One Possible Alternative Model - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-12-2004, 10:18 PM
Smalma Smalma is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 168
Here is some steelhead guidelines that posted on another site a couple of years ago. I believe that they still are valid and do an adequate job of providing diverse recreational opportunity while address manay of our concerns about current status of the wild resources and some of the hatchery and harvest factors that may be afftect those populations.

Warning - This represents my personal beliefs and clearly reflects my personal biases.

Wild steelhead escapement levels- -

Use MSH as the reference point for management with exploitation rate management for runs above MSH. The exploitation rate would be designed to achieve escapements that would range from a low of MSH to a high of carry capacity. Average escapement would be expected to be between MSH and carrying capacity. Exploitation rates might be in the 10 to 20% range; possibly higher on more productive systems.

For populations expected to return at or below MSH reference point - or in those areas without an established MSH reference point.

1) Wild steelhead release during the period that hatchery steelhead are abundant.
2) If there are no hatchery fish or after the date that the majority of hatchery fish are no longer available (spawn outs not counted) river closed to all fishing.

For population expected to return above MSH reference point-

1) Retention of wild winter steelhead allowed for all or part of the period December through Febraury, (length depending on the exploitation rate).
2) Upper half of basins closed to wild fish retention.
3) State-wide wild fish limit of 1 per year.
4) Traditional spring catch and release season allowed.
5) To fish in the spring (March, April) the angler must have not used his or her wild steelhead punch.

Steelhead hatchery program

1) Mark all fish.
2) Hatchery programs to be designed to provide fish for harvest; no supplementation programs.
3) Plant only smolts and only in May.
4) Number of smolts to be planted limited so that the spawning over-lap (fish spawning at the same time and place) between hatchery and wild steelhead be limited to less than 1%. This will be influenced by spawning times, wild fish abundance, and the harvest rate on the hatchery fish.
5) Limit smolt plants to main stem areas with good angler access.
6) Significant portion of the basin (25%) not planted with hatchery fish.

Additional regulations -

1) During open seasons in the March to November period selective gear rules (artifical lures, single barbless hooks and no bait) in effect.
2) During the March to November period catch and release for all trout and steelhead except for marked hatchery fish.

Tight lines
S malma

Last edited by Smalma; 02-12-2004 at 10:22 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 02-12-2004, 11:50 PM
sinktip's Avatar
sinktip sinktip is offline
Chief of E.P.
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: All S-Rivers Above the Equator
Posts: 1,456
This thread by Smalma was split off from the Good News For Wild Steelhead thread as it contains a very thought provoking alternative management model.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3  
Old 02-13-2004, 12:06 AM
MJC's Avatar
MJC MJC is offline
Junkyard Spey
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Clearwater River, Peck, ID
Posts: 887
Howdy Smalma...

I know you have more knowledge on this subject in your little finger then I know in total. I like almost all of what you have written above. The way I read your guidelines for populations exceding the MSH there is only a very short window for the taking of a wild fish and only on a very limited basis if a person chooses to do so, however it is just beyond me why anyone would have a burning desire to bonk a wild fish if there are brats available. Am I missing something here? Take care, MJC
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4  
Old 02-13-2004, 01:08 AM
Nailknot Nailknot is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Sauk/Skagit
Posts: 93
Yes

We should enact S Malma's ideas. Pronto! Most everyone could get behind them if presented well.

I agree with Spark's points as well. I'd like to see C&R argued as our sportfishing future, providing us enhanced opportunities with minimum impact (relative). Economic and cultural benefits should have a real place in this argument. My worry with science based lobby is that we confuse and alienate many sportfishers who would and could join the fight. If the argument was framed as- we would like maximum sportfishing opportunity at minimum impact in all cases- and list benefits, would be much easier for most to relate. I don't mean to suggest that we all want maximum opportunity. But many of us do, within reason of course. No doubt there is fear and confusion among many about motives of WSC and WT regarding sportfishing opportunity. We're quick to say we side with the fish, but our power base may be with the sportfishers and evolving thinking as a political force benefiting all and increasing pressure on other "user groups" that impact these fish. I certainly see a possible future where we have given most if not all sportfishing opportunity and the runs continue into extinction due to other pressures. What a tragic outcome.

Not to get off topic but I just wanted to say for the record: this is the most enlighten and composed internet discussion re: WA steelhead mgmt I have ever read.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5  
Old 02-13-2004, 01:23 AM
NrthFrk16's Avatar
NrthFrk16 NrthFrk16 is offline
Mod
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: NF Stilliguamish
Posts: 1,687
Send a message via AIM to NrthFrk16
Smalma-
It is amazing (or maybe it really is not if you think about it as I've always respected your opinions and have always taken your advice, suggestions etc. to heart.) how much we agree on how our steelhead should be managed.

Just some questions, comments and points of contention...

First off, I agree with your decision(s) of what should take place if the escapement is predicted to be below the MSH reference point.

Eventhough your proposed selective fishery regulations on all rivers from March through November, I believe that we may need to look at other impacts that we as sportsmen may have on juvenille steelhead.

Are there other negative impacts that we could be having on juvenille steelhead even if selective fishery regulations are in place. Once, a river's escapement reaches a certain point below MSH, should we not restrict even more practices by sportsmen on the watershed. That may seem very severe and I even believe that maybe going to far but maybe it is an issue that needs to be looked at.

Anyways, onto the areas in which we differ. But like I said, we agree more then we disagree.

First of all, you propose, a wild winter steelhead retention season that begins sometime in December. I believe, that we must seperate the run timings because from what I have seen, early wild winter-steelhead differ from later returning wild winter-steelhead and from what I understand, their spawning sites differ. It is also known that the early component of our wild winter-steelhead populations are fading fast...should those not be given more protection as well?? I always wondered why it seemed as though we allowed harvest on the smaller component of the population (early fish...higher spawners) eventhough we prohibited a harvest on the healtheir component of the population (late-returning, lower spawners).

I believe that just closing the upper portion of a watershed to harvest would not be enough as I know many of those early-wild fish are very aggresive and get picked off in the lower rivers before they can make it into the sanctuary zones.

I would also oppose a one wild steelhead annual limit as I believe it would lead to the culling of the largest fish. Plus, IMHO, the guides on the OP do a Hell of alot more damage and they have new clients everyday (that is the very reason I opposed the 5-fish a year limit...it did not effect the guides who do so much of the damage).

I am however, not against the harvest of wild steelhead. I would have a hard time ever killing one just for the simple fact I've grown up in a time of depeleted runs and I truely believe they are a magnificent fish. But as Doublespey asked the group the other night, if we were promised healthy runs forevor, would we ever kill a wild steelhead...I did answer yes.

Anyways, I propose the severity of the exploitation increase as the escapement goal reaches carry capacity.

Ethical and educated(it seems they are becoming too few and far between) flyfishermen have the least impact on a wild steelhead fishery, IMHO. Up to a certain point, say for a population hovering just above escapement, limit the fishery to flyfishing-only catch and release. In the winter flyfishermen catch the least amount of fish and with the use of single-barbless hooks you are facing a very very low hooking mortality on top of just the simple fact not many fish are going to be caught.

As the estimated escapement reaches farther up from the MSH reference point, the severity of the restrictions will be reduced.

After the hatchery fish are all but out of the system, this would be the order that I propose for our late winter/spring fisheries. I also believe that in years of severly depressed wild fish escapements we will need to find another way to minimize the impact of our hatchery stock fisheries.

This would be the order I propose...
1)Flyfishing Only
2)Selective Fishery Regulations-Fishing from a Floating Device Prohibited (the latter is a great conservation tool that needs to be utilized more in this state)
3)Standard Selective Fishery Regulations

At one point, I would not be totally opposed to a very limited kill fishery but at this time, even if a couple rivers were deemed healthy enough (closer to carry capacity then not) to allow for a harvest, I would only mind a kill on those rivers deemed healthy if a certain number of other rivers in the area (say in that given ESU) were consistently above the MSH reference point. According to the WDFW, the Sol Duc, when it comes to the later returning fish is very healthy. My opposition to a kill on this river is because so many of the other rivers in the area are barely exceeding their MSH refernce point, if at all.

I more or less agree with your ideas regarding steelhead hatchery programs and I am intriguied by your last point in which you stated, "6) Significant portion of the basin (25%) not planted with hatchery fish." Any reason specific reason why you chose %25? I believe this follows along the lines of some (John Farrar being one of the more noteables) who propose wild fish only streams where no hatchery fish are planted and the angling techniques and practices are very limited. I think it is an idea that needs to be discussed at greater lenghts.

As you know, I support your belief that our rivers should be under selective fishery regulations in the spring/summer/fall months. And I was very disapointed this past summer when my proposal, which I felt still left for plenty of oppurtunity, that would of limited the Skykomish to Selectiver Fishery Regulations except fishing out of a floating device while under power allowed was not passed onto the Commission for consideration.

We all know about the negative impact the huge bait fishery that takes place on the Skykomish in June and July has on our juvenille salmonids and because of that, I was appauled that it was not passed on eventhough similiar regulations our in effect on the Snoqualmie. We do not allow the harvest of wild steelhead in the winter months but we allow so many juvenille wild steelhead to be caught and killed due to hooking mortality in the summer months. Is just does not make any sense...
__________________
Ryan S. Petzold
aka Sparkey and/or Special

Last edited by NrthFrk16; 02-13-2004 at 02:22 AM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6  
Old 02-13-2004, 01:44 AM
Nailknot Nailknot is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Sauk/Skagit
Posts: 93
Not so fast Sparky

Fly fishing only as a mgmt tool isn't going to go anywhere and will further divide sportfishers. Let's just start with wide ranging selective rules? I, and know at least five others, submitted reg change proposal similar to your Sky proposal, but for the upper Skagit (year round selective rules/C&R). Upper Skagit not only provides more rearing habitat than upper Sky but also sanctuary for large resident rainbow and bull trout. There is no justification for a bait catch and kill on upper Skagit when it is already closed for salmon and limited season for steelhead. We have many drainage specific steps to take that will have a very real impact before blanket divisive rule change. Let's see how this WSR reg goes and learn from it. We may indeed learn that a different tack is appropriate. WA is hardly the most progressive state and we need to move forward with clear ideas that sportfishers understand and support to get the traction we need IMHO. Seeing WSR as a done deal and pushing even more aggro fly specific rules is not a smart path. We need to understand and deal with backlash and evolve thinking as a broad user group.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7  
Old 02-13-2004, 02:52 AM
Doublespey's Avatar
Doublespey Doublespey is offline
Steelhead-a-holic
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: PNW Waterways
Posts: 711
Thumbs up Two Thumbs Up!

I like it!

I think there ~are~ debatable reasons, tho few, for wanting to keep a wild fish. Maybe your son's first steelhead is a big wild buck. Or maybe you've got a possible state/world record. For many, just the possibility to legally keep such a fish legally is very important.

And I really like the selective right to participate in the C&R season only if you haven't punched wild steelhead during the open kill season.

This is the first steelhead management plan I've seen that allowed for the killing of wild steelhead that I believe is workable. We're all forced to deal with compramises, and I think this does the best job of appeasing all user groups while still at its core doing a reasonable job of protecting wild fish.

The real question is how far (as a fishing society) we are toward accepting C&R as a legit management tool. I think most of us on this board know support for wild steelhead release is growing, but is it strong enough to survive the backlash from other pro-kill groups now that we've got our 2 year moratorium? This ruling by the Commission caught many by suprise - now we'll find out who has the money and #s to push the hardest.

But, whether or not we're able to make wild steelhead release permanent, reading Smalma's proposal gives me hope that there are workable compramises I could live with.

Thanks!

DS
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8  
Old 02-13-2004, 04:00 AM
Jumbo Jumbo is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: buckets worldwide
Posts: 53
Slippery Slope

i beleive that allowing any intentional kill of wild steelies is a compromise to the integrity of my personal sporting ethic.
I would choose not to kill a single fish, even if guarranteed healthy runs 4 ever.

If your kid caught a big buck and/or a near record fish- would you really want to teach him it was OK to kill it? get real.

here's the slippery slope....killing fish is analogous to the the junkie or alcoholic who wants just one...he can't.



stay off my river.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9  
Old 02-13-2004, 04:49 AM
Steelheader69's Avatar
Steelheader69 Steelheader69 is offline
flyfishing catarafter
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: OlyPen, Chehalis System
Posts: 881
Send a message via AIM to Steelheader69 Send a message via Yahoo to Steelheader69
Great plan!!!!

Smalma, I think it's a great plan. It's one I was more thinking of (just not as indepth and REALLY scares me that I am thinking on same lines as Sparkey too :hehe: ). But, the limited kill in December has actually been used on some river systems in the past. My home river, the Puyallup, had regulations exactly like that in the early 90's, until it went complete no kill on wild steelhead. But those months are when the big brute nates would start coming in too.

Do like the plan. But I do think (and this goes with steelhead out of the water thing too) that all you need is a tape measurement and a good photo if you have a trophy of a lifetime. I have a few over 20's I'd like to get mounts made of. Still have pics and measurements. Only thing it cost the fish was literally a few seconds out of the water (if I'm releasing, the cameraboy is ready with camera BEFORE the fish is brought in for fast pics and one pic only). I've had my kids release a few nice steelhead that they've caught on plugs. Didn't have camera, and still had them release, eventhough I was in Native Keep area. But I explained why and my kids were ok with it (and my daughter was only about 7 at time). Could've kept for her to get a picture of (was only a 15#, but her first steelhead nonetheless), but opted to release. Now, I have a minolta waterproof camera that's always in the boats. LOL.

I think it's a well thought out plan. I do think that maybe a no kill unless it's shown that the river has a healthy yield. And then must be a constant, not just an "assumed" bounty coming in.

Here's a question for those who really study the hatchery systems and the likes. This is legit, since I'm not a hatchery expert, I volunteer at one, but by no means know a damned thing about them. LOL. But would having, say the Quinaults, run our hatchery systems be a good thing? Possibly have those tribes that net the rivers become the stewards and run the hatcheries on them. The Quinaults have done an excellent job. No netting on those rivers, and have top notch runs of fish. Would be a great way of getting the two groups together as one. Maybe even making all of us come together slowly but surely. Not sure how that would work, but if could come to agreement where the whole hatchery system was done by one group (not a mixture of WDFW and Tribal like on some rivers) could be an asset. Say, make agreement that they run the hatchery to Quinault standards, and instead of nets they can run clients to catch the fish (give them incentive by no guide license fees to the Native Guides). A possibility. Just one I had pondered. But not sure on how all the hatchery systems work. Have only visited the Quinault hatchery a few times, and the one I volunteer at is a salmon hatchery.
__________________
"Good angling ethic is not a monopoly practiced just by fly fisherman" - Bill McMillan
Steelheader.net
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10  
Old 02-13-2004, 09:57 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
Thanks for posting your ideas Smalma. I believe they are healthy ideas and hopefully the State will look into this and similar ideas over the next 2 years.

I like the idea of one wild fish killed your done for the year steelhead fishing on a river proved healthy. Sort of like Elk season. I also see a problem with the guides on the OP rivers.

Another idea a bit more radical would be one wild fish caught and released and you are done for the day. Something similar to some of Europes Salmon management plans. I see no need to continue fishing after having the privilege of hooking, fighting and releasing a wild steelhead. We should be doing more of this on our own.

We also must get back to the release punch card. I know the State had problems with getting fishermen to use them but a little education might go a long way on getting some good information out of them.

I hope the day comes that taking a wild Steelhead home for the family Easter dinner, a special day a sacred feast indeed will not have serious implications on the future of their survival.
__________________
OC
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11  
Old 02-13-2004, 10:01 AM
Skilly's Avatar
Skilly Skilly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Cowlitz
Posts: 336
Send a message via MSN to Skilly Send a message via Yahoo to Skilly
great ideas

There are some great ideas posted here. I especially like the idea of letting the Tribes run the hatcheries and having them guide instead of netting the rivers. I believe this would be a boon to all the runs in all the rivers.

Carry capacity, Never in our lives will any of the rivers of the PNW reach this. We could flood them with hatcherise, never kill a wild fish and never come close.

Never try to go to fly fishing only!!!! All it will do is devide the sport fishers. We need every sport fisher on the side of wild steelhead. The idea of killing them will slowly fade away. It wont happen in a day, month or year but it will happen. Those of you that are old (like me) have seen the changes already. Years ago all the pictures were of dead fish. Now most are of fish that are returned.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12  
Old 02-13-2004, 10:34 PM
Smalma Smalma is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 168
No surprise that this crowd would have concern about wild kill.

However would any of you take a wild fish if it was mortally wounded if it were legal to do so?

I particularly like the no fishing in the spring if the wild punch has been used. It means that the angler has to decided whether taking that fish is worth giving up the spring fishery. It becomes the angler's own choice rather than the state or some special interest group telling he may or may not take that fish. Such an approach is likely un-American! If we are all right in that anglers will grow to like CnR fishing this approach will likely wean many to this type of opportunity - not unlike the first CnR season did for the then almost totally Bonk em crowd of 25 years.

Tight lines
S malma
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13  
Old 02-13-2004, 11:04 PM
NrthFrk16's Avatar
NrthFrk16 NrthFrk16 is offline
Mod
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: NF Stilliguamish
Posts: 1,687
Send a message via AIM to NrthFrk16
Quote:
Originally posted by Smalma
No surprise that this crowd would have concern about wild kill.
But I think you should be surprised that most of us would not mind a kill fishery...the conditions for which we would not mind a kill fishery are more conservative then your's, however. I am especially fond of my idea that:

I would only mind a kill on those rivers deemed healthy(closer to carry capacity then the MSH reference point) if a certain number of other rivers in the area (say in that given ESU) were consistently above the MSH reference point.

Quote:
However would any of you take a wild fish if it was mortally wounded if it were legal to do so?
If I knew that fish would not survive, I think I could take that fish home, but I have to admit a certain selfishness (and maybe this makes me a hyporctire), I would not punch the fish if it (kill it) if it prohibited me from fishing in March and April.

With that said, the only wild fish I have landed that I know for a fact was mortally wounded, I caught in the wild steelhead release water on the Hoh. I did not fish for the rest of the day.

Quote:
I particularly like the no fishing in the spring if the wild punch has been used. It means that the angler has to decided whether taking that fish is worth giving up the spring fishery. It becomes the angler's own choice rather than the state or some special interest group telling he may or may not take that fish. Such an approach is likely un-American! If we are all right in that anglers will grow to like CnR fishing this approach will likely wean many to this type of opportunity - not unlike the first CnR season did for the then almost totally Bonk em crowd of 25 years.
I can grow to like that idea as long as the punch is only allowed on very healthy rivers and only if there are a substantial number of very healthy rivers around. I do not see the good in allowing a wild fish kill on only one or two rivers.
__________________
Ryan S. Petzold
aka Sparkey and/or Special

Last edited by NrthFrk16; 02-13-2004 at 11:15 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #14  
Old 02-13-2004, 11:29 PM
Smalma Smalma is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 168
Ryan -
I could only support fly-fishing as a mangement option only if it were limited to single handed rods of 7 weight or less!!

Jumbo -
By allowing some hooking mortality aren't you all ready on the slippery slope of negative fishing impacts on the resource - Once we decide to fish we all have stepped on the that slope. That is unless you fish without a hook point; which I often do becaue of my poor casting technique.

They fish don't really care whether they die from being bonked or hooking mortality associated from CnR.

Skilly -
Regarding carry capacity - If you are speaking of the historic capacity you are certainly correct. However the unfortunate state of affairs is that through habitat degradation we have so depleted the habitat on some of our rivers that carry capacity is easily achieved. In some cases (upper Columbia for example) the carrying capacity has been so lowered that the survival of the species is nearly completely dependent on the continued planting of hatchery fish.

The classic definition of carrying capactiy is that any escapements above a certain point doesn't result in large returns. Or if on the average an given escapement can't relace itself that escapement level is above carrying capacity. That value is a moving target that is constantly changing with survival conditions. For example here in Puget Sound for the last 5 years parent escapements of wild winter steelhead on the Snohomish system was in the 6,000 to 7,000 range but they only produced a return (before any fishing) of about 3,000. This means that at currently survival conditions carrying capacity is likely less than 3,000. WDFW's inability to maintain the Snohomish population at or above the 6,500 escapement is not from management failure but rather the worsting of survival conditions. At best no harvest would only prolong the time it would take the population to stablize under the new conditions.

Tight lines
S malma
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #15  
Old 02-14-2004, 09:49 AM
t_richerzhagen t_richerzhagen is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Deschutes, Ronde, Snake, Walla Walla
Posts: 720
Upper Columbia

For a depleted river, the Salmon had an interesting year for fall steelhead. It was averaging 20 minutes a fish for one census.

The dams have a big negative imact on the Columbia and Snake. In spite of that 2000 was a record return. The ocean and snowpack also have a lot to do with survival. We often try to get too simple about complex issues.

The Columbia must have been something to fish with an estimated 20 million salmonids returning prior to netting and canneries and dams and deforestation and dewatering.

I'm all for more C&R and since I fish mostly in Eastern Washington and Oregon I have not killed a wild steelhead in 20 + years.
__________________
Ted
Speyclave Contributor

Practice is about increasing your repertoire of ways to recover from your mistakes. Joann C. Gutin
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:
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
Tuffleye alternative to epoxy... Penguin >> Archive: Striper (etc) Flies 23 03-06-2008 10:15 PM
An alternative to Turkey JusBones Fitness & Favorite Recipes 0 11-24-2005 10:14 AM
Alternative methods Morania Worldwide Flyfishing Discussion 1 12-30-2004 12:02 AM
Fanny Pack Alternative MarkDoogue Gear Talk - Fly Stuff Spoken Here 8 03-11-2001 04:51 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:51 AM.



Copyright Flyfishingforum.com (All Rights Reserved)