Tribal netting

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by MasterAnglerTaylor, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. In this particular case it's because you are choosing to only look at the immediate impact while you're on the river. That is NOT to say that nets don't impact the fisheries, to the contrary they ARE an impact. But let's be realistic. In the salmon fishery, the other half of the fish are caught in nearshore commercial fishers by any number of countries/tribes. Add to that rip-rapping of rivers, strip malls, pollution in the high seas and local water ways, and you start to see that the nets, while a big contributor doesn't amount to a hill of beans compared to the other problems....
  2. In that case, why would you read anything about it, or for that matter, why comment at all?

    As far as I can tell, everyone has been pretty civil about it. Where's the harm?
  3. Well lets frame it in the context of the theory of efficiency. When you want to speed up a process, the first things you identify are bottlenecks. This way you don't waste your time, energy, and other resources on fixing and re-fixing things with diminishing returns.

    The netting of rivers is truly a bottleneck. A huge bottleneck.

    It is a lot more than just a "hill of beans".

    Case in point: The closed section of the Nooksack, above Deming, is closed in order to allow hatchery fish to make it unmolested to the hatchery and get the genetics for the next generation. But guess what happened when that stretch of river was closed to sport fishing? 8 gill nets were setup on that stretch because of the absence of sports anglers some of who would cut said nets. This stretch of river is now full of nets. Wild fish are starting to show as well and they going right through that area high into the Maple Falls area and now there are more gill nets than ever because the hatchery is trying to save their opperation.
  4. Interesting thread and much more civil than others like it the past few years.

    I'm intrigued by Derek's comment: "Tribes could be restricted from fishing if it is a "conservation necessity". And must pass a strict 3 prong test. It must be reasonable and neccessary to perpetuate the species."

    In light of the precipitous decline in anadromous populations that was unanticipated in 1974, I think a reasonable man would conclude that continuing to allow tribal fishing in spite of probably extinction would amount to the tribes winning the battle but losing the war. In the end, 50% of nothing is nothing. And nothing is what have the tribes would have after legally perpetuating their 'cultural tradition' with long-term disregard for it's consequences.

    I wonder if a case could be made that allowing treaty netting even if sport and commercial fishing were shut down as in California and Oregon could force a re-interpretation of Boldt?

    It's hard for me to image any court agreeing to hear such a case until and unless commercial and sport fishing had already been banned leaving the tribal netting as the only remaining impediment.

    Given the low priority that WFDW and other state agencies seem to place on anadromous conservation, that sort of action probably won't be taken until after it's too late.

  5. i have to agree that the gill nets are indeed a 'bottleneck', one easily identified and an issue that demands immediate attention. for those of you who persist in believing that the majority of these declines are due to habitat loss/change, let me, once again, call your attention to the hood canal. the duck'a'bush, dosewallips and hamma hamma are now sterile eco systems. upstream there is ZERO habitat degredation. the olympic nat'l park serves as the beginning point for these rivers. the olympic nat'l forest covers the lower reaches and you can see for yourself, little logging or road building.

    so why would the fish in these rivers have gone extinct? following boldt, the salmon wars took off in ernest with someone killing the very last wild fishes in the canal. OVERFISHING drove these runs to extinction. don't for a minute believe that is not going to happen in the remainder of the eco systems that make up puget sound.

    and for those of you who joined CCA, don't you think its time to ask a few questions about how your dollars are being spent or not?
  6. Uuggh... Tell me about it! Those rivers mentioned are among my favorite rivers to hike up and it is deeply saddening to know that they are devoid of basically any anadromous life. I've caught one fish (SRC) below Big Hump on the Duckabush and none below Dosewallips Falls. They do have some areas of resident fish up high, but that's not the issue. They are indeed the "Ghost of Christmas Future," so to speak.

    And to those of us who joined CCA, our membership dollars are spent employing lobbyists in Olympia and Washington D.C. trying to get things done. Currently I think the focus is on the Columbia River Spring Chinook fishery.
  7. Kent,

    Your implicit question illustrates the distinction between the treaty "right" to fish and the non-treaty privilege to fish. The courts have ruled that the treaty fishery may be restricted for conservation necessity only after all other alternatives have been employed. Those include complete closures of non-treaty commercial and recreational fishing.

    GT's infatuation with a re-interpretation of the treaty languate "in common with" is a legal and political long shot, but is probably the only thing that would level the playing field between treaty and non-treaty fishing.

  8. right, salmo, a real long shot but 'in common with' implies that everyone in this state was viewd as having a 'right' to fish. i honestly do believe that the intent of the treaties was to preserve a way of life, subsistence, ceremonial, and as mentioned, a barter system. i don't believe the treaties were intended to provide the indian fishery free reign on commercial harvest. i also believe in making ALL commercial harvest subject to a single set of enforceable rules and regulations. the three indian, purposes, above, should not be interfered with, IMHO.

    so what impact has CCA had with its lobbying efforts, curious minds want to know. some one needs to 'show me the beef' before i throw any more $$ at yet another group making claims.
  9. wow, what a discussion.
    having finally read all 130 pages of Boldt and SCOTUS, including the comments by the justices (most interesting), I feel like all these decisions are vulnerable to challenge. What has changed?
    -the science of fisheries management
    -use of genetic typing to identify stocks
    -ESA listings
    -casinos as the primary livelihood of many of the fish eating tribes
    -collapsing stocks in some watersheds
    -increasing public attention to the issues
    -development of SELECTIVE net fishing systems similar to the weirs the tribes used before the arrival of the white man and his monofilament...Yes, Selective Nets. The tribes don't have to kill endangered fish.

    Boldt and other decisions were difficult decisions, made in a different time, and now new decisions face us in this time.
    Clearly, joint management and multiple jurisdictions in Federal and State and Tribal government make it a hideously complex issue.
  10. GT,

    One further point about historic fishing by treaty tribes. It is true that they fished for subsistence and ceremonial purposes. Contrary to the opinions of many, and perhaps yourself, treaty tribes also commercially fished at the time treaties were made in 1854 and 1855. Indians traded with other tribes and whites and also sold fish to whites. In the 1850s, salmon fishing wasn't thought of as a white man's job in the PNW. Indians fished and were good at it. Anyone who wanted fish typically bought it from Indians just as Indians who wanted steel tools and hardware and woven cloth bought them from whites at the general store or from trading ships. Indian commercial fishing is well established in the findings of fact in the court decisions. Therefore treaty commercial fishing is as much protected as is subsistence and ceremonial fishing.

  11. G's right. the prewhite economy was largely based on salmon.
    That's part of what the treaties speak to.

    But I think if the Treaty framers had even considered the possibility of gillnets strung across rivers, decimating native fish populations in the process of harvesting fish from a hatchery, the wording and conditions of the treaties would have been a bit different, huh? maybe included some phrases like "ecologically sustainable manner..."
  12. Indians are recorded to have been trading with the earliest European maritime explorers to the Pacific Northwest, and especially in the Puget Sound and Inside Passage areas. The accounts go back to the original records of the Ships Logs,(record books) Captains and Mates diaries etc.

    One of the first things that the sailors asked for was fresh fish and Salmon, fresh fruits etc. They bartered with valuables like copper sheeting, buttons, iron etc. This became an expected form of trade and by the late 1700's was a well established market on the waterways between Coastal Indians and sailors- American, Spanish, English etc- from California to Alaska. The explorers were always very interested in sea otter pelts as well, and the value in goods that they traded for these was rediculously low in comparison. In fact, as far back as one can study the matter, visitors to this region were always taking more than they were willing to give back.

    The Indians here have aways gotten screwed by the white man. If we want them to stop killing these last wild fish then we may have to stop fishing for them too. The fish and the fishing are the only meaningful thing that the Indians here ever got back from the white man.Now we are asking them to stop fishing. What are we willing to give up here?
  13. yes, i understand much of the history of the pacific coast and the indian fisheries from before to after contact. that said, i don't think the framers of the treaties were so much interested in protecting indian rights as putting the non-indian place holders in the language, hence 'in common with'. one must remember that at the time of these treaties, the only thing that mattered was displacing the indians so the non-indians would have a place to harvest the bounty of the sea.

    but here we are in a new era with issues facing the anadramous fish runs that no one could have imagined in the 1800's. but until, or unless, a legal challenge is put forth, nothing is going to change.
  14. In the sense that one does not excuse nor preclude the other, I agree.
  15. Zero only for certain portions of the fishes life cycle. There are issues associated with near shore and offshore habitat. In addition, netting has NOT taken place on those rivers, so if it were only the nets, the populations would have rebounded by now. I highly suggest you read up on some of the work of UW Bio Tom Quinn on the behavior of salmonid populations after huge crashes. There are some interesting points on what happens in the absence of straying and population crashes hitting a certain below threshold. There is no doubt the original cause has something to do with how hard they were netted, but the absence of nets at this point in time doesn't support or refute your case in this particular debate.
  16. How do they manage it in Alaska?
  17. The reality is, there have been several challenges already to Boldt. Unless you come up with another angle, the law isn't going to try to reinterpret what has already been interpreted.

    Also, there are specifics which may be easier to get through, for instance selective fisheries. But in some cases the tribes are described as self regulating the Quinaults being one of them. For the most part, because of this, the tribe can tell the state and feds pretty much to piss off. The reality is, unless we shut down entirely first, there isn't a whole lot to do to fight this thing.
  18. GT,

    Another correction if you don't mind. The Stevens treaties were for the purpose of displacing natives, but not so the whites would have a place to harvest the bounty of the sea. The sea was looked upon mainly as a highway for commerce. The Stevens treaties sought to displace natives so that white settlers could obtain clear legal title to land for the purpose of building farms, towns, and cities. Again, harvesting the bounty of the sea was quite predominately an Indian occupation. It stayed that way until near the end of the 19th century when canning food was invented. Prior to that time salmon was sold fresh, smoked, and salted, so the total market demand was relatively low, although tons of salted salmon was shipped from WA and OR to CA. Canning opened a new industry wherein salmon fishing became profitable enough for whites to become interested in fishing for salmon as well as processing and shipping them for sale. Canning changed everything about salmon in the PNW.

  19. No Steven's treaty tribes... Because of this the state gets to regulate there fisheries more directly.

    Here we are blessed with the great wonderful foresight of both our predecessors as well as the WDFW and their great legal team.... Read up on the history, it's amusing how full of hubris we were and how we got our asses handed to us... :(
  20. Salmo, you hit the issue square on the head. The key phrase is 'only after all other alternatives have been employed'

    The problem with this thread and all the other like it before is that most of the passionate posters want the tribes to give up ALL their fishing activities so that sportfishers might have MORE fish for themselves.

    Problem is, every time someone posts a thread asking how many here would be willing to GIVE UP FISHING for anadromous salmonids in order to give them a chance to survive (and including a shot at ask Boldt to be reinterpreted in that light), the overwhelming majority disagree.

    I think one thing we can all agree on is that's certainly not going to happen in this state.


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