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My how time flys. We are now in the 5th year of the Habitat Management Plan prepared to manage the Cowlitz River upper and lower river fishery. IMO we have learned what not to do over the past five years. A bright spot to this on going discussion is that the Habitat Management Plan is to be updated on a 7 year cycle. TPU is now ready to begin the updating process as it will most likely take 1 year to formulate the updates and another year to move it through the public input process. Therefore, by 2010 an updated document.

The Cowlitz river is a unique fishery in that we have the ability to manage the upper river for wild fish and the lower river for hatchery fish. Please note, that up until the relicensing process and settlement agreement was shoved down our respective throats, the lower river was managed for hatchery fish. As well, we benefitted from a former hatchery manager that truly cared about the performance of the hatcheries and consistently produced smolt counts well beyond their current hatchery capabilities.

We have the ability to advocate changes which could have a positive affect on our beloved Cowlitz river. We need to approach and lobby both WDFW and TPU during this updating process to express our concerns regarding changing their position to manage the lower river for hatchery fish not native fish and improve management practices in the hatcheries including reinstating the recycling program.

TPU will conduct a genetics study on lower river steelhead to determine whether the non-indigenious (hatchery summer run and early winter run) have any impact on the prefered late winter run steelhead. Should the study find less than a 5% impact to this late winter run fish, we could get back our recycling program. TPU is required to conduct this study, so why has the WDFW and FOC teamed to duplicate this effort ?????? More than likely some impact will be identified in either study so why duplicate efforts. TPU has the resources and $$$ to conduct the study, it doesn't have to come from public donations.

Regardless of the findings of the genetics study, we should anticipate that some impact will be identified and we should be positioned to advocate against any fisheries management strategy focused upon wild fish in the lower river. Our hatcheries have been releasing many different strains of steelhead for more than 40 years. It really is of tragedy to allow the fact that two hatchery fish propagated in the river gravel, and smolt that survived happened to return in February and March, dictate our river's management strategy. Common sense must prevail that the fish are not of a resident native strain specific to the Cowlitz river. These fish are of hatchery origin and the lower river should be managed accordingly.

Simple operational programs could have positive and long term benefits to our fishery. First, complete the upgrades to the salmon hatchery that have been in design for 4 or 5 years now. Review past practices of previous managers successes to incorporate into current practices, allow instinct to guide when the smolt leave the hatchery not some convenient date for hachery staff, insure that the smolt recieve specific nutrients needed that may not be commonly provided, split the outflow from the trout hachery to avoid all fish stacking at the boat launch, and return escapement numbers to historical levels not what was identified in the current Habitat Management Plan. Please note, the improvements to the Barrier Dam hatchery will accommodate a significantly larger number of smolt thatn the current Habitat Management Plan dictates. Many more program changes can be identified but must be embraced by WDFW managers to work.

We need to start now to advocate our positions and not wait until the draft updated plan is distributed for review. It is to late them. Advocacy needs to be directed to TPU representatives and WDFW region 5 managers. We can all make a difference by speaking out early and often during the development phase of the update. While their are some aspects of the plan we will not be able to influence, programmatic changes can be much easier to concede and alter.


Washington Sportfishing Association will be preparing a position paper to deliver to both WDFW and TPU in an effort to advocate for changes that can have immediate and long term improvements to the condition of our Cowlitz steelhead and salmon fishery. Some of the topics are touched upon in this article.
 

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VERY WELL WRITTEN FREEDRIFTER WITH ALOT OF GOOD INFO EVER THOUGHT ABOUT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OF THE WSA. THIS ORGANIZATION COULD USE SOMEONE WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE TO RALLY THE SPORT FISHER PEOPLE TO GET INVOLVED IN THIS ORGANIZATION THAT MIGHT GET THINGS DONE INSTEAD OF A BUNCH OF GUIDES PISSIN AND MOANING ABOUT THINGS AND NOTHING GETTING DONE. IMO
 

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Doublehooks said:
VERY WELL WRITTEN FREEDRIFTER WITH ALOT OF GOOD INFO EVER THOUGHT ABOUT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OF THE WSA. THIS ORGANIZATION COULD USE SOMEONE WITH YOUR KNOWLEDGE TO RALLY THE SPORT FISHER PEOPLE TO GET INVOLVED IN THIS ORGANIZATION THAT MIGHT GET THINGS DONE INSTEAD OF A BUNCH OF GUIDES PISSIN AND MOANING ABOUT THINGS AND NOTHING GETTING DONE. IMO
Well Said clap: clap: clap:
 

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freedriftin said:
My how time flys. We are now in the 5th year of the Habitat Management Plan prepared to manage the Cowlitz River upper and lower river fishery. IMO we have learned what not to do over the past five years. A bright spot to this on going discussion is that the Habitat Management Plan is to be updated on a 7 year cycle. TPU is now ready to begin the updating process as it will most likely take 1 year to formulate the updates and another year to move it through the public input process. Therefore, by 2010 an updated document.
Interesting post, but not quite factual.

1) There is no such thing as a "Habitat Management Plan " in the Cowlitz Settlement Agreement. There is a Fishery and Hatchery Management Plan which is Article 6 in the Settlement Agreement.

2) The Settlement Agreement states that the plan Shall be updated every 6 years, "starting in year 7, of the license.

TPU will conduct a genetics study on lower river steelhead to determine whether the non-indigenious (hatchery summer run and early winter run) have any impact on the prefered late winter run steelhead. Should the study find less than a 5% impact to this late winter run fish, we could get back our recycling program. TPU is required to conduct this study, so why has the WDFW and FOC teamed to duplicate this effort ?????? More than likely some impact will be identified in either study so why duplicate efforts. TPU has the resources and $$$ to conduct the study, it doesn't have to come from public donations.
TPU was not "required" to conduct any such genetic studies. The FOC had asked TUP to help fund "there gentic study", but Tacoma refused to do so. The FOC wanted to have control over how the genetic study would be done but TPU refused to allow or pay for there study. They (TPU) did not want the FOC to have control over how the study or its results. The parites (WDFW, TPU, and FOC) then all agreed to a lesser genetic study in witch the FOC Technical advisor would be able to overview all data and results.

You are correct that everyone better get off there butts this time around and make sure that there comments are heard loud an clear this time around. It's time for sport fishers to start doing there homework!
 

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Just a thought.... dont even know if it would be allowed or not... But if we the sporties and guides could accually volunteer some of our time to help out with some of the hatchery projects, whatever that might be ? who knows what might be able to take place and maybe make a change ??????
Like I said... just a thought ! what is your thoughts on this ?
 

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Live to fish said:
... But if we the sporties and guides could accually volunteer some of our time to help out with some of the hatchery projects, whatever that might be ?
Well, since you asked, I will give you my thoughts!

In the past 20 years there has been only 3 "guides" that I know of who have every done one thing as far as raising fish for the sport fisher to catch on the Cowlitz. I was one, Dave Becker was one, and Don Glaser was the other. All the others were just good old sport fishers! Tup:

Together, we had raised well over a million fish (steelhead, salmon, and trout) for sport fishers to catch and harvest. I know of no other "guides" who have done so on the Cowlitz. Most guides (but not all) are only interested in catching enough fish to make there own clients happy and to keep there own pay checks coming in each week. That was verified during the relicensing process where sport fishing guides only attended maybe two out of over 100 relicensing meetings. Tacoma did contact a small local group of fishing "guides" in the very last minute to enhance there settlement negotiations in an attempted to get them to sign on to there settlement agreement. Those "guides" did not participate in the 5 year long relicensing process, but yet Tacoma wanted to have the appearance that the sport fishing community and the "guides" supported there settlement Agreement.

That is a fact!

For the most part, the majority of the fishing guides on the Cowlitz only care about making money off of fishing. That is not true of all the guides, but it is true of the majority of them. If any of you doubt what I have stated, please name just one project that the guides have every done to help the fish runs on the Cowlitz?

I am still waiting to hear who this "Washington Sport fishing Association" really is?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
IMO we should not focus on past actions of any guides or for that matter CPR Fish and FOC. We all need to take some blame for the condition of our fishery. To point fingers and blame any one organization is pointless. This is the mentality we need to over come. If we wish to have any success in this chance to provide direction in the upcoming update, we must provide reasonable, credible topics is a positive environment and not in a critical or accusatory manner. TPU appears willing to reach out for our input as well WDFW. We should take advantage of this opportunity.
 

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freedriftin said:
IMO we should not focus on past actions of any guides or for that matter CPR Fish and FOC. We all need to take some blame for the condition of our fishery. To point fingers and blame any one organization is pointless. This is the mentality we need to over come. If we wish to have any success in this chance to provide direction in the upcoming update, we must provide reasonable, credible topics is a positive environment and not in a critical or accusatory manner. TPU appears willing to reach out for our input as well WDFW. We should take advantage of this opportunity.
Please don't be so naïve. There is only one group to put the blame on and that is Tacoma Public Utilities. One only has to read the history books to figure that one out. You say that "we" need to take some blame for the condition our fishery. How did you ever develop that mentality? That mentality may be true in some of our fisheries, but it baffles me how you could place that on the Cowlitz River fisheries, or should I say lack of fisheries. I for one would really like to hear what your explanation or thinking was for believing that "we" are to blame?

What exactly did "we" do?

Did we build Tacoma's Dams that forever changed and degraded our fisheries…No!

Did we benefit from Tacoma's Dams…or the selling of there electric power…No!

Did Tacoma ever pay any mitigation for fish looses that have occurred below its dams because of it past operations …No!

You say "If we wish to have any success in this chance to provide direction in the upcoming update, we must provide reasonable, credible topics is a positive environment and not in a critical or accusatory manner."

Obviously you have never had any dealings with either TPU or for that matter any large hydro electric utility. They all care about one thing, and one thing only and many of us can assure you that it's not fish. Tacoma publishes its own private propaganda paper called "Cowlitz Currents" which is full of lies and fairy tells and now even has its own Cowlitz website to spread more of there lies and fairy tells, and you still expect sport fishers now to discuss and address there continued negative effects in a "positive environment '' and not in a critical or accusatory manner?

How naïve can one be?

Maybe you can explain why Tacoma ozone treatment plant fails and killes off millions of our smolts and parr every couple years and yet they have never had to paid back there lost of these fish to our sport fisheries? Tdown: It's been a well known fact that Tacoma's ozone treatment plant which keeps the hatchery waters clean from diseases during the times that our smolts are being reared for our sport fishing always have to get the "secondary water" that's been discharged from the raceways where they raise there "specail wild stocks" that don't exist? Does that sound like Tacoma cares about our sport reared fish? Tacoma should raise all fish with the best waters possible, yet they have chosen not to do so. Good old Tacoma looking out for our sport fishing again! Tdown:

The list is endless, so please don't think or believe that Tacoma will be looking out for ours or the fish's best interests.

I am still waiting to hear who this "Washington Sport fishing Association" is and how they intend to deal with Tacoma's record of failures on the Cowlitz in what you reffer to as a positive environment and not in a critical or accusatory manner .
 

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Washington Sportfishing Association is the OLD GIUDES ASSOCIATION which has been around for ever in SW Washington. Ths name was changed and is open for anyone to join need not be a GUIDE. The change took place in 07.
 

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Doublehooks said:
Washington Sportfishing Association is the OLD GIUDES ASSOCIATION which has been around for ever in SW Washington. Ths name was changed and is open for anyone to join need not be a GUIDE. The change took place in 07.
Thanks for clarifying that one. clap:

You say that it took place in 07, so did they just start up a new group again? What happened to the "old Guide's Association"? Did they just loose there "membership" …again? Are these new guys also 501-c3?

Who are there new sport fishing leaders? Or are they just another ad hoc guide group that seems to rise every time they need more fish for their clients or pay checks?

Please…tell us more!

If we are to join this "new" group….what exactly are we joining?

What are there stated goals and purposes?

Will Tacoma fund them… just like they did TU and American Rivers?
 

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Let's just hope the new Guides Association and possibly CCA will bail us out of the terrible mess that FOC has put the Cowlitz River fishery in. During relicensing, FOC had a golden opportunity to make the Cowlitz fishery fanstastic but they were so focused on inflicting pain on Tacoma that they stumbled completely, but then again, maybe FOC's rude and childish behavior had something to do with it, you can even see it in the postings.
 

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Cowlitz1 said:
Let's just hope the new Guides Association and possibly CCA will bail us out of the terrible mess that FOC has put the Cowlitz River fishery in. During relicensing, FOC had a golden opportunity to make the Cowlitz fishery fanstastic but they were so focused on inflicting pain on Tacoma that they stumbled completely, but then again, maybe FOC's rude and childish behavior had something to do with it, you can even see it in the postings.
Wow!!!

Great first post! But it is lacking anything at all to support either facts or substances to yours or Tacoma's past assertions or actions.

The CCA will do NOTHING to help the fisheries on the Cowlitz. Instead of just doing what most of the CCA spokes people have done for the past year now, please explain in detail what you think that the CCA can do to "bail out" the sport fishers on the Cowlitz. Please don't be shy in explaining this issue. Believe me…we are all EARS!!!!

Did not the "old guides" support the CCA too? Are there now two different "guide" groups who are both one and the same "guide groups"…the old guides…and the new Washington sport fishing Association?

You made a statement that you must now support with your own facts. You stated that the "FOC had a golden opportunity to make the Cowlitz fishery fanstastic but they were so focused on inflicting pain on Tacoma that they stumbled completely"

You owe it to the people on this forum to explain exactly, in detail, exactly what your statement means and what facts you have to support such a ridiculous statement, or it's becomes pretty obvious to all that you know nothing at all or you are a Tacoma plant or supporter.

Lets keep this thread civil and address all the facts and not just the "hear say" that the Tacoma lovers love to spread.

Are you up to doing this?
 

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Sorry Cowlitzfisherman, Guides and CCA leaders will reveal plans when ready. But let's face it, even morons from outerspace could have done better than FOC/CPR, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
 

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Cowlitz1 said:
Sorry Cowlitzfisherman, Guides and CCA leaders will reveal plans when ready. But let's face it, even morons from outerspace could have done better than FOC/CPR, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
Wow, I want to hear more! clap: I think alot of people including alot of guides would like to know more as well. Tup:
Not just guides but many fisher people are keeping close tabs on this and for that matter all topics brought up about the Cowlitz river.

Join CCA! :)
 

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Cowlitz1 said:
Sorry Cowlitzfisherman, Guides and CCA leaders will reveal plans when ready. But let's face it, even morons from outerspace could have done better than FOC/CPR, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
That is nothing more then an admission that you know nothing at all about what you are talking about. Does the CCA really believe that the CCA can increase your sport fishing opportunities on the Cowlitz? That my friend is exactly the kinds of miss information and ridiculous statements that has made so many people doubts the success of what the CCA can do here in the Pacific Northwest.

The CCA may or may not be able to effect some parts of the fisheries in our waters, but to insinuate that the CCA and the guides can help the Cowlitz is typical of there lack of understanding of the law, the Settlement Agreement, and fact.

Using your own words…" even morons from outerspace" should be able to understand that one. Maybe you can explain how the guides or the CCA can help your sport fishing on the Cowlitz? Maybe you can explain how a conservation group such as the CCA is going to support a hatchery summer run steelhead programs which are "a none native stocks" over that of the so called wild stocks? Tacoma must be rolling over with laughter!!

Your inabilities to give any valid facts to support your assertions that the FOC and others had failed without showing how you or others could have done any better is laughable. These groups spent well over 5 years attempting to get more fish for both you and the guides to catch while you and the guides did nothing. Now you make statements that you are unable to support with any facts, and expect people on this forum to believe them. That will not work in this forum. If you have any facts at all to support your last couple of statements it would behoove you to show us what they are.

You have made several statements now without one single fact to support any of them and you have lost your credibility as far as I am concerned. You may or may not like the FOC or what they had attempted to do, but at least they tried to do something while you did nothing. You and countless others where told both on this forum and several other fishing forums about Tacoma's Fishery and Hatchery Management Plan (FHMP) yet you did nothing to change it…NOTHING! So now you're blaming the FOC for your own laziness and sort falls. For years I have updated the sport fishers on what the FOC and others where doing and to what was going on in the Settlement and the FHMP to closed ears. You where told exactly what Tacoma was doing to kill your sport fishery off, yet you and the guides did NOTHING.

I think that you need to better educate yourself on what is actually fact and reality from that of what is only "hearsay" from disgruntled people.
 

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MYSTICAL LEGENDS said:
Cowlitz1 said:
Sorry Cowlitzfisherman, Guides and CCA leaders will reveal plans when ready. But let's face it, even morons from outerspace could have done better than FOC/CPR, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
Wow, I want to hear more! clap: I think alot of people including alot of guides would like to know more as well. Tup:
Not just guides but many fisher people are keeping close tabs on this and for that matter all topics brought up about the Cowlitz river.

Join CCA! :)
ttt..... I want to hear. And won't bash for stating your mind.
 

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MYSTICAL LEGENDS said:
MYSTICAL LEGENDS said:
Cowlitz1 said:
Sorry Cowlitzfisherman, Guides and CCA leaders will reveal plans when ready. But let's face it, even morons from outerspace could have done better than FOC/CPR, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
Wow, I want to hear more! clap: I think alot of people including alot of guides would like to know more as well. Tup:
Not just guides but many fisher people are keeping close tabs on this and for that matter all topics brought up about the Cowlitz river.

Join CCA! :)
ttt..... I want to hear. And won't bash for stating your mind.
I am with you too!

I want to HEAR more!!!!!
 
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