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Jan_from_Humboldt
01-26-2006, 07:03 PM
Administration Pitches New Salmon Policy
Bush Administration Seeks Cuts to Salmon Harvest and Hatchery Reforms to Protect Fish
By JEFF BARNARD
The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Ore. - Conceding that using hatcheries to supplement dwindling salmon populations is harming wild salmon species in some cases, the Bush administration plans to move away from the practice in favor of a more direct solution: Catch fewer fish.

James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, announced the new policy Wednesday at a meeting of salmon scientists, many of whom have concluded that wild Pacific salmon will become practically extinct this century without big changes in how the harvest is managed.

&quot;Our goal is to minimize and, where possible, eliminate the harvest of naturally spawning fish that provide the foundation for recovery,&quot; Connaughton said in an interview with The Associated Press before his speech.

Critics said the change in tactics does not address the combination of factors that have severely reduced salmon runs, from overfishing and development to hydroelectric dams.

&quot;Hatcheries were intended to replace habitat behind dams,&quot; said Glen Spain of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, which represents California commercial fishermen. &quot;If they close all the hatcheries, we want some dams down, too.&quot;

Connaughton said the administration has a strong commitment to the hydroelectric dams, which are important to the region's economy.

Scientists have long criticized hatcheries as producers of salmon that dilute the gene pool, spread disease and compete with wild fish for food and habitat, while being less able to survive in the wild.

Connaughton did not say how much the administration wants to reduce the wild salmon harvest. He said NOAA Fisheries will review the 180 hatcheries in the Columbia Basin over the next year, shutting down those that harm salmon and helping others that contribute to recovery.

Connaughton said change will require the collaboration of regional federal regulators, Canada, Oregon, Washington and Indian tribes.

&quot;We cannot improperly hatch and we cannot carelessly catch the wild salmon back to recovery,&quot; Connaughton said.

About 2.75 million salmon are caught annually by commercial and sports fishermen in the Columbia and off the Pacific from Alaska, Canada and the West Coast.

Since 1991, 26 populations of salmon have been listed as threatened or endangered. None has been judged healthy enough to be delisted. Restoration efforts and technological fixes to dams have run up a bill of $6 billion over the past 10 years.

Connaughton, President Bush's top environmental adviser, outlined the new policy at the Salmon 2100 Conference, where scientists gathered to consider new ways to prevent the extinction of wild salmon.

Current salmon runs are 5 percent of historical levels, said Robert Lackey, a fisheries scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency and chairman of the conference. Wild runs disappeared from Europe, most of Asia and the Northeast as populations grew.

Lackey said Connaughton's proposals did not address the four primary drivers of wild salmon declines a market economy that gives salmon short shrift, rapid population growth, increasing demand for clean water, and human lifestyle choices that ignore the needs of fish.

Spain, of the fishermen's group, said fishing accounts for only 5 percent of human-caused salmon deaths in the Columbia Basin, while hydroelectric dams account for 80 percent.

The National Marine Fisheries Service, which oversees Columbia River and Snake River salmon recovery, recently decided against requiring the Idaho Power Co. to add fish ladders on its Hells Canyon dams.

Environmentalists say adding the ladders as a condition for renewing the company's permits would help the fish survive passage through the three-dam system. The utility, however, complained that the ladders estimated to cost $100 million would be too costly and ineffective.

In Nov. 16 e-mails obtained by The Associated Press, the agency said it is focusing instead on recommending Idaho Power set aside money to clean up the river above the dams so the waterway will one day provide good habitat for salmon and steelhead. Both are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Team_Sheryl_Lee
01-26-2006, 08:45 PM
HMMMMM!!!!!

TSL

65whaler
01-27-2006, 11:57 AM
the idea that sport fishermen are responsible for the decline of the salmon population is so bogus in hurts. if you want a heathy wild salmon population, open the rivers. is that so hard to get?

CaptBrandon
01-27-2006, 04:42 PM
I SUPPORT A SEASON LIMIT ON SALMON, HOW MANY SALMON DOES ONE PERSON REALLY NEED? I LIVED IN CANADA, B.C WHERE THE LIMIT IS TWO PER DAY FOUR PER YEAR, I THINK REGS SUCH AS THIS WOULD BE JUST FINE. THEY ALSO NEED NEW WATER MANAGMENT POLICY'S AS WELL, WHY DO WE BLOW OUT A RIVER ONE DAY 70,000 CFS AND STARVE IT THE NEXT 1200 CFS.

triggerfish
01-27-2006, 08:52 PM
FCD, The reason why we have 35,000 cfm,one day and the next we have 700cfms. is that the people running things are idiots. Just look at folson lake now. its almost a mud puddle. And the storms are probbaly over for the year. *As for the 4 fish limit a year. That just sucks. *I never understand why people come to my country, and try to make it like the one that they left! ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

drstressor
01-28-2006, 12:24 AM
Alaska, which is part of your country, has a 4 or 5 fish annual limit for Chinook salmon depending on the zone. That state has done a much better job of managing their wild salmon populations than the lower 48.

California does not need an annual limit because most of the wild stocks are already gone. Almost all the the Kings caught by sport and commercial fishermen are hatchery fish.

The Administration's new policy, which is a reversal of their previous policy that would replace wild stocks with hatchery fish, is a cynical response to the objections of sport fishermen, scientists, and native Americans that were raised against the earlier policy. The contribution of fishing to salmon mortality is minor relative to the impact of dams, de-watering, and logging. Without habitat conservation and restoration efforts, the effects of limiting fishing will be inconsequential.

Ikan_Mas
01-28-2006, 04:27 PM
I think the real aim here is to eliminate fishermen. You reduce the limit, there will be a significant drop in interest (read that many fewer fishermen to complain about the administration's policys). Who wants to go out for say one salmon a day or 3 a season? Doc Stressor is right, this is a real cynical attempt by the adminstration to protect their energy buddies. Not only are they trying to get rid of the fish, now they are trying to get rid of the fishermen. This stinks to high heaven. Pombo and his buddies must be yuking it bigtime.

Buckmtn
01-28-2006, 04:50 PM
http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/5968/peta3oz.jpg
Their making another run at fisherman.

drstressor
01-28-2006, 07:21 PM
PETA is inconsequential. Nobody takes them seriously. They are just a distraction from the real enemy of the future of sport fishing in this country.

LuLu22
01-30-2006, 07:49 PM
Sorry to see that the Salmon are in a steep decline. I grew up on a commercial Salmon boat. I hate to see the Delta ( Sac River ) water going south to fill the swimming pools of the houses in the desert. More and better hatcheries near the Pacific - that is how I see the near term goal.

blue_chrush
01-30-2006, 11:14 PM
I SUPPORT A SEASON LIMIT ON SALMON, HOW MANY SALMON DOES ONE PERSON REALLY NEED? I LIVED IN CANADA, B.C WHERE THE LIMIT IS TWO PER DAY FOUR PER YEAR, I THINK REGS SUCH AS THIS WOULD BE JUST FINE. THEY ALSO NEED NEW WATER MANAGMENT POLICY'S AS WELL, WHY DO WE BLOW OUT A RIVER ONE DAY 70,000 CFS AND STARVE IT THE NEXT 1200 CFS.

just a guess,.
but I'm thinking you don't own a boat or fish for
them that much.....
I live on the coast and if it was only 4 fish a year
then owning a boat would be senseless....
and on top of that, if you set limits so low as to
make people not want to go fish them, then the ripple
effect comes into play as concern and awareness for
species drops off and it just declines on lack of
interest and support groups and funds to do so.....
ducks in the San Joaquin valley was this way 6yrs
ago, and Thur ducks unlimited and CWF the birds are
coming back and the counts are better than ever....
while it may not be like in the 50/60s its still
something we should be proud of and pass on to our
children....

lastly if everyone sold there boats
and just went on party boats.....
no boat sales, trucks to pull them, tackle
gas, launch fees, money for local cities
and money for hatcheries, and research..
the ripple effect would be wide spread......

Jan_from_Humboldt
01-31-2006, 12:28 PM
I SUPPORT A SEASON LIMIT ON SALMON, HOW MANY SALMON DOES ONE PERSON REALLY NEED? I LIVED IN CANADA, B.C WHERE THE LIMIT IS TWO PER DAY FOUR PER YEAR, I THINK REGS SUCH AS THIS WOULD BE JUST FINE. THEY ALSO NEED NEW WATER MANAGMENT POLICY'S AS WELL, WHY DO WE BLOW OUT A RIVER ONE DAY 70,000 CFS AND STARVE IT THE NEXT 1200 CFS.

As many as I can cram into my smoker (About 50 pounds at a time) so I can enjoy smoked salmon and Squaw candy all winter ;D ;D, If you like those kind of fishing regs move back to BC :o :)

drstressor
01-31-2006, 02:49 PM
Jingoism aside, you have to ask yourselves just how many salmon per year do you need?

I keep between 8 and 10 salmon every year between my wife and myself. We give at least 1/3 away to friends. We practically live on fish, eating maybe 3-4 meals of salmon per week all year long. The freezer runs out in May when it's time to stock up again.

So a 4 - 5 fish annual limit makes sense if you are trying to conserve wild fish or make nice-nice with powerful commercial fishing interests.

I lived in BC for a year and had no problem with the annual limit of 4 KINGS per person. I kept the first 3, marked my card, and didn't keep another KING myself until September. I took lots of other people fishing who kept fish. Oh yeah, we also caught silvers, pinks, and sockeye all summer long. There are no annual limits for these species. That's what the folks in AK do also. When you have multiple species of salmon to go after, annual limits on KINGS don't hinder the sport in any way.

As I said before, in California we are fishing for hatchery fish that are put in the water to be caught. The hatcheries only need a tiny fraction of the escapement to keep the show going. So it doesn't matter how many people are allowed to take during the season. BTW, anybody want to argue that the salmon fishing is better here than in BC or Alaska. ;D

FatCat
01-31-2006, 06:33 PM
Okay, not cool. I just typed out a lengthy and eloquent response and it erased it because it didn't have a subject...

To sum up:

Right on Blue Crush!

The real culprits here are dams and various forms of water pollution. A seasonal limit will do next to nothing in preserving our fisheries. So what's the point? We fisherman have sacrificed more than anyone when it comes to preserving our fisheries. We do it because we want to catch more fish.@But a seasonal limit comes at too great of cost for the very little benefit we would get. 80% of fish deaths are from dams. THAT'S what we need to address.

I respectfully disagree with the esteemed Doc. As evidenced by the following quote from an article by Dan, the vast majority of our fish, at least in the American, are native:

&quot;The vast majority of the total run, 147,103 fish, were natural spawners, according to Mike Healey, associate fishery biologist for the California Department of Fish and Game,...&quot;

http://www.fishsniffer.com/dbachere/040923american.html

If anything, the American is much more dependent on the hatchery than many other rivers in CA. So I do not think it is logical is assume most of our fish are hatchery. If there is evidence to the contrary I would like to see it.

It may be that the fishing is better in Alaska than CA. But correlation is not causation. Seasonal limits are not the reason why their fishing is better. Rather, I would argue that their fishing is better because they have more rivers, less population, and less dams.

drstressor
01-31-2006, 07:27 PM
I'm not advocating season limits in California at all. The hatcheries stock almost 50M smolt per year that, for the time being, mitigate for fluctuations in natural reproduction. But the &quot;natural spawners&quot; are already contaminated by interbreeding with hatchery stocks in most CA populations. With a few exceptions, wild and hatchery stocks are more of a political, rather than a biological, designation.

In any given year the percentage of &quot;wild&quot; (non-adipose clipped) spawners can vary greatly. Bacher's article notes huge die offs of natural spawners in 2001, 2002 and 2003. The effect of the 2001 die off should have been seen in 2005. But fishing wasn't that bad in the American last year. The hatcheries compensate for bad &quot;natural reproduction&quot; years.

So my point is just that season limits make sense in BC and Alaska. They are not needed in CA. Of course habitat degradation and water usage have a greater effect on the populations than fishing. But the California salmon fishery is mostly a salmon ranching operation, whether we like to believe that or not.

FatCat
02-01-2006, 08:12 PM
I understand/stood that you do/did not advocate seasonal limits in CA. While I was aware of genetic contamination, I now see how that would make some/many/most? of those natural spawners not exactly native. Good point!

I wonder, though, how many of those northern fish are genetically contaminated by escaped farmed salmon...

drstressor
02-01-2006, 08:54 PM
Salmon farming is not legal in AK. Escapees are a big problem in BC. Most farmed salmon are Atlantic, which have never been able to establish wild populations in the Pacific. They still compete with native fish and can carry diseases.

BC does a lot of salmon ranging using very large hatchery operations. The Roberson Creek hatchery near Port Alberni plants nearly as many Kings as all of California. They do have problems with hatchery fish breeding with wild stocks. But they have been careful, for the most part, to propagate only the local wild stocks in each hatchery. Alaska uses hatcheries to enhance natural reproduction in some rivers also. But with far more water, fewer dams, healthier wild populations, and many remote rivers, the effects of hatcheries on wild populations is a lot less than down here. It is still an issue though.

AK manages their salmon stocks very well. The primary goal is to support the commercial fishing industry, followed by subsistence, and then sport fishing. They have escapement targets for each river drainage and regulate the commercial take each year in a very controlled way. Wild Alaskan salmon is considered to be a sustainable resource given the way the fishery is currently managed. The annual sport fishing bag limits are really the result of pressure from the commercial fishing industry; it is not really that important as a management tool.

BC hasn't done a good job, particularly in the Southern regions. The annual limits were imposed in the 1990's when King salmon stocks were really in trouble. Commercial take was also drastically reduced at that time. Interestingly, interception of Canadian stocks by commercial fishermen in South East AK was believed to be a major factor in the decline of the Canadian fisher. This led to well publicized &quot;salmon wars&quot; between the two countries that made things even worse back then. There were retaliatory increases in commercial fishing pressure put in place by each side that resulted in deliberate pressure on both US and Canadian fish. The Canadians started a big intercept fishery for WA and OR stocks as they swam by in order to put pressure on the Alaskans. The US targeted Canadian sockeye in the Straits of Juan De Fuca. Things have more or less settled down now. Canada has essentially eliminated commercial salmon fishing except by the First Nations (Indians). Their King and Coho fisheries are now managed primarily for sport fishing and both species have rebounded very well in many areas. But if you want wild King salmon, you generally need to go pretty far north in BC.

Salmon farming is major environmental issue in BC. The government has been promoting more salmon farms while the sport fisherman and environmentalists oppose them. Farm salmon from BC, the eastern Canadian provinces, Chile, and Europe depress the market value of wild Alaskan fish. So the salmon wars will continue. California is sort of a noncombatant since most our fish don't travel much farther north than Oregon and commercial fishing is done on a much smaller scale down here. On one hand, in my own mind I've sort of written off wild salmon in California. That's defeatist, I know. But there are just too many problems and not enough water to go around. On the other hand, I know that the preservation of threatened and endangered wild strains is the only thing preventing agriculture and southern urban areas from taking all of the water. So that's really why trying to keep wild stocks around is important.

randyfishing
02-02-2006, 10:27 AM
It is just plain hard to beleive that the current administration would do anything that would actually benefit the fisheries at all without some other corporate gain motive. Wolf in sheeps clothing theory. Good points Doc on the state of the fisheries in CA. There have been some good restoration efforts but the big picture looks bleak for any &quot;natural runs&quot;. I'm just happy to see any anadromous fish activity at all. The history of the salmon fisheries is a very interesting topic, history repeats itself all the way from England 1000 years ago to New England to the Pacific Coast.

FatCat
02-02-2006, 05:00 PM
The annual sport fishing bag limits are really the result of pressure from the commercial fishing industry; it is not really that important as a management tool.


That is just what I suspected. Very informative, though. Thank you for all the background.

brian_m
02-11-2006, 12:06 PM
with blue crash on this one...if they were to make the regulations like they have in canada then i wouldnt be fishing for them..i spend alot of pay checks a year just on salmon fishing and gear and something like that happend i wouldnt even waste my time and i sure others wouldnt either..buhbye boats, buhbye charter buisnesse, buhbye bait and takcle stores and buhbye to a big chunk of fishing licenses and salmon pimitts!

they should really be consentrating on the commercial fleets..they do the most damage

Drifter
02-12-2006, 12:40 AM
I would like to know who we credit with the development of these &quot;hatchery&quot; salmon! They sound like a great invention! The genetics of salmon is which stream they came from, not if they are a &quot;real&quot; fish!!! Hatchery fish left in the wild for one - two years revert back to their mean ol self. The problem is that hatcheries take one strain of fish from one hatchery to another. BUT, they are still &quot;wild&quot; strains and I for one love catching fish. If you put the american up against just one river in alaska, it will probably beat it. I have fished many streams/rivers in BC and Vancouver Is. for salmon, and I would still put our rivers up against any of them. The american is a great salmon river, as is the sacramento. We are lucky to have everything we get and I for one appreciate what everyone does to keep fish in our rivers, whether its a hatchery or a tree hugger! By the way, we lowered the trout from 10 a day to 5 and almost no one said a word!!!
Limits sure wouldn't stop me from fishing!!

predator
02-12-2006, 05:44 AM
It's a laugh to hear the Bush administration wants to sane the native Salmon! I recall the Kalamath River Salmon kill a couple of years ago. About 180,000 salmon died. Kalmath water was allowed to be diverted to farm lands by the Bush administration. The Klamath heated up and the salmon got diseased from the bacteria and died. Now the Bush administration want less natives caught by fisherman - Big nasty joke on sports fishermen! How many of the 180,000 salmon in the Kalmath salmon kill were natives. Screw-ups like the Kalamath salmon kill does not help the salmon! :'(



predator

basil
02-13-2006, 04:47 PM
It's pretty much an established fact that the dams have been by far the biggest factor in killing off salmon runs. Right behind the dams you have farming that sprays all kinds of chemicals for pesticides and fertilizers that screw up the whole food chain and oxygen levels in the rivers.

What you have is a competing interest in how river water gets used against the Salmons needs. They are spinning off statements making it sound like fishermen are the big deal. The simple fact is the only way that fishermen are a problem is because the dams and chemicals have reduced the Salmon runs down to a point where anything can be the last straw.

If you were to take out the dams, you would see a huge rebound in Salmon in 2 to 4 years, simply because all the spawned fish could get back to the ocean with out being chewed up in dams.

You can bet that's not going to happen because gas is expensive and if you eliminate dams, then electricity will be in short supply, causing rates to go up. And they aren't worried about us, they want to make sure the big corporations don't have to pay too much.

Anyway, the statement that fishermen are the problem causing smaller fish runs is smoke and mirrors. Anyone, that has followed this subject for the last 20 years knows that.

Here's a simile to give you and idea of the real picture. Imagine a Doctor in an operating room with a patient that is on deaths door. The patient is bleeding internally, but the doctor needs a blood sample and pulls a pint out of the patient for tests. The patient dies from loss of blood.
The patient would have died from the internal bleeding, but the pint of blood the doctor took out caused the patient to die a couple of minutes sooner.

You got the same thing with the salmon fisherman. The salmon runs are in bad shape but not because of fishing, the dams have killed off all the small returning salmon. But now that the runs are in bad shape they are blaming the fisherman.

The same thing is going on with stripers and sturgeon in the Bay. They have diverted so much water from the Delta that the area of Brackish water (fresh and salty water mixed) is dinky compared to what it used to be. The brackish water is where a lot of small fish and shrimp breed and grow up, that the stripers and sturgeon eat. No food for the big fish, no big fish.