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Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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  #46  
Old 02-11-2004, 02:20 AM
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Howdy Smalma...

Quote:
however there is a sizeable group of the steelhead fishers out in the fishing world who feel that those that preach CnR only are elitist fishers and have attempted to force their select views on them and their fishing. Whether that is the case or not is really irrevalent.
Over here where I live there are a sizable group of hunters that think that it is perfectly all right to tag someone else's game, use spotlights, party hunt, kill more than one legal animal, ect...

That doesn't mean it is alright. I say the same applies to the sizeable group mentioned in the above quote. We are not preaching catch and release only, just only "wild fish".

Last edited by MJC; 02-11-2004 at 02:23 AM.
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  #47  
Old 02-11-2004, 09:51 AM
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Smalma,

Like Rich said your ideas and thoughts are always well respected and someday I hope you will become a member of the WSC. You would be welcomed by all members I'm sure.

Yes there is division amongst steelhead fishermen. Steelhead are political and that is unfortunate. But there is unity by steelheaders. Over the years the unity for WSR has been increasingly growing and maybe now it is at 52% or maybe 60 or 70% who really knows but we all must realize the numbers are increasing yearly for release of wild steelhead. It is unforunate that all steelheaders can't unite as one group we would be that much stronger. But seeing that steelhead are politics we will never satisfy everyone. The WSC and other user groups did their science of which they believe in and worked so very hard to get their convictions not only heard but get their beliefs for better wild steelhead management on the books.

If one waits for everyone to come on board then nothing will get done that is the way of democracy. Good politics is work hard, win one, don't kick the oppostion while they are down, move on and only look back to protect your flanks. From what Rich Simms said in his earlier post I think the WSC is learning this at a fast pace. And I'm am sure that the WSC would welcome any group or state agency no matter what their convictions are to be a part of the summits that take place each year with the goal of saving wild steelhead.

As for my beliefs that there are some out there that will use this change in policy to get even by doing away with the C&R season on Steelhead. They come from simply reading and hearing what is going around and you yourself brought up a perfectly legitimate concept. If the runs are not healthy enough for a wild steelhead kill season then are they healthy enough for a wild release season. It is a good question and an important one and I hope your new and upcoming policies will address that with good science and conviction on behalf of wild steelhead as first priority.
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  #48  
Old 02-11-2004, 10:39 AM
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Thumbs up Thank You All!

This thread is one of the reasons I love this board - divergent views discussed without resorting to a FlameFest!

And one of the big advantages is that we're not really enemies - just have different perspectives on how to get to the same goal.

I've enjoyed reading Smalma's comments because it's always good to be hear valid criticisms of our actions.

I think there is a real association between flyfishers, elitists, and C&R. This seems to be, at least in part, because much of the money to support C&R comes from donations from flyfishing groups and benefactors. Lets face it - it's a hell of a lot cheaper to gearfish than try to keep up with the costs of being a trendy speycasting flyfisher. The Cheapest speyrods usually rival the more expensive driftfishing and floatfishing rods.

So we've got cultural issues at play here. The rich once again depriving the poor? But look at the WSC - gear fishermen working alongside flyfishermen (and women) for the good of the fish. Still, something that we'd be best be rid of (C&R and association with rich flyfishers).

To borrow a Juro-ism, we (sports fishermen) are custodians of an amazing resource. The WDFW does their job, but their biggest limitations come from their political vulnerability and lack of funds. Most that I know of that have fought for wild steelhead release are neither rich nor elitist - they're just putting the welfare of a valuable natural resource first.

That being said, we still have the argument that "if the runs aren't strong enough to support a kill fishery, they should be closed". As others have already said, this is a good point. And I think it should be noted that the WSC never objected or fought against the C&R season closure on the Snohomish system because this was based on best science that indicated a seriously depressed spring run.

But there's also - as anyone in the WDFW will tell you - a balancing act between maximum usage of a resource without endangering the run. The Commission's ruling on a statewide 2 year no kill regulation on Wild Steelhead only nudges the pointer on a sliding scale further toward less impact on wild steelhead and more restriction on the sports-imposed mortality on those fish. As OC said, it's not about "taking my toys and going home" (if you won't let me kill wild steelhead, then we should just close the rivers for all fishing).

If we accept that C&R is a valid use of a resource and would seem to provide maximum "sport" with minimal wild steelhead mortality, the the only question is the minimum escapement necessary to support such a season.

Just a few thoughts - keep it going!

DS
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  #49  
Old 02-11-2004, 12:23 PM
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Yes, I think this is a good discussion...

and I would welcome anyone, no matter what their view to sit at my table and talk about this until Linda runs out of coffee (not likely) or the sun comes up.

Quote:
The rich once again depriving the poor?
Depriving the poor of what? No one is saying the poor can not bonk a fish to eat. They just can't bonk a fish that has it's adipose fin. In my view the rich versus poor theory should be challenged at every opportunity. The politicians use this same nonsense to try to divide us all the time. As to DS' precept that spey (fly) fishing is more expensive then gear fishing, I don't buy that in all cases either. Over here on the Clearwater there are one hell of a lot of gear fishers sitting in jet boats. The cost of those boats and the rigs that pull them will buy one hell of a lot of spey (fly) tackle. The coffee pot is on. Take care, MJC
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  #50  
Old 02-11-2004, 12:52 PM
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Over here there are a number of spey fishermen sitting in jets boats too. The no-good elitest snobs.

Sorry DS, that was too good to pass up.
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  #51  
Old 02-11-2004, 02:03 PM
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Talking It was Sparkey . . .

We couldn't find OC, so buzzing you was the best we could do!

BTW, any luck?? Between Tyler, Poul, Sparkey and myself, we tallied a big goose egg. On cracker got a nice nate and I saw 1 dolly caught by a flyfisher, but other than that every gear/flyfisherman had the same sorry tale

MJC, I wasn't suggesting that the perception was valid. In fact, I think on your side of the hills they probably ~do~ spend more on boats, gas, etc. My jet rig is like a Shuttle Craft compared to some of those monstors running up and down the Snake! But even if you drive an F350 and tow a 23' jetboat, the guy driving the Land Rover is still an elitist!

:eyecrazy:

DS
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  #52  
Old 02-11-2004, 02:10 PM
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Thumbs down

Nope, seeing you and Spark was the highpoint for my outing.
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  #53  
Old 02-11-2004, 02:32 PM
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One point...

I agree this level of discussion is what makes our community unique on the web. Also I never once thought that Smalma's comments were anything but helpful, the perspective is valuable in staying focused on the prize - successful protection of the runs. If the 'steelhead nation' is divided then it does not help the cause, indeed.

I would like to make a point though, a fishery that is not healthy enough for a kill fishery is not necessarily unfit for C&R fishing.

If this was the case, then the entire history of the regulation system for managing spring native steelhead runs has been faulty for decades.

I think it's been very successful in protecting the runs while maintaining the highest sense of value for the species. This is in fact the very nature of how we have helped these runs over the decades, and we can largely attribute their survival and in some cases their recovery to C&R regs. Perhaps more importantly this has dramatically increased the number of stewards for the resource who emerge from the passion of interacting with this natural treasure.

In fact I can think of no stronger force in society to create a sense of protection for wild fish than C&R fisheries when managed correctly.

With all due respect, comparing a kill fishery to a C&R fishery in terms of the damage done to the species is ludicrous!

Thank you WSC!
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  #54  
Old 02-11-2004, 03:10 PM
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Hey Doublespey...

I wasn't talking about your "car topper". I was talking about a 25' "BOAT" with 4 to 6 guys in the back and a couple standing on the bow drift fishing or pulling plugs. In another life I fished some bass contests and I know what some of that "gear" cost. I will admit that spey tackle is not exactly "cheap" unless of course you shop at the Red Shed but a lot of those gear guys aren't pauper's either. As for the Land Rover I've never seen one parked in front of my shop. No "beamers" either. I do have one customer that drives a Lexus, but he is a logger so he can't be an elitest. Take care, MJC
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  #55  
Old 02-11-2004, 04:32 PM
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Hey MJC you have had my new Volvo in front of your shop and you didn't complain once. Not even with the broken tail lights, rusted roof rack on top and the bumper sticker that reads, never mind it's not something I should print on such a family site. Mike you are tolerant of many.
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  #56  
Old 02-12-2004, 02:17 AM
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Talking LOL

Yeah, I agree with MJC. Since I'm on both sides of the fences gear wise. I agree my spey rods were worth a bit more. But some of these rods these guys are using (and I have some too) are running upwards to $300 a rod now. Plus, relining is more frequent. Misc gear is alot more (talking about plugs running $5-7 each, not including guys buying jigs running the same as flies). Plus, if you look at the amount of rods most gear guys take with them, it's astonishing. Normally I have at least 4 gear rods on hand, for certain aspects. Yet, I only have maybe 2 fly rods on similar trips. Plus, you have a great deal more gear guys, so those costs really add up. Then, add guys who troll as well, and whammo. You have a pretty big setup cost. My standard trolling gear for salmon/steelhead on main stems will run about $35 from first swivel to the lure at the end. One snag and it's ALL GONE. Now many can claim that with a snag up of a fly. Not that I'd want to (I cried when I lost that setup on the Chehalis a couple years back, luckily retrieved it at low tide).

But, being quite fluent on both spectrums here (I'm hardcore fly and gear, not elite to either) I can sum up alot of what some misconcieve here. Most of the guys who are peeved the most aren't "bonkers" like you all would like to believe. Alot of them (myself included) are more pissed about "forgone opportunity". It has been claimed by the Quilyutes I do believe (been a long time since I've read the article) and have heard it's possible the Hoh tribes are going to request it as well. I grew up on the Puyallup Indian Reservation, and I've seen first hand what one net can do compared to 100 sport fisheman on the bank. I know alot of the netters from the Puyallup Tribe (grew up and went to school with most of them). I've seen what damage can be done with them. I think this whole thing would've been ALOT better rec'd IF this restriction went with banning nets at same time. Especially if the tribes are alloted the "forgone opportunity" then the sword will cut both ways. I'm sure a few nets will more then makeup for what we would've caught. Personally, almost all the guys I know who are bitching the worse on the gear side haven't kept a native steelhead in at least 10-15 years. I know I haven't kept a wild steelhead since they first started implementing the regs to release wild steelhead (think it was in the early 90's, know up until 88 there were no regs for it at all). I haven't kept a wild steelhead since, and I've caught some very nice fish that were legally "keepers" by state guidelines. Last one was a couple years ago before my injury kept me sidelined. A nice big nate buck of around 27#'s (per taped measurements which I don't trust much) on the lower Duc. I released it with no qualms. I know alot of guys who are the same. And, the majority of the gear guys are. Just like any sport, the bad apples seem to be more viewable then the good ones. Why fly guys get bad rap. The snobs seem to draw a good majority of the attention. I get the crap on both sides. My gear buddies give me hell for using flies, and my fly buddies give me hell for using gear. It's a no win for me.

I just think that things would've went alot smoother if nets would've been attacked first. Just getting a reg that allows us to "point the finger" as so many have said isn't the key. You'll just get another finger pointed back at you by those you are to. They're within their legal right, and is guaranteed by the Boldt decision. Especially since they have Sovereign Nation status, not sure really how much the federal gov't can truly do. Since they are their own nations. I just think in long run this decision has divided the fishing groups up more now then ever. We've been divided so long now, and only getting worse. I for one am like all the rest of the "gear guys" that so many like to trash on. I feel why not just shut the rivers down to steelheading when there is more likely going to be natives in the system? There are months that are proven to have more nates in it then others. Why harass them at all? This is the point that most want to get out. If you're gonna do a blanket effect, why not just shut it down all together to ALL fishing. Why harass these fine creatures if you're planning to save them (if that's the case). Yes, a bonked fish is one that has NO chance to spawn. But why even try and add even a small percentage into that mix (since there is CnR mortality rates). One dead fish is too many. So I feel if we're trying not to kill wild steelhead, then stop fishing for them. That's what is in the best interest overall. But I know too many who would not give up that right (and that includes flyfisherman as well). I've purposely stopped fishing some rivers for that reason. I mostly fish rivers that can normally sustain a CnR fishery. Mind you I will bonk a brat. I do eat fish, and do like tablefare. I just don't stock my freezer for a lifetimes supply of fish. Just enough for eating throughout the year.

Well, hope that helps. I even did it without flaring up. But hope I explained some of this. I've spoken to NUMEROUS gear guys since this has been enacted (well over 100 easy). This has been a consensus. They're more worried about "forgone opportunity". Most don't mind themselves losing keeping a nate, though I admit there are some that do. But for most part they don't like giving up our share of the harvest for the tribes possibly getting it (which is highly possible). Hope Brian is able to find out if certain tribes are trying to find out if this is the case. Would really be a slam in the face if WSC did all this work only to find that they rivers are netted twice as hard and stripped twice as fast (like I've said, I've seen and know guys who use these nets and they take fish out faster then you could ever imagine).
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  #57  
Old 02-12-2004, 02:46 AM
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SH69 -

With all due respect you took a lot of effort to try to explain the perspective of disapproval for what has been accomplished and it's appreciated, yet I can't help but feel it's like saying our right foot should have been fixed before the left when both feet were broken.

IMHO if those people can't accept that a positive move has been made on behalf of wild steelhead, that if going after nets would have been better, why don't they take the WSC's example and pour a similar amount of tireless energy and dedication to go after the nets instead of pissing on an accomplishment of historic proportions by someone else?

I for one would be all for it. But for folks on the sidelines to complain about the way the game is played after the goal is scored is what they call "Monday morning quarterbacking".

We would all like nothing better than for people to take action against the nets, in fact the letters we are writing to the BC government are attacking just that on behalf of the wild steelhead of the mighty Thompson, which THANK GOD is a C&R fishery.

.02 / FWIW
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  #58  
Old 02-12-2004, 09:30 AM
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69,

Some of your points are valid. A dead wild steelhead is a dead wild steelhead period. If mortality is at 10% in wild fish release that means 1 in every 10 fish should die. A couple guys go to the OP and float the Hoh. Their intention is to C&R, they release 12 wild fish over a two day period of the float. That is a little over 1 fish statistically dead between them for the weekend fish.

Two other guys go over to the Hoh float the weekend. They catch 12 fish over the two days of fishing but they each keep a wild fish on the first day and they each keep a wild fish on the second day. They have kept 4 fish and released 8 fish over their weekend. With 10% mortality rate for release and the 100% mortality rate for the bonk that's almost, just a nose away from 5 dead fish for the same amount of effort as the guys who fished total wild release and statistically killed 1.2 fish. By the way there are many drift boats on the OP rivers on weekends what maybe 20,30 or more, guides and private. How many times have you herd or witnessed at the ramp we got 6 fish today. Often very often.

It will be up to the State of Washington to come up with a sound procedure to say when a river can not be fished even with wild release. If a river can afford 200 dead wild fish lets say as an example and when it reaches that 200 fish limit the state does shut it down. If there is a kill season on that river then the season would be over rather quickly. With wild fish release only and the same amount of pressure as if the river had a kill season the fishing season would be longer for all fishermen to reach that same 200 fish limit and many more fish would be hooked and the enjoyment of battling a wild fish would be shared far longer into the season by all fishermen. It is without question that those who want to kill intentionally wild fish are the selfish ones in this argument.

Hey if none of this makes sense or is totally ridiculous please punch holes in my argument will you.
Thanks
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  #59  
Old 02-12-2004, 09:58 AM
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Foregone Opportunity

I won't make this long but I do want to say that FO is being used by a large number of people that are unhappy with the recent decision. It sure sounds good but doesn't hold much water.

I have seen reports that for some time the US attorney generals office has been of the opinion it does not apply. In 2002, I was present when the Washington AG's office presented an opinion to the WDFW commission saying it was not an issue and should not be used as a threat to WSR policy.

If you would like to know more on this, I would suggest checking out the WSC whitepaper from 2001. I believe it is still available on the WSC web-site.
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  #60  
Old 02-12-2004, 10:29 AM
Smalma Smalma is offline
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Thought folks might be tired of this topic however another thought:
From the Everett Herald this morning:
www.heraldnet.com/Stories/04/2/12/18178049.cfm

"As for the science behind it," he said, "commissioner Russ Cahill (in Olympia) told me it was pretty much a matter of whose biologists you believed. Our (state) people told him that even on a down cycle in the natural flux of things, we're easily meeting our wild steelhead spawning escapement goals on those (Peninsula) rivers. Biologists for the proponent groups, on the other hand, told him the runs are declining, period. With no clear consensus, he said he was forced to vote conservatively for the resource."

Certainly it is easy to understand why someone would accept the science of almost anyone over that of the agency professionals. It has been clear for some time that as some as an angler catches his second steelhead they are expert on all things related to steelhead and steelhead management. - sorry had to vent.

Back to the topic at hand - yes the escapement on the Quilleyute has declined that last 3 or 4 years (still over 10,000 or 167% of the MSY goal). However it should be noted it has declined from the recent historic high. Does any really expect that any anadromous salmonid can be maintian populations at historic highs that result from all the survival factors aligning precisely as needed. If that is the expected manangement strategy then we anglers are in for a rough ride and considerable time on the bank.

A couple of examples. the mid to late 1980s show historic wild winter steelhead escapements on the East side of Vancouver however in the 1990s the escapements fell to less than of 1/10 of those escapements. This was under wild steelhead release and in many case no hatchery fish. Clearly additional restrictions are needed - ie close the water until those high escapements return.

The wild coho escapement on the Snohomish systems has fall nearly 30% the last 2 years from that seen in 2001 (2001 escapement 260,000 with 2002 - 165,000 and 2003 - 180,000). This population has been the most robust in Puget Sound, in fact one of the largest on the US coast. Appears that all in-river coho fisheries should be wild coho release. It might be appropiate to consider complete closure of all marine areas as it is a mix stock fishery and why put unnecessary impacts on the wild resource. (Oh, if anyone is interested the MSY escapement goal is 70,000).

Similar with the recent floods it is unlikely that the Snohomish pink returns will not be up to the 2003 levels in 2005. The 2003 escapement was 1.3 million or 10 times the escapement goal of 120,000. Shouldn't fishing for all pinks be closed through all Washington waters until runs return to those in excess of 1,000,000. Should be noted that in prior to 2001 the highest escapement (going back to the 1950s) never exceed 250,000.

I feel that the management standard has been placed quite high, which is fine as we all are willing to apply it consistently and live with it.

Just something for additonal thought.

Tight lines
S malma
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