Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by miyawaki, May 28, 2013.
Here you go Phil:
$$$$$$ Ya ya. This is kind of an interesting side note. I was fishing on the Toutle last winter. And the river checker asked me how far I had driven to get there. I told him I was from the Tacoma area. He said that is great. I asked why? His reply was that the stale likes for us to drive a good distance to the fishing locations because of the gas tax. I personally do not know if that is true or not, but was surprised by the answer.
It is about the money, but where it goes reflects the thinking of the populace. I don't want to start a firestorm, but we just spent 1 Trillion dollars in Iraq for what seems to be almost nothing. We put our money where our priorities are, so here is what we have.
WDFW stopped stocking summer steelhead in the Snoqualmie because of ESA concerns that they would reproduce naturally and compete with wild winter steelhead, and also possible stray into the Tolt which has a native wild summer run that is very small.
You can follow the money all you want, but I think any cognizant investigator would be hard pressed to find a connection between $$$ and the decision to suspend stocking summer steelhead in the Snoq.
That makes good sense.
But then my question would be. How is that river any different from the S Fork Toutle, and Kalama? As far as planting summer run. I kept the Cowlets out. Even though this is a good old cow thread . Just because I have no clue if there any wild cow fish left. I do see that there have been a few fish with adipose fins caught this year, in the cow. I guess my second question would be are there any truly wild fish in the Cow also?
Then the answer to your question would be that there is a distinct difference in fish management philosophies between Region 4, Puget Sound, and Region 5, lower Columbia River. R5 operates like a semi-independent fifedom and places fish conservation clearly secondary to harvest. At the time of the Cowlitz hydro project relicensing, the then regional fish manager told me he was not opposed to re-introduction and restoration of naturally reproducing anadromous fish upstream of the dams - so long as it didn't interfere with normal fish harvest operations in the region.
Stocking summer steelhead continues in the SF Toutle mainly because it serves that harvest philosophy and because it would be harder than pulling teeth to pull the plug on it. It's a non-qualifying program since there is no terminal area hatchery rack or any place at all to collect uncaught returning hatchery steelhead. The Kalama and EF Lewis have had reductions in the number of hatchery steelhead smolts planted each year, and Kalama Falls serves to separate hatchery and wild steelhead. I think hatchery steelhead are stocked downstream of the various falls on the EF Lewis so that hatchery and wild fish remain mostly separated.
There are wild native steelhead remaining in lower Cowlitz tributaries according to my interpretation of the Cowlitz steelhead genetics report. There are wild steelhead being produced in the upper Cowlitz since the late 1990s. Due to delay in getting suitable downstream passage facilities, the number is low, typically in the 200 - 300 range. Those wild fish are from native Cowlitz steelhead cultured at the Cowlitz hatchery since the late 1960s. So the hatchery fish are from native wild fish, and the "new" wild fish are from native hatchery fish, whatever that's supposed to mean.
Therefore, I'll ask you back, what do you mean by a "truly wild fish?" This phrase comes up from time to time. I read internet posts that people don't believe there are any "truly wild fish" left anymore due to decades of stocking hatchery fish "everywhere." I put everywhere in quotes because while hatchery fish have been stocked geographically extensively, they, in fact, have not been stocked "everywhere."
It's a funny thing. No one questions that a hatchery fish originally was cultured from wild fish. But now when hatchery fish are used to restore or create a naturally reproducing run in the natural environment, even when they are native hatchery fish, as in endemic to the watershed they are stocked in, somehow they cannot be a "truly wild fish." I don't know how that can be.
The me start by saying Thank you for all you offer to the various web sights
Ok to answer what is my definition of " truly wild fish "
I would say my uneducated explanation would be
1) a fish With the same genetics of the fish that were in that specific river prior to any hatcheries developed
2) A fish not raised in pens and fed pellets or taken care of as a smolt, learning how to survive on its own