Skagit 2013

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by _WW_, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. As of this writing, the escapement for the Skagit is looking like it may go 8,000 or above for this spring.

    This is getting into the area of math that is confusing to me. But it appears to be 33% over a 150% floor escapement number.

    Four years ago, in 2009, the escapement was 2,502. This spring run is the bulk of their progeny.

    For two years running we have stood on the bank and watched the escapement goal be reached.

    The next commissioners meeting is August 2-3. Time for another road trip...
  2. I'm there and again offering rides from Skagit County.
    miyawaki likes this.
  3. We fished for the parents of this run. Looks like the C&R season really knocked the hell out of them. I'll do my best to go down and help.

    Go Sox,
    Klickrolf likes this.
  4. Wow - that is great news. Yes Im in for a road trip.
  5. That's pretty damn impressive. Where did you hear this? If true, this is pretty awesome news.
  6. I think they would rather just let the poachers have them.
  7. I could probably make that road trip. Room for 5 others from Seattle.
  8. There will always be poachers.

    Whether or not there will be legal fishing for steelhead on the Skagit again depends on us and us alone. To get change we need to keep this topic in front of the board. The only way to do that is to show up at their meetings.
  9. WDFW Commission support is important, but not enough to restore the CNR season. Email sent to OS reprobates.


  10. Fuck yeah.... Looks like I'm getting a 20 spot from Dele....
    Davy and Chris DeLeone like this.
  11. Who are the OS reprobates?

    I couldn't type that without also asking, who are the Brain Police?
  12. Show up at the meeting and you will know.....
  13. Let me see if I get this right...

    I started fishing the Skagit in 1994. The runs were no better than what the last couple looked like. No questions asked. There was a season. This year is going to be one of the best returns since 1998 (going off of memory, but 98 was the 'most recent' 'good' one) using their formulas. No season. No chance at a season (at least not yet). Everybody can go pound sand because C&R with selective gear rules is the straw that breaks the fishes back?

    I know, I know, I already know...what about the risk? Surprised that hasn't started already too...

    Hopefully the numbers come in closer to 10K than 8K. And hopefully the sentiments towards this season change with the powers that be...and at some point we can once again angle for the finest steelhead on the planet...
  14. Inland,

    If things were only as easy as making escapement we'd have the CNR season most of the time. Currently a good run size is only supporting documentation. The over-riding consideration factor is that ALL wild Puget Sound steelhead are ESA listed, and that trumps everything else. Therefore no fishing is allowed for PS steelhead. The fact that a case can be made that Skagit steelhead are not threatened or endangered is only relevant if a persuasive case can be made for a Skagit basin specific management plan that passes muster with NMFS' steelhead management team and the ESA Technical Recovery Team.

    A management plan that is consistent with Skagit steelhead recovery will be developed. When approved and adopted by NMFS, then the possibility of having a season will exist.

    BTW, you got here after the best fishing had come and gone.

  15. SG,

    Indeed I did miss the 80's (or was that the 50's?), the time of plenty (of fish and no anglers to speak of...the real reason why the catching was so good) and something you have reminded me of more than once!!! :p By the time I started fishing there (early 90's), the runs were already down to what became 'normal'.

    Politics, politics, politics...until the rest of the stocks improve to whatever pie in the sky numbers...our goose will be cooked. Again, I truly hope the nudging by the public with WDFW can only help. And the basin's will be separated out...
  16. I will try to drive up from down here for that 8000+ !!!!!
  17. LOL
  18. This escapement number ought to shut up the critics who claim C&R' hurts the fish because it has a small amount of mortality. As has been pointed out, this years run is from the rather low-return 1998/1999 years broodstocks. Clearly, this data shows very convincingly that C&R has little to no impact on the fish since as William pointed out, we fished for the parents of this years return in very low-return years.

    It is very maddening that NMFS took the quick and dirty, easy way with the summer steelhead in the Strait and Puget Sound rivers by saying they are one very large biologically significant unit. It is equally maddening that the top brass at WDFW allowed them to do so without putting up a fight.

    And while the Skagit is closed to C&R (and the Samish as well for that matter) despite nearly meeting, meeting, or exceeding escapement goals, the Hoh River is open for catch and kill as one of the 5 rivers in Washington State that it is lawful to take an angler's single wild steelhead per year despite not coming close to escapement for years. This makes having the Skagit (and Samish) closed to C&R in the late winter/spring even more maddening.

    I keep hoping that enough pressure will be brought to bear on WDFW that they will produce a plan for the Skagit watershed that clearly shows its steelhead should be managed as a distinct stock of fish and not included in the Strait, Puget Sound, Hood River mess NMFS now uses. Then we could have the wonderful late winter/spring C&R season once again.
  19. The way to get WDFW to do anything about the Skagit is to keep this topic in front of them. The way to do that is to show up at the board meetings and tell them about it. At the last meeting we went to give the Occupy Skagit pitch on the Skagit they were impressed. If we can get a few more people to show up for their meeting we may be able to keep them impressed and possibly get something done.
  20. No it isn't. But WDFW regulates our fishing, and is supposed to be our official advocate for recreational angling...and they welcome public comment during their commissioners meetings. Where else can we show up?

    Is there a NOAA or NMFS meeting we can attend? I would be more than happy to go to one of those and comment.

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