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Old 05-07-2014, 09:27 AM
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Default Angling Community Frustrated by Steelhead Deal

New article posted on theflyfishingforum.com: Angling Community Frustrated by Steelhead Deal
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: Angling Community Frustrated by Steelhead Deal

So sad and so typical....The experts try to do one thing, and a group that is about "preservation, not conservation" as thay claim, abuses the legal system to force their agenda.....and to top it all off get a pay-day from it! (which is really the point, as many of these sorts of groups are really about generating revenue in the name of a cause).

Now most likely they'll be pushing for fishing closures....naturally due to the reduced Steelhead population of which by the way, if they were so interested in protecting the native population which is well adapted, why would they have an issue for a crop of "ignorant" fish to be stocked for anglers to catch?

Because.....It's not about protecting the fish, but stopping fishing.

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Old 05-07-2014, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: Angling Community Frustrated by Steelhead Deal

As someone who lives right at the confluence of the Skykomish and Snoqualmie, I'm very happy to see this decision.

The groups who pushed for this to happen, believe it or not, want more fish. The reason for this action was because "more fish" is not being achieved by planting Chambers Creek stock steelhead. The science doesn't support their continued use in these systems, period.

I'm especially happy to see them come out of the Skagit. Millions are spent on these Chambers Creek plants every year, and very little angling opportunity comes from it unless you stand, with dozens of others, right in front of the hatchery creek, where they bolt straight to when they enter the river. In the Skagit, the biggest of all these operations, only about 100 or so fish are harvested from these stocks each year the past few years.

Time to try something new.

---------- Post added at 10:01 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:57 AM ----------

And when they say "angling community," that definitely doesn't speak for all of us. The groups that have been working towards making this happen are all composed of anglers as well.

---------- Post added at 10:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:01 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by grtlksmarlin View Post
Because.....It's not about protecting the fish, but stopping fishing.
This entire decision is based on protecting fish. The NATIVE, WILD fish that belong there, not the introduced strains of steelhead they are planting. I see that you're in Michigan, and I can assure you that our fisheries here in WA are much, much different than what you experience, and our management is extremely complex.

Before passing judgment, please look in to more than just this one-sided article.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Angling Community Frustrated by Steelhead Deal

It sounds like the hatcheries will still be releasing hundreds of thousands of fish to Puget streams in 2014 and 2015, just not the early winter strain- and I think the Wild Fish Conservancy makes a pretty compelling argument as to why.

It's partly a numbers game. Wild steelhead runs consist of hundreds or thousands of individuals contributing to the gene pool, while in a hatchery you're typically spawning less than a hundred fish- there's a lot less genetic diversity in the hatchery than in the population. Releasing hundreds of thousands of fish that come from only a few parents can have negative consequences for the species, and part of the Conservancy's lawsuit was just to make sure the hatcheries had a protocol for maintaining the genetic diversity of the run.

Part of the reason hatchery fish are looked down upon is because they're more aggressive than their wild kin- hatchery fish survive by adapting to crowded raceway conditions. Because of their aggressive nature they can interfere with spawning in salmon, steelhead and bull trout by pushing them out of choice spawning sites. It isn't all about genetics and spawning, a big part of the issue is simply differences in behavior between wild and hatchery fish.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Angling Community Frustrated by Steelhead Deal

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Part of the reason hatchery fish are looked down upon is because they're more aggressive than their wild kin- hatchery fish survive by adapting to crowded raceway conditions. Because of their aggressive nature they can interfere with spawning in salmon, steelhead and bull trout by pushing them out of choice spawning sites. It isn't all about genetics and spawning, a big part of the issue is simply differences in behavior between wild and hatchery fish.
It's not so much their aggression. In fact, I'd say wild fish are more aggressive. The problem lies in the smolts that are released in to the river. The hatchery smolts are substantially larger than the wild smolts they interact with in the river due to how they were fed and raised in their concrete tanks. The river is pushed past its biomass capacity, and the larger hatchery smolts out-compete the wild smolts for food in the river while they migrate to the ocean. Once in the ocean, the survival rate of hatchery steelhead is substantially lower than the wild fish. So we lose the wild fish on the way out, then the hatchery fish once they're out there.

Then you have the issue of hatchery/wild genetic integression during spawning. The data suggests that survival rate and fitness of the offspring from wild and hatchery fish spawning is very low.

It's a lose-lose-lose situation with these hatchery winter steelhead. I'm glad to see them gone for now.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Angling Community Frustrated by Steelhead Deal

I'm pretty happy with this decision.

For those of you reading about Puget Sound steelhead for the first time through this article understand that it is a very complex issue.

If you want a deeper understanding beyond one article reporting some people being unhappy that they can't harvest some hatchery fish in some of these rivers go to the Washington Fly Fishing forum and read through the debates in the steelhead forum. It will take you hours upon hours of reading arguments with many links to a great deal of research and information.
There are some very knowledgeable people there and they manage to keep it reasonably civil.

Being educated and informed about the state of wild winter steelhead in Washington requires WAY more in depth reading and discussion than this article even begins to address.
There are no corollaries between this fishery and Great Lakes runs.

My own forays into this world of wild winter steelhead has left my head spinning and the current state of this truly magnificent animal is depressing beyond any other fishery I'm aware of.

In fact it would be pretty silly given the nature of this issue to draw some sort hard stance based on this article.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: Angling Community Frustrated by Steelhead Deal

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There are no corollaries between this fishery and Great Lakes runs.
I make this point often with my peers and others I come across who participate in the Great Lakes fisheries. It turns out that it's an unpopular, faux pas of a thing to say, but it's true. Our fisheries are the same in name only. The word "steelhead" is about the only thing they have in common. The environments, issues, behaviours, etc are worlds apart.

---------- Post added at 11:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:07 AM ----------

Probably the most significant piece of recent literature on this topic:

Salmon, People, and Place: A Biologist's Search for Salmon Recovery: Jim Lichatowich: 9780870717246: Amazon.com: Books Salmon, People, and Place: A Biologist's Search for Salmon Recovery: Jim Lichatowich: 9780870717246: Amazon.com: Books

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: Angling Community Frustrated by Steelhead Deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by evan_aff View Post
I make this point often with my peers and others I come across who participate in the Great Lakes fisheries. It turns out that it's an unpopular, faux pas of a thing to say, but it's true. Our fisheries are the same in name only. The word "steelhead" is about the only thing they have in common. The environments, issues, behaviours, etc are worlds apart.

---------- Post added at 11:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:07 AM ----------

Probably the most significant piece of recent literature on this topic:

Salmon, People, and Place: A Biologist's Search for Salmon Recovery: Jim Lichatowich: 9780870717246: Amazon.com: [email]Books

Click the image to open in full size.
Cool.
I just ordered that, thanks.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Angling Community Frustrated by Steelhead Deal

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Cool.
I just ordered that, thanks.
This film is also incredible. Shane just finished it, and is starting to tour the country for showings. I highly suggest watching it.

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Old 05-07-2014, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Angling Community Frustrated by Steelhead Deal

I have very little to add except that I've read that the cost of a PNW hatchery steelhead is just obscene when you consider the very low numbers of fish that survive. In contrast, the cost per fish of a GL steelhead is much more reasonable. Apparently the survival rate of the GL steelhead has surpassed most everyone's expectation.
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