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  #1  
Old 12-08-2002, 10:04 PM
DEERHAAWK DEERHAAWK is offline
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A Question, A Voice

Good day,
I have finished reading, and re-reading all of the posts and responses in the Wild Stealhead Coalition's Open Forum of the past month. I would encourage all, who have not done so allready, to visit this part of FFF, read these threads, and make it a regular stop! The voices here and oppinions raised effect all of those who seek finned quary by rod and line.
I will then, pose a question to you simply, as a collective group. I would further ask that all the readership respond. If you only visit this site on a spotty basis and come across this thread in a month or so, respond still! I will collect data for a while.
The question stands....
If you had a choice, without incumberances, to angle for Wild Native fish, or Hatchery fish, what would your choice be?
I remain, in a lab coat with a clipboard....
Deerhawk
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2002, 12:44 AM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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Hatchery.

fae
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2002, 01:10 AM
Bob Pauli Bob Pauli is offline
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Is this a trick question?
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2002, 01:33 AM
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NrthFrk16 NrthFrk16 is offline
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Wild!

I am curious as to Fred's reply...very surprising!
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2002, 05:47 AM
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juro juro is offline
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I would sacrifice encounters with all hatchery fish for the rest of my life for the assurance that we are doing right by native steelhead.
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2002, 07:35 AM
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pmflyfisher pmflyfisher is offline
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If only one it would be wild, thankfully the primary rivers I fish in Michigan are all wild.

But I would take either.

Fred, likes the hatcheries probably since there are more of them, they are easier to catch, and occassionally can place one the grill I suspect.
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Old 12-09-2002, 08:52 AM
Moonlight Moonlight is offline
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"without incumberances"

Boy that sounds pretty ominus I am so use to approaching my steelhead fishing with extreme limitations of ethical self imposed gear and access restrictions I would find it strange to be un-incumbered!
Non the less I will respond that I would choose to fish for the Wild fish over any hatchery fish. Actually this is almost for me the way of the world at present, as I very rarely find myself surrounded by fin clipped fish, an avoidance that has alot to do with avoiding people and the places where most of the fish are.
Hope you get some diversity of opinion in your responses, I know I see an awful lot of folks crwded around the areas of high plant (hatchery) numbers, so there are lots folks who like them.
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Old 12-09-2002, 11:52 AM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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Hal's correct on the comment below.

"Fred, likes the hatcheries probably since there are more of them, they are easier to catch, and occassionally can place one the grill I suspect."

It's been interesting the past three years on hook-ups/released fish. In 2000, 2001 and up until about a month ago 95%++ of the fish I've hooked have all been natives (unclipped fish). This past month has seen quite a bit of BBQ time. "A good thing" Joan says.

fae
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2002, 12:05 PM
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I guess the question is to me why not take hatchery steelhead if that is your inclination. Thats what they are planted for, angler sport harvest. Wild ones though must all go back IMHO.

With the PCBs in the great lakes fish, I decided to stop eating them in the early 1980s. Now just about all are released since I also do not want to clean them and drive 2-4 hours home with them im my car. Wife and boys do not like fish, I do but mostly saltwater fishs.

Last edited by pmflyfisher; 12-09-2002 at 12:07 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2002, 12:09 PM
OC OC is offline
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Question

As far as I know the WSC has not come out one way or another as yet on hatchery reform or the removal of hatcheries. But as scientific information keeps coming in that says hatcheries maybe playing a large role in keeping wild populations from making a strong come back the chances are that many conservation groups throughout the Pacific Northwest and BC will support reform and elimination of hatcheries. I would hope thet the WSC will debate this issue among it's entire membership before it comes down to any official statement. As a member of the WSC I will support whatever their statement will be as long as it has been fully debated at meetings and through membership e-mail.

I'm glad Deerhaawk brought this subject up and hope as he does that all who care about wild steelhead will put their 2 cents worth in and also keep an open mind to all thought in this matter. We are about to enter a new political arena as far as steelhead are concerned. There are many powerful groups who will forever be against hatchery reform or hatchery removal such as most Native American Tribes, Commercial Fishing Industry and more than likely the State of Washington to name a few. If folks thought the C&R issue last year was noisey wait for this one to get going.

I for one have not made up my mind as yet and unless someone has some real and hard info one way or another then maybe we should all be open minded. Remember that some hatcheries are the law like it or not.

Should this subject go over to the steelhead section? But please do not put it in the WSC section without their permission.
OC
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  #11  
Old 12-09-2002, 12:19 PM
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sinktip sinktip is offline
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Deerhawk,

I almost missed this thread. Thanks OC!

Great question and I think it could lead to some good dialogue.

My answer is an unequivocal wild fish vote. From a fishing point of view, I am convinced that wild fish respond to a fly much better. While I routinely fish over 7-10 times more winter hatchery fish than I do wild, my catch records show over 8 wild fish to hand for every hatchery fish. For summer fish the numbers are close to 50/50 even though there are 3-4 times more factory fish in the river.

From a conservation standpoint, it just makes sense to focus on saving what wild runs we have. Hatchery supplementation has not and will not work to return stocks to self sustaining levels. Continueing to flood the rivers with hatchery smolts will not work to rebuild stocks. And while it does work to provide fishing opportunities, particularly at terminal areas, the evidence is pretty clear that this benefit comes with a huge cost to wild runs.

I think the next year or so will see a hard examination of hatchery practices at all levels. I have heard that internally, this has already begun at WDFW. The WSC and the rest of its partners, through the Steelhead Summit process will be tackling this as well. While it may be unreasonable to expect all hatcheries to close throughout the Northwest, my guess is you will see radical changes in the way they operate and even what river systems they are allowed on in the future.

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  #12  
Old 12-09-2002, 05:04 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Unequivocally I would rather fish over and catch wild stelhead. Like sinktip, most of the steelhead I have caught over the last 12 years of living in Washington and fishing for steelhead have been wild fish. In fact, the first steelhead I caught was a wild summer run on the Sol Duc river the first fall I was in the state and the first year I was fishing for steelhead.

OC,

Like you I feel that there are big changes coming for the hatcheries in Washington. I personally would like to see some hatchery supplimentation of wild fish through the use of wild fish in the hatchery in order to speed the process of re-establishing the runs to decent nembers.

Last edited by flytyer; 12-09-2002 at 10:19 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-09-2002, 06:58 PM
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FrenchCreek FrenchCreek is offline
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Without a doubt - Wild!
However, I will not turn my nose up on a hatchery fish
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2002, 08:20 PM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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Ok, more of my .02 cents worth on this subject.

I agree, given a choice between 'wild vs. hatchery' fish. But consider for a moment we're driving this fellows into the ground. Loving them to death.

Hatchery fish, like planted trout in a lake, are 'put and take.' For what ever combination of reasons we're "loving" these fish to death. Choice: remove hatchery fish from some river systems and close them to all fishing. Period. No not just a bit: Period. Let the runs rebuild for 4 or 5 generations and hope nature will take its course.

Choose some river systems and throw away the book: plant the shi. out of them and kill them all. Wipe out everything .... and then start again.

Someone in an earlier post mentioned planted fish should come from the rivers 'normal' wild boodstock. Sweet J., this makes so much sense the idea will be tossed out, out of hand.

Sad, very sad, but .... ah, hell you all know the rest. "If you love something free, set it free. If it doesn't come back hunt in down and kill it ...." or something (worse) to that effect. Simple math says we're way over fishing what the sea/rivers can support. End of rant.

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  #15  
Old 12-10-2002, 09:38 AM
OC OC is offline
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Some here have brought up taking wild fish native to a certain river and doing the hatchery thing with them and releasing the smolts into their natural river. Would this not be the brood stock program? My question then is. What if it is not as much genetics that make hatchery fish fail but the social factor of being reared in a hatchery that makes this fish fail. Would it be wise to take wild native fish from it's river so it's young can be raised as concrete bumping par to smolts who have had a life of noon time feeding habits from pellet machines and have not had the chance to enjoy the dangers that mother nature intentionally puts forth from the time of conception.

Like Fred said, I'm also willing to remove a hatchery from a river that still has a native fish population and shut it down to all fishing and see what happens if the evidence continues to come in from independent research scientists that hatchery fish are a major factor in the decline of native fish. But the brood stock program could be a foolish venture to the point of depleting a rivers wild fish even more if it is the hatchery that is causing the biggest problem. More study needs to be done and I hope all are excited as I am about the research that is begining to take place.
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