Back to Court?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Chris Johnson, Jul 10, 2014.

  1. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    100% correct. The Sleeping Lady next door (Bullit owned) and the history of how the Feds acquired the land for this hatchery explain why the WFC keeps litigating this over and over. What a waste of money.
    Don't pick sides or donate money until you understand all the motives.


     
  2. doublespey

    doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

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    WFC - the "Tim Eyman" of fishery conservation. :confused:
     
  3. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Out of curiosity, what would " working with" wdfw mean? How would that work and what would be your goal?
     
  4. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    and destroying rivers is a big source of revenue for WDFW... oh wait whats the WDFW budget look like compared to the money they bring in??? DOH!!!!

    the older I get the more I start to believe that the intelligent thing to do is to shut off more hatcheries.
    the attitudes of a large percentage of anglers who participate in the hatchery river fishing lower the quality of the fishery. Hatcheries do not provide high quality angling. they provide an opportunity for greedy people to display the flaws in their character.


    Hatcheries are a miserable failure on all counts. they do not provide anything of value to society. that cannot be obtained in other ways.

    here is what they provide.

    1. low quality fishing experiences
    2. increased pollution
    3. fights among anglers
    4. a false sense of achievement in fish restoration
    5. a tiny false economy
    6. support for a commercial fishing fleet that should be at the bottom of the ocean
    7. lawsuits because the agencies running them refuse to follow the law.


    salmon and steelhead hatcheries are greed plan and simple nothing more nothing less. The state of Washington would be a better place without them. We could put the money into actually doing something good.
     
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  5. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    what do you consider #1?
     
  6. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    I consider habitat restoration # 1

    Removing barriers to 25 mi. of stream would fall under that category.
     
  7. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    Mt. Rainier will do that one day.. My St Helens did that to the Toutle and it worked perfectly as a steelhead restoration tactic... too bad we allowed greedy people to screw it up.

    the best solution for every wild run is to remove hatcheries from their watersheds. as James Jim Lichatowich said "hatcheries are always a compromise."

    time for us to admit that hatcheries are bad for the state of Washington. Montana did and their fishing is better than ours.

    no hatcheries and no commercial fishing = healthy runs in systems that have enough habitat and better runs than we have now everywhere. not a single wild run in Washington would be damaged by the removal of hatchery fish.
     
  8. Wilken

    Wilken Member

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    Yeah it's bullshit that someone is actually trying to stand up to WDFW and the feds who refuse to follow their own laws while they continue to drive wild fish populations into extinction via overharvest, hatchery production, unchallenged migration barriers and poor habitat management. Look at wild steelhead.... currently sitting at 2-3% of their historic abundance. WDFW's response to that.....what do you mean there's a crisis?...talk to me when it's 0.5% and my head is so far in the sand (or up my asshole) that I can't hear you anymore!

    Yeah.....hatcheries don't harm wild fish, global warming is a hoax and the world is flat. I'm sure Kurt is really scared of the white trash he encounters on the streams near Leavenworth and I'm not talking about worm containers. Thankfully, they are the minority, even on the dry side. Only complete idiots think threats and violence are a solution. Stupid is as stupid does. Some people don't give a crap about facts or being informed or even thinking....as long as there is a hatchery drone on the end of their line or on their BBQ. Shameful but as someone once said....ignorance is bliss.
     
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  9. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    hatcheries artificially inflate #s that allow commercial fishing and gross mismanagement to continue. The reality of empty rivers will sink in fast.

    I would love to see a 10 year ban on commercial fishing and all take fisheries in general. Think about how well the sockeye that are coming up the columbia would fare if we declared this run hands off? How many fish do you think would show up 3 years from now? Kind of boggles the mind, doesnt it? BUT NO, we will likely triple the limits, extend the season over and over, and by the time its all said and done the # of fish that make it to spawn wont be anything spectacular
     
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  10. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    douchebag rednecks dont pay their fines thats why.

    Go on up to the Samish river's "meat hole" sometime and see bareknuckle fightings, stabbings, excessive drinking and multiple death threats all before 6am.
    Same thing with Reiter. Ive seen fights, guns pulled, malicious vandalization of personal property, blatant poaching of natives, as well as poaching of hatchery fish out of the little creek that leads into the hatchery pens.

    Hatcheries concentrate douchebags. PLain and simple. The amount of revenue generated by license sales etc doesnt even all go back to the WDFW, it gets siphoned off into the general fund. Without the MULTI million dollar drain of hatcheries, a lot of that $$ allocation could go to habitat restoration, increased enforcement, community outreach etc ( all job creation BTW which is a good thing)
     
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  11. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    I have no problem with restoring stream habitat for native fish populations. I have no problem with Icicle Creek upstream habitat being restored in the near future. As Curt mentioned, the benefit to steelhead will be minimal as the habitat is marginal for them. Maybe it will be more important to bull trout populations. The best solution is to design and fully fund a hatchery fish collection system that will not impede upstream passage for wild fish.

    However, I have a big problem with how Wild Trout (now WFC) litigates this over and over and over and is wasting tax dollars in court doing so. I also have a big problem with WFC's motivations to repeatedly attack the Leavenworth hatchery over the many others it has to choose from in WA state. Be honest with us Chris. WFC picks on this hatchery repeatedly, because Dorothy Bullit had her land taken away by the Feds in the Depression era to construct the hatchery. The Bullit family is a prime source of funding for WFC. Therefore, WFC will sue the Leavenworth hatchery over other better candidates in order to keep its main financial backer happy. Tax payer money goes to court costs and not to designing and building the solution :(.

    I challenge the WFC to spend its dollars on higher impact stream passage issues, in order to produce a greater positive impact for wild fish populations. Taking a more positive partnership approach (outside of court) would be refreshing as well. Until then, I will not be patting you on the back on your latest court case.


     
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  12. Matt Baerwalde

    Matt Baerwalde ...

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    Not sure you are aware of WFC's full scope of work. They have taken this approach in the past, they are doing this now, and plan to continue to partner with other organizations to address migration barriers, water quality challenges, and other issues affecting wild fish. Just one example (on WDFW land): http://wildfishconservancy.org/proj...storation/cherry-creek-floodplain-restoration
     
  13. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

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    Oh, I get it now. This is WFC acting as Dorothy Bullitt's proxy to exact revenge on the federal government for an unlawful taking of her family's land 70+ years ago. Makes perfect sense now.

    In other news, those black helicopters you occasionally see hovering over the Wenatchee Valley are the UN on reconnaissance missions in advance of the impending takeover of the US.
     
  14. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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  15. Wilken

    Wilken Member

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    Salmo g. First you say that restoring access won't give a significant boost to wild fish productivity, then you admit, it might for steelhead. Might? How many high gradient, cold, nutrient-poor small streams with steelhead juveniles in them do you have to see to believe this is a certainty? For some reason I thought you were a fish biologist. Steelhead are experts at finding holding habitat until the snowmelt drops. They have been doing it for thousands of years including rivers like the Icicle and the Icicle itself. Some move downstream, some stay close to where they emerged and wait, both are successful strategies that vary in terms of productivity depending on the conditions over the period of residency and the number and size of other fish competing for the same habitats.

    Oh, and by the way, anyone who says that Icicle Creek is marginal rearing habitat for steelhead, doesn't know shit about the spectrum of habitats in which wild steelhead can successfully rear. Is it ideal...no. But I guarantee you, before Europeans showed up, there was a thriving population of wild steelhead in Icicle that would make today's wild steelhead fisheries look like a joke. And what about bull trout? Although they are already in the habitats above the blockage, will they not benefit from the nutrients and food that the wild fish will provide or the ability to move downstream and then back upstream as their preferred locations change with flow and temperature levels? Oh that's right, not many people fish for them or eat them so who cares? They are only listed because hippys don't want you to fish right? I've heard it all before.

    Dimebrite. You are obviously very unfamiliar with WFC's work. Are you aware of the lawsuit challenging the co-managers to protect Puget Sound wild steelhead from hatchery practices? Hopefully that lawsuit will keep the co-managers from dumping hatchery steelhead in the newly accessible habitats above the two removed dams on the Elwah? Is that a low hanging fruit or a low impact stream passage issue? Many years ago, the folks at WFC worked with WDFW and were given assurances the state would develop responsible plans to manage hatcheries in ways that protected wild fish populations. WFC agreed to let WDFW develop the plans without interference from suits. Ten years later, after many WDFW foot dragging excercises, the listing of Puget Sound steelhead as threatened, excuse after excuse and many, many unkept promises from WDFW, the WFC folks lost patience and sued to protect wild Puget Sound steelhead populations from the impacts from hatcheries. Hopefully this will improve the future potential for wild steelhead populations in the Sound and help avoid the current trajectory to extinction. You should look at the historic population etimates for Puget Sound steelhead populations if you don't believe there are major problems that need to be dealt with NOW. Hatcheries are just one of those problems but a great place to culture change via lawsuits.

    So who is trying to work for the fish? The state? Give me a friggin' break! They have shown that if you don't sue, they will ignore, undermine and backstab until the wild fish are memories in photo albums. Just look at the Hoh...the escapements keep getting worse, people can still kill wild fish and the state's solution will be to lower the escapement goals so they will appear to be successful. Geez, talk about cynical! The lawsuit and only the lawsuit forced the state and the tribal co-managers to reconsider their position (which was extremely irresponsible and neglectful) and now it looks like we will have some wild fish reserves so wild steelhead might recover.... at least in some basins in Puget Sound. Absolutely would not have happened if WFC hadn't sued!!!!!! Of course there are still plenty of other problems to deal with and hopefully the co-managers have learned to listen and act so further lawsuits can be avoided.

    The state and their co-managers also tried this in the Columbia (creating wild fish reserves in which hatchery plants are not allowed) and then they cynically maintained hatchery production levels and dumped all the extra hatchery fish in the remaining streams that weren't on the moratorium list. No consideration of carrying capacity, no consideration for the wild fish that were in the streams where they dumped. Just, hey we checked the box, protected ourselves from lawsuits and now, in the remaining streams, we can continue with business as usual, as if there were no problems to begin with.

    Genius! If lawsuits are what it takes to protect wild fish populations from brain numbing bureaucracy and ignorant fisherman then I say sue, sue sue til the litigation is won!
     
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  16. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Wilken posted, "Look at wild steelhead.... currently sitting at 2-3% of their historic abundance."

    OK, let's say hypothetically that all hatcheries are shut down today, statewide. And to sweeten the deal, no recreational, commercial, or treaty fishing of any kind for the next 10 years. Now, it's the year 2024; what % of their historical abundance are wild steelhead at 10 years from now, presumably as a result of these measures? Do you think abundance would increase to even 4% of historical? I'm not really a betting man, but, wanna' bet?

    I didn't criticize WFC in this thread because I'm opposed to conservation. I criticize them because they initiate actions that have popular emotional conservation fund-raising appeal, rather than actions that would actually achieve meaningful, measurable conservation.

    Stilly Stalker posted, "hatcheries artificially inflate #s that allow commercial fishing and gross mismanagement to continue."

    The first part of your statement is absolutely correct. The purpose of state run hatcheries is to enhance fishing. Did you know that WDFW is under a Legislative mandate to provide and enhance recreational and commercial fishing? Is it gross mismanagement when WDFW does what the Legislature, by law, orders it to do? If so, then is actually the WA Legislature that is guilty of mismanagement? And for the sake of clarity, just what is this mismanagement that you speak of?

    Stilly Stalker also posted, " The amount of revenue generated by license sales etc doesnt even all go back to the WDFW, it gets siphoned off into the general fund. Without the MULTI million dollar drain of hatcheries, a lot of that $$ allocation could go to habitat restoration, increased enforcement, community outreach etc"

    WDFW funding is slightly complicated, in part because WDFW is the merger of the old WDF and WDW, and WDW was the former WDG. The old WDG was largely self supporting via user fees from hunting and fishing licenses. All that revenue went to WDG. When WDG became WDW, it received partial funding from the state General Fund, and all traditional license fees still went to WDW. The old WDF was never self supporting. In fact there was no fishing license requirement required for recreational salmon or "food fish" species fishing, and salmon punch cards were free. The old WDF was funded via the state General Fund. Eventually WDF began charging a small fee, like $2 for a salmon punch card, and the money went into the General Fund.

    WDF and WDW merged into the WDFW in 1996. Funding comes from a combination of license and other fees plus the state general fund. The idea at the time was to fund the merged agency in roughly the same proportions of user fees and General Fund components. I don't know how closely it has stayed to this. I think it's impossible to analyze because a lot of the funding schemes have changed, and new fees have been added for shellfish, crabs, even seaweed collection. The upshot is that the agency is funded by both user fees and General Fund monies. So how is it that the revenue generated is "siphoned off" into the General Fund, which always was the main funding source to WDF?

    Hatcheries are definitely a multi-million $$ cost. I'm not sure I'd call it a drain. Given the way that a pluralistic society works, hatcheries seem to be what the people want. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, only that it's an expression of what the majority wants. It's often been said that money could be spent of habitat restoration, which truly is an alternative. But would it be an effective one? Even with today's generally lousy smolt to adult survival rates, a million dollars of hatchery expenditure returns far more than a million dollars of habitat restoration. I think one thing most people do not understand is that habitat restoration produces a very high, positive, and popular emotional response, and a very low ecological improvement in fish abundance and habitat productivity and carrying capacity. It's almost easier for me to measure how much better people feel about habitat restoration than it is for me to measure how large an increase in fish production occurs as a result of it. Don't get me wrong, I very much favor habitat restoration when and where it can make functional ecological differences. But the actual benefits do not measure up to the popular hype. Sorry, but life in the real world can be a bitch.

    Everybody wants increased enforcement. Well everybody that posts on fishing forums does, it seems. In real life, when the WDFW budget is cut, LE generally takes a larger proportionate hit. Why? Because people don't like fishing violation citations. And people, through their Legislature, tell WDFW that fishing violations are not serious crimes anyway. So fish and wildlife enforcement takes a reduction. If memory serves, (not that I'm that old) there were more fish and game enforcement officers in WA state in the late 1930s than there are today, with nearly 4 times the human population. Want more LE? Tell your state legislator.

    Sg
     
  17. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    The mismanagement is allowing non sustainable harvest to continue. Mismanagement is continually depressing escapement goals so that the ever dwindling stocks look less pathetic than they actually are.

    Mismanagement is not managing the resource in general in a way that perpetuates its best interest long term. WDFW IS under a mandate to enhance recreational and commercial opportunities. Recreational opportunities can be CNR on native stocks, instead of hatchery fish kills. Nobody said that enhanced recreational fishing means hatcheries. In fact, Montana wild trout is a pretty damn good example of what happens when you manage for wild and not hatchery fish.

    Enhanced commercial fishing opportunities can mean managing so that the commercial fishermen of today can pass their boat down to their children because there are still fish left to fish for. NOBODY said you have to manage for maximum take, minimum escapement, which is what WDFW manages for now. Why the hell arent we managing for MINIMUM HARVEST, MAXIMUM ESCAPEMENT? Why do we continually depress our escapement goals? If the WDFW and the co managers were really interested in managing for the long term, we would see an INCREASING escapement goal every year as the population stabilized along with stabilized habitat. PROPER commercial management means limiting net days for our co-managers until a higher % of the necessary escapement is upstream of the netting zone. PROPER commercial management means recognizing that sometimes it takes short term closures to ensure we have a long term opportunity, and not caving to lobbyist pressure when the commercial fishermen complain that they cant fish. Those fishermen should be the MOST pissed that there arent enough fish out there. How about instead of funding failing hatcheries, relying on volunteers to feed fish etc, contracting Kelly services to hire people to clip adipose fins for $9 an hour, we subsidize commercial fishermen to keep them afloat while we minimize commercial harvest of a fragile resource? How about we take all that money that goes into hatcheries, unskilled labor through kelly services, etc etc and put it toward habitat restoration? Ensuring an increase in recreational AND commercial opportunities?

    Question for you? Does the money generated by hunting and fishing licenses, seized equipment auctions, etc that WDFW generates exceed or fall short of the $ it gets from the general fund? I was under the impression that the $ generated BY the WDFW was more than what it received in funding from the WDFW. If that # is reversed, I retract my statement
     
  18. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Wilken posted:
    "Salmo g. First you say that restoring access won't give a significant boost to wild fish productivity, then you admit, it might for steelhead."

    I think you misunderstood me. The area upstream of the hatchery migration barrier would likely be more productive for steelhead than for spring chinook, but productivity is and would continue to be low for all species. The reason is because it is steep gradient, cold, and nutrient poor. There is nothing wrong with that, but the resulting increase in overall productivity would likely be barely measurable. I'm not against making these improvements. I think it should be done and is long overdue. However I rank it low on the overall priority list of beneficial actions when one measures the return on per dollar invested.

    "Might? How many high gradient, cold, nutrient-poor small streams with steelhead juveniles in them do you have to see to believe this is a certainty? For some reason I thought you were a fish biologist. Steelhead are experts at finding holding habitat until the snowmelt drops. They have been doing it for thousands of years including rivers like the Icicle and the Icicle itself. Some move downstream, some stay close to where they emerged and wait, both are successful strategies that vary in terms of productivity depending on the conditions over the period of residency and the number and size of other fish competing for the same habitats."

    Steelhead can and do reproduce in habitat that that section of Icicle Creek. They just don't do it in large numbers. The reason is because that kind of habitat is of low productivity. I am a biologist, and I learned along the way that not every square meter of fish habitat is equal in its productivity or its carrying capacity. The differences are very important in terms of population productivity, capacity, and diversity. Juvenile steelhead are habitat generalists (call them experts if you want), but one thing they all require during their first few weeks following emergence from the gravel is shallow, slow velocity habitat. When juvenile steelhead emerge in upper Icicle Creek in July, the kind of habitat required by emergent steelhead is in short supply. If the fry population is large, most of them will be washed downstream, where they will have to compete with other fry that emerged nearer those alternative habitat units. If they don't find suitable fry colonization habitat they die within about two weeks. Even though they have been doing it for thousands of years. The successful strategy belongs to the fry that quickly find, occupy, and defend suitable habitat. And avoid predation. That is the name of the game for wild steelhead.

    "Oh, and by the way, anyone who says that Icicle Creek is marginal rearing habitat for steelhead, doesn't know shit about the spectrum of habitats in which wild steelhead can successfully rear. Is it ideal...no. But I guarantee you, before Europeans showed up, there was a thriving population of wild steelhead in Icicle that would make today's wild steelhead fisheries look like a joke."

    The upper section of Icicle Creek is low productivity. Some would call that marginal. Others call it pristine, or something else. Before Euro-Americans, as now, the most productive reach of Icicle Creek was and still is the lower section, from the hatchery downstream. Why? Because the gradient is lower, the valley widens, and the stream channel widens, the average water velocity decreases, water temperature increases slightly, and productivity and capacity increase. And that is the reach that then and for always will produce more of that thriving steelhead population you allude to. And the pre-Euro-American steelhead population in Icicle Creek didn't have to contend with 7 mainstem Columbia River dams, nor the timber dam on the Wenatchee near Leavenworth, nor the Dryden dam, and who knows what other measures of habitat degradation that I'm omitting. I agree that today's steelhead population is not much compared to those times, but the main reason doesn't have much to do with the Leavenworth hatchery migration barrier and fish screen issue.

    "And what about bull trout? Although they are already in the habitats above the blockage, will they not benefit from the nutrients and food that the wild fish will provide or the ability to move downstream and then back upstream as their preferred locations change with flow and temperature levels? Oh that's right, not many people fish for them or eat them so who cares? They are only listed because hippys don't want you to fish right? I've heard it all before."

    Removing the barrier and adding a compliant fish screen will benefit all species, perhaps bull trout most of all because of the ability to migrate up and downstream and have expanded foraging opportunities. Seriously, I'm not trying to squash your enthusiasm for wild fish. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool wild fish enthusiast. I'm only trying to direct the enthusiasm and energy for wild fish where it might do the most good per unit of effort expended. Which is what I wish WFC would do.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
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  19. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    WDFW needs a new mandate...


    why because the old one is stupid. stupid as in illogical and harmful to Washington state both economically and socially.


    If we closed every hatchery in the state and worked on habitat issues in 20 years i bet we'd see our wild runs increase by at least 25%

    I think that based on recent historical examples that allowing runs to restore themselves works better than government agencies "managing" restoration.
     
  20. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

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    Pardon those of us who are willing to consider an alternate reality to the one that regulatory agencies like WDFW, NOAA and USFWS would like us to buy into. We might be more open to criticism of the WFC, Native Fish Society and similar organizations from qualified biologists that aren't employees or former employees of the government agencies that helped usher us into this mess in the first place. Considering the oft-documented phenomenon of regulatory Stockholm Syndrome I for one will continue to take such criticism with a rather large grain of salt. As Ronald Reagan said, "trust but verify." ;)
     

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