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Skidrow Woolley Fly Club
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On April 6, 2013 a number of people will be staging a protest over the closure of the Skagit River catch and release season for steelhead which ran until the end of April. We would like to see WDFW reinstate this season. We feel the reasons WDFW used to justify the closure are flawed and the c&r season does little to no harm to the Skagit steelhead. Closing the river only serves to deny us of yet one more opportunity to fish. If you care to join us we are billing this little protest as "Occupy Skagit". The goal is to get as many people as we can to show up and "fish" the Skagit on April 6th. Nothing illegal, no hooks allowed. As one fisherman put it; "If WDFW is going to pretend to manage our fish, I am going to pretend to fish for them." This is a somewhat organized event. We are planning to notify certain media outlets and also show up at the commissioner’s meeting the following week. Please join us.

Steel Team Six

KerryS Casts: 1147Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 3:38 amLocation: Skidrow Woolley, WA
 

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Pullin' Thread
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I know I'm going to be part of it since it is my winter steelhead home river and I know that C & R has such little impact on the wild fish to be almost comical for WDFW to close it for C & R fishing. Pretending to fish for the steelhead that WDFW is pretending to protect seems like a good tonic.
 

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Perhaps if they put a ban on the upper reaches (assumed spawn area) that would be fine but the whole river seems a bit OTT.
 

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Not familiar with the situation, but I frequently hear of declining fish stocks. Does the Sakgit have this problem? If so then maybe doing something to protect the resource is in order. If not then that's a whole new ball game.

But as I understand it a portion of the fishing season was closed, even tho it was a C&R only season. Why not push for taking some of the remaining harvest season and turn that to C&R only. Would that not better protect the resource?

One more note, There is mortality caused C & R, it is not total harmless to the some of the fish. Poor/rough handling can kill a fish even if it swims off, does not mean it will live to see another day.
 

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Kerry I will be there and see if I can drag a few Canucks down with me.
 

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I'm not really understanding the "message" here. Is it as simple as this river was closed to fishing, and we like fishing this river?

I guess I'm anticipating some sort of conversation message but it doesn't seem like opening a river backup for fishing pushes that message? Maybe it does...

But, as much coverage as it received I didn't really understand occupy wallstreet deal so it's probably just me.

Appreciate any additional insight. Thanks!
 

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Fishes with Wolves
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More Info

There is quite a bit of conversation about this on another forum.
Rather than reproduce all of it here, I would direct you there:

http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/index.php?threads/occupy-skagit.78979/
http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/index.php?threads/occupy-skagit-redux.85565/
http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/index.php?threads/skagit-river-steehead.84233/

Please note that the date of the event has changed from the initial proposal:
The date is April 6, 2013
 

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Fishes with Wolves
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Occupy Skagit Defined

What is Occupy Skagit?
• A gathering on the Skagit River, April 6th in support of restoring the C&R season. The activity will involve 'fishing' without hooks in as many visible places as possible on the Skagit and Sauk; from the bridge at Concrete upstream to Bacon Creek on the Skagit, and upstream on the Sauk to the bridge at Darrington.
•This is a 'Wade In' Our purpose is not to disrupt traffic, be violent, disrespectful, trespass, harass, or engage in illegal activity of any kind...you know, just like when you go fishing.
•This is a parallel action to mesh with attendance at the WDFW Comissioners Meeting the following week in Olympia.

Why is Occupy Skagit?
•At the time of the ESA listing of Puget Sound wild steelhead, it was generally acknowledged by NMFS that the most robust large basin population in the region was in the Skagit; in fact on its own it probably would not have been listed. After reviewing the evidence, it is our belief that a well managed, catch-and-release (C&R) season on the Skagit would not be inconsistent with the recovery of its wild winter steelhead.
•This will require a petition from WDFW to NMFS for a permit that establishes basin specific allowable impacts (as is currently being done with Puget Sound Chinook).

Who is Occupy Skagit?
•You are. If two people do it, no one will notice. If two hundred people do it, we hope to garner some attention. Sometimes you have to dump a little tea in the harbor to get noticed.
 

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As would taking the stinger hook off and swinging your intruder, marabou, yarnie, etc.

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=77.08.010

scroll down to #64
You mean this:
(64) "To fish," "to harvest," and "to take," and their derivatives means an effort to kill, injure, harass, or catch a fish or shellfish.

??? From that description it doesn't sound like swinging a line with no hook attached would be illegal. I think I'd want to double check with DFG of course to be sure.
JB
 

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Fishes with Wolves
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(64) "To fish," "to harvest," and "to take," and their derivatives means an effort to kill, injure, harass, or catch a fish or shellfish.
First of all, there is no "effort" or design, or intent to do any of those things.
And before you come back with the "it's harassment" argument think about how hard to prove that is going to be in court. Did a fish call and complain? Did you see a fish out there 70' from the bank. Was it a steelhead?

Throwing rocks at sighted fish is harassment. Pretending to fish without a hook is...well...stupid, unless you just need the practice. But it is hardly illegal.

Less than two months away. I hope to see you there.
I had some bumper stickers made up and they'll be given away April 6th.



 

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Skidrow Woolley Fly Club
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Discussion Starter #16
You mean this:
(64) "To fish," "to harvest," and "to take," and their derivatives means an effort to kill, injure, harass, or catch a fish or shellfish.

??? From that description it doesn't sound like swinging a line with no hook attached would be illegal. I think I'd want to double check with DFG of course to be sure.
JB
Here is how I look at this. This is a protest and I am not afraid of getting a ticket for pretending to fish. If enforcement shows up and gives me a ticket for pretend fishing than I will fight it in court. If you are worried about getting a ticket for pretending to fish then you likely should not pretend to fish. Hopefully you still show up and support the rest of us ........... who are pretending to fish.
 

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Here is how I look at this. This is a protest and I am not afraid of getting a ticket for pretending to fish. If enforcement shows up and gives me a ticket for pretend fishing than I will fight it in court. If you are worried about getting a ticket for pretending to fish then you likely should not pretend to fish. Hopefully you still show up and support the rest of us ........... who are pretending to fish.
Kerry,
I actually have no dog in this fight so to speak. I live quite a ways away, so I wasn't considering attending. I'm inclined to agree with the general concept that C&R *can* potentially be a very low impact form of fishing, and I do think the response being promoted here is a good way to address this issue.

If I were closer, and knew a lot more about these fisheries in question I would have a stronger opinion one way or another. I just responded since I was curious about the legality of "fishing" with no hook, or practicing, etc. Seemed like the legal definition in the link provided had no such problems as far as I can tell. I wish you all good luck with these efforts and the future health of your rivers.
JB
 

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For the concerned...

There are casting claves held regularly on closed waters in PS. Casting with yarn. No one is getting cited. This event is nothing more than a glorified casting clave with a purpose to open some 'decision makers' eyes to the importance of having a fishing season provided the Skagit stays on course and continues to make escapement.

As it stands the Skagit is lumped in with every other river in the management unit and will stay closed to any and all recreational fishing that is directed at wild fish...even if there were a hundred trillion fish returning every second of every day, for the rest of time, provided there is one river in the unit not making escapement.

I for one am THANKFUL of those taking the time to organize this event. And for the most important step- attending the hearings to get a voice heard for sensible management decisions.

Anglers out there to protect the ability to fish. Like Ducks Unlmited protects hunting and ducks. Not just ducks.
 

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Of course enforcement would rather not open that can of worms in court, but you're obviously banking on this gray area of harassment with your intent of fishing without hooks which I guess confuses me about parts of your mission statement.

The whole thing confuses me really. What are you now trying to accomplish that WDFW hasn't been all along? They are trying to change the management plan and they know very well that we want a fishery.
 

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Fishes with Wolves
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Of course enforcement would rather not open that can of worms in court, but you're obviously banking on this gray area of harassment with your intent of fishing without hooks which I guess confuses me about parts of your mission statement.

The whole thing confuses me really. What are you now trying to accomplish that WDFW hasn't been all along? They are trying to change the management plan and they know very well that we want a fishery.
Folks feel there has been no movement on the management plan in five years. It was drafted, it was published, and it was 'put over there' five years ago.

Can you list specifically what it is they have done in the last five years to provide a C&R opportunity on the Skagit?



Go back and read post #11
This will require a petition from WDFW to NMFS for a permit that establishes basin specific allowable impacts (as is currently being done with Puget Sound Chinook).
...they know very well that we want a fishery
Then why is there no legal mechanism in place to give us one?
 
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