Where's my damn time machine...

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by David Dalan, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. I couldn't agree more with the last two posts. When I left Wisconsin a legal walleye was over 16", if we were over good fish most of them would be in the 15" range. The big walleye's are all female...that means trouble.

    The big steelhead coming upriver today are likely caught in salmon gill nets, because they are big..small steelhead swim right through the mesh. I'd call this selecting for small genetics.
     
    Jim Wallace and Alex MacDonald like this.
  2. Our work is to educate the young on this issue, so the idea of limiting out isn't what's necessary. There are going to be situations though, where the concept can't be addressed, like elk, deer or bear. When you get your limit, you take only one. There, we can work to educate that a trophy isn't necessarily the one with the biggest rack. I've got no real room to talk her, since my one elk scored 348. Now, I'm after meat only, and don't care about anther trophy mount. Of course, when I took that elk, I also brought home almost 400lbs of meat.
     
  3. Its going to take many generations to try and fix the mess this country's great outdoors have become. I would like to go a day without seeing a plastic bag from Safeway stuck in a tree or clogging a ditch, also a day of not having to watch the asshole in front of me flick his/her cig butt out the window. Its a crying shame, the commercial netters and the tribal nets. My rant is done... for now.

    No one's frightened of playing it
    everyone's saying it
    flowing more freely than wine
    all through your years I me mine
    G. Harrison
     
  4. I suspect gill nets have indeed had a profound effect on selecting out larger fish. At one point angling pressure (keeping the biggest fish) probably had an impact as well. Add to that the fact that the "rough and tough" waters that hosted huge steelhead and salmon have been blocked by dams in some cases (Elwah, N Fork of the Clearwater, Columbia river above Grande Coulee), and now there are notably fewer placed in WA that provide a realistic chance at encountering a 30# Steelhead or 60+# Chinook.

    Some pictures of the June Hogs of the upper columbia...http://hogsovergrandcoulee.com/
     
  5. Good Bye Bull Trout.
     
  6. I was raised by a step-dad who fished. That's the only saving grace he had but he did catch and kill. I remember opening days where we had to spend the night before in the boat so we could be the first out on Bay Lake and the 60 trout days on the Toutle. I also remember all the illegal salmon he caught and killed in the sound and how ashamed I was whenever we went with him. Everything was about the harvest. I wonder what he would do today if he was still around. I think that's why I don't eat trout anymore. And I'm very careful about what I harvest.
     
  7. I'll bet your Step-Dad would have changed his mind and fought to save all the fisheries he was interested in. It's easy to change your mind when your favorite past time is fishing...or not fishing.
     
  8. No. He was a real ass. That's why he kept everything he caught, legal or not. He couldn't have cared less about conservation. I remember one time he came home with about a dozen good sized whitefish. Decided he didn't want to clean them so he made me bury them outside in the flower beds for fertilizer. He couln't have cared less about the flowers either.
     
  9. Gee guys, I wish I could get on board with this self flagellation, but it just ain't so. I lived through those years and although some fish were kept, most were let go, even then. If you think angling catch is the reason for the decline, you need to look at the commercial and punch card stats. Most of these large fish never reached the river.
     
  10. Your assessment is spot-on, Alex. In Montana limits were the rule, but the family subsisted on all of the fish & game that could be legally-harvested.
     
  11. There is a beautiful creek not far from where I grew up surrounded by farmland. My father harvested many native steelhead here back in the day. He said it was pristine and he never saw another fisherman. Said there were hundreds pooled up every year for many years. As a kid I used to go and see all the fish just hundereds in a creek no more than 25-30 yards across. Then he started seeing nets and it turned out that some farmers that lived close were netting them. The entire native population of fish was wiped out. We used to go pick hazelnuts near the river in the fall and every time we returned to those amazing pools they were eerily void of any fish. Enough to make you sick. Haven't been back in awhile but it was quite depressing.

    Not sure why I shared that. Maybe because of the Time Machine post title.
     

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