Help support Fish Not Gold eliminate the damage caused by Hobby Miners to our streams

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Fish Not Gold, May 22, 2014.

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  1. Icanfly

    Icanfly aka Matt

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    I agree Kent. Hobby mining should certainly be regulated and if a resource is affected by the activity these individuals should certainly pay a fee to maintain the resource. I also agree with you Kim, there are probably places in this state that are overly abused and should be further restricted. However, the title of this post includes the words, "eliminate the damage caused by Hobby Miners to our streams". That sounds pretty cut and dry to me. My point is that you might be better served by easing up a bit and outwardly acknowledging the fact that we cause damage as well. I spoke at an Arizona forest service "town hall" hearing over a proposed copper mine in the Tucson area a couple years ago. I was opposed, and most of the audience was for the construction. The only positive response from anyone in the audience that I got was a man that told me, "I disagreed with just about everything you said up there, but I respect the fact that you admitted that you need and use copper too", as a resource. I like to think that maybe my opinion on the matter as at least considered a bit more when I tried to relate to the opposing view point a bit more. I dunno. Anyway, no more comments from me. Good luck with your efforts!
     
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  2. Ron Larson

    Ron Larson New Member

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  3. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Panning is just a wee bit different than running a gas powered dredge sucking yards of material off the stream bottom. How much material can you fit into your gold pan? A couple of ounces maybe? How much stream bottom do you displace while you are panning? A couple of cubic feet in a day at the high end and likely not all in the same spot. Hardly a decent comparison.
     
  4. Kim McDonald

    Kim McDonald member

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    Well, certainly that is true. And in Washington State, on the rivers that WDFW/NMFS-NOAA believes fishing of any kind can impact species that are listed under the ESA, we are banned from fishing. Upper Methow, Wenatchee, White River, Nason, etc. Yet, the miners can suction dredge those streams. I am all for not fishing in streams and rivers where our presence and the infrequent times C & R can cause mortality, are closed to fishing. And I am all for any work our community can do to help habitat. Because this is what it is really about. It's not the incidental fish mortality, it's about the habitat. I don't take a winch and remove a stump or root wad from a river because it's in the way of my fishing. I don't pry bar a boulder. I don't remove vegetation from the stream side in order to garner better access. I don't camp for weeks on end next to a river without any facilities. I also don't suck up the river bottom when I am fishing. We live, Icanfly, in the land of endangered fish. Development, roads, logging, overfishing, and a zillion other reasons have destroyed fish and their habitat. We are now spending hundreds of millions of our taxpaying money to restore streams and rivers, which in an instant, can be trashed by the hobby mining clubs. So I guess I think it's about time the fishing community begins to address the habitat issue. And if the first step is making sure people out for weeks at a time sucking up our rivers for their hobby begin to abide by some reasonable regulations that protect fish and habitat, then that is a good start. California, Idaho, Oregon, Maine, Tennessee are on board...Washington should be.

    Kim
     
  5. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    The logic is the same on this topic as people think on other issues: I can't possibly be part of the problem, it's that other guy/Group. There would be no problem at all if people would all stop fishing and stay home and go to work to fund all these fine orginazations trying to save earth from mankind. So far nobodys doing that 100% !
     
  6. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I used to fish the Rapid river when I lived in Washington. It is a wild river. One year the forest service came in and tried to tie down logs and rocks to provide hiding places for the fish. This was in the area of the first three bridges. The next years high water came and all the work put into the river was gone. I guess you could say the same for hobby gold panning.

    At certain times of the year the fishing was excellent. These high mountain streams seem to change with the seasons. By change I mean their beds. That does as much damage to the redds as gold panning does.
     
  7. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Seems this whole topic/issue just needs some balance...and who better on this forum to provide that than me.

    I checked out the Fish Not Gold website and now see who the principals are and that they are a spin-off of the WSC. Also did a little background search on these folks -- since they choose to make themselves public -- interesting. My take on these groups (which includes WFC) is that, for the most part, they mean well but that they tend to be ideologues who believe their position is the correct one. That tends to piss off a good many who feel there is another side to the storyline, that the "facts" are anything but, and there are other options to address the discord.

    On the other side are folks lawfully participating in a hobby who feel like they are being targeted as vermin for doing so. The Mining Act of 1872 provides the legal basis for them to harvest (gold not fish)... it's an outdated, pile of shit law that needs to be changed...but it is the current law. To put things in perspective, it wasn't that long ago that the measure of a fisherman's day was the racking and stacking of more dead fish on a hickory branch or laid out on the ground than he and his neighborhood could eat in a month...we've all seen the pictures. Recognizing the resource cannot continue to be pillaged as such, a new concept came into favor -- creel limits and C&R.

    Most of us are reasonable and get that with most all things comes the need for some compromise. I think the hobby gold miners know this too, but just resent being on the receiving end of the FNG attack. Much like the changes to fishing and hunting laws over the years, it's time to have a serious look at the outdated laws the control this hobby/sport. That I can and do support... casting dispersions on those who are lawfully mining for gold, I do not.

    The "save the earth" folks are all about saving the earth... well, until get to crunch time anyway. At that point, I have absolutely no doubt that earth will take second place. For me, that is why I feel much of their motivation is for the sense of being superior in thought and righteous in action -- a bit superficial.

    So there you have it... one mans opinion worth exactly what you paid for it :).
     
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  8. Kim McDonald

    Kim McDonald member

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    Well, actually, Freestone Angler, we are not a "spinoff" of Wild Steelhead Coalition. They have helped us, yes, but we are not part of their organization nor did we "spin off" from them. And to further complicate your assumptions, some of us have worked for Republicans some of us even voted for them in the last election. We are not, by any stretch of the imagination, ideologues. Rather, we are taxpayers concerned about making sure our dollars are well spent and that hobby miners, who don't pay a single dollar to the state, in other words, we subsidize them, at least pay for the enforcement costs and the destruction they cause.

    Making assumptions about people is never a good thing to do!

    Kim
     
  9. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    You drew the conclusion as to political party affiliation not me. As I stated, I agree that it's time to change the mining laws to be current with the times; but doing it by portraying those engaging in legal mining as the bad guys is not a good approach IMO. Seems everyone's got an axe to grind these days... the popularity of the non-profit "fix the ill's of we humans footprint on earth" has gone viral.
     
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  10. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    thats where the problem lies ,gold panning & power dredging are completely different methods. But by stating that all gold mining needs to be curtailed & regulated for the sake of the enviorment is like shutting down all p.s. river for steelhead because a couple of them have issues. these things get out of hand fast as soon as the lawyers and political groups get involved
     
  11. Kim McDonald

    Kim McDonald member

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    Freestoneangler:

    If only we were all reasonable. But, you should read what the miners say about people who seek to have reasonable regulation. The Karuk tribe in California tried to work with the New 49ers and ended up on the short end of the stick of attacks. Then in Oregon, the groups who worked on some reasonable regulation were parodied, threatened, and one enviro was visited at his home by a miner. When we went "live" with our Facebook page, we were pilloried. I get where you are coming from, and in a perfect world, would agree. But there is little room for compromise or "reaching across" the divide with some folks. Many miners believe they have a right to mine in the manner that they do. They believe a law created in 1872 gives them them an unfettered right to do whatever they way, regardless of the Endangered Species Act or other environmental laws, which is not how the US Supreme Court has interpreted the 1872 Mining Act. We want to get the miners out of waters that are protected by the ESA. We want the miners to pay fees so that WDFW has money for enforcement and studies. We want a database that shows where the miners are mining and where salmon/steelhead/bull trout restoration projects are happening. Reasonable?

    So tell me, what are other options you think are reasonable?

    Kim
     
  12. Josh

    Josh dead in the water

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    Based on every comment or action I've ever seen from hobby miners, I'd say you are completely wrong. They have not conducted themselves in a "reasonable" way in any other attempts to regulate their activities.
     
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  13. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    maybe we could update some of the laws & treatys from the 1800's to reflect the modern times & problems that exist in todays world ? people don't like change, If you are going to try & effect a change in policy you have to be willing face up to the publics resentment to change.
     
  14. Checkthisout

    Checkthisout Member

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    If you look at the original starting post to this thread the Fish not Gold guy is an asshole who makes people's hackles come out.

    The anti's may have some reasonable points but Americans also appreciate people who are polite and not assholes like that Piers Morgan guy was. (as an example).

    The inflammatory and "I'm Superior" rhetoric bring out the worst in people. Even though I love fish, fishing and the environment and don't mine, if I was a miner and one of you guys talked to me that way I would vacuum up every fish and redd I could find on purpose.
     
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  15. Kim McDonald

    Kim McDonald member

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    Last night I watched "The Normal Heart" on HBO. If you have time, watch it. Sometimes it takes people with passion, guts, and a willingness to be a "jerk" to effect change.

    Kim
     
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