Forks fights to keep killing wild steelhead - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 04-13-2004, 04:55 PM
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jjohnson jjohnson is offline
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Forks fights to keep killing wild steelhead

I just found this out today. I have cancelled my trip to Forks this weekend. They don't want my kind out there. The Chamber of Commerce lied to me when they told me they weren't going to fight it. Not sitting to well with me right now.


Late Friday, the City of Forks’ petition, requesting that WAC 232-12-619 be amended to allow for the retention of wild steelhead, was filed with the Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and also the Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The petition was filed by the City of Forks, Mayor Nedra Reed and Dan Leinan as petitioners and had the support of the Forks Chamber of Commerce, the King County Sports Council and the Cowlitz Plan for Restoration-Fish. Other individuals who supported the petition include John Kelly, Bob Reid, Prof. Steve Mathews (Ret.) and Ruby Swagerty.

The petition was filed under the Washington Administrative Procedures Act. It requests the department and the commission to consider amending the sports fishing rules for 2004-05, as well as any rule associated with the 2005-06 rule period, to reverse the recently adopted moratorium on the retention of wild steelhead. The moratorium was adopted on 6 Feb 2004 as part of the Wildlife Commission’s revision to the state’s sport fishing rules. Those rules were published in the state register on 7 April 2004 and will take effect on 1 May 2004. The winter wild steelhead season ends in late April for the rivers in and about Forks.
We informed the commission and the department that if the moratorium was not rescinded that we would utilize the means available to us to have it rescinded, noted Mayor Reed. We met with members of the department and the commission in early March, and while the start date of the moratorium was modified, the moratorium itself was not repealed. As a result, we have filed a petition asking that the harvest rules for wild steelhead be amended to read as they did in 2003-2004. We have six months before the start of the next winter wild steelhead season – so now is the time to truly assess the issue of wild steelhead management on the Olympic Peninsula.
Our petition addresses the issue of whether or not it can be demonstrated that the adopted rule was substantially different from that which was proposed in the written notice, continued Reed. I believe that we clearly demonstrated that difference in the petition we submitted on Friday.
Under the Washington Administrative Procedures Act, the commission has sixty days to respond to the city’s petition. As to next steps, we must wait for a determination of the department and/or the commission as to whether or not the proposal we put forward will be subject to rule making, Reed said. If our petition is denied, we may end up in the court room. My hope, however, is that the commission and the department will decide to open the issue of wild steelhead retention to a thorough public rule making process. We now just have to wait and see.
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Old 04-13-2004, 05:43 PM
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sinktip sinktip is offline
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I would like to say I am surprised but I am not. It is too bad that the Forks contingent does not see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but on some level, I can understand why they don't. It is hard to separate the elitist dogma and the fear of the tribes from the data. Regardless of how it turns out, the case has been made for the moratorium and the data firmly supports it. When the data on the additional rivers is added, it will only make the case stronger. Of course it is in the political realm now so facts don't have the same value.

Keeping fingers crossed.
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Old 04-13-2004, 07:32 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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This action by Forks City Council doesn't surprise me either. There are a lot of folks in the Forks area who are still very angry at the lack of opportunity for logging since 1990, which they blame on outsiders and not on the huge amount of timber that was cut and sent to Korea, Singapore, and Japan in the 80's. And as a result, they get angry anytime they see a regulation that they do not agree with being put into place. Many of them are afraid the tribe will take the fish that are released, despite the tribe not netting upstream in the places most folks fish.

I view their action as politically driven because they are afraid they will not get re-elected if they don't. I also see it as their way of telling the state (read outsiders) that the people living in the Forks area should be the ones deciding the issue for "their rivers".

We have to remember that just because it has been filed and the commission has 60 days to respond, it doesn't mean they will get their way.
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Old 04-14-2004, 12:36 AM
Nailknot Nailknot is offline
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Let em give it a shot.

Posting my response to similar thread on another board:

OK, let the Forks City Council fight it. That's what the system is all about. I'm not sure I'm behind the blanket reg approach anyway; I believe we should look at individual river systems for harvest/sport/tribe. WSC, and all of us, have things to learn from this case.

That aside, if Forks looses this, its done. As it is, its done. The entire history of Forks has been defined by state and federal "welfare" both direct, and indirect in the form of commercial logging and fishing, on public land. While Forks decides to go Fallujah on the "city folk ruining their life" the true public spirit and sportsman's hearts should win the day. Without support of tax dollars from Pugetopolis and the Feds, without our concern and spending, the Forks economy would last... two weeks? Of course with the poaching of our public lands and waters they might eat for a couple years. Forks needs outsiders to help them along, such is their history. Maybe we can help them build some business on steelhead fishing going forward. Lord knows they need all the help they can get, and I'll throw in my dollars direct (without grudge for my tax dollars they already disproportionately take), by visiting and fishing. If it happens the rivers go bad, you can bet I'll put my energy into shutting them right down, all down, all the time, and let the welfare locals get what they want- more welfare, and less city folk.
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Old 04-14-2004, 12:42 AM
roballen2 roballen2 is offline
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So basically Forks wants wild steelhead kill no matter what the rest of the state wants? kinda self centered aren't they??

Next time i go to forks i am gonna ask every business i belong to if they are a member of the chamber of commerce if they say yes I will leave without spending a dime and tell them exactly why.

Anyone who harvests a wild steelhead anywhere in the world legal or not is a selfish idiotic person. period
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Old 04-14-2004, 09:42 AM
OC OC is offline
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I guess everyone must make up their own mind on how they will react to Forks.

Yes Forks is politically driven by a few with vested interests. Those few are the families of Forks who have controled the town from the begining. I will not name names but those who know Forks know who I'm talking about. I've lived in towns this small and just about as poor as Forks and that is how things are done.

Talking with a commission member last night the feeling was that if it went to court, Forks would loose. My feeling is that is true but my feeling is also that we are going to loose this one by way too many threats and pressure put on the commission by upper state elected officials. Most of us know who that is and he has done it before.

Thank you Nailknot I think you summed it up perfectly. When I'm in town I will still spend my money there. How are we ever going to convince the regular folks of Forks the moratorium will be good for Forks.

Which brings up the next question. Is the moratorium a good thing anyway. Moratorium or no moratorium the wild fish on the OP are going to continue to crash. Kind of a political catch 22 for down the road away. Which side in this debate is going to say, I TOLD YOU SO!

There are many new openings coming up on the commission and we need to fight that battle now. That is one place our future will be.
We as fairly new actavists must learn and quickly that we need to fight at the next level and be good at it. We need to be in the back rooms of our state elected officials just like everyone else is.
Forks is just a small town that is a pain in the butt for this state. We tried to help them and we are getting thumped for doing so. WE have walked softly and tried to do everything by the book on this issue, I'm proud of those who worked so hard on it. But we are going to have to learn to carry that big stick in the right hand as a counter weight if we are going to get anywhere.
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Old 04-14-2004, 10:50 AM
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JDJones JDJones is offline
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Dirty politics

As if there were any other kind.

I've fought for unpopular causes before. Why is it that the although "other side" never plays fair and uses all the underhanded tricks in the book, "we" always have to play by the rules?

Anyone even running for re- election, should first be made incapabable of reproducing.
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Old 04-14-2004, 03:16 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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You are absolutely right on about the need for sportsman who care about the resource to get active now and not later regarding the commission appointments. You are also right about the need for those who care about having a healthy resource in the future to use the big stick when necessary. It is foolishness to keep quiet and allow the vocal minority to get its way. Leadership always requires one to take a stand and then act!
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Old 04-14-2004, 06:33 PM
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Brian Simonseth Brian Simonseth is offline
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Thumbs down Forks

I agree with JJ
I for one had trips planed to go over there.
Not now!


Real Steelhead Don't Eat Pellets!!
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Old 04-14-2004, 07:43 PM
KerryS KerryS is offline
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I said this before. This is the city council of Forks. Who cares? I don't. If, as some have said, the moratorium was done in a legal manor what does it matter if the Forks' city council files a petition? I have gone to a couple of my town's council meetings and I found them interesting and at times entertaining. I know this much if my town's city council were to get involved with the politics of fish management I would be upset and tell them so. They do not have the expertise to do so and in my opinion they should stick to garbage rates and bike paths. These are things they are good at working on.

One more thing. If I had a fishing trip planned to the Forks area I would certainly go. I would eat in the resturants and buy gas at the gas stations. I would not change a thing. I would not give anybody any crap or push my ideals of fish management on them in any way. I would fish and release what I caught. Assumming I did indeed catch something to release.
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Old 04-14-2004, 07:54 PM
beau purvis beau purvis is offline
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I am so sick of this trend. 45-50 yrs of mismanaging a resource. so afraid that one too many steelhead or salmon will be"wasted";one escapee that could have been harvested. my entire life washington has not erred on that side for even one complete life cycle.I have been reading Steelhead Fly Fishing on the olympic peninsula by Doug Rose{ Amato Publishing].I grew up in that general area[Hood Canal,between Seabeck & Bangor].I knew it was special,but I did not fully realize how special until I read some facts in the book.Think what that resource area would be if we ever had managed it for maximum sustained runs rather than maximum sustained harvest.People would come from around the world to experience the magnicence.The politicians have never gotten it in that state!!So sad!!Beau
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Old 04-15-2004, 12:01 AM
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JDJones JDJones is offline
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People would come from around the world

People indeed have come from around the world. Four or five years ago I made the trip up there from Southern Ca. Out of a two week trip, I got to fish two days with Bob Pigott. While I was there, a fellow from Germany was staying at the same camp ground/cabins. Hungry Bear or something like that. He had come half way around the world to fish for those Sol Duc Steelies.
I fish because the voices in my head tell me to
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Old 04-16-2004, 02:49 AM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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The Hungry Bear, home of the 1 pound hamburger with fries. Used to be around $6.00 for it. Plenty of food to feed to hungry fisherman. And then you can simply walk, er stumble down the bank to the Sol Duc and fish, that is if you can move after eating that huge Burger!
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