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Will you fish the Thompson River if it becomes hatchery enhanced?

  • Yes

    Votes: 117 44.0%
  • No

    Votes: 149 56.0%
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They played that card once before long ago. That would be it, kiss it good by! I guess they would propose using native broodstock and sell it on junk science. maybe it's time for a visit the Deschutes to see what a mess they made out of that river and at the same time check out the North Coast of Oregon and see what they accomplished with their winter run native broodstock program. Hatcheries are designed to fail and they do it well.

Chas
"it's all about the hunt"
 

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I would , begrudgingly . But in no way do I support having a hatchery on this magnificent river . I`d fish it simply because the T is the only steelhead river (excluding the Coq , which is also closed) within 3 hours of home .
I fish the Skeena tribs for three weeks every year , and would gladly trade at least one of those weeks to fish the Thompson if her wild stocks were healthy enough to warrant an opening .
 

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interesting question Dana. Maybe the first question should be : Do you support hatchery fish on the Thompson ? Lets not make the assumption that it has already happened.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Discussion Starter #7
Read again Pete. No I'm not. Key word to look for there is "if". Note I asked "if", not "when". As you know the system does not have hatchery fish. There is a proposal on the table to introduce hatchery fish. The issue you raised was:

"Lets not make the assumption that it has already happened."

My question does not make that assumption. Etc. Blah blah blah. I'm already bored with this.

Further, please see my comments in the inflatables thread. Rather than engage in silly debates on the internet, why not do something constructive? Just as I challenged Brian to stop stirring the pot, I issue the same challenge to you. The Thompson could use an intelligent fellow like yourself as an advocate.
 

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if, and, or, but. (none of my favorite words)
the reason i think it is an interesting question is: there are alot of people that would and do fish rivers that are hatchery enhanced, BUT, if had the choice would prefer to keep it wild in the first place. So, someone might answer yes to your poll yet disagree with hatchery enhancement.
PK
 

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though I understand and appreciate your genuine intention D, the poll really is poorly worded.

The key point to take from this is that wild systems are valued higher than hatchery enhanced systems.

unless of course the primary intention of the excercise is food for the table.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Discussion Starter #10
Agreed Peter (not with Brian re wording--editorial note Brian and PKK are pals). The important thing though is that, from the economic perspective (which is what drives the hatchery proposal) the pro-hatchery folks need to determine whether a hatchery really would increase angler traffic in Spences Bridge thereby boosting the economy. From this perspective, it doesn't really matter whether you agree with hatchery enhancement or not; what matters is will you fish if a hatchery is placed on the river.

The hatchery proposal on the Thompson is based on junk science and the economics of Spences Bridge. In this case hopefully enough folks will reject fishing a hatchery river that the economic benefit argument will be questioned. One thing I think the pro-hatchery folks in SB don't realize is that most of the Thompson anglers are from the lower mainland and won't contribute a lot to the local economy because:

A. they bring all their stuff with them from home and tend to day-trip or do one overnight anyways;

B. without a gas station, well-stocked local store, and reliable accommodations (I believe Acacia Grove is now the only place in town that is actually open) those local anglers will seek what they need elswhere (Lytton, Cache Creek).

I believe that if a hatchery has any appeal at all it will only appeal to local (south coast and perhaps kamloops-area anglers) who are used to fishing hatchery rivers like the Vedder. But the fact is that those guys already fish the Thompson, so a hatchery won't bring them in because they are already there.

I agree with Brian that it is the travelling anglers the folks in SB need to attract...but does SB now have the tourism-related infrastructure to support them? At this stage of the game--other than the pub, the Packing House Restaurant, and Acacia Grove, all great places--there's nothing else to support the travelling angler. They can't get gas, they probably wouldn't be able to get a room, they can't swing in to the local store to get a candy bar and a bottle of gatorade. So they have to bring everything with them or stay somewhere else.

I don't believe a hatchery will attract more anglers to SB, especially over the long-term--the science doesn't support it, plus the mystique of the Thompson will be shattered. The folks voting "Yes" in the Fly Fishing poll--I believe Chas speaks for these folks. It is about history, tradition, and the mystique of the river that brings us back whether we catch a pile of fish or not.

If the Thompson stays wild, and if anglers have opportunity to fish it, they will come. Simple as that. So the question is, how do we create predictable angling opportunity on a river with depressed stocks? If we leave the ethics aside for a minute (and I don't believe we should, but let's run with it a minute), we have to consider what would maximize angler opportunity while minimizing angler impact on these fish. Brian's FF Only regs with floating line etc would be the best choice, but without careful enforcement guys would be fishing intruders on floating lines etc so the chances of that working without a huge amount of hypocrisy are slim. Plus the gear guys would say "then we won't fish" which would cut into the positive economics for Spences Bridge, which in turn would cause the advocates in Spences Bridge to reject it as a management plan. So short of ethically adopted FF Only Regs, the next best would be a simple bait ban. This would minimize repeat encounters with tired fish, but everyone would still get to fish, Spences Bridge would realize the economic benefits of a fishery, and some of us would wrestle with our conscience.
 

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Yes, BUT>>>

I voted yes, but on the sole condition that there is a 3-4 year study group charged with producing at least 5 draft AMP's and recommendations to charge NRA's at least $250/day and that all the Classified Water fees and Steelhead licences fees are dedicated to enhancing local politicians' re-election funds and financial benefit for the study group participants.
of course I jest! but....
 

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I can fish for hatchery steelhead in many rivers. I haven't fished the Thompson in a long while, but I've never driven or flown to BC to fish for hatchery steelhead. The main reason to fish BC is wild steelhead. I write as I'm packing to head to the Clearwater or Deschutes to fish for the abundant hatchery runs this season.

Sg
 

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Hell No!!! that would be a final blow for a sadly depleted wild run which was once one of the worlds greatest. Hatcheries are for one thing...harvest. They are incompatible with wild fish and produce biologically inferior animals.

Dana, your question of how do we create a sustainable c&r fishery on the T is a bit complicated. Less incidental harvest on migrating fish would certainly help, but even then we might see about the same number of fish as the skagit gets which this year was about 2500 fish. The primary problem is early marine survival is TERRIBLE on puget sound/georgia basin stocks. I have ZERO data to back this up but I suspect the huge hatchery supplementation in the basin is a major part of the problem. Limited, degraded resources/lots of preds and whammo you get 3% smolt to adult survival on steelhead when historically it was probably 15% on average.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Discussion Starter #15
Hell No!!! that would be a final blow for a sadly depleted wild run which was once one of the worlds greatest. Hatcheries are for one thing...harvest. They are incompatible with wild fish and produce biologically inferior animals.

Dana, your question of how do we create a sustainable c&r fishery on the T is a bit complicated. Less incidental harvest on migrating fish would certainly help, but even then we might see about the same number of fish as the skagit gets which this year was about 2500 fish. The primary problem is early marine survival is TERRIBLE on puget sound/georgia basin stocks. I have ZERO data to back this up but I suspect the huge hatchery supplementation in the basin is a major part of the problem. Limited, degraded resources/lots of preds and whammo you get 3% smolt to adult survival on steelhead when historically it was probably 15% on average.
I think the hatchery enhancement is definitely creating a "tragedy of the commons" situation with these stocks. And I don't think we can discount the possibility that fish farms are impacting migrating smolts. We know now that Fraser sockeye are being wacked by sea lice--not a big stretch to think that steelhead smolts might be experiencing a similar fate. Ed Ward (who is ahead of the curve on most things) suggested to kush and I years ago that fish farms might be impacting steelhead returns in Puget Sound. I think he was right.
 

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Yes there were hatchery fish in the past, as were noted inother posts.. I caught a very well clipped fin fish in 1985 ,, a 15 lb buck that fought as good as any T fish I have caught since. And that is a fewww. I am not saying have a hatchery but the wild strain... Is it really wild after the old hatchery??? I Don't think so.. Maybe some...Food for thought!
 

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GB, I caught a clipped fish on the "T" about 5 years ago. I believe I showed Dana and Kush pics at the Log Cabin? It was one of the smaller steelhead I have landed on the "T". Where did it stay from, I can't guess just that it was one misguided fish.

I don't support a hatchery on the "T", would I continue to fish her? It's easy to say yes or no. I have been blessed to swing flies in her currents. If that experience were to change due to a hatchery I can't say I would continue to fish her. SB is a special place that holds a place in my heart.

Regarding economic impact, $20-25 a night for a cot, $25-50 a night at the pub, $10 a day break/lunch, plus non res., alien lic fees.
 

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I think the hatchery enhancement is definitely creating a "tragedy of the commons" situation with these stocks. And I don't think we can discount the possibility that fish farms are impacting migrating smolts. We know now that Fraser sockeye are being wacked by sea lice--not a big stretch to think that steelhead smolts might be experiencing a similar fate. Ed Ward (who is ahead of the curve on most things) suggested to kush and I years ago that fish farms might be impacting steelhead returns in Puget Sound. I think he was right.
Dana, all the acoustic tag stuff I've seen shows most Washington steelhead going out through the Strait of Juan De Fuca, meaning at least in that vulnerable early marine period they aren't interacting with fish farms much if at all. Might be different for Thompson fish though.

The other thing I should add to this conversation is that I wont be fishing the T any time soon regardless of a hatchery or not. I just moved the the Lower Mainland BC and so it is definitely tempting, but I will hold off for now. I most DEFINITELY oppose a hatchery but I just can't justify the impact of my own sports fishing on a stock that depressed. If it ever recovered to the point of consistently having over 3 or 4 thousand fish I might think otherwise.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Discussion Starter #19
Rain,

thanks for the notes on the acoustical info. I wonder do the young head straight for the open ocean? If they move up the west coast of Van Isle there are lots of fish farms for them to pass by/through:

http://www.focs.ca/fishfarming/map-bcfarms.asp

The other thing I should add to this conversation is that I wont be fishing the T any time soon regardless of a hatchery or not. I just moved the the Lower Mainland BC and so it is definitely tempting, but I will hold off for now. I most DEFINITELY oppose a hatchery but I just can't justify the impact of my own sports fishing on a stock that depressed. If it ever recovered to the point of consistently having over 3 or 4 thousand fish I might think otherwise.
I must admit that I am currently doing a lot of soul searching on this one myself right now.
 
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