NFR Emergency closure on the Nooksack!!!

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Nathan Weston, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Chris DeLeone

    Chris DeLeone Active Member

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    Ed -
    "Yep...gloom n doom indeed. Out of those 146,599 smolt released. There were 59 fish harvested and another 109 that actually made it back to the hatchery. Pretty piss poor performance. The Kendall creek winter steelhead hatchery program is absolutely pathetic.

    Total return = 168 Kendall creek hatchery steelhead...period.

    Ok so just for the record I am not a supporter of the hatchery on the Skagit - they got 900 fish back last year and it looks even more bleak on the Nooksack - not cost effective one bit - UNDERSTOOD.
    But this mechanism and cost per hatchery harvest did not take into account many other items, that some in government would use to justify this program - the angler had to buy a license (money to the state), he had to purchase a rod, waders, boots, lures, gas to get to the river. He maybe bought a Ding-Don at a gas station with a cup of coffee. We understand that Forks gets about a 1million dollar (That is what I heard) injection into their economy each Steelhead season. So while I would like to see these hatcheries closed there are other aspects of the hatchery/harvest ROI that were not taken into account - Does that justify them, no - but we need to prove first that the hatchery fish take a toll on the long term recovery of the wild fish (should be easy). Second (much harder) that a CnR wild fishery will bring in the revenue that is perceived this hatchery program does - but on a regional economy.
     
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  2. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    Curt,
    Thanks for the reply and good info as always.
    SF
     
  3. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Welcome to our world (south sound)...see everyone at the Cowlitz.
     
  4. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Chris D, a majority of the guys fishing the Nookie are not fishing for hatchery fish, and would be there if there were 0 hatchery fish in the system. I would bet it's the same for the Skagit. There is a ton of research that shows the negative effects of hatchery fish on wild fish. Like I said in another post, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
     
  5. Chris DeLeone

    Chris DeLeone Active Member

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    I understand that Chris - I am not a supporter of the hatchery program (as I stated) on the Skagit or the Nooksack and fully understand the effects on especially the early returning wild fish and the entire run - but I think the state looks at the harvest/cost returns in a little different way then we or BM would. WDFW justification of its hatchery programs are hard to stop.
     
  6. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Chris-
    Even though you may not be targeting hatchery steelhead the reality in this era of ESA listed fish without them the Middle Fork would close to all fishing the end of October, the North Fork the end of November, and the South Fork and main stem the end of December.

    I guess it is up to each of us to determine whether those hatchery fish are worth not only some fish for the table as well as extra time on the water.

    Curt
     
  7. Jim Darden

    Jim Darden Active Member

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    The solution is simple, close the hatcheries and (with the money saved) send each Washington steelheader to the Bahamas to fish for bonefish instead....the cost of the program would easily support it and it would take pressure off our native stocks. This whole thing is managed like a cattle ranch where the rancher kills off 95% of his herd each year and wonders why he has no cows.
     
  8. golfman44

    golfman44 4-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year

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    I wonder what the ratio is for harvested fish that get punched vs those that go unpunched? 50/50? Probably depends on the area...those tokul/wallace snaggers' ratios would be much lower than other areas I'd assume.

    Anyways, I'm not saying any of you are wrong, and I doubt any sane person would try to make that claim, but there is a lot more that goes into it than just a simplified "it costs X dollars per fish that gets punched/hatchery spawned". Oversimplifying things is an easy way for an argument to deteriorate quickly, and I think if you want to build a viable case against the way wdfw manages hatcheries then we should dig a little deeper.
     
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  9. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    golfman44, I don't believe that he was trying to reduce the argument down to just cost per fish, that is just one more arrow in the quiver. There have been scientific review groups, panels and study after study for years that point out the limits of hatchery programs. I think the problem is more political than scientific. As SG stated in another thread " never underestimate the power of the status quo"( I para-phrase).
     
  10. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    Intuitively, using the 'Sac as an example, I am hard pressed to believe a river that kicks out 59 fish a year helps sell much gas, tags, rods, reels, etc. I would assume some kind of larger ROI argument is made regarding hatchery supplementation, but when only 109 harvestable fish are produced, the ROI is tiny. I actually assume at $150K to produce, the ROI is actually negative. As noted earlier a fair amount of capital expense is probably not included in the $ figure, so costs are higher.

    You'd probably get better ROI using half the funds for fish production on the 'Sac to offer license discounts, free rods and reels and gas cards to the anglers who fished this river.
     
  11. hookedonthefly

    hookedonthefly Active Member

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    First, we can't fish (Feb, Mar, Apr) to protect the wild fish.

    Now, we can't fish in January because we have to protect the hatchery fish.

    Now let's funnel everyone to the Skagit/Sauk and Sky for January. Then, over to the OP in February, March and April. The whole program is broke.

    I like Jim D.'s idea. Give me a Bahamian bonefish and an umbrella drink. That will keep me from twitching through the spring.
     
  12. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    If a quarter of a million fish are planted each year, where the hell are they all going when they go out into the Salt. Is somebody else netting them and not saying they are. They can't all be eaten up by bigger fish. 60 fish aren't much of a comeback. It seems that planting all those smolts is a waste of fish and money.
     
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  13. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

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    The concept of sport angling being an economic driver is one that cannot be overlooked. And we, as conservation anglers, use it as an example fairly frequently as a "this is why sport anglers should be at the same table as commercial anglers". But I gotta tell you, the money that having the Nooksack open a few more months brings in is negligible at best. Those of us who fish the Nook do so because we live here (for the most part). Nobody is canceling trips or refusing to buy a license if we give up on the Kendal Creek hatchery. This isn't a destination fishery.

    It's legitimate to consider the sport fishing economics when talking about fisheries as a whole. But it doesn't apply for hatchery steelhead on the Nooksack as far as I'm concerned.
     
  14. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    We need to get this message that the whole program is broken to the WDFW Commissioners. I don't think they're getting it from WDFW staff & management.

    Sg
     
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  15. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

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    Exactly G