RB3 wrote:With that said, they will not be considered of natural origin because they are out of river/basin stock, dependant on the system and fish.
Hey, look at that! I think I got an answer to one of my questions! But let me make sure I'm understanding this correctly...
So after a Steelhead comes from a hatchery, non of it's decendants can ever be considered a "wild" Steelhead ever again, regardless of their genetics, right?
And Salmo g, I'm glad you are always right... that must be an awesome gift to have. But as far as your statements about "Many PS tributaries still have good, if not excellent, wild steelhead smolt production from the under-escaped runs. However, those smolt populations are not translating into good adult runsizes because of the well below average marine survival rates. Therefore, ending all gillnetting will not increase most steelhead populations for the simple reason that netting is not the proximate cause of steelhead runsize decline." Am I supposed to believe this just because you say so? I'm afraid I don't have the same level of confidence in you that you have in yourself, so prove it.
Use the Nisqually as an example... show me documented evidence indicating the Nisqually still has "excellent, wild steelhead smolt production" and proof that WDFW knows exactly where these smolt forage in the ocean in comparison to the upper Columbia River Steelhead smolt.
As far as the genetic questions... even if the biologists can correctly idendify which strains are originally from particular systems, where's the proof that it makes any difference where they are from? Why is it sooooo important that each river have only Steelhead that originated from that river? Is there no evidence that a river has experience a historical natural catastrophe which destroyed a Steelhead run, then a run was naturally rebuilt from strays of another system? Again, before I am willing to take the leap of faith, I need to see proof that the only Steelhead that are good for a system are the Steelhead that originated from that system.
One bit of data that seems impossible to find is numbers showing how many Steelhead have been killed in gillnets since 1974 in rivers like the Nisqually. I have asked for these numbers, and no one is able or willing to provide them...
And why is it that everytime anyone questions this "Wild Steelhead" belief system, they are immediately accused of being willingly ignorant? You have no idea how much or how little effort some have put into learning about the fishery.
Is it possible we are seeing a case of "Say something often enough, for long enough and people will believe it is the facts." Don't dare question the "facts."