Three Minute Challenge.
Here's a challenge. A challenge to any and all that like to fly fish for steelhead. At this time it is specifically in support of the Skagit C&R fishery but ultimately in this day and age of ESA listings and conservation group lawsuits, it will encompass all steelhead fishing in the state.
I'll lay out the challenge directly, first I want to explain the need for it. As you know Curt and I recently attended a Commissioners meeting – again. And once again we tried to get across to them that this fishery is widely supported and loved by anglers from around the state and to a lessor extent other parts of the country. If you are a fly fishing steelheader, the Skagit is on your bucket list. This, and the science to support the fishery, is all content that they've heard from us over and over for about seven years and counting. If you have watched the meeting, available at this link:
you might have noticed there was a little bit of contention between us and them. And any of you familiar with proceedings like this know that before and after meetings there is some discussion that takes place. This is one of the reasons we go on Saturdays Their entire meeting is short lived and it's easier to hang around and have some of these discussions.
But Curt, myself, and a few others have taken this as far as we can. The Commissioners see the same few faces every time. They know how Curt feels. They know how Salmo feels. They know how I feel.
Their biggest question to us during and after the meeting was simple;
Where are you
guys? Where are you
guys when the department is trying to secure funding for your
fishery from the legislature? Are your
representatives even aware of this fishery? Are your
representatives aware that this is something very important to you
? Are your
representatives aware that this is how fishing of this type is going to have to proceed in the 21st century?
If you care about flyfishing for steelhead in WA now and in the future, you
need to do something now. And I think you can do something that will have an impact in three minutes. Less time than it takes to tie a fly. Less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee. Less time than it takes to buy a coffee. Less time than it takes to post on the forum bitching about WDFW, the Mariners, the Seahawks, or the weather. Less time than cruising the Classifieds. And certainly less time than to drive out of state to fish somewhere else.
So here is the three minute challenge:
Send an email to your representatives with a CC to the Commissioners and the Director of WDFW.
Find your representatives here:
Legislative Information Center Contacting Your Legislators
Find their emails here:
CC to the Commissioners:
CC to the Director:
Tell them all that you are a fly fisherman and you saw the video linked to above and this is important to you. Tell them that this is their chance to build a fishing legacy to give their children, and your children, to fish for steelhead in the future. Tell them to support funding for this fishery and others to come either by WDFW budget means or authorizing the department to charge user fees so that we can pay for it ourselves.
Find others like yourself in your address book and send them a copy of your email and urge them to do the same.
It is, quite literally, time to put up or shut up.