Occupy Skagit

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by _WW_, May 19, 2012.

  1. I am kind of putting my neck out, considering that this is a fly fishing site and all. But since this is a larger issue that transcends the trivial distinctions that we, as steelhead anglers, make regarding our personal preferences for gear type, it might not be a bad idea to post something about this on piscatorial pursuits. (That is, once it gets going.) Maybe we could get some anglers to float the river in drift boats with a couple of gear rods in view. Of course, there wouldn't be any lures on the rods. But it might give non-fly fishermen a way to participate without having to cast something into the river that WDFW law enforcement might consider a fishing lure. Anyhow, this is just an idea.
    KerryS likes this.
  2. I like the idea of inclusiveness...but...we should let the idea ferment and solidify before we do any outreach. We don't want this to get coopted. Once there is a set of concrete ideas to coalese around, I say go for it.

    Also, just a hand count...is there anyone who would be interested in this who doesn't have a facebook acount? I'm just wondering if that would be an effective organizing tool for this set of individuals.

    I'm totally in for the commission meeting. I say we pack it.

    Nuts and Bolts:
    I think we need to really get a handle on what we want our message to be. We should start some regular/semi regular get togethers with agandas (and beer) leading up to the commission meeting.

    Who are we, why do we care, what do we want.
  3. I agree. I have fished gear as long as anything, and I know lots of gear fishermen who catch and release steelhead 100% of the time. C&R is certainly not a "fly only" fishery.
  4. The more laserlike your focus, the more powerful an impact you'll have. Maybe see if you can get some kind of Clave going on at the same time? Show newbs how to cast and ancourage them to contact WDFW with our (resepctful) critisim?

    Too much?
  5. On a side note, we should come up with a surface lure for gear guys to use. I'd bet it would blow their minds to have a 15lb fish smash a waking lure--hook or not. If we managed to get a warm day in late march we'd easily find fish willing to cooperate.
  6. This seems way too organized for any "Occupy" movement. :)
    Chris Johnson likes this.
  7. Twinkle
  8. Awesome photo on the FB page gents.

    As far as gear fishermen go...the more the merrier, I say. You can fish a corkie and yarn w/o a hook. You could swing a spoon too. Hell they could anchor up and drink beer for all I care. Numbers is numbers after all.

    I've refrained from posting on this thread so far because between DeLeone, Kerry, SG and WW, my feelings on the subject are pretty well represented in some fashion. Here are my general sentiments though:

    I really appreciate DeLeones Ducks Unlimitted paralell. DU may be the most important single group with regards to preserving important habitat in the nation. They are nealy all hunters. They all want to hunt. For some reason many steelhead advococy groups have looked to the WDFW fishing rule book in an effort to help steelhead. There is no further restriction with regards to the C&R of steelhead that will help them. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

    WW's #'s are spot on although I would argue that the 3% number for mortality may be high given the low mortality in the recent Skagit genetic studies when they treated the fish with a radio transmitter shoved down their throat. The important thing to reinforce here is that we don't kill them.

    I'm curious if the supposed mortality incurred in the hatchery season could be transferrred to a C&R season given that we won't catch 100% of the fish and that mortality at 3% isn't all of the 4.5% allowed. The natives get their 50% of allowed mortality by law, why have our share come out of a failed hatchery season? This is where WDFW comes in.

    I believe that the returns had been in the 2-3000 one other time historically. They bounced back. Anadromous salmonids seem to be pretty resilient. Lower numbers of spawners can lead to remarkably large run sizes. Was the Skagit's inclusion in the "listing" in error?

    The only action that the listing lead to was a reduction or elimination of C&R seasons. Just something to remember. Since we know that taking C&R away accomplishes nothing we can safely say that listing steelhead did nothing.

    I will spend more and more money north of the border. I'm headed up this weekend at some point and maybe next week for a couple of days. I sure would like to be spending that time on home repairs or working knowing that come February I'll need the time to fish the big river to the south. I would spend money in Sedro Wooley, Lyman/ Hamilton and Rockport. When I fish, I spend money...gas, beer, meals etc. It's unavoidable and truthfully, I tend not to really try and avoid it expecially when fishing "up river".

    As my friend SG is fond of saying, government does not lead it follows. At present any C&R season is suffering from a lack of inertia. It is an object not in motion. Government is unlikely to put it in motion, that would be leading. A groundswell off anglers putting it on the table is the only logical way it will be put into motion. Governement may follow.

    Anyhow, great idea gentlemen. I'm on board. I love that river and I miss her.

    Go Sox,
  9. Chris, here is a better version of the Skagit pic if you wish to use it.

  10. double post.
  11. I don't mean to be too critical/I'm not trying to be an ass. My thoughts are:

    Gear Fishing
    1. If this is going to do any good, it will need to be focused, on-point and well thought out. I don't have anything against including people but if we're going to make it focused, we need a good foundation. We have an idea people will like, but we need to make sure that we have a good grasp on what we're looking for--then bring more people in. Let's take a page from Occupy's failure to actually do anything beyond raise awareness--we need clear goals, not just some vauge sense of injustice.

    Claves to Recruit Members
    2(a). Recruiting people will be important, but, using organization driven comments ('tell you DFW what you think!'=copy paste our letter and send it to DFW) doesn't work too well. Those comments, or the volume aren't necessarily addressed. They are, but in the "see response to WSC comment #12" sense. I'm dubious of the effectiveness.

    2(b). We are good spokes-people because of our insane passion for these fish. We should use that too before we look to diffuse marginally interested parties.

    We REALLY REALLY need to get people around a table to hash some of this out. Let's do this right.

    Chris, since you're the keeper of occupy skagit's facebook, could you set up a facebook group so that we can make some sausage/do some planning without doing it all over the pretty Occupy Skagit wall?

    I may be putting the cart before the horse but, I think we should shoot for a kick off meeting some time late next week in Sedro/Mt.Vernon/Burlington--if some people could make it. Let's get the ball rolling and start planning. I think we have the opportunity to do something cool here. I propose Dec 20th 6:30--somewhere in the lower basin.
    Chris Johnson likes this.
  12. Not ass like at all. Very good points.
  13. Fuck, this thing is going to be "organized" out of exsistance....

    all fisherman should be included...remember the story a very celebrated member of this site told about getting WSC going etc. He said "If you only counted on the flyguys nothing would get done...gear guys carry the load brother....exclude them and your looking up the wrong end of that high horse your riding...

    just my .02
  14. I hope you folks will put some of your passion into wriing a letter to your WDFW Commissioners during this WDFW Sportsfishing Rules Proposals cycle. Civil actions are great for making a splash. But we do have a process that the minority of fishermen participate in. Your representatives in state government should hear from you too. A single page, three paragraphs, clearly stating your concerns, gets more attention than an email, text or pdf. I am glad to see so much energy and passion. It is inspiring.
  15. GMan's right. . . screw trying to control or regulate this.

    State your intent, get some TShirts printed, have a few rally meetings, then get out on the river/down to the Commission meeting.

    I was @ the beginning of the WSC, and what made us powerful was we had One Goal - stop harvest of Wild Steelhead. It didn't matter gear or fly fishers, we had a single purpose.

    The goal of Occupy Skagit seems clear as well - open the Skagit/Sauk for C&R fishing during the traditional spring season (Feb - April).

    If I'm in town I'll be there, river or Commissioner's meeting. Hell, they're opening the Thompson for C&R fishing with a projected run of just over 1000 fish. The Skagit system gets 6000+ spawners back and we don't even get a sniff of a season?

    My .02,

  16. If you're just trying to get a bunch of people to the river that's one thing. If you're actually trying to get DFW to listen to what you have to say--that will take some organizing.

    I agree everyone should be included, but, there should be some thought about what we want first. That's not to say that there should be any reason to not include gear guys early on, but maybe not post it on a gear forum quite yet. That was my point.

    I still think that we should attempt to get some people together. Drink some beer, do some brain storming.
  17. If you guys feel so strongly about this ( i don't blame you if you do) I think it should be a real protest! Forget the idea of fishing hookless! if you are going to protest Pick a day maybe even a block of time say 1 hour where you all actually intend to FISH! relay that Information to WDFW.. not to the local office but to the Commission!!!! Just say something to the effect of We are a group of 200 people ( if you build it they will come) who intend to fish in the closed waters of the Skagit and Sauk rivers on Saturday April 20th from Noon until two O'clock. We will be waded into the river and will NOT come to shore when summoned by enforcement personnel but they are more than welcome to wait around for us to finish and site us at that time. However we will be spread throughout the system and may be difficult to find. Also all angling will be done with single barbless hooks and no bait to ensure that no steelhead are actually harmed. No actual angling will occur before 12 noon and none will be done after 2 pm., though some people may be practicing without a hook before and after that time frame.

    If you want to make a statement.. make a statement..

    I didn't read the whole thead.. maybe someone else already made that suggestion.
  18. Just saw the FB page. Nice job!

  19. If you do this the weekend of 420 that will be the same weekend that they have the Skagit Valley Tulip festival street fair in downtown Mount Vernon. Have a bunch of people occupy Youngs Bar. Lots of exposure. Only problem would be traffic. Better place but less exposure would be up at Howard Millars steelhead park, camping and more room. Rasars state park would be a good spot on the river too. If enough people show occupy the whole valley. Beats going out and looking at some dumb flowers.
  20. I agree with Derek, some people should get around a table and cobble together some sort of framework or timeline. I am willing to be involved, but will defer to the folks who got this started, not wanting to step on any toes. I could make time next week, if that be the case.
    I also want to reiterate what Mr. Triggs said, we need to apply as much pressure as we can, from as many directions as possible.

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