Great News For Wild Steelhead - Page 2 - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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  #16  
Old 02-07-2004, 10:02 PM
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NrthFrk16 NrthFrk16 is offline
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Re: ...and also thanks to

Quote:
Originally posted by DLoop
Sparkey. Didn't he lead the petitioning for the wild fish handling changes?
Dave-
I do not think I can take the credit for the new handling regulation although I have seen it referred to as Sparkey's Law on a few differant occasions.

On Bob's Board about a year ago, I brought up, on a couple differant occasions, that I would like to see a change in the current regulations regarding the handling of wild steelhead.

About a half dozen or so people sent in regulation proposals that were similar to mine. I also stood up for the proposal and defended it when it came under fire (and recieved many nasty emails).

BUT, there were others that brought up similar proposal ideas prior to when the proposals were due, there were others that defended the proposal...and there were also others that testifed and sent in letters on behalf of the proposal as well.
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2004, 10:29 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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This is excellent news. I had thought the wild steelhead release issue was dead this regulation cycle.

Rich and the rest of you guys in the WSC who wouldn't let it go, THANK YOU!!!!! Likewise, thanks to the commissioners who voted in favor of the 2 year wild steelhead release.

Plunk,

There are many rivers with documented depressed wild steelhead numbers, the Stilly, Sky, Sno, Nooksack, and Skagit to name just a few.
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  #18  
Old 02-09-2004, 10:43 AM
KerryS KerryS is offline
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I am not sure I agree with this law. I don't like blanket laws like this one. I would rather see the same type effort put forth to protect those runs that are in imminent danger of extinction instead of a state wide law. The majority of steelhead fishermen already release wild fish and most of the rivers in this state already have mandatory release of wild steelhead. All this rule has done is drive a wedge between the sportsmen of this state and in the long run could do more harm then good.
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  #19  
Old 02-09-2004, 11:02 AM
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North Island North Island is offline
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Good Work,
I enjoyed very much reading the account of your politicians, and the response from this forum. The fact that you get your govt. to address these issues is very inspiring to me. Now if we can only get similar responsibility north of the border.

N I
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  #20  
Old 02-09-2004, 02:39 PM
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Kerry,

Most of the rivers have mandatory release simply because the health of stocks has declined to the point where WDFW cannot justify it. Unless it is changed in the last year, the emergency release regulations are emergency restrictions only. This may have changed as I know Curt was trying to get it so last year.

Regardless, the North Sound rivers were deemed to have healthy stocks (and thus harvest) right up until the emergency closures in the fall of '01. At that time, the health of the stocks was determined to be so poor that they could not even withstand the incidental impacts of a CnR fishery.

While I do not believe that harvest is the "great satan" in declining runs, it is surely a lesser one. As the Sky, Stilly, Sauk and Skagit runs try and fight their way back to recovery, I can only imagine that the decendants of all the harvested fish from the "healthy" years would be a welcome addition.

As for driving a wedge, maybe in the short run. Look at how Idaho and BC sport fishers have embraced CnR. They won't stay mad for long.

sinktip

Last edited by sinktip; 02-09-2004 at 05:15 PM.
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  #21  
Old 02-09-2004, 03:54 PM
KerryS KerryS is offline
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Sinktip,

I hope you are right but as things look now the WSC has acquired many new enemies because of itís support for this rule. I donít see that as a positive. As I stated before I donít like blanket rules like this one but I will continue to support catch and release of wild steelhead. I think through education and awareness virtually the same thing could have been accomplished with out all of the ill feelings.

KLS
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  #22  
Old 02-09-2004, 04:08 PM
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Kerry -

I don't understand, why are people feeling antagonism against the WSC, and who is the group on the other side of this "wedge"?

I just don't get what the problem is.

thanks
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  #23  
Old 02-09-2004, 04:25 PM
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Well it seems most people who oppose this are thinking that this restriction will make it easier for more restrictions to be imposed on anglers (basically total shutdown). I do not agree with that mentality as this has not happened in BC and Idaho. Like Sinktip says people are quick to forget and just move on.

From the people I have talked to and read online who oppose this are busy pointing their fingers at the tribes, netters, poachers, etc. However, it seems reasonable that since this fight has been won we do indeed have our house in order to go after these other problems.

Those who release wild steelhead are in the majority in this state and last time I checked that is how things in this country are supposed to be run. Majority rules (unless you are running for prez )

I for one would love to see this go to a public statewide vote via an initiative. I think we would have no problem winning....

This ruling has really got me excited about grass roots campaigns and feeling bad about not giving as much as I could to the cause. That will change in 2004.


-sean
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  #24  
Old 02-09-2004, 05:27 PM
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Kerry,

You are right on the swelling of the ranks of enemies of the WSC. I am not sure that they are new though as many lined up against the WSC two years ago. Even so, there are many friends out there both new and old.

The WSC swung for the fences and connected. They used the department's own data and talked science with the commissioners. Or at least all of them but the one that refused to meet with them. They got there ammunition in order and played the political game. Despite the "backroom betrayal" BS that many of those opposing this decision are claiming, the WSC did it the old fashioned way by working the system. For that they should be commended.

Is their target area larger now? You betcha. This was a huge victory but now they need to keep the momentum going on those other issues like habitat that have an even greater impact on the health of steelhead runs. The next two years will determine if the WSC thrives or goes down as a one issue organization. Based upon what we witnessed last Friday, I expect only the best from them.

sinktip
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  #25  
Old 02-09-2004, 05:43 PM
Leland Miyawaki Leland Miyawaki is offline
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From what I have been able to gather, the majority of fisherfolk are in favor of wild steelhead C&R. They are only a little apprehensive of giving up their fish to someone else, ie. tribes, poachers and the "unknown." They will embrace and forget if the runs can be increased. These two years are a little short but it can be done.

It's going to take extra care by all of us to make sure we release with speed and care Ė meaning we should take our photos with the fish in the water (especially if you're going to post Ė photographic proof of lawbreaking)!

Also, the C&R rule has the potential to create many more lawbreakers. We need to be vigilant and do what we can to stop the increased poaching, particularly on those rivers where there has been a kill season.

Come on WSC, get "Streamwatch at Eyes in the Woods" to our next meeting. Remember how much Curt Kraemer was for it last year.

Leland.
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  #26  
Old 02-09-2004, 06:39 PM
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As I said earlier in the thread this is great news. Sinktip is right about BC. The change to Wild Steelhead Release was not without a fight. The first couple of years saw a major decline in licenses sold, however that did not last long. The fisherman returned to the fish they love.

I must say that for the most part, there is at least a generation of BC anglers that wouldn't dream of killing a wild steelhead. The concept is part of the steelhead ethic in BC, I hope this is the start of a similar mind set in Washington State.

A question comes to mind, what effect (if any) does this development have on the closures on the Sky and Skagit in the spring?
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  #27  
Old 02-09-2004, 07:44 PM
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Juro -
The antagonism is really pretty easy to understand. What would have been your reaction if the situation had been reversed? Suppose that the Bonking Society of Washington has proposed opening the entire Quilleyutte system downstream of the Park year round, 2 fish wild fish limit, no annual wild fish limit and no bait restriction. Their justification was that the escapement has been 4,000 to 6,000 above the established escapement goal. We all had testified against the rule change, WDFW staff recommended against it. At the final hour of the final meeting for approval any proposed regulation changes one of the commissioners thought it was a good idea and they voted to considered the change and adopted that change.

Would you be a big fan of the Bonking Society? I think not! Also I suspect that you might have issues with the Commission. That is exactly what happen with the WSR issue. Was WSC and their allys wrong - of course not however it may not be the best way to win friends.

Tight lines
S malma
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  #28  
Old 02-09-2004, 08:36 PM
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Hey Smalma, a question...

Isn't there plenty of "brats" over there for the "Bonking Society" to take home?

Quote:
Was WSC and their allys wrong - of course not however it may not be the best way to win friends.
I can tell you that the WSC has won a friend in Idaho and they can expect to have my strong support in the future.
Take care, MJC
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  #29  
Old 02-09-2004, 08:38 PM
Todd Ripley Todd Ripley is offline
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Smalma,

We both know that if we were looking to just make friends we could have chosen a much different field to play on rather than the anadromous fish management field!

Fish on...

Todd.
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  #30  
Old 02-09-2004, 09:32 PM
Nailknot Nailknot is offline
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Moving on

I like the path Sinktip proposes, and I, for one, would be more involved in WSC if it expands beyond WSR as a point issue. I'm glad to see it pass but ready for the broader (and local) battles that will insure wild steelhead survival. WSC has a team of winners and could grow to an even more influencial force. It will be interesting to see how things evolve.
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