also well taken. However, over the past 25 years the differences between the Albion count and the redd counts/counting fence numbers have been well correlated. They are fairly confident that this year's run will be at the the very bottom end of the scale. Damn I hope they are wrong, but I won't hold my breath.
__________________
Tight lines - tyler.

Still Living Large!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10  
Old 10-28-2003, 12:46 AM
Dana's Avatar
Dana Dana is offline
the speypages guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: west coast steelhead, BC/Alberta trout
Posts: 1,563
at best I think Albion will only ever indicate a trend. the trend this year is pretty alarming, and we have to go with that. now if the fish show up next week at Albion they can always re-open the river--I think they run the test fishery until the end of November.
__________________
Dana
www.speypages.com
Loop Canada Pro Staff
FFF certified casting instructor
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11  
Old 10-28-2003, 09:51 AM
RLN RLN is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: bc
Posts: 56
here are a few interesting other thingsa about the Thompson fishery.
The explotaion rate in the 80's was close to 80%, this year will be around 15%. The fisheries that kill most of the Thompson steelhead are happening in Johnstone straits, Juan De Fuce strait , U.S.A. first nations fishing at PT.Roberts,the one commercial gillnet opening yesterday in the Fraser and our Fraser river first nations.
The Albion test fishery has been wrong in the past, look at 1997, fishing in October was very poor and was excellent in November, I think the run size ended up being 1500 fish that year (going off of memory, may be wrong). The estimated carrying capacity of the Thompson is somewhere between 3000 and 40,000 fish and we have been nowhere near this number for the last 18+ years. Should the river be closed? Most likely. Does it suck that it is now thias bad? You bet! The biggest problem is trying to get some sort of recovery plan to help out these fish.
Also look for closures for other interior steelhead streams like the Chilcotin, because Albion also shows what is returning to places like the Nahatalatch, Cayoose,Stein and others upstream of Hope.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12  
Old 10-28-2003, 09:52 AM
RLN RLN is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: bc
Posts: 56
One other thing about Albion is it now shows this year being #25 out of 25. I doubt it can get much worse than this.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13  
Old 10-28-2003, 10:06 AM
OC OC is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: I've lost them all but I'm looking for new ones
Posts: 1,368
Anyone know where we can find out more info on the bi-catch of American gill netters on steelhead around the strait and PT Roberts? We have so few gill netters left around here and seeing that they won't allow inspection of bi-catch do we really know for sure that they have an effect on steelhead? Have a friend who use to commercial fish those waters many years ago. He is anti commercial fishing now but said that they rarely ever had a steelhead in the nets because steelhead swim so close to shore on their migration. He did say that in the 70's that some tribes did target those fish for the dog food industry.
__________________
OC
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #14  
Old 10-28-2003, 10:17 AM
Dana's Avatar
Dana Dana is offline
the speypages guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: west coast steelhead, BC/Alberta trout
Posts: 1,563
RLN,

your reminder about 1997 further underscores the need for the Ministry to develop a comprehensive and creative plan for the Thompson. We exist in new times and old-style thinking--such as an all or nothing mentality--simply isn't realisitic anymore. The problem with this of course is that steelhead managers have to ultimately answer to us, and as long as anglers continue to engage in such old style thinking, we cannot expect anything else from the Ministry.

I don't like the fact that the river is closing, but I'm darned proud of the people in Kamloops for making this decision. I hope that this situation will serve as a wake up call to us all. Maybe now we can really put the old differences behind us and start to look for ways to protect Thompson fish so that we can continue to enjoy them.
__________________
Dana
www.speypages.com
Loop Canada Pro Staff
FFF certified casting instructor
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #15  
Old 10-28-2003, 06:17 PM
Poul Poul is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Thompson
Posts: 95
Friends:

I can't believe the actual grief I'm experiencing as a result of this wake-up call/decline/closure of a fishery that's been a big part of my life for over 30 years. I'm totally depressed..

Fishing author Trey Combs once wrote that the Thompson River was the best anadromous stream fishery in the world in the month of November. Now, for the first time ever, the world-famous Thompson river catch-and-release steelhead fishery faces an emrgency closure because this fall's run is predicted to be the worst in 25 years. The main reasons for the steelhead decline include commercial salmon fishing by-catch and damaged habitat and lack of water due to irrigation in important steelhead rearing tributaries: Nicola, Coldwater, Bonaparte and Deadman Rivers.

The fishing closure is a huge blow to the tourism-based community of Spences Bridge, but will also impact BC's reputation as a world-class angling destination.

How did it come to this and what will we do?

One of the Campbell government's first and worst actions was to end the Watershed Restoration and Fisheries Renewal programs. Provincial fisheries and habitat protection budgets have been cut to the bone. The federal government has failed to effectively protect steelhead from commercial fishing impacts. There seems to be no political will or budget to deal with the very real problems effecting Thompson steelhead. With great sadness, I suspect that the only "recovery plan" proposed by government involves little more than closing the sport fishery and hoping things will magically improve on their own.

Poul
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Fly Fishing Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Getting close! bonefishmon Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum 7 03-09-2005 06:12 AM
GETTING CLOSE! juro Bonefish, Tarpon, and other Obsessions 4 01-07-2005 11:46 AM
How close is "too close?" BigDave Stripers and Coastal Gamefish 15 05-29-2004 09:17 AM
So close but so far Steelheader69 >> Archive: Salmon & Steelhead Flies 0 05-12-2003 03:27 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:55 PM.



Copyright Flyfishingforum.com (All Rights Reserved)