Conservation

Where do we draw the line?

This is an important article written by Bob Triggs regarding the wild steelhead fishery that I love on the Olympic Peninsula. We may not have it for much longer…

Please read and share your thoughts:

Click here

Thank you, Bob, and everyone who takes the time to read what he has to say.

I am curious to hear what other people think about this issue.

8 replies »

  1. I’ll contribute an expanded version of the comment I posted on the WSC page: I applaud Bob on taking a stand and removing himself from what he believes is a negative equation. This is an important issue and I’m glad it’s being discussed.

    But sportfishing closures on the OP are absolutely not going to change the paradigm out there. And they’re not going to significantly improve wild steelhead returns in the face of so many other negative factors.

    It’s just one less thoughtful fly guy on rivers choked with gillnets and guides whose boats (via new clients) can still harvest two or three wild fish a day, everyday, if the guide allows it.

    I work on public policy issues everyday. What I continually find is people care about things they can experience and relate to in their communities, whatever those might be. In the case of wild steelhead, that means seeing them, touching them, understanding how they fit into their notion of place, environment and ecosystem, and then letting them swim away.

    Every time a conservation-oriented guide like Bob teaches a new angler about wild steelhead, and the importance of C & R, careful handling, protecting their returns and preserving their habitat, wild steelhead gain a new ally.

    The impacts of that ally might be nothing. Or they might be the next WDFW or BIA commission chair.

    Shutting down OP wild steelhead angling opportunities in a state that has already almost eliminated them this time of year is only going to help the other players in the big picture; the gillnets, the land developers and the logging and energy companies.

    There are a lot of other battles to fight for wild steelhead on the OP (staggered netting schedules, hatchery reform, increased spawning trib protection outside the National Park, better handling practices among some guides and mandatory C & R of all wild steelhead in WA) before we anglers should be fighting ourselves and trying to shut sportfishing down.

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    • Thank you for sharing. I agree. It’s definitely a bigger issue than just the sport fishery. I do think, it makes it harder for me to want to fish some of my favorite spots out there though when I read the reports of how little fish are coming back. As someone who strongly follows proper C & R practices and never feels it is ok to keep a wild fish, it’s sad that I can’t fish there anymore without feeling guilty.

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  2. His blog post is full of factually incorrect information.

    The Hoh River summer closure saved zero chinook as backcountry anglers who catch zero chinook were used as political pawns to attempt to close the lower river. There would have been no “Go-Pro gloating” and diminishing the impact hatchery summer steelhead have on the remnant wild runs shows shows even more ignorance. He chose to attack those who fought the closure instead of learning the facts. Some of us involved actually spent time talking to the biologists about the issues on the Hoh and what he presents is just pure unadulterated crap.

    There have also been numerous regulation changes since the Puget Sound rivers have closed. A smaller yearly limit, no retention before February 16th, and the closure of the Snider Creek steelhead hatchery being three major accomplishments to protect wild fish. These changes were pushed through by hard working conservation based anglers who deserve more credit than saying nothing has happened to protect wild steelhead in the past ten years.

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  3. well with all the pressure put on the OP lately and everyone blogging, writing, whoring, photographing the place to death drawing crowds to the new cool kid spring break its no wonder bob feels compelled to opt out. wanna protect steelhead. shut up about them unless in a policy meeting or the like. trying to make it look cool and using it as a means for money is retarded. thanks for wrecking my back yard with crowds of folks who haven’t a clue about much.

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    • I agree for the most part. I feel that spreading the information on the OP and the danger the wild steelhead face on those rivers helps to get the word out there to people that would not otherwise know unless they went to the lengths to research it themselves and read the statistics. I don’t agree that everyone is “trying to make it look cool” for a “means for money”. I’m sure there are people out there that are, and that is across the board for every type of fish (gear, fly, bait, etc). I just know that the most important thing people can do is educate themselves on the fishery before getting into it for reasons that may not be good ones, and to also learn how to properly handle fish before going out.

      This is a topic that can be argued until we are blue in the face, but the main thing I feel is wrong across the board and should be changed ASAP, is the right to keep one wild fish per year per angler. That is completely absurd and should be changed– especially since those rivers that allow it on the Olympic Peninsula are some of the most endangered as well as the few left that actually allow it. WE SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO RETAIN WILD STEELHEAD. EVER.

      As someone who volunteers for the Wild Steelhead Coalition, I feel it is my priority to do what I can to share important arguments on behalf of my own beliefs, as well as the organization I support. Thank you for sharing your comments and opinions on this issue.

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  4. agree there lisa on the action part. wild steelhead need advocates like the coalition whom i am a hearty supporter. also in rereadingwhat i wrote i came off quite negative, not the intent. i quite enjoy this blog, i just wish others were as classy with photos and information. the sport industry is killing itself. wild steelhead are being pimped like a cheap commodity which they are not. I’m just sickened by the new pressure out here and lack of tact many anglers take with handling of fish and exploitation of a scarce and precious resource. just a firm believer that the best treasures are those that are secret. unless of course in the policy making forum. i believe we can have less exploitation and still advocate for the cause. i like bob have all but opted out. frustration and confusion abound changing direction on a lifelong passion. tight lines and keep up your work with wsc, i value and appreciate it.

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    • Thanks Rod! I appreciate your comments and expressing your concern. This is why I posted this article on my page, so that people could do just what you did. Thank you for following my blog and for your support of WSC.

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