Tribe Drift Netting Spawning Steelhead on the Hoh?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by JesseC, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. I saw this post on Facebook and it seems too important not to talk about. Has anyone else seen them running drift nets over spawning beds high up on the river?

    We need to get some video of this...

    Anybody planning on fishing the Hoh the next two weeks think again! The tribe HAD a set schedule of one day a week for there commercial gill netting in the river for the last month...That ended last week. Now they are fishing EVERY DAY this week and who knows how much longer, they will keep it up. They are killing the fishery right now. Drift netting on spawning fish as well as running fish, it is nearly impossable for any steelhead to make it into the river to spawn. ANYBODY that is concerned at all about wild steelhead needs to jump on the phone and let the WDFW know otherwise they will just let it happen hoping nobody will notice!
  2. Yeah I heard about this and it is complete bullshit. If the wdfw won't step up and co manage the resource then maybe its time for us fisherman to do something about the nets being fished out of season. Anyone have a sled and a bunch of bails of hay?
  3. confirm source please.
  4. Jeff Brazda posted it on facebook
  5. They're not netting high in the system, the concern is about the lower river spawners. Fish spawn from just above tidewater on up in that river. There are redds down there getting fish pulled from them by anglers and nets alike.
  6. As an aside here...last week I went with the Upper Skagit Tribe on a tagging operation. A drift net was used but the mesh is smaller than a gillnet. Eleven steelhead were tagged and sampled for scales. To the uninitiated it looked exactly like a drift net fishery was happening, but it wasn't. All fish were released alive and well recovered.

    Some people just see what they want to see...
  7. The hoh tribe is totally out of control right now. My buddies that live on the river just below cottonwood are saying they are out every day drift and set netting really aggressively. Sometimes 2 boats staggering their drift nets in one run. If anyone has actual access to FACT based numbers on their harvest I'd be all ears but I can promise its staggering on such a low water year where their chosen techniques are so high percentage. Where are the checks and balances? Who monitors take? Who decides when either sport or tribal anglers "have had enough?" Who sets and enforces the netting schedule?

    I know nothing about netting spawning fish haven't heard anything bout that but I doubt they have use for kelts and beat up spanner bucks. Steelhead are pennies compared to spring chinook which have been showing up the last few weeks. Hence increased tribal activity!
    orangeradish and Evan Burck like this.
  8. They carpet swept that river from pretty much below 101 on down,I talked to a few tribal guys who were nice enough to pull out before they carpet swept my swing...had no fish on multiple sweeps,they have been slow:)go figure...
  9. Anybody check to see where the tribes are spending their campaign money. The governor selects the WDFW people?
  10. So that means we should all go fish the Hoh, right? In all seriousness, I'm still seeing an ample supply of aluminum, rubber, and fiberglass floating by each day (many of them guides) fishing in a river they claim is devoid of steelhead. That's not to say that what the tribe is (or may be) doing isn't an abomination, I'm just more inclined to take it with a grain of salt until I see it with my own two eyes...a net tangled in a sweeper quickly turns into a "drift net that was floating down the river taking out all forms of life in its path" by the time the third guy in the Thriftway line hears the story.
  11. I just finished up 4 days out there and everyday I saw the Natives drift netting the mouth. Its a damn shame the WDFW is letting this happen. The native I talked to mentioned they were "going after" (if thats possible with a net) the Chinooks, since they cost more at market, something I never thought of.
  12. Are they drift netting native steelhead right off the spawning beds on the queets, Quilayute and Hoh? Yes. Are the Hoh netting outside their fisheries agreement? Yes. Are they taking fish that you have a Federal treaty right to? Yes. Does fish and wildlife have the data to show this? Yes.
    Just call. Once. Honestly, it really does make a difference. I would recommend calling specifically about the Hoh because we have all ready documented they are fishing outside their days, and call the directors office.
  13. I called the director of wdfw yesterday and left a message asking for a return phone call and have not received one yet. Surprise surprise. I also called the director of natural resources for the hoh tribe and left a message requesting a phone call back and if he was not the one that needs to be contacted that my contact info be passed on to that person. Have not heard back from them either. I would be surprised if I get a call back from either.
  14. Jonathan - for us lazy sons of bitches - what are the numbers you called?
  15. Honest question, Jim: What can WDFW do in this case? In the past, my calls regarding anything tribal to WDFW went nowhere, as they said they aren't in any place to do anything. Do you think there might be another agency that would have more authority on the matter? I'm just speaking from my past experiences, but you're far more experienced in this than I.
  16. I just got off the phone with the director of natural resources for the hoh tribe and he said that they are only issuing ceremonial permits right now on a one by one basis. He said that there should have only been three tribal members gill netting this week with one member netting one day for a total of three days of netting this week. He said there quota of fish is low usually 1 to 5 fish for each ceremonial permit. He also said that they give the wdfw 24 hours notice before a permit is fished on. He said if anyone sees something illegal or netting activity going beyond this then they should call Brian Fairbanks the wdfw officer out there near forks and he can relay it to the tribes or you can call the head fisheries biologist for the hoh tribe at 360 374-6737. He said that the hoh tribe only has one officer that is dedicated to fish and game enforcement and that they could use our help with reporting illegal activity.
  17. Thanks for the useful information Jonathan.
  18. This kind of thread gives me a little hope that with all of our eyes, cell phones, and connection that we can do something about supporting these fish. One call might seem futile, but if we all act together, all those drops in the bucket add up. Policy change is a long and arduous process, but nothing will happen if we choose not to act.
  19. I think that you owe the Hoh tribe (specifically the bio) an apology. While we don't like the harvest, it is in their rights, and based on his response, is about as low impact as things can be expected. The less adversarial the conversation, the better overall.
  20. I don't believe I owe anyone an apology. I called the tribe directly and had a polite conversation with their natural resources director. I got the opportunity to ask him some questions and he was nice enough to answer them. He also filled me in on how the process works and how they communicate with the wdfw. He also said that there are tribal members who break the law and don't always get caught, which I responded with well that goes for recreational fisherman as well. We can't let a few bad apples ruin it for everyone.

    That being said, we had a nice civil conversation that left me feeling better about the situation than before I had made the call.
    Jim Wallace likes this.

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