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Jump Starting Rivers Ourselves

1671 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  skookum
While sitting around a fire with a bunch of fishermen at Seiku this weekend, we started talking about a guy that is personally restoring a creek down in Oregon with wild steelhead. He also bought most of the property the creek is on.

If we look at the Schneider Creek Project ran by the Guide's Association out on the Peninsula, it is very successful. (If you don't know about it, a bunch of local guides take the biggest and brightest Sol Duc wild steelhead and naturally broodstock them, I've caught two of em and man, were they a riot).

So why don't we do that? I'd rather spend my time and energy doing something like than trying to fight a losing legal battle.

If we wait for the government to jump start dying runs it could take FOREVER...
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I personnally cant afford to buy the Skagit, maybe you can.. can I come fish on your river?
We don't buy the river silly....

We have someone that lives on it help us out. And I know a ton of people that wouldn't mind doing it.

Wouldn't that be fun putting some of those big uns in a tube and than breeding a master race of steelhead?

Especially them Sauk monsters...
sooo, we are going to create this master race of steelhead, isn't that what the state of Washington did with the Skamania hatchery? I think it has been proven often enough that hatcheries are not the answer, habitat is the key. Until we can get the timber companies and the forest service to join our side, I think the future is grim.
With all due respect to all who feel they can play with genetics, I do admire the intentions but I am a believer that only mother nature knows what's best and our job is to take give her enough room to do her magic. Everytime we bioengineer something we are just not smart enough to compute all the variables and find out when it's too late.

Now something simple like letting water flow free or reducing the amount of silt that erodes into a spawning area or enacting laws to stop killing natives - we can handle that. If we do our part, nature will do the rest. But genetic manipulations are a little out of our reach although we humans do like to play with fire.

I agree with Juro--it's humankind's arrogance in thinking that we can do better than nature that has screwed up so much. We figured if the natural numbers of fish were good, why not get more by allowing all the eggs to hatch and all the fry to smolt and all the smolts grow big and fast...only we forgot how important natural selection is, and the result was huge numbers of big, slow, stupid smolts that could barely survive within a few generations. Turns out, nature's limiting factors were important to the health of all species, but we're learning it a bit late with fish, and apparantly not at all when you look at all the genetic engineering, gene splicing, etc that's going on in agriculture today. I know, we'll make better tomatoes, just like we made better steelhead! We'll give 'em a gene so that frost doesn't get 'em, and one so bugs don't like 'em, and better yet (this next part is actually a reality, at least for soybeans at this point, courtesy of Monsanto, the good folks who brought you Roundup), a gene that makes plants resistant to Roundup, so you don't have to be careful and can just dump the pesticide/herbicide over the entire countryside, and all the other unwanted "weeds" will disappear. Then we can eat the tomatoes.
Okay, I'm getting carried away here, but I really believe we need to stick with spending our energy on habitat, water quality, dams, and harvest issues so that nature can take care of itself at optimum levels. While the Snyder Creek concept is certainly attractive to me from a short term gain and angling standpoint, any talk of doing "better" than nature makes me nervous. Just my opinion.
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